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Liberator of Makedonija 10-03-2018 10:23 AM

Anyone know anything about this?


vicsinad 10-03-2018 02:54 PM

Here's what I wrote in my Macedonian Resurrection book on the Kresna Uprising:

The first major uprising after the Berlin Congress materialized in Kresna shortly after the Berlin Congress reversed the results of the San Stefano Treaty from a few months prior. The Macedonian Bishop Nathaniel of Ohrid began organizing the revolution in summer and autumn of 1878. He summoned Dedo Ilyo and Berovski, along with other rebel leaders from eastern Macedonia, to the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria (just outside of Macedonia) in late September, and Stojan Karastoilov was elected commander of the Kresna Uprising.5
Karastoilov had led rebel bands in Nevrekop and Drama throughout the 1870s; and during the Russo-Turkish war in 1877-1878, he operated around Melnik and Serres. Like many Macedonian fighters of his time, he was drawn into battling the Turks after Ottoman authorities unleashed havoc on his village. When the Macedonian April Uprising failed in 1876, Karastoilov’s village and region was ravaged – peasants were massacred, women were raped and villages were burned. Karastoilov, his brother and other peasants from Starchishta went to the island of Thasos to pick olives. There, they acquired arms and swore to avenge Turkish reprisals and atrocities.6

Hence, with respected and passionate leaders at the helm, in early October, Karastoilov and Stefan Karchev’s band of 400 Macedonians attacked and captured a Turkish garrison in Kresna. After this initial success, the Macedonian fighters dispatched a letter to a Macedonian Committee in Gorna Djumaja, the nearest large town. In part, it proclaimed:

We Macedonian insurgents keep following our cause. Tonight, we led an 18-hour battle with two herds from the regular Turkish army. We suffered losses such as one person killed and three people wounded, while 9 Turkish soldiers were killed, 11 were wounded, and 119 soldiers and 2 officers have been captured.7

Many villages around Kresna and in eastern Macedonia were thus liberated by 1879. Among the first villages to be freed was Vlahi, and it was here that the rebels established their headquarters. Berovski was elected the movement’s Chief of Staff,8 and revolutionary bands continued to successfully recapture several villages and ultimately assembled “local administrative organs in each village that they controlled.” One of these local bodies even proclaimed an “independent Republic of Macedonia.”9 A constitution and rules of the Macedonian Revolutionary Committee were also established.10

But the leaders of the Macedonian insurgency soon came into conflict with Bulgarian leaders. The Macedonians’ objective for the uprising was to liberate Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. The Bulgarians, on the other hand, wanted to exploit these rebel successes as an instrument for reinstating the details of the Treaty of San Stefano, which proposed to attach Macedonia to Bulgaria. Western European powers were wary of a Great Bulgaria in the Balkans and what it could mean for promoting Russian interests in the region. The Macedonia fighters were beginning to realize that union with Bulgaria was no longer practical nor desirable and that only initiatives for an independent Macedonia or a larger Balkan Confederation would offer the best chance for freedom and security.

The Bulgarian leaders eventually succeeded in assuming control over the greater part of the Macedonian revolution. The Bulgarian Unity Committee’s soldiers, steered by Louis Vojtkevich and Adam Kalmikov, stopped at no crime in preventing the Macedonians from succeeding. Most devastating to the Macedonian movement was the ousting of Berovski and the murder of Karastoilov and two important rebels, Georgi Cholakov and Ivan Trendafilov.11

Vojtkevich was particularly known for engaging in outlandish conflicts,12 and was thus a reliable figure to interfere with the internal Macedonian uprising. There is scant information on where and when he was born, but he hailed from the Russian Empire and had Polish origins.13 He participated in several rebellions and uprisings, such as the January Uprising in Poland against the Russian Empire.14 Vojtkevich moved to Macedonia in 1870 and settled in Veles. He taught French at the Bulgarian school there and eventually married the daughter of Dimitar Karamfilovich, an important public figure.15 Vojtkevich then rose to arms against the Turks in the Bosnian Uprising of 1875, the Serbian-Turkish war in 1876, and the Russo-Turkish War in 1877-1878, for which he served as a commander in northern Macedonia.16

The Sofia-based Bulgarian Unity Committee noticed him and appointed him as a leader of a volunteer detachment of Bulgarian fighters that tried to enter into Macedonia by the way of Kyustendil in order to begin an uprising. However, after that attempt failed, the Bulgarian Unity Committee put him in charge of 250 Bulgarian volunteers to join the Kresna-Razlog Uprising.17 In November of that Uprising, the Bulgarian Unity Committee settled him in Bansko as the military head after the leader of the band that helped secure victory there, Banjo Marinov, was severely wounded. One writer noted that he arrived “to feast, not to fight.” He soon clashed with the Macedonian leader, Karastoilov, who insisted on strengthening the rebel forces and administration in the victorious villages before extending the Uprising. Vojtkevich, however, was in no mood to be challenged on his desire to spread the war as soon as possible.18

