Freedom or Death. The Life of Gotsé Delchev
Here, to high heaven rise shrieks so despairing
From tortures appalling, ferocious, unheard of,
There around Skopje, Malesh, Kochani,
Shtip, Kumanovo, steep-streeted Kratovo,
There great and small are shrieking to heaven,
There great and small, the men and the women...
Instead of despair, let there be vengeance.
Tears - these are natural - bloody and burning:
Soft is the heart, and feelings are tender:
Despair, however, this is not natural.
Come, had it been in the past, years ago,
When people still slept their slumber so deep;
But today, as well, today when our mother,
Our mother, our land bears caches of arms -
Rifles and cartridges, bombs and explosives!
No, not today, when death is as nothing,
And prison is less than nothing of nothing.
(From A Song of Vinitsa. 1898)
While Damé and Gyorché busied themselves with official negotiations, Gotsé spent most of his time in purely revolutionary work on the frontier and in Macedonia itself. It was difficult, dangerous work, but it suited his talents and temperament, and, under his skilful direction, arms and ammunition were steadily filtering through to the committees for storage against the day of the uprising. His letters to Nikola Zografov and Nikola Maleshevsky, written during 1897 and 1898, are full of references to guns and cartridges, couriers and carters, books and newspapers, and sums of money to pay for it all.
From time to time, minor disasters occurred, but the consequences were generally limited and did not affect the work as a whole. In April 1897, one of the Organization's couriers was caught carrying a sack of newspapers, including several copies of San Stefano Bulgaria, an illegal journal secretly edited and duplicated in Skopje by Hristo Matov, who was principal of the teacher-training college there. Under torture, the courier betrayed two other people, placing Hristo Matov and his comrade Palashev in grave danger. Palashev, though keen and energetic, was new to the work, and the threat of arrest threw him into a state of panic. Fearful lest he would not be able to hold out under torture, he came to Matov and said: 'Matov, permit me, if they beat me, to give them at least your name.' Knowing that he would be arrested in any case, Matov agreed,  but, fortunately, the Skopje police chief, Dervish Efendi, was persuaded to terminate all legal proceedings after he had been given a bribe of 80 liri.
In August 1897, a more serious 'affair' occurred in the village of Dedino, near Radovish. Two tobacco excisemen were killed by mem-
bers of the Organization, and during investigations, the police discovered a bag of bullets in the house of the local priest, and a few guns in other houses. Some hundred and twenty people in Dedino and the neighbouring village of Inevo were arrested and tortured. Twenty-eight of them were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from three to one hundred and one years, while six died in prison before the trial began. Because the murders were regarded by the authorities as an ordinary criminal offence, the effects were confined to the two villages mentioned.
Three months later, however, in November 1897, the Organization throughout the Skopje area was rocked by the horrifying 'Vinitsa Affair'. This was provoked by the appearance of a robber band from the Principality  which, counting on contacts in Vinitsa, entered the village at night, killed a rich Turk called Kyasim Bey, and stole about 800 liri from his house. The band also killed a Bulgarian watchman, before returning to the Principality unscathed. On the following day, the kaimakam of Kochani arrived in Vinitsa with an entourage of guards and soldiers to investigate the incident and began to arrest people right and left. Among those arrested was the wife of the dead watchman, and through her the kaimakam soon discovered and arrested all the contacts of the band, including Georgi Ivanov, son of the village mayor and leader of the Organization's local committee. The woman also informed the kaimakam that committee guns were stored in their houses. Having found guns in the houses indicated, the kaimakam then searched other houses and found a quantity of guns, bombs, cartridges and dynamite. In this way, what might have passed off as a straightforward case of robbery - such were common enough in the Turkish Empire - blew up into a major political scare. The vali of Skopje, Hafuz Pasha, intervened in the matter, determined to discover all the threads of this alarming conspiracy against the state, and Dervish Efendi received personal instructions from the Sultan to direct the investigations.
This time, no bribes could stay the hand of the police chief. For two months, he ran amok, casting his net wider and wider until it embraced not only the villages of the Kochani kaza, but also the neighbouring kazas of Shtip, Kumanovo, Kratovo, Palanka, Radovish and Maleshevia. Even Skopje itself was affected. Fiendish tortures were inflicted on over two hundred people: some had splinters driven under their nails; some were roasted over fires; some were hung upside down for hours at a stretch; some were bound with wet ropes; some were placed in freezing water; some were beaten with whips and rifle-butts; some were made to stand on one leg for twenty-four hours, and were beaten every time they collapsed; some were burned with red-hot irons all over their bodies, including in their mouths and anuses,
and many, many suffered several forms of torture one after the other. Both men and women were subjected to sexual assaults, and at least two women died as the result of rape.
