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Gotse Delchev

Georgi Nikolov "Gotse" Delchev
Гоце Делчев
Portrait of Gotse Delchev
Born February 4, 1872
Kilkis, Salonica Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (now Greece)
Died May 4, 1903(1903-05-04) (aged 31)
Banitsa, Salonica Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (now Greece)
Ethnicity Bulgarian[1][2]
Organization Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees,[3] (later SMARO, IMARO, IMRO)
Religion Bulgarian Uniat Church and Bulgarian Exarchate (successively)

Georgi Nikolov Delchev (Rumelia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. [4]

Born in Kukush, then in the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, in his youth he was inspired by the ideals of revolutionaries such as Vasil Levski and Hristo Botev, [5] who envisioned the creation of a Bulgarian republic of ethnic and religious equality, as part of an imagined Balkan Federation. [6] Delchev completed his secondary education in the Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki and entered the Military School of His Princely Highness in Sofia, but he was dismissed from there, because of his leftist political persuasions. Then he returned to Ottoman Macedonia as a Bulgarian teacher, and immediately became an activist of the newly-found revolutionary movement in 1894. [7]

Although considering himself to be an inheritor of the Bulgarian revolutionary traditions, as a committed republican Delchev was disillusioned by the reality in the post-liberation Bulgarian monarchy. [8] Also by him, as by many Macedonian Bulgarians, originating from an area with mixed population, [9] the idea of being ‘Macedonian’ acquired the importance of a certain native loyalty, that constructed a specific spirit of "local patriotism" [10] [11] and "multi-ethnic regionalism". [12] [13] He maintained the slogan promoted by William Ewart Gladstone, "Macedonia for the Macedonians", including different nationalities inhabiting the area. [14] In this way, his outlook included a wide range of such disparate ideas as Bulgarian patriotism, Macedonian regionalism, anti-nationalism and incipient socialism. [15]

As a result, his political agenda became the establishment through revolution of an autonomous Macedono-Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising.

Today Gotse Delchev is considered as a national hero in Bulgaria, [19] as well as in the Republic of Macedonia, where it is claimed that he was among the founders of the Macedonian national movement. [20] Despite such Macedonian historical interpretations, Delchev had Bulgarian national identity and viewed his compatriots as Bulgarians. [21] The designation Macedonian according to the then used ethnic terminology included Albanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks, Vlachs, and Serbs, [22] [23] and when applied to the local Slavs, it meant a regional Bulgarian identity. [24] However, contrary to ulgarian assertions, his autonomist ideas of a separate Macedonian (and Adrianopolitan) political entity, have stimulated the development of contemporary Macedonian nationalism. [25]


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Teacher and revolutionist 1.2
    • Revolutionary activity as part of the leadership of the Organization 1.3
    • Death and aftermath 1.4
  • Controversy 2
  • Delchev's views 3
  • Legacy 4
  • Memorials 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Delchev (left) and his former classmate from Kilkis, Imov as officer cadets in Sofia.

Early life

He was born in a large family on February 4, 1872 (January 23 according to the Bulgarian Exarchate's educational net.

Teacher and revolutionist

The diploma of Delchev from his graduation from the Military school in Sofia. [41]
Diploma from the Bulgarian Exarchate's school in Stip, signed by Delchev as a teacher.

Meanwhile, in Ottoman

  • Wikisource logo Works written by or about Gotse Delchev at Wikisource
  • Quotations related to Gotse Delchev at Wikiquote
  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • Пандев, К. "Устави и правилници на ВМОРО преди Илинденско-Преображенското въстание", Исторически преглед, 1969, кн. I, стр. 68—80. (Bulgarian)
  • Пандев, К. "Устави и правилници на ВМОРО преди Илинденско-Преображенското въстание", Извeстия на Института за история, т. 21, 1970, стр. 250–257. (Bulgarian)
  • Битоски, Крсте, сп. "Македонско Време", Скопје – март 1997, quoting: Quoting: Public Record Office – Foreign Office 78/4951 Turkey (Bulgaria), From Elliot, 1898, Устав на ТМОРО. S. 1. published in Документи за борбата на македонскиот народ за самостојност и за национална држава, Скопје, Универзитет "Кирил и Методиј": Факултет за филозофско-историски науки, 1981, pp 331 – 333. (Macedonian)
  • Hugh Pouton Who Are the Macedonians?, C. Hurst & Co, 2000. p. 53. ISBN 1-85065-534-0
  • Fikret Adanir, Die Makedonische Frage: ihre entestehung und etwicklung bis 1908., Wiessbaden 1979, p. 112.
  • Duncan Perry The Politics of Terror: The Macedonian Liberation Movements, 1893–1903 , Durham, Duke University Press, 1988. pp. 40–41, 210 n. 10.
  • Friedman, V. (1997) "One Grammar, Three Lexicons: Ideological Overtones and Underpinnings of the Balkan Sprachbund" in CLS 33 Papers from the 33rd Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. (Chicago : Chicago Linguistic Society)
  • Димитър П. Евтимов, Делото на Гоце Делчев, Варна, изд. на варненското Македонско културно-просветно дружество "Гоце Делчев", 1937. (Bulgarian)
  • Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977. In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography "Delchev", Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977.(Bulgarian)
  • MacDermott, Mercia. (1978) Freedom or Death: The Life of Goce Delchev Journeyman Press, London and West Nyack. ISBN 0-904526-32-1.


