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-   -   Interview with Nikola Karev 1903 I am Macedonian (

Daskalot 07-01-2011 06:58 PM

I have transcripted the scanned pages of the English translation, for clarity I have entered the name of who says what and I have also adjusted the translation with Voltron's comments and my own.
The text needs further refining, at least the last part of it.

The top part of the Greek original is not translated into English, this must be done.

[QUOTE][B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Are you Macedonian? I ask him.


[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -And subsequently Greek.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -I do not know about this, he answered, I am Macedonian.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Direct descendent lo Alexander the Great? I reply ironically.


[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -And what was Alexander of Macedon, I beg you?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -I do not know, but history says that he was Greek.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Then you, as his descendant are Greek.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] No, he answered.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -So, I ask him again, why, since you are already Greek,
do you want to free yourself using Bulgaria?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -What Bulgaria, you mean the Committee?


[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -My answer is that the Committee is not Bulgarian,
and second, it seems that we lean towards Bulgaria
because only they seem to be willing to help us.
If Greece was doing the same, we would accept it with all our heart.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -We see Bulgarian protection only surface deep Bulgaria does not
want to free you of Turkish slavery, but to subjugate you.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Hm! If Bulgaria intends to make us their province, it has made a poor estimate.
Otherwise, we are not interested in what Bulgaria thinks, but pay attention to the
following: "Are we achieving our aim?" Are we getting our freedom?
We are not interested in whether we get freed by Greece or Bulgaria.
The only thing anyone of them can get is our gratitude.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -All right, if you are freed, what do you want to be, an autonomy?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Yes, like it is in Switzerland, where three different tribes live in
complete love and harmony.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Yes, but you know that that way you are doing a favour to
the Panslavistic Etheria whose branch is the Committee?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -What kind of favour are we doing?

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -As you made it clear above, Macedonia is a Greek land,
and if every Greek land requests that they be an autonomy,
then this will lead to a weaker Greece, and that is what the Panslavistic Etheria wants.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Why do they want this?

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -So that one day it can subjugate both you and us,
and therefore it wants to find us weak in order to achieve that more easily.

For a moment Karev appeared absorbed in thought. I hurried to disrupt the silence.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Why do you not want to unite with Greece?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Because if Mora (Greece) takes us it will become one large country,
and subsequently a monarchy. In that case many evils will emerge - first the monarchy
and everything else that comes with it, and second, Greece will force us to wage war
with Bulgana, which we do not want.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -What do you want?

He pointed to his cap.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -We want a republic.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Democracy and friendship with Bulgaria?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Not only with Bulgaria. but with anyone who will help us become free.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -You want to unite with Bulgaria?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -No! No!

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Does the Committee teach you this too?


[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Then why does this Committee, which is so concerned
about your independence, not seek protection from Greece, which has a greater
responsibility to free you, but you have to lean towards these barbarians?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -I will answer you immediately. We resemble a man who has
fallen in the sea and is in danger of drowning any moment. In order to save himself
will this man not grab anything he finds before him at that moment, even a snake?
We are in this kind of situation. Even if a Turk offers his hand to save us, we will grab it with gratitude.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -But, why are you killing Greek first borns, priests, and teachers,
if you have nothing special against anyone?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -These are lies, the Committee does not only kill Greeks,
but Bulgarians and Serbs and Turks, and anyone who betrays.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -These are excuses for your sins. You destroyed many Greek patriots
because they did not give money to your Committee.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -You, Greeks, like the others, are inventing these things.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Which others?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Well, those in Thessaloniki, you assigned people to do what
they did in order to throw a shadow on the Committee.

I could not hold back from laughing loud which made the owner, Tasku Kvata, curious, and he approached me.

[B][TASKU KVATA][/B] -What does he say, he asked me.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -I told him.

[B][TASKU KVATA][/B] -Hm! How else could one see that he is a thickheaded Bulgarian. If he was not Bulgarian,
he would not be saying such words, especially now when the walls have ears.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Yes, yes, I say, Karev repeated -when a tree has broken the ground to sprout,
why should it not be watered to grow?

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -And this tree to is only to be watered by Bulgaria now?


[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Yes, but you know what Bulgaria waters it with, poison towards Greece.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Whatever watering it may be, it refreshes us and has made us turn our
branches towards that place which I confess nothing unites us and to leave you whom we
have one blood and one history. This is some way a protest against Greek indifference to us.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -What you say is the result of Bulgarian watering, because Greece has never
stopped supporting you through literacy and weapons.

And again Karev did not answer me.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -And what do you intend to do now? I asked him.

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -Nothing other than to continue the struggle.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -Yes, but do you not know that behind that struggle there is a mean and dishonest war hiding?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -That does not interest us, it is enough that we achieve our aim.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -You mean by killing too?

[B][NIKOLA KAREV][/B] -If they are committed for the good of a people.

[B][ION DRAGOUMIS][/B] -You are right, the lessons you learnt are like the teachers who taught you...

Karev did not answer me again. He stood and slowly went towards his room, while behind him every guest in the hotel commented his words on various ways.[/QUOTE]

Daskalot 07-02-2011 05:55 AM

Here is some more info related to the topic.
[QUOTE]It should also be noted that the diaries that Ion Dragoumis kept during the Ilinden uprising were recently published and make fascinating reading. See I.Dragoumis, The Ilinden Notebooks (Athens: Petziva, 2000).[/QUOTE]

Risto the Great 07-02-2011 06:33 AM

Do we have any more information about the "Ilinden Diaries"?
It would be an interesting perspective to read I imagine.

Voltron 07-02-2011 06:54 AM

Nice job Daskale,

In the beginning I wasnt sure if it was Ion that was conducting the interview. Thats why I kept saying interviewer. In any case, good job on the format of the interview.
Karev seems like a very respectable figure, although he has no qualms in killing people to achieve his goal. Then again who didnt at the time. I agree with Risto, it really is an interesting perspective of that time.

Every time I re-read the interview I have new questions, I will post a few later on.

Daskalot 07-02-2011 06:58 AM

The book is on sale in Greece, it is an 736 pages book.
I assume that Lorenzo has had access to this book.

Lorenzo do you own the book?

Thank you.
Voltron you being in Greece and all, could you visit a library or even buy it?

Daskalot 07-02-2011 07:01 AM

Voltron, could you translate the top part of the Greek original which is not translated, the part before the interview.

Voltron 07-02-2011 07:03 AM

Yes, there are a couple online sites where the book can be purchased


Il look into the library question Daskalot. Nowadays with the IMF situation here in Greece, Im kind of strapped if you know what I mean. The 39 Euros is a half a tank of gas for my car.

Voltron 07-02-2011 07:08 AM

[QUOTE=Daskalot;103921]Voltron, could you translate the top part of the Greek original which is not translated, the part before the interview.[/QUOTE]

Ok, Il do my best when I get back.

George S. 07-02-2011 07:38 AM

if there is anything new on karev it will be intersting to see what was in his mind.

Daskalot 07-07-2011 03:13 AM

[QUOTE=Voltron;103923]Ok, Il do my best when I get back.[/QUOTE]

Voltron, how is the translation coming along? Is it done yet? It cannot take more than 10 minutes to translate it :)

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