3rd of March 1878

02 Mar

3rd of March 1878

Opinions are diverse and contradictory about the place and importance of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878 in Bulgarian history. Unfortunately, it does not lead to the liberation of all Bulgarian lands - some of them remain under Ottoman rule, others fall within the borders of our neighboring countries. What, however, is most important to us, the Bulgarians? After nearly five hundred years of foreign domination, the Bulgarian state was restored! With the remarkable participation of our people at all stages of the war! Over 50,000 are the Bulgarians actively engaged in military actions, such as translators, suppliers, scouts and volunteers. Many of them sacrifice their lives, which is no less valuable than the dead soldiers. To all these people, to the peaceful victims of the war, whose broken destinies are no less, we have to pay our tribute.

The Liberation of Bulgaria is not just the battles at Pleven, Shipka, Stara Zagora. It is the result of a process that began long before 1877, a long string of events that testify to the aspirations of Bulgarian society to gain its independence:
• The creation of a Bulgarian-revolutionary organization of Vasil Levski and his associates, with the strategic goal of restoring the Bulgarian statehood.
• The Easter Action of April 3, 1860 and the result of it - the legend of the Bulgarian Exarchate of 1870, which recognizes the Bulgarian people as a separate ethnic community with a clearly defined territory, nearly 220,000 sq. km, including all lands inhabited by predominantly Bulgarian population.
• The April uprising of 1876, undoubtedly the most dramatic event in the history of our national liberation movement, which shows Europe and the world the Bulgarian determination to restore state independence.

All this, along with the generations of writers, allies, revolutionaries, created a climate of denial to foreign oppression on Bulgarian soil, made it possible after March 3, 1878, Bulgaria and Bulgarians to have the most precious - freedom again. The freedom to choose, to believe, to build!

Ivanka Deleva - Chief curator of the History Department of RHM-Burgas



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