  1. ^
  2. ^ p. 168.
  3. ^
  4. ^ , pp. 55-56
  5. ^ Todorova, Maria N. Bones of Contention: The Living Archive of Vasil Levski and the Making of Bulgaria's National Hero, Central European University Press, 2009, ISBN 9639776246, p. 76.
  6. ^ Jelavich, Charles. The Establishment of the Balkan National States, 1804-1920, University of Washington Press, 1986, ISBN 0295803606, pp. 137-138.
  7. ^ Raymond Detrez Detrez, Raymond. The A to Z of Bulgaria, Scarecrow Press, 2010, ISBN 0810872021, p. 135.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The French referred to 'Macedoine' as an area of mixed races — and named a salad after it. One doubts that Gotse Delchev approved of this descriptive, but trivial approach." Johnson, Wes. Balkan inferno: betrayal, war and intervention, 1990-2005, Enigma Books, 2007, ISBN 1929631634, p. 80.
  10. ^ "The Bulgarian historians, such as Veselin Angelov, Nikola Achkov and Kosta Tzarnushanov continue to publish their research backed with many primary sources to prove that the term 'Macedonian' when applied to Slavs has always meant only a regional identity of the Bulgarians." Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996, Chris Kostov, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 112.
  11. ^ "Gotse Delchev, may, as Macedonian historians claim, have 'objectively' served the cause of Macedonian independence, but in his letters he called himself a Bulgarian. In other words it is not clear that the sense of Slavic Macedonian identity at the time of Delchev was in general developed." Moulakis, Athanasios. "The Controversial Ethnogenesis of Macedonia", European Political Science (2010) 9, ISSN: 1680-4333. p. 497.
  12. ^ "Slavic Macedonian intellectuals felt loyalty to Macedonia as a region or territory without claiming any specifically Macedonian ethnicity. The primary aim of this Macedonian regionalism was a multi-ethnic alliance against the Ottoman rule." Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 10–11, Association for Balkan Anthropology, Bŭlgarska akademiia na naukite, Universität München, Lit Verlag, Alexander Maxwell, 2006, p. 133.
  13. ^ "The Bulgarian loyalties of IMRO's leadership, however, coexisted with the desire for multi-ethnic Macedonia to enjoy administrative autonomy. When Delchev was elected to IMRO's Central Committee in 1896, he opened membership in IMRO to all inhabitants of European Turkey since the goal was to assemble all dissatisfied elements in Macedonia and Adrianople regions regardless of ethnicity or religion in order to win through revolution full autonomy for both regions." Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer, LIT Verlag Münster, 2009, ISBN 3825813878, p. 136.
  14. ^ , p. 56
  15. ^
  16. ^ The earliest document which talks about the autonomy of Macedonia and Thrace into the Ottoman Empire is the resolution of the First congress of the Supreme Macedonian Committee held in Sofia in 1895. От София до Костур -освободителните борби на българите от Македония в спомени на дейци от Върховния македоно-одрински комитет, Ива Бурилкова, Цочо Билярски - съставители, ISBN 9549983234, Синева, 2003, стр. 6.
  17. ^ , pp. 27-28
  18. ^ Detrez, Raymond. Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Scarecrow Press, 2006, ISBN 0810849011, p. 135.
  19. ^ "One of IMRO’s leaders, Gotsé Delchev, whose nom de guerre was Ahil (Achilles), is regarded by both Macedonians and Bulgarians as a national hero. He seems to have identified himself as a Bulgarian and to have regarded the Slavs of Macedonia as Bulgarians." Encyclopedia Britannica online, article Republic of Macedonia, section: History, subsection: The independence movement.
  20. ^ "A more modern national hero is Gotse Delchev, leader of the turn-of-the-century Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), which was actually a largely pro-Bulgarian organization but is claimed as the founding Macedonian national movement." Kaufman, Stuart J. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Cornell University Press, 2001, ISBN 0801487366, p. 193.
  21. ^ In his correspondence Gotse Delchev often states clearly and simply: "We are Bulgarians" (MacDermott 1978: 192, 273).
  22. ^ Roumen Daskalov, Diana Mishkova. Entangled Histories of the Balkans Volume Two. BRILL, 2013, ISBN 9004261915, p. 503.
  23. ^ "The IMARO activists saw the future autonomous Macedonia as a multinational polity, and did not pursue the self-determination of Macedonian Slavs as a separate ethnicity. Therefore, Macedonian was an umbrella term covering Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Vlachs, Albanians, Serbs, Jews, and so on." Bechev, Dimitar. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, Introduction.
  24. ^ During the 20th century, Slavo-Macedonian national feeling shifted. At the beginning of the 20th century, Slavic patriots in Macedonia felt a strong attachment to Macedonia as a multi-ethnic homeland... Most of these Macedonian Slavs also saw themselves as Bulgarians. By the middle of the 20th. century, however Macedonian patriots began to see Macedonian and Bulgarian loyalties as mutually exclusive. Regional Macedonian nationalism had become ethnic Macedonian nationalism... This transformation shows that the content of collective loyalties can shift. Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer. Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Ethnologia Balkanica Series. LIT Verlag Münster, 2010, ISBN 3825813878, p. 127.
  25. ^ Roumen Dontchev Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov. Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. Balkan Studies Library, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X. pp. 300-303.
