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- November 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm #344661
He was born in a large family on February 4, 1872 in Kukush, then in the Ottoman Empire, which was populated predominantly with Macedonian Bulgarians of the Orthodox and the Uniate faith. In 1874 Kukush became one of the centers of the Bulgarian Uniat Church, but after 1884, most of its population gradually joined the Bulgarian Exarchate. As a student Delchev began first to study in the Bulgarian Uniate's primary school and then in the Bulgarian Exarchate's junior high school. He also read widely in the town's chitalishte, where he was impressed with revolutionary books, and especially Delchev was imbued with the ideas of Bulgarian liberation struggle. In 1888 his family sent him to the Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki, where he organized and led a secret revolutionary brotherhood.
Meanwhile in Ottoman Thessaloniki a revolutionary organization was founded in 1893, by a small band of anti-Ottoman Macedono-Bulgarian revolutionaries, including Hadzhinikolov. At this time the name of the organization was Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees, in 1902 changed to Secret Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization. It was decided at a meeting in Resen in August 1894 to preferably recruit teachers from the Bulgarian schools as committee members. In the Autumn of 1894 Delchev became teacher in an Еxarchate's school in Štip, where he met another teacher – Dame Gruev, who was also a leader of the newly established local committee of BMARC. As a result of the close friendship between the two, Delchev joined the organization immediately, and gradually became one of its main leaders. After this, both Gruev and Delchev worked together in Štip and its environs. At the same time the Organization developed quickly and had managed to begin establishing a network of local organizations across Macedonia and the Adrianople Vilayet, usually centered around the schools of the Bulgarian Exarchate.
Delchev's involvement in BMARC was an important moment in the history of the Macedonian-Adrianople liberation movement. 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, which resulted in the establishment of a bomb manufacturing plant in the village of Sabler near Kyustendil in Bulgaria. The bombs were later smuggled across the Ottoman border into Macedonia. Gotse Delchev was the first to organize and lead a band into Macedonia with the purpose of robbing or kidnapping a rich Turks. His experiences demonstrate the weaknesses and difficulties which the Organization faced in its early years.
After 1897 there was a rapid growth of secret Officer's brotherhoods, whose members by 1900 numbered about a thousand. Much of the Brotherhoods' activists were involved in the revolutionary activity of the BMORK. Among the main supporters of their activities was Gotse Delchev. Delchev aimed also better coordination between BMARC and the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee. For a short time in the late 1890s lieutenant Boris Sarafov, who was former school-mate of Delchev became its leader. At that period the foreign representatives Delchev and Petrov became by rights members of the leadership of the Supreme Committee and so BMARC even managed to gain de facto control of the SMAC. Nevertheless it soon split into two factions: one loyal to the BMARC and one led by some officers close to the Bulgarian prince. Delchev opposed this officers' insistent attempts to gain control over the activity of BMARC. Sometimes SMAC even clashed militarily with local SMARO bands as in the autumn of 1902. Then the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee organized a failed uprising in Pirin Macedonia (Gorna Dzhumaya), which merely served to provoke Ottoman repressions and hampered the work of the underground network of SMARO.
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.
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. Deltchev, who was under the influence of the leading Bulgarian anarchists as Mihail Gerdzhikov and Varban Kilifarski personally supported the tactics of permanent terrorist attacks as the Thessaloniki bombings of 1903. 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 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.
Meanwhile, on April 28, members of the Gemidzii circle started terrorist attacks in Salonica. As a consequence martial law was declared in the city and many Turkish soldiers and "bashibozouks" where concentrated in the Salonica Vilayet. This led eventually to the tracking of Delchev's cheta and his subsequent death. He died on May 4, 1903 in a skirmish with the Turkish police near the village of Banitsa, probably after betrayal by local villagers, as rumours asserted, while preparing the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. After being identified by the local authorities in Seres, the bodies of Delchev and his comrade, Dimitar Gushtanov, were buried in a common grave in Banitsa. Soon afterwards SMARO, aided by SMAC organized the uprising against the Ottomans, which after the initial successes, was crushed with much loss of life.
Two of his brothers, Mitso Delchev and Milan Delchev were also killed fighting against the Ottomans as militants in the SMARO chetas of the Bulgarian voivodas Hristo Chernopeev and Krstjo Asenov in 1901 and 1903, respectively. In 1914, with a royal decree of Tsar Ferdinand I, a pension for life was granted to their father Nikola Delchev, because of the merits of his sons to the freedom of Macedonia.
During the Second Balkan War of 1913, Kilkis, which had been annexed by Bulgaria in the First Balkan War, 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 Greek Army. The same happened to the population of Banitsa, the village where Delchev was buried.November 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #401908
Yes he was a great Macedonian.
We want all our land back
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