"Tell me, sister, where is Karajata?
Where is my faithful wife?
Tell me, take my soul,
I want, sister, to die here! "

 

In the history of Bulgaria in gold letters are written the names of the greatest voivodes, brave leaders of troops and troublemakers of the order in the Ottoman Empire. Despite the declared national worship, our attitude towards these people is not straightforward. And today, even today, we continue to discuss the expediency of their self-sacrificing actions. To die in the name of a bright ideal without seeking any rewards - for scaffolding, this means scandal. Although we all learn from children, "He who falls, in the fight for freedom, he does not die ..." Do we really believe in these beautiful words?

 

Our most famous chieftains, whose names and feats are made famous by newspapers even abroad, are few. The first is Philip Totyu. For the first time, the Turks call him "Komita" and his people "Komitaji". A distinction is made between 'haiduts' (robbers) and 'committees' (freedom fighters). As Zahari Stoyanov testifies, it is precisely in the popular consciousness that Philip Totyu symbolizes the beginning of the open armed struggle and organized Chetnik activities on Bulgarian territory. In every Bulgarian village and palanque, Totyu's "serpentine wings" are spoken of, by which he escapes ambushes and Turkish losses.

 

The peak of the Chetnik actions was reached during the hike of Hristo Botev to Okolchitsa and from Georgi Benkovski's "The Hurricane Company" during the April Uprising. And there is a remarkable feat between Totyu's first commemorative battle near Varbovka (May 1867) and the heroic death of Botev and Benkovski (1876). Let us also say a few words about him, in order to gain more fame some of our characters who participated in it and sacrificed themselves in the name of freedom of Bulgaria.

 

In the first days of July 1868, the Chetniks of the famous voivods Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja entered the Bulgarian territory from Romania. These hundreds of people come to Bulgaria with the clear awareness that they will die in battle with a far superior opponent. As fervent Stefan Karadzha himself points out: “We are going to die for the freedom of our country Bulgaria and nothing more. Whoever desires, let us follow, but whoever does not - we will not be angry with him. "And Hadji Dimitar states:" Our goal is not to take over Tarnovo or Constantinople, but to die for the freedom of our people, to lay the foundation for the future! "The Turks are shocked by the news of armed men coming from Wallachia. Who are they and what are they, Russians or robbers? Soon the truth comes to light. "We are not Muscovites or Haiduts, but Bulgarians who have walked through the forest for sweet fathers and holy freedom." (Hadji Dimitar)

The troops of Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja

Zakhari Stoyanov tells the following story, which was witnessed in Eski Jumaya (Targovishte) in 1876. Several Turkish traders come to the local Turkish ruler's request. The ruler asks each of the Bulgarians where he comes from. When he hears that one is from Sliven, he furiously shouts at him: “From Sliven, eh? From Hadji Dimitrova city? Was he his brother, Duman giaur? You and your city are the first to come up with the comitajillaka. "In the cafes, the Turks are shouting that this Hadji Dimitar and his men" spoiled our people. " plowed across the Balkan Peninsula, yearning for human freedom and independent living. The names of these two leaders, their battles whispered to every patriotic ear with evangelical reverence. "(Zahari Stoyanov).

 

Hadji Dimitar 's case is worthy of continuation his nephew Krustyu Asenovwho died for Macedonia's freedom. "Krustyu Asenov from Sliven, the man - gala, carried the power of the spirit inherited from his uncle Hadji Dimitra from the Macedonian villages and mountains." (Hristo Silyanov)

 

The people refuse to believe that Hadji Dimitar and his men died. There are legends that they are alive and hiding somewhere in the Balkans. The rumor is further fueled by Botev's poem "Hadji Dimitar": "He is alive, he is alive, there in the Balkans" And indeed, "he who falls in the fight for freedom, he does not die." Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja are the indisputable confirmation.

Battle of the troops at the Karapanova Curia

The united troops of the chieftains Hadji Dimitar from Sliven and Stefan Karadja from Isakcha (born in Ichme village, Yambol region) include just over 120 people. There are no random people. The Chetniks possess excellent military skills derived from the "apprenticeship" of Panayot Hitov, Philip Totyu and Tanyu Voivod. The participants of the already ruined Second Bulgarian Legion in Belgrade (1867 - 1868), where they are side by side with the Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levski, also play a big role.

 

What is the practical purpose of the march from Romania to Bulgaria? Karaj says that they are striving to bring 4000 - 5000 people under the banner. The people should be divided into four groups, led by Philip Totyu, Panayot Hitov, Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja respectively. The four units should be reunited near Stara Planina, in the area of ​​Aglikina Polyana. However, this idea fails. In the end, only Xjiumitar and Stefan Karadja, led by Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja, enter Bulgaria.

 

Before leaving, the troop swears allegiance to the Fatherland. Hadji Dimitar addresses his people: “The order and holiness of our cause requires that we swear to God and for the sake of our Fatherland that we will faithfully and honestly fulfill our position as sons of Bulgaria. Therefore, brethren, I invite you to turn your rifles down to the ground, and with a pure heart and Christian love, swear that you will be faithful to your fatherland! In one of the battles, the wounded Stefan Karadzha was captured and taken to the prison in Ruse. Soon Karajata recovers from his wounds in prison. The few remaining brave Bulgarians were finally defeated by the Turks at Buzludzha, where Hadji Dimitar was probably killed. In a total of five battles, hundreds of Bulgarians are engaging the efforts of several thousand savage opponents. In the end, the fearless Hadji Dimitar and his hometown of Sliven become a symbol of "committal" (the fight for freedom).

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