  26. ^ Robert D. Kaplan, Balkan ghosts: a journey through history, Vintage books, 1994, ISBN 0-679-74981-0, p. 58.
  27. ^ Vacalopoulos, Apostolos. Modern history of Macedonia (1830-1912), From the birth of the Greek state until the Liberation. Thessaloniki: Barbounakis, 1989, pp. 61-62
  28. ^ An 1873 Ottoman study, published in 1878 as "Ethnographie des Vilayets d'Andrinople, de Monastir et de Salonique", concluded that the population of Kilkis consisted of 1,170 households of which there were 5,235 Bulgarian inhabitants, 155 Muslims and 40 Romani people. "Македония и Одринско. Статистика на населението от 1873 г." Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia, 1995, pp.160-161.
  29. ^ A Vasil Kanchov study of 1900 counted 7,000 Bulgarian and 750 Turkish inhabitants in the town. Macedonia. Ethnography and Statistics. Sofia, 1900, p. 164.
  30. ^ Aarbakke, Vemund. Ethnic rivalry and the quest for Macedonia, 1870-1913. East European Monographs, 2003, ISBN 0-88033-527-0, p. 132.
  31. ^ Khristov, Khristo Dechkov. The Bulgarian Nation During the National Revival Period. Institut za istoria, Izd-vo na Bŭlgarskata akademia na naukite, 1980, str. 293.
  32. ^
  33. ^ In one five-year period, there were 57 Catholic villages in the area, whilst the Bulgarian uniate schools in the Vilayet of Thessaloniki reached 64. Gounaris, Basil C. National Claims, Conflicts and Developments in Macedonia, 1870–191, p. 186.
  34. ^ The Bulgarian movement for union with Rome initially won some 60,000 adherents, but as a result of the establishment in 1870 of the Bulgarian Exarchate, at least three quarters of these returned to Orthodoxy by the end of the century. The Archbishop of all Uniat Bulgarians Nil Izvorov went back in 1884 to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The clergy’s numerous shifts were symptomatic of the Great Powers’ game that the clergy got involved after the 1878 Berlin Treaty, which left Macedonia and Thrace within the Ottoman Empire, after they had been given to Bulgaria with the March 1878 San Stefano Treaty.
  35. ^ A survey from 1905 established the presence of 9,712 Exarchists, 40Patriarchists, 592 Bulgarian Uniates and 16 Protestants. "La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne". D.M. Brancoff, Paris, 1905, р.98–99.
  36. ^ Л. Чопова-Юрукова, Спомени за семейството на Гоце Делчев, сп. Септември, кн. 5, 1953, стр. 72; Ст. Стаматов, Спомени за Гоце Делчев и Борис Дрангов, София, 1935, стр. 15.
  37. ^ Susan K. Kinnell, People in World History: A-M, ABC-CLIO, 1989, ISBN 0874365503, p. 157.
  38. ^ Brooks, Julian Allan. December 2005. "'Shoot the Teacher!' Education and the Roots of the Macedonian Struggle". Thesis (M.A.) – Department of History – Simon Fraser University, pp. 133–134.
  39. ^ "Илюстрация Илинден", София, 1936 г., кн. 1, стр. 4–5; (Magazine Ilustratsia Ilinden), Sofia, 1936, book I, pp. 4–5; the original is in Bulgarian.
  40. ^ MacDermott, Mercia. For freedom and perfection: the Life of Yané Sandansky. Journeyman, London, 1988. p. 44.
  41. ^ Below is a statement that the cadet was expelled from the school on the basis of a memorandum of an officer, because of manifest poor behavior, but the school allows him to re-apply to a Commission for recovery of his status.
  42. ^
  43. ^ Aarbakke, Vemund. Ethnic rivalry and the quest for Macedonia, 1870–1913, East European Monographs, 2003, ISBN 0880335270, p. 92.
  44. ^ MacDermott, Mercia. . Freedom or Death: The Life of Delchev. Journeyman Press, London and West Nyack, 1978. 405 pp. ISBN 0-904526-32-1. Translated in Bulgarian: Макдермот, Мерсия. Свобода или смърт. Биография на Гоце Делчев, София 1979, с. 86–94.
  45. ^ Banac, Ivo. "The Macedoine". In The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics, Cornell University Press, 1984. pp. 307–328.
  46. ^ Елдъров, Светлозар. "Върховният македоно-одрински комитет и Македоно-одринската организация в България (1895–1903)", Иврай, София, 2003, ISBN 9549121062, стр. 6.
  47. ^ Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 30. (Bulgarian) In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography " Delchev", Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, p. 30.
  48. ^ . Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia. 2001, translation from Polish: Dimitar Dimitrov.The Balkan states and the Macedonian questionБалканските държави и Македонския въпрос, Антони Гиза, превод от полски – Димитър Димитров, Македонски Научен Институт София, 2001; in English: Giza, Anthoni:
  49. ^
  50. ^ Vladimir Ortakovski. Minorities in the Balkans Transnational Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1571051295, p. 43.
  51. ^ Loyal Unto Death: Trust and Terror in Revolutionary Macedonia, Keith Brown, Indiana University Press, 2013, ISBN 0253008476, p. 62.
  52. ^ Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 32–33. (Bulgarian) In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography Delchev, Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, pp. 32–33.
  53. ^ Fires on the mountain: the Macedonian revolutionary movement and the kidnapping of Ellen Stone Volume, Laura Beth Sherman, East European Monographs, 1980, ISBN 0914710559, p. 15.
  54. ^ Memoirs of Georgi Vasilev. Prinosi kam istoriyata na Makedono-odrinskoto revolyutsionno dvizhenie. Vol IV, p. 8, 9. From the memoirs of Petar Kiprilov, priest in the village of Pirok. Opus cit. p. 157.
  55. ^ Иван Карайотов, Стоян Райчевски, Митко Иванов: История на Бургас. От древността до средата на ХХ век, Печат Тафпринт ООД, Пловдив, 2011, ISBN 978-954-92689-1-1, стр. 192–193.