Numerically, most of the stricken were peasants, but proportionally it was the priests and teachers, whom the Turks quite rightly regarded as the ringleaders of the Bulgarian national movement, who suffered worst of all. Many of the tortured managed to emulate the example of Done Stoyanov and remained silent to the end, but many others simply could not find the strength to do so. One of the heroes was Yosif Daskalov, a teacher and the leader of the Kratovo committee. When the horrors began, Daskalov came to Skopje to ask Hristo Matov's advice. Matov advised him to order those of his men who were hiding caches of arms to flee, because 'it appears that severe torture changes a man's psychology,'  and he pointed out that many of the best members of the Organization had betrayed the whereabouts of arms caches. Daskalov indignantly replied that he had faith in his men and refused to listen. Unfortunately, Matov proved right. Daskalov's men were unable to stand firm under torture, and he, too, was arrested and tortured with red-hot irons. He told the Turks nothing, but, in an effort to end his sufferings honourably, he offered to show them where revolutionary documents were hidden in the school garden, intending to throw himself over the precipice onto which it backed. [*] When they reached the spot, Daskalov jumped, but when the Turks, led by the kaimakam, went down to the dry, rocky bed of the river, they found him still alive though unconscious. 
He was sent to prison in Asia Minor, and, after five years, he was amnestied.
Hristo Matov was another of those who behaved with exemplary courage and calm. As the police searches spread out wider and wider from Vinitsa, like ripples from a stone thrown into water, he discussed with his comrades, not how to save themselves, but how to save the Organization. When Kumanovo and Skopje were threatened, Matov and Mirazchiev decided to remain at their posts and allow themselves to be arrested. They argued that flight would permanently deprive the Organization of its intellectual leaders and would make the ordinary people feel abandoned and aggrieved. If, on the other hand, they stayed put, behaved normally and hotly denied everything when they were arrested, the chances were that it would be hard to prove anything against them, and, even if they were imprisoned, they would eventually be released and could resume their work. In fact, although arrested, Matov spent only a few months in gaol, and was released on condition that he left Skopje and went to live in his native Struga. He
*. Kratovo is built on hilly ground above three rivers, and has many precipices and high bridges.
owed his release largely to the intervention of the British Embassy in Constantinople. One of the charges against him was that he had assisted Emery, the special correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, to meet some of the people who had been tortured.  Thus, when a representative of the Embassy arrived in Skopje to investigate complaints that Emery had been maltreated by the Turkish authorities, he was able to secure the release of several leading Bulgarians, including Matov.
Matov's trial had its moments of humour. During the proceedings, there was a sudden storm, and, when hailstones began to rattle on the windows, the president of the court said: 'Matov efendi, do you not see that even Allah is angry over your provocative, anti-state activities?' Matov replied: 'The day before yesterday, on the Feast of St Cyril and St Methodius, when you allege we engaged in revolutionary activity with our pupils, the weather was perfectly fine, but now that you are bothering me and tormenting me, without my even being guilty, God will send not merely hail, but stones as well.' 
Another hero - and from a most unexpected quarter at that - was Ismail, son of the Turkish teacher at the Salonika School. Once again he was called by the police as an interpreter, this time in Shtip, and once again he stood by his Bulgarian friends. While reading the captured correspondence, he did not communicate all that he discovered to the authorities, and did his best to protect the captured revolutionaries by artificially casting the blame on those who were living in the Principality. 
There were others, however, who did not acquit themselves so nobly. Georgi Ivanov, leader of the Vinitsa committee, was a case in point - Georgi Ivanov, in whom Gotsé had once expressed complete confidence and whom he had described as being filled with patriotism and utterly devoted to his duty towards his country.  Torture did indeed change the psychology of Georgi Ivanov, for, as Silyanov puts it, he not merely displayed 'ordinary weakness' by giving away a few items of information in moments of unendurable pain, but crossed the boundary into the opposite camp and became a spy for the Turks. He was soon released, but was eventually shot by the Organization, after Gotsé, who was ever ready to fight for the soul of a black sheep, had done everything possible to bring him back into the fold. He even sent him a copy of Fenimore Cooper's book The Spy, in the hope that it would exercise some moral influence upon him. 
