|Birth Day:||May 18, 1872|
|Death Date:||Apr 22, 1915 (age 42)|
Bulgarian-born revolutionary known for his leftist leadership of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization.
As per our current Database, Yane Sandanski died on Apr 22, 1915 (age 42).
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Yane Sandanski was a key figure in the 1901 Miss Stone Affair, in which an American missionary was taken hostage in Macedonia.
Sandanski was born in the village of Vlahi near Kresna in Ottoman Empire on May 18, 1872. His father Ivan participated as a standard-bearer in the Kresna-Razlog Uprising. After the crush of the uprising, in 1879 his family moved to Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, where Sandanski received his elementary education. From 1892 to 1894 he was a soldier in the Bulgarian army. Sandanski was an active supporter of the Radoslavov's wing of the Liberal Party and shortly after it came to power in February 1899, he was appointed head of the Dupnitsa Prison. Because of that, his name "Sandanski" distorted from "Zindanski" that comes from Turkish "Zindancı" (lit. Dungeon Keeper or Jailer).
Yane Sandanski was involved in the Revolutionary Movement in Macedonia and Thrace and became one of its leaders. He joined initially the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee (SMAC) in 1895 during the Committee's cheta action into the Pomaks-inhabited regions of the Western Rhodopes. In the next five years, Sandanski was a SMAC activist in the Pirin region, but in 1900 returned to become a director of the local prison in Dupnitsa. In 1901, Sandanski switched to the Internal Macedono-Adrianopolitan Revolutionary Organization (IMARO). He built up the organization’s network of committees in the districts of Serres and Gorna Dzhumaja in the Pirin region, and that is why the people gave him the nickname "PirinTsar" (Pirinski Tsar). He was also one from the organizers of the Miss Stone Affair - America's first modern hostage crisis. On September 3, 1901, a Protestant missionary named Ellen Stone set out on horseback across the mountainous hinterlands of Macedonia and was ambushed by a band of armed revolutionaries. Sandanski was also active in the anti-Ottoman Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. The Militias active in the region of Serres, led by Yane Sandanski and an insurgent detachment of the Macedonian Supreme Committee, held down a large Turkish force. These actions began on the day of the Feast of the Cross and did not involve the local population as much as in other regions, but were well to the east of Monastir and to the west of Thrace.
The failure of the Ilinden insurrection resulted in the eventual split of the IMARO into a left (federalist) faction in the Seres and Strumica districts and a right-wing faction (centralists) in the Bitola, Salonica and Uskub districts. The left-wing faction opposed Bulgarian nationalism and advocated the creation of a Balkan Socialist Federation with equality for all subjects and nationalities. The centralist faction of IMARO, moved towards Bulgarian nationalism as its regions became incursed of Serb and Greek armed bands, which started infiltrating Macedonia after 1903. The years 1905–1907 saw the split between the two factions, when in 1907 Todor Panitsa killed the right-wing activists Boris Sarafov and Ivan Garvanov in order of Sandanski. The Kjustendil congress of the right faction of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) in 1908, sentenced Sandanski to death, and led to a final disintegration of the organization.
After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 and during the Second Constitutional Era Sandanski (in association with Hristo Chernopeev, Chudomir Kantardziev, Aleksandar Buynov and others) contacted the Young Turks and started legal operation. After the disintegration of IMARO, they tried to set up the Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (MORO). Later, the congress for MORO's official inauguration failed and Sandanski and Chernopeev started to work towards a creation of one of the left political parties in the Ottoman Empire – People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section), whose headquarters was in Solun. This federalist project was supposed to include different ethnic sections in itself, but this idea failed and the only section that was created was the faction of Sandanski, called Bulgarian section. In this way its activists only "revived" their Bulgarian national identification, as Sandanski's faction advocated the particular interests of the "Bulgarian nationality" in the Empire. In 1909 the group around Sandanski and Chernopeev participated in the rally of the Young Turks to Istanbul that led to the deposition of sultan Abdul Hamid II from the throne. Sandanski dreamed about the creation of a Balkan Federative Republic according to the plans of the Balkan Socialist Federation and Macedonia as a part of that Federation. He demanded that the IMARO should embrace all nationalities in the region, not only Bulgarians.
In this way it would be possible to create a healthy system aimed at the organisation of a mass uprising. Later Sandanski and his faction actively supported the Bulgarian army in the Balkan wars of 1912–1913, initially with the idea, that their duty is to fight for autonomous Macedonia, but later fighting for Bulgaria. Οbserving the atrocity of Serbs over the local population, former IMRO members began restoration of the organizational network. In the same period a group around Petar Chaulev began negotiations with the Albanian revolutionaries. The temporary Albanian government proposed to them a common revolt to be organized and risen. The negotiations from the part of the Organization had to be carried by Petar Chaulev. The Bulgarian government believed however, that it would not come to a new war with Serbia, so it did not attend the negotiations. However, later, in June 1913 the Bulgarian government sent in Tirana Yane Sandanski for new negotiations. He gave an interview for the newspaper "Seculo", where he said that he came to agreement with the Albanians and that from the Bulgarian side there would be organized bands and assaults. So he helped the preparation of the Ohrid-Debar Uprising, organised jointly by IMRO and the Albanians of Western Macedonia. After the wars, Pirin Macedonia was ceded in 1913 to Bulgaria and Sandanski resettled again in the Kingdom where he was killed in 1915 by his political opponents.
The Centralists organised several unsuccessful assassination attempts against Sandanski. They came closest to achieving their goal in Thessaloniki, where Tane Nikolov managed to kill two other Federalists and heavily wounded Sandanski. Eventually, Sandanski was killed near the Rozhen Monastery on April 22, 1915, while travelling from Melnik to Nevrokop, by local IMARO activists.
In North Macedonia Sandanski is considered a national hero and one of the most prominent revolutionary figures of the 20th century. However some Macedonian mainstream specialists on the history of local revolutionary movement, like Academician Ivan Katardžiev and PhD. Zoran Todorovski, argue that the political separatism of Sandanski represented a form of early Macedonian nationalism, asserting that at that time it was only a political phenomenon, without ethnic character. Both define all Macedonian revolutionaries from that period as "Bulgarians", as products of the Bulgarian educational system and Bulgarian Church, which had a policy of producing “Bulgarian national consciousness” in its Exarchist schools. According to them Macedonian identity arose mostly after the First World War and Sandanski identified himself as Bulgarian too. The IMRO right-wing publicist Stoyan Boyadziev has described Sandanski as extremely controversial Bulgarian revolutionary, whose separatist асtivitу however, produced as a whole Macedonian nationalism. Today, Sandanski is one of the names mentioned in the National anthem of North Macedonia. In Bulgaria the communist regime appreciated Sandanski because of his socialist ideas and honoured him by renaming the town Sveti Vrach to Sandanski, in 1949. In the years after the Fall of Communism some right-wing Bulgarian historians have been keen to discredit his reputation. Sandanski Point on the E coast of Ioannes Paulus II Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica was named after him by the Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition.
Currently, Yane Sandanski is 150 years, 6 months and 10 days old. Yane Sandanski will celebrate 151st birthday on a Thursday 18th of May 2023.
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