  56. ^ Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 39. (Bulgarian) In English:Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography Delchev, Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, p. 39.
  57. ^ Modern history abstracts, 1450–1914, Volume 48, Issue 1–, American Bibliographical Center, Eric H. Boehm, ABC-Clio, 1997, p. 657.
  58. ^
  59. ^ Елдъров, Светозар. Тайните офицерски братства в освободителните борби на Македония и Одринско 1897–1912, Военно издателство, София, 2002, стр.11–30.
  60. ^
  61. ^ For example in a speech, addressed to the VIII extraordinary congress of the Bulgarian promilitary Supreme Macedono-Adrianopolitan Organisation in Sofia on April 7, 1901: "Само ако тукашната организация одобрява духът на вътрешната организация и не се стреми да й дава импулс, въздействие, т. е. не й се бърка в нейните работи, само в такъв случай може да съществува връзка между тия две организации.", НБКМ – БИА, ф. 224, а. е. 8, л. 602, in English: "Only if the external organization approves the spirit of the internal organisation /IMRO, editor's note/ and doesn't aspire to give it impulse, influence, i.e., it doesn't meddle in its affairs, only in such case relation between these two organisations could exist."; the document is kept in the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library, the Bulgarian Historical Archive department, fund 224, archive unit 8, page 602.
  62. ^ Socialism and nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, 1876–1923, Mete Tunçay, Erik Jan Zürcher, British Academic Press, Amsterdam, 1994, ISBN 1850437874, p. 36.
  63. ^ Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 62–66. (Bulgarian) In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography Delchev, Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, pp. 62–66.
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^ Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 69. (Bulgarian) In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography Delchev, Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, p. 69.
  69. ^
  70. ^ Държавен вестник, бр. 282, 4.ХІІ.1914, стр. 1.
  71. ^
  72. ^ Към Бяло море по стъпките на Гоце.
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^ On the plate was this inscription: In memory of fallen chetniks in the village of Banica on May 4, 1903 for the unification of Macedonia to the mother-country Bulgaria and to the eternal memory of the generations: Gotse Delchev from Kilkis, apostle and leader, Dimitar Gushtanov from Krushovo, Stefan Duhov from the village of Tarlis, Stoyan Zahariev from the village of Banica, Dimitar Palyankov from the village of Gorno Brodi. Their covenant was Freedom or Death." The plate was blown up by the Greeks in 1946. - сп. Илюстрация Илинден, 1943, бр.145-146, стр.13.
  76. ^ Снимка на паметника на първия гроб на Гоце Делчев край село Баница, Серско, открит на 3 май 1943 г., 14 март 2012, Агенция "Фокус.
  77. ^
  78. ^ Duncan Perry, "The Republic of Macedonia: finding its way" in Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot (eds.), Politics, power and the struggle for Democracy in South-Eastern Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 228-229.
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ Мичев. Д. Македонският въпрос и българо-югославските отношения – 9 септември 1944–1949, Издателство: СУ Св. Кл. Охридски, 1992, стр. 91.
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^ Livanios, Dimitris. The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939–1949. Oxford Historical Monographs, Oxford University Press US, 2008, ISBN 0199237689, p. 202.
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^ Gold, Gerald L. Minorities and mother country imagery , Memorial University of Newfoundland. Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1984, ISBN 0919666434, p. 74.
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^ From recognition to repudiation: Bulgarian attitudes on the Macedonian question, articles, speeches, documents. Vanǵa Čašule, Kultura, 1972, p. 96.
  95. ^ The historiography of Yugoslavia, 1965-1976, Savez društava istoričara Jugoslavije, Dragoslav Janković, The Association of Yugoslav Historical Societies, 1976, pp. 307–310.
  96. ^ Yugoslav — Bulgarian Relations from 1955 to 1980 by Evangelos Kofos from J. Koliopoulos and J. Hassiotis (editorss), Modern and Contemporary Macedonia: History, Economy, Society, Culture, vol. 2, (Athens-Thessaloniki, 1992), pp. 277–280.
  97. ^
  98. ^ "Сите ние сме Бугари". Македонски историци "на бунт" срещу общото честване на празниците ни. в-к "Дума", 07.06.2006.
  99. ^
  100. ^
  101. ^
  102. ^ Ivo Banac. With Stalin against Tito: Cominformist splits in Yugoslav Communism Cornell University Press, 1988, ISBN 0801421861, p. 198.
  103. ^ As a result of the Salonica Congress in 1896 a new Statute and Rules, providing for a very centralized form of organization were drawn up by During Delchev's lifetime, the Organization had three Statutes: the first was drawn up by Пейо Яворов, "Събрани съчинения", Том втори, "Гоце Делчев", Издателство "Български писател", София, 1977, стр. 13. (Bulgarian) In English: Peyo Yavorov, "Complete Works", Volume 2, biography Delchev, Publishing house "Bulgarian writer", Sofia, 1977, p. 13. [1] ^ ^
  104. ^
  105. ^
  106. ^
  107. ^ "Спомени на Гьорчо Петров", поредица Материяли за историята на македонското освободително движение, книга VIII, София, 1927, глава VII, (in English: "Memoirs of Gyorcho Petrov", series Materials about history of the Macedonian revolutionary movement, book VIII, Sofia, 1927, chapter VII).