When the dreadful reports began to reach the Principality, Gotsé flew across the frontier into the stricken zone, without thought of the risks which he ran, but there was little that he could do. The blow had been too unexpected and the consequences too swift and drastic, and he returned to Kyustendil in a turmoil of despair and self-reproach.
The torments that he had suffered during his disenchantment with the Bulgarian Establishment were nothing in comparison with what he suffered now, as every post brought news of further horrors, as every day brought new groups of panic-stricken refugees. The districts affected were precisely those in which he himself had built the committee network; he himself had sworn in the leaders and he himself had supplied the arms. It was as though the splinters of wood were being driven under his own nails, as though the red-hot irons were searing his own flesh.
As soon as he fell asleep, exhausted by the strain and anguish of the day, nightmares would assail him, and his groans and struggles for breath would bring his room-mate  to his side: 'Gotsé, what's the matter? What are you shouting about?' He would wake up, saying it was nothing, and then, unable to sleep, he would spend the long night smoking, pacing the room and muttering, half to himself; 'I can't face them, I can't look them in the eyes. So-and-so was a prosperous man. He had plenty of everything in his house. Sons, daughters-in-law, daughters, a whole houseful of children. How they welcomed us! How they received us! If they could, they'd have brought us "bird's milk", [*] had we asked for it. Today I read in his glance that he hasn't a farthing to buy bread. Where is his family? His house? His property? What's become of them? All of these refugees - down to the last one of them - welcomed us as one welcomes guests at Easter. They received my words as though they were a divine revelation. Today their eyes seem to say: "Delchev, Delchev, look at what we were and what we are. Was this what we dreamed of?" I can't, I can't meet their gaze, I can't look them in the eyes. And they are silent - they don't say a word. If only they'd shout at me, or curse me, but they say nothing, and I have to say something to them, to comfort them, to help them.'
Gyorché Petrov later commented: 'For a long time one simply could not talk to him. I don't know whether a father could feel such sorrow at the loss of his child as Gotsé felt at the thought that his work in the Shtip area had miscarried.' 
Fortunately, Gotsé's inability to avoid emotional involvement was, to some extent, compensated by his resilience and joie-de-vivre. Smiling good humour was his natural state, and, although failures and disasters would strike his over-sensitive and totally unarmoured soul with all the violence of a thunderstorm, the darkness was usually shortlived and the sun would quickly reappear. The memoirs of Rizo Rizov also provide a glimpse of Gotsé during the terrible days that followed the Vinitsa Affair, but already his equilibrium seems to have been restored. A number of members of the Organization had
*. A Bulgarian expression meaning the last word in luxury, or something impossible.
gathered in Kyustendil, in the house of Baba Dona, the old woman who, though poverty-stricken herself, was mother to every hungry and homeless revolutionary. Among them was Spiro Kelemanov, a member of the Organization's police in the Shtip area and a very brave man. He was describing the atrocities being perpetrated by Dervish Efendi, while Gotsé listened, clutching his stomach with his hands, because his ulcer was playing him up. When Spiro had finished, Gotsé said: 'What's all this old-womanish whining? Since this Dervish Efendi is such a menace to the people, where were you, you revolutionaries, to send him a bullet as a punishment for his cruelty? Perhaps it would also have made things easier for the people.' Crestfallen, Spiro replied that the leaders had not allowed the members to take counter-measures, but Gotsé retorted: 'At such a terrible time for the people, when so many members were wavering, even people like Misho Razvigorov,  quick and bold action should have been taken, and every more sensible member can take the initiative when he sees the need to punish the enemy and show the strength of the revolutionary organization.'
For several days after this, Spiro and his refugee comrades failed to appear at Baba Dona's. The others thought that they felt too ashamed to face Gotsé again, but ten days later they returned. 'Gotsé,' said Spiro, 'the leaders won't let us.' 'What do you mean?' asked Gotsé. 'We have come back from Shtip where we went to kill Dervish Efendi and the other hangmen,' Spiro explained. 'Ah, yes,' Gotsé replied in a mild, friendly tone, 'when it's too late, one has to obey the leadership.' 
