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Old 06-20-2015, 03:23 AM   #1251
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FIRE DID NOT BURN THE TRUTH



The Original “Abecedar” is in Skopje



By Branko Gorgevski

Translated from Macedonian to English and Edited by Risto Stefov



Some thirty years ago Vangel Ajanovski-Oche, a well known Macedonian revolutionary from Aegean Macedonia, donated a copy of the original primer to the Macedonian archives. The primer known as the “Abecedar” was printed by the Greek Government eighty-one years ago to serve the linguistic needs of the Macedonian children living in Greece . Unfortunately, in 19 25 the entire batch was destroyed before it reached its destination.



This surviving one of three copies, thanks to Vangel Ajanovski-Oche, is now safe and secure in the Macedonian archives in Skopje .



Just before the conclusion of World War II, Ajanovski, during a meeting, was approached by a Macedonian teacher from Aegean Macedonia who had managed to obtain and save a copy of the primer, which he then gave to Ajanovski.



Then towards the late 19 70 ’s, after keeping it safe for almost forty years, Ajanovski decided to donate his entire collection of books and documents including the Abecedar, to relevant Macedonian Government institutions.



Ajanovski was one of the founders of the “Macedonian Antifascist Organization” and of the “Secret Macedonian Liberation Organization” in Voden Region in which he served during and after the Second World War.



As far as we know the other two original copies of the Abecedar are found; one in the City Library in Vienna, Austria and the other in the National Library in Athens, Greece. The most recent reprint of the Abecedar, which was promoted in the Greek capital, was made possible by use of the original primer from Athens .



The primer, especially prepared for Macedonian children to learn their native Macedonian language, represents one of the most significant testimonies of the existence of ethnic Macedonians in Greece , which every Greek government has adamantly denied.



The booklet was printed in Athens in 19 25 as a result of a League of Nations’ request to protect the rights of the Macedonian minority in Greece . On August 10 , 19 20 Greece signed a League of Nations agreement for the provision of rights to all its citizens of non-Greek ethnicities. The agreement, signed in Sevres , France , states that there are minorities belonging to a number of ethnicities living in Greece . It also states that the Greek government agreed to provide basic human and national rights to all its minorities.



Unfortunately, the fate of the Abecedar was tragic – the entire batch was destroyed in a staged train accident. On its way to deliver the booklet to the various destinations, the train caught fire burning the entire batch, thus never reaching the Macedonian population.



According to Vangel’s son and well known journalist Georgi Ajanovski, his father obtained the Abecedar entirely by accident. By giving Vangel the Abecedar, the teacher’s wish was to make use of it in other parts of Macedonia ( Vardar and Pirin). It is well known that in those days there was nothing available in the Macedonian language to teach the young Macedonian children their mother tongue.

According to Ajanovski, this particular copy of the primer must have been saved by the people who first arrived at the site of the burning train.



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Old 06-20-2015, 03:26 AM   #1252
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Risto Stefov - Macedonia - What Went Wrong in the Last 200 Years

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1251926. Legislative Orders in Government Gazette #331 ordered the names of Macedonian towns,villages, mountains, etc to be changed to Greek. The Macedonian people, under duress, wereordered to abandon their Macedonian names and adopt Greek ones assigned to them by the Greek State.1927. Cyrillic inscriptions on churches, tombstones, and icons were destroyed or overwritten. Lawprohibited Church services in the Macedonian language.1928. From 1926 to 1928 1,497 Macedonian place-names in Greek occupied Macedonia wereHellenized.English Journalist V. Hild reveals, The Greeks do not only persecute living Macedonians, but theyalso persecute dead ones. They do not leave them in peace even in the graves. They erase theCyrillic inscriptions on the headstones, remove the bones and burn them.1929. The Greek government enacted a law whereby any demands for national rights byMacedonians were regarded as high treason.LAW 4096 directive on renaming Macedonian place-names.1936. From 1936 to 1940 Fascist dictator General Metaxas REIGNED TERROR. Macedonianssuffered state terrorism and pogroms. Thousands of Macedonians were jailed, sent to internal exile(EXORIA) on arid, inhospitable Greek islands, where many perished. Their only crime was beingethnic Macedonian by birth.LAW 6429 reinforces Law 4096 on Hellenization of toponyms.DECREE 87 accelerated denationalization of Macedonians. The Greek ministry of Education sentspecially trained instructors to accelerate the conversion to the Greek language.1938. LAW 23666 banned the use of the Macedonian language and strove to erase every trace of the Macedonian identity. Macedonians were fined, beaten and jailed for speaking Macedonian.Adults and school children were humiliated by being forced to drink castor oil when caughtspeaking Macedonian.LAW 1418 reinforced previous laws on renaming.1940. From 1929 to 1940 another 39 place-names were Hellenized.1945. LAW 697 had more regulations on renaming toponyms in Greek occupied Macedonia.1947. LAW L-2 decreed that Greek citizens suspected of opposing the Greek government duringthe Greek Civil War were arbitrarily and without due process stripped of their citizenship.1948. LAW M allowed confiscation of properties from Greek citizens who were accused of assisting the opposition or who fought against the Greek Government.
















126 28,000 CHILD REFUGEES, mostly from Macedonia were evacuated to Yugoslavia,Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. To this day Greece denies their right toreturn.DECREE 504 continued property confiscation of exiles and colonization of Greek occupiedMacedonia with people from Turkey, Egypt and other parts of Greece. Parcels of land were givento colonists along with financial incentives.1959. LAW 3958 allowed the confiscation of property of those who left Greece and did not returnwithin five years.Several Macedonian villages in Greek occupied Macedonia were forced to swear LANGUAGEOATHS to speak only Greek and renounce their Macedonian mother tongue.1962. DECREE 4234 reinforced past laws regarding confiscated properties of political exiles anddenied them the right to return.1968. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS accused Greece of human rightsabuses.1969. The COUNCIL OF EUROPE declared Greece undemocratic, illiberal, authoritarian, andoppressive. Greece was forced to resign from the Council of Europe under threat of expulsion.A Military Junta continued the policy of colonizing the confiscated lands in Greek OccupiedMacedonia. Land was handed over to persons with a proven patriotism for Greece.1979. 135 more Macedonian place names were renamed in Greek Occupied Macedonia since 1940.1982. The Greek internal security police urged an intensive campaign to wipe out the remainingMacedonian language and Macedonian consciousness in Greek occupied Macedonia.LAW 106841 allowed political exiles, who fled during the Greek Civil War and were stripped of their citizenship, to return providing they were Greek by ethnic origin. The same rights were deniedto Macedonian political exiles born in Greek occupied Macedonia.1985. DECREE 1540 stated that political exiles, provided they were Greeks by ethnic origin, whofled during Civil War were allowed to reclaim confiscated lands. The same rights were denied toMacedonian exiles who were born in Greek occupied Macedonia.In the 1990s Greece made every effort possible to block the formation of the Republic of Macedonia.IT IS TIME TO EXPOSE GREECE FOR WHAT SHE REALLY IS AND PUT AND END TOHER TYRANICAL WAYS. IT IS TIME TO STOP THE SENSLESS PERSECUTION OF HERCITIZENS WHO WISH TO ASSERT THEIR TRUE NATIONAL IDENTITY.
















127 The world is becoming a small place and in order to achieve peace and harmony, exclusion,oppression and discrimination must end. I believe that Europe is on the right track in its support forhuman and minority rights. Greece must also recognize her past mistakes and make amends to theMacedonian people. If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that there is no peace andharmony as long as there is exclusion, exploitation and oppression.For the unbelievers and for those who think that the "Greeks can do no wrong", I offer you thefollowing books, written in Greek by Greek authors;1. If you wish to know more about Karavangelis' terrorist actions in Macedonia read his biography(the original version) "Arheio Makedonikou Agona, Pinelopis Delta, Apomnimoneymata,Germanou Karavaggeli, Georgiou Dikonymou Makri, Panagioti Papatzanetea". By his ownaccounts and through his bragging you will learn what an upstanding religious figure, a Bishop noless, he was and how many people he had killed for the good of his country and for Hellenism.2. If you wish to learn what the Greeks did in Macedonia from 1903 to 1905 during and around thetime of the Ilinden Uprising, read the book "Ellinikos Antimakedonikos Agonas, Apo to Ilinten StoZangoritsani (1903 - 1905), Megali Popeza, 1998" by Dimitris Lithoxoou.3. For the lady who told me to "be ashamed for writing such lies" and for the gentlemen who askedme "are there no ends that you Skopians will go to propagate your propaganda and attempt to stealour Greek Heritage?" I offer you this two volume book. "Istoria Tis Makronisou, Meros Proto,Meros Deftero, Athina 1966" by Nikou Margari.4. For those of you who do not believe Macedonians exist and therefore no Macedonian languageexists, I offer you this book. "I Apagorevmeni Glossa, Kratiki Katastoli ton Slavikon Stis ElinikiMakedonia, Mavri Lista, Athina 2000" by Tasos Kostopoulos.On a more personal note!As a result of distributing this article series on the Internet I received a fair number of commentsboth positive and negative. Your comments were well appreciated.While your positive comments gave me the encouragement to continue to write, your negativecomments reminded me why I started writing in the first place. Thank you.For those of you who have referred to me as Skopian or an agent of Skopie, I would like to set therecord straight.1. I am not Skopian, have never been to Skopie or to the Republic of Macedonia.2. I am a Greek Citizen of Macedonian descent.3. You can't just turn a blind eye and assume Greece is problem free and that people like me don'texist or are agents working for someone else.
















128 Unlike many of you, I have found the truth that I am a Macedonian and not a Greek and haveaccepted it. I know who I am and no longer wish to live a lie for the sake of propagating more lies.On the subject of the Greeks calling Macedonians "Albanian half-breeds", "Gypsies" and"Bulgars", you speak as if those people are not human. Calling them derogatory names does notchange them from who they are. By doing so you only expose your own contempt for those peoplethat think differently than you. In democratic societies like Canada we have laws against suchpractices.And finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for showing interest in the seriesof articles and for providing me with your comments.In the near future, I will be starting a new series of articles on Macedonia, which will cover theperiod from ancient times up to the 19th century. Again as always, I will strive to provide you withan objective and unbiased analysis of the historic events with the aim of countering the Greek position on Macedonia and setting the record straight.
















129

References:

1. A Study of History, Oxford 19752. Anastasia N. Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood, Passage to Nationhood inGreek Macedonia, 1870 - 1990, Chicago3. Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, Oxford 19754. Barbara Jelavich, History of the Balkans, Twentieth Century5. Benefit Society Oshchima 75th Anniversary 1907-1982 Toronto-Canada6. British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782 - 1901), Longmans 19277. D. Fishwick, B. Wilkinson, J. C. Cairns, The Foundations of the West, Clarke, Irwin8. David Holden, Greece Without Columns, The Making of Modern Greeks, J. B. Lippincott,Philadelphia & New York 9. David Thomson, Europe Since Napoleon, Pelican10. Douglas Dakin, M.A., Ph.D., The Greek Struggle in Macedonia 1897 - 1913, Institute forBalkan Studies, Salonika 196611. Essays to mark 150th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, Archon 197312. Europe Since Napoleon, Pelican13. Felix Gilbert, The End of the European Era, 1890 to the Present, Institute for advancedStudy, W.W. Norton & Company Inc New York 14. Fred A. Reed, Salonica Terminus Travels into the Balkan Nightmare, Talonbooks, 199615. G.A.L. I Kata Tis Makedonias Epivouli, (Ekdosis Deftera Sympepliromeni), Athinai 196616. George Macaulay Trevelyan, British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782 - 1901),Longmans 192717. Giorgio Nurigiani, Macedonia of Yesterday and Today, Teleuropa, 196718. H. N. Brailsford, Macedonia Its Races and their Future, Arno Press, New York 197119. H.G. Wells, An Illustrated Short History of the World






































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Risto keep doing what your doing I have learned so much by reading your articles.




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"Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:28 AM   #1253
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While contemplating “bailing out” Greece from its current economic woes let us ponder the following;

According to a report published on December 15th, 2009 by Macedonia online

(http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/10962/2/) Greece paid journalists 130 million dollars to promote the “Greek-ness” of Macedonia.

From 1989 to 1993 the Greek Foreign Ministry, headed by Andonis Samaras, used a secret fund to pay Greek journalists 130 million US dollars to promote propaganda about the “Greek-ness” of Macedonia!

Although these funds were originally intended for external propaganda campaigns, according to the testimony given by former Prime Minister Constantinos Mitsotakis, they ended up in the pockets of Greek journalists.

“All of the funds were put in black plastic garbage bags filled with 5,000 bank notes of cash money to be used mainly for propaganda purposes against Macedonia’s name, but instead of being sent abroad, the propaganda was directed inwards towards our own country” said Mitsotakis in front of a commission.

The payments of huge lump sums coincided with the independence of Macedonia and the strengthening of internal propaganda.

The dilemma whether the Greek Government bribed journalists and publishers across the country to write material that would promote Athens´ agenda hangs in the air. Andonis Samaras, however, publicly acknowledged that a large amount of money was paid to publishers, journalists and local officials.

What more has Greece done to deserve this you say? Well, let us look at some “other things” that Greece has done over the years;

By the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest Greece annexed 51% of Macedonia along with a large Macedonian population which Greece immediately subjugated. For a century now Greece has continuously and systematically used extreme measures to eliminate all traces of the Macedonian identity.

Greece has taken many steps including eradication, expulsion, colonization, forced denationalization and assimilation in order to destroy the Macedonian consciousness and erase the Macedonian identity forever. For example;

In 1914 Professor R.A. Reiss reported to the Greek government that: “Those whom you would call Bulgarian speakers, I would simply call Macedonians. …. I repeat the mass of inhabitants there (in Macedonia) remain simply Macedonians.”

In 1919 a Greek Commission on Toponyms issued instructions for choosing Hellenic names to replace Macedonian place names.

In 1920 the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs published an administrative booklet, “Advice on the Change of the Names of Municipalities and Villages.”

In 1920 approximately 70,000 Macedonians were forced to leave Macedonia and move to Bulgaria in exchange for approximately 25,000 so-called Greeks.

In 1923 approximately 565,000 Christian Turkish colonists from Asia Minor and approximately 55,000 colonists from Greece were settled in Macedonia.

In 1925 Greece denied the existence of Macedonians and referred to the Macedonians as “Slavophone Greeks” or as “Old Bulgarians”.

In 1926 Legislative Orders in Government Gazette #331 ordered the names of Macedonian towns, villages, mountains, lakes, rivers, etc. to be changed to Greek names.

In 1927 all Cyrillic (Macedonian) inscriptions in Macedonia were destroyed or overwritten. This included inscriptions found in Macedonian municipal buildings, churches, tombstones, and icons, prompting English journalist V. Hild to say “The Greeks do not only persecute living Slavs (meaning Macedonians)…., but they even persecute dead ones. They do not leave them in peace even in their graves. They erase the Slavonic inscriptions on the headstones, remove the bones and burn them.”

Church services in the Macedonian language were outlawed. Macedonians were forced by the Greek state to abandon their personal names and adopt Greek names assigned to them. Some of the Hellenized names still echoed their original forms. For example, Mr. Popov became Mr. Pappas whereas other Macedonian names were replaced with completely different Greek names. For example, Mr. Itskarov became Mr. Christidis, etc.

From 1926 to 1928, 1,497 Macedonian place names were converted to Greek ones. Decree 87 ordered accelerated denationalization of Macedonians. The Greek Ministry of Education sent “specially trained” instructors to accelerate conversion to the Greek language.

In 1938 Law 23666 was enacted which banned the use of the Macedonian language and strove to erase every trace of the Macedonian identity. Macedonians were fined, beaten, jailed and exiled to arid islands for simply being Macedonian by birth and/or for speaking Macedonian. Adults and children were further humiliated by being forced to drink castor oil when they were caught speaking the Macedonian language.

From 1929 to 1940, 39 more Macedonian place names were changed to Greek ones.

In 1945 Law 697 was enacted which brought into force more regulations for changing Macedonian toponyms to Greek.

In 1947 Law L-2 was enacted which arbitrarily and without due process stripped citizens of their citizenship.

In 1948 Law M was enacted which provided further means for confiscation of properties.

In 1948 approximately 28,000 Macedonian children were evacuated out of the Greek Civil War hot spots and sent to Eastern European countries. Their evacuation became permanent and the children remain exiled to this day.

In the 1950’s Greece continued to colonize Macedonian lands with colonists from Turkey, Egypt and parts of Greece.

In 1953 Greek authorities met in Solun to plan the expulsion of Macedonians and to bring Greeks from the south to colonize their lands. By decree 504 the Greek state continued to confiscate properties from Macedonians and give parcels of these lands, along with financial incentives, to Greek colonists.

In 1954 Law 2951 was enacted which called for confiscated land to be placed in the hands of Agricultural Institutions and Commissions for Expropriations which decided how to redistribute properties.

In 1959 Law 3958 was enacted which allowed for confiscation of the properties of those who left Greece and did not return within five years.

The populations of many Macedonian villages in the districts of Florina, Kastoria and Edessa were forced to swear language oaths never to speak Macedonian and to speak only Greek. The people were forced to gather at an appointed place in their respective villages and were made to take the following oath in front of Greek church, government and military officials:

“I promise before God and men and the official authorities of the state that from this day on I shall cease speaking the Slavic Idiom, which only gives grounds for misunderstanding to the enemies of our country, the Bulgarians, and that I will speak everywhere and always the official language of my fatherland, the Greek language, in which the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ is written.”

In the 1960’s Greece continued to hand over the confiscated properties of exiled Macedonians to persons of “proven Greek patriotism”.

In 1962, Decree 4234 was enacted which reinforced past laws regarding confiscated properties of exiled Macedonians and denied them the right of return.

From 1940 to 1979 another 135 Macedonian place names were changed to Greek ones.

In 1982, the Greek internal security police urged intensive campaigns to wipe out any remaining Macedonian consciousness and use of the Macedonian language. Law 106841 allowed the right of return to political exiles provided they were ethnic Greeks by birth. Macedonian exiles continue to be denied the right of return.

In 1985, decree 1540 was enacted allowing the right to reclaim confiscated properties to political exiles provided they were ethnic Greeks by birth. Macedonian exiles were denied and are still denied this right.

In 1987, Greece established special “kindergartens” for two and three year old Macedonian children to ensure they learned the Greek language and prevented them from learning the Macedonian language at home.

In the 1990’s Greece continued to colonize Macedonian lands with persons from the Caucasus who say they were Greeks.

Fear of Greek Authorities and State Harassment Greece is probably the only member of the OSCE which has not granted any freedoms and human rights to the diverse minorities living on its soil.

Apart from the Muslim Turkish minority in Western Thrace, other ethnic minorities in Greece, including the Macedonians, are prohibited from organizing their own cultural associations, schools and religious institutions.

Greece is the only member of the OSCE which does not permit the return of political refugees and others whose citizenship has been arbitrarily revoked without due process.

The present population of the Macedonian districts in Northern Greece is approximately 2 million. Approximately 1 million are of direct Macedonian descent. After nearly a century of systematic effort to denationalize the Macedonians, many succumbed and developed a Greek consciousness and refer to themselves as Greeks or Greek Macedonians. The Greek state has always portrayed the Greek identity as being more cultured and superior. The Macedonian identity has always been portrayed as an uncivilized, barbaric and dirty presence within a pure Greek space. The psychological aim is to make people abandon use of the Macedonian language. It has gotten to the point where one is looked down upon for speaking Macedonian. The language is referred to as the “local idiom.”

It is interesting to note that the Macedonian language is recognized internationally, but it is forbidden in Greece. After many generations of policies of denationalization by the Greek state, the Macedonian consciousness among the population has been badly damaged to the point where those who retain their Macedonian consciousness fear to declare it openly. This fear is difficult to comprehend by those who grew up in free and open societies. You have to experience it to understand it. Among the older generation of Macedonians the fear is pervasive and ingrained. It is as if the person is always on guard for his or her actions and words for fear that he or she will be betrayed or heard by Greek authorities. When one Macedonian was pressed further on this issue he blurted out in exasperation, “It (fear) has gotten into the genes!”

In 1993 a delegation from Human Rights Watch/Helsinki visited the Greek province of Macedonia and reported that: “Harassment of the Macedonian minority has led to a widespread climate of fear. A large number of people interviewed by the mission stated specifically that they did not want their names used, for fear of losing their jobs or suffering from the kind of harassment experienced by human rights activists—being followed, threatened and harassed.”

Why has Greece done all these things you say?

First, let me say that this is only a mild and small fraction of the “evil acts” Greece has committed against the Macedonian people. I have not mentioned what they did during the various wars, the various dictatorships and in their prisons and concentration camps over the years.

Greece has done this for two reasons;

1. To build the so-called “Greek nation”. Since there are no “real Greeks” the kind of Greeks that are descended of the ancient Greeks, Greece had to create “Greeks” by assimilation from its indigenous ethnicities or from the colonists Greece imported from Albania, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and other places. To enforce this, the Greek state had to use harsh measures and strict laws.

2. The “newly fabricated Greek nation” had no history, country or lands of its own so it had to occupy and annex “other peoples´ lands” and hide this fact. The Greek state needed to eliminate all traces of the previous owners. So to make a long story short, Greece has made every effort to extinguish the presence and erase the past of everything Macedonian in order to expropriate Macedonian history and the Macedonian land it occupied and annexed in 1912, 1913.

In 1912 and 1913 when Macedonia was invaded, occupied and brutally partitioned by Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, these countries and the Great Powers of Europe knew very well that Macedonia was populated with Macedonians. They very well knew that only a decade earlier the Macedonian people rose up and fought in a Macedonian National Uprising in an attempt to create their own free, democratic and independent Macedonian state. In spite of all that Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria, along with the Great Powers of Europe, decided to ignore the Macedonians and partition their country anyway. And if that was not enough, they also took the extra step to permanently extinguish the Macedonian existence.

Guilty for what they have done, Greece, Bulgaria and the Great Powers of Europe now do not want to face the consequences of their actions and are still insisting that “Macedonians don´t exist”.

Greece, Bulgaria and some countries in Western Europe will continue to give Macedonia and the Macedonian people a hard time as long as the Macedonian people keep quiet about what has been done to them. But once the truth is out then there will be no reason for them to harass the Macedonians.

The truth is Greece and Bulgaria illegally annexed Macedonian lands that were forcibly taken away from the Macedonian people. Greece, Bulgaria and some Western European countries don´t want the world to know this! And that is the entire crux of the problem between Greece, Bulgaria and Europe on one side and the Macedonian people on the other.

It is time for the truth to be revealed!

Other articles by Risto Stefov:

http://www.maknews.com/html/articles.html#stefov

http://www.americanchronicle.com/authors/view/3446

You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com


Old habits never die July 2, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Yunanistan.
Tags: Macedonia, Risto Stefov
1 comment so far


By Risto Stefov

After proving to the Greeks, a hundred times over, that Macedonians do exist and have existed since Neolithic times, or as my friend Tone from Slovenia would say “the Macedonians lived in Macedonia uninterrupted for at least 40,000 if not 70,000 or even 100,000 years!”, we still have Greeks “insisting” that Macedonians do not exist and that the only people that can call themselves Macedonians are Greeks who live in Macedonia!

How does one interpret this and what does one make of it? Allow me to say that, the way I see it, Greece and most Greeks have not changed a bit since their Philhellene patrons sent them on their way and gave them their “fake” Modern Greek identity. Greece is like a sailing ship without a rudder and no amount of “wishing” or in this case “providing proof” can change its course or attitude towards the Macedonians. What is truly “changing”, especially lately, is not the Greeks but the general population´s understanding of Greece and its treatment of the Macedonians.

Macedonians like me, born and raised in Greece, understand perfectly well where they stand with regards to Greece. What Greece has done to us is so bizarre and unbelievable that even fellow Macedonians from the Republic of Macedonia have difficulty accepting it. Many think we made things up! One of the most hurtful things to hear from them is “it couldn´t have been that bad, could it? Nobody does that to people!”

It took me more than four years to get through to them, to make them understand that our plight in Greece is “real” and that indeed we were treated miserably. Think of it this way; we did not change our personal names voluntarily. We did not rename our place names voluntarily. We did not stop speaking our Macedonian language because we wanted to. We did not drink castor oil voluntarily when we were caught speaking Macedonian. We did not leave our lands and abandon our homes because we felt like it. All these things were forced upon us by Greece, the same Greece which today you call “democratic” and the “cradle of democracy”. Yes, people do “bad” things to other people and yes they were done to us Macedonians in Greece!

I suspect that my Macedonian compatriots believed me only because Greece began to show its belligerence towards the Republic of Macedonia. Then ironically, these same people began to tell me their problems with Greece and that Greece had no right to do “bad things” to them, especially since they had done nothing wrong to Greece! All I can say to them now is “welcome to my world”!

It has always been my intention to “inform” the “uninformed” Macedonians and let them know who they are dealing with, with regards to Greece. It has also been my aim to lead the Macedonians away from their “defensive” role of having to “justify themselves and their existence”, especially to the Greeks.

The Greeks, through their bizarre and unsubstantiated accusations, have become good at putting Macedonians on the defensive. All the Greeks have to do is say: “Macedonians do not exist”, “you are not Macedonians, Macedonians are Greeks”, “Tito created the Macedonian identity”, “you are Slavs who came to Macedonia during the 6th century AD”, “you are communists”, “you are autonomists”, “you are Skopjans”, “you are filthy Gypsies”, “you are Bulgarians”, “you are Fyromians”, etc. and you can be sure that, instead of walking away, Macedonians will take the defensive and respond to the accusations!

After being “shocked” by such ridiculous claims, Macedonians immediately take the defensive and, in spite of the ridiculousness of the claims, try to prove the opposite. Using factual and historical information they again and again prove to the Greeks that “yes Macedonians do exist” and here is the evidence in history books, gravestones, old newspapers, etc., which proves it. Unfortunately there is never enough “proof” or evidence to satisfy the Greek desire.

It has been my experience that Greeks “couldn´t care less” if God himself stood before them and testified that “Yes Macedonians do exist and here they are!” because the Greeks are not after “finding proof”. They just want Macedonians to “go off on tangents” and idly spin their wheels. That way they can control what Macedonians do!

I have personally watched Greeks demand proof of the Macedonians for over forty years and from what I have learned from history, they have been doing this for over two centuries. It has always been a “Greek ploy” to put Macedonians on the defensive because Greeks know that this way they can control the Macedonians! But I believe it is more complicated than that. I believe it is also an assimilation method, a technique of turning Macedonians into Greeks. No matter how much “proof” Macedonians produce, it is never enough! So there is a tendency for people to simply “give up”, accepting that the Greeks may be right and that Macedonians indeed may not exist!

You see, besides making the “existence of Macedonians” very elusive and impossible to prove, Greeks have made it easier for people to believe that they are “Greeks” because no Greek will ever question or ask a Macedonian for “proof” or ridicule them if they say they are “Greek”!

Seeking acceptance from the Greeks (I don´t know why people would want it but they do) is not “the be all and end all” of our problems as some people may think. But it does have its benefits. Seeking proof of their existence forces Macedonians to think and learn more about themselves, which has been of great benefit to me.

Macedonia´s enemies had an entire century to distort Macedonia´s history and to prove to the world that Macedonians don´t exist, implying that the only heirs of the Macedonian heritage are the Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians and Albanians. But to do this they had to use lies and deception and now that Macedonians appeared literally “out of nowhere” Macedonia´s enemies are stunned and don´t know what to say so they continue with their policy of denial insisting that, in spite of the “Macedonian presence” before them, Macedonians still don´t exist!

But, as long as Macedonians “keep taking the bait” over and over and assuming a “defensive” role, they will never break the “Greek shackles”! The Greeks “have the Macedonians where they want them” and no amount of proof will convince the Greeks to release them because frankly that is not their aim!

That is why it has been my mission to take this “war of words” away from the Greeks and deploy it in a new strategy;

(1) Continue to expose Greek (and Bulgarian) lies and propaganda about the Macedonians, and

(2) Open a new front and expose the Greek lies about themselves.

If Macedonians want to “play” on a “level playing field” with the Greeks then they must learn to go beyond always taking the defensive and once in a while take the offensive and “challenge” the Greeks regarding the validity of their identity!

By now all my readers should know that the Greeks are a “fake” identity, artificially created by the Western Philhellenes and, in spite of their lies and falsehood, they still have the “upper hand” on the Macedonians! Why is that?

Macedonians have no defense against this because as long as they continue to take the defensive, Greeks will lead them and take them where they want them to go! Case in point; “name negotiations”! We all know Greece couldn´t care less about “the name” it only cares to “destroy the Macedonian identity” but here we are “negotiating” about “the name” because Greece led us to this!

