The different historical periods of each nation's political past are perceived with a different level of emotionality by the people of today. The most positive historical event in terms of the euphoria that welcomed any reminder of the majority of Bulgarians is the Liberation of the Bulgarian lands from Ottoman rule.
Liberation as an act dates back to March 3rd, which automatically turns this date into a national holiday of Bulgaria. We are often reminded lately that the March 3 1878 is just the end of a war. Even the question is whether we should celebrate something similar at the official level - a preliminary peace treaty, a consequence of a victory for Russia and a disastrous war for the Ottoman Empire.
I think you should. March 3rd is the proudest date in history for the majority of Bulgarians, which in itself places a heavy duty on historians to conform to public attitudes.
My personal view is that the path to Liberation is undoubtedly the path to progress. Liberation itself is a logical consequence of many processes, factors, events, desires, and ambitions, not just the end of any kind of tenth or eleventh Russo-Turkish war. The symbolic meaning of the "Third March" is much more important for the Bulgarians than the simple historical fact of the signing of the preliminary (preliminary) peace treaty between Earl Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatiev and Savfet Mehmed Pasha on 3 March 1878. For the people - "Third March "is the Liberation, and the Liberation is also Levski, Botev, Benkovski, Karavelov, April Uprising, and Shipka.
Why Levski? The Apostle of Liberty does not even wait for Liberation. But isn't he part of it? On March 3rd, we are reminded of his work, and we honor his memory.
Let us read the words of the Apostle from his famous letter to Panayot Hitov:
"Let me write to you what I think to do and I will do it if God says: for which if I win, I win for the whole nation, if I lose, I lose only myself."
Levski: "We are thirsty to see the Fatherland Free, so if the state orders me to graze the ducks… I have promised my Fatherland a sacrifice for its liberation, not to be who knows what… What do I want more, seeing that the Fatherland am I free? ”
"We are not persecuting the Turkish people, their faith, but the king and his laws, in a word, the Turkish government, which owns not only us, but the Turk himself."
Liberation should not be seen as just a one-off and specific act, because in this way we will limit it in time. The Liberation of Bulgaria is actually the process of liberation of the Bulgarians, which, in a broader sense, is celebrated on our national holiday - Third March. For the liberation they gave their lives and dedicated their youth to a number of deserving Bulgarians who became a symbol of the new Bulgaria being born.
This is what the great writer, publicist and publicist Lyuben Karavelov wrote in 1869.
"Today, it is not important historical, canonical or monarchical law, but the people and the human. Every nation must be free and live at will, as is every human being. We want for ourselves the freedom of the people, the freedom of the individual, and the freedom of the religious, in a word, the freedom of man. "(Freedom Newspaper, November 1869).
Since April the same year is the commemorative address "To the Bulgarian people", signed by the interim government of the Balkans.
"Every nation deserves the fate it shares. Only the slave voluntarily leaves his destiny. Show, O Bulgarians, that you are not only created to enslave, show that you are worthy sons of your glorious fathers, that there is still a drop of Krumov and Simeon's people in your dwellings.
Get up, Bulgarian brothers! Grab your hair, knives, whips and take revenge and get rid of the shameful slavery! And you, Christian Europe, let us get rid of him, we don't want more from you! ”
Since liberation is a process, it has boundaries and essence. It is a process of honor and pride in our country, the heirs of those glorious heroes. What makes us proud when we remember those times?
I will give some examples of personalities, words and deeds related to the Liberation of Bulgaria, to which no Bulgarian can be indifferent.
The geopolitical environment that is appropriate for the political act of Liberation is linked to the so-called. Eastern Crisis (1875 - 1878). This crisis began in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1875) with a rebellion by the Christian population against the slave.
This is how Hristo Botev reacts to these events.
