Freedom or Death. The Life of Gotsé Delchev

Mercia MacDermott





In the present volume, the term 'Macedonia' is used to denote the geographical area bounded by the Shar Planina, Tsŭrna Gora (Skopje region), Osogovo and Rila to the north, by the River Bistritsa (Aliakmon) and the Aegean to the south, by the River Mesta to the east, and by the western shore of Lake Ohrid and Albania to the west.


This territory has, for centuries, been inhabited by a mixed population - Slavs, who form the majority, Greeks, Albanians, Vlahs, Turks, Jews and Gypsies, all of whom are equally entitled by virtue of residence to be regarded as 'Macedonians'.


Up until about one hundred years ago, the Slav population of Macedonia was universally considered to be Bulgarian. Since then, however, a number of different theories have been advanced, theories which are mutually exclusive but which have as their common denominator a desire to convince the Macedonian Slavs and the world at large that they are not Bulgarian, but something else.


Since, however, contemporary sources make it unequivocally clear that, during the period covered by this book, the Slavs of Macedonia both regarded themselves as Bulgarian and were regarded as such by the world at large, the term 'Macedonian' is here used not only in the general geographical sense, but also to describe that section of the Bulgarian people which traditionally inhabited Macedonia, forming the largest ethnic community there, and which created the Internal Revolutionary Organization in order to free the territory from Ottoman domination.



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