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104TH ANNIVERSARY OF GOCE DELCHEV'S DEATH


National.

Goce Delchev, one of the most prominent revolutionary figures in the history of the Macedonian nation, died on May 4, 1903 in a skirmish with the Turkish soldiers near the village of Banica.

Born on January 23, 1872 in Kukush (Kiklis), Aegean Macedonia, Delchev finished the local junior high school and the high school "St Cyril and Methodius" in Thessaloniki. He entered the Military academy in Sofia in 1891, but was expelled because his affiliation to socialist circles. Delchev became a teacher in Stip in 1894, where he met Dame Gruev, the leader of the local committee of the Secret Macedonian Odrin Revolutionary Organization (TMORO, later on renamed into VMRO). As a result of the close friendship between the two, Delchev joined the organization in 1895 becoming before long one of its main leaders in charge of the armed operations.

In the summer of 1896, a Congress of the Macedonian and Odrin revolutionaries, attended by Delchev took place in Thessaloniki. He and Gjorche Petrov were tasked to draft the Constitution and Rulebook of TMORO. During his frequent visits to Macedonia, he works on establishment of TMORO's organizational network comprised of solid bases, committees and Macedonia guerilla units with a principle goal of full liberation of Macedonia and Odrin region from the Ottoman rule and creating an independent Macedonian state.

Goce steadfastly opposed meddling of the Bulgarian government and the leaders of the Macedonian committees inclined to the Bulgarian authorities. His adamant warning to the President of the Supreme Committee, General Nikolaev, that as long he is capable of carrying a rifle, no Bulgarian officers will be allowed in Macedonia, stands as a most memorable episode of his commitment to preserving the unity by keeping the external influences off the Organization.

His Order issued in 1902, banning the Bulgaria-inclined detachments from entering in Macedonia, as well as the warning issued to official Sofia to mind Bulgaria's business, because Macedonians will take care of Macedonia's business, was aimed at the same goal.

At the regular consultations held in December 1902, Goce Delchev, Dame Gruev, Jane Sandanski and other top figures of TMORO made the decision to wage a guerilla war, instead of raising a frontal insurgence. Later on, Dame Gruev will revise the decision, opting for uprising.

In January 1903, Goce Delchev stands firmly on the position that beginning of an uprising in Macedonia would be premature and futile move. Nonetheless, what is known as Ilinden Uprising took place in Macedonia that year.

In the evening of 2 May, Goce Delchev arrived in the village of Banica, near the town of Serez. Early on May 4, 1903, Delchev and his entourage received an information that Turkish soldiers had them surrounded. He was killed later during the day in an armed skirmish just outside the village.

The recent historigraphical data leave little doubt that Delchev was betrayed, although no clear evidence as to the traitor has emerged yet.

His body had been initially brought into Bulgaria, only to be relocated on October 11, 1946 in Macedonia. His remains are interned in the court of the Skopje's Church "St. Spas".

[MakFax]

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February 27 2010:
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