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Old 04-26-2016, 02:13 AM   #1
Liberator of Makedonija
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Post Dimitar Blagoev, who was he?

I have recently begun looking into the Bulgarian politician Dimitar Blagoev of which Blagoevgrad (Gorna Dzumaja) and the surrounding province (Pirin Macedonia) are named after. He was born in the Kosturski village of Zagorichani in Aegean Macedonia in 1856. He was a prominant socialist in Bulgarian politics and was the founder of the Socialist Party. He supported the creation of a communist Balkan Federation and in front of the Bulgarian parliament in 1917, declared himself a "Macedonian Slav" and apparently saw the creation of a Balkan Federation as the only way to assure Macedonian freedom. He allegedly also stated he was not Bulgarian but Macedonian and that his village was a famous Macedonian one. The information on Dimitar is quite conflicting and confusing, so I have begun this thread to discuss and share information on him so that a clearer image may be painted. I have included links to some sources I looked at also:

https://archive.is/20130630024606/my...ow.dml/1212234


http://www.protobulgarians.com/Saavr...%20Dyadoto.htm
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #2
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When Dimitar Blagoev made his famous “I am not a Bulgarian, I am a Macedonian, a Macedonian Slav” declaration in the Bulgarian parliament, the significance of his statement, coming as it did at a time when Macedonia had just been partitioned and the Macedonians subjected to cultural genocide by their “heroic” Christian Orthodox brothers, can’t be overstated enough.

In 1917, Blagoev was just another Macedonian amongst hundreds of thousands of other Macedonians who arrived in Bulgaria in two main waves. The first wave of Macedonian emigration occurred decades earlier, when they arrived as economic migrants while, at the same time, escaping the misery that was the Ottoman Empire. The second wave occurred during the terrible events of 1912/1913. To me, Blagoev is representative of most Macedonians in Bulgaria at that time. But there is nothing unique about his sense of Macedonian identity. Most Macedonians in Bulgaria would have shared his sentiments.

With no Macedonia to call their home, Macedonians had chosen the lesser of the three evils that surrounded them to escape to. But in essence they remained Macedonians and not for a single moment did they consider themselves to be Bulgarians. The documents of the time always speak of Macedonians in Bulgaria and never Bulgarian refugees from Macedonia.

There has always been the term Macedonians to describe the people hailing from the territory of Macedonia that chose to live in Bulgaria. However, I have yet to see or hear of any credible evidence to suggest that Bulgarians also refer (or have referred) to themselves regionally as Moesians, Eastern Rumelians or Thracians. Bulgarians want to convince people of the geographic/regional nature of the term “Macedonian”. They want people everywhere to believe that it is no different to Bulgarians feeling local regional pride in hailing from Eastern Rumelia, Moesia or Thrace (whatever it is that “Thrace” means and encompasses in the Bulgarian mind). Fact is, if a Bulgarian feels that he or she is Bulgarian then they will tell you as much. It doesn’t matter what region of Bulgaria they are from, they are Bulgarian. No Bulgarian ever says they are Eastern Rumelian, Moesian or Thracian. That is utter nonsense…But they will tell you they are Macedonian.

No one knows exactly how many Macedonians settled in Bulgaria over the last two or so centuries and how many there are today with origins from Macedonia. Well over half (if not more) of the total population of Bulgaria might well have ancestral links to Macedonia. How many of these actually feel themselves to be Macedonian is impossible to say.
It has been well documented that disgruntled Bulgarian contemporaries of the time resented the fact that the newly arrived Macedonians were competing with them for local jobs. Much of the following information is taken from Macedonian Wikipedia and I will make an attempt to translate for our non-Macedonian members of this forum.

About 430 (33%) from a total of 1,289 Officers were from Macedonia. 15,000 (43%) from 35,000 public servants originated from Macedonia, while 1,262 (37%) from 3,412 Exarchate priests were from Macedonia. “The Bulgarian by birth is in conflict with the Macedonian who is competing for his services”. Quote is referenced in Macedonian Wikipedia.

