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Letters to "Rizospastis" (Journal of the Greek Communist Party)


The United Front of the Workers and Peasants declares that the struggle for support of the oppressed nationalities: the Macedonians, Turks and Armenians is a general task of all the working population in Greece. This struggle should be directed against spiritual, political and economic oppression and against the forcible hellenization practiced in schools. Schools in the mother tongue of the population should be demanded. The mother tongue should be used in the various government agencies and also in the courts of justice. A struggle should be also waged against the fascist bands, against the massacres, against the arson supported by the government of Venizelos and by all bourgeois parties; against the law which separates the Jews and Turks in different voting lists; against expropriation of the land. The right to self-determination including full secession for all the oppressed nationalities which have been forcibly annexed to Greece should be demanded. (Rizospastis, ar. 340, August 33, 1932, p.1)


The whole bourgeois press reported yesterday that at the village of Drenova, region of Drama, which is inhabited by Macedonians, and "anarcho-communist" organization which intended..."to blow up and set fire to the whole town of Drama, was discovered." A police detail from Drama raided the village and arrested 8 peasants. In fact, this was a brutal attack against the communists who were presented as anarchists, and whose names were compared with those of the hated Komitajis, the obvious aim being to stifle their struggle for the rights of the national minorities. The workers and the peasants of Greece should protest against the deportations of the Macedonians, rejecting the slander of an alleged agreement between the communists on the one hand, and the Komitajis, fascist agents of the Bulgarian capitalists, on the other. [Rizospatis, ar.27,(6963), 6.IV.1933, p.1]


On April 15, 1934, the town square was covered with leaflets with revolutionary proclamations calling upon the soldiers to struggle for a solution to their problems and against the beastly reign of terror. Officers imprisoned the soldiers who had read the leaflets, asking them to reveal the names of the individuals who distributed them. The most barbarous methods were used against us Macedonians, soldiers of the 6th Heavy Artillery Regiment. The majority of us are illiterate, we do not know Greek and therefore we frequently do not understand their orders. The officers tried to teach us to read and write, but their efforts were abandoned too soon and were preformed so improperly that none of us learned anything. Following this, the 12 soldiers who did not learn anything were punished by 5 days in jail, each. Two days later we were given one tomato and stuffed pepper each, which is not enough for anyone. The 140 soldiers, after they have been given this food, gathered around the kettle and, in spite of the officers' threats, demanded better food for the value of 25 Drachmas. Eventually, their bowls were filled up with food which had been left in the kettle.Serres, April 15, 1934 A Macedonian {Rizospastis, ar.195 (7132), 25.IV.1934, p.3 }


Voden. - Here, in Voden, and in our whole district, in the heart of Macedonia, here where we Macedonians do not know any other language but our own Macedonian, various agents of the Greek capitalism force us to speak Greek. Consequently, they threaten us constantly with expulsion to Bulgaria, they call us Komitajis, expropriate our fields which we have drenched with our sweat just to produce a piece of bread. In addition, they deprive us of the freedom which our fathers won after many years of struggle in which they gave thair lives for the liberation of Macedonia. We live under the yoke of Greek capitalism, literally as slaves.

In the elementary schools, the young children who speak their own language are beaten every day. Particularly here in Voden, the henchman and fascist Georgiadis beats the children if they speak their Macedonian tongue, if they wrap their notebooks in red paper, or if they use red ink or red colors.

Second Lieutenant Tagaris is another "great hero," anti- communist and persecutor of Macedonians. In his slandering of communism in our district, he does not even shrink from such nonsense as saying that we are not communists but rather Bulgarian Komitajis etc.

Not long ago, a number of Macedonian comrades were arrested, and Tagaris threatened them with grave consequences if they did not stop agitating among the youth. A number of other comrades, Prosfigis, were arrested together with them. They were repeatedly told that the local people were Bulgarian and Komitajis.

To these agents of capitalism the Macedonians keep repeating that they cannot be intimidated by anything and that they will continue their struggle until they attain their full liberation.

