Manifesto of the headquarters of the Macedonian army - 1880
Manifesto of the headquarters of the Macedonian army, announced on Mount Pirin, 29 June 1880
For five hundred years dark and black clouds have covered the whole Macedonian people and their country. We, the wretched slaves of the Ottomans, can no longer endure all the gruesome terrible screaming of our raped mothers and sisters, of children torn away from the bosoms of their mothers. The knife has reached the bone! Nobody listens to our screams any more. Christian Europe handed over our suffering people to the arbitrariness of Turkish religious fanaticism. The last hope, centered on the article 23 of the Berlin agreement, collapsed. There is nothing else left except to take up the arms with the slogan "Death of Freedom for Macedonia".
With uneasiness in our heart we decide for this step knowing that the struggle will be hard and bloody, but we are forced to take into our hands the destiny of our fatherland. We believe no more in promises when the blood of the victims calls us to vengeance.
The hour to fight against our ancient enslaver is approaching. Prepare for it as faithful sons of suffering Macedonia. Forget mutual disagreements, for we are all its sons regardless of faith and nationality. We are first and foremost Macedonians. Do not believe our neighbors who have slipped amongst us like snakes and cheat us for their own interests. Join together under the Macedonian flag and raise it high, high in the struggle for freedom and independence. Only joined together can we keep for ourselves our beloved fatherland Macedonia and obtain our full autonomy.
Courageous Macedonian sons,
Our neighbors long to grab Macedonia for themselves, to tear it apart. Let us come together under our flag and remain only Macedonians, for only united as brothers can we free ourselves from despair under Turkish rule and remain ourselves on our land. Close your ranks and await the call for our general Macedonian uprising. With gun on shoulder and sword in hand, join our Macedonian army in the fight against the savage merciless pagans. Chase away all those who have joined with foreign interests and preach that "the sword does not cut the humble head." Respond: gun on gun, knife on knife!
We are not anymore prepared to accept other people creating our destiny, to stand before their doors and expect mercy from cruel hearts. Today we have our Macedonian army in our mountains, which might not yet be numerous, but with God's help and yours will become strong. It will fight for liberation and win a good outcome for our beautiful fatherland.
We ask you, brother Macedonians, not to take this manifesto as a mere appeal, but to prepare for our general Macedonian uprising against our eternal tyrants. We hope that all true Macedonians will hear our call to bloody struggle. So we finish our appeal with our slogan:
"Death or Liberty! Long live free Macedonia."
Headquarters of the Macedonian Army within the Macedonian League.
President: V. Diamandiev
Main voivode: Iljo Maleshevski; Kosho voivode, village of Lakossa, Serres district; Kosta voivode from Levunovo village, Melnik; Angel voivode from Kumanich village, Nevrokop; Miledidzik vojvode from Karluhovo village, Zahna district; Stoyan voivode from Djegurovo, Melnik; Georgi voivode from Karchevo village, Demir-Hisar district; Todor voivode from Starchishta village, Nevrokop area.
Mount Pirin, 29 June 1880
- Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770-1945) Page 482 By Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček ISBN 978-963-7326-52-3 (2006)