Greeks will continue to lie and deny the Macedonian right to exist as long as the Macedonians let them, as they have done in the past. The best defense for Macedonians is to take control of the situation away from the Greeks and themselves lead this “war of words”. Macedonians must learn to demand from the Greeks what the Greeks demand of them. Macedonians must challenge the “Greek right to existence” as the Greeks have done to the Macedonians!

There was “never” a need to reply to Greek demands for “proof” of our God given right to exist!

Since Macedonians are challenged on this subject, they now have the right to challenge the Greeks right back and demand of them “proof” of their existence.

Let us demand of them, what they have demanded of us for years, to “prove” that they are Greeks! Let´s attack their “Greek identity” as they have attacked ours.

It is only fair that we deliver to the Greeks what they have been delivering to us for over a century!

I also have a warning for all Macedonians to “beware” of “Greeks” and “Bulgarians” bearing gifts. Our enemies have consolidated their forces and have invaded our space. They come dressed in Macedonian clothing, call themselves “Macedonians”, speak the words we want to hear and are all around us but we cannot see them for who they are! Their motives are to divide and weaken us, to take our power away from us. So please be vigilant, trust no one and always be suspicious of everyone. This is not a joke. If we are to survive we need to look beyond what is before us; we need to be able to spot a Trojan horse and to foresee and understand the consequences associated with “offers” being made to us! Words are cheep; we need to look beyond the “sweet patriotic” words whispered in our ears!

If Greece and Bulgaria will go as far as “publicly” denying our existence then you can´t even imagine how far they will go “privately” to do us harm in every possible way!

Greece and Bulgaria are prepared to offer Macedonia entry into the European Union, if the Macedonians voluntarily change their own country´s God given name. So what is wrong with “changing” your country´s name “just a little bit”, they ask? You will still be Macedonians. Right?

Why should Macedonians do that? How is changing their own name going to benefit the Macedonians? What will be the consequences and what will the Macedonians face in the future if they do that? And most importantly, how will this benefit Greece, since Greece, our worst enemy, is the only country asking for this?

If it were up to me I would not do anything Greece asks of me because I don´t trust Greece, as my experience has shown, “nothing good for the Macedonians has ever come out Greece”! In fact, I am willing to go a step further and say that Greece has been the “worst” tormentor of the Macedonian people in Macedonia´s history!

If we rush into things because we are being challenged and put on the defensive by Greece, we will make “regrettable” mistakes.

The fact that Macedonian authorities today are in the process of “negotiating” with Greece over our name IS one such “regrettable” mistake.

It is imperative that we think very carefully before we act and be suspicious of any and all offers put before us, especially by our enemies, so that in the future we can avoid being trapped! And if we want to eliminate any risk of “making even a bigger mistake” we need to “stop” the “negotiations” with Greece NOW and immediately withdraw from these talks.

If Greece has made it its mission to destroy the Macedonian identity, what makes you think Greece will stop “if we give in a little” on our God given name?

If there is pressure from the International Community to “settle” the so-called “name dispute” as soon as possible and if Macedonian authorities do “give in” to this pressure, what makes you think this same International Community will not come back in the future again and again pressuring Macedonia to make more concessions?

The “world” usually follows “precedents” and once a “precedent” is set, Macedonia, even by another name, will have no choice but to “give in” to International pressure again and again because “Macedonia by another name” will be known as the country that “gives in” to demands. And what will “Macedonia by another name” gain by giving up its God given biblical name? Will it gain entry into the dysfunctional European Union, a union which may or may not exist in the next five years? It may or may not but are the sacrifices worth it?

Living in the Diaspora, I cannot even imagine the humiliation that Macedonians will have to endure from the Greeks, Bulgarians and their supporters if Macedonia changes its name. And what will our ancestors, who spilled blood to defend our Macedonia, say if they could speak? Will they approve of this change?

Countries like Greece and Bulgaria, which refuse to recognize the Macedonian identity, could not possibly have anything good to offer the Macedonians.

Greece and Bulgaria will continue to lie and deceive the world about the Macedonians because it is in their best interest to do so. So it us up to us Macedonians to not only expose their lies and deceit but to also expose their “motives” towards us, our lands and our country. And as a friend recently reminded me, “Greeks and Bulgarians” or rather “Grkomani and Bulgaromani” have become friends not because they want to partition the Republic of Macedonia in some future time. They have become friends because “they have already agreed to partition the Republic of Macedonia”! It will only be a matter of time if we let them!

Other articles by Risto Stefov:

http://www.maknews.com/html/articles.html#stefov

http://www.americanchronicle.com/authors/view/3446

You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com


There is no Greater Glory than to be a Soldier of Macedonia May 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses, Macedonia, Yunanistan.
Tags: Alexander the great, Macedonia, Risto Stefov
4 comments



By Risto Stefov

At the height of Alexander the Greats´ campaign in Asia and after almost a decade of fighting and winning battle after major battle, the whole world had noticed the Macedonians. Their fame unfortunately came with a high price, paid in blood both by the Macedonian soldiers who gave their lives for this distinction and by Macedonia´s opponents who defended their territory from this unstoppable army. While fighting against its opponents, the Macedonian army demonstrated bravery, skill, discipline, determination and performed extraordinary achievements deemed impossible by ordinary men. They carried out feats like passing through impassible terrain in record time, fighting much superior opponents and winning, scaling un-scalable walls, fast marching through monsoons, etc., which gave the impression that these Macedonian soldiers were “super human”.

It didn´t take long after that for the Macedonian soldier to become somewhat of a legend; a revered hero worshipped by the young and not so young alike. This was a time when there was no greater glory in the world than to be a soldier of Macedonia; a glory remembered to this day when the words “Macedonia and Alexander the Great” are mentioned together. It was the politicians and strong leaders like Philip II, however, who wanted a “safe” Macedonian that gave this professional army its beginnings. But it was the soldiers themselves and their willingness to risk their lives who made Macedonia powerful and famous and who immortalized it on the ancient and modern maps. Macedonia before Philip´s time was no different than it is today. It was picked on by its neighbours just as it is picked on by its neighbours today.

The Illyrians were constantly invading Macedonian territories, robbing and pillaging the Macedonian population. In the fall, after the harvests, they would come with their horses and wagons, rob their crops and then set their houses on fire. The Athenians were no better. They constantly invaded the Macedonian coastlines and even built cities on Macedonian lands. They too were not beyond robbing Macedonian timber and other natural resources. It was terrible to be a Macedonian then as it is terrible to be one today when no-one respects you, your feelings, or your property. Philip II, as many kings before him, was well aware of the “Macedonian situation”. But unlike his predecessors he “did something” about it. This was not the way he wanted his people to live and be treated so he built a professional army to deal with this kind of problem. At that time Philip was not thinking of “conquering the world”. He was simply thinking of making Macedonia a safe and peaceful place for his people to live. He was willing to sacrifice resources and many lives, including his own, to give his people peace, for which he was supported by his nobles and by the Macedonian people in general.

Philip tried to talk sense into his neighbours using diplomacy and “negotiations” but they were too busy robbing and pillaging his country and his people. Well, we all know what happened next. The moral of this story is that you can talk peace all you want and “negotiate” with your enemies forever but if you don´t have the “clout” to enforce it you are wasting your time because no one is going to pay any attention! If there is any indication that history repeats itself or time runs in a circle, Macedonia today has again found itself at pre-Philippian times where its neighbours are picking on it from every side. Today there are Macedonian territories being occupied, robbed and pillaged by Greece, Bulgaria and Albania. We have the Greeks who refuse to recognize the Macedonian identity or the Macedonian state who insist that Macedonians don´t exist and that the Republic of Macedonia is populated by “Slavs”. We also have Greeks who insist that Macedonia is Greek and would like to see all of it annexed by Greece.

On the other hand we have Bulgarians who recognize a “Macedonia” but insist that the Macedonian people are Bulgarians who have “plum forgotten” that they are Bulgarians. And let us not forget Macedonia´s “internal people” who over the years came to Macedonia as guests, some as late as two or three decades ago, settled there but remain ungrateful for what they have received and now want part of Macedonia for themselves. Well it doesn´t take a genius to figure out what needs to be done to remedy the situation. But how can it be done without a Philip at the helm? If there is anything that we have learned from history it is that Macedonia was always small but has accomplished great things and much of its greatness lies in its ability to get world attention and that can be done now as it was done in ancient times; through its military! It doesn´t take a big army to get world attention, as Alexander proved this once before when he entered Asia with only fifteen thousand Macedonians soldiers and defeated the mighty Persian Empire, the greatest empire the world has seen, with an army of one million.

To do that, however, it takes a brave, dedicated and disciplined army; similar to the one we have in Macedonia today. In fact if Modern Macedonia has gained any serious attention from the world it is mainly because of its little army. Now before I get attacked for “supporting” the “men and women of war” please allow me to explain. Soldiers and armies do not create war or conflict; politicians and warmongers do. Soldiers are people like you and me, but unlike you and me soldiers take orders without question and are prepared to give their lives, even if they don´t always believe in what they are fighting for. So please do not blame the soldier for what politicians do. There is another definition of what a soldier is besides the conventional one offered by the dictionary and by those who oppose war. A soldier is a young man or woman, a mom or a dad who knows their turn will come someday to serve their country and will be called upon to drop everything in their lives and go far away to do their duty even if it means having to die while doing it. You can argue that it is their job and they were familiar with the risks when they signed up. So what´s the big deal? There is no big deal of course until you stack up your job against theirs.

Would you do whatever your boss tells you without question? Would you be prepared to die while doing your job or would you take the job knowing full well that you may never return alive? If your answer was “yes” to both questions then you unquestionably qualify to call yourself a soldier. If you answered “no” then how can you even come close to calling it a mere job. If you truly understand what “soldiering” is all about I am sure you would be hesitant to criticize the soldier. Please allow me to again emphasize that soldiers are not responsible for waging wars! I know many of you have said “what are Macedonian soldiers doing supporting NATO when NATO is not even willing to recognize Macedonia by its constitutional name or accept the Macedonians for who they are?” Again, please do not blame the soldiers for this. The soldiers themselves did not make decisions to support or not support NATO. If there is any blame to be placed, place it squarely on those that make such decisions. Irrespective of “why” Macedonian soldiers are participating in NATO missions there are also the questions of “how” Macedonians are doing in those missions and this should be of interest to all of us. It seems that the small Macedonian military abroad is making quite an impression on the NATO leading armies and their military leaders. I know Macedonian officers and soldiers have a tradition to uphold and very big shoes to fill but even by the standards of the best of today´s best, they are doing very well and as a Macedonian that makes me feel very proud. In fact the Macedonian military and its accomplishments in these NATO missions are positively influencing today´s powers and are again putting Macedonia on the world map. We as Macedonians need to understand this and give our soldiers and officers, who accepted these missions knowing very well that they may not return alive, the respect they deserve. You can still object to Macedonian soldier being sent to NATO missions and, as citizens with democratic voting rights, you can replace those who are responsible for sending our men and women on these risky missions but please do not take away their sacrifices by blaming the soldiers for these wars. Like most ordinary people, most soldiers prefer peace over war but unlike ordinary people soldiers are prepared to fight and sacrifice their lives to make our lives better. We must recognize and acknowledge that. Soldiers may be called “men and women of war” but that nomenclature is flawed because soldiers prefer peace over war. If Macedonia wants to enter the world scene as an equal then it must carefully look at where its strengths lie. Today, the way I see it, its strength lies in its small military, which in spite of its size has turned a few heads. After all Macedonia has a military tradition to follow and uphold and as the saying goes “there is no greater glory than to be a soldier of Macedonia”. Other articles by Risto Stefov: http://www.maknews.com/html/articles.html#stefov http://www.americanchronicle.com/authors/view/3446 You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com blood both by the Macedonian soldiers who gave their lives for this distinction and by Macedonia´s opponents who defended their territory from this unstoppable army. While fighting against its opponents, the Macedonian army demonstrated bravery, skill, discipline, determination and performed extraordinary achievements deemed impossible by ordinary men. They carried out feats like passing through impassible terrain in record time, fighting much superior opponents and winning, scaling un-scalable walls, fast marching through monsoons, etc., which gave the impression that these Macedonian soldiers were “super human”. It didn´t take long after that for the Macedonian soldier to become somewhat of a legend; a revered hero worshipped by the young and not so young alike. This was a time when there was no greater glory in the world than to be a soldier of Macedonia; a glory remembered to this day when the words “Macedonia and Alexander the Great” are mentioned together. It was the politicians and strong leaders like Philip II, however, who wanted a “safe” Macedonian that gave this professional army its beginnings. But it was the soldiers themselves and their willingness to risk their lives who made Macedonia powerful and famous and who immortalized it on the ancient and modern maps. Macedonia before Philip´s time was no different than it is today. It was picked on by its neighbours just as it is picked on by its neighbours today. The Illyrians were constantly invading Macedonian territories, robbing and pillaging the Macedonian population. In the fall, after the harvests, they would come with their horses and wagons, rob their crops and then set their houses on fire. The Athenians were no better. They constantly invaded the Macedonian coastlines and even built cities on Macedonian lands. They too were not beyond robbing Macedonian timber and other natural resources. It was terrible to be a Macedonian then as it is terrible to be one today when no-one respects you, your feelings, or your property. Philip II, as many kings before him, was well aware of the “Macedonian situation”. But unlike his predecessors he “did something” about it. This was not the way he wanted his people to live and be treated so he built a professional army to deal with this kind of problem. At that time Philip was not thinking of “conquering the world”. He was simply thinking of making Macedonia a safe and peaceful place for his people to live. He was willing to sacrifice resources and many lives, including his own, to give his people peace, for which he was supported by his nobles and by the Macedonian people in general. Philip tried to talk sense into his neighbours using diplomacy and “negotiations” but they were too busy robbing and pillaging his country and his people. Well, we all know what happened next. The moral of this story is that you can talk peace all you want and “negotiate” with your enemies forever but if you don´t have the “clout” to enforce it you are wasting your time because no one is going to pay any attention! If there is any indication that history repeats itself or time runs in a circle, Macedonia today has again found itself at pre-Philippian times where its neighbours are picking on it from every side. Today there are Macedonian territories being occupied, robbed and pillaged by Greece, Bulgaria and Albania. We have the Greeks who refuse to recognize the Macedonian identity or the Macedonian state who insist that Macedonians don´t exist and that the Republic of Macedonia is populated by “Slavs”.

We also have Greeks who insist that Macedonia is Greek and would like to see all of it annexed by Greece. On the other hand we have Bulgarians who recognize a “Macedonia” but insist that the Macedonian people are Bulgarians who have “plum forgotten” that they are Bulgarians. And let us not forget Macedonia´s “internal people” who over the years came to Macedonia as guests, some as late as two or three decades ago, settled there but remain ungrateful for what they have received and now want part of Macedonia for themselves.

Well it doesn´t take a genius to figure out what needs to be done to remedy the situation. But how can it be done without a Philip at the helm? If there is anything that we have learned from history it is that Macedonia was always small but has accomplished great things and much of its greatness lies in its ability to get world attention and that can be done now as it was done in ancient times; through its military! It doesn´t take a big army to get world attention, as Alexander proved this once before when he entered Asia with only fifteen thousand Macedonians soldiers and defeated the mighty Persian Empire, the greatest empire the world has seen, with an army of one million.

To do that, however, it takes a brave, dedicated and disciplined army; similar to the one we have in Macedonia today. In fact if Modern Macedonia has gained any serious attention from the world it is mainly because of its little army. Now before I get attacked for “supporting” the “men and women of war” please allow me to explain. Soldiers and armies do not create war or conflict; politicians and warmongers do. Soldiers are people like you and me, but unlike you and me soldiers take orders without question and are prepared to give their lives, even if they don´t always believe in what they are fighting for. So please do not blame the soldier for what politicians do. There is another definition of what a soldier is besides the conventional one offered by the dictionary and by those who oppose war. A soldier is a young man or woman, a mom or a dad who knows their turn will come someday to serve their country and will be called upon to drop everything in their lives and go far away to do their duty even if it means having to die while doing it. You can argue that it is their job and they were familiar with the risks when they signed up. So what´s the big deal? There is no big deal of course until you stack up your job against theirs. Would you do whatever your boss tells you without question? Would you be prepared to die while doing your job or would you take the job knowing full well that you may never return alive? If your answer was “yes” to both questions then you unquestionably qualify to call yourself a soldier. If you answered “no” then how can you even come close to calling it a mere job. If you truly understand what “soldiering” is all about I am sure you would be hesitant to criticize the soldier. Please allow me to again emphasize that soldiers are not responsible for waging wars! I know many of you have said “what are Macedonian soldiers doing supporting NATO when NATO is not even willing to recognize Macedonia by its constitutional name or accept the Macedonians for who they are?” Again, please do not blame the soldiers for this. The soldiers themselves did not make decisions to support or not support NATO. If there is any blame to be placed, place it squarely on those that make such decisions.

Irrespective of “why” Macedonian soldiers are participating in NATO missions there are also the questions of “how” Macedonians are doing in those missions and this should be of interest to all of us. It seems that the small Macedonian military abroad is making quite an impression on the NATO leading armies and their military leaders. I know Macedonian officers and soldiers have a tradition to uphold and very big shoes to fill but even by the standards of the best of today´s best, they are doing very well and as a Macedonian that makes me feel very proud. In fact the Macedonian military and its accomplishments in these NATO missions are positively influencing today´s powers and are again putting Macedonia on the world map. We as Macedonians need to understand this and give our soldiers and officers, who accepted these missions knowing very well that they may not return alive, the respect they deserve. You can still object to Macedonian soldier being sent to NATO missions and, as citizens with democratic voting rights, you can replace those who are responsible for sending our men and women on these risky missions but please do not take away their sacrifices by blaming the soldiers for these wars.

Like most ordinary people, most soldiers prefer peace over war but unlike ordinary people soldiers are prepared to fight and sacrifice their lives to make our lives better. We must recognize and acknowledge that. Soldiers may be called “men and women of war” but that nomenclature is flawed because soldiers prefer peace over war. If Macedonia wants to enter the world scene as an equal then it must carefully look at where its strengths lie. Today, the way I see it, its strength lies in its small military, which in spite of its size has turned a few heads. After all Macedonia has a military tradition to follow and uphold and as the saying goes “there is no greater glory than to be a soldier of Macedonia”.

Other articles by Risto Stefov:

http://www.maknews.com/html/articles.html#stefov

http://www.americanchronicle.com/authors/view/3446

You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com


How Macedonia became Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian April 20, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Yunanistan.
Tags: Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonia, Risto Stefov, Serbian
3 comments



War and the suffering in Macedonia did not end after the failed 1903 Ilinden Macedonian National Uprising. Shortly after the Uprising was suppressed Macedonia became the apple of discord between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria and to some extent Romania.

Unable to free itself from the Ottoman yoke, Macedonia became ripe for the plucking and whoever was able to muster enough strength and resources to drive out the Ottomans would have it in their possession. At that time Macedonia´s neighbours knew they could not possess Macedonia without the cooperation of the Macedonian people, so first they tried their luck at “convincing” the Macedonians that they were not “really” Macedonians but “Greeks”, on account of them being Orthodox Christians. Or they were “Serbians” on account of them supposedly speaking an “Old Serbian” language. Or “Bulgarians” because they supposedly spoke a dialect of the “Bulgarian” language and of course “Romanians” because many were Vlachs and spoke a dialect of “Romanian”.

Failing to convince the Macedonian people “that they were not Macedonians” by propaganda alone, the four then resorted to using violence through the application of illegal armed bands. However, in addition to serving their masters by doing their bidding and murdering those who refused their will, these bands, consisting mostly of thugs, also served themselves by robbing, raping, beating and murdering innocent civilians.

Now in addition to the dastardly deeds performed by the Ottoman army and the Bashibazuks (armed Muslim civilians), there were Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian armed bands roaming the Macedonian countryside preying on the Macedonian people.

The Ottoman authorities knew about them and so did the international peace keeping forces stationed in Macedonia but they did nothing to help the Macedonian population.

Unable to turn the general Macedonian population into Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians to their satisfaction, by severe methods the four began to open more Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian churches and schools in Macedonia, offering Macedonian children “free education” but not in the Macedonian language. Education was offered in the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian language respectively. Unfortunately, along with the so-called “free education” came a heavy dose of foreign propaganda. Along with their “free education” children and young adults were also offered a glamorous lifestyle, something their families in the village could not give them. Being “educated” and convinced that they would be more cultured and better off as Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians these children were then sent back home to “convince” others and also turn them into Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians or Romanians.

Many of these “educated children”, as young adults, became the new teachers and priests in the Macedonian village churches and schools. In addition to preaching and teaching they also unwittingly helped Macedonia´s enemies get a foothold in Macedonia. Those young adults who found their way back to who they really were or switched loyalties usually ended up dead because their benefactors could not tolerate traitors; a tradition Greeks practice to this day.

Almost the entire Macedonian population during these times, particularly in the villages, was uneducated and could not read or write. So, many people relied on the village teacher or village priest to help them with administrative matters and filling out travel forms etc. And while they were doing a public service for their illiterate, fellow villagers these teachers and priests were doing their benefactors a favour by registering the Macedonians as Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, or Romanians with a Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian sounding name depending on who was their benefactor. That is why Macedonians who traveled abroad during the late 19th century and early 20th century, before Macedonia was partitioned, had Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Romanian sounding names. These names which exist to this day can be found in the United States, Canada and other places outside of Macedonia where Macedonians immigrated during Ottoman times.

Macedonians were never Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, Romanians, or Albanians. They were simply made to look like that for “political” reasons which became obvious after Macedonia was illegally invaded, occupied, partitioned and annexed by Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria in 1912 and 1913.

Looking at this another way, there are many Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians today who not too long ago had Macedonian ancestors!

In all this there was one organization which cared for the Macedonian population and fought to correct the injustices perpetrated and that was the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (MRO). Unfortunately because the MRO was a great threat to Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian ambitions in Macedonia its members were hunted down and killed. In addition to killing off its members, the various factions, particularly the Bulgarians, made attempts to infiltrate the MRO and pose as patriotic Macedonians. This caused much internal strife and mistrust, which is felt to this day in modern Macedonian organizations. I must also add that even though the 19th and 20th centuries are now in the past, Macedonia´s enemies have not ceased their attempts to infiltrate Macedonian organizations. So who can blame the Macedonians for being overly suspicious?

Greek political aims in Macedonia

Greek propaganda in Macedonia began in June 1903 when Greek military officers, Pavlos Melas and Georgios Tzontas, began to hire illegal armed bands and dispatch them in Macedonia to create havoc and spread “Greater” Greek propaganda. Immediately after the August 1903 Ilinden Uprising, the secretary of the Greek consulate in Bitola, Ion Dragoumis, established a secret Greek committee to work towards the assimilation of the Macedonian people and the annexation of Macedonia to Greece. Around about the same time the Greek bishop of Kostur, Germanos Karavangelis, created an illegal armed band. In the beginning of March 1904 two Greek armed bands were created in Thessaly. Six new illegal armed Greek bands in total were created and dispatched to operate in Macedonia.

//
//

Then in the fall of 1904 the Hellenic – Macedonian committee was formed in Athens whose job was to finance the Macedonian campaign and spread Greek propaganda in Macedonia. Most of the manpower for these illegal armed bands was hired from newly annexed Crete and manned by Greek officers.

Of all the illegal armed bands that operated in Macedonia, the Greek bands most closely cooperated with the Ottoman army and in many instances carried out missions for the Ottomans.

The goals and objectives of the Greek armed bands operating in Macedonia were regulated by a Rulebook entitled “General Instructions for the Macedonian Bands”, especially created for this purpose by the Hellenic-Macedonian Committee. The Rulebook contained three main points: 1. destroy the MRO insurgency and replace it with a Greek one; 2. eliminate all those who worked against the Greek cause; 3. convince the entire Macedonian population to join the Greek Patriarchate.

Macedonian intellectuals and leaders responded to the “Greater” Greek propaganda with appeals to the Greek population not to support the illegal armed bands in Macedonia and to oppose Hellenism, their mutual usurper.

Supported by the Sultan himself, the illegal armed Greek bands escalated their persecution of the Macedonian insurgency and of prominent intellectuals. In the eyes of the Macedonian population the entire MRO was labeled “Bulgarophile”, a false claim which is spread to this day.

According to Richard Oppenheimer, an Austrian civilian agent sent to Macedonia on April 18, 1908 who dispatched information to Aloys Aehrenthal of the Austrian-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Greek bands in Macedonia killed 531 and wounded 175 people in the period from March 14, 1906 to March 14, 1908. According to the same information, MRO insurgents fought 12 battles with the Greek bands in the period from October 26, 1904 to June 27, 1905 in Voden Region alone. From January to October 1905, MRO insurgents fought 22 battles with the illegal Greek armed bands that had infiltrated Macedonia and 3 battles with locally hired Greek bands. Most battles took place in the Kostur, Kajlari, Drama, Lerin, Bitola and other Regions of southern Macedonia.

Greek-Ottoman cooperation contributed immensely to the Greek campaign in Macedonia and as the Greek armed bands kept growing the number of Macedonian insurgents kept dwindling.

Serbian political aims in Macedonia

Serbian propaganda activities in Macedonia began before the 1903 Ilinden Uprising. In fact the foundations for Serbia´s Macedonian campaigns were laid in 1902 when a dedicated Committee for carrying out propaganda activities in Macedonia was established in Belgrade. Illegal Serbian armed bands began to infiltrate Macedonia while the Ilinden Uprising was still going on. In 1904 the number of Serbian armed bands operating in Macedonia increased significantly, especially in Ovche Pole, Azot and Poreche.

The Serbian sponsored armed bands in Macedonia also operated according to a Rulebook which listed the Serbian goals and objectives in Macedonia. According to the Rulebook Serbia´s main goal in its campaigns in Macedonia was to minimize MRO influence on the Macedonian population by eliminating its leaders and insurgents. While doing this the Serbian armed bands were to avoid contact and conflict with the Ottoman authorities, including the army and police. These goals and objectives were regulated by Articles 17, 18 and 32 of the Rulebook.

In order to achieve their goals the Serbian armed bands, like the Greek and Bulgarian ones, used terror tactics including robbing and torturing the Macedonian population. Almost every village had agents and collaborators who supported the illegal armed bands by offering them intelligence information, food and sanctuary.

Many Macedonian intellectuals tried to persuade the Macedonians, who were recruited by these bands in various functions, not to offer the foreigners assistance and to stop fighting amongst themselves, but without much success. There were many letters written to that effect which clearly demonstrated that Macedonia´s neighbours deliberately intensified fratricidal fighting and self-extermination in Macedonia. Their goal was to create conflict among the Macedonian people, invade and partition their country and destroy the essence of the Macedonian nation, as events proved true over time.

Bulgarian political aims in Macedonia

Immediately after the 1903 Ilinden Uprising was suppressed, Bulgaria officially refused to bear responsibility for the dire events created in Macedonia. But the Macedonian Question remained a part of Bulgarian foreign policy. Besides being supported by pro-Bulgarian factions within the Macedonian Liberation Movement, at the beginning of 1905, the Bulgarian government created a second political department within its own Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a single objective; to deal with the Macedonian Question. The long term goal of this department was to overcome all factors that hindered Bulgarian influence in Macedonia and work towards giving Macedonia autonomy as a Bulgarian protectorate. Other goals included waging war against all who got in the way including those promoting foreign propaganda in Macedonia. Bulgaria´s first priority was to infiltrate the MRO, kill off its leaders, insurgents and supporters and replace them with Bulgarian agents. This was to be accomplished through the assistance of the Bulgarian Exarchate churches and schools in Macedonia, which were financed and politically supported by the Bulgarian state and its various governments of that time.




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Archive for the ‘Big Risto Stefov Lies’ Category


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Big Greek Lie #11, ‘Saint Cyrill and Methodios are Greek’
March 14, 2007





All neutral sources mention that the two brothers had Greek names (we are keeping in mind Cyril was baptised as konstantinos), they were members of a noble family, their father Leon was a Greek military man and their mother of slavic background. Furthermore both brothers were born in Thessaloniki, were educated in Konstantinople where they took a highly Byzantine education and lived all their lives into Byzantine Empire apart from the fact they were send out on missions to bring christianity to various regions.We can find the following evidence from records of their Greek conscience on the Honorary Volume to Cyrillos and Methodios for the 1100 years, Thessaloniki-1968 by Henriette Ozanne. For example, the below for Cyrillos:In his dialog with the Muslims, he points out that “…every science stem from us…” implying the Greeks and the Greek culture .During the Hazars’ mission, the hagan of the Hazars asked him what present he wished to have offered to him and he said “…Give me all the Greek prisoners of war you have here. They are more valuable to me than any other present…” – Scientif Annals of the Theology Faculty of the Thessaloniki University (1968) Also many non-Greeks accept that the 2 brothers were Greeks:The Slav Pope John Paul II who in 31/12/1980 (in an official encyclical-Egregiae Virtutis-to the Catholic Church) and 14/2/1981(in the S.Clement church in Rome) said that Cyrillos and Methodios were “Greek brothers, born in Thessaloniki”the Serb historian V.Bogdanovich, says that “Kyrillos and Methodios were born in Thessaloniki and were Greeks in origin, not Slavs” (History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade 1980, pg.119).To anyone that has no ties with blind nationalism, it seems to be no doubt that Cyrill and Methodius were Greek, not only by birth but most importantly culturally as it was analyzed above.As it is known both Cyrill and Methodius played probably one of the most important roles in spreading Orthodoxy among the Slavic population. Hence they were named “Apostles of the Slavs“, having the meaning simply that they brought the Christian faith to the Slavs.