"What Bulgarian, who patriot will not think and ask himself: What should we do? The only way out of this ugly situation in which the people find themselves is a revolution, and it is a revolution of the people, an immediate, desperate, revolution that will cleanse the Balkan Peninsula of all that would damage our true pursuit of complete and absolute human freedom. Now is the time to cry out to the people in rebellion and to divide the forces of the common enemy, to help both ourselves and our brothers! "
Taking advantage of the Bosnian riots, the BRC (Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee) decided to raise an uprising in Bulgaria as well. At the 12 August, at the General Assembly, the following decision was made: "It is inevitable that we should proclaim a general uprising in Bulgaria at this time of day." For this purpose, apostles are sent to Bulgaria to lead the population. He best manages his tasks Stefan Stambolov in Stara Zagora.
He comments on the events as follows. "All Thrace is in a military mood. Everyone buys weapons and supplies. In the cities where guns, rifles, bullets are to be sold - there is nothing left ”(29 August 1875).
At the beginning of the Stara Zagora Uprising, the Stambolov song was blown out of the streets: "We will not have wealth, we will not have money, but we want freedom, human righteousness!"
The April Uprising (1876) followed. Nikola Obretenov warns his grandmother Tonka, his mother, at the end of 1875: "The Bayrak, if guarded, look to pick it up and hide the clothes and weapons that will be needed in the spring, and whatever it is, we will not leave Turkey on peace - we will either die all the way, or we will liberate Bulgaria! "
At the meeting in Oborishte (15 - 17 April 1876), the "Appeal to the Bulgarian People" was adopted:
"The Bulgarian Brothers, the end of the atrocious tyranny that we have been enduring for five centuries under Ottoman violent rule has come to an end. The day of the popular uprising of all Bulgarians in Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia has come. Oh, Bulgarian, prove that you are alive, that you know and value your freedom. Be brave and brave. Fight fearlessly against the enemy, but do not give up your generosity to the captives. From today, on behalf of our people, we declare to the whole civilized world: Full freedom or death! Forward, brothers, God is with us! "
From Romania, Botev comments on the situation with the uprising of the April Uprising.
"The questions are solved, the purpose is indicated, the time and distance are determined, therefore, no prayer is required here but a hoe." (February 12 February 1876)
Crossing the Danube, the poet-revolutionary assures: "… my joy knows no bounds, thinking that 'My prayer has come true.'
The bloody suppression of the April Uprising does not end Bulgaria's dreams of freedom. Looking at the burning Panagyurishte, foreshadowing the pogrom over the rebels and his own death, the leader of the Hverkovo troupe, Georgi Benkovski, exclaims: “My goal has already been achieved! In the heart of a tyrant, I opened such a fierce wound that it will never heal! "
The efforts of the mentioned Bulgarian national heroes are successful. Public opinion in most European countries passes to the Bulgarians. The most sensitive to our longing for freedom is the Russian side.
This is what the Russian Delo magazine writes after the April Uprising.
"If we face the dilemma: a war or a new enslavement of the Slavs, a new repetition of this Bulgarian massacre, which shakes the heart of the whole civilized world, then we will say with all our soul that hates the joking chauvinism: yes, war ! "
During the Russo-Turkish War of Independence, native militias glorified Bulgaria's name. They manage to prevail and retain their superior opponent many times over, and greatly support Russia's ultimate success. The several-day exploits of Bulgarians and Russians at Shipka take an extraordinary toll of casualties, but there are many upheavals, but this is not the least disturbing to Lieutenant General Fyodor Radetsky, who briefly reports to the Headquarters every day: "Shipka's everything is calm." In the end, these self-sacrificing feats prove to be key to the victorious outcome of the war and show that the Bulgarians strongly want and deserve their freedom. After the Liberation, the Bulgarian state quickly became integrated with the European Christian family. This goes through the adoption of its own constitution (16 April 1879) by the Constituent Assembly in Veliko Turnovo.
The Bulgarian MPs elect a prince, a prime minister is appointed, and the rights and freedoms of the population are enshrined in law. Bulgarian cultural life began to develop, Bulgarian national literature, science, art, Bulgarian economic and financial affairs were created. None of this would have been possible without the brightest date in recent Bulgarian history - March 3rd!