Boris Sarafov in the liberation struggles of the Bulgarians from Macedonia


Macedonian Review
, Issue 45/3 (2022), Slavi Slavov. The revolution as destiny. Lieutenant Boris Sarafov in the liberation struggles of the Bulgarians from Macedonia and Eastern Thrace...43-66

Boris Sarafov has undoubtedly been one of the brightest, recognizable and major figures in the history of the Macedonian-Adrianople liberation movement. His name still evokes ambiguous, often polarized, even diametrically opposed assessments, but never indifference. Even during his lifetime, opinions about this notable Bulgarian revolutionary ranged from apologetics to complete denial. Overlays of ideological and conjunctural nature were later added to this. 

Almost throughout the communist period, Sarafov’s role was deliberately kept silent, and as far as it was mentioned, it was in a completely negative light – a kind of ostracism, from which at least his younger brother, the famous theatrical actor Krăstjo Sarafov, was spared. 

The basis of the attitude that was adopted by the so called ‘people’s authorities’ in respect to the revolutionary Sarafov underlay the axiomatic view that as an officer he was close to the government and palace circles, and for that reason – a ‘reactionary’, a ‘supremist’ and an open opponent to the ‘progressive’ circles in the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO). 

Only from the beginning of the 1980s, but finally after the political changes in Bulgaria in 1989, Sarafov became to accept more objective assessments. Although studies appeared (somewhat in a compensatory fashion) which idealized him and exaggerated his real merits for the revolutionary movement, today it can be said that a balanced and objective assessment of him dominates at least the circles of professional historians...

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