Hristo Tatarchev

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Hristo Tatarchev
Hristo Tatarchev c. 1903
Native name
Христо Татарчев
Born16 December 1869
Resen, Ottoman Empire
Died5 January 1952 (aged 82)
Turin, Italy
Service/branch Bulgarian Army

World War I

Alma materUniversity of Zurich
Other workPhysician, author, member of the Macedonian Federative Organization

Hristo Tatarchev (Macedonian and Bulgarian: Христо Татарчев; 16 December 1869 – 5 January 1952) was a Macedonian Bulgarian doctor, revolutionary and one of the founders of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO).[1][2][3][4] Tatarchev authored several political journalistic works between the First and Second World War. He is considered an ethnic Macedonian in the Macedonian historiography.[5]


House of Hristo Tatarchev (now museum) in Resen

Tatarchev was born in the town of Resen, in the Manastir vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (present-day North Macedonia), to a rich family. His father Nikola Tatarchev was a successful merchant, and leading member of the Bulgarian Exarchist community in Resen,[6] and his mother Katerina was a descendant of a prominent family. Hristo Tatarchev received his initial education in Resen, then he moved to Eastern Rumelia and studied in Bratsigovo (1882) and eventually at the secondary school for boys in Plovdiv (1883–87). It was at that time when he participated in the Unification of Bulgaria and enrolled in a students' legion, which took part in the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. Tatarchev was expelled from school because of "insubordination" and he moved to Romania, where he continued his secondary education. Later he studied medicine at the University of Zurich (1887–1890) and completed his degree in Medicine in Berlin (July 1892). He moved to Thessaloniki in 1892, where he worked as a physician at the local Bulgarian secondary school for boys.[1]

He was a founding member of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (first name disputed), which was established on 23 October 1893 in Thessaloniki.[7][8][9] In the following year, he was elected President of the Central Committee of IMRO. Tatarchev participated in the Thessaloniki Congress of IMRO in 1896.

In early 1901 he was caught by the Ottoman authorities and sent into exile for 5 years in Bodrum Castle in Asia Minor.[1] Although he was released on 19 August 1902, Tatarchev did not give up the revolutionary fight and in August 1902 he became a representative of the Foreign Committee of the IMRO in Sofia.[1][10] Being such, he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Vladimir Lamsdorf (1845–1907), who had arrived in Bulgaria at the end of 1902. Tatarchev presented Lamsdorf with an IMRO-designed plan of reforms to be introduced in Macedonia. Tatarchev and Vladimir Lamsdorf organised a meeting to review the revolutionary ideas which could result in a successful revolt.

Hristo Tatarchev as a surgeon in Bulgarian army during the Great war.

During the Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising of 1903, Tatarchev guided the revolutionary fight, as the emigrant representation turned out to be the sole governing body of the organization. After the uprising, he came into conflict with the supporters of Yane Sandanski and did not participate in the activities of the IMRO at the Kyustendil Congress in March 1908, where he was appointed as an adviser to the Foreign Committee of the IMRO.[11] After the Young Turk Revolution he openly supported the Union of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, but did not participate in its activities. In 1910 he was elected a reserve member of the Central Committee of IMRO. When Bulgaria entered the Balkan Wars and the First World War, Tatarchev was sent to the front as a regimental physician. At the end of the wars he was one of the initiators of the Temporary representation of the former IMARO.

In the fall of 1920, he entered the Macedonian Federative Organization. Shortly after that, Tatarchev was forced to emigrate to Italy, because of significant discord between then IMRO's leader Todor Alexandrov and him. There he wrote his memoirs, and all the time until the Second World War he wrote articles for the newspapers "Macedonia", "Zarya", "Vardar". In his newspapers, he actively criticized the Serbian and Yugoslavian government for the Serbianisation of the Macedonian Slavs.[12][non-primary source needed] Tatarchev became a close friend of the new leader of the IMRO Ivan Mihailov. He lived briefly in his native Resen during the Second World War, when Macedonia was annexed by Bulgaria (1941–1944). Later he returned to Sofia, but in 1943 after the bombings there Tatarchev moved to Nova Zagora. The Germans offered him in 1944 to become a President of the Independent State of Macedonia, but he refused, because the Red Army was entering Bulgaria. Bulgaria also ordered its troops to prepare for withdrawal from former Yugoslavia.[13] After the end of the Second World War, he and his family were persecuted by the authorities of PR Bulgaria and DFR Yugoslavia.[14][15] Thus Tatarchev returned to Turin, where he also communicated with Ivan Mihailov, who moved to Italy as well.[16] He died on 5 January 1952.[1]


