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Gotze Delchev's Heroic Death

Unfortunately Delchev’s death was a tragic one-quite usual in the annals of the Macedonian martyrology. While roaming through the southern part of Macedonia, preparatory to the anticipated general insurrection which was to take place on August 2, 1903, he arrived, April 10, in the village of Banitza, in the district of Serres. Simultaneously two other chetas (bands) arrived, one under the leadership of the voyvoda Georghi Brodiliata and the other under the voyvoda Dimitar Gushtanov. Altogether there were twenty men. They settled in two houses for the evening. The next day, before daybreak, the village was surrounded by Turkish soldiers, more than a thousand of them. While they were searching for arms, the Turks approached the two houses where Delchev and his comrades were lodged. Escape was impossible-the battle was on! The ferocious struggle went on while the village blazed. Delchev and his men burst out toward evening, attempting by means of volleys and bayonets to break the Turkish line. They were outnumbered 50 to 1! Not one of the besieged comitajis was captured alive. They kept up the fight to the last man! More than one hundred men of the enemy were slain. So were Delchev and his comrades-in-arms-to the last man!

This tragic episode occurred on April 21, 1903, a little over three months before the general insurrection was officially declared. Such was the end of Delchev’s romantic career-the most venerated Macedonian revolutionist.