  108. ^ ...At first the revolutionary organization began to work among the Bulgarian population, even not among the whole of it, but only among this part, which participated in the Bulgarian Exarchate. IMRO treated suspiciously to the Bulgarians, which participated in other churches, as the Greek Patriarchate, the Eastern Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. As to the revolutionary activity among the other nationalities as Turks, Albanians, Greeks and Vlahs, such question did not exist for the founders of the organization. This other nationalities were for IMRO foreign people... Later, when the leaders of IMRO saw, that the idea for liberation of Macedonia can find followers among the Bulgarians non-Exarchists, as also among the other nationalities in Macedonia, and under the pressure from IMRO-members with left, socialist or anarchist convictions, they changed the staute of IMRO in sence, that member of IMRO can be any Macedonian and Adrianopolitan, regardless from his ethnicity or religious denomination... See: "Борбите на македонския народ за освобождение”. Димитър Влахов, Библиотека Балканска Федерация, № 1, Виена, 1925, стр. 11.
  109. ^
  110. ^
  111. ^
  112. ^
  113. ^
  114. ^
  115. ^
  116. ^ Гоце Делчев. Писма и други материали, Дино Кьосев, Биографичен очерк, стр. 33.
  117. ^ Review of Chairs of History at Law and History Faculty of South-West University – Blagoevgrad, vol. 2/2005, Културното единство на българския народ в контекста на фирософията на Гоце Делчев, автор Румяна Модева, стр. 2.
  118. ^
  119. ^ Идеята за автономия като тактика в програмите на национално-освободителното движение в Македония и Одринско (1893–1941), Димитър Гоцев, 1983, Изд. на Българска Академия на Науките, София, 1983, c. 34.; in English: The idea for autonomy as a tactics in the programs of the National Liberation movements in Macedonia and Adrianople regions 1893–1941", Sofia, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Dimitar v, 1983, p 34. Among others, there are used the memoirs of the IMRO revolutionary Kosta Tsipushev, where he cited Delchev, that the autonomy then was only tactics, aiming future unification with Bulgaria. (55. ЦПА, ф. 226); срв. К. Ципушев. 19 години в сръбските затвори, СУ Св. Климент Охридски, 2004, ISBN 954-91083-5-X стр. 31–32. in English: Kosta Tsipushev, 19 years in Serbian prisons, Sofia University publishing house, 2004, ISBN 954-91083-5-X, p. 31-32.
  120. ^ Таjните на Македониjа.Се издава за прв пат, Скопjе 1999 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009). in Macedonian – Ете како ја објаснува целта на борбата Гоце Делчев во 1901 година: "...Треба да се бориме за автономноста на Македанија и Одринско, за да ги зачуваме во нивната целост, како еден етап за идното им присоединување кон општата Болгарска Татковина". In English – How Delchev explained the aim of the struggle against the Ottomans in 1901: "...We have to fight for autonomy of Macedonia and Adrianople regions as a stage for their future unification with our common fatherland, Bulgaria."
  121. ^ According to  – Вътрешната македоно-одринска революционна организация като митологична и реална същност: Торино 1934–1936, Христо Татарчев, Издател Македония прес, 1995.стр. 99.
  122. ^
  123. ^
  124. ^ The national question in Yugoslavia: origins, history, politics, Cornell Paperbacks, Ivo Banac, Cornell University Press, 1988, ISBN 0801494931, p. 314.
  125. ^
  126. ^ Perry, Duncan M. (1988). The Politics of Terror: The Macedonian Revolutionary Movements, 1893–1903, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, p.23.
  127. ^
  128. ^ Delchev, openly said: "We are Bulgarians”(Mac Dermott, 1978:192, 273, quoted in Danforth, 1995:64) and addressed "the Slavs of Macedonia as ‘Bulgarians’ in an offhanded manner without seeming to indicate that such a designation was a point of contention” (Perry, 1988:23, quoted in Danforth, 1995:64). See: Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe – Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE), Slavic-Macedonians of Bulgaria, p. 5.
  129. ^ Академик Иван Катарџиев, "Верувам во националниот имунитет на македонецот", интервjу, "Форум": "форум – Дали навистина Делчев се изјаснувал како Бугарин и зошто? Катарџиев – Ваквите прашања стојат. Сите наши луѓе се именувале како "Бугари"..."; also (in Macedonian; in English: "Academician Ivan Katardzhiev. I believe in Macedonian national immunity", interview, "Forum" magazine: "Forum – Whether Delchev really defined himself as Bulgarian and why? Katardzhiev – Such questions exist. All our people named themselves as "Bulgarians"...")
  130. ^ "Уште робуваме на старите поделби", Разговор со д-р Зоран Тодоровски,, 27. 06. 2005, also here [2] (in Macedonian); in English: "We are still in servitude to the old divisions", interview with Dr. Zoran Todorovski, published on, 27-06-2005.
  131. ^ Проштавање и национално помирување (3), д-р Антонио Милошоски, Утрински Весник, бр. 1760, 16 окт. 2006, In English: "Forgiving and national reconciliation (3)", Dr. Antonio Miloshoski, Utrinski Vesnik, issue 1760, 16.10.2006.
  132. ^
  133. ^ From a circular-letter № 1, written by Peyo Yavorov under the supervision of Delchev and addressed to all revolutionary committees in Macedonia and the Adrianople area, dated from June 1902.
  134. ^ In a conversation in 1900, with
  135. ^ Македония в българската фалеристика, Автор Тодор Петров, Издател: Военно издателство "Св. Георги Победоносец", 2004 г., ISBN 9545092831, стр. 9–10.
  136. ^
  137. ^
  138. ^ 16 юли 2013, Агенция "Фокус", Паметна плоча на Гоце Делчев е поставена на лобното му място в днешна Гърция.