Voden, June 6, 1934 A Macedonian correspondent; [Rizospastis, ar.89 (7026), 10.VI.1934, p.3]


Lerin (Florina). - It has been some time now that the whole bourgeois press launched a campaign against the Macedonian people. It represents a part of the fascist and military measures which the Government of Tsaldaris carries out in its orientation towards an increasingly brutal oppression of the people's masses in Macedonia.

The campaign is waged not only by the bourgeois press but also by all the other agents og Greek capitalism. The Chief of the Security Forces here, Karamaunas, whenever he meets us on the streets threatens us with the words: "You are Bulgarians and if by any chance I discover any sort of organized movement, I will beat you without mercy and then I will deport you."

We Macedonians should rise with greater courage and by means of increased activities should reject this campaign because it brings us an even more brutal oppression, starvation, misery and war. Appropriate activities have also been undertaken at the Anti-Fascist Congress. Five hundred drachmas were donated to cover the expenses of our representative. However, this will not do. We should start forming anti-fascist associations, and we should bravely reject the yoke imposed by our oppresors, and create a free and indipendent Macedonia.

A nationally conscious Macedonian, [Rizospastis, ar.87, (7024), 8.VI.1934, p.1]


Macedonian peasants, especially the poor ones, are dragged through the jails because of unpaid debts of only 60 to 100 Drachmas. Six days ago, in addition to those arrested for their unpaid debts a number of peasants from the village of Frashtani were arrested and accused of supplying the Komitajis. Nine more peasants were taken to jail from Xeropotamo(?) and charged likewise. These two villages are located within two hours walking distance from Serres and seven hours from the Bulgarian border. All these poor Macedonians do not know Greek and only speak their own language. Under torture they were forced to admit that Komitajis had been passing through their village.

Many convicts from the prisons at Serres, [Rizospastis, ar.105 (7042), 26.VI.1934, p.I]


The following is a letter we have received from Kozani which on one hand demonstrates the suffering by the Macedonian minority at the hands of the captains- plunderers who are in the service of the Greek democracy, and on the other hand, the latest reckless exploitation of woods belonging to Macedonians by various capitalists who want to impose their monopoly over the forestry industry and to expropriate the poor lumberjacks. Because of this, all those employed in the wooded areas should rise against the methods of reckless exploitation which are now being applied in he forests.

Comrade "Rizospastis,"

The knife has cut deep into the flesh and reached the bone. The Greek government has struck us a heavy blow. It has left us at the mercy of Captain Marko Papaterpov, an Andart and goat thief who robs us of our forests which provide a living for 2000 Macedonian families from Dolni and Gorni Nestram. The plundering of the woods have aroused all the villagers, young and old alike. We oppressed Macedonians address you and ask you to help us in our struggle because you have been leading us for some time now. Our village commune demands your support as well as the support of all the workers throughout the country.

Nestram, July 19, 1934 Many Macedonians, [Rizospastis, ar.130 (7067), 22.VII.1934, p.4]


Voden (Edessa) August - We Macedonians make up the majority in the 30th Regiment and therefore our life here is very difficult. Whenever anyone utters a Macedonian word he is punished with 10-15 days in jail. We are called "ignoramuses" and are constantly beaten. Disciplinary measures are taken every day and we are often ordered to do forced labor. In spite of als this we shell continue to speak our language and to sing our revolutionary songs. We are prepared to resist the pressure against us, which is being made in order "to throw" us into war and we shell fight fascism.

A Mecedonian correspondent from the 30th Regiment in Voden, [Rizospastis, ar.152 (7089), 12.VIII.1934, p.5 ]



The revolutionary traditions of the Macedonian people who, since 1913 have been partitioned among three capitalist states (Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia), maintains as a central bright symbol its armed uprising on St. Elijah's Day (Ilinden), on August 2., 1903 (July 20th, according to the Gregorian calendar). It represents a most glorious symbol, mainly because this Uprising manifested the unity of the Mace-donian people. Only those who were acquainted not only with the cruelty of the former Sultan's regime, but also with the terrorist and bandits' activities, as well as with the heinous intrigues of the "liberators" from the neighboring states, of the Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian exploiters, understood the real significance and true meaning of this united revolutionary activity of all Macedonians, which was not affected by their varied tribal origin... (Rizospatis, 142/7079, 2. VII 1934.