I have to underline here of the false notion some have about the title “Apostle“. Fact is that having spread Christian faith among a certain population doesnt mean that they belong ethnically to any of the people they converted. If we followed this flawed logic Khazars would also claim them as Khazars since they went to covert them to Christianity even before they went to the Slavs or even Arabs since Konstantinos undertook a mission to the Arabs.

One of the many examples is the story of Saint Boniface. Saint Boniface – original name Winfrid or Wynfrith – was born at Crediton in Devon, England and was sent to propagate Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. Rightfully Saint Boniface was named as “Apostle of the Germans” and another example is St.Thomas who is called “the Indian Apostle,” but we all know that he was not an Indian. Instead he simply brought Christianity to the Indians. Neither Germans nor Indians are upon the tiresome and flawed notion of claiming St Boniface and St Thomas ethnicities as the well-known propagandists do.
Professors Ivan Lazaroff, Plamen Pavloff, Ivan Tyutyundzijeff and Milko Palangurski of the Faculty of History of Sts. Cyril and Methodius University in Veliko Tŭrnovo, Bulgaria in their book, Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod (Short History of the Bulgarian Nation, pp 36-38), state very explicitly that the two brothers were Hellenes (Greeks) from Thessaloniki.

The late Oscar Halecki, Professor of Eastern European History, in his book Borderlands of Western Civilization, A History of East Central Europe (chapter Moravian State and the Apostles of the Slavs) agrees with the authors of Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod.

As you see the real scholars and not the fake admit the historical truth.

Also according Pope John Paul II in an official apostolic homily to the entire Catholic Church proclaimed that Methodius and Cyril “Greek brethren born in Thessaloniki” are consecrated as “heavenly protectors of Europe”. John Paul II’ repeated this statement in a speech delivered in the church of Saint Clements, in Rome.
References from books about the ethnicity of Cyril and Methodius.
1.




Then in the ninth century Cyril and Methodius, two Greek monks from Thessaloniki , developed the Cyrillic alphabet and spread both literacy and Christianity to the Slavs.



“The macedonian conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a transnational world” by Loring Danforth
2.




Two Greek brothers from Salonika, Constantine, who later later became a monk and took
the name Cyril, and Methodius came to Great Moravia in 863 at the invitation of the Moravian Prince Rostislav



“Comparative history of Slavic Literatures” by Dmitrij Cizevskij, page vi
3.




the Byzantine court entrusted it to two brothers with wide experience o missionary work: Constantine the Philosopher, better known by his monastic name, Cyril and Methodius. Cyril and Methodius were Greeks.


“Czechoslovakian Miniatures from Romanesque and Gothic Manuscripts” by Jan Kvet, p. 6


4.




In answer to this appeal the emperor sent the two brothers Cyril and Methodius, who were Greeks of Salonika and had considerable knowledge of Slavonic languages.



The Balkans: A history of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Rumania, Turkey (1916)” by Forbes, Nevil, p. 21
5.




In order to convert the Slavs to Christianity, Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius learned the language.



“Lonely Planet Croatia” by Jeanne Oliver, P.35
6.




two brothers, the Apostles of the Sclavonians or Slavs, born in Greece and educated in Constantinople.



“Book of the Saints 1921″ by Monks Benedictine, P. 74
7.




Cyril, St 827-69 and Methodius, St 826-85, known as the Apostles of the Slavs – Greek Christian missionaries– They were born in Thessalonica.



“The Riverside Dictionary of Biography” by the American Heritage Dictionaries, p. 208
8.




two greek brothers, Cyril and Methodius, were sent in response to this request. This development was of particular importance to the formation of eastern european culture.



“historical Theology” by McGrath, p.125
9.




the byzantine emperor sent two greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, to spread Christianity to the slavic people.



“Global History and Geography” by Phillip Lefton, p. 130
10.




As the Slav tribes feel under the influence of Byzantium a considerable number of them were baptised but they were first converted to Christianity in Mass by the Greek brothers, Cyril and Methodius



Black lamb and Grey Falcon: A journey through Yugoslave” by Rebecca West, P. 710
11.




“Cyrillus autem et Methodius fratres, Graeci, Thessalonicae nati…”



http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/j&...rtutis_lt.html Pope John Paul II.
12.
R. L. Wilkens book “Judaism and the Early Christian Mind” (1971)
Quote:

Cyril and Methodius, Saints (muth..us) [key], d. 869 and 884, respectively, Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature. Their history and influence are obscured by conflicting legends. After working among the Khazars, they were sent (863) from Constantinople by Patriarch Photius to Moravia. This was at the invitation of Prince Rostislav, who sought missionaries able to preach in the Slavonic vernacular and thereby check German influence in Moravia. Their immediate success aroused the hostility of the German rulers and ecclesiastics. Candidates from among their converts were refused ordination, and their use of the vernacular in the liturgy was severely criticized. According to one source, when Photius was excommunicated by Rome the brothers were called there. Their orthodoxy was established, and the use of Slavonic in the liturgy was approved. Cyril died while in Rome, but Methodius, consecrated by the pope, returned to Moravia and was made archbishop of Sirmium. Despite the papal sanction the Germans contrived to have him imprisoned, and, though released two years later, his effectiveness appears to have been blocked. His last years were spent translating the Bible and ecclesiastical books into Slavonic. His influence in Moravia was wiped out after his death but was carried to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia, where the southern Slavonic of Cyril and Methodius is still the liturgical language of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. The Cyrillic alphabet. used in those countries today, traditionally ascribed to St. Cyril, was probably the work of his followers. It was based probably by Cyril himself upon the glagolithic alphabet, which is still used by certain Croatian and Montenegrin Catholics. Feast: July 713.

The Significance of the Missions of Cyril and Methodius
Francis Dvornik
Slavic Review > Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1964) page: 196
Moravian Christianity even had species of ecclesiastical organization before the arrival of the Greek brothers

14.

Quote:

The Significance of the Missions of Cyril and Methodius
Francis Dvornik
Slavic Review > Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1964) page: 211
This short sketch of the cultural development of the Slavic nations in the Middle Ages seems necessary to show the real significance of the mission of the two Greek brothers. Its aim in Moravia was, above all, cultural.

15.

Quote:

Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 415
When those ancient precursors of Bible translators, the Greek brothers Constantine and Methodius, translated certain parts of the Scriptures and the liturgical books into Slavic for the use of their Moravian converts

16.
Quote:

Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 415
Thus in a sense the two Greek brothers and their disciples fought a fight in behalf of all the later Bible translators and liturgical vernacularists, the English among them.

17.

Quote:

Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 416-17In co-operation with Patriarch Photius they selected the renowned teacher of philosophy at the court school of Magnaura, Constantine, and his elder brother, Methodius, Greeks from Thessalonica, who were well acquainted with the language of the Macedonian Slavs, as best-fitted missionaries for the Moravian field.

18.

Quote:

Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 424
The Slavic liturgy was, beyond any doubt, a radical innovation which the Greek brothers could not have justified except as an essential element in insuring the success of their work.



By Ptolemy

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BIG Greek Lie # 10, ‘Greeks are Turks, Albanians, Slavs and Vlachs’
March 14, 2007

These quotes is an answer to the article entitled “BIG Greek Lie # 10”
and showed in http://www.maknews.com/html/articles…/stefov88.html by Mr Risto Stefov.

Mr Stefov try to explain what is ethnicity and try to make a Historic reference by using un-historical facts as about the Greeks in Macedonia.

Every body knows that the main source of your writings is Hr. Antonovski, Bernal and Fellemayer.
But who is Antonovski (the other two are known) and what is his work a about the Greek homogeneity.

Antonovski used the 1951 cencus that estimated 2 mil people. Of these, only 47 .000 are Slavphones but in his writing mention 80.000(lie). Those who had a Slav conscience departed from Hellas either under the Treaty of Neuilly, 1919) or after the end of the civil war in 1949. Seeing that no serious claim could rest on a linguistic minority of this size in a country with so compact a Greek population, Antonovski decided to raise the number of Slavophones to 250.000. He distributes them by regions in the following proportions, as compared with the Hellenic -speaking population. Kastoria ~72%, Kalamaria -32 %, Edessa -54,8 %,Serrai -13 %, Thesaloniki -27,6%. But as even with this gross over-estimation the Hellenic majority in””Aegean Macedonia”” remains overwhelming, Antonovski excludes from the Greek population the large number of Greek refugees who arrived from Asia Minor and settled in Macedonia, in 1923 nder the Lausanne population exchange Treaty.
He claims that they are not Greeks, but Karamanlides, pure Turks (tsisti Turtsi) whom Turkey sent to Greece on the occasion of the exchange of populations because being Christian Orthodox they did not have a Turkish conscience.
Turkey, according to Antonovski, wanted to be rid of them for that reason and at the same time because they might furnish Greece a pretext to claim on their behalf the Turkish territories they inhabited. Even the Pontian refugees, who are exclusively Greek-speaking and universally known to be the true descendants of the ancient lonian settlers of the Black sea, he calls Lazoi.
He assigns them as well as the refugees from Caucasus, who were themselves Pontian settlers, Turkish nationality. A hundred thousand of these refugees who settled in Greek Macedonia he describes as Armenian. He even discovered some Kurds among them!

Any similarity with your article Mr Stefov ? A lot of course.

It is hard to choose between you ignorance of historical facts and you impudence. For never since the Turks established their rule in Asia Minor, and by means of cruel persecution and oppression converted to Islam the majority of its Christian Greek population, never once did it happen that a Turk decided to become a Christian; that he exchanged his position of religious~ economic and political power for subjection; that he chose to become a slave at a time when people born Christians gave up their religion for Islam because they were able no longer to suffer oppression and tyranny.

But assuming that notwithstanding all this a Turk decided to take this step, how could he ever survive since death was the certain penalty for rejection of the dominant religion?

Death was even meted out to those Christians whose conversion to Islam did not go beyond the surface if it were ever discovered that they practised Christianity stealthily (the well-known Crypto-Christians ).

It is a shame in the face of the verv science which they are trying for the first time to establish in their country that the Slavs of Skopje, though themselves Christians, have no scruples about distorting history – even creating a university in their capital for that purpose-and about reviling that section of Greek Christendom which amidst tortures and under the cruellest yoke known to history, in preserving their Greek conscience have also managed to preserve the religion of Christ for centuries, and finally breathe the air of national and religious liberty on free Greek soil.

Mr Risto Stefov must know that many of their own fellow countrymen were compelled by Turkish oppression to embrace Islam. There are in that country today, as there are also in Bulgaria, many hundred thousand Mohammedans Slavs. But can they point to a single Christian Slav who had been a Turk and was converted to Christianity during the Ottoman rule? They insist that the Moslems of their country are Slav converts to Islam; they moan over the alleged fact that the Turks of Greek Macedonia who went to Turkey in consequence of the exchange of populations.

It is impossible to read such arguments without amusement and wonder at the degree of objectivity shown by the scholars of Skopje. The terms in which they couch their arguments are also characteristic.

According to Antonovski some Vlachs fell (Propadnale) under Greek influence, others gained (Dobile) a Slavic conscience.. It is probable that the Vlachs are latinised Greeks. But let us suppose that they are not, and that they’ came from Dacia during the Byzantine era. The fact that they loved and admired, or even just showed respect for the culture and the civilisation of the people in whose midst they had come to live, is considered as a fall, as a decline! They want to call them selfs as a Greek Mr Risto Stefov

Macedonia is a vaguely defined geographical area in the southern Balkans. It includes the territory of the Republic of Macedonia (which prior to its declaration of independence in September, 1991 was the southernmost republic in the former Yugoslavia) as well as territory in southwestern Bulgaria and north-central Greece as Danforth said.

Also Danforth, Karakasidou, Poulton and many others mention that During the Ottoman period, which lasted in Macedonia from the fourteenth century until 1913, the population of Macedonia included an amazing number of different ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, including Slavic and Greek speaking Christians, Turkish and Albanian speaking Moslems, Vlachs, Jews, and Gypsies. Toward the end of the nineteenth century the population of Macedonia was increasingly being defined from various external nationalist perspectives in terms of national categories such as Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, and Turks. Ottoman authorities, however, continued to divide the population of the empire into administrative units, or millets on the basis of religious identity rather than language, ethnicity, or nationality.

Mr Stefov here are some links that you can find and disquass who are the Vlachs, Arvanites e.t.c.
http://www.lyrionushi.gr/arbereshgr.htm
http://www.vlahoi.net/index.php
http://www.mani.org.gr/ithi/idioma/id.htm

As about the Slavophone Greek Macedonians you know them very well and they know you also.

Reference:
Karakasidou, Field of Wheat, Hills of Blood
Poulton, Who are the Macedonians
N. Adriotis, the Language of the Federative Republic of…….
Danforth, how can a woman give birth to one greek and one macedonian?

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BIG Greek Lie # 6 ,”Greeks Are a Superior Race”
March 14, 2007

This article is an answer to the article entitled BIG Greek Lie # 6 by Mr Risto Stefov

GEOMETRY
Greeks never claimed that Geometry discovered from them. Any student in the Greek schools , mathematician college (world wide) in the first day in the classrooms teached as about the history of the Geometry:

Egyptians (2000 – 500 B.C.)
Ancient Egyptians demonstrated a practical knowledge of geometry through surveying and construction projects. The Nile River overflowed its banks every year, and the river banks would have to be re-surveyed.

Babylonians (2 000 – 500 B.C. )
Ancient clay tablets reveal that the Babylonians knew the Pythagorean relationships.

Greeks (750-250 B.C. )
Ancient Greeks practiced centuries of experimental geometry like Egypt and Babylonia had, and they absorbed the experimental geometry of both of those cultures. Then they created the first formal mathematics of any kind by organizing geometry with rules of logic. Euclid’s (400BC) important geometry book The Elements formed the basis for most of the geometry studied in schools ever since.

As you see the Greeks just transform Geometry from experimental practice into formal mathematics. Greeks were the first who asked “why is that?” and attempted to answer “because this” speaking about geometrical or natural matters as first time expressed from the Euclides.
As already said all these thinks teached in the 1st grand of the Greek High School.

ALPHABET
Greek never claims that invented the alphabet even some scholars support this theory.

The major difreent between Phoenician and the Greek is that the first is Consonantal Alphabetic when the second is a C&V Alphabetic.

Phoenician alphabet has no vowels.
Both scripts belong in Proto- Sinaitic family tree.
From the shape of the letters, it is clear that the Greeks adopted the alphabet the Phoenician script, mostly like during the late 9th century BCE.
In fact, Greek historian Herotodus (5th century BCE) called the Greek letters “phoinikeia grammata” (foinikia grammata), which means Phoenician letters,
When the Greeks adopted the alphabet, they found letters representing sounds not found in Greek. Instead of throwing them away, they modified the extraneous letters to represent vowels. For example, the Phoenician letter ‘aleph (which stood for a glottal stop) became the Greek letter alpha (which stands for [a] sound).
There were many variants of the early Greek alphabet, each suited to a local dialect. Eventually the Ionian alphabet was adopted in all Greek-speaking states, but before that happened, the Euboeanvariant was carried to the Italic peninsula and adopted by Etruscan and eventually the Romans.

Early Greek was written right-to-left, just like Phoenician. However, eventually its direction changed to boustrophedon (which means “oxturning”), where the direction of writing changes every line. For instance, you start on the right of the tablet and writes leftward, and when you reach the leftmost end, you reverse your direction and starting writing toward the right. Even more confusing is that the orientation of the letter themselves is dependent on the direction of writing as well. In the above chart, the letters are drawn as if they were being written from left-to-right. If I were to write right-to-left, I would horizontally flip the letters (like in a mirror).
Boustrophedon was an intermediate stage, and by the 5th century BCE, left-to right was the de-facto direction of writing.

The Greek alphabet was also the basis for Glagolitic, Cyrillic, and Coptic scripts among others.
Strangely, the Greeks tried writing once before. Between 1500 and 1200 BCE, the Mycenaeans, an early tribe of Greeks, has adapted the Minoan syllabary as Linear B to write an early form of Greek.

However, the syllabary was not well suited to write Greek, and leaves many modern scholars scratching their heads trying to figure out the exact pronunciation of Mycenaean words. The alphabet, on the other hand, allowed more precise record of the sounds in the language
More information’s as about the scripts into:
http://www.ontopia.net/i18n/scripts.jsp

ANCIENT GREEK DEMOCRACY

In our everyday vocabulary we are borrowed from the ancient Greeks: monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and – of course – democracy.
Sparta never has a democratic form rule. Monarchy was the main government form. As also and the Macedonians, Thebans e.t.c..

Mr Stefov you said What exactly do we mean by “democracy”.

I start with mine questions and of course by giving answers in yours.

What’s in a word?

We may live in a very different and much more complex world, but without the ancient Greeks we wouldn’t even have the words to talk about many of the things we care most about. Take politics for example: apart from the word itself (from polis, meaning city-state or community) many of the other basic political terms in our everyday vocabulary are borrowed from the ancient Greeks: monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and – of course – democracy.
The ancient Greek word demokratia was ambiguous. It meant literally ‘people-power’.

But who were the people to whom the power belonged?
Was it all the people – all duly qualified citizens?
Or only some of the people – the ‘masses’?

The Greek word demos could mean either. There’s a theory that the word demokratia was coined by democracy’s enemies, members of the rich and aristocratic elite who did not like being outvoted by the common herd, their social and economic inferiors. If this theory is right, democracy must originally have meant something like ‘mob rule’ or ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’.
By the time of Aristotle (fourth century BCE) there were hundreds of Greek democracies. Greece in those times was not a single political entity but rather a collection of some 1500 separate poleis or ‘cities’ scattered round the Mediterranean and Black Sea shores ‘like frogs around a pond’, as Plato once charmingly put it. Those cities that were not democracies were either oligarchies – where power was in the hands of the few richest citizens – or monarchies, called ‘tyrannies’ in cases where the sole ruler had usurped power by force rather than inheritance. Of the democracies, the oldest, the most stable, the most long-lived, but also the most radical, was Athens

The origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon, who flourished in the years around 600
BCE. Solon was a poet and a wise statesman but not – contrary to later myth – a democrat. He did not believe in people-power as such.
But it was Solon’s constitutional reform package that laid the basis on which democracy could be pioneered almost a hundred years later by a progressive aristocrat called Cleisthenes. Cleisthenes was the son of an Athenian, but the grandson and namesake of a foreign Greek tyrant, the ruler of Sicyon in the Peloponnese. For a time he was also the brother-in-law of the Athenian tyrant, Peisistratus, who seized power three times before finally establishing a stable and apparently benevolent dictatorship. It was against the increasingly harsh rule of Peisistratus’s eldest son that Cleisthenes championed a radical political reform movement which in 508/7 ushered in the Athenian democratic constitution

Greek democracy and modern democracy
The architects of the first democracies of the modern era, postrevolutionary France and the United States, claimed a line of descent from classical Greek demokratia – ‘government of the people by the people for the people’, as Abraham Lincoln put it. But at this point it is crucial that we keep in mind the differences between our and the Greeks’ systems of democracy – three key differences in particular:
ofscale, of participation and of eligibility.

First, scale. There were no proper population censuses in ancient Athens, but the most educated modern guess puts the total population of fifth-century Athens, including its home territory of Attica, at around 250,000 – men, women and children, free and unfree, enfranchised and disenfranchised. Of those 250,000 some 30,000 on average were fully paid-up citizens – the adult males of Athenian birth and full status. Of those 30,000 perhaps 5000 might regularly attend one or more meetings of the popular Assembly, of which there were at least 40 a year in Aristotle’s day. 6000 citizens were selected to fill the annual panel of potential jurymen who would staff the popular jury courts (a typical size of jury was 501), as for the trial of Socrates.

The second key difference is the level of participation. Our democracy is representative – we choose politicians to rule for us. Athenian democracy was direct and in-your-face. To make it as participatory as possible, most officials and all jurymen were selected by the lot. This was thought to be the democratic way, since election favoured the rich, famous and powerful over the ordinary citizen. From the mid fifth century, office holders, jurymen, members of the city’s main administrative Council of 500, and even Assembly attenders were paid a small sum from public funds to compensate them for time spent on political service away from field or workshop.

The third key difference is eligibility. Only adult male citizens need apply for the privileges and duties of democratic government, and a birth criterion of double descent – from an Athenian mother as well as father – was strictly insisted upon. Women, even Athenian women, were totally excluded: this was a men’s club. Foreigners – and especially unfree slave foreigners – were excluded formally and rigorously. The citizen body was a closed political elite

As you see Mr Stefov when compared the ancient Greek democracy and the moderns democracies must keep in your mind the three scales.

You said something about the Phoenicians As I know the form of rule wan not the democracy but the oligarchy and some claim the aristocracy. Non body is accurate as about the rule system.
How you are sure for this?
Aristotle in his Politics defined the democratic citizen as the man ‘who has a share in legal judgment and office’. Maybe is time everyone to read the Aristotle as the Great Alexander had took a lot of lessons as about the democracy

Reference:
The Democratic Experiment (Paul Cartledge)

So the claims of the Mr Stefov as about Geometry, Alphabete and Democracy are inaccurate and un-historical

By Akritas

Posted in Big Risto Stefov Lies | Leave a Comment »


BIG Risto Stefov Lie # 8,”Tito created the Macedonian Nation”
March 14, 2007

This article is an answer to the article entitled BIG Greek Lie # 8 by Mr Risto Stefov

The truth is Tito did not create the Macedonian nation. Tito recognized and accepted the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity within his own country, Yugoslavia by adding Bulgarians and Serbians Macedonians.

I agree with the not creation. Your nation was before Tito. But not with your meaning that you want to show as via your un-historical articles.

Tito made his policy. And the policy was the creation of the Balkan League. To succeded this must broke up any connections with the monarchfasim (as called it). The two biggest enemy were the Serbs and the Greeks. He had Succeeded only the first.

On August 2, 1945 general Vukmanovic, (one for the leaders of the Balkan League and right hand of Tito) declared in a speech in front of a crowd in Skopje:
“Comrades, you know very well that there is a part of the Macedonia npeople which is still enslaved [sic]. We must openly state this case.
We are not the only ones to do this; there are tens of thousands of Macedonian men and women who suffer and mourn today under the yoke of the Greek monarcho-fascist bands.”[Bulletin(Skopje) Aug 10,1945]

Who was this General? Certainly not a Macedonian. Explain to your people who is that man.

Why in your country until 1992 the school books show the name People Republic of Macedonian when in the Serbian Republic in the related book the kids teached the Vardaska Banovina?

The Greeks communists thought that with the help of Commitern would be create a new state under the Marshal commanders. In your mentioned link you have a lot of documents by the Communist newspaper Rizospastes.

Why do you love these guys to much?

Why Markos Vafiadis(Genrerala Marcosa) with Tito in your country are
the only given foreign names in the streets e.t.c ?

The next foreigners will be the Mathew Nimitz as the other US UNenvoy

Of course Mr Risto Stefov never answered in my questions. Not only mine but and from others Greeks in the mak.forum

By Akritas

Posted in Big Risto Stefov Lies | Leave a Comment »


The BIG Stefov Lies # 17: “Ancient Macedonians were not Greeks
March 14, 2007

This is a response to the new propagandistic article, recently posted in http://maknews.com/html/articles/stefov/stefov102.html , which as usual tries to misinform readers and falsificate history.



Quote:

Modern Greece is a modern creation, a Great Power concoction. Britain and France in the early 19th century desperately needed an ally in the Balkans to protect their precious interests from Russia. Greece was created to prevent Russia from accessing Mediterranean waters, from spoiling Britain’s back yard.

The author obviously is misinformed. The truth is that Greece is the birth-place of the Western Civilisation and the years of the European Enlightement have inspired a wave of sympathy , for the sufferings of Greeks under the Ottoman Empire’s boot . They have also created a new word for this. The word PHILELLENES , and PHILELLENISM . As the Ottoman Empire was slowly slipping into the state of the “Sick Man Of the East” , the need to free the land where Democracy was invented , became greater and greater .

The authors estimation that the free Greek state would function as any kind of an ally to the great powers France and England ( here the author simple forgets even to mention the Austrian-Hungarian Empire who was much more close than France and England to the Ottoman Empire and Greece , its not to his convinience ) , is simply a wishful thinking if not an object of laughing .

The Greek state that was freed was nothing much than a poor , unorganised
country. The proof lies in that it took Grece a 100 years to become worthy of fighting a war against Turkey and freeing Greek lands under Turkish oppression.



Quote:

Macedonia’s partition and Greece’s gain have nothing to do with “historical rights” but plenty to do with loyalty to an ally. Greece did its job well in serving as a “guard dog” for Britain so it was rewarded with Macedonian lands. The rest are lies to keep the innocent and unaware
tangled in arguments from which there is no escape.

Macedonias partition was a scheme of the Great Powers of the time, who did not want a very strong Greek state and a compromise arise between them and the Russians who have helped greatly in creating Bulgaria .

So to Greece went 51% of the geographical area of Macedonia, due to respect of Greek History , 14% went to Bulgaria , because the population there were of Bulgarian origin ( Macedonia of Pirin ) and the rest went to Yugoslavia , because of the Slavic population there.

The author, is tragically poorly informed , or he forgets to mention that Greece and Serbia were on the victors side in WWI and Bulgaria , and Turkey , on the defeated side . So IF the British were to reward Greece for beeing victorious would have had done much better. But they didnt…..



Quote:

If you don’t believe me ask yourself these questions;

1. How could the ancient Macedonians die off to the last one making them
extinct and the so-called ancient “Greeks” survive?


The truth is miles away from the author’s estimations. Ancient Macedonians had fused with the rest of Hellenes, as even the vast majority of modern historians acknowledge, CENTURIES before the arrival of the slavs in Balkans. On the other hand, it is easily refuted as entirely absurb and an insult to…everybody’s intelligence, the claim of the author and the inhabitants of his ‘artificially invented’ country that ancient Macedonians didnt fuse with the southern Greeks, from the moment, since at least Alexander’s time both spoke and understood a common language (Greek), both worshipped the same gods and shared a ‘Hellenistic’ culture. Both became an integral part of the Roman and later Byzantine Empire, both became the defining culture of the Byzantine Empire. Both had embraced Christianity and determined the characteristics of the Orthodox faith and finally consider eachother as ‘kinsmen’.



Quote:

How can all the modern Macedonians be “Slavs” that came to the Balkans during the 6th century AD and all the modern Greeks be “Hellenes” direct descendants from the ancient “Greeks”?

The explanation is quite simple but seems too difficult for the author. Hellenes speak and read the same language that their ansestors used . It has been also been proved by linguists. A modern greek can easily read an ancient Macedonian inscription such as Pella Katadesmos, for the simple reason…they both speak essentially the same language. On the contrary, the Slavic inhabitants of FYROM that are descendants of the Slavic tribes which arrived in the area around the 6th century, according to internationally acknowledged historians and linguists around the world, speak a slavic language, similar to Bulgarian and…they cant read an ancient macedonian insciption for the simple reason, they dont speak Greek!!



Quote:

2. Didn’t Greece in 1912, 1913 invade and occupy a fully populated Macedonia? What happened to those Macedonians? Did they turn into “Greeks” overnight? (Yes they did! In 1928 Greece declared to the world that it had a 98% “pure Greek” homogenous population).
3. How has Greece maintained all its territories “pure Greek” with a 2, 300 year old open border?

The propagandists of FYROM simply ignore the fact that Nobody has invaded Macedonia in 1913 but instead during the first Balkan war, the Balkan coalition between Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro INVADED OTTOMAN EMPIRE, for the liberation of the Bulgarians, Greek and Serbs who lived there and unfortunately for the propagandists of FYROM, there was NEVER, back then, ANY ethnicity called Macedonians.

