Sources about the Bulgarian rebel Gotse Delchev

Greek newspaper ‘Empros’ of 27th April 1903 about Delchev and Ilinden.









The person in the photo is Goce Delchev. Here is what the newspaper of that era writes about his death.



The assasinated BULGARIAN leader of rebels

August of 1903


“Freedom or Death: The Life of Gotse Delchev”
Mercia MacDermot
The Journeyman Press, London & West Nyack, 1978 405p

And among these men, one stands out above all others, like the snow-white marble peak of Eltepe above the dark-grey granite ramparts of Pirin – a man as mild as the Aegean spring, as heroic as Krali Marko, as unsullied as the waters of Ohrid; a man of the kind that is born only to a land in an extremity of need and suffering, where dross is purged in the furnace of adversity, and heroes are tempered like swords in fire and blood; a man whose name was synonymous with Macedonia’s freedom, no matter what form that name might take. In secret revolutionary documents he was Ahil – Achilles the Fleet-footed; to the exasperated Turkish police, he was kanadli sheitan – the Winged Devil; to his contemporary Simeon Radev, he was “the saint with the dagger in his belt”; to his family and friends he was simply Gotse – the affectionate diminutive of his baptismal name – and Gotse he was likewise to his whole people, young and old, rich and poor. For them the defining surname – Delchev – is superfluous; every street, every family may have its Gotse, yet in all Macedonia there is only one Gotse, just as in the Universe there are many suns but only one Sun. Gotse, who according to the folk songs, married Macedonia, with the black earth for a bride, with his slender rifle for a sister, with his brace of pistols for brothers, and with black ravens for wedding guests.

Gotse Delchev (1872 – 1903)
“We have to work courageously, organizing and arming ourselves well enough to take the burden of the struggle upon our own shoulders, without counting on outside help. External intervention is not desirable from the point of view of our cause. Our aim, our ideal is autonomy for Macedonia and the Adrianople region, and we must also bring into the struggle the other people who live in these two provinces as well….
WE the Bulgarians of Macedonia and Adrianople, must not lose sight of the fact that there are other nationalities and states who are vitally interested in the solution of this question. Any intervention by Bulgaria would provoke intervention by the neighbouring states as well, and could result in Macedonia being torn apart”

quoted from p4, Chapter I

letter from Goce Delchev to Nikola Maleshevski, in which refers to himself as Bulgarian:

Sofia, 1 May 1899,

Kolyo (Nikola),

I have received all letters which were sent by or through you. May the dissents and cleavages not frighten you. It is really a pity, but what can we possibly do when WE OURSELVES ARE BULGARIANS and all suffer from the same disease! If this disease had not existed in our forefathers who passed it on to us, we wouldn’t have fallen under the ugly sceptre of the Turkish sultans…

The original letter:

Turkish documents about Delchev

Appendix No 16. A photocopy by the telegram of Salonik valiya (chief of Vilaet) Hasan Fahmi from May, 5, 1903. The telegram contains the phrase:

“The cheta of the one of the famous leaders Delchev, is composed by twenty one rebels, but shamelesses from the Bulgarian population joined to the cheta and they together counted almost from seventy to eighty persons. They were encircled by the Ottoman army in the village of Banitsa which is outlying two and half hours from Seres”.

Appendix No 17. A photocopy by the telegram of the Myutisarif of Seres from May, 9, 1903. The document has the words:

“I am informing you that the killed famous rebel Delchev wanted to pick on revolt the whole village population and that from the declaration of the captive hurt rebel Georgi we knew about existence of weapons in every village. The authorities know, according to the last information, that the Bulgarians from the village of Rondi near Seres are rebels and they help to the chetas of the Committee”.

Appendix No 18. A photocopy by the telegram, written to the Turkish Embassy in Bulgaria, May, 9, 1903. It contains the phrase:

„On April, 22 (May, 5), in the village of Banitsa one of the leaders of the Bulgarian Committees, with name Delchev, was killed“.


Sources are more than clear. Even Delchev himself verify he was a Bulgarian and Ilinden as a Bulgarian uprising.