We Are Neither Bulgarians, Nor Greek! We Are Macedonians. Along the northern periphery of capitalist Greece, a whole nation groans under the heavy boot of two-fold, economic and national exploitation and pressure; that is the Macedonian people. The Greek capitalists, landowners and generals, using fire and sword, try to "hellenize" these people and make them slaves. However, the long-suffering Macedonian people, who have given so many sacri-fices, are not prepared to surrender as slaves to the clutches of their oppressors. They are struggling for their liberation and independence. At their side as their allies stand the Greek workers and peasants who know that "people who oppress another people cannot be free themselves". The news report from western Macedonia, which is published below, shows that the Macedonians are waking up and that they are finding the true road towards their liberation. Fleeing from the harmful influence of the fascist organization of Mihajlov-Protogerov's (I.M.R.O.), they are entering the united revolutionary organization - the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organi-zation (United), which continues the bright and glorious traditions of the struggle for the independence of Macedonia. The village of Arsen, district of Voden, is populated with 165 Macedonian families and by about 80 Prosfigi. In addition to the heavy taxation which we are paying, in addition to the poverty and misery which burdens and oppresses us, we experience wild terrorism which is used against us by the state agencies, of course upon orders of the Tsaldaris government, as was the case earlier, under the government of Venizelos. We cannot go and file complaints in the regional office because there we are kicked out of the offices and called Bulgarian komitadjis, only because we are Macedonians. However, we declare in full voice: "We are neither Bulgarians nor Greeks. We are Macedonians! We shall struggle for full independence from the Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian whip". We know that we shall be successful - provided we are organized, and provided we enjoy the support of the workers and peasants of Greece. At a conference which we had one of our comrades presented the program and activities of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United). We formed two groups with ten members each, as well as a three-member committee which will organize new groups in all Macedonian villages in the Vrtikop area (district of Voden). We invite all the peasants from the Lerin area and from the area of Enidze Vardar, so that we may start publishing a newspaper for the Macedonians in western Macedonia in our own mother language.

Arsen, September 8, 1934. The Macedonian Groups from Arsen and Vrtikop (district of Voden). (Rizospastis, XVIII, 182/711, 12. IX 1934)


Two groups of Macedonians with nine members each, and another one with six members were formed in the village Eksi-Su. They have assumed the task of enlightening the peasants and organizing the struggle of the Macedonian people for liberation. These groups invite the other villages: Ajtos, Zeleniche and Ljubetino to organize themselves in groups and to make efforts to start publishing a Macedonian newspaper in our own mother language. We should declare in full voice to our Greek masters that we are not Greeks, nor are we Bulgarians or Serbs, but pure Macedonians. We have behind us our history, our past with much fighting for the liberation of Macedonia , and we shall continue our struggle until we finally liberate ourselves. Eksi-Su, December 26,1934. Many Macedonian Fighters (Rizospastis, 24-351, 1. XI 1934, s. 3)


In the village of Patele a Macedonian organization was formed to fight for the liberation of the long-suffering Macedonian people who are groaning under a Greek reign of terror. The government terrorizes the Macedonian fighters and has decided to deport Andreja Chipov.* The population of Patele protested against this act and demanded an end to the deportations, and also a release of all the deported fighters. Patele, October 26, 1934. A Macedonian (Rizospastis, 243/7173, 1.XI.1934, s.3)

*- Andreja Chipov (1904-1956), well-known Macedonian and Greek revolutionary. In 1933. he became a leader of the I.M.R.O. (United) in Aegean Macedonia and member of the Central committee of the Communist Party of Greece. In 1936-1941 he was deported to Akronavplia (Greece). For a short period in 1941 he was secretary of the C.C. of the KKE. Participant in the National Libe-ration Front.


