Mihail Apostolov


Mihail Apostolov
Mihail Apostolov - Popeto

A photograph of Mihail Apostolov - Popeto
Born 1871
Gorna Dikanya, Bulgaria
Died March 21, 1902
Gavalyantsi, today Greece
Organization IMARO

Mihail Raynov Apostolov, known also as Mihal Postolov or Popeto, was an officer in the Bulgarian army and a worker of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO)[1].

Contents

Biography

Early years

Mihail Apostolov was born in the village of Gorna Dikanya, Radomir region, in 1871. He was raised in a very poor family. After his mother died, his father sent him to Sofia to study. He served his military service in the cavalry, in the First Cavalry Regiment, and was promoted to the rank of a sergeant. He left the army and became a policeman in the Cavalry police in Sofia. In 1895, when the Macedonian Committee in Sofia organized a revolutionary action in Macedonia, he left his police service and joined the revolutionary band of lieutenant Petar Nachev. After the action, he returned to Sofia. He met Gotse Delchev, who at that time organized the first revolutionary bands of the IMARO, which had the goal of entering Macedonia. Gotse Delchev decided to attract Bulgarian army officers to the IMARO in order to raise the authority and prestige of the revolutionary organization before the population and to improve the military skills of the freedom fighters. Mihail Apostolov – Popeto, Marko Lerinski and Hristo Chernopeev were among the first Bulgarian army officers in the IMARO.

Years in the IMARO

Mihail Apostolov became the first leader of a revolutionary band for agitation and organization. During his 7 years of activities, a number of IMARO freedom fighters joined his revolutionary band as his trainees, such as: Mihail Gerdzhikov, Nikola Dechev, Petar Yurukov, Delcho Kotsev, Petar Samardzhiev, Nikola Zhekov, Atanas Babata, Andon Kyoseto (who was an assistant-leader of the band), Krastyo Balgariyata, Gone Beginin, Trayko Gyotov, Ivan Varnaliyata, Ivan Alyabaka and others. Mihail Apostolov also had Hristo Chernopeev in his band for 3–4 months, but Chernopeev later headed his own revolutionary band [2].

He entered Macedonia for the first time as an IMARO voyvoda in 1897. His revolutionary band had 7 freedom fighters. All of them were born in the liberated parts of Bulgaria and had military training: Vasil Ivanov Chochov – senior sergeant from the First Infantry Regiment, Aleksandar Marinov from Plovdiv – a student from the Unter-Officer School, Filip Grigorov - a student from the same school, Nikolay Petrov – unter-officer and others. This revolutionary band was mainly active in the region of Maleshevo, but was also active in the regions of Kochani, Radovish and Strumitsa.

On July 20, 1897, together with the Gotse Delchev's revolutionary band, he killed four Circassians in the village of Buykovtsi. On September 14, 1897, Mihail Popeto kidnapped the rich Nazam bey from Strumitsa. In 1898, Popeto’s band had 13 freedom fighters and operated in the regions of Serres and Kukush. In 1899, Mihail Popeto moved to the regions of Voden and Enidzhe-Vardar. Mihail Chakov, a teacher, who was a freedom fighter in Mihail Popeto's band, headed different bands in Macedonia from 1901 to 1908 [3]. In February 1900, Mihail Popeto and his band, then composed of 15-20 freedom fighters, passed through the villages of Orizartsi, Gevgeli region, and later in the summer the band transferred to the region of Kukush. He had battles against Turkish military forces near the village of Dambovo, in Kozhuf Mountain, as well as in other places [2]. The same year, he continued to operate in the region of Tikvesh.

On its way from the region of Kukush to the region of Petrich, on March 21, 1902, the band of Mihail Apostolov was overtaken by a strong Turkish pursuit band. A battle occurred between the villages of Chuguntsi and Gavalyantsi, Kukush region, in which Mihail Popeto died. He was buried in the garden of the church in Gavalyantsi.

About him

From this simple-hearted apostle breathed pure idealism, self-renunciation, a brave organizational spirit, philanthropy and dedication. For seven years, he was constantly on his post, poorly clothed, barefoot, ragged, hungry and thirsty. he was watchful as a vedette on his post [4].
Popeto was one of the greatest students of Delchev. He was the first leader of a revolutionary band whose purpose was agitation and organization. Mihail Apostolov Popeto was a Shop from the Sofia region [5].
It happened once in the region of Tikvesh, that we hadn't eaten anything for the third day and we were very exhausted. We had a shepherd bring us bread; we all were dejected. Some were sleeping and Popeto restored his strength. I sat near him and I spoke of my dejection. He never let anyone feel dejected; he would sing songs, he would climb the trees, tell jokes, he would make us laugh, generally he wouldn't allow us to fall into despair. I became thoughtful. He looked at me and asked me: "Hey, namesake, what's on your mind?" I complained that among this population, for which we decided to give our lives, there are people who were ready to betray us and so on. Popeto answered: "Do you know that, I don't fight for those people who will betray us, but those people in the population, who feel and think as we do. And if we encountered these people, they would have surely given us bread." I was fascinated by this answer and I was convinced that Popeto was consciously devoted to the revolutionary work, unlike other voyvodas, who were, so to say, driven off by inertia toward the common stream.

Popeto was a cavalryman, he knew how to shoot with his left hand, later he was a policeman in Sofia, during Stambolov's time, he was sent to listen Stambolov in the Socialist's club and he found there that those people don't speak nonsense [6].

References

  1. ^ Биография от сайта на ВМРО
  2. ^ a b Чолов, П., Българските въоръжени чети и отряди през XIX век, София, 2003, Академично издателство „Марин Дринов“, ISBN 954-430922-5, стр. 343
  3. ^ Чолов, П., Българските въоръжени чети и отряди през XIX век, София, 2003, Академично издателство „Марин Дринов“, ISBN 954-430922-5, стр. 339
  4. ^ Аврамов, Стефан. Героични времена.
  5. ^ Силяновъ, Христо. Освободителнитѣ борби на Македония, томъ I, издание на Илинденската Организация, София, 1933, стр.99.
  6. ^ Герджиков, Михаил. Спомени, документи, материали. София, 1984, стр.25.

Additional references


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