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Gotze Delchev - Macedonia's Apostle of Freedom

The organization of Delchev was so systematic, so cautious and effective, that in a period of a few years he was able t create a new invisible "state" within the decaying Turkish Empire in Europe. Delchev became the new Levsky. He was everywhere and no wher. His whereabouts in Macedonia were beyond the ability of the Turks to detect. Delchev was acclaimed by the populace of the country as their liberator. There has been no greater man in the whole internal revolutionary movement than "Gotse." His gospel and achievement deeply penetrated the masses of the Macedonian peasants. The authorities certainly felt the effects of his work. His numerous secret revolutionary committees became the terror of the Turks. The latter, thoroughly convinced that Delchev was a great factor in the IMRO movement, offered large prizes for his capture-either alive or dead. Indisputably and beyond any doubt, Delchev was the greatest motivating spirit of the IMRO from the time of its organization until his death in 1903. There was hardly another person in the movement who exerted such an influence over the masses-more particularly over the peasants.

In his revolutionary activity Delchev was guided by one thought: the Macedonian people must be organized and well armed, so that when the deciding moment arrived they might rise in revolt as one man against the tyranny of Abdul Hamid. "The liberation of Macedonia," wrote Delchev, "is possible only by an internal insurrection. Whoever thinks otherwise for the freedom of Macedonia, he fools himself and fools the others." Throughout his revolutionary career Delchev was guided solely by the interests of the Macedonian people as a whole regardless of race or creed.

In spite of the fact that in the Bulgarian schools of Salonica and Sofia he had been educated in the spirit of nationalism, Delchev looked upon all races in Macedonia as his brothers and fellow-countrymen. He was struggling for the freedom not only of the Macedonian Bulgars, but also of all nationalities inhabiting Macedonia (Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Roumanians, Albaninas, Gypsies, Jews etc.). He accepted and preached the principle pronounced by Gladstone "Macedonia for the Macedonians." Delchev was against the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria. When in the early period of the formation of the revolutionary movement, a current developed with purely nationalistic tendencies, Delchev was the first to oppose them. Energetically, with words and deeds, he opposed any movement which did not profess the unity and independence of Macedonia. "The purpose of the orgaization is,"said Delchev,"not to make Bulgarians or Greeks, but to work for freedom from the Turks and then let anybody become whatever he pleases." Delchev was a revolutionist Pro-Macedonian par excellence. He was not a hater of nationalities but despised those who oppress peoples-the tyrants-regardless of their nationality.