The movement for independent Macedonia, which started far earlier (at the end of the 19th century) had an UNDISPUTED BULGARIAN CHARACTER and this fact is described by any contemporary (of the time) observer, historian, diplomat, nomatter what the skopjan propagandists claim. There is no need to rewrite history – it’s well described in so many books. There are many examples of 1 nation living in 2 different states. Furthermore, the geographical region called Macedonia had a rather mixed population at that time because of which the idea for independent Macedonia was more attractive for the local population than the idea for union with Bulgaria. The fact that the uprising in 1903 was a Bulgarian one and the fact that IMRO was an organization founded by BULGARIANS are descibed in all books (from that time and even in all books pre-1945). But the majority of these people that inhabited Macedonia , had a Greek consiousness which made them GREEKS . So, they DID NOT TURN Greeks …THEY WERE GREEKS!



Quote:

4. How is it possible in this day and age for Greece, a “newly created” state to be allowed to have 2,400 year old inheritance rights (without a shred of evidence to prove it) and evict Macedonians from their lands on which they lived for more than 1,500 years?

The author obviously is lacking any seriousness here. NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE??? What type of evidence does the author want ??
Isnt the language a strong evidence?? The author, is trying in vain. From one hand , is asking what are the evidences that Greeks have inheritance rights and on the other hand he refuted himself by reaching the “easy conclusion” that Macedonias are living in Macedonia 1500 years … of course someone would ask…which Macedonians ?? The Macedonians that spoke Greek, worshiped Greek Gods , participated in the Olympic games which were GREEK GAMES for GREEK??? Or any other Slav, Turk , Vlach ,Gypsy , who acquired the name ‘Macedonian’, and this is considered by the author
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:30 AM   #1255
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Risto Stefov and the falsification of Ancient Macedonian history

in Articles, FYROM Propaganda, Skopjan Propaganda / by Admin / on October 29, 2008 at 1:48 am /

















amchronlogo Risto Stefov and the falsification of Ancient Macedonian history





Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

October 29, 2008






Dear Editors,I feel obliged to write to you in order to express my deepest concern for the deliberate manipulation of well-evidenced historical events which is clearly reflected in the article “Most modern Greeks today believe the Ancient Macedonians were Greek” written by Mr. Risto Stefov. The specific article is full of unfounded claims, an enmity addressed against Greek people and sophisticated misrepresentations of the ancient Greek history with its main aim to deceive the unsuspected reader by attempting to present false claims, disguised to sound truthful.

Before proceeding through a point by point refutation of the baseless claims presented in article in question, I would like to point out that the title of the article is misleading. Certainly it´s not “Most modern Greeks” who accept the fact that ancient Macedonians were Greek but instead it´s the vast majority of the world today, including the core of the contemporary modern historians who accept it as a fact.

To rephrase the author´s initial question…Why is it so important in general for the Slavic element of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which Mr. Stefov belongs, to believe that the ancient Macedonians were not Greek?

The answer is simple and plain. Because somehow they live under a misguided notion. Particularly, they believe that by disassociating Greeks from ancient Macedonians, this will mean in their illusionary point of view, they, the descendants of the Slavic and Bulgar tribes that entered the Balkan peninsula in the 6th and 7th centuries, are the historical heirs and descendants of the ancient Macedonians who lived a thousand or more years earlier and who were Greeks by their own testimonies. One can hardly go further in Orwellian double-speak. This absurd notion supported increasingly among the Slavs of FYROM, makes as much sense as asserting that if someone manages to prove a car´s color is not white, this would surely mean it is black!

Furthermore Mr. Stefov embarks on an clumsy effort to spread mendacious disinformation as regards to the events of the early 20th century. Incorrectly he states “Didn´t Greece in 1912, 1913 invade and occupy a fully populated Macedonia?” while the truth is that nobody has invaded Macedonia in 1913 but instead during the first Balkan war, the Balkan coalition between Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece invaded Ottoman Empire, for the liberation of the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs who lived there. Sadly for the author´s empty claims there was not back then, any ethnicity called ´Macedonian´. The term was used merely as a geographical indicator.

To quote some accounts of contemporary self-witnesses that shatters Mr. Stefov´s unfounded claims and deliberate misinformation:

John Foster Fraser in his “Pictures from the Balkans” verifies: “But who are the Macedonians [5]? You will find Bulgarians and Turks who call themselves Macedonians, you find Greek Macedonians, there are Serbian Macedonians, and it is possible to find Rumanian Macedonians. You will NOT, however, find a single Christian Macedonian who is not a Serbian, a Bulgarian, a Greek, or a Rumanian. They all curse the Turk, and they love Macedonia. But it is Greek Macedonia, or Bulgarian Macedonia, and their eyes flame with passion, whilst their fingers seek the triggers of their guns”. He further adds “I have some hope that in years to come the inhabitants will think less of their Turkish, Bulgarian or Greek Origin and a great deal more with the fact that they are all Macedonians”[2].

Edmund Spencer in his “Travels in European Turkey, in 1850…”writes “The population of Uskioub [Note: Modern Skopje], consisting of Arnouts, Jews, Armenians, Zinzars, Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbians, amounts to upwards of twelve thousand” [3]. Again another clear evidence there was no “Macedonian” ethnicity back then but instead it´s a modern “invention”.

Additionally, John Van Antwerp Fine gives us a realistic portrait of the situation in the Macedonian region by writing: “Until the late nineteenth century both outside observers and those Bulgaro-Macedonians who had an ethnic consciousness believed that their group, which is NOW two separate nationalities, comprised a SINGLE people, THE BULGARIANS [4]. Thus the reader should IGNORE references to ethnic Macedonians in the Middle Ages which appear in some modern works. In the Middle Ages and into the nineteenth century, the term ´Macedonian´ was used ENTIRELY in reference to a geographical region. Anyone who lived within its confines, regardless of nationality could be called a Macedonian.”.

Furthermore, Arthur Douglas Howden Smith in 1908 adds: “It should be remembered, to begin with, that there is NO Macedonian race, as a distinct type [5]. Macedonians may belong to any of the races of Eastern Europe or Western Asia, as, indeed, they do. A Macedonian Bulgar is just the same as a Bulgar of Bulgaria proper, the old principality, that in October, 1908, at Tirnova, was proclaimed independent of Turkey. He looks the same, talks the same, and very largely, thinks the same way. IN SHORT HE IS OF THE SAME STOCK. There is no difference, whatsoever, between the two branches of the race, except that the Macedonian Bulgars, as a result of their position under the Turkish government, have less culture and education than their northern brethren.”

To help the readers having a more informative view over the issue on stake, I urge them to take a look in the following link. It contains a vast number of excerpts taken by 90 neutral sources, written by travelers, historians, diplomats related to the subject which put an end to the unfounded claims over a so-called “Macedonian “Ethnicity back then. Mr. Stefov, conveniently for his agenda, chooses to ignore all the overwhelming evidence.


















http://history-of-macedonia.com/2008...-in-fyrom/Lets return back to the core issue of Mr. Stefov´s article. Namely the ethnicity of Ancient Macedonians. Of course there is no issue at all, whether the modern Slavs







descendants of the Slavic tribes that invaded the Balkan peninsula centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom have any link with ancient Macedonians. Obviously as verified by any serious historian, they haven´t!!!


















1. The Ancient Macedonians spoke a dialect of the Greek language

Mr. Stefov incorrectly assumes that “This [Koine] was an international language which was used in the Macedonian court and by the Macedonian administration.”. This is simply fallacious and deserves an immediate rectification. Koine became the international language BECAUSE of Alexander´s campaign. Prior to Alexander´s campaign, ancient people like Illyrians, Persians, Paeonians, Indians, Carthaginians, Romans, Thracians, Egyptians, Dardanians did NOT speak Greek. Most of them begun to speak Greek (Koine) AFTER Alexander´s pan-Hellenic campaign to Asia. Therefore Mr. Stefov´s conclusions are entirely wrong since his own premises are erroneous in the first place.






The eminent linguist Olivier Masson states “For a long while Macedonian on mastics, which we know relatively well thanks to history, literary authors, and epigraphy, has played a considerable role in the discussion [6]. In our view the Greek character of most names is obvious and it is difficult to think of a Hellenization due to wholesale borrowing. ´Ptolemaios´ is attested as early as Homer, ´Ale3avdros´ occurs next to Mycenaean feminine a-re-ka-sa-da-ra- (´Alexandra´), ´Laagos´, then ´Lagos´, matches the Cyprian ´Lawagos´, etc. The small minority of names which do not look Greek, like ´Arridaios´ or ´Sabattaras´, may be due to a substratum or adstatum influences (as elsewhere in Greece). Macedonian may then be seen as a Greek dialect, characterized by its marginal position and by local pronunciations (like ´Berenika´ for ´Ferenika´, etc.). Yet in contrast with earlier views which made of it an Aeolic dialect (O.Hoffmann compared Thessalian) we must by now think of a link with North-West Greek (Locrian, Aetolian, Phocidian, Epirote). This view is supported by the recent discovery at Pella of a curse tablet (4th cent. BC) which may well be the first ´Macedonian´ text attested (provisional publication by E.Voutyras; cf. the Bulletin Epigraphique in Rev.Et.Grec.1994, no.413); the text includes an adverb ´opoka´ which is not Thessalian. We must wait for new discoveries, but we may tentatively conclude that Macedonian is a dialect related to North-West Greek.”












2. The ancient Macedonians prayed to the same Greek gods as the ancient Greeks.

The poorly-chosen argumentation reveals Mr.Stefov´s inconsistence with ancient history. His lack of evidence subsequently forces him to produce irrelevant anachronistic analogies with…Christianity even if it is more than obvious we are talking about issues having to do merely with classical ages. Mr. Stefov, for your discomfort, it is only Greeks which gave their deities the familiar Greek epithets, such as Agoraios, Basileus, Olympios, Hypsistos of Zeus, Basileia of Hera, Soter of Apollo, Hagemona and Soteira of Artemis, Boulaia of Hestia, etc and naturally Macedonians as being Greek themselves, were doing similarly which certainly is not the case for non-Greek people. Furthermore nowadays historians agree that Macedonians had the religious and cultural features of the rest Hellenic world.

The worship of the twelve Olympian gods in Macedonia is undoubted





and it is shown explicitly in the treaty between Philip V and Hannibal of Carthage “`In the presence of Zeus, Hera and Apollo …and in the presence of ALL THE GODS who possess Macedonia AND THE REST OF HELLAS” [7].




















3. The ancient Macedonians united the ancient Greek city states and spread the “Hellenic” language and culture to the known world.


Mr. Stefov adds further his own misguided perception which is the epitome of misinformation. He states “Macedonia fought and defeated the so called “Greeks” in battle and subjugated them from 338 BC until 206 BC when they were briefly liberated and again subjugated by the Romans”.






This is another terrible effort to create the wrong impression amongst the readers that “Macedonians fought Greeks in Chaeronea”. Contrarily, in Chaeronea the opposing sides were:











ξύμμαχα και υπήκοα


[allied and SUBJECTED]. One line of approach was direct annexation attempted disastrously by Perdiccas II and successfully by Philip.”Prof. Bosworth adds “Lyncestis probably co-operated with the Illyrian invaders as before in the war against Archelaus, the chaos in lower Macedon at the accession of Amyntas was an ideal time to avenge the annexation attempted by Perdiccas and probably by Archelaus”.

Essentially Mr. Stefov just managed with his above wrong assertion to dissolve his own self-made ´construction´ of ancient Macedonian history speaking about a “unified” Macedonian kingdom.

In relation to the spread of Greek language and culture declares quite amusingly that: “As for spreading the so-called “Hellenic” language and culture, there is no evidence that the Macedonians exclusively did this for the sole purpose of honoring the “Greeks”. The Macedonians gave the world what the Macedonians had and considered to be of value”.

I will briefly analyze the falsification of the author´s assertion, before presenting an enumeration of ancient sources [9] proving that Alexander launched a Pan-Hellenic campaign against Persia and through his conquests spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Near East. Furthermore he created economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Greece to the Punjab in India with Greek (koine) as lingua franca. He built a network of almost thirty Greek cities throughout the empire
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Risto Stefov and the Polish Infopol Interview

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Malenko


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#1 Oct 16, 2009


So what determines being Macedończykiem?

Risto Stefov - Macedonian journalist with roots in northern Greece, living in Canada. Author of numerous articles and several books on the Macedonian and Balkan. Leading portal dedicated www.maknews.com affairs of Macedonia and Macedonians, including the diaspora.

Macedonia, a country, the land defines the way they are Macedonians. Modern Macedonians are a mixture of all nations, including ancient Macedonians, who ever after the last phase of glacier osiedlały here.

For the sake of clarity, Macedonia and the Macedonians have no problem with defining their identity. This problem is Greece, entering the slushy ground of Hellenism, which has little in common. As a result of hostilities, after the Balkan wars of the years 1912 and 1913 Greece has acquired considerable tracts of territory inhabited by the Macedonians. Rather than assume the role of administrator, Greece simply trying to take over these territories by force wynarodowić and assimilate the local population, in practice, condemned to erase the identity of the Macedonian. Of course, many Macedonians opposed to assimilation, as a result were expelled and their property confiscated. That's why so many of us today live abroad. In Greece, lives a fairly large Macedonian minority, which requires only recognition of their own existence and respect due to her rights. Greece refuses, explaining that its territory is not dead, no minorities, while piling more problems.

http://www.infopol.lt/pl/naujienos/detail.php...
Risto Stefov Macedonian journalist.



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Dimitri from Athens


Syros, Greece

#2 Oct 16, 2009


Macedonian who?
Risto Stefov?
loool!

Enjoy!
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"Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
GOTSE DELCEV
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The Macedonian Digest
"From the readers for the readers"
Edition 75 - March 2012

======oOo======
Editor's Notes

Dear Readers,

In last month's Macedonian Digest (Edition 74 - February 2012) I included the story "The Greece/FYROM dispute
goes beyond what's in a name" by the National Post published on Dec. 12, 2011 at this
link; http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Gre...376/story.html writ
ten by Dimitris Azemopoulos, the Consul General of Greece in Toronto.

As a result of this I have had a couple of complaints. Both complainants were disgusted with the Greek attitude
towards the Macedonians and the lies and propaganda they use to support their position. Both complainants were
wondering why I would give this bigot the time of day and a platform on which to spread his lies.

In my defense; I published the article to let people know, to inform them of the on-going Greek attitude towards the
Macedonians. To show them the extent to which people like Dimitris Azemopoulos would go to support their position.
But then, as was pointed out to me, there is a downside to this. The downside is that I/ we give people like
Azemopoulos attention and a platform from which to further their attacks on the Macedonian people.

It was pointed out to me that if someone, who does not know the "real" Macedonian situation with Greece , happens
to read that article they may find its content convincing and take the Greek side. So why take chances? The Greeks
would never publicize anything that supports the Macedonian position so why publicize their position in our
publications?

It was also pointed out to me that, "if it becomes necessary to publicize anything contrary to the Macedonian position"
then our side of the argument should also be included in the publication.

For example when the Greeks say " Macedonia is Greek" we should include some facts as to how 51% of Macedonia
became Greek. I.e. that in 1912, 1913 Greece invaded, occupied and, with its partners Serbia and Bulgaria, brutally
partitioned Macedonia into three pieces against the will of the Macedonian people, who, only 10 years earlier in 1903
had risen against the Ottoman Empire in an attempt to free themselves and create their own independent
Macedonian state.

When the Greeks say "only pure Greeks" live in Greece then we should include some facts as to how the
Macedonian people living in Greek occupied Macedonia became Greeks literally over night. How many Macedonian
people the Greeks had to torture, murder and exile before scaring the rest into accepting an imposed identity? How
many villages were burned and how many people were buried in mass graves in order for Greece to be cleansed and
for everyone living in Greece to be "pure Greeks?"

I think you get the idea.

Risto...

Our Name is Macedonia

www.mhrmi.org/our_name_is_macedonia

Feature Stories


AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES POLICY SHIFT
AND RECOGNISES MACEDONIAN COMMUNITY

13 February 2012

The Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is pleased to announce that after a sustained
lobbying campaign, the Australian Government has final y withdrawn its discriminatory and racist "Slav Macedonian"
Directive which renamed the Macedonian community in 1994.

In a letter dated 9 January 2012 , the Acting Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs wrote:

"I can reaffirm that the `Slav Macedonian' Administrative Circular is no longer operative in the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade (DFAT). As is standard practice with inoperative Administrative Circulars, it has been cancelled and
the document archived. Similarly, DFAT has advised me that the `Slav Macedonian Directive' is not in use in other
agencies, including the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Australian Bureau of Statistics."

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship also confirmed this position in a subsequent letter to the AMHRC on
11 January 2012:

"As stated by...[the] acting Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I can confirm that this department does not
actively use the term `Slav-Macedonian'. For example, the Translating and Interpreting Service National now only
uses the term `Macedonian'. We acknowledge the concerns of the Macedonian Australian community in relation to
this matter."

This victory marks the end of a significant and long-running campaign by the AMHRC to gain governmental
acceptance of the Macedonian community's right to self-identification. The campaign began in 1994, and saw
hearings before the High Court of Australia, the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission and the
Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. Its culmination was recently reached after an intensive series
of exchanges, involving meetings and correspondence, with senior Cabinet Ministers (including the Prime Minister),
members of parliament from all political parties and various Government Departments.

The Australian Government's announcement of the official end to its offensive nomenclature policy marks a return to
the long successful policy of Multiculturalism, a position the AMHRC has long advocated. This is a victory that will be
beneficial to the maintenance of the human rights of all Australians.

Whilst the AMHRC is pleased with the Australian Government's current shift in policy toward the Macedonian
Community, it now reiterates its call upon the Government to take the next logical step and recognize the Republic of
Macedonia under its official and democratically chosen name.

Established in 1984, the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non-governmental
organization that informs and advocates before international institutions, governments and broader communities
about combating racism and promoting human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and
other excluded groups throughout the world, are recognized, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more
information please visit www.macedonianhr.org.au, email info@macedonianhr.org.au or via +61 3 9329 8960.

For more information please click the following
link: http://macedonianhr.org.au/wip/index...an-government-
announces-policy-shift-and-recognises-macedonian-community&catid=34:-amhrccat&Itemid=50

AUSTRALIAN MACEDONIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE (AMHRC)
Suite 106, Level 1,
55 Flemington Rd ,
North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia
Tel/Fax: +61 3 9329 8960
Email:info@macedonianhr.org.au
Visit our website: www.macedonianhr.org.au


U.S., Macedonian troops to take part in joint trainings


Skopje, 15 February 2012 (MIA) - Opportunities for advancing army cooperation between the United States and
Macedonia through joint trainings and by using the Krivolak training polygon were discussed on Wednesday at a
meeting between U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Commander, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and his host, ARM
Chief of Staff, Major-General Goranco Koteski and Minister of Defense Fatmir Besimi.

"Later in the day, I will have the chance to visit Krivolak and to see the military training polygons in Macedonia . We
will be able to exchange training staff at training polygons in Macedonia and in Germany and soldiers will attend joint
trainings, said Hertling who is paying a two-day official visit to Macedonia .

Major-General Koteski stated that Macedonian troops would take part at joint exercises and trainings within the
USAREUR Command in Germany .

"I've offered our training polygon in Krivolak with all of its possibilities and capacities and it can become one of the
training polygons not only for troops from regional countries, but also for units due to be sent to peacekeeping
missions. We want to strengthen our defense cooperation and the strategic partnership between ARM and the
USAREUR Command as well as the strategic partnership between Macedonia and the U.S. , Macedonia 's Chief of
Staff stressed.
Interlocutors also discussed exchange of experiences acquired in peace missions and joint deployment in such
missions. Koteski also presented ARM's priorities in 2012 and issues related to the implementation of army's new
structure.

The top U.S. military official said he was pleased to be here since he had had the opportunity to serve together with
Macedonian troops in Iraq , while on his recent visit to Afghanistan he had seen that Macedonian troops were doing
an excellent job by securing peace.
In the course of the visit, Hertling will also visit the VING (Aviation Reconnaissance Assault Group) and Krivolak,
where members of ARM's Special Operations Regiment will conduct a drill.

In addition, the U.S. General will visit military academy "Mihajlo Apostolski", where he is to deliver a lecture on topic
"Military Profession"


UN EXPERT RECOMMENDS BULGARIA RECOGNISE
ITS MACEDONIAN MINORITY
15 February 2012

Blagoevgrad/Gorna Dzumaja (Bulgaria), Melbourne (Australia) and Toronto (Canada)

OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN, the political party of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, together with the Australian
Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
welcome the recent release of the report of the United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues on the situation
in Bulgaria.

The report was made public on 3 January 2012 by the newly appointed UN Independent Expert, Ms. Rita Izsak and
follows the visit to Bulgaria in July 2011 of her predecessor, Ms Gay McGougall. During the visit to Bulgaria , the
Independent Expert met with representatives of the Macedonian minority in the country. The delegation comprised of:
Stojko Stojkov, Co-President of OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN and Stahil Tupalski, Central Council Member of OMO "Ilinden"
PIRIN; Stojan Gerasimov from the Society of Repressed Macedonians; and Georgi Hristov, the Chief Editor of the
pro-Macedonian newspaper, Narodna Volja. The meeting gave the Macedonian organizations the opportunity to
provide the Independent Expert with a first hand, documented account of the problems facing the Macedonian
population in Bulgaria .

The post-visit report made a number of observations in relation to the situation of minorities in Bulgaria . In
paragraphs 66-67, devoted to the Macedonian minority, the Independent Expert noted that:

"66. Article 54 of the Bulgarian Constitution states that "everyone shal have the right to avail himself of the national
and universal human cultural values and to develop his own culture in accordance with his ethnic self-identification,
which shal be recognized and guaranteed by the law." However, the Government denies the existence of an ethnic
Macedonian minority, and does not recognize the Pomaks (considered as Bulgarian-speaking Muslims by the
Government) as a distinct minority - claiming that both groups are in fact ethnic Bulgarians. Representatives of those

who self-identify as ethnic Macedonians and as Pomaks claim that their minority rights are consequently violated.

67. Ethnic Macedonians consider it of crucial importance that their ethnic identity and distinctiveness be officially
recognized. Community representatives strongly dispute census findings reflecting very low and declining numbers of
Macedonians, and claim that the true population is many times higher. The Macedonian language is not recognized
or taught in schools and Macedonians are not represented on the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and
Integration Issues.

Most significantly though, the Independent Expert made a number of significant recommendations in relation to the
recognition of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria .

In relation to respect for self-identification the Independent Expert recommended that:

"93. In accordance with its Constitutional provisions to respect the right to ethnic self-identification, the Government
should ensure and protect this right, as well as the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association of
members of the Macedonian and Pomak minorities.

94. Policies relating to the recognition and rights of minority groups must be assessed in relation to the State's
obligations under international human rights law. Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
states that "in those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities
shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to
profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language." The question of the existence of minorities is
addressed by the Human Rights Committee in its general comment No. 23 (1994) on the rights of minorities. Article
5.2 states that "the existence of an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority in a given State party does not depend upon
a decision by that State party but requires to be established by objective criteria."

95. With regard to identification with a particular racial or ethnic group, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination has established in its general recommendation No. 8 (1990) on article 1 of the Convention that "such
identification shall, if no justification exists to the contrary, be based upon self-identification by the individual
concerned." The right of individuals to freely identify as belonging to an ethnic, religious or linguistic group is therefore
established in international law. Domestic law should recognize such rights and ensure that no individual or group
suffers from any disadvantage or discriminatory treatment on the basis of their freely chosen identity as belonging (or
not) to an ethnic, religious, linguistic or any other group.

On Bulgaria 's refusal to abide by judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the views of the Independent
Expert were quite explicit:

96. Bulgaria should comply fully with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) relating to
persons belonging to such communities and implement its rulings without further delay. Associations should be
allowed to register and function without impediment, use their chosen names and express their ethnic identities
freely. Associations that have been denied in the past should promptly be given official registration.

The Independent Expert also recommended the introduction of the Macedonian language to the Bulgarian education
system:

"97. The Government's position not to al ow the use of mother tongue languages as the language of instruction in
schools, particularly in regions where minorities are a majority or constitute a large percentage of the population, is a
concern for minorities, including the Roma, Turkish Muslims and Macedonians. Bilingual education commencing in
the early years of schooling would enable children to become proficient in their mother tongue as well as in Bulgarian.
Furthermore, it would enable them to maintain their ethnic and linguistic identity and help minority pupils to achieve
positive educational outcomes. The Government is urged to consider introducing bilingual education and to ratify the
European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages"

OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN, the political party of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, together with the Australian
Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI)
demands that the Bulgarian Government to take note of the report of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues
and implement, in full and without delay, each of the recommendations contained in the report.

The full report can be downloaded here:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies...6.Add.2_en.pdf
__________


OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN is a political party supporting the rights of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria . It has been
banned since 2000, despite a 2005 European Court of Human Rights Judgement ruling that the decision was a
violation of the Euroepan Convention on Human Rights. For more information please visit www.omoilindenpirin.org.

Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental
organization that advocates before governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating
discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other
excluded groups throughout the world are recognized, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more
information please visit www.macedonianhr.org.au , or contact AMHRC by email info@macedonianhr.org.au or on
+61 3 93298960.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues
for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi,
facebook.com/mhrmi, info@mhrmi.org,+1 416-850-7125.

AUSTRALIAN MACEDONIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE (AMHRC)
Suite 106, Level 1,
55 Flemington Rd ,
North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia
Tel/Fax: +61 3 9329 8960
Email:info@macedonianhr.org.au
Visit our website: www.macedonianhr.org.au

Not another BIG Greek Lie?

Cookie Drive for Greece
Monday, 13 February 2012

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/20320/45/

It is that time again, for Macedonians to be good Christians and turn our other cheek so our southern neighbor can
slap away.

Sad news out of Greece flooded news channels world-wide... "Greeks would no longer be able to afford coffee" is
one of the most common headlines. This is it, this is our chance to show our neighbor what it means to be a good
neighbor!

To this end, starting today, MINA wil engage in a " Cookie Drive " where we wil ask for donations from Macedonians
worldwide. The money will be used to buy cookies for Greeks.

Our motto is "if they don't have money for coffee, they should have for cookies".

The Lord knows Macedonia owes Greece . Thanks to Greek hysteria, the entire world knows of Macedonia . We
received the best commercial worldwide, and never paid a cent for it. Athens funded each marketing campaign. Not
just that Athens refused to ask for a cent, they even made capital investments in Macedonia . For 20 years the Greek
Government unselfishly pumped Macedonian patriotism and nationalism by negating our name and the Macedonians
who live in Greece .

Albania has recently started selling their citizenships for 100,000 Euros investment. Montenegro is the regional
champion in this. Greece can join, except it wouldn't be able to charge 100,000 euros for Elleniki one. Start small,
charge for a cookie stand and issue a passport.

I've said this before, I will say it again. You don't want to have a poor neighbor. The sirtaki dance is too close to our
borders. As if that isn't bad enough, Greece 's saviors in Skopje are somewhat quiet lately. Either payments are not
arriving on time, or the snow has gotten too deep, something is up.

In my attempts to help, I've sent a letter to Karamanlis, to Bakoyannis, it seems I must do the same with Papademos.
I don't blame Karamanlis and Bakoyannis for not responding, they were on their way out. In the letters I specifically

stated they were too busy with Macedonia and instead should work on creating some sort of Economic model for
their country.

I gave them, free of charge the best business model Greece could possibly adopt. Hire all Greeks to manufacture
American flags and then... sell!

Greeks would make US flags and then export them where there is a huge demand: to Palestine and the Middle East
etc where they are burned on a daily basis.

Macedonians could have pounced on this as well. Manufacture German, French, Dutch flags and sell them in Greece
. There is a huge demand for them in Athens and elsewhere.
Here you can see why we must help Greece and save them from the terrible, terrible Europeans, particularly the
Germans and French who have attacked the Greek people by pumping billions of euros for 50 years so the Greek
Government can issue two additional salaries (13th and 14th) to employees who showed up on time. They also got
bonuses for Easter and Christmas.

Now there is a talk of kicking Greece out of the Euro, apparently the money printing machines in Brussels are
showing signs of wear and tear. The Dutch Prime Minister already `quietly' announced steps were being taken to
shove Greece outside the eurozone and balance the shockwave it may cause on the markets. The word `kick' implied
a kick, so shove sounded much better.

The Europeans were great in the past. Greece enjoyed the relationship and the perpetual flow of money. They were
allies, friends, partners... Today the Greek people and media referred to the same Europeans as barbarians for not
feeding Greece forever.

The Europeans tried to explain: You need to produce, create something, you can't spend your existence away.

What Greece needs is another Prince Otto.


