Nikola Karev: Macedonian revolutionary (1877 - 1905) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Nikola Karev
Macedonian revolutionary

Nikola Karev

Nikola Karev
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Macedonian revolutionary
Was Teacher
From Bulgaria
Field Academia
Gender male
Birth 23 November 1877, Kruševo
Death 27 April 1905, Rajčani (aged 27 years)
Nikola Karev
The details (from wikipedia)


Nikola Janakiev Karev (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Никола Карев) was a revolutionary in Ottoman-ruled Macedonia. He was born 23 November 1877 in Kruševo and died 27 April 1905 in the village of Rajčani, both today in Macedonia. Karev was a local leader of what later became known as the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO). He was also a socialist and a member of the Bulgarian Workers' Social Democratic Party. He is considered a Bulgarian hero in Bulgaria and a Macedonian hero in Macedonia, although by such activists, ethnic Bulgarian identity coexisted with regional Macedonian one.


Karev completed his early education in Kruševo and in 1893 moved to Sofia in independent Bulgaria. There he worked as a carpenter and his employer was the socialist Vasil Glavinov. Karev joined the Socialist group led by Glavinov, and through him, made acquaintance of Dimitar Blagoev and other socialists and became a member of the Bulgarian Workers' Social Democratic Party. In 1896 the Macedonian-Adrianopole Social-Democratic Group, as part of the Bulgarian Workers' Social-Democrat Party was created, where Karev participated. In 1898 Karev went back to Ottoman Macedonia and graduated from the Bulgarian Exarchate's gymnasium in Bitola. From 1900 he worked as a Bulgarian teacher in the region of Kruševo. The first Conference of Macedonian Socialists was held on June 3, 1900, near Krushevo, where they defined the basic aspects of the creation of a separate Macedonian Republic, as a cantonized state, part of a future Balkan Socialist Federation, with equal rights to all its citizens. They maintained the slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians", consisting from all different nationalities, inhabiting the area, and were against the neighboring states aspirations, including Bulgarian nationalism. They also saw the future Macedonia as a multinational polity, while Macedonian people was then an umbrella term covering Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Vlachs, Albanians, Serbs, Jews, and so on.

In this period Karev joined the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization and became a leader of a regional armed band (cheta). During the Ilinden Uprising of August 1903, when Kruševo was captured by the rebels, Nikola Karev authored the Kruševo Manifesto, which called upon the local Muslim population to join forces with the Christians, and became the head of its provisional government. Amongst the various ethno-religious groups (millets) in Kruševo a Republican Council was elected with 60 members - 20 representatives from each one: Macedonian Bulgarians (Exarchists), Aromanians (Vlachs) and Slav-speaking, Vlach-speaking and Albanian-speaking Greek Patriarchists. The Council also elected an executive body - the Provisional Government, with six members (2 from each mentioned group). The Krushevo Republic lasted only ten days, and after intense fighting it was destroyed by Ottoman forces. After the uprising Karev went back to Bulgaria and became political activist of the newly founded marxist Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party (Narrow Socialists). However, the Narrows denounced the Ilinden Uprising as an adventure inspired by the Bulgarian government, that played into the hands of the Great Powers. In 1905 he was killed during an attempt to enter Ottoman Macedonia with a group of IMRO fighters.

His two brothers, Petar and Georgi also participated in IMRO. During the First and the Second World Wars, when Vardar Macedonia was annexed by Bulgaria, they supported the Bulgarian authorities. As result, after 1944 they were imprisoned as fascists' collaborators in Communist Yugoslavia, where both died in concentration camps, in 1950 and 1951 respectively.

Excerpt from the photograph of the 1900-1901 graduates, among whom was Nikola Karev, from the Bulgarian Gymnasium in Bitola.
The monument of Nikola Karev in Kočani
A panel from the Ilinden memorial in Kruševo, showing the monument of Nikola Karev at "Gumenya" in Kruševo, uncovered on August 2, 1953, and two photographs: Nikola Karev with Kruševo teachers and students photographed in 1900 in the Kruševo grove and Nikola Karev with the 1900-1901 graduates from the Bulgarian Gymnasium in Bitola.

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