The Apostle from D'mbeni
by Atanas Bliznakov

Lazar Pop Traykov was born in 1878 in the village D'mbeni, in the Kostur district of the Aegean part of Macedonia. He was one of the supreme Macedonian apostles and revolutionaries in the struggle for freedom and human rights of the Macedonian nation.

Pop Traykov, who completed his secondary education in Solun, dedicated himself entriely to the Macedonian revolutionary movement, which he joined when he was still at school. In it he was instructed by Dame Gruev from 1895.

The Battle of Mounts Lokvata and Vinyary: During the Smilevo congress in 1903, he was the chariman of the Kostur District Revolutionary Committee, and during the Ilinden Uprising he was a member of the General staff.

On 31st May (old style), 1903, Pop Traykov took part in the battle of Mounts Lokvata and Vinyari, described in his poem "Lokvata and Vinyari". This consists of 63 verses and tells that in the 16 hour battle a company of 67 rebels fought against 1000 Turkish soldiers.

From the Heart and Soul of a true son of Macedonia: The poem appeared immediately after this historic event and it abounds in lyricism, in feelings of pain and rapture torn from the heart and soul of a true son of Macedonia. This is also the first Macedonian poem of this century which expresses the feelings and sufferings of the Macedonian people in their struggle. In his poem, Pop Traykov presented the ida, tactics and programme of the Kostur revolutionary Organisation in the Ilinden struggle.

The poem was invaluable before and during the Ilinden Uprising. It is one of the best works of Macedonian literature of the beginning of the 20th century.

during the Uprising, Lazar Pop Traykov, Manol Rozov and Mihail Nikolov and a troop of 650 Kostur insurgents went to the general Headquarters in central Macedonia, in order to prepare joint actions against the enemy.

In a fierce fight in the village chanishte, Mariovo district, on 15th October, 1903, Lazar Pop traykov was seriously wounded in the head. At 5 pm. the Turks tried to continue to fight, although many of them had been killed. But they could not advance because rebel bombs forced them back. The sun had already sunk behind the mountains, and the Turks stopped firing from their position near Prilep and began to withdraw.

It was cold, snow was falling:

On their way back to Kostur, by chance the rebels met Sarafov in the Nidzhe Mountains. It was cold, snow was falling. Sarafov told them to hand over their arms to the headquarters in Kostur and then go home. He told Pop Traykov to go to Bulgaria to have his serious wound treated.

Because of the wound in his mouth, Pop Traykov could not talk. He therefore answered Sarafov in writing, "No, I won't go there. I want to go home to see what has happened to Kostur. I want to share the pain and suffering-with my people". So he went to Kostur.

Kote Hristov informed against him to the Greek Governor in Kostur, Germanos Karavangelis:

On the way to Kostur, Pop traykov was sheltered by Kote in the Lisets Mountains. Kote Hristov informed against him to the Greek governor in Kostur, Germanos Karavangelis. The latter promised him 50 Turkish liras for the head of Pop traykov. Evily, Kote and Pavle Kirov, another andart servant, cut off the head of the leader, and Pop Stavre from the village of Psoderi, in the Lerin district, and a graecophil from Kostur, gave it to the governor. Without wasting time, he took it to the vice vizier, who exhibited it in the centre of Kostur to the Turkish and Greek people.

After this repugnant act, the head was delivered to the Aposkep village council, where it was buried in the komitaji graveyard.

Thus, at the age of 26, he tragically lost his life, which had been dedicated to the highest ideals of the oppressed and tormented Macedonian people. He died when the Macedonians of Kostur needed him the most, because he was a great revolutionary and strategist. He knew how to organize them, to teach them, to arouse their enthusiasm and to console them when times were hard.

by Atanas Bliznakov

Makedonsko Avstralisko Prijeatelstvo - DENES, 1 Sep 92.

Atanas Bliznakov