(This article was written and published in Macedonian, in the dialect spoken in Lerin area, however in the Greek alphabet.)
Comrades, Brother Macedonians!

Greek capitalists are making comprehensive and intensive preparations for a new war and for establishing a fascist dictatorship(Greek word). Greek capitalists want to create conditions in which it will be possible to tyrannize (Greek word) and exploit you even more. They want to take your children to Athens, the capital of Greece. The same is being done by Simo Stanofcki who is a dog, who 1ies (Greek word), who is a representative of Greek capitalism and who is trying to tie you up in a way you will never be able to shake off. Beware of these spies, because they want by dictatorship and by fire and sword to force you to learn the Greek language, to forbid you to speak your own Macedonian language which is your mother tongue. They want you to fight in a new war for the benefit of the rich (Turkish word), so that they will pack up again their coffers with the blood and bones of poor Macedonians. Everything they do, depriving you of the very last morsel of bread, forces you to flee abroad, trying t9 make it impossible for you to come back because you are Macedonians. Therefore, comrades, brother Macedonians, the first thing you should do is to spit in the face of the spy, the fascist Simo Stanofcki and not to let yourselves be deceived again by him, not to let him take your children to Athens to work for the profit of the rich and to your detriment. You should ask the village mayors to return the 500 drachmas which the village gave for every Macedonian who went to Athens and to demand that this amount should be paid back by the royal Greek capital. You should demand to be allowed to speak Macedonian in government offices (Greek word), in the courts of justice, everywhere. You should demand that the children of Macedonians should be given the right to return from abroad. You should declare in full voice all as one: "Macedonia to the Macedonians! Down with the war and the fascist dictatorship! Let us liberate Macedonia and Thrace". A Macedonian From Lerin (Rizospastis. 203 (7141), 3. X 1934, s. 5.)


The Workers' and communists' "Rizospastis"

The "tiroriata" (terror) against the Macedonians in the district of Sorvich (Amindeon) has reached its peak. Macedonian women who sell 20 kilos of peppers in order to buy a kilo of bread and butter for their families are taken to the market inspectorate to buy market licenses. The women who did not know Greek went together, in order to be able to complain, with a peasant who spoke Greek, to the market inspector. However, the inspector, enraged, told them to submit a written complaint and asked them to immediately pay 60 Drachmas each. This is one more reason why we should organize groups of Macedonians in order to fight for an indipendent state.

A Macedonian, [Rizospastis, ap.213 (7151), 13.XI.1934, p.3] (The above was published in the Macedonian language using Greek charachters).


Dear "Rizospastis",. We ask you who have long been on our side and who have always helped us Macedonians who are oppressed and doubly exploited, to publish the following letter: Here, in Enidze-Vardar the whip, curses and heavy taxes are used against us. Our fathers fought against the Turks, but they also fought for liberation from the Greek oppressors. Thus for example, the landowner Zervulaki takes every day parts of the land which was given to us by the state in 1923. He talks derisively to us saying that the land will be ours only to make us pay taxes. However, now the anti-popular government gives the land openly to the landowners. He wants to enlarge his 500 acres to 1500 and even to 5000 acres, and, as he states himself, in order to make the peasants slaves on his estate. Already for seven years now, since 1930, we have been paying taxes only to see now how the land is being taken from us Macedonians. All the poor people who express their dissatisfaction say that they have understood only now that we have been duped by all the bour-geois parties. However, by means of our struggle in the United Front together with the workers, we demand the abolition of all the large estates and distribution of the land to the poor peasants; we demand cancellation of the loans given by the banks and by usurers; we demand to be granted non-interest longterm loans. We declare that we shall struggle against fascism and the attempts made to involve us in the war. Enidze-Vardar Poor Macedonians (Rizospastis, 274 (7212), 13. XII 1934, s. 3)