Gotsé had returned to the Principality hoping to organize a cheta large enough to attack the gaols in Shtip and Skopje, release the prisoners and put the fear of God into the hearts of the Turks. With this in mind, he had telephoned to Boris Sarafov and asked for his cooperation, which he readily promised. He wrote in the same vein to Nikola Maleshevsky: 'It looks as though the Turkish Government will march straight on into kaza after kaza, but let us tighten the thongs of our sandals, let us screw up the courage of our comrades, let them prepare themselves and expect me any day to call them to the banner, not for freedom now, but for vengeance... Also choose a few other lads, but without their being aware of it, and see that no word of this idea of mine gets about, because whether anything will come of it, I don't know (there are many reasons). Only prepare yourself, and make preparations in the most secret manner. My warmest greetings to all comrades and refugees.' 
The plan to send cheti into Macedonia was never carried out, for energetic steps on the part of the Bulgarian Government, supported by foreign embassies, forced the Turkish authorities to release the
hundreds of innocent people who filled the gaols of the Skopje vilayet.
There was a face-saving official statement about local officials 'exceeding their orders', and, at the trial held in February 1898, only ten people were actually convicted of conspiracy against the State and were sent to Asia Minor to serve sentences of between three and ten years in Bodrum Kale. A further twelve people were convicted of complicity in the murder of Kyazim Bey. The members of the robber band which had caused all the trouble were arrested by the Bulgarian authorities and were tried by a military court in Kyustendil.
Thus the Vinitsa Affair died down almost as suddenly as it had flared up. But things were never quite the same again. Both Turkey and Europe had had yet another glimpse of the sinister volcanic underworld beneath the Sultan's realm. In the twenty-one years that had passed since the Daily News had reported the Turkish Atrocities in Bulgaria, and Gladstone had thundered his condemnation, the civilized world had been shaken by events in Armenia and Crete, and now there was Macedonia - yet another chilling reminder that the cancer which afflicted the Sick Man of Europe was indeed incurable. Here was no disturbance provoked by forces from outside, no political adventure which could be brought to an abrupt end by sending a threatening note to the Bulgarian Government. Here was something indigenous, something which, like the streams and rivers, drew its strength from local sources and steadily increased in breadth and power as it spread out across the land. The time was drawing near when Macedonia would be headline news in the Western Press every day for years on end... and always that news would be of horrors and still more horrors - the fearful fruit of Great Power politics and the injustice of Berlin.
* * * * * * * *
The Vinitsa affair had taken its toll not only in human suffering, but also in precious weapons obtained and distributed with so much difficulty. All these weapons had to be replaced, and funds were dismally short.
In the spring of 1898, Gotsé sent Nikola Zografov and Georgi Tsvetkov a joint letter from Sofia in which he wrote:
'Georgi, you want to come here, and ask me about it. In my opinion, it would be better not to permit such a thought to enter your head, let alone to do such a thing. Stay put, brother, or you'll begin to cry: "Come, evil, for there is an evil greater than thou." Not merely will we not be able to pay you anything, but I warn you that, if you come with so much as one lev, you won't get a chance to enjoy it, because we shall throw ourselves upon you like wolves. I
doubt whether anyone else has experienced such hunger as mine - ruin, ruin, and again ruin.' 
When, in the next paragraph, he asked his friends in Kyustendil to find some money, it was not for himself, but for Baba Dona: 'I am very sorry that I can't send the old woman ten or so leva. You would be doing a very good deed if you could find ten leva from somewhere for her. I would be very grateful to you. I know that you haven't any money, but try to borrow some from somewhere.' 
The problem of money was so desperate that Gotsé even considered counterfeiting Turkish silver coins, with the help of an Armenian craftsman named Kirshvenk.  Experiments were made with various alloys, and, in two letters to Nikola Zografov, Gotsé asked for Turkish coins in mint condition, presumably to serve as models for the Armenian master. 
Nothing, however, came of the scheme, and the 'hunger' continued. So did the problems caused by disunity among the Bulgarians themselves:
'Let us not allow the splits and splinterings to frighten us,' he wrote to Nikola Maleshevsky. 'It is, indeed, a pity, but what can we do, since we are Bulgarians and all suffer from one common disease! If this disease had not been present in our ancestors, from whom we inherit it, they would not have fallen under the grim sceptre of the Turkish sultans. Our duty is, of course, not to give in to the disease, but can we make the other people do the same? Moreover, we have also caught one of the Greek diseases, namely - the number of heads equals the number of captains. This damned kudos!... Every one wants to shine, and doesn't see the falsity of the lustre. Alas for those over whose sufferings all these comedies are being played out.' 
