Gruev, Damjan (1871-1906), Ideologist, one of the founders of VMRO, its first secretary and member of CK, voivode, the most distinguished organizer of the Macedonian revolutionary national rebellion movement and a national teacher.
Gruev was a supporter and a fighter for irreconcilable revolutionary fighting, led by Macedonians themselves. He was born in the village of Smilevo, Demir Hisar. He finished primary school in his native village and the I and II class of his secondary education at Solun's high school. His education continued in Belgrade. There, in 1889 they founded the Young Macedonian Literary Company and published the magazine "Loza". In Sophia, he studied history at the College. He was a teacher in Stip where he met Goce Delcev. In 1891 in Bitola he organized the revolutionary society, called (Druzba) and he wrote the constitution of the Society.
With a group of Macedonian intellectuals, he founded MRO on 23 October in Solun. In 1894/95 he was a teacher in Stip, Novo Selo where together with Goce Delcev spread the network of the organization, by founding local committees of the organization in Kavadarci, Prilep, Bitola, Ohrid Re-sen, Stip and many other places as well as numerous village committees.
He participated actively in the work of Resen counseling (1894) and Solun congress. He was an exarch school inspector in Solun region and a teacher at exarch high schools in Solun and Bitola, where at the same time he was the leader of Bitola's revolutionary region. In 1895 and 1898 Dame Gruev was an inspector of the schools in Solun region. In 1900 he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in Bitola. However, he was imprisoned for only two years and in May 1902 he was sent on exile to Podrum Kale, Asia Minor. After the amnesty in spring 1903, he engaged himself in the preparations for rising of the Ilinden rebellion. From 2-7 May 1903 he was president of Smilevo congress for Bitola's revolutionary region, where it was decided the rebellion to be risen on 2August 1903. On 2 August the Chief Headquarter gave the signal for rising the rebellion. It was mass raised in Bitola's region, the overall part of Demir Hisar followed by Krusevo and patriotic Kicevo. The rebellion flag was unfoled in Prespa, Ohrid, Struga, Lerin, Kostur, Voden, Prilep and Mariovo region. Under the leadership of Gruev, Macedonia was turned into a bloody battle field and in a burning center. There were battles everywhere throughout Macedonia. The Turkish invaders were ruthless toward the rebels and people. The rebellion was bloody suffocated and thousands of people were executed and destroyed. After the rebellion, he directly led Prilep congress of Bitola's revolutionary region (1904) and Skopje's regional congress (1905). He was president of Rila's congress (1905) where he was elected a member of the Central committee. For a certain period of time he was active in Solun. He died on 23 XII 1906, fighting against the Turkish military forces at the peak of Petlec nearby v.Rusinovo, Malesevo region.
DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE FOR BITOLA
authors: Lence Andonovska, Naume Gorgievski, Blagoj Nikolov, Trajko Ognenovski, Gordana Pesevska, Aneta Stefanovska, Svetlana Taleska ; translation in english Vesna Milevska.
NIUL "St. Clement Ohridski": Municipality of Bitola