From the International Scene

Once Classified Report Sheds Light on CIA Estimates
of Cold War Yugoslavia
January 24, 2012
By Chris Deliso
http://www.balkanalysis.com/macedoni...s-of-cold-war-
yugoslavia/
A brief analysis of a once top-secret CIA report, written in 1949, provides a glimpse of US understanding of
communist Yugoslavia at a pivotal moment in the Cold War- after Tito's famous break with Stalin the year before.
In the broad sweep of contemporary history, the views expressed therein can be assessed favorably as indicating an
accurate judgment of the situation at the time.The report (.PDF), dated June 20, 1949 is titled Estimate of the
Yugoslav Regime's Ability to Resist Soviet Pressure During 1949. Unfortunately, there are no references to sources,
methods or US capabilities that went into crafting the report. However, those seeking in-depth reading on the
American views at the time and larger context can read Coleman Armstrong Mehta's lengthy thesis (.PDF) on CIA
assessments from 1948-1950.
The 12-page estimate highlights seven key findings regarding Yugoslav security, economy and political stability. It
was published for internal use only and addressed to the intelligence heads of the army, navy and air force, and the
Joint Staff's Deputy Director for Intelligence, the Special Assistance to the Secretary of State for Research and
Intel igence, the Director of Security and Intel igence of the Atomic Energy Commission, as wel as the CIA's
Assistant Director for Collection and Dissemination. In true Cold War style, there is also a `burn after reading'
suggestion.
Security Findings
Tito's break with Stalin occurred in summer 1948 and was due in part to dissimilar views on the nature of a socialist
state, doubts on the transposability of certain Soviet economic models, and not least, the proud Tito's disinterest in
looking to Moscow as the seat of supreme leadership.
In this light, after the break and chill in relations (which would not thaw until Stalin's death), there were concerns
about how the Soviet strongman might act towards Yugoslavia . The most important short-term conclusion of this

report was that the Soviets, and satellite states, were not expected by the CIA to engage in any direct military action
against Yugoslavia during 1949, but that "border incidents against Yugoslavia will probably increase."
The CIA also expected "a more hostile, but probably ineffective propaganda campaign" against the Yugoslavs, and
added by stating that "no large-scale guerril a warfare" would be likely to occur in 1949. In conclusion, the CIA
expected that Tito's regime "would meet no insurmountable obstacle during 1949."
This conclusion is reached following an examination of the perceived three courses of action Stalin could follow,
should he wish to topple the new Yugoslav regime. These were: use of satellite states in direct war; a Soviet invasion;
or support for "organized guerrilla warfare," which would constitute a "war of attrition." The third was considered the
most serious possibility, though still not likely.
In this context, it is striking to note that the eventual dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s occurred with wars that
began with (or featured aspects of) guerrilla fighting, particularly in the case of Kosovo. It was only the uncharted
waters of the new, post-Cold War environment that made option one (in the modern example, aerial bombardment by
NATO) even conceivable.
The possibility of an attack on Yugoslavia by neighboring states was dismissed by the CIA, as the Yugoslav Army
was "the second-largest and second-most competent in Eastern Europe," and could "defeat any combination of
bordering satel ite armies." And the assessment also noted that a direct Soviet invasion would not succeed; "prior to
any direct attack upon it, the Yugoslav Army would probably have from thirty to sixty days to regroup in the
mountainous region south of the Sava and Danube rivers, thus preventing its annihilation by the USSR forces." It was
probably the intention of the authors to imply that Soviet commanders understood this as well, though it is not
explicitly stated.
In 1949, the CIA estimated that Stalin would not support guerrilla fighting as it would be taken as a declaration of war
by Tito. Quite interestingly, the report suggests that Tito would take "vigorous counter-measures" against any threat
to his rule, including sponsoring guerril a wars in Albania and Bulgaria, which would create "seriously difficulties, and
especially for the "insecure Hoxha Government in Albania."
Tito's capability to withstand less dramatic, but equally hostile efforts from the Soviets was also considered in the
report. The Soviets could hypothetically "infiltrate" smal anti-Tito "bands" in neighboring states in order to
"disseminate anti-Tito propaganda, enlist recruits, incite local insurrections, perform acts of sabotage, disrupt
communications, and prepare the way for assassination of Tito and his aides."
To this robust list of alleged capabilities, it was posited that arms, supplies and propaganda leaflets could also be
dropped in by Soviet aircraft. Much from this menu of sabotage and guerrilla activities listed had in fact been used by
Tito's Partisans successful y against the Nazis.
Perceptions of the Communist Threat: Coloring Views of Macedonian Secessionism
Looking back, probably the most important theme conveyed in the CIA report seems to be that in 1949 the US
understood all resistance or possible resistance to Tito in some relationship to Communism- even the ethnic and
nationalist threats. This view would color the US perception of these groups for decades, leaving it from the 1960s to
experts from ostensibly unrelated fields, like sociologists (something that today would be called `interdisciplinary'
input) to identify the ethnic and nationalist character of the opposition to Tito, that would outlive the dictator and re-
emerge in dramatic fashion a decade after his death.
Rather, the 1949 report states that the primary danger of minorities in Yugoslavia was that these groups could
allegedly be propagandized by the Soviets, "to overthrow the Tito regime in return for promised preferential
treatment." In other words, secessionist nationalist would somehow prefer client-state status under hardcore
communism with a nationalist veneer to Tito's light communism, which also al owed a symbolic amount of
nationalism.
The once top-secret report notes that "certain minority groups" in Macedonia , Montenegro and other Yugoslav
republics might aspire to overthrow Tito's regime. The Macedonians are specifical y named, though others, such as
Albanians, Croats and Serbs, are not. In this light, one of the more intriguing elements of the report is the estimate
that "the proclamation of an `independent Macedonia ' would have little success in gaining the support of any
significant number of Yugoslav Macedonians."
The CIA concluded, however, that such a proclamation was unlikely to be made, in the immediate future at least. It
does not expand on where such a proclamation could be expected to come from, even if it did- from an internal
Macedonian group, or from one in Bulgaria or Greece . The report also does not detail why Macedonians would not
support the creation of an independent state, which leaves in doubt the reason for why it was seen as unlikely.
The CIA report also comes to a chillingly prescient conclusion: "if seriously threatened at any time in 1949 by the
formation of a Macedonian state, Tito could engineer mass deportations of unreliable Macedonians to other areas in
Yugoslavia . He could also cut off Yugoslav aid to the Greek guerrillas and might even come to some understanding
with the Greek National Government." The final two of these policies did occur in precise form as predicted, while the
first, `mass deportations,' was actually being done by the Greek Right, and accepted by Tito.
Looking at the situation through the lens of the communist threat also reveals why the CIA report dismissed any
major support for a Macedonian state, from another point of view: it assessed that the Soviets' image had been losing
credibility in general among the Yugoslav public. It implies that if the nationalist-based secessionist threat was indeed
fundamentally inspired by communists, perception damage suffered by the latter would adversely affect enthusiasm

for the former. Of course, the historic relationship between national liberation and communist parties in this case is
very complex and contentious.
The 1949 report notes that "since the beginning of the year, Yugoslav-Soviet relations have increased in hostility." Yet
despite extensive Cominform propaganda campaigns, the Soviet rhetoric was perceived as appearing more "hol ow
and ineffective" to the Yugoslav audience. In fact, it was argued that Soviet propaganda, ironically enough, had the
effect of "ral ying the extensive non-Communist population to Tito's camp."
Internal Communist Threats to Tito, and Secret Police Countermeasures
The CIA report estimates that, along with nationalist secessionists, Tito was also confronted with a potential threat
from approximately 8,000 enemies within (2 percent of the party's total membership)- most of whom, once again,
exemplified the `Communist threat.' These were comprised of: "old-line" Communists with experience in Russia,
sympathetic to the Kremlin; Partisan fighters dissatisfied with their post-war rewards/jobs; and Communists who had
fled (Royalist) Yugoslavia as dissident refugees before WWII, and who were repatriated after it, and thus had not
participated in the Partisan resistance and lacked any loyalty to Tito.
The report goes on to reveal that such disenchanted elements "are allegedly attempting to organize active opposition
to the Tito regime by concentrating on wresting control away from the army." Tito's countermeasures were said to
include retiring disloyal persons "as a group" and "replacing known unreliables with young stalwarts."
Intriguingly, the report adds that the UDB secret service played an instrumental role in preserving Tito's authority, and
that it in fact used some of the same tactics that were perceived as potentially being used against the regime. UDB
members were "considered loyal and wil provide stern counteraction to any campaign to infiltrate Cominform agents
extensively, perpetrate widespread acts of sabotage, foment disturbances or insurrections, or organize assassination
plots."
In regards to any Soviet attempts to use proxy guerrilla groups from satellite states, the report also confirmed that
"Tito can thwart the potential threat of such groups through his security police." Throughout the Cold War, the UDB
would gain a fearsome reputation for its efficient activities against perceived enemies of the state, both at home and
in the extensive Yugoslav diaspora communities around the world.
Economic Issues and Military Assistance Projections
The CIA report, which concludes with a detailed assessment of the Yugoslav economy, also drew conclusions
regarding Yugoslav economy and trade, noting that while the Soviets might entertain a strategy to force the collapse
of the Yugoslav economy, any such attempt would fail due to "prevailing internal and external conditions."
The report assessed that in any case the Soviets would not apply economic sanctions against Yugoslavia in 1949, as
this would adversely affect their own imports of "strategic metals" from the country. In any case, sanctions would not
"impair seriously" Yugoslavia 's general economy even if they were applied. The report noted that in the three years
since 1946, Yugoslavia 's economy was rebuilding, and that grain production had approached pre-war levels, as had
that of steel, non-ferrous metals, electricity, textiles and timber, with food shortages expected to be alleviated during
1949.
More negatively, however, Tito's `Five-Year Plan' for industrial expansion was viewed as "unrealistic," with a lack of
capital, Western technical assistance and trained workers hindering it, while gold reserves were low. An appetite for
Western loans was noted as something expected to be increasing in the coming period.
Finally, should an emergency situation arise due to Soviet military attack, the report concludes that Western aid might
be required. However, any military equipment for Yugoslavia would ideally be better provided by the West, the CIA
believed, than "the means for production of such equipment." It is not clear from this whether the report's authors
were making a case for efficiency, or outlining a long-term goal of preventing a competitive Yugoslav arms
manufacture industry.
A Portrait of Tito
The CIA report also discusses Tito as a leader, though indirectly and partially. It is revealing in that its estimation of
him was essentially accurate and held true far beyond 1949- thus showing that the aspiring leader would not
significantly change his leadership style or chosen overarching Cold War role into the future. This assessment no
doubt helped the Americans to predict the limitations of behavior and outlook of what would turn out to be an
autocratic rule for decades, until Tito's death in 1980.
In his life, Tito would become known for craftily playing "both sides," trying to highlight his country's advantages of
being somewhere between both East and West, which would mature into the non-aligned movement. According to
the 1949 report, he is "confident of Western determination to maintain him as a constant irritant to the Kremlin."
This status, it was argued, meant also that Tito could feel assured of continued economic assistance from the West
and steady imports of needed Western industrial goods. However, "fol owing a policy of self-protection and economic
self-interest, he will continue to trade with the East in certain strategic items," it was added.



After Macedonia's Islamist Protest, Investigators
Search for Significance amidst Confusing Array of
Motives and Clues
February 13, 2012
By Chris Deliso
http://www.balkanalysis.com/macedoni...rs-search-for-
significance-amidst-confusing-array-of-motives-and-clues/
Although local and international media have depicted last month's Islamic protest and church attacks in Macedonia
as manifestations of inter-ethnic and inter-religious polarity, these events actually derived from internal power
struggles between the country's diverse Muslim parties and interests, Balkanalysis.com can report. However, the
inevitable impulse towards mediation and political settlement may make the incorrect depiction a fait accompli in
future.
At the same time, new information corroborating seven years of field research indicates that this internal turmoil is
allowing rhetorical, financial and logistical opportunities for a small number of people who are truly dangerous, and
directed from outside the country. Events and processes scheduled for the next couple years, such as a national
census and local elections may act as triggers for further infighting, protests and divisiveness.
What Happened in Brief
In late January 2012, Macedonia received brief but intense international media attention following an unprecedented
large-scale Islamic protest in the southwestern lake town of Struga , and attacks against churches, other structures
and people. The official cause of the protest, allegedly, was the Vevchani Carnival's caricature of Islam. (Eye-opening
videos of the protest, in which Islamic and Albanian flags were waved amid cries of Allahu Akbar, abound on
Youtube). However, the international media coverage of it all was simplistic and lacked proper context- thus
improving neither reader understanding nor national and regional security.
First, it should be said that as of February 2012 there is no reason why Macedonia 's different local populations
should not be able to co-exist as they always have, and without any outside interference. Unfortunately, it appears
that various interests representing different centers of power - some visible, others less so - would like to use the
recent incidents for their own varied yet overlapping goals. And, despite that the political leaders have now agreed to
work together, these goals do not involve the greater public good.
Odd Timing, a Lack of Spontaneity, and the Media
Until this year, no one had ever seriously criticized the Vevchani Carnival, held every 13-14 January for roughly the
last 1,400 years. The statistical chances of two protests from different parties, occurring within nine days of each
other would thus seem rather low. Yet this is what happened, when first the Greek government in a note, and then
the local Islamist community in force, lashed out at the carnival, on 19 January and 28 January respectively.
The carnival is a major winter cultural event in Macedonia that is regularly attended by international ambassadors and
officials as well as by tourists local and foreign. Development in this eternally peaceful Macedonian Orthodox village
has been supported by the US , EU and World Bank, and it has a thriving sustainable tourism industry and welcoming
atmosphere. Those who showed up at the later Struga protests (Muslims from that town and the villages neighboring
Vevchani) have known all their lives that the carnival and the Vevchani locals are entirely harmless; anyone who
knows both populations immediately understands this. Yet the protesters have very disingenuously sought to portray
things otherwise.
An awareness of what is customary in local reality possibly can explain why the Muslims did not react immediately.
When Muslim rioting and protests have occurred in Europe , as after the Paris youth deaths or after the Danish
cartoon controversy, it has usually been fairly spontaneous. The recent protest in Macedonia was anything but- it was
well-organized, supported by local officials, and took place a full two weeks after the carnival. It was another example
of the truism that in Macedonia , nothing happens by accident.
What did transpire in the interim, however, was an indignant protest statement on 19 January from the Greek foreign
ministry regarding the same carnival, which had featured a ceremonial funeral float for the country- a gag targeting
Greece's current financial problems, and not symbolic of any real il -will against the country. And when examined
more closely, it seems clear that the skit was actually designed for internal consumption, as it included a mock
Orthodox death notice that listed among the supposed bereaved, Macedonian public figures who have over the years
been identified with a "pro-Greek" position.
The rationale behind the official Greek reaction can be understood in two ways. First, it offered an easy opportunity to
temporarily distract Greek citizens from worsening internal political and economic problems. Second, Greek
diplomacy is currently concerned that the negative (albeit merely symbolic) ruling of the International Court of Justice
in December 2011 will result in increasing international pressure to resolve the name issue. Therefore, the Greek
MFA is seeking to take advantage of any trifling matter that can be depicted as a sign of `provocation' from the
Macedonian side. Athens thus seems to think it can stall for time or endlessly defer the process through pointing out
alleged cases of Macedonian `provocations.'

It is also possible that diplomats in Athens were unnecessarily angered because they are unfamiliar with the event,
and thus took it much more seriously than they should have. For example, burning all the masks at the end of the
carnival is a traditional ritual, not a singular provocation against anyone or anything.
It is very interesting to note that there was no initial uproar from Muslims after the carnival, and the usual news wraps-
ups devoting most of their attention to the Greek sketch. It was only on 28 January that Muslims in the Struga area
took to the street to protest. In a telephone interview for Skopje 's Sitel TV conducted a few days after the protest,
Struga Mayor Ramiz Merko evaded the question when asked why the Muslims did not seem to have a problem with
Vevchani until after the Greeks did. However, the interviewer did not push the issue and this vital question has still
not been answered.
A question that still remains, therefore, is whether the Muslims acted completely independently, or played off of the
Greek involvement with a `copycat' - but much more serious - protest, or if the two sides could even have been
coordinating activities due to a common interest in obstructing the country's progress. We have absolutely no opinion
or information regarding this possibility, and only mention it because it is one of the hypothetical possibilities being
weighed now by investigators. However, it does seem plausible that without the Greek protest over Vevchani (an
example of the more aggressive Greek policy since the Hague ruling), the Muslims would not have gotten the idea to
protest. It is thus possible that this whole incident was entirely avoidable and in a way accidental.
Macedonian officials were further concerned by very damaging and inaccurate news articles, such as an Associated
Press piece of 30 January and another of 31 January that soon had around 160 Google News citations, including
several US newspapers and even TV networks. Like a similar Reuters report on the same day, these articles
depicted the incident as an inter-ethnic one, mentioning the 2001 conflict in the same breath as recent events. The
articles take for granted a direct causal connection between the carnival and the protest (although as we have seen, it
was not spontaneous) and also make erroneous claims regarding the demographic breakdown and population figures
for Muslims in the country.
These articles also provide a distorted selection of quotes from local Muslim leaders and politicians, ignoring those
characterized by rough language, and instead transmitting the more politically-correct comments out of the vast
totality of commentary made for local media during the crisis period. The second piece provocatively states that
Muslims "accuse the [Christian] majority of stoking hatred," ominously adding that "ethnic tension has been
simmering in this small Balkan country since the end of an armed rebellion in 2001."
These implications portray the whole issue in a completely incorrect light and exaggerate the supposed demise of
inter-ethnic relations. It is unclear whether this sensationalism can be attributed to bad writing or to an uninformed
editor. But it cannot be due to an uninformed author, as at least the AP work was written by longtime local
correspondent Konstantin Testorides, who is presumably better informed about local realities. (Mr Testorides did not
reply to an email request for clarification from Balkanalysis.com).
Motive: Political and Economic Control of Struga
Understanding the recent events in Macedonia depends on an understanding of the unique structure of local power-
something that the international media has ignored completely. The public figure most associated with supporting the
Islamic protest is Struga Mayor Ramiz Merko, who gave permission for it to be held and who has been very vocal in
this and in several previous cases of supporting Islamist projects. Although Reuters quoted Merko as saying "we
should avoid further incidents and not be influenced by politics," the Struga mayor has from the beginning sought to
manipulate the incidents to increase his political prestige.
This representative of the ethnic Albanian governing coalition member, DUI, has been elected twice, in 2005 and
2009, but it is believed that he will not be the party's candidate in the 2013 election. This may be partly because he
angered party leader Ali Ahmeti by publicly threatening to run with rival ethnic Albanian parties in the 2009 race.
Since leading the NLA paramilitary force in 2001, Ahmeti has kept an ironclad grip on party power. For party
members, it is better to remain on his good side.
Although a lot can happen between now and the elections, informed sources believe that DUI's next mayoral
candidate wil be Artim Labunisti, a doctor and descendent of an established, `old' Struga family. They expect that he
could even have crossover appeal with Macedonian voters, something that would be highly unusual for an Albanian
party's candidate.
A local from the Macedonian Muslim vil age of Labunista praised this idea, tel ing Balkanalysis.com that the doctor's
grandfather, Murat Labunisti, "was highly respected in our village, and had studied in France ." (In fact, the name of
the vil age's elementary school has been changed from `Josip Broz Tito' to `Murat Labunisti'). Other sources indicate
that this candidate was discussed favorably in an internal DUI meeting approximately three months ago.
In the purely politico-economic sense, Struga today is somewhat reminiscent of Atlantic City in the 1920s. Being the
mayor of a large municipality such as this puts an individual and party in a position to hand out jobs, favors, contracts
and tenders- and, of course, a chance to profit from this interaction. Controlling this machinery not only means
controlling cash; it also means the ability to continue deferring non-financial personal debts accrued to a varied group
of `creditors.' If one is the mayor of such a place, it is thus best to stay so for as long as possible.
Presuming that Merko will not run with DUI, he could conceivably reach out to another Albanian party, such as the
New Democracy of Imer Selmani, or run as an independent. However, running against a strongly supported local
candidate would jack up the price of votes from local businessmen, and significant collateral would have to be
brought to the table in order to buy them. At very least we can say that the political situation in Struga is fluid.









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"Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
GOTSE DELCEV
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:47 AM   #1258
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A Century of Silence – Chapter 4 –Part 14
By Stoian Kochov
Translated and edited by Risto Stefov
rstefov@hotmail.com
July 19, 2015

If there was any justice in that world it was for the strong. In other words there was only justice for those who willed power and in this case it was the communists. There was no fairness… only strength… and that’s what mattered then and nothing else. The same is true today… So, were our strategists in the CPM, NOF and AFZH not aware of what had already been decided by the Great Powers and by Macedonia’s neighbours when they went looking for an alternate solution for us Macedonians?! Why did these organizations wait for others, outsiders, to create a future for us? Were they not capable? If not then why did they accept to lead us? Why did they play a role in turning us into victims of the CPG? On top of that, why did they allow the history of this war to be falsified and for the truth and our future to be erased?

In the half century or so that has passed since the war ended many so-called intellectuals, if we can call them that, have been engaged in discussions about this war, both in political and general forums, but all they have done is apologize for the political powers, sometimes putting their own intellectual creed in question. Some were lost in the daily political waters in which they lost their intellectual virtues in favour of demagogy. But there were also those groups which worked in accordance with the needs of their clients and their lucrative goals and needs. From time to time these groups affirmed and praised some ideas and in different situations they were its fiercest critics. These groups, filled with unfulfilled ambitions, actively participated in the division of political power but because of their own failures were constantly filled with anger, jealousy and nihilism.

And how did the communists in Bureli solve and bury the Macedonian Question?

Let me say that they did it in the presence of the highest CPG communist leadership, in front of Grigori Petrov, a high representative of the USSR and member of the Information Bureau, in front of DAG General Headquarters staff and all the fighters (Greeks and Macedonians) who bled for four years fighting in the Greek Civil War. They did it in front of members of NOF and AFZH and in front of a number of senior representatives belonging to the Communist Party of Albania.

Was this then a strategy to drive the Macedonians out of Greece?!” I asked.

Unexpectedly Krapov looked at me and said: “Yes! Yes, but that was not all. That was not the end!”

“Here is a chronology of events,”,I said.

“Two days after being placed in the camps in Albania, the NOF and AFZH Macedonian leaders were labeled Tito and Kolishevski’s bandits. All of us DAG fighters were stunned by the news. We knew nothing about this during the course of the war.”

Krapov interrupted and said: “Well, this is how the communist system worked. It worked conspiratorially, secretly! Do you understand?”

“If that were so,” I said “why then did they all pretend to be naïve?! False heroes and victims… The Macedonians have no one to blame but themselves. They decided to become servents of the strategic policy implemented in Yugoslavia and wanted to have influence over the Macedonians in Greek occupied Macedonia.

The moment we arrived at the camps, security organs under the leadership of General Dimitrios Vlandas and Periklis Mirovlitis, the officers in charge of intelligence activities at the DAG General Headquarters in Bureli Camp, began searching all the camps looking to capture and arrest Tito’s agents.

From October 1st to October 5th, 1949, arrested were:

1. Paskal Mitrevski, president of NOF. And as I have said before, NOF and AFZH were established in the CPM Central Committee Headquarters in Skopje on April 23, 1945. All NOF and AFZH members were selected by Mitrevski’s design. Mitrevski did that after he returned from Belgrade where he stayed for several months and received instructions from CPY Central Committee authorized personnel. He chose the following people: Pavle Rakovski, Mincho Fotev, Vera - Evdokia Baleva, Urania Urukova, Tashko Hadzhianev, Lazar Poplazarov, Hristo Kolentsev, Lambro Cholakov, Mihail Maliov and Themistoklis Leokratis.

The next day, October 3, 1949, the above mentioned people were arrested and placed in a joint jail cell. There they asked each other why they had been detained. They had never done anything that would be hostile towards the CPG? They had always acted on CPG orders, which included organizing the Macedonian people and getting them to fight for the CPG and for world freedom en masse? They pushed the Macedonian peasants to give everything they had for this holy struggle? They had even agreed to evacuate their children so that the women could enter the ranks of DAG? They were completely puzzled by the actions that the CPG took.

The CPG was the stepmother who they earnestly loved!

Like Umbero Eko once said: ‘I now began to believe that the whole world was a secret, a harmless secret, which became a horror when I attempted to interpret it as well-hidden truth’…”

Krapov interrupted me again and said: “The Macedonian communists from NOF and AFZH are now saying that they loved the CPG like it was their Party, and as such throughout the entire course of the war they preached its politics to the Macedonian people. They sincerely loved the CPG like a stepmother.”

I looked at Krapov and said: “Were these people trying to be naïve on purpose or were they truly subjects of the CPY and the CPG?! If the Macedonians from NOF and AFZH did not do what they were told to do by the CPY and CPG or as they said: ‘We only acted on the orders of the CPG when our assignment was to mass organize the Macedonian people in the struggle’, we would not have been expelled from our homeland! And as Jean Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher, once said: ‘There is no madness from which a person cannot escape, except from vanity.’

But what do statements like these, made by Vera and the others, tell us? They tell us that there was a strand of self-defeat amongst our Macedonian communists. In other words, the people of NOF and AFZH worked for strangers, for the designers of the war who planned to rid of us from our homeland. And as it turned out it was all done against the interests of the Macedonian people!

Now they were pretending to be naïve and fear made them wonder: ‘What will become of us?...’ Fear and horror preoccupied the leaders of NOF and AFZH as they sat in the jail.

The next day, October 4, 1949, General Vlandas lookеd at them angrily and said: ‘Write down about Tito and Kolishevski’s band!’

He wanted a statement from each one of them so he said: ‘Write, write about your dirty deeds.’ And as such each of the detainees was obliged to give a statement.

A great gathering involving all the DAG fighters was called for October 7, 1949. More than 3,000 people showed up. Among them were members of the CPG Politburo, members of DAG General Staff, CPG General Secretary Nikos Zahariadis, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government Petros Rosos and members of General Headquarters. Included among the top officials and Politburo members were Vassilis Brdzhiotas, Michos Vlandas, Georgios Gusias and Periklis Mirovlitis (who later published a book in Poland entitled “Tito and his clique’s betrayal of Greece”.)

CPG General Secretary Nikos Zahariadis delivered a bitter speech. A few years later Zahariadis hung himself in a prison cell in the city Surgun in Siberia.

For the benefit of everyone, among other things, Nikos Zahariadis said: ‘During our holy war all these people here were under CPY influence and played a treacherous role… there is no place for traitors in our ranks.’

If we further analyze these allegations we will find that there were dirty foreign political games played over the Macedonian people.

First, the Ideological activism carried out by NOF and AFZH in order to get the Macedonian people in Greek occupied Macedonia, during the years 1945 to 1949, to massively rise and fight was a Yugoslav initiative.

Then we hear from Vera, leader of the AFZH organization, telling Zahariadis that: ‘The Communist Party of Greece is my Party!’

So what exactly was NOF and AFZH’s ideological conception, in comparison to that of the CPG, if all the time they made compromises to it?

When we, the Macedonian fighters of DAG, first heard of this, that these people were Tito’s agents, we stood there with our mouths open, we were in shock. It was even more shocking that the CPG made them responsible for us Macedonians and before each battle they assured us that our death for this struggle was sacred because the Macedonian people would live free.

In other words, if we want to look for the root of this evil in all this then we will be faced with two questions… to which we should seek answers.

1. How and why did Tito and the CPY activate the Macedonian syndrome and push the Macedonian people on the ideological red gallows in 1945 to 1949?!

2. How did Zhariadis and the CPG manipulate Macedonian people through the hell of the red gallows?!

***

At the conclusion of the indictments; the security authorities immediately jailed the NOF and AFZH leaders in the Bureli jail where they remained until December 1949.

Then, between December 15 and 16, 1949, they were loaded on the ship Michurin and shipped from Albania to the USSR. Following a ruling from the USSR Supreme Court they were then sent to Siberia to serve their sentences in the Siberian camps.

At the same time, the villages in our homeland were turned into a wasteland as the population was expelled and found itself roaming the world.

Think about this. Think how well-planned and executed this matrix of genocide was over the Macedonian population. You can clearly see it as it happened to those who were convicted. They had no clue what was happening to them; they had no idea that this was perpetrated by both the CPY and the CPG.”

Krapov turned to me and again said: “Well, this is how the communist system operated. Secretly! Strictly secretly! Do you understand now? By this means everything that happened to us and our leadership was designed to have two versions.”

No sooner had he finished talking than Krapov again went into one of his trances, preoccupied with his thoughts no doubt, trying to make sense of things. Then suddenly he looked at me and said: “Regarding Vera, leader of the organization AFZH and her relationship with Zahariadis; Vera paid careful attention to Zahariadis and idolized him but with caution. Zahariadis, on the other hand, also paid careful attention to Vera but with a dose of compassion like a good and conscientious friend. But now he could not wait to accuse her of having done cruel things and put her in jail.

