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Hristo Botev

ABOUT HRISTO BOTEV
The prominent Bulgarian poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev was born in the town of Kalofer on 25.12.1847 old style (or 06.01.1848 new style).
He was the first-born son in the family of B. Petkov – a well-know Bulgarian educator, writer, translator, and the beautiful resident of Kalofer – Ivanka Dryankova, who knew well over 300 songs and encouraged her son to start reading and writing poetry.
In the early years of his life Botev used to study in the town of Kalofer, in the school of his father, and from 1854 to 1863 in the town of Karlovo. After he graduated from the school in Karlovo Botev returned to Kalofer where he continued his studies. Since the 14 November 1863 he was a scholarship student in the town of Odessa.
In Russia he carefully took his time to educate himself, read classic books from Russian authors, master the ideas of the Russian democrats and do revolutionary work. In 1866 Botev was expelled from school, lived in the lodging of some Polish emigrants, attended lectures at the University of Odessa, worked as a teacher in the village of Zadunaevka. In the beginning of 1876 Botev returned to his native town Kalofer to be a substitute for his sick father.
On 11 May of the same year – the day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius Botev delivered a speech and summoned the Bulgarian people to liberate themselves from the Turkish yoke by revolting.
In September he left his home for good. In early April P.R. Slaveikov published Botev’s first poem “To my mother” in the “Gaida” newspaper. In the years that followed, until his death, Botev lived the hard and unhappy life of a poet, actor, editor, journalist, educator and teacher in Romania. He eagerly participated in the work of the Central Bulgarian revolutionary committee. In the winter 1868 he lived together with Vasil Levski in a desolated water-mill near Bucharest.
In March 1871 Botev sent an enthusiastic telegram to the Paris community and in April 1872 laid in a prison in Fokshan. He was later freed with the help of Vasil Levski and Liuben Karavelov.
In 1875 Hristo Botev married Veneta Vezireva. On 13 April 1876 she gave birth to Botev’s first child, his daughter Ivanka.
The break of the April Uprising in 1876 activated his revolutionary work.
Botev organized a detachment of 205 rebels and took the Austrian shop “Radetski” and disembarked it near the Bulgarian town of Kozlodui.
The rebels kissed the motherland and left for the Balkan to take part in the fights with the enemy. Most of them were killed. At dusk on 20 May (1 June) after furious fighting with the Turks Botev was killed somewhere below mountain peak Kamarata in the Vratsa Balkan. The Chieftain perished but fulfilled his duty and lifetime credo: “He who perishes in a struggle for Liberty, he never dies!”

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