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Makedonium - Krusevo
  • Makedonium - Krusevo
  • Makedonium - Krusevo

Makedonium is a monument dedicated to the Ilinden Uprising. The Ilinden uprising (so called because it started on Ilinden - St. Ilija's Day) was a turning-point in the national and revolutionary struggle of the Macedonian people. In range and character it was a true national revolution with deep political and social implications.
It began on 2 August 1903, and soon spread over the whole of Macedonia, albeit not everywhere with the same intensity. The fiercest fighting went on first in the area around Bitola, then in Ohrid, Kicevo, Lerin, Prilep, and other regions, with less pronounced fighting in the Solun, Seres, Skopje and Odrin districts. The towns of Krusevo, Nevska and Klisura were captured.

A surprised Turkish government took extensive military measures to quell the uprising: 176,000 soldiers, 3,700 mounted troops and 444 cannon's were sent to Macedonia. After fierce and heroic battles near Sliva and Meckin Kamen, the Turkish forces managed to destroy the Krusevo Republic and showed their customary cruelty in dealing with the rebels in Krusevo and other places. As a result, 201 communities were wiped out, 12,400 houses burned to the ground, more than 70,000 people were left homeless, and 8,816 were killed. Although some 30,000 people fled their homes to avoid reprisal's, the toll was indeed heavy.

The Uprising aroused great interest in Europe. Newspapers followed the course of events with close attention and great sympathy. They printed details of the cruel mass reprisals carried out by the Turks on the inhabitants in rebel strongholds. A powerful wave of protest followed; among the leading spokeman were Lav Tolstoy, Maxim Gorki, Anatole France, Jean Jaures, Victor Berard, Arthur Evans, Henry Brailsford, Georges Clemenceau and others.
In Britain, France, Italy and America, " Macedonian Committees " were set up, and organised mass meetings of support for the Macedonian rebels. Similar action was taken in Russia, Romania, and some other countries around the world.
Following the failure of this uprising, the Macedonian revolutionaries made an effort to close the ranks. At the Rila Congress (held in 1905 in Rila Monastery in Pirin Macedonia), despite differences of interest between the two sides, there was general condemnation of outside interference particularly by the Bulgarian Court, and the ultimate goal - the liberation of Macedonia - was confirmed.

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  • Written Jan 17, 2011
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