The Macedonian question in Bulgaria was not only political but economic. Because of this Bulgarians appealed for the Macedonians to be given reforms, autonomy, a monarchy or a republic, it didn’t matter, as long as they returned back to their own land. They were “the united cries of all Bulgarian parties”. Quote is referenced in Macedonian Wikipedia.

A good insight of the Macedonians’ place and role in Bulgaria is given by the following account. A certain Bulgarian merchant from Solun, Atanas Shopov is discussing the Macedonians with the Salonika Valiya, Hasan-Fehmi Pasha in the beginning of 1904, when the Valiya asks Shopov “if the Macedonians are still causing trouble in Bulgaria” to which Shopov replies “ How can they not cause trouble pasha effendi when the bigger part of the Macedonian population is in Bulgaria, the greater portion of the population of Sofia is Macedonian, a big portion of the officers in the army are Macedonians, a big part of the esteemed establishment are Macedonians and, the whole Macedonian intelligentsia from Macedonia is in Bulgaria. Even the crowds in the streets are Macedonian”.

When the Turkish Valiya tells Shopov that it sounds like the Macedonians have contributed important services for the Bulgarian people, Shopov responds: “Not only for the Bulgarian people but for the Greek people too…during the Greek rebellion. As you can see pasha effendi the role Macedonians have always played in the life of the Bulgarian people. They play an even bigger role now. We have even more reason than you to be aggrieved by the Macedonians because they have taken over our hold on power, they have taken our best positions and services, they have taken over our finances and cities, they have taken over our army and ministries, they have taken over our trade, they have taken over just about everything in Bulgaria…Save us from them in the name of God”

Quotes of this discussion between the Turkish Valiya from Solun and Shopov are referenced in Macedonian Wikipedia.

And then we have this gem, a recorded discussion from 1899 between two Macedonian activists in Bulgaria Kosta Shahov (from Ohrid) and Andrey Lyapchev (from Resen):
“But don’t you believe for one minute that the revolutionaries are working towards an autonomous Macedonia that would, in the end, be incorporated into Bulgaria. God Forbid! That will never be…All of us Macedonians, no matter where we are, no matter how educated we are, none will allow Macedonia to be incorporated into any other…Instead, we will work towards incorporating other provinces to her. We, the intelligentsia, were educated by the Russians, Romanians, Serbs and Bulgarians…However, none of us will become slaves to any of these and at any cost. Instead, they will immediately go to their own flock, as we too have done…We have a glorious element, and our people is resilient. And once Macedonia gains autonomy, then Bulgaria will sooner become Macedonian rather than Macedonia – Bulgarian. We have a real chance for that to occur…In Bulgaria, the highest positions are held by Macedonians…Without question, when the time comes, today’s notables, Macedonian by nationality, will come over to us and Bulgaria will be Macedonian…We believe this will be so sooner or later…Macedonia will be a state (Republican) and she will look towards drawing other states in a union as cantons and, that way, she will be a powerful country”. That was a quote by Kosta Shahov which is referenced in Macedonian Wikipedia.

Here is another Kosta Shahov quote, just another Macedonian in Bulgaria. In the newspaper “Makedonija” (#4, Ruse, 11/11/1888), the then 26 year old editor of the paper, Kosta Shahov writes: “Our fatherland Macedonia has her own history about her past, where one can see her might, glory, as well as her political subjugation under the rule of the then mighty Turkish Empire…Today, every Macedonian, when he mentions the name Aleksandar Makedonski, says: We once had King Alexander the Great. With those words he reminds oneself of the brightest period and glory of the Macedonian State. Aleksandar Makedonski stands before every Macedonian as national pride.”

This has been a lengthy post, I know, but there is much to say about that period. Finally, I want to wish everyone on this forum a very Happy Orthodox Easter and God bless. And now I’m off to Rockdale for midnight mass.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:21 PM   #3
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You have provided some excellent information here Karposh. I never knew that Macedonians had such a profound impact in Bulgaria, might explain why the government carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing against us, not only in Pirin but in all of Bulgaria.
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