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HRISTO BOTEV – BULGARIAN POET, PUBLICIST AND REVOLUTIONARY

Hristo-Botev-circa-1875 On the Danube bank.. The monument of Hristo Botev in Kalofer THe monunent of Hristo Botev in Vratza The place,where Hristo Botev died..l Hristo Botev's house in Kalofer Hristo_Botev museum in Kalofer

HRISTO BOTEV – BULGARIAN POET, PUBLICIST AND REVOLUTIONARY
Hristo Botev was born on 25 December 1848 in Kalofer in the family of the teacher Botyo Petkov. He studied in his home town. In 1863 went to Russia where he enrolled in the Odessa high school for boys with a grant from the Odessa Bulgarian Trusteeship. His freedom-loving heart was in deep conflict with the severe school discipline. In the autumn of 1865 he was dismissed from the school and enrolled as free student at the faculty of History and Philology of the University of Odessa but lack of money forced him to leave. After working as a teacher in 1866 in the village of Zadunaevka in Besarabia, in 1867 he returned to Kalofer to take the teaching position of his father. On 11 May, on the Day of the Holy Saints Cyril and Methodius, he gave a fiery speech, which caused exaltation among the young people but also alarm among the conservative citizens of Kalofer. In the same year Botev left his home town forever leaving there his first love – Mina Goranova. To her he dedicated one of his most intimate poems ,,To my first love”. Botev immigrated to Romania and took active part in the life of the Bulgarian revolutionary emigration. At that time Botev’s first poem ,,To my mother” was published in the newspaper ,,Bagpipe”, edited by Petko R. Slaveikov. During that period he met Lyuben Karavelov who gave him the opportunity to publish on the pages of his newspaper ,,Liberty”. In May 1871 Botev settled in Braila and started publishing the newspaper ,,Word of Bulgarian emigrants” in which he popularized his political platform and published his poems. With his political activity and his poetic works Botev becomes very influential among Bulgarian emigrants.
About the middle of July 1872 he went to Bucharest. After the capture of Vassil Levski, Botev was elected member of the Provisional Central Committee, which was to provide money and revive the committees in the country. Since the end of 1874 Botev started publishing the newspaper ,,Banner”. During these years his poetic talent flourished. He saw the liberation of Bulgaria as a result of a nation-wide revolution which would bring about political but also social freedom. In 1875, with the help of Stefan Stambolov, he published his only collection of poems ,,Songs and poems” and married the widow Veneta Mincheva – Vezireva. With the outbreak of the April uprising he organized a detachment of volunteers, captured the Austrian ship ,,Radetzky” and on 17 May 1876 landed near the town of Kozlodui. ,,God bless me – he writes to his wife Veneta, – and if I survive, we’ll be the happiest people in this world. If I die, you must know that after my fatherland I have loved you most…” On Bulgarian territory the detachment did not receive the expected support. After a heavy battle at Milin Kamak and Veslets, Botev died on 20 May (2 June) 1876 on the hills of Okolchitsa.

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