Hristo Uzunov

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Hristo Uzunov
Христо Узунов
Portrait of Hristo Uzunov
BornFebruary 22, 1878
Ohrid, Ottoman Empire (now Republic of Macedonia)
DiedApril 24, 1905(1905-04-24) (aged 27)
Cer, Ottoman Empire (now Republic of Macedonia)
Other namesDule Uzunov
OrganizationVoevoda of the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees, (later SMORO, IMORO, IMRO)

Hristo Dimitrov Uzunov (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Христо Димитров Узунов) (22 February 1878, Ohrid – 24 April 1905, Cer, near Kičevo) was a Bulgarian revolutionary,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] head of the Ohrid branch of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and its ideological leader in the Ohrid region.[10][11] Despite his Bulgarian self-identification,[12] according to the negationist Macedonian historiography,[13] he was an ethnic Macedonian.[14]

Revolutionary life[edit]

The banner of Uzunov's cheta with maid waving Bulgarian flag with inscription: "Свобода или смърть" in older Bulgarian orthography:.[15][16]

Hristo Uzunov was born in 1878 in Ohrid, then in Ottoman Empire. Both his father and mother were active in the Bulgarian national movement. After the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria his father settled in Sofia and worked here as a librarian in the National Library. It is believed that Uzunov became a member of the revolutionary movement in 1896, while he studied in Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki. Afterward he worked as Bulgarian Exarchate's teacher.[17] On August 5, 1898, Dimitar Grdanov, a Serbian teacher in Ohrid, and pro-Serbian activist in Macedonia, was murdered by Metody Patchev, after which Patchev and his fellow conspirators Hristo Uzunov, Cyril Parlichev and Ivan Grupchev were arrested.[18] He actively took part in the Ilinden Uprising in 1903. On July 23, 1903, in the village of Kuratica, near Ohrid, the flag of Uzunov's cheta was consecrated. The flag was handed over to Uzunov and with it the regional cheta was active during the Ilinden Uprising.[19] Between 1904 and 1905 he focused at resisting the Serbian guerrilla campaigns in Macedonia[20] and tried to resolve of the organization's internal problems.[11]


In 1905 Uzunov with his band (cheta) entered Bitola and after that Kičevo in order to gain control of that region.[11] On 23 April 1905, they entered the village of Tser in the region of Kičevo, together with the cheta of Kičevo voivode Vancho Sarbakov. On the night of April 24, they were surrounded by a great number of Ottoman forces and after using up their ammunition, facing surrender, they decided to commit suicide.[21] Uzunov then wrote a short letter addressed to all "honourable revolutionaries" and after that he and his men killed themselves. His grave is located in Tser, where he died.