At every encounter and every time he parted with the leaders of NOF and AFZH, Zahariadis always left with an ironic malice,” concluded Krapov.

In reply I said to Krapov: “Why then did they all pretend to be naïve, was that not hypocritical?”

Krapov thought for a moment and said: “A person does not need to be very smart to understand that the Macedonian Communists, the stigmatized ones, always pretended to be very naïve but, nonetheless, indirectly they were responsible for the organized genocide against us. How can they have been both guilty and brave when, together with Zahariadis, they played naïve; they all did the same thing, both the accused and the accusers, they were led by Zahariadis who a few years later hung himself in prison. Those on our side meanwhile, while serving their sentences in Alma Ata, went before Khrushchev asking him for a visa to return to Yugoslavia and told Khrushchev that they were Yugoslav Communists!

What kind of perfidious games were they all playing? Yugoslav Communists?! There had to be some sort of agreement between Tito and the CPY/CPM on one side and Zahariadis and the CPG on the other. The situation they were in was well-known after the Second World War,” concluded Krapov.

Now let us look at some facts and arguments.

1. The Yalta Conference lasted from February 4th to 11th, 1945. It was attended by the leaders Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt, in the presence of their ministers of external affairs. Greece was placed under the British and American sphere of influence. Stalin gave them this guarantee in Yalta, which means that no socialist system would be allowed to take root in Greece, not even with a Civil War. So, what was the civil war all about then; if not to ethnically cleanse the Macedonian population in Greek occupied Macedonia? The Greek Civil War was started to legalize this process in order to get rid of the Macedonians from Greece and to make more space for the Turkish colonists and settlers from Asia Minor who were already settled in Macedonia.

2. At the same time, let us look at how the British and the Americans viewed the situation in Greece with regards to the Macedonians.

British Ambassador to Athens, Mr. R.A. Leeper, back in November 1944, toyed with the idea of displacing 120,000 Macedonians from Greek occupied Macedonia and moving them north of the Greek border. Mr. Leeper suggested this to Mr. Eden, then UK Foreign Minister, in a letter dated November 24, 1944 in which, among other things, he wrote ‘… and since the amputation of the Slav areas in Western Macedonia and their annexation to a Slav Federation is a practical impossibility and would also be economically disastrous for Greece, it would follow that, difficult as it may be, a home must be found for perhaps 120,000 Slav Macedonians north of the Greek frontiers of 1941.’ (5a) (See: FO 371/43649 XP 00201 R 20431/1009/67.)

Yes. During the war and during the half century after the war we never asked: ‘Why did Britain and the United States support the Greek injustices perpetrated against Macedonia and the Macedonian people?’

3. Marshal Tito, in an interview with ‘ The New York Times’ in Moscow on April 26, 1945, among other things, said: ‘If the Macedonians in Greece express a desire to unite with other Macedonians, Yugoslavia will respect their wishes.’

4. Perfidious games played by Zahariadis and Tito with regards to starting the Greek Civil War.

(Moscow – Belgrade - the CPG)

(The following facts reveal key moments in NOF’s history - from the military archives: USSR, Yugoslavia and the CPG)

March 20, 1946 - Zahariadis left Athens and went to Prague. He used this trip as an opportunity to discuss his armed struggle in Greece with the communist party leaders and to seek assistance from them. But, as it turned out, he received silence or advice that it was a bad idea to start a war at this point in time and that such a move would be foolish. The most notable leaders, including Torez of France and Toliati of Italy, told him that it was ‘dangerous to resort to arms’ at this point in time. Georgi Dimitrov asserted that ‘the international situation does not allow an outbreak of a new armed conflict, especially one that would directly interfere in the affairs of the Western allies in the Balkans’.

All those leaders knew very well that Zahariadis had returned to Athens in May 1945, after being imprisoned in the Dachau Camp in Germany for nine years, which had left a strong impression on him and gave him a new attitude towards the world. He returned to Greece on a British plane and, immediately after returning, took up his former duties as CPG Secretary General and began to work.



ЕДНОВЕКОВНО МОЛЧЕЊЕ (1913 - 2013) - Глава 4 - 14

Стојан Кочов
Тогаш постоеше како правда на моќникот (КПГ). Значи, правдата не е во правилноста, туку во моќта. Кој е моќен, тој е праведен (тоа многу важело и за комунистите). И денес обратното не важи... Зарем толку не беа упатени овие наши стратези (КПМ, НОФ и АФЖ) дека Големите сили и нашите соседи однапред имале алтернативно решение за нас Македонците!!? Ние Македонците (преку организацијата НОФ, АФЖ и НОМС) не ја креиравме и не ја создававме иднината, туку ја чекавме. Зошто? Затоа што владееше фатална дезорганизираност на македонските позиции и така Македонците под Грција станаа невини жртви на КПГ. По Граѓанската војна дозволивме да ни биде избришано минатото, обезличена сегашноста и да не бидеме присутни во иднината.

Во овој полувековен период, токму од такви таканаречени ангажирани интелектуалци (ако може така да се наречат) кои не само што учествувале (или сè уште учествуваат) во политичкиот живот и во поделбата на политичката моќ, туку и како апологети (има и такви) го ставаат на коцка и сопственото интелектуално кредо. Некои од нив толку многу се губат во политичките води (на дневната политика) што интелектуалната доблест ја користат само како демагошка вештина. Но, има и една друга група која работи зависно од потребата на нарачателот и сопствените лукративни цели и потреби можеа (можат) во еден период да афирмираат и да фалат едни идеи и факти, за во друга ситуација да бидат најжестоки нејзини критичари. Оваа група (лажни херои и жртви) западна во ќорсокакот на своите неостварени амбиции да учествува активно во делбата на политичката моќ, но поради сопствениот неуспех, константно се исполнети со гнев, завидливост и нихилизам.

КАКО КОМУНИСТИТЕ ВО “БУРЕЛИ” ГО РЕШИJА И ГО ПОГРЕБАА МАКЕДОНСКОТО ПРАШАЊЕ:

Пред наjвисокото комунистичко раководство на КПГ, високиот преставник на СССР Григори Петров, член на Информативното биро, Главниот штаб На ДАГ и сите борците (Грци и Македонци) кои крварваревме четири години во Граѓанската воjна, нофитите и афежитките и високи преставници на КП на Албаниjа.

Дали ова: СТРАТЕГИJАТА БЕШЕ ОДМАЗДА ЗА ПРОТЕРУВАЊЕ НА МАКЕДОНЦИТЕ ПОД ГРЦИJА!? -Крапов вели ДА!- но таа не заврши!

Хронологиjа на настаните:

Само два дена по логорувањето, македонските раководители на НОФ и АФЖ, од раководството КПГ, прогласени за банда на “ТИТО И КОЛИШЕВСКИ”. Сите ние борците на ДАГ,останавме вчудоневидени, но зошто во текот на воjната незнаевме ништо?

Крапов ми вели: Е,таков е комунистичкиот систем. Работи многу CONSPIRATIVUS (Таjно, строго поверливо!). Конспиративно! Разбра? - ми вели.
Му одговорив со не. И му велам: Ама тогаш зошто сите се прават наjивни!? Лажни херои и жртви. На Македонците не им е виновен никоj. Тие сами прифатиjа да и бидат слуги на стратешката политика што jа спроведуваше Jугославиjа, која сакаше да има влиjание и над Македонците во Егеjска Македониjа.

Веднаш по логорувањето, органите за безбедност под раководство на генералот Димитриос Вландас и офицерот на разузнавачката деjност Периклис Мировлитис при ГШ на ДАГ во логорот “Бурели”, и останатите логори, стапиjа во акциjа по сите логори за фаќање на “Титовите агенти”.

Крапов ми вели: Знаеш нам Македонците кога ни беше јасно? Кога морковот беше при крај и се наѕираше стапот.

Тогаш пред сите Македонци и светот, знаеш што се случи?

Од 1-5 октомври 1949 година, беа арестовани:

1. Паскал Митревски, претседател на организациjа НОФ - формирана во седиштето на ЦК на КПМ, во Скопjе на 23 април 1945 година. Сите избрани членови во НОФ и АФЖ, беа избрани со кооптациjа (назначени од Митревски). Тоа го сторил по враќањето од Белград, каде престоjувал повеќе месеци и добивал инструкции од овластени лица на ЦК КПJ и токму тогаш беа изабрани следниве членови:

Павле Раковски, Минчо Фотев, Вера - Евдокиjа Балева, Ураниjа Урукова, Ташко Хаџиjанев, Лазар Поплазаров, Христо Колицев, Ламбро Чолаков, Михаил Маљов и Темистоклис Леократис.

Следниот ден, на 3 октомври 1949 година уапсените се наjдоа во заедничка просториjа и се прашуваа: “Но, зошто? Зарем ние сме воделе неприjателска деjност против нашата партиjа КПГ?

Ние постапувме само по наредба на КПГ со задача за што помасовно да го орагнизираме Македонскиот народ во борбата за света слобода. Ние ги теравме македонските селани да дадат сè за светата борба. Ние се сложивме да ги евакуираме и своите деца за да и жените влезат во борбрните редови на ДАГ.”

КПГ - МАЌЕАТА ШТО ИСКРЕНО JА САКАВМЕ

“Сега почнав да верувам дека сиот свет е таjна, нештетна таjна, коjа станува ужасна од нашите обиди да jа интерпретираме како тешко скриена вистина” Умберто Еко.

Крапов ми вели: Македонските комунисти нофити и афежити сега велат дека jа сакаат КПГ како нивна партиjа и така низ целиот тек на воjната му jа проповедаа на македонскиот народ, политиката на КПГ, но таа се покажа; како маќеа што искрено jа сакаа.

Дали овие наши луѓе изигруваа наивни или навистина беа и останаа поданици на КПГ и КПJ!? Ако тоа него правеа тоа, овие Македонци од НОФ и од АФЖ како што сега изjавуваат дека: “Ние постапувме само по наредба на КПГ за задача што по масовно да го орагнизираме Македонскиот народ во борбата”, македонскиот народ ќе си останеше на своjата вековна прадедова земjа!

“Нема лудило од кое човек не може да се извлече, освен од суетата” Жан Жак Русо (Француски филозов).

Но, со овие изjави на Вера и другите, тоа на што покажува? Покажува дека каj нашите Македонски- комунисти имало некоа жичка на САМОБИЧУВАЊЕ. Значи, НОФитите и Афежитите, попрво работеле за тугинците (Проектантите на воjната) кои планираа да не ископачат од нашите родни места и на сето тоа што беше против интересите на Македонскиот народ!

А сега, изигруваат наивни и стравот ги тера да размислуваат: Што може да стане со нас?...

Страв и ужас, каj уапсените нофити и афежити.

Другиот ден, на 4 октомври 1949 година, генералот Вландас луто ги погледнува и им вели: “Пишуваj за бандата на Тито и Колишевски!”.

Бара од сите нив изjава и на секого им вели: “Пишуваj, пишуваj за твоите гнасни дела.” Така, секои од уапсените, беше должен да даде изjава.

На 7 октомври 1949 година беше свикан голем собир на сите борци на ДАГ, а ги имаше повеќе од 3000. На истиот собир присуствуваа членовите на Политбирото на КПГ, членовите на ГШ на ДАГ, генералниот секретар на КПГ НИКОС ЗАХАРИJАДИС, министерот за надворешни работи на Привремената влада Петрос Росос, членовите на ГШ и Политбирото: Василис Брџиотас, Мичос Вландас, Георгиос Гусиjас Периклис Мировлитис (покасно во Полониjа издаде Книга: “Предавството на Тито и неговата клика во Грциjа.”

Жолчен говор одржа генералниот секретар на КПГ Никос Захариjадис, коj понеколку години покасно ќе се обеси во затворот во градот “Сургун” - Сибир.

Никос Захариjадис и за сите рече дека: “Во нашата света воjна; сите овие луѓе беа под големо Влиjание на КПJ и изиграа предавничка улога, а за предавници нема место во нашите редови.”

Што тоа значи ви политичка смисла т. е по моќта на туѓите валканите туѓи политики над Македонците и ги анализираме подлабоко ќе видиме дека:

“Идеолошкиот активизам над Македонците под Грциjа во годините (1945-1949) македонскиот народ масовно да се крени од страна на НОФ и АФЖ бил апологиjа на Jугословенството.

Впрочем, тоа го потврдува и лидерот на АФЖ - Вера пред Захариjадис вели: “Комунистичката Партиjа (КПГ) на Грциjа е моjа партиjа!”

Тогаш, каква беше идеолошката концепциjа на НОФ и АФЖ, за разлика од концепциjата на КПГ, па цело време се правеа компромиси со сопствените идеолошки концепти?

Ние, воjниците (Макдеонци) на ДАГ, кои прв пат за овие луѓе слушнавме дека се “Титови агенти” кои КПГ ги поставуваше како одговорни за нас Македонците и пред секоjа борба нè убедуваа дека нашето загинување за оваа борба е свето, затоа што македонскиот народ ќе живее на слобода останавме со отворена уста.

Значи, ако тргнеме во потрага по корените на злото се судруваме со две прашања, и тука треба да го бараме одговорт:

1. Како и зошто Тито (КПJ) го активира македонскиот синдром и ги турна Македонците во идеолошкото црвено губилиште (1945-1949)!?

2. Како Захариjадис (КПГ) ги манипулираше Македонците низ пеколот на црвеното губилиште!?

* * *

Заклучоците на обвинителниот акт. Органите на Државната безбедност веднаш ги уапсиjа НОФ-итите и АФЖ-итките и ги затвориjа во “Бурели” и таму останаа сè до декември 1949 година.

На 15-16 декември 1949 година,со бродот “Мичурин” од Албаниjа заминаа за СССР. По пресудата од Врховниот суд на СССР, беа упатени во сибирските логори.

Во тоj период, во родните села беше направен пустош, а населението истерано по светот.

Сега размислувам: Колку е била детално разработена матрицата за геноцид над македонското население. Тоа дури се гледа и во осудените, дека и тие навистина не знаеа што ни се случува од деjаниjата на КПГ и КПJ.

Крапов ми вели: Е, таков е комунистичкиот систем. Работи многу CONSPIRATIVUS (Таjно, строго поверливо!). Конспиративно!

Разбра, ми вели. Ете, на овоj чин сите настапиjа со своето лицемерство, наместо со ставот на лидерство и во аманет ни оставиjа, секоjа вистина да си има две верзии.

Крапов, преокупиран, со мислите за целиот тоj нивни однос продолжи: Каj нашата Вера лидер на македонската жена и Вождот - Захариjадис, беше следниот: Вера кон Захариjадис се однесуваше со внимање во кое имаше Идеолатриjа и претпазливост, а Захариjадис кон Вера исто така со внимање, но во него имаше доза на сожалување: ете, толку “добар и совесен другар”, а сега мора да jа осудува и да извршува такви сурови и неблагородни работи. Тоj секогаш при нивната разделба остануваше со иронична злоба. А тоа го правеше кон сите лидери на НОФ и АФЖ.

Му велам, ама тогаш зошто сите се прават наjивни и лицемерни!?

Крапов, се замисли и ми вели: Значи,човек не треба да биде многу умен да свати дека Македонците-комунисти (жигосаните) изиграват многу НАИВНИ, но и во целиот овоj организиран геноцид. Како можат да бидат и виновни и храбри, сите заедно со Захариjадис изигруваа НАИВНИ, затоа што тоа го правеа сите и обвинетите и обвинувачите на чело со Захариjадис, кои по неколку годни во затворот не издржа и се обеси, а овие нашите од НОФ и АФЖ во Алмата, пред Хрушчов барале виза за да се вратат во Jугославиjа, и му изjавиле “Товариш, Хрушчов, ми Jугосовенски комунисти!”

Каква перфидна играа сите, договорена помеѓу КПМ/КПJ Тито и КПГ Захариjадис?!

ПОЛИТИЧКА МАНИПУЛАЦИЈА НАД МАКЕДОНСКИОТ НАРОД ПОД ГРЦИЈА

Истражувањата покажаа дека, пропагандата од КПЈ/КПМ и КПГ не беше идеологија, тоа беше само ПОЛИТИЧКА МАНИПУЛАЦИЈА со македонскиот народ и тоа не се препозна на време за да се одминат нејзините погубни последици, но дури по завршувањето на Граѓанската војна се виде дека таа пропаганда беше политичка манипулација над македонскиот народ под Грција. А, сето ова добро го знаеја и КПЈ (ТИТО) и КПГ (ЗАХАРИЈАДИС) каква била ситуацијата по Втората светска војна. Ете што зборуваат следните:

ФАКТИ И АРГУМЕНТИ

1.Конференциjата на Jалта траела од 4 до 11 февруари 1945 година.

На неа присуствуваа претседателите Черчил, Сталин и Рузвелт, во присуство на министрите за надвореши работи. Грциjа е под сферата на влиjание на Англиjа и САД и договорот со Сталин на Jалта, беше гарант дека социjалистичкиот систем во Грциjа нема да се дозволи со Граѓанската воjна. Значи, остануваше да се изврши етничко чистење на Македонците и со тоа што повеќе меѓународно да се легализира донесеното инородно население-Просвигите од мала Азиjа.

2. Каков беше ставот на англискиот амбасадор во Атина. Но и ставот владите на Велика Британиjа и САД.

Господинот П.А. Липер, уште во ноември 1944 година се носеше со идеjата за раселување на 120.000 словенски Македонците под Грциjа, северно од грчката граница. Тоа му го предлагал на министерот за надворешни работи на Велика Британиjа Антони Идн во писмото од 24 ноември 1944 година со цел “Грциjа да нема какво било славjанско малцинство и заради тоа што ампутирањето на славjанската териториjа кон западна Македониjа и неjзиното анектирање во славjанската федерациjа е практично невозможно и би било истовремено економска катастрофа за Грциjа”. Види: ФО 371/43649 ХП 00201 Р. 20431/1009/67.

3. Маршал Тито jа даде за “Њуjорк таjмс” во Москва на 26 април 1945 година, ја даде следнава изјава:

“Ако Македонците од грчките области изразат желба да се обединат со другите Македонци, Jугославиjа ќе ги почитува нивните желби”.

4. Перфидните игри на Захариjадис и Тито за создавањето на Граѓанската воjна.

(Москва - Белград- КПГ)

(Следните факти се клучни моменти во целата историjа на НОФ - од воените архиви: СССР, Jгославиjа и КПГ)

На 20 март 1946 година Захариjадис jа напушти Атина и замина за Прага. Патувањето, едновремено, било искористено и за разговори со комунистичките лидери, од кои Захариjадис побарал подршка за вооружуваното деjствување од повеќе лидери на европските комунистички партии, но скоро од никого не добил одобрување, туку на тоа гледале како на незрел потез. Наjзначаjните лидери - Торез на Франциjа и Тољати на Италиjа му укажале “дека е опсано да се прибегнува кон оружjе.” Посебно Георги Димитров, му укажал дека “меѓународната ситуациjа не дозволува избувнување на нов вооружен конфликт, коj фактички би им овозмужил директно мешање на западните соjузници на БАЛКАНОТ” По посетата на Белград се состана со Тито коj му jа одобрил идеата и му jа дал подршката, но од Тито бил упатен Зхариjадис да jа посети Москва и од Сталин да бара одобрение за партизанско деjствувание во северна Грциjа. Тоа му го дозволуваше и договорот во Jалта. Да се буричка, а ништо да не може да се добие.


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A Century of Silence – Chapter 4 –Part 13
By Stoian Kochov
Translated and edited by Risto Stefov
rstefov@hotmail.com
July 15, 2015

How can we have been so stupid as to think that we would receive ‘brotherly’ support from the very same people who invaded, occupied and portioned our Macedonia in 1913 and took it for themselves? Worse than that, why did we believe that the very people who had divided our Macedonia were now going to help us reunite it? Even worse than that, how could we have expected to unite our Macedonia after World War II ended? When the war was over, when everything had been decided and when the rest of the world was looking forward to living in peace?

How can we have been so naïve as to think that a government (Bulgarian, Yugoslav, or Greek) would be so stupid as to arm NOF or any other Macedonian liberation movement and freely give it part of its territory for which it had fought in 1913?

I know that any reasonable person would have said ‘no’ to fraternizing with our occupiers, especially with the so-called ‘fraternal, communist parties’ (CPY and CPG) because it was not in their interest to support us in the creation of a united and independent Macedonia separated from Greece and Yugoslavia. By fraternizing with them, they in fact prevented us from organizing and achieving our aims.

They wanted us to be part of them, especially during the Greek Civil War so that they could control our actions, just like they did with NOF. If we acted independently we were immediately labeled traitors. In the end the CPG labeled the NOF leaders traitors anyway and as such doomed them. The Greeks would have done anything, lie, tell us what we wanted to hear, etc., in order to keep us within reach.

For example, Stavros Karkaletsos, President of the Hellenic Centre for European and International Analysis, once said: ‘I, as a Greek, and many others here believe that the Communist Party of Greece at the time played an anti-Greek role. There was a statement made by Aris Velouhiotis, wartime leader of the Party during the Second World War, that Greece’s borders ended at Mount Olympus.’

Now, why would he say that when clearly it was against his own interests? It was pure propaganda, but for what reason?

Clearly he said it to placate the Macedonians or more precisely to attract the so-called Slavo-Macedonians on the communist side of the Greek Civil War and have them fight against the Greek army. And that’s exactly what happened. All kinds of things were promised but none materialized. It was as if the Greek communists had gotten amnesia because later none remembered or recalled what they had promised. It was a trick to attract the Macedonians to their side and have them fight against the Athens government. (See: “A century of persecution.”)

Such tricks were used against us by many Greeks including Zahariadis and Markos and also by members of the CPY/CPM, from 1943 to 1949, and especially by Tempo, Kolishevski, Uzunov and other Macedonians. We were also given a label, no doubt by the CPG, CPY/CPM, and we became known as the “Egeitsi” (Aegeans), a hurtful and offensive label for us because we were all patriotic Macedonians. It was scary indeed…” concluded Krapov, who went silent.

I watched the old man in wonderment as he pondered his next move, curious as to what he was going to say next. Then, without warning, he stood up, fixed his white hair with his palm and said: “We had a strange logic here in Kostur: If you were against them not even the river Belitsa could wash away your guilt because you were against the Bands who died protecting Kostur and your native land. Conversely, if you wholeheartedly were for the Communists then you not only advanced their ideas but you were also labeled Internationalist and an internationalist intellectual.

With such an internationalist orientation, a hundred years later, a person from Kostur will feel like a new man, not caring where he belongs while living outside of Kostur. Now scattered around the world, we feel spiritually depleted and go on with our cosmopolitan lives, living only with our memories... But for how many generations?! Will the next generation know or even care to know where it came from? Scary isn’t it?

It is incomprehensible even today that we (Macedonian fighters in the ranks of ELAS) actually participated in the destruction of the entire well-organized Kostur Region community when we attacked the 64 Macedonian villages with more than 9,800 armed Macedonian freedom fighters, who bravely stood on guard against Hellenism and protected our people from losing their identity and dignity. Instead of valourizing these fighters as the true guards of our identity and dignity, which in effect were a Macedonian national resistance, we placed a black mark on them and in our history labeled them with all sorts of ideological labels. But what is truly amazing, the very same people who we labeled ‘traitors and collaborators’ were not only good enough to fight in the new campaign, but left us with a new generation of fighters (all those who remained alive or their sons). Unfortunately, after they were disarmed they too were stuffed in the same trap as the rest of us; they too became the good sons of the Communist Party of Greece...

This phenomenon of freedom fighters, fighting exclusively for the Macedonian cause, appearing in Kostur and in other places in Macedonia at this time and under these circumstances, shows that there is still much respect for our people’s identity and dignity. We respect ourselves and who we are! Unfortunately we have not learned to avoid the traps set for us by outsiders. We have not learned to refrain from being drawn into the political games being played all around us. Believe me when I tell you this… We committed a great sin when we destroyed the Kostur freedom fighters.

Also let me tell you this. If nations in the world existed with roots extending to the very distant past, we would be amongst the first, if not the first to fit that profile. We are Macedonians and we one of the oldest nations in the world. And we still exist… It is a miracle. It is a sin to want to persecute and destroy a miracle… especially the Kostur freedom fighters…

It turned out that every ideology invariably leads to violence and radical thinking. And now this ideological intimacy with double standards turned the Macedonians away from their original objectives and gave them different visions and different yearnings. Of course that was expected with change; a new Party, a new world order… It was a big deal. But the greatest error we made was to surrender our people to strangers, to our historic enemies, under the belief that they would lead us to national freedom.

Throughout the entire period while the war was raging on, we Macedonians were under the spell of the CPY/CPM and the CPG. It was like we all had the same disease. Especially the Macedonians who were members in these parties and who not only wholeheartedly believed what the Parties preached to them but they excessively propagated their own illusions and were blind to the truth. They were the ones who created the atmosphere of lies which have now lasted more than half a century. They are the ones who covered up our failures and the destruction of the true Macedonian freedom fighters in Kostur. They are the ones who destroyed the Macedonian family and turned us all into world wanderers. They are the ones responsible for us losing our ancestral homes. The unprecedented genocide that befell us is on their hands…” concluded Krapov, sitting down, looking emotionally drained.

Alien ideological strategies and the disorganization of the Macedonian position

Krapov looked at me and said: “Tell me something about the Civil War. Was it true that more than 60% of the participants were Macedonians? What was the purpose of that war? Was its goal really to unite Macedonia?”

I don’t know why Krapov asked me again because I had answered these questions a little earlier in our conversation. At least I thought I had.

“No!” I said. “It was bait planted by the CPG, CPY/CPM” giving him a short answer.

Krapov looked confused as if wanting to say: “That’s all you have to say?”

Feeling awkward I began talking. I felt like I had to tell him everything I knew.

I said: “As history has shown, the Greek Civil War was filled with much cruelty against the Macedonian people living in Greek occupied Macedonia as this cruelty and deadly games were led and played by the then leaders of the Left, especially those of the CPG, the CPY headed by Tito. It was done for the benefit of their countries.

This many years later and after spending half a century feeling like prisoners, for us the Greek Civil War can be generally assessed as objective, but only if we analyze NOF and AFZH’s goals and results from a neutral standpoint, which will then show that it was a closed circle tragedy. And I will tell you why!

This phenomenon called the ‘Greek Civil War’ was not only pure genocide to ethnically cleanse Greek occupied Macedonia of its Macedonian population but it was a means of making it look legal and moral from the Greek side, which resulted in our silence for more than half a century. What did we want? We wanted our Macedonia, which was stolen from us, to be given back to us. We wanted to be Macedonians; exactly what we are! No more and no less! Were these not noble deeds? Why then did it turn out that we were the bad guys who had to suffer and keep silent about it for half a century?

NOF and AFZH’s objectives, which were then closely linked with the ideology of world globalization, were changed depending on which client and in whose hands NOF and AFZH’s fate belonged, the CPG or the CPY/CPM. As a result NOF and AFZH’s achievements were extremely disappointing. Not only did we lose many people, we lost our Macedonian primordial homeland forever. Not only were there no guarantees demanded by NOF and AFZH to ensure our postwar survival, but they also failed to stop the “Pedomazoma” from taking place, which was no less than political terror against the Macedonian children. Because no such guarantees were made, for our (self) sacrifices in the Greek Civil War, we were rewarded with a one way ticket out of our homeland.

The guilt is ours to bear…

After World War II ended it was more than clear that the Greek Civil War was started by the communist regime, or more precisely by Zahariadis, Tito and Stalin. But it became an interesting combination when demagogy and daily politics were merged in historiography where the dual historical reality was recklessly distorted in the belief that the Greek Civil War (1945 - 1949) was an epic, a historical event for us Macedonians. But if we analyze the facts, we will find that NOF and AFZH were preoccupied, according to some political plan, with using systematic propaganda in order to mobilize the Macedonian people, through lies and deceit, to join the war. The Macedonian people were never asked if they wanted a war, they were simply led to join this strange conflict with false promises. We Macedonians should also bear much of the guilt for allowing strangers to take our children away from us. This act alone sealed the fate of the Macedonian family in Greek occupied Macedonia forever. Is there anyone, any member of NOF and AFZH who can explain why it was necessary to have this war?