Dear "Rizospastis" We write these few lines to you who are the only protector of the oppressed national minorities: All the Greek people have been following these days the debate concerning the refugee problem in the League of Nations in connection with the Greek minority living in Albania, groaning under the yoke of the Albanian government. The Greeks in Albania, faced with the closing down of their Greek schools, demand quite righteously observation of the treaties signed between Albania and Greece. We, the downtrodden Macedonian minority, wish from the bottom of our hearts that the demands of our brothers in Northern Epirus may be realized because we, Macedonians are in the same position, under the yoke of the Greek government. We also demand that the whole working class and the progressive press should raise their voice in support of our rights. We also want to be able to speak freely our Macedonian language and to open Macedonian schools where our children will be educated. We demand that the Greek government should implement the treaties concerning the minorities, which it has actually been oppress-ing for so many years, as has been the case with us Macedonians as with other minorities - (note added by "Rizospastis"). However, the Greek government, instead of giving us our rights, is interested only in our forcible "hellenization". On the other hand, with the assistance of the chauvinist "superpatriotic" press, it tends to present us as if we were not Macedonians but rather "Slavophones", which means "pure Greeks". We also protest against the terror of various fascist nationalist organizations which are committed to our persecution. Together with the police, they keep arresting Macedonians, call them "Komitadjis", beat and torture them brutally. We call upon all our brother Macedonians to rise against this situation. United with the Greek workers and peasants, we shall also struggle for their rights and their freedom. We should destroy once and for all the fascist terror, so that we will be able to use freely our language, so that we will be able to open our own Macedonian schools. We are confident that together with the Communist Party as our leader, we shall be victorious. Brotherly Greetings, Many Macedonians (Rizospastis, 319 (7257) 30. I. 1935, s 1.)


All the Greek people have been following these days the debate in the League of Nations in connection with the complaint of the Greek minority in Albania. We, the undersigned Macedonians, from the bottom of our hearts wish that the complaints of our brothers in northern Epirus may be remedied, since the Macedonians are in the same situation under the bondage of the Greek authorities. We demand the freedom to speak freely in our Macedonian tongue, to open our own schools so that our children will be educated in our own language. We demand that the Greek government should implement the treaties concerning the minorities in regard to the Macedonian minority, which have beet disregarded for so many years. Instead of giving us our rights, the Greek governments are interested only in the "hellenization" of our population. On the other hand, with the assistance of their chauvinist newspapers they endeavor to present us Macedonians as "Slavophones" and "pure Greeks". We protest also against the orgies which are being held by various nationalist organizations. Together with the gendarmes, they frequently arrest Macedonians, accuse them of being "Komitadjis" and subject them to brutal torture. We call upon our brother Macedonians to complain against this situation. Let us demand that an end be put to the terror, let us demand to be given the right for free use of our own language, to open our own Macedonian schools. (Makedonsko Delo , X/195, February 1935, p.8)

* - According to a note added by the editorial board of the newspaper "Makedonsko delo" (The Macedonian Cause), the Greek minority in southern Albania protested in the League of Nations against the terror of the Albanian authorities. The League of Nations considered this protest early in 1935. A group of Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia used this case to address a letter of protest to the Greek newspapers against the terror of the authorities in Macedonia under Greek rule. The letter was written in the Macedonian language.

THE WHIP IS SYMBOL, July 3,1935.

Enidze-Vardar, June. - The whip is a symbol of class and national oppression in our district, which is being used even more after the increase in the number of votes given to the United Front. A few days ago, "Member of Parliament" A. Pejos arrived here allegedly to distribute the land around the lake to the landless and poor people. He stated, inter alia, that the land should not be given to the natives because they were "Bulgarians", because they were supporting the Komitadjis, and because the Greek Army had difficulties in liberating Enidze-Vardar. We answered this fellow: we do not recognize you as our Member of Parliament. You were appointed by the government! As for the name Bulgarian, which you are giving us, we tell you that we are not Greeks, nor are we Bulgarians or Serbs. We are Macedonians, with our own language, culture, customs, and with our own history. We, who are young, are filled with pride when we listen to our fathers telling us about the Ilinden Uprising, about the heroism of Zlate, Petkov, Gruev, Tosev and Delcev. Were they Bulgarians, Mister Pejo? No, they were Macedonians and they fought for a united Macedonia. All the Macedonians from eastern, central and western Macedonia are uniting, Mister Pejo, in order to kick you out and all the other Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian exploiters.