After long-lasting attempts from Bulgarian side to place a new memorial plaque on the death place of Gotse Delchev, one was placed on the steeple of the bell tower at Banitsa in July 2013, with the permission of the Greek authorities. [140]

Delchev is today regarded both in Bulgaria and in the Republic of Macedonia as an important national hero, and both nations see him as part of their own national history. [138] His memory is honored especially in the Bulgarian parts of Macedonia and among the descendants of Bulgarian refugees from other parts of the region, where he is regarded as the most important revolutionary from the second generation of freedom fighters. [139] His name appears also in the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia: "Denes nad Makedonija". There are two towns named in his honour: Gotse Delchev in Bulgaria and Delčevo in the Republic of Macedonia. There are also two peaks named after Delchev: Gotsev Vrah, the summit of Slavyanka Mountain, and Delchev Vrah or Delchev Peak on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands in Antarctica, which was named after him by the scientists from the Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition. Delchev Ridge on Livingston Island bears also his name. The Goce Delčev University of Štip in the Republic of Macedonia carries his name too. Today many artifacts related to Delchev's activity are stored in different museums across Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia.

Commemorative medal of Delchev issued in 1904 in Bulgaria, designed by the painter Dimitar Diolev. [137]


[136] He thought that any intervention by Bulgaria would provoke intervention by the neighboring states as well, and could result in Macedonia and Thrace being torn apart. That is why the peoples of these two regions had to win their own freedom, within the frontiers of an autonomous Macedonian-Adrianople state. [135] The international,