While carrying a disproportionate burden of the Organization's work, Gotsé still managed to find time for the problems of individuals. One of the many whom he took under his wing was Nikola Maleshevsky's young daughter Anna, or Anika, as Gotsé called her, who wanted to enter the girls' school in Salonika. Gotsé undertook to make the arrangements, and several of his letters contain references to Anika. She did, in fact, enter the school in 1899, and later became a teacher in Kukush.
Gotsé also devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to his brother Mitso, who continued to cause him much anxiety. Mitso had remained an incurably restless and rebellious spirit. After leaving Shtip, he had gone to the Salonika High School, but had been expelled after taking part in a revolt against the head master. Not daring to go home, he went to live in the Boshnyak Inn, and wrote to his mother, begging her to ask his father for money so that he could travel to
Adrianople and continue his education there. His father sent the money, but Mitso immediately distributed it among the other boys who had been expelled with him, so that they could go home, and, thus, once again, he was destitute. Again he wrote to Sultana. This time, however, she did not dare tell Nikola what had happened, but she managed to get some money from him on the pretext of having to consult a doctor in Salonika, and, taking some of her own savings, she went off to rescue her son. 
In an undated letter, almost certainly written during the summer of 1898, Gotsé shared his problem with Nikola Maleshevsky:
'Now I have a question of considerable importance to me, namely: how and where shall I install my brother? This isn't a new problem, but I've still not solved it. During 1896-97 he completed the fourth year at the Salonika school, after taking his physics exam twice. Since his behaviour was bad, they wouldn't accept him last year, as a consequence of which, for a whole year, he's been idling and looking for adventures. Because of this, my father practically chased him out of the house, and one day, three or so months ago, lo and behold, he pops up in Kyustendil, and from there he comes here. I wanted to send him to the school in Adrianople, and put him in a hostel charging fees which my father could afford, since, although he chased him out, I hoped he'd support him. I was right over that, but Adrianople turned him down: they won't have him because of his bad behaviour. I daren't leave him here because it's too expensive.' 
The end of the letter is missing, but Gotsé probably went on to ask Nikola to arrange for Mitso to enter a school in Dupnitsa, because this is what, in fact, did happen, and on September 18, 1898, Gotsé wrote again to Nikola, saying: 'I received the postcard the day before yesterday, and I have nothing to say about Mitso, except to wish him good marks and success during the year. Work and constancy - that is the power which enables a man to be greatest in every undertaking. Will Mitso make use of this power? Let his future show.' 
Gotsé's care for Mitso continued through the ensuing months. On September 23 1898, he wrote to Nikola Maleshevsky, who had taken Mitso into his own home, that he was sending algebra, chemistry and botany textbooks for his brother, and was trying to find the other textbooks necessary for Old Bulgarian, geometry and physics. On October 21, 1898, he wrote that he was arranging to have Mitso's clothes sent from Kyustendil, and on December 12, 1898, he informed Nikola that he had sent Mitso some books borrowed from a friend, and added: Tell him to look after them and read them carefully; and also not to get behind with his lessons.' 
Shortly before leaving Sofia for Kyustendil, where he was going to
spend Christmas, Gotsé wrote: 'If Mitso is there, tell him to write home and offer them the season's greetings on my behalf as well. If he likes, let him come to Kyustendil, too, but he would do much better if he spent the time reading.' 
From Gotsé's letters written early in 1899, it appears that Mitso's behaviour and application to his studies were still far from ideal and that he had run away from Nikola. Gotsé wrote to the latter, asking him to take Mitso back, lest he should lose yet another school year.  On February 25, 1899, he wrote: 'Tell Mitso to attend school regularly, and let him know that every report of his irregularity wounds me deeply.' 
And so it went on, with Gotsé fighting tooth and nail to ensure that his brother obtained his school-leaving certificate and wrote home regularly, while Mitso, like the boys in Bitolya, thought only of becoming a full-time revolutionary.
In a sense, Gotsé had only himself to blame for the worry that Mitso was causing him. He had done more than anybody else to kindle the flames that now consumed his brother, but, in all fairness, it must be said that Gotsé never encouraged the very young to neglect their schooling, because he took a long-term view of the struggle, and considered that Macedonia needed as many educated people as she could get. Pané Popkotsev mentions in his memoirs how his local committee, in the village of Vatasha, wanted him to leave the Salonika school, where he was a pupil, and devote himself entirely to the Cause. Gotsé disagreed with their decision, and told Pané that he must, without question, continue his education. 
