Panko Brashnarov

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Panko Brashnarov (Bulgarian: Панко Брашнаров, Macedonian: Панко Брашнар, Panko Brašnar) (1883, Veles, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire – 1951, Goli Otok, Yugoslavia) was a revolutionary and member of the left wing of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) and IMRO (United) later. As with many other IMARO members of the time, historians from the Republic of Macedonia consider him an ethnic Macedonian,[1] whereas historians in Bulgaria consider him a Bulgarian.[2] However such Macedonian activists, who came from the IMARO and the IMRO (United) never managed to get rid of their strong pro-Bulgarian bias.[3][4]

He was born in Veles (then known by the name Köprülü) in the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Republic of Macedonia) where he graduated from Bulgarian Exarchate's school. Brashnarov graduated from the Bulgarian pedagogical school in Skopje.[5] In 1903 he took part in the Ilinden Uprising. In 1908 he joined the People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section). In 1903-1913 Brashnarov worked as Bulgarian teacher. In 1914-1915 he completed a two-year higher educational course in Plovdiv. He was mobilized in the Bulgarian army during the First World War and participated in the battles of Doiran. In 1919, he joined the Yugoslav Communist Party. In 1925 in Vienna, Brashnarov was elected as one of the leaders of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United).[6] Because of his political convictions, he was sentenced to seven years in prison in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After his release he remained politically passive.

When Bulgaria annexed Vardar Banovina in 1941, he was one of the founders of the Bulgarian Action Committees[7] Until 1943, Brashnarov worked again as a Bulgarian teacher. Then he became politically active again and joined the Communist partizan's movement fighting against the Axis Powers. On 2 August 1944, the Antifascist assembly of the national liberation of Macedonia took place at the St. Prohor Pčinjski monastery. Brashnarov served as the first speaker.[8] The modern Macedonian state was officially proclaimed as a federal state within Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslavia, receiving recognition from the Allies.

From the start of the new Yugoslavia, the authorities organised frequent purges and trials of Macedonian communists and non-party people were charged with autonomist deviation. Many of the former left-wing IMRO government officials were purged from their positions, then isolated, arrested, imprisoned or executed on various (in many cases fabricated) charges including pro-Bulgarian leanings, demands for greater or complete independence of Yugoslav Macedonia, collaboration with the Cominform after the Tito-Stalin split in 1948, forming of conspirative political groups or organisations, demands for greater democracy and the like. In 1948, being fully disappointed by the policy of the authorities, Brashnarov complained of it in letters to Joseph Stalin and to Georgi Dimitrov.[4] He did so together with Pavel Shatev.[4] As a result, he was arrested in 1950 and imprisoned in Goli Otok labor camp where he died the following year.[9]


  1. ^ Му ставивме споменик, не му го најдовме гробот Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Makedonsko Delo, 93-94 edition, 1929
  3. ^ Palmer, S. and R. King Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Archon Books (June 1971), p. 137.
  4. ^ a b c "Panko Brashnarov and Pavel Shatev on the situation in Macedonia 1944-1948" - report to the All-Union Communist Party.
  5. ^ Енциклопедичен речник за Македония и македонските работи, Цанко Серафимов, Орбел, 2004, стр. 183.
  6. ^ Размисли върху революцията в Европа, Красимир Узунов, Център за изследване на демокрацията, 1992, София, стр. 74.
  7. ^ Minchev, Dimitre. Bulgarian Campaign Committees in Macedonia - 1941 (Минчев, Димитър. Българските акционни комитети в Македония - 1941, София 1995, с. 28, 96-97)
  8. ^ Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, Roumen Dontchev Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov, BRILL, 2013, p. 328., ISBN 900425076X
  9. ^ Goli Otok: The Island of Death: a Diary in Letters, Venko Markovski, Social Science Monographs, Boulder, 1984, ISBN 0880330554, р. 42.