Excerpt from the statute of SMARO, whose author was G. Delchev.[104]
Excerpt from the statute of BMARC, whose co-author was G. Delchev.[103]

Delchev's views

In 1934 the Comintern gave its support to the idea that the Macedonian Slavs constituted a separate nation. [78] Prior to the Second World War, this view on the Macedonian issue had been of little practical importance. However, during the War these ideas were supported by the pro-Yugoslav Macedonian communist partisans, who strengthened their positions in 1943, referring to the ideals of Gotse Delchev. After the Red Army entered the Balkans in the late 1944, new communist regimes came into power in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. In this way their policy on the Macedonian Question was committed to the Comintern policy of supporting the development of a distinct ethnic Macedonian consciousness. [79] [80] The region of Macedonia was proclaimed as the connecting link for the establishment of a future Balkan Communist Federation. [81] The newly established Yugoslav People's Republic of Macedonia, was characterized as natural result of Delchev's aspirations for autonomous Macedonia. [82] However, initially he was proclaimed by its Communist leader Lazar Koliševski as: " Bulgarian of no significance for the liberation struggles...". [83] But on October 10, 1946, under direct pressure from Moscow, as part of the policy to foster the development of separate Macedonian identity, Delchev's mortal remains were transported to Skopje. [84] On the following day they were enshrined in a marble sarcophagus in the yard of the church "Sveti Spas", where they have remained since. [85] At the time of the Tito–Stalin split in 1948, Bulgaria broke its relationship with Yugoslavia because "nationalist elements" had "managed to reach a dominant position in the leadership" of the CPY. Afterwards Bulgaria gradually shifted to its previous view, that Macedonian Slavs are in fact Bulgarians. [86] Yugoslav authorities, in contrast, exerted efforts to claim Delchev for the Macedonian national cause, [87] and started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among parts of its population.[88] As a consequence, Bulgarophobia increased in Vardar Macedonia to the level of state ideology. [89] Aiming to enforce the belief Delchev was an ethnic Macedonian, all documents written by him in standard Bulgarian were translated into standardized Macedonian in 1945, and presented as originals. [90] The new rendition of history reappraised the 1903 Ilinden Uprising as an anti-Bulgarian revolt. [91] The past was systematycally falsified to conceal the truth, that most of the well-known Macedonians had felt themselves to be Bulgarians. [92] As result, Delchev was declared an ethnic Macedonian hero, and Macedonian school textbooks began even to hint at Bulgarian complicity in his death. [93] In the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the situation was more complex, and before 1960 Delchev was given mostly regional recognition in Pirin Macedonia. Afterwards, orders from the highest political level were given to reincorporate the Macedonian revolutionary movement as part of the Bulgarian historiography, and to prove the Bulgarian credentials of its historical leaders. SInce 1960, there have been long-going unproductive debates between the ruling Communist parties in Bulgaria and the Yugoslavia about the ethnic affiliation of Delchev. Delchev was described in SR Macedonia not only as an anti-Ottoman freedom fighter, but also as a hero, who had opposed the aggressive aspirations of the pro-Bulgarian factions in the liberation movement. [94] The claims on Delchev's Bulgarian self-identification, thus were portrayed as recent Bulgarian chauvinist attitude of long provenance. [95] Nonetheless, the Bulgarian side made in 1978 for the first time the proposal that some historical personalities (e.g. Gotse Delchev) could be regarded as belonging to the shared historical heritage of the two peoples, but that proposal did not appeal to the Yugoslavs. [96] Following the breakup of Yugoslavia and the fall of Communism, some new attempts were made from Bulgarian officials for joint celebration with the newly established Republic of Macedonia, of the common IMRO heroes, e.g. Delchev, but they all were rejected as politically unacceptable. [97] [98] [99] Despite the efforts of the post-1945 Macedonian historiography to represent Delchev as a Macedonian separatist rather than a Bulgarian nationalist, Delchev himself has stated: "...We are Bulgarians and all suffer from one common disease [e.g., the Ottoman rule]" and "Our task is not to shed the blood of Bulgarians, of those who belong to the same people that we serve". [100] If he was still alive in SFRY during the late 1940s, probably he would have finished up in an internment camp, as other former IMRO activists of that time. [101] [102]