Tatarchev’s relatives were also involved in the Macedonian revolutionary movement. His brother Mihail was an activist of IMRO and the mayor of Resen during the Bulgarian occupation of Serbia in the First World War, when he was killed.[17]

His nephew, Asen Tatarchev, was also an IMRO activist in interwar period. In 1946 he was sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment, by the Yugoslav authorities for collaborating with the Bulgarian occupational authorities during World War II.[18]

Tatarchev’s grand nephew, Ivan Tatarchev, became Bulgaria’s prosecutor general after the fall of communism and was elected honorary chairman of the IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement in the 1990s.[19]

Tatarchev married Sophia Logothetis, a daughter of the Greek consul in Bitola.


In December 2009, his remains were brought from Turin to Bulgaria by VMRO-BND, a modern political party claiming descent from the IMRO.[20] Tatarchev's reburial took place in Sofia, on 23 October 2010, exactly 117 years since the founding of the IMRO.[21]

Tatarchev Nunatak on Oscar II Coast in Graham Land, Antarctica is named after Hristo Tatarchev.


  1. ^ a b c d e Shea, John (1997). Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. McFarland & Company. p. 171. ISBN 0-7864-0228-8.
  2. ^ Татарчев, Христо. Спомени, документи, материали, София 1989, с. 68, 75 (Tatarchev, Hristo. Memoirs, documents, materials, Sofia 1989, p. 68, 75)
  3. ^ Alexis Heraclides (2021). The Macedonian Question and the Macedonians: A History. Routledge. pp. 37–38, 41–43. ISBN 9780429266362.
  4. ^ Hodge, Carl, ed. (2008). Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800-1914: L-Z. Greenwood Press. p. 441. ISBN 9780313334078.
  5. ^ Мировски, Тодор (1998). Стопанството на вардарска Македониjа мегу двете светски воjни, докторска дисертациjа одбранета на 20 jануари 1934 година на Економско-комерциjалната висока школа во Загреб. Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite. p. 148.
  6. ^ Кирил, Патриарх Български (1969) Българската екзархия в Одринско и Македония след Освободителната война 1877-1878. Том 1. Книга 1: 1878-1885. Синодално Издателство, София, стр. 566.
  7. ^ İpek Yosmaoğlu, Blood Ties: Religion, Violence and the Politics of Nationhood in Ottoman Macedonia, 1878–1908, Cornell University Press, 2013, ISBN 0801469791, pp. 15–16.
  8. ^ Dimitris Livanios, The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939–1949, Oxford Historical Monographs, OUP Oxford, 2008, ISBN 0191528722, pp. 17–18.
  9. ^ Chris Kostov (2010). Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996. Peter Lang. p. 69. ISBN 9783034301961.
  10. ^ Palairet, Michael (8 February 2016). Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 2, From the Fifteenth Century to the Present). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-4438-8849-3.
  11. ^ Poulton, Hugh (2000). Who are the Macedonians?. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-534-3.
  13. ^ Македонската кървава Коледа. Създаване и утвърждаване на Вардарска Македония като Република в Югославска Федерация (1943–1946) Автор: Веселин Ангелов, Издател: ИК "Галик ", ISBN 954-8008-77-7, стр. 113 – 115.
  14. ^ Цочо Билярски (1994) Д-р Христо Татарчев: Първият ръководител на ВМРО: Биогр. очерк. Знание, стр 50-54; ISBN 9546210056
  15. ^ Цочо Билярски, Новооткрити документи за живота и дейността на д-р Христо Татарчев. Сп. „Военно-исторически сборник”, София, 1993, кн. 4, с. 157-179.
  16. ^ Спас Ташев (2023) Борбите на македонските българи за права и независимост - 68 случая от периода 1944-1994, Преследваният първоборец от властта на Тито. Орбел, ISBN 9789544961695.
  17. ^ Тзавелла, Христофор. Кръстникът на първите войводи на ВМОРО и ВМОК отец Търпо Поповски, Македония Прес, София, 2003 г., стр. 225.
  18. ^ Александър Г. Пелтеков, Революционни дейци от Македония и Одринско. Второ допълнено издание. София, Орбел, 2014, ISBN 9789544961022 с. 458-459.
  19. ^ Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Scarecrow Press (2009) ISBN 0810855658, p. 219.
  20. ^ "VMRO Founder's Remains Transferred from Italy to Bulgaria". 21 October 2010.
  21. ^ "Погребаха първия войвода на родна земя". (in Bulgarian). 23 October 2010.

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