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Kiril Purlichev

Kiril Grigorov Purlichev was born on 1 Mar 1875 in Ohrid. He was the son of Grigor Stavrev Purlichev and Anastasija Uzunova. Kiril Purlichev died in Ohrid on 9 Feb 1944. As pupils in socialist Yugoslavia's monasteries we were told all about the revivalist Grigor Purlichev, and for our Communist tutors it was particularly important that we understood how Grigor Purlichev's mother had to labour as a servant for the town's wealthy upperclass just to raise her son. We learnt Grigor Purlichev was the son of very poor parents, and after the early death of his father, his mother and old grandfather took care of him while his sister worked as a servant-girl so that the family could survive. Thus the communist version of these "facts" allowed us to know that Grigor Purlichev married Anastasija Uzunova, but omitted any reference of a son. But was this simply because the son of Grigor Purlichev was an inconsequential person, who failed to follow in the footsteps of his father and whose life accordingly was not historically relevant to pupils, scholars and the Macedonian people as a whole? But why suppress the fact that Grigor Purlichev had a son?
Recently, on the occasion of the opening and dedication of the newly-built memorial house of Grigor Purlichev, the Macedonian people discovered that the descendants of Grigor Purlichev, that is his grandsons Kiril and Grigor, were present. For what purpose did the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia conceal from the Macedonian people that Grigor Purlichev - the most distinguished Macedonian revivalist of the 19th century, crowned with a laurel wreath in Athens - had a son? The answer to this question is plain when we review the activities of Kiril Purlichev.
The following short description of the impressive activities of the son of Grigor Purlichev and Anastasija Uzunova were taken from the book "Thirty-six years in IMRO - Memoirs of Kiril Purlichev", Sofia, 1999.
Revolutionary activity:
1894 - member of a secret student's revolutionary group in Salonika.
1895 - member of the band of dedo Stoju voivoda.
1896 - delegate at the founding meeting of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO) and head of the Voden and Muglen districts.
1898 - because his complicity in the political assassination of the Serboman Grdanov in Ohrid (executed by Metodi Patchev), Kiril Purlichev is imprisoned in Ohrid and Bitolja.
1901 - member of the of the Central Committee of IMRO in Salonika.
1902 - member of the town's committee in Prilep.
1902 - secretary of the emigrant representation of IMRO, headed by Goce Delchev and Gjorche Petrov.
1903 - participant in the Ilinden uprising as a voivoda (military commander) of the united bands under the general leadership of Hristo Chernopeev.
1903-1905 - secretary of the Emigrant representation of IMRO, headed by Hristo Matov and Hristo Tatarchev.
1915-1921 - secretary of the Emigrant representation of IMRO, headed by Todor Alexandrov and Alexandar Protogerov.
1921-1925 - emigrant representative of IMRO.
1921-1931 - emigrant representative of IMRO, headed by Ivan Mihailov.
Socio-political activity:
1894 - founder and secretary of the pupil's union in the Salonika Bulgarian Male High School.
1903 - secretary of the "Benevolent society" in Sofia.
1908 - secretary of the "Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs" in the European Turkey, ie in Macedonia.
1911 - secretary of the "Administrative Committee of the Teacher's Union"
1923 - member and founder of the "Macedonian Scientific Institute" in Sofia. Member of the Bulgarian section of the Pan-European Union. Member of the Freemason's Lodge "Svetlina".
1935-1944 - head of the Bulgarian "Institute for Blind People".
1942 - as head of the Bulgarian "People's Museum" in Ohrid he opened the grave of Saint Kliment Ohridski. Member and founder of the foundation "Sveti Kliment" in Ohrid.
Educational activity:
Teacher in the towns of: Voden, Prilep, Caribrod, Saloniki, Sofia and Stara Zagora.
Teacher's inspector in the towns of: Voden and Saloniki.
Head of the boarding house for orphans in Sofia.
Literary activity:
1896 - Voden, editor of the newspaper "Borec" ("Fighter")
1913 - Saloniki, editor of the journal "Iskra" ("Spark")
1916 - Skopje, editor of the journal "Rodina" ("Motherland")
1922 - Sofia, editor of the journal "Makedonija"
1930-1931 - editor of the IMRO's newspaper "Svoboda ili smrt" ("Freedom or death")
An associate in almost all newspapers and journals of "makedonskite B'lgari" (the Macedonian Bulgarians) and an associate of many Sofia-based newspapers.
Author of: "The Serbian regime and the revolutionary struggle in Macedonia 1912-1913", "The Serbian brutalities in Macedonia in 1912-1915", "The Macedonians in the cultural-political life of Bulgaria - 1918", "The truth about the crisis in IMRO - 1929", etc.
Poet: Some of his poems were published in the newspaper "Pravo" (1895).
Translator - proficient in French, German, Greek and Latin. Translated in Bulgarian works of: Voltaire, K. Marx, K. Kaucki, C. Mils, G. Brandes, G. Joulie, etc.
Kiril Purlichev and his father regarded themselves as Bulgarians, Bulgarians from Macedonia. The life of Kiril Purlichev was devoted to the struggle for and the liberty of the "Makedonskite B'lgari" (the Macedonian Bulgarians). Since these activities so obviously challenged and exposed the prevailing communist dogma, the son of the "most distinguished Macedonian revivalist poet of the 19th century" - Kiril Purlichev - was decreed non-existent by the Yugo-communists.