[77] Until then Delchev was considered one of the greatest Bulgarians from Macedonia. [76] [75] In May 1943, on the occasion of the 40-th anniversary of his death, a memorial plaque was set in Banitsa, in the presence of his sisters and other public figures. [74] During World War II, the area was taken by the Bulgarians again and Delchev's grave near Banitsa was restored. [73], then in Bulgaria. After Western Thrace was ceded to Greece in 1919, the relic was brought to Plovdiv and in 1923 to Sofia, where it rested until after World War II. Xanthi During World War I, when Bulgaria was temporarily in control of the area, Delchev's remains were transferred to [72], the village where Delchev was buried. Banitsa The same happened to the population of [71]. Greek Army, was taken by the Greeks. Virtually all of its pre-war 7,000 Bulgarian inhabitants, including Delchev's family, were expelled to Bulgaria by the First Balkan War of 1913, Kilkis, which had been annexed by Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War During the [70], a pension for life was granted to their father Nikola Delchev, because of the contribution of his sons to the freedom of Macedonia. Tsar Ferdinand I in 1901 and 1903, respectively. In 1914, by a royal decree of Krstjo Asenov and Hristo Chernopeev voivodas of the Bulgarian chetas Two of his brothers, Mitso Delchev and Milan Delchev were also killed fighting against the Ottomans as militants in the SMARO [69] Meanwhile, on April 28, members of the

Bulgarian postcard (1904) representing Delchev and an IMARO cheta. The inscription above reads: "The immortal Delchev."
The first biographical book about Delchev, issued in 1904 by the Bulgarian author Peyo Yavorov.
Map of European Turkey. Macedonia and Adrianople areas, which were given back from Bulgaria to the Ottomans as per the Treaty of Berlin are shown with green frontiers.
The ruins of Kilkis after the Second Balkan War.
The restored grave-place of Delchev near Banitsa during World War II Bulgarian annexation of Northern Greece.
Telegram by the Ottoman authorities to their Embassy in Sofia informing, Delchev, one of the leaders of the Bulgarian Committees, was killed.

Death and aftermath

The left-wing faction led by Delchev, on the other hand, warned against the risks of such unrealistic plans, opposing the uprising as inappropriate as tactics and premature by time. [63] Deltchev, who was under the influence of the leading Bulgarian anarchists as Mihail Gerdzhikov and Varban Kilifarski personally supported the tactics of terrorist attacks as the Thessaloniki bombings of 1903. [64] Finally, he had no choice but agree to that course of action at least managing to delay its start from May to August. Delchev also convinced the SMARO leadership to transform its idea of a mass rising involving the civil population into a rising based on guerrilla warfare. Towards the end of March 1903 Gotse with his detachment destroyed the railway bridge over the Angista river, aiming to test the new guerrilla tactics. Following that he set out for Salonica to meet with Dame Gruev after his release from prison in March 1903. Dame Gruev met with Delchev in the late April and they discussed the decision of starting the uprising. Afterwards they negotiated with some of the Salonica bombers to ask them to give up the attacks as dangerous to the liberation movement, or at least to wait for the impending uprising. [65] Subsequently Delchev met also with Ivan Garvanov, who was at that time the leader of the SMARO. [66] After this meetings Delchev headed for Mount Ali Botush where he was expected to meet with representatives from the Seres Revolutionary District detachments and to check their military preparation. But he never made it.

The primary question regarding the timing of the uprising in Macedonia and Thrace implicated an apparent discordance not only among the SMAC and the SMARO, but also among the SMARO's leadership. At the Salonika Congress of January 1903, where Delchev did not participate, an early uprising was debated and it was decided to stage one in the Spring of 1903. This led to fiercing debates among the representatives at the Sofia SMARO's Conference in March 1903. By that time two strong tendecies had crystallized within the SMARO. The right-wing majority was convinced that if the Organization would unleash a general uprising, Bulgaria would be provoced to declare war of the Ottomans and after the subsequent intervention of the Great Powers the Еmpire would collapse. [62]

After 1897 there was a rapid growth of secret Officer's brotherhoods, whose members by 1900 numbered about a thousand. [57] Much of the Brotherhoods' activists were involved in the revolutionary activity of the BMORK. [58] Among the main supporters of their activities was Gotse Delchev. [59] Delchev aimed also better coordination between BMARC and the Gorna Dzhumaya), which merely served to provoke Ottoman repressions and hampered the work of the underground network of SMARO.

[56] His correspondence with other BMARC/SMARO members covers extensive data on supplies, transport and storage of weapons and ammunition in Macedonia. Delchev envisioned independent production of weapons, and traveled in 1897 to

Delchev ensured the functioning of the underground border crossings of the organization and the arms depots added to them, alongside the then Bulgarian-Ottoman border. [50] The years between the end of 1896, when he left the Exarchate's educational system and 1903 when he died, represented the final and most effective revolutionary phase of his short life. In the period 1897–1902 he was a representative of the Foreign Committee of the BMARC in Sofia. Again in Sofia, negotiating with suspicious politicians and arms merchants, Delchev saw more of the unpleasant face of the Principality, and became even more disillusioned with its political system. In 1897 he, along with [48] Delchev's involvement in BMARC was an important moment in the history of the Macedonian-Adrianople liberation movement.

Delchev's father – Nikola
Sultana Delcheva – Gotse's mother
Delchev with his friend and biographer Peyo Yavorov

Revolutionary activity as part of the leadership of the Organization

At that time the organization was largely dependent on the Bulgarian state and army assistance, that was mediated by the foreign representatives. [47]

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