It will be about one person with enormous services to free Bulgaria. His are the sweetest words of filial love for the Motherland. "I love you, my dear Fatherland! I love your balconies, forests, screes, rocks and their clear and cold springs! I love you, my dear land! I love you from all my heart and soul, even if you are doomed with severe suffering and hardship! All that is left in my orphaned soul, good and holy - everything is yours! You are that blessed land that blooms, full of tenderness, with radiance and majesty, therefore you have taught me to love and weep over every human misery - and this is already very much for one person ... " (From Old Bulgarians).
Today we still have a debt to Lyuben Karavelov, because, it seems to me, we do not pay tribute to him. Because the first Karavelov prophesied: "Freedom will not exarch, Karajata wants." In this respect Botev and Levski are his direct successors.
Lyuben Karavelov was born in Koprivshtitsa in 1834 in the wealthy family of Stoycho Lyubenov Karavela and Nedelya Doganova. His father is a fugitive - he has large flocks of sheep. Luben initially studied in Koprivshtitsa with Naiden Gerov and Joakim Gruev. Then, in 1854, his father decided to make him a merchant and for that purpose sent him to the Greek school in Plovdiv. The young man serves a wealthy Greek family and in the meantime attends classes. The Greek teachers and the family he lives in are intentionally trying to hug the young man, making him ashamed of his Bulgarian origin and not speaking Bulgarian. "It was supposed to make Greek leather from my Bulgarian skin," Karavelov recalls. This, of course, cannot happen. Karavelov's patriotism tackles the challenge. "But here, too, my Balkan, free-spirited nature was peaking - the Negro was not whitening in the European sun. From a free Balkan peasant he does not become a secular slave. "
After leaving the Greek school, Karavelov traveled to different places. His father wants to "become a man of him," i.e. to learn a craft. However, Lyuben is excited about folklore, history, literature, politics ... He takes a trip to Russia at his own risk, where he briefly attends lectures at Moscow University. In Russia he spent nearly 10 years. Initially, he struggles with misery and hunger, and there are days when he does not put a morsel in his mouth. Then his writing talent is revealed. She writes stories and short stories published in prestigious Russian publications. By doing so, it has earned a good name, even among the highest circles of Russian society. He left Russia in 1867 and headed for Serbia.
Luben Karavelov has a remarkable gift in journalism. It became apparent during his stay in Serbia, and later in Romania. We know Lyuben Karavelov, our national hero, a sworn patriot and leader of the Bulgarian National Liberation Movement, right from his residence in Serbia and Romania, between 1867 - 1874. Here are some of his immortal thoughts in the newspapers he edited Freedom и Independence.
"We need gunpowder and books, rifles and community centers." (Lyuben Karavelov)
"There is this rotten wound (Turkey) in the Dordogne, until then there can be no civilization, no life on the Balkan Peninsula." (Freedom newspaper, 1869)
"We want complete freedom, we want EVERYTHING or nothing. This is what our mission is and what our desires are - to seek perfect freedom, not a shadow of freedom. "(Freedom newspaper, 1870)
"We young Bulgarians are proud and do not perceive freedom without sacrifice, because freedom that is not obtained with grief and sacrifice is dead ... Freedom is not given but winter. Help yourself and God will help you. "(Freedom newspaper, 1869)
"We count among our enemies and adversaries and those Bulgarian freaks and sorcerers who interfere with our people's purpose, and will pursue them from anywhere and ever."
"Our masters, as everyone knows, are for nothing: they have no literature, no science, no education, no mind and reason, and without these qualities, no economy can be managed ... In Turkey, there are no laws, no justice, no justice , there is no humanity…
We are convinced that no transformation, no civilization, no Napoleonic codes are able to pull the Turkish people out of the swamp they are in today. "(Freedom newspaper, 1869)
Lyuben Karavelov is the most exemplary Bulgarian revival in every respect. It embodies absolutely all the virtues that a person who has decided to devote his life to the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule should possess. His superiority over the rest of our freedom fighters is so pronounced that at times he causes a lot of fuss, fuss and conflict. Karavelov's scandal prevented this great man from being appreciated and cited as the brightest example in the history of the Bulgarian national liberation movement. Indeed, Karavelov does not become an icon of the revolution, such as Botev and Levski. It lacks Botev's endless idealism and self-sacrifice. They lack the organizational genius and Levski's insane fearlessness. In Karavelov all virtues are in moderation. It is a fabulous combination of idealism and practicality. Because Karavelov is both an educator, a revolutionary and a pragmatic political pragmatist. In this respect, there is no equal. This must be thickly emphasized and known by all.
Karavelov enlightens the people with his artistic creativity and his journalistic articles and at the same time heads the official body of the Bulgarian National Liberation Movement - BRCK (Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee) in Bucharest. In doing so, he acts in direct cooperation with the responsible political figures of all the countries that participated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877 - 1878) and the liberation of Bulgaria - Russia, Romania and Serbia. That is why, from the point of view of his versatile activity, some historians define Karavelov as the first modern Bulgarian politician and high-class diplomat.
Lyuben Karavelov is not a spontaneous revolutionary, he is not a revolutionary by compulsion, but by vocation. He is not a revolutionary in practice, but in theory. That's why some call it ironic and accusatory - "cabinet revolutionary." These attacks are not fair, because Karavelov is also active in the practical implementation of the rebellion. This is done through proclamations, organizational work and newspaper appeals. First, he ignites the people with his fiery words. Botev comes after him. Botev is his direct heir.
Karavelov is the first great Bulgarian fiction writer. Prior to it, only Vasil Drumev and Ilia Blaskov rank in the history of Bulgarian literature. But while these two have to comply with power in the Ottoman Empire and be careful about what they write, Karavelov has complete freedom of thought while creating abroad. That is why the critics point to Karavelov's stories "Bulgarians of the old time" and "Hadji Nicho" as the best fiction works in Bulgaria until the Liberation, with the most free-spirited motives and the best in artistic respect. There is no Bulgarian student who does not remember or laugh with the "Bulgarians of old times" - Hajji Gencho and Grandpa Liben. Karavelov learns from our other great fiction writers - Ivan Vazov, Zakhari Stoyanov, Konstantin Velichkov.
Immediately after the Liberation, Karavelov became involved in the public life of Bulgaria. He moved his printing house to Turnovo, where he began publishing his magazine "Knowledge". Soon after, he went to the largest city in the Principality of Bulgaria - Ruse to begin printing the political newspaper "Home". However, tuberculosis puts an end to these plans. The funeral of Karavelov in Rousse is an extraordinary event, attended by thousands of Bulgarians, worthy heirs of the revolutionary. Luben Karavelov is buried next to the grave of his beloved Duke Stefan Karadzha.
"I cannot continue
to have trouble
and watch the Turk
my child is a car;
I do not want to continue
to peacefully enslave -
for freedom, for happiness
just to rave…
I do not believe that Kaluga
will save paradise -
freedom will not exarch,
wants Karajata. "(Lyuben Karavelov)