During their second year at Intermediate school Macedonian students read Blazhe Koneski's "A Overview of the Literature with Examples" (Skopje, 1971). On page 370 Blazhe Koneski writes in connection with the national self-identification of the "the most distinguished Macedonian revivalist of the 19th century, holder of a laurel wreath", Grigor Purlichev:
That he [Purlichev], freeing himself from the Greek influence, embraced the Bulgarian idea - this doesn't make him any less close to us, he doesn't oppose us, neither is he to be judged by the consciousness of our time, nowadays, when the Macedonian nation is already formed, but he will answer before the needs of his age, when our liberation movement was still to be formed and when it had to find its directions. At that time, under the conditions in which he lived, in the face of the problems before him - Purlichev showed himself as a worthy son of the people.
And so in this paragraph we readily observe the contradictory logic that communist dogma is forced to adopt when discussing celebrated individuals from Macedonia's historic past. Although both father and son struggled with the same fervour and passion for the Bulgarian idea, only the father, Grigor Purlichev, is compatible with Communist propaganda and is honoured as a "deserving son" of the Macedonian people, while the son, Kiril Purlichev, has no place whatsoever, not even an existence. Similarly communist historiography ignores the two sons of the legendary Pitu Guli (leader of the Ilinden uprising in Krushevo in 1903) who laid down their lives as bodyguards of Todor Alexandroff (leader of IMRO after WWI, ed). The third son of the Krushevo vojvoda Pitu Guli - Steriu Guli - lived to welcome and regard the so-called "fascist Bulgarian occupation" (of 1941) as liberation. He became leader of a counter-band ("counter-bands" - local Macedonian bands, frequently connected to IMRO, who between 1941 and 1944 opposed the Yugo-partisans and hunted down the Serbian collaborators of the previous 1918-1941 period). When the partisans finally entered Krushevo, Steriu Guli killed himself at a farm, saying: "how can it be that we will be trampled by the Serbian jack-boot again!" ("Glas", issue 7, page 47).
We have to recognise that in Blazhe Koneski's previous statement, what matters is not that Grigor Purlichev supported the Bulgarian idea, but the period in which it occurred. Grigor Purlichev embraced the Bulgarian idea prior to the Commintern's decision that a Macedonian nation existed, while his son, Kiril Purlichev, not only failed to join the "Yugoslavian national-liberation struggle" but directly opposed it by supporting the Bulgarian idea even after proclamation of Tito's Yugoslavia.
Kiril Purlichev died on 9 Feb 1944, at the age of 69 in Ohrid, six months before the first meeting of ASNOM (ASNOM - the "Anti-fascist meeting of the national-liberation" forces in Vardar Macedonia which constituted it as a separate Republic). Reviewing his 36 years of revolutionary activity for IMRO, Kiril Purlichev would have certainly opposed the "Decisions of the Second meeting of AVNOJ" (the "Anti-fascist meeting of ... the peoples of Yugoslavia" which created the post-war Yugoslavia) in the same way as was done by Hristo Tatarchev, founder and first secretary of the Central Committee of the Secret Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organisation (SMARO, the predecessor of IMRO). Dr Hristo Tatarchev died on 5 Jan 1952 in Rome, never accepting the lie that "in Tito's Yugoslavia the legacy of Goce Delchev and Yane Sandanski had been realised". Neither did Atanas Lozanchev, member of the Central staff of the Ilinden uprising, accept ASNOM's Macedonia and publicly opposed the creation of AVNOJ's Yugoslavia. Atanas Lozanchev chose to die in Sofia Oct 1944.
Had Kiril Purlichev lived to see Tito's Yugoslavia, he would have probably shared the same fate as Gjorgi Karev, brother of Nikola Karev, leader of the Krushevo Republic in 1903. Gjorgi Karev, labelled a "collaborator of the Bulgarian fascist occupiers", received a sentence of five years in Tito's Idrizovo prison where he was murdered. Or perhaps Kiril might have met the fate of the "Salonika assassin" Pavel Shatev (starved to death while under "house arrest" in Tito's Macedonia) or of the Ilinden activist Panko Brashnarov (murdered in the Goli Otok concentration camp even though he opened the first ASNOM meeting).
The truth, as it is revealed today, about the son of the "most distinguished Macedonian revivalist of the 19th century, holder of a laurel wreath, Grigor Purlichev" carries for us a harsh emotional impact. These facts could not have had this power to shock if they weren't so hidden and buried beneath a foundation of betrayal supporting the communist myths necessary for realisation of Tito's plan for one unified "better and happier future". Unfortunately even a decade after the Yugoslavia's disintegration, when we are already a long-ago formed nation, we feel and react strongly when we confront the communist lies and secrets.
The formation of a mature and integral personality is predicated on an ability to face and withstand the nature of its own hidden truths. The time is surely long past for those people who portray themselves as the righteous defenders of the Macedonian nation while desperately opposing any further public revelations concerning the communist ideological lies. This communist historical puritanism is the greatest obstacle preventing our true national reconciliation.

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