Much of our historiography today is artificially constructed to include Greek and foreign ideological determination: ELAS, EAM, Chetniks, martial institutions in Aegean Macedonia, etc. This brazenly falsified historiography is specifically designed to keep the Macedonian reader confused and in the dark regarding Macedonia’s history and the reality of this war. We were a small nation of people living in Greece and had no means of getting help from the outside, not even from Macedonians living in other countries… because it was a pointless war. We should have used our brains and hearts, our intellect to demonstrate to the world that we needed help, not arms. What did we expect would happen when we picked up guns and started shooting? How did we think the Greeks, even the whole world, were going to react to our armed aggression, especially after the war (WW II) had ended and people were looking forward to living in peace?

I am sorry to say this friend but we too are guilty of many sins…

Now let me ask you this: ‘By participating in this war did we cause the loss of our ethnic and historical status in Greek occupied Macedonia? Did we help the Greeks achieve their objectives to get rid of us once and for all?!’ Think about it! What did NOF and AFZH achieve by dragging us into a senseless war with no safeguards for our lives or future in our country? Very disappointing!

Passing through the phases of time, NOF and AFZH first served under the CPM/CPY and then under the CPG during which time many mistakes were made, which turned out to be detrimental to our people. Knowingly or unknowingly, what was done eventually led to our defeat and destruction. NOF and AFZH (CPM), by their own actions, proved that they were created without a clear political philosophy of their own, which was vital to the interests of the Macedonian people in Greek occupied Macedonia. This was confirmed not only by the outcome of events, but also by how Macedonians were treated. For example, while we were supposedly equals to the Greeks we were being referred to as ‘Slavo-Macedonians’; not what we wanted to be called but what the Greeks wanted to call us. We were referred to as ‘Slavo-Macedonians’ against our will, which left deep psychological wounds in the collective consciousness and souls of the Macedonian people living in Greek occupied Macedonia. What kind of equality was that? And why did NOF and AFZH not object to it? Probably the most painful thing to this day is the fact that even though we were led into oblivion and lost many lives and our homes, NOF, AFZH, CPM and the CNG fiercely defended their actions as justified. After the war many people thought that there was no justice in this world,” I said.

By now Krapov was no longer listening to me. He seemed as if he was deep in his own thoughts so I stopped talking.

FREE GREECE MILITARY NEWS: Greek Civil War ends on August 29/30, 1949.

DAG units have moved to Albania. They are being disarmed by Albanian authorities and placed in the Bureli and Elbasan camps. From October 1st to 5th, 1949 members of the Macedonian NOF and AFZH leadership, by order from the CPG and DAG General Headquarters, were being arrested under accusations from the CPG that they were Tito’s agents.

Greek Civil War brings Macedonian families countless tragedies

Krapov looked at me as if he wondered why I had stopped talking. This was my cue to continue, so I said:

“Five years of war, Macedonian families destroyed, homes abandoned, villages burned down… only churches remain standing… silent witnesses to a great tragedy... but do we Macedonians know any more than this about what happened, why it happened and who was behind this tragedy… this has been our fate! Unfortunately, the powers to be made sure that the time for finding the truth had stopped while our slavery continued… While the red storm was muted, the dirty slogans silenced… the call to escape intensified and we began to think dark thoughts… what had these ideological activists done to us? And then wondered: “Will we now lose our native hearth?!” This was genocide… and this is what the communists have done to us!



ЕДНОВЕКОВНО МОЛЧЕЊЕ (1913 - 2013) - Глава 4 - 13

Стојан Кочов

Да се бара логика во “братска”, подршка, по поделата на Македониjа (1913) и да се намамува Македонецот за “Обединета Македониjа”, по Втотарата светска воjна, со нашите горди идеолошки активисти, е триумф на “танцување во мрак”.

Зарем можеше некоj да смета дека (бугарската, jугословенска или грчката) власт била толку ступидна што би го вооружувала НОФ или кое било македонско ослободително движење, само и само да одвои дел од неjзината државна териториjа?

Знам дека, секоj разумен, ќе рече: Не! А тоа, се виде дека “братските, комунистички партии”: (jугословенската - КПJ и грчката- КПГ) не биле толку недоветни, да нè поддржуваат за да одделат дел од своjата проширена државна териториjа, со македонски дел.

Напротив, во таков случаj коjа било партиjа од наведените, а конкретно во Граѓанската воjна, НОФ и КПГ би биле прогласени за предавници, и како такви, осудени.

Пример: Ете што вели Гркот Ставрос Каркалецос, претседател на грчкиот центар за европски и меѓународни анализи: Jас како Грк, но и многу други овде, сметаме дека комунистичката партиjа на Грциjа тогаш одигра антигрчка улога, имаше изjава од воениот водач на партиjата во Втората светска воjна, Арис Велухjотис деке границите на Грциjа завршуваат каj Олимп.

Тоа е чиста пропаганда, но од кои причини?

За да привлече Славомакедонци во Граѓанската воjна против грчката воjска на страна на комунистите. И тоа се случи. Им беше ветено етничка замена на Славомакедонците кои живееа во Грциjа, но бргу го заборавиjа тоа грчките комунисти. Тоа беше ТРИК за да ги придобиjат на своjа страна против владата на Атина. (Види: “Еден век прогонство”.)

Таквите ТРИКОВИ доживеавме и од многу Грци; Захариjадис, Маркос, но и од многу членови на КПМ/КПJ, од 1943-1949 година, но посебно од Темпо, Колишевски, Узунов и многу други Македонци - викани “Егеjци”- со слава стекната (од КПМ/КПJ и КПГ), од jавањето на бесен коњ. Сите тие преку Идеолошка офанзива со своjот космополитизам или поданство (против македонската национална свест) страшно го разниша македонскиот староседелски корен; прво со свирепото погубување на комитите, а потоа и со поколението.

Крапов се крена, и со дланката си jа прочешла белата коса и ми вели:

“Чудна логика завладеа во Костурско од грчките и jугословенските комунист. Ако си против нив и ги штитиш комитите кои умираа за родната костурска грутка ни реката Белица не те пере. И обратно, ако си безрезервно за комунистите, тогаш не си само напреден и си со идеите на комунистите, добиваш и име на интернационале интелектуалец и интернационалист.

Со таквата интернационалистичка ориентираност на костурчанецот по сто години се игради нов човек, апатичен спрема тоа што му припаѓа, ама надвор од Костур. Сега раштркан по светот, духовно осиромашен и свесен замижува на сè. Како космополит живее со сеќавањата...”

Несфатливо е и ден-денес, како сме могле и самите (учесниците во редовите на ЕЛАС) да учествуваме во уништувањето на една компактна целина организирана од 64 костурски села, со повеќе од 9.800 вооружени македонски комити кои застанаа храбро и достоинствено против грцизмот и не сакаа да jа прифатат елинизациjата и да се откажат од националниот идентитет. Наместо да го валоризираме како национален отпор, во нашата историjа го оцрнавме преку сите можни идеолошки етикетирања. Но, што е за чудо, во новиот поход, пак масовно ги ангажираме (од сите тие што останаа живи или нивните синови. ), но сега пикнати во стапицата; како добри синови на Комунистичката партиjа на Грциjа.

Поjавата на комитите е невероjатен миг на македонската стварност. Наместо да имаме почит и достоинство спрема сопствениот народ, ние повторно влегуваме во политички игри со тие, кои наjмногу го носеа гревот за уништување на костурските комити.

Ако земеме предвид, дека во светот нема нациjа коjа срушила нешто што е било создадено (автохтоно) од сопствениот народ, тогаш ние Македонците сме први. Токму за гревот на уништените и прогонетите, но посебно за македонските костурски комити.

Се покажа дека секоjа идеологиjа, без исклучок, води до насилие на мислата и сега таквата идеолшка интимност и двоjните стандарди на душогризниците, Македонците ги правеа со различни визии, со различни копнежи за заземање на некаква положба. Се разбира дека во секоjа нова партиjа ги очекуваше – нов свет, помалку ред и доверба. Но, тоа преставуваше голема работа, да се доведе своjот народ во заблуда и да се пренасочи да jа очекува националната слобода од туѓинците.

Низ целиот период на воjните, за нас Македонците, илузиjата што jа проповедаа КПJ/КПМ и КПГ беше “како поjава и болест”.

Посебно, ние Македонците, членови во овие партии, со своето прекумерно пропагирање на сопствените илузии и мижење пред вистината, создадовме атмосфера во коjа повеќе од половина век се гордеевме наместо да се срамиме од сопствените неуспеси што ги уништивме комитите, го растуривме македонското семеjство, го изгубивме Костур и прадедовите огништа и над нас, токму од таа наша лојалност, е извршен и невиден геноцид.

ДЕЗОРГАНИЗИРАНОСТ НА МАКЕДОНСКИТЕ ПОЗИЦИИ ОД НЕВИДЕНОТО ПОДАНСТВО КОН ТУЃИТЕ СТРАТЕШКИ ИДЕОЛОГИИ ТУЃИНЦИТЕ ОД НАС МАКЕДОНЦИТЕ СОЗДАДОА КАТЕГОРИЈА НА “ПОСЛУШНИ ИДИОТИ”

Крапов ми вели: Кажими нешто за Граѓанската воjна, во коjа повеќе од 60 отсто бевте Македонци? И коjа ви беше целта на таа воjна? Дали навистина целта ви беше да jа обедините Македоиjа?

- Не! Тоа беше мамка поставена од КПМ/КПJ и КПГ, - му одговорив кратко.

Крапов, остана збунет и како да сакаше да ми рече: “Само толку?”

Се принудив да кажам сè што знам:

-Историјата на Граѓанската војна е исполнета со многу суровост кон Македонците под Грција и дека тие игри ги проектирале и воделе тогашните лидери на левите сили, посебно - КПЈ на чело со Тито и КПГ (во корист на нивните држави).

Од денешна историска дистанца (откако минаа херојските времиња и сме како полувековни заробеници), Граѓанската војна за нас Македонците, главно, може да се оцени обејктивно, само ако од неутрално стојалиште ги анализираме целите и резултатите на поттикнувачите и оформување НОФ и АФЖ, кои ни покажуваат дека тоа беше трагедија на затворен круг кој имаше туѓи цели.

Ете, зошто!

Пребегнатите баталјони од Егејска Македонија (односно повикани од Темпо) во Југославија, беа злоупотребени за туѓи цели. Веќе се знаеше дека по поделбата на сфери на влијание Грција припаѓа под западната сфера и беше јасно дека се работи за поголем зафат спрема нас, Македонците.

Сега, под раководство на КПМ/КПЈ, во Скопје, на 23 април 1945 година го отфрлија слоганот СНОФ (не Славомакедонци), ги оформија НОФ, АФЖ и НОМС и тргнаа во борба за светлите придобивки на македонскиот народ и како гаранција на таа борба стои КПЈ/КПМ - Југославија. Тоа официјално го изјавиле Колишевски и Цветко Узунов.

Но, дали Тито стоел зад таа борба на Македонците?

Повеќе од половина век се прикриваше, но во тајните документи од архивот на Тито (1) до кои дошол д-р Јовица Велјановски (види дневник од 23 септември 2013) е истакнато:

СТАВОТ НА ТИТО БИЛ: “ГРЧКА МАКЕДОНИЈА МОРА ДА ОСТАНЕ ВО ГРЦИЈА”

Што да се каже за Титовата тајна дејност? Во што се претвори таа дејност? На Грците им помогна свирепо да се изврши геноцид над Македонците.

На најсуров начин им се уништи животот на заведените Македонци и нивните семејства. Срамно одродување и откоренување од прадедовите огништа и не им беше дозволено да се вратат во своите огништа, затоа што не биле “Грци по род”.

Види повеќе за Граѓанската војна 1945-1949 г. во книгата: “Битките на македонските генерации под Грција низ туѓите идеологии.” Издавач Матица Македонска, 2013 г.

* * *

ФЕНОМЕНОТ НА ГРАЃАНСКАТА ВОJНА И ЧЕДОБИРСТВОТО (Πεδωμαζομα) БЕШЕ ГЕНОЦИДЕН ЗАФАТ (ЕТНИЧКО ЧИСТЕЊЕ) ЗА ШТО МОЛЧЕВМЕ ПОВЕЌЕ ОД ПОЛАВИНА ВЕК.

Целите на НОФ и АФЖ (кои беа поврзани со глобализацијата на светската идеологија) беа менувани во зависност под кој налогодавец припаѓаше НОФ и АФЖ, а нашата судбина беше во рацете на КПМ/КПЈ и КПГ. Резултатите на НОФ и АФЖ се крајно поразителни, рамни на национален пораз - геноцид. Го изгубивме народот, македонската исконска прадедова земја за навек. Уништен е националниот потенцијал со умислениот зафат “Педомазома” кој беше рамен на политички терор само над македонските деца. Како награда за нашето (само) жртвување во Граѓанската војна, ни беше доделен билет само за еден правец.

НАШАТА ВИНА

По Втората светска војна, повеќе од јасно е дека Граѓанската војна се изроди од комунистичкиот режим, односно лидерите Захаријадис, Тито и Сталин. Но, многу интересна комбинација е кога демагогијата и дневнополитичката пишувана историографија ќе се спојат. Тогаш настапува двојна изобличена историска стварност и нè прави лекомислени во верувањето дека Граѓанската војна (1945-1949) била епопеја (историски период и епохален настан) за нас Македонците. Но, ако пристапиме кон анализа на фактите, ќе видиме дека, на политички план преокупацијата на НОФ и АФЖ, била со систематска пропаганда да го мобилизираат народот, на лажен начин да им внесат порив за војна и да не го прашаат дали сака или не сака да војува, туку да го водат во чудни конфликт. Ние Македонците, треба да носиме историска вина, зашто дозволивме туѓинците да ни ги земат децата, оти со тој чин, дефинитивно засекогаш се запечати судбината, развојот на македонското семејство и куќата на Македонците под Грција. Има ли некој член од овие организации (НОФ или АФЖ) кој рекол:

- Зошто војна?

Во текстовите на нашата историографија вештачки се уфрлуваат грчки или туѓи идеолошки детерминирања: еласити, еамити, четници, боречки институции во Егејска Македонија. Според него, на македонските читатели дрско им се подметнувани фалсификуваните историски факти, со цел да бидат држани во заблуда во однос на македонската историја и реалност. Ние бевме мал народ во Грција, но и немаше никаков начин да ни помогнат нашите Македонци кои живееја во другите држави, бидејќи тоа беше и бесцелно. На светот не можевме да му се покажуваме и докажуваме со силата на оружјето. Нашата сила требаше да ни биде умот, вредноста - да си го задржиме огништето. Немавме интелектуален квантум, но имавме Македонци кои неизмерно си ја сакаа својата земја, а идеологијата преку идеолошките активисти успеа да нè насочи во самоуништување. Се случи она антитрадиционалното - македонско.


НАШИТЕ ГРЕВОВИ:

ДАЛИ НИЕ МАКЕДОНЦИТЕ САМИТЕ ПОМОГНАВМЕ ВО ОВАА ВОJНА ДА СИ ИЗГУБИВМЕ СВОJОТ ЕТНИЧКИ ИСТОРИСКИ СТАТУС ВО МАКЕДОНИJА ПОД ГРЦИJА И СО ТОА И СЕ ОСТВАРИ ЦЕЛТА НА ГРЧКАТА СТРАТЕГИJА!?

Резултатите на НОФ и АФЖ се крајно поразителни, рамни на национален пораз - геноцид.

НОФ и АФЖ минувајќи низ фазите на времето кога припаѓале под налогодавците КПМ/КПЈ и КПГ, грешеле и правеле големи гревови кон сопствениот народ. Свесно или несвесно сите нивни постапки, целокупното однесување и сите преземени (или непреземени) дејствија, нè доведоа кон национален пораз, односно кон самоуништување како краен резултат.Се покажа дека НОФ ие АФЖ (КПМ), беа без јасна изградена политичка филозофија за тоа кои беа виталните интереси на Македонците под Грција. Тоа ни го потврди исходот на настаните, бидејќи ние Македонците не ги афирмиравме најсветлите вредности на нацијата: од Македонци - во целата војна се изборивме како Славомакедонци, од националните симболи ни трага. Просто, македонскиот народ се најде фатен, спротивно на својата волја, а сето тоа остави длабоки психолошки рани во колективната свест и душа на македонскиот народ под Грција. Но, најболното е што до ден-денес тие (НОФ, АФЖ, КПМ и КПГ) кои нè поведоа во Граѓанската војна велат и жестоко се бранат дека било оправдано. По војната многумина сметале дека правдата на овој свет ја нема.

Стојан Кочов за време на Граѓанската војна со чин поручник во единиците на диверзантската бригада на ДАГ. Во главниот воен штаб под раководство на неустрашливиот полковник Андонис Врацанос (мај 1949 г. на фронтофската линија на планината Грамос)

ВОЕНИ ВЕСТИ СЛОБОДНА ГРЦИJА:

НА 29 - 30 АВГУСТ 1949 Г. ГРАЃАНСКАТА ВОJНА ВО ГРЦИJА ЗАВРШИ!

ЕДИНИЦИТЕ НА ДАГ ПРЕМИНАА ВО АЛБАНИJА. РАЗОРУЖАНИ СЕ ОД АЛБАНСКИТЕ ВЛАСТИ И СМЕСТЕНИ ВО ЛОГОРИТЕ “БУРЕЛИ” и “ЕЛБАСАН”, А ЧЛЕНОВИТЕ НА МАКЕДОНСКИТЕ РАКОВДСТВА НА НОФ И АФЖ ПО НАЛОГ НА КПГ И ГЛАВНИОТ ШТАБ НА ДАГ ОД 1-5 ОКТОМВРИ 1949 ГОД., СЕ УАПСЕНИ И ОСУДЕНИ ОД КПГ КАКО “ТИТОВИ АГЕНТИ”

Граѓанската воjна на Македонците им донесе безброjни семеjни трагедии

По пет години,се размрачува. Македонските семеjствата се растуриjа, куќи се обездетиjа, селата останаа уништени и опожарени, само црквите останаа неми сведоци... Но дали ние Македонците знаеме нешто повеќе за судбината наша. Времето на вистините запрело, нашето робување во поданството и црвената бура се стишува, валканите пароли престанаа, повикот за бегство се засилува, мрачните мисли на идеолошките активисти извршиjа геноцид и се чудиме; како и од гого го изгубивме родното огниште!? Зарем ова можеле да ни го направиле КОМУНИСТИТЕ!?
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"Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"
GOTSE DELCEV
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Massacres and Machinations Continue: 1905 through to the Bitter End

The last in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

This depressing outlook was shared by other international observers. A couple months after Captain Nandrup’s final report was issued, the atrocities were still occurring. One was cited by Henry Noel Brailsford, the leader of the British aid mission to Macedonia, and a foreign correspondent for The Manchester Guardian and other publications. He had spent time on assignment in the Balkans in the 1890’s. His 1905 book Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future recounts his experiences in Macedonia during the insurgency and the implementation of the reforms. Brailsford described the Ottoman Turkish attack on Kuklish in 1905 thus:

“a typical outrage occurred in February, 1905, at the Bulgarian village of Kuklish, where, according to the report of a Russian gendarmerie captain, 64 houses out of 105 were burned, 38 unarmed peasants killed, including two women and a baby, five persons wounded, and eleven women violated. The whole place was pillaged, and the officers made no attempt to check the savagery of their men. It is worthy of note that the “reformed’ gendarmes who were present behaved exactly like the unregenerate soldiery.” Zervi, Mogila, Konopnitsa, and other Macedonian towns were similarly attacked during the spring and summer of 1905 by the “reformed” gendarmerie.

On May 23, 1905, the arrest of Romanian or Vlach school inspectors by the Turks and the assault on the Romanian consulate on the orders of the vali of Ioannina provoked a diplomatic crisis. This led to the creation of a separate Vlach nationality or “millet” in Macedonia, with its own official language schools and churches. Ottoman Turkey was divided into millets, or communities based on religious affiliation who were autonomous with their own religious leaders and own laws and customs and language. The Turkish government supported this splintering of groups in Macedonia because it divided the Christian populations even further and pitted the Christians against each other.

Brailsford again gave the following on-the-spot, eyewitness evaluation of the reforms:

“the Mürzsteg programme aimed at something more than the improvement of the Turkish administrative machinery. It has done a very little in this direction, and when it is complete it may do more. Its chief aim, however, was to bring some measure of appeasement, to restore order, to re-establish confidence, to repair devastation, and, in a word, to remove the motives for rebellion. Here it has failed, and the failure is so conspicuous that it has actually aggravated the normal anarchy.

The Macedonians were encouraged to hope; the loss of their hope has deepened their despair and increased their recklessness. The reforms left the Turks supreme in all administrative matters. They used their liberty to resort to all the old devices of repression and provocation. They still seemed to contemplate an eventual war with Bulgaria, and to make a pretext, they tried to drive the Bulgarians to desperate courses. They were for ever mobilising their troops, calling out the reserves, and accumulating armaments. The troops lived on the peasants and drained the exchequer. Mutinies were frequent and discipline was lax. Under the plea of searching for arms they harried the villages and carried on their perquisitions, with the usual accompaniments of rapine and brutality.”

The bottom line, for the British observer, was that life for Macedonian civilians had not been qualitatively improved after two years of reforms:

“as in 1903, the migratory Macedonian labourers who annually visit Constantinople in search of work were confined to their villages and forbidden to travel. A curfew ordinance was enforced, which renders any peasant abroad after sundown liable to be summarily shot. Half the refugees from the Adrianople region have been unable to return, and their lands were occupied by Moslem ‘squatters.'”

Austria-Hungary Moves on Kosovo

After objecting to other powers’ actions further south, Austria sought to extend its own sphere of influence northwards in 1906 by sending its officers to the northern cazas of Gnjilane in Kosovo and to the Presevo Valley in southern Serbia. In March 1907, Austria received permission from Hilmi Pasha to send an Austrian officer, Captain Franz Schmidt to Presevo. But the Serbian and Albanian civilian populations opposed the deployment of Schmidt. The Turks sent Shemsi Pasha, the commander of the Turkish 18th division to Kosovska Mitrovica to establish order. On April 18, Schmidt was recalled to Skopje. By the end of the year, however, these two cazas would be attached to the Austrian sector.

Meanwhile, the effect of excluding Kosovo from the reforms was bearing fruit, as the province’s beleaguered Serbian population came under the combined fire of Turkish and Albanian Muslims. Because of the exclusion, the latter could act with impunity. As in Macedonia, a cheta militia movement had sprang up among the Christians to provide some form of self-defense.

However, by summer 1907, tensions had significantly increased and Serbian traveling companies were frequently being waylaid. “The discovery of komitadjis [among the Serbian population] vexed the ethnic Albanians who feared the expansion of chetnik action and the inclusion of Kosovo and Metohia in the reform action,” writes Serbian historian Dusan Batakovic. “Feuding Albanian tribes immediately expressed solidarity… An assembly was held in the large mosque of Prizren; the ethnic Albanians of Ljuma demanded the extermination of Serbs. [Vice-consul] Milan Rakic discovered the demands of the people in Ljuma: “…for the assembly to determine the day when all ethnic Albanians would rise in arms and carry out a general massacre of Serbs. The reason stated by the people of Ljuma for the extermination of Serbs was that peace among the ethnic Albanians was impossible as long as there were Serbs in these regions, since the Serbs were always complaining to foreigners, bringing about bidats – reforms – with their complaints, and recently, they had started to infiltrate companies from Serbia.'”

However, the Serbs were not able to attract the same attention to their captivity as had the Macedonians, though this was not through a lack of effort. Rather, all entreaties and official complaints fell on the deaf ears of the Austro-Hungarians, who sought to suppress any potential challenge from Serbia.

Today, long after the demise of the Hapsburg dynasty and its grandiose dreams, the failure to include Kosovo in the reform scheme has shown itself to have had a retarding influence on development in the area. Events do not emerge from a vacuum, after all. The problems that the Great Powers did not want to face in 1906 simmered until finally exploding almost a century later. Now, in 2006, the diplomatic descendants of the Great Powers are being overwhelmed by the results of their ancestors’ selective inattention.

Swallowed Up by Larger Events, the Mürzsteg Programme Fizzles Out

By early 1908, it was clear that the reforms programme was not working as had been planned. This resulted in a sea change in, among others, British foreign policy towards Macedonia. In March of that year the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, proposed autonomy for Macedonia as a way to resolve the crisis.

On June 9-10, 1908, two weeks after the Ottomans put down a Greek revolt on the island of Samos, Edward VII and Russian Tsar Nicholas II met “cordially” at Reval/Tallin to discuss plans for installing a mostly European administration in Macedonia under an Ottoman governor to be approved by the Great Powers. Germany and the dissident Ottoman Young Turk movement, the Committee for Unity and Progress (CUP) rejected the proposal.

The Young Turk movement was fed both by pro-Western, pro-reforming inclinations, but paradoxically also by resentment of Western interventionism in Ottoman lands, specifically Crete and Macedonia. While the British and Russians were contemplating the idea of an independent Macedonia, however, the Young Turks were making urgent plans for an armed revolt that would render the sultan powerless to give away the territory. CUP agitators relocated from Paris to Thessaloniki, allied with disillusioned military officers and indigenous propagandists, especially Turks and Albanians.

Any dreams of an independent Macedonia were abruptly vanquished, however, early the next month, when the Young Turk revolution began. The Great Powers had found a way out of the quagmire, without having to do another thing. Not surprisingly, this revolt too emerged from Macedonia, among disaffected soldiers in the Ottoman 3rd Army Corps stationed in Resen, west of Bitola.

On July 3, Young Turk sympathizers in the army under command of Major Ahmed Niyazi decamped from Resen, “leaving behind a demand for the restoration of the constitution. The sultan’s attempt to suppress this uprising failed, and rebellion spread rapidly.”

The reformists issued a proclamation which spelled out their liberalizing goals. Like Nikola Karev five years before, they promised equality and freedom to all citizens, regardless of nationality or religion. The strong sense of an Ottoman identity which the Young Turks called for, however, ran counter to the prevailing trend towards nationalism among the different groups. The rule of theocratic oppression was coming to an end, but a new and even more volatile age was beginning.

From Thessaloniki, CUP President Enver Bey declared the restoration of the 1876 constitution, and “the second and third army corps threatened to march on Constantinople if the sultan refused to obey the proclamation. On the 24th the sultan yielded, and issued an irade, restoring the constitution of 1876, and ordering the election of a chamber of deputies.” A limited purge followed, with some of the “more unpopular” Hamidian officials assassinated, like former spy chief Fehim Pasha. On August 6, 1908, Young Turk sympathizer Kiamil Pasha was appointed grand vizier to the sultan.

The Great Powers tried to accommodate themselves to the new situation. On July 27, they withdrew their peacekeeping force from Crete, the other European “project” at the time. They had failed to resolve the situation there as well. The provisional government of the island, which was autonomous but not yet free, soon swore allegiance to the Greek king and thus raised tensions with the Ottomans, who sought to keep it from uniting with Greece.

The Dual Monarchy Raises the Stakes

The victory of the Young Turks meant the end for all intents and purposes of the status quo that the Great Powers had with such frantic inaction sought to maintain throughout their weak intervention in Macedonia. The new Turkish regime was, after all, calling for much of the same reforms that the Europeans had, and more seriously for the Powers, could they pacify the population and keep the empire united, the Young Turks might pose a renewed threat to European hegemonic ambitions. The potential threat seemed most serious to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

On October 7, 1908, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph thereby took the step of annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was not a surprise; Russian and other diplomats had been expecting it since the summer. According to Vienna, the Young Turk revolution had made the annexation “necessary.” It was allegedly justified by the fateful 1878 Treaty of Berlin. The Austrians were in fact pushing a reckless “back to the future” strategy. The immediate result was a damaging trade boycott in protest from Constantinople and a dramatic increase of tensions with Serbia, which prepared to defend itself from the ambitious Austrians.

At the same time Bulgaria, liberated in fact but not by law with the Berlin treaty, took the opportunity to declare its own full independence. While the Ottomans protested, they were in no position to take military action and instead decided to sue for compensation in both cases.

Thus on April 6, 1909, the Ottoman parliament approved of the Austrian offer to buy Bosnia for 2,200,000 pounds, as well as to pull out of the sandzak of Novi Pazar. Thirteen days later, the Turks recognized the independence of Bulgaria in exchange for more fiscal compensation. The following month a summer-long revolt against the Turks, the most serious yet, erupted in Albania.

The political drama unfolding in Constantinople and its side effects left the Great Powers gaping. The fate of sorry Macedonia remained in suspended animation as events began to speed up. The Young Turk revolution, plagued by intrigue, assassinations, leadership shake-ups and counter-revolts, raised fears that the new government would be more volatile than the last and its fire, more random. It was an unsettling thought. Russia, confronted with the Austrian provocation in Bosnia, lost its nerve to stand up for the Serbs, when Germany warned that it would back Austria in any war that would ensue from the disagreement. The Great War was arriving fast, and almost a decade of shared intervention in the Balkans had sped it up.