  1. ^ Радев, Симеон. Ранни спомени, Български писател, 1969, стр. 316.
  2. ^ Трагичната участ на Узунова и четата му, Тома Николов, Отеч. фронт, София, 1989, гл. 16.
  3. ^ During the 20th century, Slavo-Macedonian national feeling has shifted. At the beginning of the 20th century, Slavic patriots in Macedonia felt a strong attachment to Macedonia as a multi-ethnic homeland. They imagined a Macedonian community uniting themselves with non-Slavic Macedonians... Most of these Macedonian Slavs also saw themselves as Bulgarians. By the middle of the 20th. century, however Macedonian patriots began to see Macedonian and Bulgarian loyalties as mutually exclusive. Regional Macedonian nationalism had become ethnic Macedonian nationalism... This transformation shows that the content of collective loyalties can shift.Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Ethnologia Balkanica Series, Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer, LIT Verlag Münster, 2010, p. 127., ISBN 3825813878
  4. ^ Up until the early 20th century and beyond, the international community viewed Macedonians as regional variety of Bulgarians, i.e. Western Bulgarians.Nationalism and Territory: Constructing Group Identity in Southeastern Europe, Geographical perspectives on the human past : Europe: Current Events, George W. White, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, ISBN 0847698092, p. 236.
  5. ^ "Most of the Slavophone inhabitants in all parts of divided Macedonia, perhaps a million and a half in all – had a Bulgarian national consciousness at the beginning of the Occupation; and most Bulgarians, whether they supported the Communists, VMRO, or the collaborating government, assumed that all Macedonia would fall to Bulgaria after the World War II. Tito was determined that this should not happen. "The struggle for Greece, 1941-1949, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1-85065-492-1, p. 67.
  6. ^ "At the end of the World War I there were very few historians or ethnographers, who claimed that a separate Macedonian nation existed... Of those Slavs who had developed some sense of national identity, the majority probably considered themselves to be Bulgarians, although they were aware of differences between themselves and the inhabitants of Bulgaria... The question as of whether a Macedonian nation actually existed in the 1940s when a Communist Yugoslavia decided to recognize one is difficult to answer. Some observers argue that even at this time it was doubtful whether the Slavs from Macedonia considered themselves to be a nationality separate from the Bulgarians.The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65-66.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001). Modern hatreds: the symbolic politics of ethnic war. New York: Cornell University Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8014-8736-6. The key fact about Macedonian nationalism is that it is new: in the early twentieth century, Macedonian villagers defined their identity religiously—they were either "Bulgarian," "Serbian," or "Greek" depending on the affiliation of the village priest. While Bulgarian was most common affiliation then, mistreatment by occupying Bulgarian troops during World War II cured most Macedonians from their pro-Bulgarian sympathies, leaving them embracing the new Macedonian identity promoted by the Tito regime after the war.
  8. ^ Академик Иван Катарџиев, "Верувам во националниот имунитет на македонецот", интервjу, "Форум": "форум – Дали навистина Делчев се изјаснувал како Бугарин и зошто? Катарџиев – Ваквите прашања стојат. Сите наши луѓе се именувале како "Бугари"..."; also (in Macedonian; in English: "Academician Ivan Katardzhiev. I believe in Macedonian national immunity", July 22, 2000,issue 329, "Forum" magazine, interview: "Forum – Whether Gotse Delchev really identified himself as Bulgarian and why? Katardzhiev – Such questions exist. All our people named themselves as "Bulgarians"...")
  9. ^ "Уште робуваме на старите поделби", Разговор со д-р Зоран Тодоровски, (in Macedonian; in English: "We are still in servitude to the old divisions", interview with PhD Zoran Todorovski, published on , 27. 06. 2005. Трибуна: Дел од јавноста и некои Ваши колеги историчари Ве обвинуваат дека промовирате зборник за човек (Тодор Александров) кој се чувствувал како Бугарин. Кој наш револуционерен деец му противречел на Александров по тоа прашање? Тодоровски - Речиси никој. Уште робуваме на поделбата на леви и десни. Во етничка, во национална смисла сите биле со исти сознанија, со иста свест. In English: Tribune: Part of the public and some from your fellow historians accuse you for promotining a collection for man (Todor Alexandrov) who felt himself as Bulgarian. Are there some of our revolutionary activist who opposed him on that issue? Todorovski - Almost none. We are still in servitude to the old divisions of left and right. Ethnically, in a national sense, they were all with the same sentiments, with the same consciousness.
  10. ^ FAQ Macedonia
  11. ^ a b c City of Ohrid web site - The Ilinden Insurrection and Ohrid
  12. ^ Дневник на Христо Узунов, в: "Дневници и спомени за Илинденско-Преображенското въстание", Издателство на Отечествения фронт, София, 1984, стр.83-147.
  13. ^ Victor Roudometof, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 ISBN 0275976483, p. 58.
  14. ^ The first name of the IMRO was "Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees", which was later changed several times. Initially its membership was restricted only for Bulgarians. It was active not only in Macedonia but also in Thrace (the Vilayet of Adrianople). Since its early name emphasized the Bulgarian nature of the organization by linking the inhabitants of Thrace and Macedonia to Bulgaria, these facts are still difficult to be explained from the Macedonian historiography. They suggest that IMRO revolutionaries in the Ottoman period did not differentiate between ‘Macedonians’ and ‘Bulgarians’. Moreover, as their own writings attest, they often saw themselves and their compatriots as ‘Bulgarians’ and wrote in Bulgarian standard language. For more see: Brunnbauer, Ulf (2004) Historiography, Myths and the Nation in the Republic of Macedonia. In: Brunnbauer, Ulf, (ed.) (Re)Writing History. Historiography in Southeast Europe after Socialism. Studies on South East Europe, vol. 4. LIT, Münster, pp. 165-200 ISBN 382587365X.
  15. ^ National military history museum of Bulgaria, fond 260
  16. ^ Илиев, Ив. Свети бойни реликви. — Военноисторически сборник, 1983, № 3, е. стр. 207—209.
  17. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810855658, p. 230.
  18. ^ Makedonija (501-512 ed.). 1995. p. 30.
  19. ^ Иванов Иван, Знамената на освободителното движение и въстанията в Македония и Тракия (откъс от "Български бойни знамена и флагове") Издателство на Министерство на отбраната "Св. Георги Победоносец", 1998.
  20. ^ Николов, Тома. "Спомени от моето минало", Издателство на Отечествения фронт, София, 1989
  21. ^ Трагичната участ на Узунова и четата му, Тома Николов, Отеч. фронт, София, 1989.

External links[edit]