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Aleksandar Protogerov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aleksandar Protogerov
Protogerov Parade uniform.jpg
Native name
Александър Протогеров
Born28 February 1867
Ohrid, Ottoman Empire (now North Macedonia)
Died7 July 1928 (1928-07-08) (aged 61)
Sofia, Bulgaria
AllegianceBulgaria Bulgaria
Bulgaria war flag.png
Bulgarian Army
RankLieutenant General
Protogerov's Certificat from the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria.
Protogerov's Certificat from the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria.

Alexandar Protogerov (Bulgarian: Александър Протогеров) (28 February 1867, Ohrid – 7 July 1928, Sofia) was a Bulgarian general, politician and revolutionary, as well as a member of the revolutionary movement in Macedonia, Thrace and Pomoravlje.[1] Protogerov was a Bulgarian Freemason and held a leading position (Grand Master) in the lodge where he was a member.[2]

In North Macedonia Protogerov, who had been dismissed as Greater Bulgarian chauvinist by the Macedonian historiography in Communist Yugoslavia, has been recently added to the country's historical heritage, already as an ethnic Macedonian.[3]


Congratulatory telegram from Prtogerov to Hristo Matov in relation with the invasion of Macedonia by the Bulgarian Army in 1915.: „Hristo, I send you cordial greetings from Free Macedonia.“
Congratulatory telegram from Prtogerov to Hristo Matov in relation with the invasion of Macedonia by the Bulgarian Army in 1915.: „Hristo, I send you cordial greetings from Free Macedonia.

Protogerov was born in 1867 in Ohrid, then in the Ottoman Empire. Later he graduated there with his primary education in the local Bulgarian Exarchate school. On 5 October 1882 he entered the Military School in Sofia and as a cadet was a volunteer in the Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885). In 1887 he graduated from the Military School and was assigned to the infantry. On 18 May 1890 he was already a lieutenant. On 2 August 1894 he became a captain and served as an adjutant in the 1st Brigade of the 5th Danube Infantry Division. He served in Rousse, where he was the leader of the Bulgarian Officer Brotherhoods. Later he served as a company commander of the 32nd Zagore Infantry Regiment. He was among the leaders of the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee. Protogerov took part in the Gorna Dzhumaya uprising in 1902 and in the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. Later joined the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization.[4]

In the Balkan Wars, Protogerov was one of the organizers of the Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Volunteer Corps and Assistant Commander of this military unit. During the First World War, he commanded the Third Infantry Brigade of the 11th Macedonian Infantry Division and then became commander of the Bulgarian troops in the Pomoravlje region of Serbia. There he suppressed the Toplica Uprising, commanding an army that committed a large number of war crimes, including cruel murders of thousands of women, children and the elderly. Later, as commandant of Sofia, Protogerov suppressed the Bulgarian soldier's uprising.[5] After World War I, Protogerov was elected as one of the leaders of IMRO. In 1924, IMRO entered negotiations with the Comintern about collaboration between the communists and the Macedonian movement and the creation of a united Macedonian movement. Protogerov and Petar Chaulev probably signed the so-called May Manifesto about forming a Balkan Communist Federation and cooperation with the Soviet Union in Vienna. Later, Protogerov denied through the Bulgarian press that they had ever signed any agreements, claiming that the May Manifesto was a communist forgery. Shortly after, Todor Alexandrov was assassinated in unclear circumstances and IMRO came under the leadership of Ivan Mihailov, who became a powerful figure in Bulgarian politics. In 1925 Protogerov was injured in result of the organized by the communists St Nedelya Church assault. In IMRO itself, a major split arose between Mihailov's wing, supported by Andrey Lyapchev, and Protogerov's wing, supported by Aleksandar Tsankov. The faction led by Protogerov opted for continuing with the tactics of guerrilla warfare, while this led by Mihailov insisted on individual terrorist attacks. The result of this split and communists conspiracies was further strife within the organisation and several high-profile murders, including that of Protogetov himself.[6]

Military Awards


  1. ^ Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Edition 3; Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, ISBN 1442241802, pp. 400-401.
  2. ^ Георги Балански, Генерал Александър Протогеров – първият Велик майстор на Великата ложа на България. Сп. „Зидарски преглед“, книга IV-V, 2010 г.
  3. ^ The most controversial revisionist effort concerned the attempt to include the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (VMRO) of the inter-war period within the Macedonian national narrative. Previous scholarship had regarded this organization as a reactionary force of Bulgarian expansionism, pointing to its support for conservative circles in Bulgaria...People who share the view of the perennial existence of the Macedonian nation and deny any relation with the Bulgarian nation accuse critics of this opinion as “Bulgarophile.” The revisionists, however, are not seeking to deconstruct the Macedonian nation or propagate Bulgarian ethnic self-identification in claiming some relation between the Bulgarian and Macedonian nations. Instead, they aim to establish an alternative vision of the national past whose glorious aspects are seen to be embodied in the VMRO-DPMNE party. For more see: Serving the Nation: Ulf Brunnbauer, Historiography in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) After Socialism, Historein, Vol 4 (2003).
  4. ^ Янакиев, Николай. Македонските българи-офицери в Горноджумайското въстание, сп. Македонски преглед XV (4). 1992. ISSN 2279-0861. стр. 119.
  5. ^ Frederick B. Chary, The History of Bulgaria, The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations; ABC-CLIO, 2011, ISBN 0313384479, p. 70.
  6. ^ Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of North Macedonia; Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Edition 2, Rowman & Littlefield, 2019; ISBN 1538119625, p. 246.


  • Вазов, В., Животописни бележки, София, 1992, Военноиздателски комплекс „Св. Георги Победоносец“, ISBN 954-509-002-2, с.123

See also

This page was last edited on 24 August 2021, at 21:34
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