In a number of Bulgarian cities, including Sofia, Kyustendil and Samokov, senior pupils had formed circles in which they acquainted themselves with the struggles in Macedonia and the Adrianople area, and these circles did, in fact, produce a number of fighters for the cause of freedom. In Dupnitsa, however, the boys who were taking part in the circles were very young, little more than children, in fact, and Gotsé told Nikola Maleshevsky not to encourage them or attend the 'Congress' which they were proposing to hold, because, in their childish ignorance, they could easily commit some folly and compromise the Organization. 
The embarrassing activities of Bulgarian school-boys and the horrors of Turkish torture - these were the infra-red and ultra-violet of Gotsé"s spectrum of cares, and in between there were a multitude of motley problems. He dealt with them all, patiently, efficiently, and, on the whole, without complaint. Yet, sometimes, his self-imposed burden seems to have grown too heavy for him, and his tired system would rebel. Scattered through letters which bear witness to his feverish activity, there are passages which reflect these moments of exhaust-
ion and near-collapse. Such passages generally occur in the form of apologies for not answering letters. Gotsé is not, in fact, complaining of his lot - on the contrary, there is even a kind of gaiety in the way in which he describes his condition - but, being a man without guile, he simply does not find it necessary to hide his feelings from his friends:
'I've received the letters sent via the old woman and through the post, but up till now I haven't answered a single one - guess why? - because I have become utterly stupid; I've become dull-witted to the point that writing has become for me one of the hardest of tasks, just as though the table were some kind of bench for convict labour.' 
'I sent your letters, but to tell you straight, I forgot nearly everything of importance in them - I'm so absent-minded! You will excuse me if with this confession I present myself to you as a man thoroughly negligent of his duty. But what can I do when there are moments when a person is like a living corpse with nothing spiritual in him! Could I be going towards...
'But I am strong, and I'll conquer everything except my conscience.' 
But I am strong, and I'll conquer everything except my conscience - in these few words, dashed off in a moment of depression and superhuman exertion, Gotsé reveals the essence of his personality.
[Back to Index]
1. See: Hristo Matov za svoyata revolyutsionna deinost. Sofia 1928, pp 23-24.
2. According to Nikola Zografov, the band consisted of Macedonians from Kochani and Maleshevia, who had emigrated to Kyustendil and formed a robber band.
3. Hristo Matov, Opus Cit. p. 25.
4. Pavel Shatev. V Makedonia pod robstvo. Sofia 1968. pp. 63-64.
5. The Manchester Guardian carried reports of the Vinitsa Affair by its Special Correspondent on February 2, 12, 15 and 28, and March 2 1898.
6. Hristo Matov, Opus Cit. pp 28-29. In a footnote, Matov adds that they were, in fact, singing revolutionary songs at the celebrations, and that they marched along the road with a band playing Shumi Maritsa, the Bulgarian National Anthem.
7. Nikola Zografov. Stroezha na zhivota. p. 68.
8. Letter to Efrem Karanov. Oct 17 1895. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 275 and 277.
9. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 104 (Letter to Nikola Zografov) and p. 281 (Letter to Hristo Nastev).
10. The room-mate is identified only by the initials K.S., and is probably Kliment Shapkarev. See Nezavisima Makeodnia (III/118/17. VIII. 1925, 1).
11. Gotsé Delchev, Vol. III, p. 313.
12. A leading revolutionary from Shtip.
13. Makedonsko delo, Year 3 (1928 - Gotsév broi) pp 11-12. Spiro Kelemanov (or Kilimanov) was the one-time drunken shoemaker whom Gotsé successfully reformed.
14. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 162-163. Letter dated Dec. 12 1897, and written in Kyustendil.
15. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 89.
17. Ibid., p. 168. Letter to Nikola Maleshevsky. 23. IX. 1898, amd p. 169, letter to Nikola Maleshevsky. 17. X. 1898
18. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 94, letter dated 1. I. 1899, and p. 95, letter dated 4. II. 1899.
19. Ibid. p. 183, letter dated 5. I. 1899.
20. See: Lika Chopova, Septemvri 1953 VI/5 p.
21. Letter to Nikola Maleshevsky. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 166.
22. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 167.
23. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 172.
24. Ibid., p. 174.
25. Ibid., p. 188.
26. Ibid., p. 191.
27. Memoirs of Pané Popkotsev. See Gotsé Delchev. Vol III, p. 172.
28. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 166. Undated letter, presumably summer 1898.
29. Gotsé Delchev. Pisma... p. 101. Letter to Nikola Zografov.
30. Ibid. p. 105. Letter to Nikola Zografov. 13. V. 1899.