For me, one of the most romantic images of the Bulgarian national liberation movement after 1878 is Hristo Chernopeev. It is a little difficult today, when times are so different, to imagine what it once was - to devote yourself whole to the Motherland. Having a loving wife, four children, good service, and a prestigious one - a feldbell (army chief). Then leave all that behind and "chase Michal."
Hristo Chernopeev's birth name is Cherno Peev. He was born in 1868, for ten years in military service (1889 - 1899), after which he joined the movement. "Hristo" is probably named after his fighting buddy Mikhail Apostolov - Popeto. Cherno Peev should be considered one of the first big figures of the organization, the simple-minded idealists, who were attracted to the case because of their military skills, like Mikhail Apostolov - Popeto and Marko Lerinski. Chernopeev is a native of the village of Dermantsi, Lovechko - Mizian, Popeto is a shop from Sofia, and Marko Voivoda (Georgi Ivanov) is from Kotel. All three serve as NCOs (in lower positions) in the Bulgarian army.
In his memoirs to Professor Lubomir Miletic, Hristo Chernopeev says he has been reading in the newspapers about the plight of Bulgarians in Macedonia and Thrace. This becomes his motive to leave his family and good service and go for the hammers. At that time, in the first decades of free Bulgaria, the patriotic feeling among the people was highly developed, especially when it comes to servicemen.
Cherno Peev is subordinated to the attractive power that Boris Sarafov has. The good thing about him is that he does not strive for individual expression. He knows his place - and it's up to the worker. A comparison with Sancho Pansa comes to my mind. Just as Cervantes's hero faithfully serves his master, Don Quixote, so Cherno Peev devotes himself to all-Bulgarian affairs in Macedonia and Thrace. But as for Sancho Pansa, nothing wrong and insulting can be said, so is Chernopeev. Sancho Pansa ascends to governor of the island, and Peev - to the MP in the National Assembly. Despite their growing up in society, they remain armed men of higher rank. And there is nothing shameful or reproachful about that. Their mission is to serve, and they fulfill it with love and self-denial.
The likes of Mikhail Apostolov - Popeto and Marco Lerinski are also modest "workers" who do not shy away from glory. For Pope, for example, they say that he was very cheerful, liked to sing and cheer his comrades. When he sees that someone is falling in the spirit, he goes to him and encourages him with jokes and jokes. One complains to him once, first that there is no bread and secondly - that among the people who set out to release, there are people willing to hand over money for money. Pope replied: "You know, I didn't go for those people who betray us, but for those people in the people who feel and think like us. And if we had met these people, surely they would have given us bread. " For the idealists who are participants in the Bulgarian national liberation movement, the purity and rightness of their cause is a sufficient incentive. They need absolutely nothing else - money, notoriety, posts, etc. Hristo Chernopeev relinquishes his immunity to a deputy in order to engage in fierce fighting during the First World War. He died there - at Krivlak in 1915. Apparently he didn't bang for posts and money ...
Once the motive for Chernopeyev's actions - joining the national liberation movement - has been clarified, they can go to their specific reason. And it bears the name Boris Sarafov.
Boris Sarafov is an extremely magnetic personality whose charm captivates the hearts and souls of many. A man of action, passion and adventure. Boris Sarafov is the brother of the great Bulgarian actor Krustyo Sarafov. Now something that is told as an anecdote but is absolutely true. At the beginning of Krustyo Sarafov's career did not go well, so there is an urgent need to get some big role. A breakthrough chance is found if he plays the lead role in King Lear. However, the theater director Radul Cannelli does not like him at all and intentionally does not give him this role. Then Brother Boris intervenes. He rushes into the director's office and yells out of the door: "Please just ask! Does our cross play King of the Kings! "To which the director ironically replies:" Don't your cross of King play it. Otti Krust is still very young, and he is also low and papuny (ugly). Then Boris smiles amicably and reconciles to his walk. And at the door, whispering to Cannelly, by the way, "Can you see my asteroth ?!" And he opens his outer garment. Below is a cartridge, and on the belt - a rifle with a cut barrel, knives, pistols and bombs. Seeing this, Cannelly just mumbles, "What the hell is your Cross of Kings playing ... Come on Holan, there were no kings and lows, no papunas ..."
The great Boris Sarafov binds forever (from 1898 to the end of his life) Feldbela Cherno Peev from the village of Dermantsi to the cause of Macedonia. From 1899 to his death in the Battle of Kryvolak (1915), Hristo Chernopeev served the "holy idea" as he saw fit. He is guided solely by his pursuit of righteousness. That is why he is so wandering - he cooperates here in one of the "wings" of the Macedonian organization, in the second, or in the third ... But all this is done without merit: not for fame or money. Here is an example: Hristo Chernopeev is among the participants in the so-called. Miss Stone Affair (1901 - 1902). For the needs of the organization, American citizen Ellen Stone was abducted and abducted, for which a ransom was requested and received. The money that equals millions of dollars today goes entirely to arming the troops, and Hristo Chernopeev and the other participants take absolutely nothing from them. When, shortly after the end of the affair, Chernopeev was about to visit his family in Dermantsi, his companions raised money for a sack of flour because he had promised to take the woman home. And then the organization released Turkish pounds for his 5 family, but after a top decision.
As Prof. L. Miletic, Chernopeev rightly points out: "He devoted himself to the liberation of Macedonia not from personal ambition, to become famous with feats in a dangerous revolutionary field, but from a strong patriotic sense and reverent attitude towards the leaders of the case, between first influenced by Boris Sarafov. "
Sometimes he is sharply criticized for his inconsistency in his actions. We need to know that the national liberation movement of the Bulgarians from Macedonia and Thrace is split from one moment on. As a result, various "currents" and "wings" appear in the organization and fratricidal squabbles erupt. All this is naturally greeted with great joy by the enemies of Bulgaria. Chernopeev is no stranger to Bulgarian strife and strife. "This insane brave Chernopeev, (…) endowed with steel muscles and with all revolutionary virtues, had a defining disadvantage - the lack of independence. (…) But here, and there, and to the detriment, he had worked with devotion and self-denial for Macedonia's freedom. ”(Mikhail Dumbalakov)
"He had seen and learned a lot, but a man more intelligent and clever than he could easily influence because his desire to work was unwavering rather than guided by his own ambitions. However, he honestly put his life at the sacrifice of the national ideal. "(Ljubomir Miletic)
Hristo Chernopeev should never be forgotten in our country. Because elsewhere he has already been forgotten and his memory is tainted. Like him, so many others like him. Today's Bulgaria and today's Bulgarians should at all costs remember the heroes who sacrificed themselves for the freedom of their compatriots from Macedonia and Thrace: Hristo Chernopeev (Cherno Peev) from Dermantsi, Krustyo Assenov from Sliven, Vlado Chernozemski (Velichko Kerin) from Velingrad, Marko Lerinski (Georgi Ivanov) from Kotel, Mikhail Apostolov from Gorna Dikiana and others.
Their feat is not in vain! They did not live and die in vain!