It was also here that Vojtkevich came into a leadership struggle – temporarily – with another Bulgarian Unity Committee leader, Kalmikov. Like Vojtkevich, Kalmikov was from Russia and participated in both the Serbian-Turkish and Russo-Turkish Wars of the late 1870s.19 Like Vojtkevich, he also tried to penetrate into Macedonia before the Kresna-Razlog Uprising began.20 But before their competitive personalities could come to a collision, Berovski, Karastoilov and other Macedonian leaders had them removed from their commanding roles.21 The Bulgarian Unity Committee, however, supported these foreign commanders in usurping command from the local Macedonians. Vojtkevich and Kalmikov arrested Berovski and killed Karastoilov and two of his trusted rebels.22 Immediately, the Macedonians wanted revenge. Gorna Djumaja’s commander, for example, ordered twenty Cossacks to capture the killers dead or alive.23

Even though Karastoilov’s followers managed to chase Kalmikov out of the revolutionary area,24 this takeover by the Bulgarians caused an unhealthy fracturing of the rebellions, and most Macedonian fighters withdrew their efforts. George Zimbilev was the sole local Macedonian leader remaining and could not continue the fight with a disintegrated force.25 He abandoned his efforts, leading to the uprising’s defeat in May of 1879.26 Moreover, the Bulgarian interference fueled Macedonian disdain for Bulgarian leaders such as Stefan Stambolov, who had an active role in the uprising and would proceed to have an even greater role in subverting and coveting the Macedonian Cause. The injection of Bulgarian fighters and interests in the local uprising squashed any chances of the European Powers favorably examining the notion of an independent Macedonia.

Liberator of Makedonija 10-30-2018 03:40 AM

[QUOTE=vicsinad;176997]The Macedonia fighters were beginning to realize that union with Bulgaria was no longer practical nor desirable and that only initiatives for an independent Macedonia or a larger Balkan Confederation would offer the best chance for freedom and security.[/QUOTE]

Is this suggesting that union with Bulgaria was both practical and desirable prior?

Liberator of Makedonija 11-15-2018 11:13 AM

A letter written by the British consul in Solun which mentions the Kresna Uprising, dated to 2 November 1878.


Liberator of Makedonija 02-24-2019 11:32 AM

In-depth read on the uprising:


Liberator of Makedonija 09-30-2019 10:17 AM

Still seeking more information on the supposed "Greek" uprising that was taking place near the border with Thessaly just prior to Kresna. English wikipedia lists three seperate "Greek" uprisings in Macedonia from 1854-1878

Carlin15 09-30-2019 06:11 PM

[QUOTE=Liberator of Makedonija;181649]Still seeking more information on the supposed "Greek" uprising that was taking place near the border with Thessaly just prior to Kresna. English wikipedia lists three seperate "Greek" uprisings in Macedonia from 1854-1878[/QUOTE]

LoM, would you be able to post the wikipedia links?

Regarding the "1878 Greek Macedonian rebellion" (link here: [url][/url]) it is stated that (...[I]I haven't been able to research the other parts yet[/I]):

"[B]The uprising began on Mount Vourinos led by [U]Anastasios Picheon[/U][/B]. On February 18, 1878, rebels from different parts of western Macedonia, formed in the Vourinos settlement, the "Provisional Government of Macedonian province of Elimeia" seeking the abolition of the Treaty of San Stefano and the Association of Macedonia with Greece. The summer of 1878, about [B]15,000 armed men escalated a guerrilla war in the mountains of Western Macedonia [U]from Kozani to Bitola[/U][/B]."

Also, "In northern Macedonia, [B]rebellions went as far as Veles, where the chieftain Katrakos was acting with 50 men[/B]. After the suppression of the uprising, many Velesians were forced to resort to Thessaloniki."

1) What do we know about Anastasios Picheon or Pichion?

We know that:
- Anastasios Pichion or Picheon was a Greek of [B]Vlach descent[/B].
- [B]He was born in Ohrid[/B] during the Ottoman period. He studied in Ohrid and Bitola. He had Margaritis Dimitsas ([I]also a 'Vlach'[/I]) as his teacher, in whose private school, in Bitola, he taught for a while and helped his teacher in writing various of his studies.


2) What do we know about the residents "of the mountains of Western Macedonia from Kozani to Bitola"? Well, the Greeks were mostly of Vlach extraction in all these parts. I assume I don't have to bother about Bitola. :) Regarding Kozani, we have the following eyewitness testimony from basically the exact same time period. While visiting the town of Kozani in 1880, British diplomat and historian Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol, noted that [B]“In the 900 houses of this city there are scarcely twenty where around the family fireside any other language is spoken than the old Latin-sounding Wallach. (Still) the prosperous townsfolk would be deeply hurt if any doubt were hinted as to the genuineness of their Hellenism”[/B].

3) In terms of "northern Macedonia" where "rebellions went as far as Veles, where the chieftain Katrakos was acting with 50 men" the only Greeks of Veles and nearby areas were also basically Vlachs, although I don't know much about this chieftain Katrakos. It's possible he might have been a native of Veles or from somewhere else (like Kosmas Doumpiotis, who is mentioned to have started the revolution on Olympus in 1878. Doumpiotis was from Skopelos, an island in the western Aegean Sea; perhaps his ancestors were from Macedonia or Epirus... Doumpiotis is very similar to Vlach name Doumpa or Dumba).

Liberator of Makedonija 09-30-2019 10:35 PM

Still interesting how these events have been almost completely overlooked in our history.

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