Recently, a very controversial opinion characterizing the period of the Bulgarian Revival has been increasingly required. It broadly expresses the understanding that "the people are the sum of the disadvantages of the people." So, the people are simple, ignorant, speak dialect, do not know foreign languages, sing only their own, ie. folk songs, etc. Because of these traits, of course, taken as flaws, and because of his small mind, the people did not understand how badly he lived under Turkish rule, so he needed "modernizers" to explain it to him. But these modernizers (referring to Renaissance figures with European upbringing and / or fluent in European languages) felt like a foreign body to their people because of their high education. In this line of thought, it is no wonder that the Bulgarian uprisings end in defeat: the people are "simple" and their modernizers are foreign.
However, there is another view, which is much truer - the people include different readings of groups of people. The fact that some of them have been sent to Europe or have received a European education does not seem alienating to them, they are not a "foreign body" to the less read part of the people. They remember that they have studied and become "people" because of the material deprivation of the same people from whom they are descended, so they are not ashamed of him or his traditions. Therefore, the Bulgarian national movement against the rejection of Ottoman rule is a nationwide movement. It gradually involves everyone, not just individual intellectuals.
This is exactly what the apostles of freedom themselves thought. They did not feel like sacrificial lambs, but believed in nationwide uplift. We remember the meeting in Oborishte (14 - 16 April 1876) - its participants declared themselves MPs. Even if they thought of themselves as the "color of the people," they wholeheartedly believed that they represented him, that their interests and the people's were one and the same.
Prior to the start of the April Uprising, his apostles believed that a nationwide uprising was possible. So we should not make the mistake of judging the motives of an action in terms of its results. After the fall of the April Uprising, there follows a rethinking, rethinking, changing attitudes. Worsening is the widespread enthusiasm generated by the "drunkenness of one people".
Of course, if we are to suggest that the people have "bailed out" under Turkish rule until some modernizers come from outside wanting to ruin his racha, then we will insist that the people are simple, the modernizers are foreign, and uprisings - meaningless.
One of the main characters of Bulgarian Revival is Stoyan Stoyanov Zaimov. In his main work on the subject of insurgency, he writes:
"The idea of our political liberation from Turkish rule has been growing in the minds of Bulgarian patriots for five centuries and it has finally matured, cracked and set fire to the historical rubbish that bears the name of the Ottoman Empire. ()
With its historical course and development of the Eastern question, with the historical decomposition of the Turkish Empire, the said idea more and more illuminated the hearts and minds of the Bulgarian patriots; it seeks to shine not in individuals but in a group of Bulgarian personalities who make up our national pride. And finally, in the last days of our political slavery, the said idea shone so brightly and to such a large extent that it spread to the masses of people, that without the present day politically liberated Bulgaria would become a historical ashes - it would be populated only by dogs and gargoyles if good people had not been found to stop the Turkish scimitar and the Turkish gallows. "
It can be seen that in a straight text, even in the introduction to his work "The Past", one of the apostles of the April Uprising, Stoyan Zaimov, wrote that the idea of freedom was so leading for the Bulgarian "people's mass" that almost only dogs and the gargies on the Bulgarian lands did not share it. Therefore, the people and the apostles of their freedom are one with the same ideals, so we should not think of them separately and oppose them as much as we want - in the name of originality and "modernity", but we can and based on their own attitudes and experiences.
And one more thing that draws attention to the author of The Past:
"I consider it necessary to ask my comrades, friends and acquaintances in the common people's business, those who did not accidentally fall into the 'unequal' people's struggle, who did not find their grave between the slain, the hanged committees - who remained between the living of the present; I find it necessary to ask them not to be offended, where I allow myself to look in their skulls for a minute, in order to give readers illumination about the then mental and moral state of our revolutionary intelligentsia. "
In the common people's cause, in the people's struggle, they devoted their efforts and risked their lives to all the people's fighters - intelligent or non-intelligent, scientists or ignorant. The work of Stoyan Zaimov in writing the Past is comparable to that of Zahari Stoyanov and his Notes on the Bulgarian Uprising.
Angel Todorov writes: “It is a great happiness and richness of our literature and science that prominent figures of the national liberation movement such as Zahari Stoyanov and Stoyan Zaimov, and some others, wrote books, living testimonies of a heroic time. These books, "Under the Yoke" and "The Epic of the Forgotten" by Vazov, as well as a whole series of inspired works by our writers, have helped to create a spiritual atmosphere in our country, in which the Bulgarian nation is built in the legendary splendor of its characters - Karavelov, Botev, Levski, Benkovski… "
According to Toncho Zhechev: "Only the old Dumas could invent a life full of so many adventures, inconveniences, misunderstandings, alternation of intensity and extreme fatigue, such as Stoyan Zaimov's life."