Per the Groups of I.M.R.O Al. Nemas (Rizospastis, 3.VII 1935.)


Kroncelevo (District of Voden). - One hundred and twenty Macedonian families live in this village. They are Macedonians and they do not know any other language except Macedonian. However, nobody should envy the fate of anyone who might be heard by the authorities speaking Macedonian. A threat hangs above his head of being expelled to Bulgaria. All the villagers have relatives in Bulgaria who write to them that the same thing is being done to them by the Bulgarian authorities. However, the Macedonians in Bulgaria have their own organization and they are struggling for their. freedom. The latest news is that the Security Service has learnt that we receive here our newspaper "Makedonsko delo" (The Macedonian Cause),. which has enraged them. However, we are not afraid of them. We shall spread ever wider this newspaper and we shall form national-revolutionary groups in all the villages and towns in our Macedonia. we shall publish newspapers in our Macedonian language, we shall prove to all the Macedonians that only the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) is waging a struggle for the liberation of the oppressed Macedonians. Village of Kroncelevo, District Correspondent 948 of Voden. (Rizospastis, July 3, 1935)


Dear "Rizospastis",

You, who are on the side of the oppressed, write also something about us Macedonians. Older Macedonians, who had been lured by Bulgarian money and chauvinism and who bore arms fighting for the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria, have now understood that they did not do anything but defend the interests of the landowners and bankers who dismember-ed Macedonia and annexed parts of it to Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. Now they are reviving the memories of the murdered Macedonian leaders Gruev, Tosev, Delcev, who sought self-determination for Macedonia. We, Macedonians from Voden held a meeting at which one of our comrades talked to us about the program of the I.M.R.O. (United) and how the minorities lived in the Soviet Union. He told us that the Macedonians in Serbia and in Bulgaria were fighting under the leader-ship of the communist parties for a united and independent Macedonia. We declare that we shall struggle for our freedom under the lead-ership of the Communist Party of Greece and that we demand to have our schools where the Macedonian language will be taught, and we also demand that we should not be called Bulgarians because we are not Bulgarians, nor are we Serbs or Greeks, but only Macedonians! We demand permission to publish and distribute our own newspaper. We invite all Macedonians to join the I.M.R.O. (United), so that we shall all together struggle for a free Macedonia. Per the Group from Voden G Slavos (Rizospastis, July 3, 1935.)

THEY FIND THE RIGHT PATH, September 3, 1935.

Old Petko, a Macedonian from Voden, writes to us: One day I got hold of the newspaper "Makedonsko delo" (The Macedonian Cause) published by the Internal Macedonian Organization (United). I read it eagerly and I thought over past events. I thought about my criminal attitude towards the Macedonians in the period between 1893-1896. In Macedonia armed groups were former whose goal was the liberation and self-determination of Macedonia. During this period Bulgaria sent the Komitadjis to Macedonia. One night, the arch-Komitadji Apostol, a terrorist from the district of Enidze-Vardar, came to my house with some 30 Komitadjis. He first intimidated me and then succeeded in convincing me to become a Komitadji by promising me a pay of 50 liras a month and free education for my children. We made war against the Turks, but also we fought against the members of the I.M.R.O. Using terror, murder and bribery, we succeeded in destroying the Macedonian groups. Then we declared that Macedonia was Bulgarian and that we were fighting for her annexation to Bulgaria. That was a great mistake! Only now do I understand what I did. Now, when Macedonia is partitioned among Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece, and when the Macedonians, divided into three states, suffer in each one of them, I understand my fault and I come in spite of my age, but with all my experience, under the glorious banner of the I.M.R.O. (United) which is fighting for the interests of all Macedonians. Voden. Old Petko (Rizospastis, September 3, 1935)
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