"The life of this man, especially in the years before the Liberation, is filled with so much drama and tension, it is involved in such turbulent events that in itself it looks like a fascinating adventure novel." (Ilia Todorov)
Knowledge of the biography of Stoyan Zaimov is a sufficient condition for every Bulgarian to create a complete picture of the actions of the Bulgarian revolutionaries from the 70 years of the 19 century. It can be said that Zaimov is involved in a whole series of conflict situations, characterizing in a brilliant way the state of the spirits in Bulgaria shortly before the Liberation.
Stoyan Zaimov's father is a wealthy Chirpan merchant who was killed by robbers near Edirne a few days before he was born (12 August 1853). Therefore, the little one was given his father's name - Stoyan. His mother remarried in Rupkite village, Chirpansko. Her big goal in life is to give her son an excellent education, so she sends him to study in Chirpan and then to the Stara Zagora fifth grade school. In Stara Zagora, Zaimov, still too young (1869), met Levski and accepted to become a courier between the Stara Zagora and Chirpan Revolutionary Committees. The following year he completed a one-year pedagogical course in Plovdiv. In 1871 he taught in Haskovo, where he also joined the local revolutionary committee.
In 1873, he participated in the organization of the assassination of the Chorbadji, Greek Commander Hadji Stavri Primo (Primov), at the behest of the committee. The attempted murder was thwarted and Stoyan Zaimov was sentenced to prison in Diyarbakir. At the end of 1874, however, he managed to obtain a false passport, change into Kurdish clothes, and escape from Diyarbakir. The passport is in the name of the Polish revolutionary Anton Benkovski. Later, this particular passport will be taken by Georgi Khltev (real name Gavril Gruev Khltev), with this surname he will be known and will remain forever in the history of the leader of the “Hverkovy company” - Georgi Benkovski.
Zaimov manages to get to Romania, where he contacts Botev and Karavelov. By decision of the BRC from August 12 1875, Stoyan Zaimov was ordered to find "helpers" (his first assistant was Georgi Benkovski) with which to set fire to the capital Constantinople. The burning of Constantinople was supposed to happen with the Stara Zagora Uprising. Meanwhile, the idea of killing Sultan Abdul Azis also arises, but it all goes away. In the fall of that year, Zaimov returned to Romania.
He is working on establishing the Giurgiu Revolutionary Committee and preparing for the April Uprising. Stoyan Zaimov falls to organize as an apostle the activities of the Third Vratsa Revolutionary District, Stefan Stambolov is the apostle of the First Turnovo, Hilarion Dragostinov is in the Second Sliven and Panayot Volov is in the Fourth Plovdiv Revolutionary District. The Apostles were deployed in their area of operation early in the 1876.
However, Zaimov's revolutionary district did not revolt, blocked by Turkish troops. Even the self-sacrifice of the poet-revolutionary Hristo Botev, who landed with his detachment from the ship "Radetski" on the Kozloduy coast, failed to provoke mass resistance. After the Turks made numerous arrests, 150 people were arrested, including the Apostle Stoyan Zaimov himself. Sentenced to death, he was saved thanks to the amnesty on the occasion of Abdul Hamid's accession to the throne. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, first in Constantinople and then in exile in the fortress of Saint-Jean d'Acre (in present-day Israel). He was amnestied under the San Stefano Peace Treaty (March 3, 1878).
All these extremely tumultuous events surrounding his life are contained in the narrative of the book "The Past", which is entitled "Essays and Memories of the Activities of the Bulgarian Secret Revolutionary Committees of 1868-1877."
Iliya Milarov writes about the book in 1898: “The work of Mr. Zaimov is so commendable that besides him and Zahariya Stoyanov, we have no other authors who have given to our literature any living and talented picture from this heroic era. of the Bulgarian people… If we are looking for a general picture of the movement, historical analysis of the events, the inner meaning of the drama and its vicissitudes, artistic insight and depiction of the characters and forces from which the revolutionary era originated - then such a thing can only be found in the book. Gieten of Zech. Stoyanov and Zaimov. "
Stoyan Zaimov and Zakhari Stoyanov are some of the most heroic personalities of the Bulgarian National Revival, whose works and efforts integrate them both into Bulgarian literature and Bulgarian history.