On September 1, 1909, the ambassadors of the Great Powers decided unanimously to recall the Civil Agents from Macedonia and to abrogate the financial commission set up after the naval intervention of December 1904. On the 13th of the month, the international commission of finance held its final meeting. The Mürzsteg Reform Programme in Macedonia was over.

In a fitting irony, “its members were reappointed to a higher finance board for the whole empire, under the presidency of [Ottoman Finance Minister] Djavid Bey.” Other staff from the French, British, and Italian contingents were also rehired under private contracts to reorganize the gendarmerie in all of Ottoman Turkey. This cynical move showed the utter absurdity of the reforms.

Conclusion: The Failure of the Mürzsteg Plan to Stabilize Macedonia

The Mürzsteg Reforms achieved very little in Macedonia. They were stalling tactics that only made the Balkan powder keg more volatile and explosive. The international intervention only made matters worse, demonstrating the abject and tragic failure of international intervention. The Balkans Wars would follow in 1912-1913 and World War I, the Great War, would follow in 1914.

According to historian Arthur May, the Mürzsteg Reforms “remained a dead letter.” There was no judicial reform in Macedonia. While the Mürzsteg plan granted a measure of local autonomy to Monastir, Skopje, and Salonika, Macedonian Christians continued to be denied even basic civil and human rights in the Turkish courts. Turkey refused to allow international monitors or officials to participate in the judiciary in Macedonia. Turkey was supported in this by foreign chancelleries. Rival comitadji guerrillas continued to infiltrate and to gain control and to seize territory in Macedonia

According to May, “not very much, in a word, was accomplished in bettering the wretched lot of the Macedonians.” In 1907, the British foreign office sought to coerce Turkey to make significant reforms in Macedonia and to break the deadlock. Austria and Russia, however, opposed the new reform initiative, stating that the time was “singularly inopportune for advancing fresh proposals.” Austria considered the possibility of sending in an international force into Macedonia that would exclude Britain but ultimately rejected it. May argued: “Only force, as a matter of fact, could compel the Turk to rectify evils in Macedonia, and that the powers were unwilling to apply.” Pro-Ottoman Germany argued that applying force in Macedonia would result in instability and would encourage insurgencies in the other parts of Ottoman Turkey.

The enactment of the reforms did not bring any positive change to Macedonia. The reforms did not “receive practically any real application.” The only parts of the reforms that were applied were those for the reorganization of the gendarmerie. According to French military attache Dupont in Constantinople, this was done only because the Turks wanted above all to avoid direct Great Power intervention in Macedonia.

The main problem of the reforms, therefore, was that there were no enforcement mechanisms to compel the Turks to act. French representatives recommended that “urgent measures” be taken but Turkish Inspector Hilmi Pasha ignored them. And while the enforcement was feeble in areas covered by the reform plan, it was utterly non-existent in the Albanian-populated areas kept off-limits thanks to the patronage of Vienna. And so at best, the Turks would receive a gentle chiding over atrocities committed in the former areas, while those carried out in the latter areas were not considered.

But by no means do these failings mean that the endemic problems of the region were the fault of the would-be reformers. Turkish cunning created a policy in Macedonia that pitted the different Christian national and ethnic groups against each other. Extending favors and promises to a corrupt Christian leadership, primarily the religious one, at the Porte helped ensure that significant interested parties would support the outdated regime.

Brailsford analyzed this divisive policy as follows:

“with the evident intention of fomenting the feud between Greeks and Bulgarians, Hilmi Pasha has handed over a large number of Bulgarian village churches to the Greek faction. But the worst feature of all is the complicated racial strife, a sort of furtive civil war, which devastates the country. The Turks watch this internecine contest, not merely with tolerance, but with satisfaction. The rayahs are at war among themselves, and the master may fold his arms. But the real responsibility lies with the Government, which connives at the vendetta and seeks to profit by it. The Turks, despite their vast armaments, have proved once more their total incapacity to maintain even an outward semblance of order.”

Brailsford further adduced that the reason for the failure of the Mürzsteg reforms was “largely because it attempted to reform Macedonia without reckoning with the Macedonians.” According to this observer, the reform scheme “was an advertisement to all the world that the Near Eastern Question was open at last. It bore on its surface the marks of transition.”

In a sentence that seems uncannily similar to that facing the Balkans today in Kosovo, the English writer eulogized Mürzsteg as follows:

“no one could imagine it to be final, and no one could suppose that, having recognised the impossibility of Turkish rule, the Powers would ultimately shrink from drawing the logical conclusion. It announced to every race in the Balkans that the end was approaching, and inevitably it accentuated their latent rivalries and hostilities.”

The Mürzsteg Reform Programme failed because it was not so much concerned about the people in Macedonia as it was about advancing the national self-interests and geo-political and geo-strategic agendas of the Great Powers who carried it out. As has remained the case today, the peoples of Macedonia were merely pawns in a greater game.

Moreover, the Great Powers were never able to resolve the inherent contradiction and conflict between international intervention and sovereignty. One precluded the other.

In the end, the international intervention in Macedonia from 1902-1909 was essentially a stalling tactic, a smokescreen, a harmful ruse that revealed the absurdity and futility of all interventions. For history has shown that every intervention addresses the superficial symptoms, and not the inherent causes, of conflict. The Mürzsteg reforms only put off and delayed a final resolution of the conflict, making Macedonia more unstable and volatile, and ensuring that the conflict, when it did come, would be cataclysmic.

Now, one hundred years on, today’s Great Powers seem to think that they have survived the worst of it, and that their innovations in intervention will lead to unending peace and prosperity for the Balkans. But in light of the maxim that those who don’t learn from their historical mistakes are bound to repeat them, it is deeply concerning that the institutional memory regarding intervention in the Balkans seems limited to the last 15 years.

For while no one today talks about or even remembers the tremendous pain, suffering and chaos experienced in the Macedonia of a century ago, many of today’s most vexing unresolved issues lead directly back to the decisions made by Western interventionists at that time. Their descendents would be well served by studying their mistakes, rather than compounding them.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 29, 2006
Simmering Discontent, Evasive Actions: the Mürzsteg Programme through 1904

Part nine in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

For all of its intrinsic weaknesses, the Mürzsteg Programme’s Civil Agents did try to make a difference, and they did achieve some results. They obtained 30,930 Turkish pounds in aid money for the thousands of Macedonian refugees and for reconstructing their homes and villages. Hilmi Pasha used 10,630 pounds from the total to reconstruct destroyed homes. On April 4, 1904, 11,648 refugees were registered at the border posts into Macedonia. Hilmi Pasha claimed that 5,000 homes had been reconstructed since February. But this information could not be verified.

French consul Louis Steeg reported that in the Monastir vilayet, the most devastated region, Christians were living in temporary shelters and that the destroyed villages remained in ruins. The villages around Ohrid and Kastoria were in a state of “extreme misery.” Entire villages had been burned and looted and destroyed. Famine and a typhoid epidemic threatened the region. The British and French sent religious missions, the Lazaristes and the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul, to distribute flour.

Meanwhile, the sundry bands of brigands and Macedonian insurgents were not completely disarmed. They kept some of their weapons, secreting them away in mountain strongholds and biding their time. Experience had shown them that the European powers could not be trusted to deliver a safe living environment. Skirmishes and battles between insurgents and Turkish forces continued after the arrival of the international forces, as it was clear to all that the international peacekeepers would not be able to protect the Christians from any Turkish attacks.

Achievements and Obstacles for MˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºrzsteg’s Civil Agents

Among their other achievements, the Civil Agents were able to obtain one-year tax exemptions for 135 Christian and Muslim villages that were damaged during the insurgency. They also were able to obtain a general amnesty in March 1904. The Agents received delegations of Christians who made oral and written requests for action. On February 17, the Austrian one, Muller von Roghoj, claimed that over a hundred requests had been solved.

Using Article 9 of the Mürzsteg Reforms, they also persuaded Hilmi Pasha to pledge to transfer away the ilaves, the Ottoman 2nd class reservists, who were accused of committing atrocities. But Hilmi Pasha denied that the other marauders, the Bashi-bazouk irregulars, were in the Turkish army at all.

The Mürzsteg monitors also tried to reform the bekchi or rural militias, as had initially been proposed under the Vienna Plan of February 1903. The notorious bekchi were armed and used their position to intimidate, plunder and terrorize Christian villages. In March 1904, the French consul to Monastir introduced a reform whereby Christian bekchi would be elected in the villages that had a Christian majority. By 1906, of a total of 6,840 bekchi groups, 3,259 were Christians while slightly more (3,581) were Muslims.The Muslim militias were especially active in the vilayet of Kosovo, where Albanian bekchi existed to deprive Serbian Christians of their civil rights, human rights and very lives. But thanks to self-serving Austrian pressure, the Kosovo Albanians were protected from the reforms.

The Dual Monarchy’s machinations were further displayed by the empire’s desire to destroy the Macedonian revolutionary committees such as the IMRO, and thus the Macedonian nationalist movement. Muller von Roghoj saw the insurgents as “terrorists” and the insurgency as an example of terrorism against a legitimate power, the Ottoman Empire. He wanted to “remove the terrorism of the revolutionaries.”

Along with the Russian Civil Agent, Muller von Roghoj wanted Turkey to institute “a decisive repression” over the revolutionary and nationalist movements. The rival Great Powers saw the insurgency in a common light, as a threat to the reform programme. This by necessity led to vicious contradictions and confusion in the mission, since both warring parties blamed the other for fuelling the fire and both sought to deny responsibility for the civilian carnage that followed. This was the quagmire into which the Western powers had halfheartedly jumped.

Affronts and Sluggish Reforms

Another threat was the resistance and bad will of the Turkish government in the implementation of the reforms. Hazim Bey, the vali of Monastir refused the report of the Civil Agents regarding administrative abuses, acts of violence, and judicial irregularities. Hilmi Pasha refused to act. The embarrassing affair had to be settled by negotiations between the Russian and Austrian governments and the Turkish government.

The Agents could only give advice and make suggestions to Hilmi Pasha. They could not make decisions. Hilmi Pasha had the ultimate discretion on whether to act on the reports of grievances.

One real affront to the Macedonians was the appointment of Turkish General Baktiar Pasha – the architect of the slaughter in Krusevo the summer before – as commander in Monastir. However, even though the Agents objected, they were powerless to block the appointment. In the end, they had to settle for exercising a certain moral authority, forcing the Turkish officials to account for their actions and hopefully show restraint- at least theoretically.

British journalist Henry Noel Brailsford, who headed the British relief mission to Macedonia in 1903, assessed the initial impact of the Mürzsteg Programme as both a disappointment in practical terms, yet as a promising work-in-progress which was showing a new and more multi-lateral approach to international intervention. Change a few proper nouns, and his words could have been uttered in our times:

“six months of procrastination followed, and it was not until April, 1904, that it came fully into operation in Macedonia. Its results have been as disappointing as those of the first essay in amelioration. The state of Macedonia is if anything worse than it was in 1902. Something, however, has been gained. A further blow has been struck at the direct sovereignty of the Turks; and though the principle of an exclusive Austro-Russian control remains intact, some place has been found in the new scheme for the other Powers. It makes an advance towards the ideal of an international protectorate.”

A key part of the Mürzsteg Reforms was the readjusting of administrative divisions of Macedonia along more nationalist or ethnic lines. However, this objective conflicted with the Russian and Austro-Hungarian policy to preserve the status quo in Macedonia. As a result, very little was actually achieved in restructuring the administrative division of Macedonia along national or ethnic bases.

The Ottomans Stonewall on Finance Reforms, the Powers Take an Island

On May 8, 1904, an international commission was established to oversee Macedonian finance reforms but its efforts were thwarted by the Ottoman Turkish officials. Austria and Russia requested the addition of 23 officers, but the Turks refused. The officers were sent to Macedonia anyway, thus challenging Turkey to recognize the fait accompli. If the Ottomans refused, Goluchowski told them, they that they would recognize the autonomy of the three Macedonian vilayets. The French military attache reported “how highly unpleasant it was to the imperial government to see Russian officers walk in their uniform in the middle of the Orthodox populations in regions so deeply agitated.”

However, the Turks would not budge and it took a display of European naval might elsewhere to force the Turks to accept the reform in Macedonia. On November 11, 1904, the Great Powers staged a naval demonstration off of the Straits. Then, on November 26, they sent five warships to seize the port city of Mytilini on the island of Lesvos.

With little action from the Turkish side, on December 5, 1904, a European naval squadron seized the customs house on the island of Limnos, which was seen as strategically vital to the defense of Constantinople. Limnos sits roughly equidistant between the north Aegean coast of Macedonia and the northeastern coast of Asia Minor; from its location, all maritime traffic heading to or from the Dardanelles can be intercepted.

The blunt warning from the Great Powers jolted the Turks into action, and the Ottoman regime soon agreed to reform Macedonian finances. On December 16, the Turks accepted an international plan, and the Great Powers then evacuated Limnos. The Turkish government finally agreed to accept the 23 officers when Britain, France, Italy, Austria, and Russia made the demand in the form of an ultimatum, with Germany abstaining. To preempt and to sabotage the mission, however, Sultan Abdul Hamid enacted his own reorganization scheme for the gendarmerie in Macedonia.

Reflections on a Failure: the Situation in December 1904

This was abetted in some respects by the Austrians, who for their own interests sought to keep the members of the international mission out of Albanian areas. The Austrians jealously accused General Degiorgis of trying to expand the Italian zone of influence to the Albanian areas, through the person of Norwegian Captain Karl Ingvar Nandrup, who had been installed alongside the Turkish authorities and was tasked with writing reports on the progress of the Mürzsteg Programme for his king, Oscar II.

Therefore, whenever any actions occurred against insurgents, the Turkish authorities would inform Nandrup, who was then sent to make an inspection. In Skopje, Nandrup met General Degiorgis during one such tour of the vilayet. Nandrup was, unlike other monitors, trusted by the Ottomans. General Degiorgis was also satisfied with his performance. Yet others considered him and the reform team in general to be incompetent.

General Degiorgis had received Hilmi Pasha’s permission to send Nandrup to Pristina and his comrade, Major Viktor Axel Unander, to Koritza west of the Italian sector. But after the Austrian complaints, Degiorgis backed down and the decision was made to keep to keep Unander subordinate to the orders of Hilmi Pasha, and to keep Captain Karl Ingvar Nandrup in Skopje.

The Norwegian finished out his term in the full awareness that the Mürzsteg Reform Programme was failing, and that the representatives of the Great Powers were trying their best to keep that fact from the Western public. Captain Nandrup’s intimate final report, written on December 30, 1904 and entitled “Note by the hand of an archivist,’ is a sobering corrective to the positive propaganda being disseminated in the official reports of the Civil Agents. It was translated into English by Swedish Prof. Dr Orjan Lindberger, and excerpted in a 1989 paper by historian Blagoj Stoicovski.

The report would be the last that Nandrup would submit before wrapping up his one-year term in Macedonia. In this report, Nandrup detailed Great Powers aspirations, especially the policy of Austria-Hungary, along with their vision for the future of Macedonia.

As always with multi-national intervening projects, damage control was key for the Great Powers in Macedonia. European newspapers published the report by the Civil Agents, in which the implementation, the progress, and the results of the reforms were depicted as satisfactory and successful. The reports were self-congratulatory and subjective, released to assure public opinion in Europe, to justify and rationalize the international intervention. The report was meant to counter the sensationalistic reports in daily newspapers and journals which had been feeding Western audiences a steady diet of Macedonian murders, outrages, atrocities and massacres.

The December 1904 report of Karl Ingvar Nandrup, however, shows that the results of the Mürzsteg Programme were pitifully meager. He charged that a Potemkin village of sort was being created by the Civil Agents, in order to conceal the deplorable and desperate situation prevailing in Macedonia since the beginning of the Mürzsteg intervention:

“I am sorry to say that we who are in close touch with the events are unable to see the slightest sign of an amelioration; on the contrary, I must assert that the actual state is worse than it has been. In my opinion, the report of the civil agents aims to deceive Europe and cover the deplorable failure of the Mürzsteg program and the pitiable comedy played by the Powers on the Balkan Peninsula.”

The sunnier report of the Civil Agents had concluded that the majority of the refugees had been returned to their homes and that most of the villages and towns destroyed and burned during the insurgency had been repaired and reconstructed. In 1903, according to Stoicovski, 198 Christian villages had been destroyed and 12,241 houses burned. There were 70,000 displaced and there were 30,000 refugees, while 1,500 were imprisoned. Of the refugees, 6,000, or 20%, were estimated to have returned. Food and housing shortages remained.

However, according to critics like Captain Nandrup, the funds allocated by the Turkish government for the reconstruction and relief effort were insufficient to feed and house the refugees and displaced during the winter. The Macedonian population faced famine conditions, and most of the destroyed and burned houses had not in fact been rebuilt.

Public security in Macedonia had deteriorated to a point where it was worse than it had been before the arrival of Nandrup and the other Western reformers. Very little had actually changed on the ground. Murders, assaults, and robberies continued. The Turkish officials were able to do nothing against this, but sometimes got to participate.

Further, very little had been achieved by way of judicial reforms. An unfair system of taxation remained in Macedonia for Christians. The planned financial reorganization had not proven effective, even though the Ottoman military force in Macedonia had been reduced. Nandrup calculated that the budget of the three Macedonian vilayets should have produced a surplus of at least 15 million francs a year. But the officers in the army and the public officials did not receive their salaries regularly. Observers noted that the two Civil Agents were placed in a helpless and awkward position.

Nandrup emphasized four factors which impeded the reforms as explained by the Civil Agents: 1) the resistance and obstruction of the Turkish authorities, 2) the poor economy, 3) the revolutionary propaganda, and, 4) the hostilities between the Christian groups.

Of course, it was not all the fault of the Turks and the Westerners. Nandrup noted how Bulgarian and Greek “propaganda” played a role in the conflict. He noted how Bulgarian Committees agitated in Macedonia and how Greeks sought to “Hellenize” parts of Macedonia. There were obvious tensions between Greeks and Bulgarians and their respective agendas.

Nandrup reported that there were twelve massacres in the region during his year-long stay in Skopje. He criticized political leaders for not acting decisively and forcefully. But he also noted a lack of energy on the part of the officers who were charged by the Great Powers to lead the police reorganization in Macedonia. In his final thoughts, the Norwegian questioned whether the whole mission had not really been a foolish mistake:

“when you have abandoned a position in your own country, hoping to be able to use your capacity in helping a suffering people, and you see yourself reduced to playing the part of a fool in a pitiable comedy, then you cannot feel at ease, and I am longing for the day when I can return home.”

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 27, 2006
Intrigue, Diplomacy and Rivalry: Macedonia Divided by the Great Powers

Part eight in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

On February 1, 1904, Italian Lieutenant General Emilio Degiorgis arrived in Constantinople as the head of the military commission charged with reforming or reorganizing the Turkish gendarmerie. Enrico Albera and Major Rodolfo Ridolfi were also part of the Italian mission. Ridolfi directed the Salonika school for chiefs of station. The first meeting of the military commission took place on February 8, 1904.

Each Great Power sent a military delegate, referred to as “military deputies.” Six military attaches from the embassies also were part of the commission. Two more attaches were added to the commission, one for Degiorgis and another for the Russian officer on the commission, making a total of 15. The military commission met on a daily basis from February 8-April 9, 1904. Brigadier General Osman Nizami Pasha and Colonel Zia Bey of the Turkish General Staff also attended the meetings, which were conducted in French.

MˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºrzsteg and its “Opportunities” for the Great Powers

Each of the six European Great Powers used the reforms to strengthen its own position in Macedonia, ideally at the expense of the others. They were all jockeying for dominance, something which could be manifested in terms of various diplomatic or trade outcomes and zones of strategic control.

Germany sent a military deputy to Macedonia but did not commit itself to a larger presence, wishing to preserve its relations with Turkey. Austria-Hungary and Russia, who had sponsored the reforms, were the most active but the latter, preoccupied with an emerging conflict in the Far East with Japan, was unable or unwilling to maintain the crucial balancing role it had sought. This left Austria-Hungary as the dominant player in Macedonia, and the one most determined to implement the Mürzsteg Reforms.

The Dual Monarchy sought to advance its interests in the Balkans. Its objective was to exclude the Macedonian districts which had Albanian populations from the purview of the Mürzsteg Reforms, and it also sought to prevent Monastir from being assigned to its rival, Italy. Both powers had designs on the Adriatic coastline, and especially the Albanian Adriatic ports.

For its part, Britain wanted to reduce Austrian influence in the Balkans. To counter the Austrian and Russian bloc, Britain sought to form a bloc with France and Italy. Britain opposed the “encroachment” of Austria and Russia into “European Turkey” as Macedonia was sometimes called. Britain also opposed an Italian presence on the Adriatic coast and, in the larger picture, in Tripolitania (western Libya), because it wanted above all to safeguard the Mediterranean sea lanes to India.

After becoming king of Italy in 1900, Victor Emmanuel III pursued a more aggressive policy towards the Balkans. He married Princess Helen of Montenegro and sought to exert greater Italian influence on the Adriatic coast, Albania, and in parts of Macedonia. Since the Italians opposed an Austrian presence in Salonika, another source of conflict and tension thus emerged between the Italian and Austrian members of the commission.

General Degiorgis proved hostile to Austrian initiatives and proposals. The lack of consensus and divisions between the powers only helped the Turkish government in scuttling or diminishing the effectiveness of the reforms. France supported the Austrian and Russian position because it wanted to maintain the status quo in Macedonia. The Ilinden Uprising of the previous August had a galvanizing effect, however, and all of the powers began to realize a lot more was at stake than an oppressed bunch of Christian peasants.

However, the crucial factor was that, all good intentions aside, in 1904 no European power was willing to risk war with Ottoman Turkey by intervening militarily to help the Christian populations of Macedonia. It was not because they would have been defeated by the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Rather, it was because the balance of power among themselves was too finely calibrated to risk upsetting. Balkan military intervention could realistically lead to an all-out, continent-wide war.

This indeed eventually came to pass, after one of the powers – Austria-Hungary – grew too confident in the influence it had gained in the region, partially as a result of the Mürzsteg meddling and especially after the 1908 annexation of Bosnia. But this hubris would be decisively rewarded in 1918, in the aftermath of the Great War, when the glorious empire of the Hapsburgs was dismantled once and for all.

Nevertheless, 14 years earlier it had seemed to the imperialists that fortune indeed favored the bold. The immediate victims of Austro-Hungarian ambitions were the peoples of Macedonia.

Carving Up Macedonia: Strategic Objectives of Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire

On February 13, 1904, talks were initiated on the division of the three Macedonian vilayets into five sectors. Colonel Wladimir von Giesl, the Austro-Hungarian military attache and future ambassador to Serbia, requested the Skopje sector, which was attached to Kosovo. The Russian military attache, General Kalnine, requested Salonika. As the most interested parties, Austria-Hungary and Russia naturally sought, and felt themselves entitled to, the most strategic positions in Macedonia: the Skopje-Salonika north-south axis, a vital corridor hugging the River Vardar which connected Central Europe with the Aegean Sea.

The Kosovo vilayet was vital to the Austrian geopolitical strategy in the Balkans. It was an area that abutted the sandzak of Novi Pazar, which Austria had administered and occupied since the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Moreover, Skopje was important because this territorial unit was one where there was a Serbian majority that had to be kept down if Austro-Hungarian ambitions were to be achieved.

Austria wanted to prevent Serbian expansion and infiltration south into the major urban and transit center along an east-west axis, Kumanovo and Skopje. Whoever controlled these territories not only would enjoy the economic, communicative and other benefits of urban life, but also would control the major route eastwards to Sofia, Bulgaria and to Tetovo in western Macedonia. Skopje was the central location where the east-west and north-south axes met – in modern parlance, they are European Corridor 8 and Corridor 10 respectively – and thus of central importance for any aspiring military power.

But the ambitions of the Hapsburgs were greater still. Their colonial occupation of the Novi Pazar sandzak was undertaken in order to prevent Serbia from connecting with Montenegro and thus winning an outlet to the Adriatic Sea. Austria-Hungary could thereby prevent the emergence of a strong and unified Serbia that would be capable of endangering its drive for power in the Balkans.

The results of the Austro-Hungarian deal-making also meant that foreign officers were to be effectively excluded from the sandzaks of Pec and Pristina in Kosovo, which had a mixed population of Serbians and Albanians. Russia allowed Austrian forces to occupy the southern part of the Kosovo vilayet, in Skopje. But Wladimir von Giesl, the Austrian military attache, was able to exclude the Albanian-populated areas from international scrutiny- thus ensuring that the killing of Christians would go on unchecked and that Austria-Hungary would remain on good terms with its Albanian lackeys. They ensured that there would only be international control in the areas inhabited by “the Bulgarians,” as they referred to the Slavic population in Macedonia.

The French commander Dupont wrote that the Dual Monarchy was guided by an ulterior motive to occupy the Skopje region. He too suspected that the Austrians sought merely to increase their influence and to advance their interests in the region. Skopje was far away from the main hotbeds of unrest where encounters with the Ottomans, and the subsequent imperative to hold them accountable for atrocities, would by necessity occur more frequently. By comparison, Skopje was a relatively “easy” mission. And it coincided perfectly with Hapsburgian imperialist goals.

During the Austro-Hungarian inspection tours, the French military attache accused, their agents were merely trying to establish contacts with the Albanian leaders. According to the French, the Austrians were spying and reconnoitering the area.

The Austrians did not plan to occupy the Kosovo vilayet, but they did strengthen their position in Skopje to prevent Serbian claims on Kosovo. The Austrian-Hungarian mission chief, Lt. Colonel Johann Graf von Salis-Seewis, born in Karlovac in Croatia-Slavonia, “showed a careful attention to the Serbs, and deplored their openly malevolent attitude with regard to the Austrian mission.” He blamed this attitude on “Serbian propaganda.”

Austria-Hungary attempted to “use” the Albanian leaders to preclude Italian involvement and to “oppose the ambitions of Belgrade.” With this policy, Vienna showed its preference for chaos and instability in these areas, because such a state would allegedly justify the Austrian presence. Maintaining instability also worked to obstruct Serbian and Italian designs on the region. From 1904-1908, the Albanian districts between Prizren and Pec, areas contiguous to the Austrian and Italian zones, were thus incited to a state of constant revolt and turmoil; and they were deliberately excluded from the reforms.

The mission of the international officers was complex and ambiguous and hampered by a lack of communications. It also proved unpredictable, even for the powerful Austrians. There were instances when the gendarmes were attacked. At the Kumanovo station, it was reported by the Austrian officer that it was “unstable” because “Albanian gangs” spread terror in the region.

On July 26, 1904, Colonel Ferdinand Richter was the victim of a murder attempt by an Albanian gendarme, Hassan Emin, who shot up his apartment in Kumanovo. The officers established a network of gendarmerie stations, expanding on the karakols, for greater security. The gendarmes also made agreements with mokhtars, the chiefs of villages. A gendarme school was established in Salonika in 1904, where 3,000 gendarmes would be educated during the years 1904-1908, when the reform program ended.

Zones of Exemption

All in all, the Austro-Hungarian machinations meant that the following Ottoman sandzaks would be excluded from Mürzsteg Programme oversight: Koritza (except the caza of Kastoria), the sandzak of Elbasan, the western part of the caza of Ochrid, the districts of Debar and Prizren, the southwest sector of the sandzak of Pec, and the sandzaks of Tachlidja and Senitza of Novi Pazar.

Great Britain and Italy wanted further clarification as to why the Albanian districts were to be excluded from the reform plan’s purview. They were informed that Article 3 of the Mürzsteg Program, which envisioned a division of the vilayets along homogenous national and ethnic lines, mandated it.

Ever vigilant, Vienna also sought to prevent Monastir from being assigned to Italy. It suggested that Russia control the Monastir sector, but Russia declined to take this, one of the most turbulent areas in revolution-era Macedonia. So at its meeting of April 5, 1904, the commission parceled out Macedonia in five sectors as such: Austria-Hungary would control Skopje; Italy would control Monastir; Russia would control Salonika; France would control Serres; and Britain would control Drama, in the east. But Austria-Hungary was able to place a restriction on the Italian sector, stipulating that General Degiorgis and his contingent should not reside in the same sector. Austria also was able to successfully exclude the Albanian districts from the purview of the reforms.

Tensions and Questions of Authority

Another question soon presented itself. What kind of authority should the Italian, General Degiorgis, have over the Turkish gendarmerie? The commission decided that he should have effective control and direct command. Abdul Hamid, however, rejected this decision. He nominated General Mustafa Pasha to command the gendarmerie in the vilayets. The commission backed down. Degiorgis would act only as an inspector, consultant, providing surveillance, but not making any decision himself. It was another sign of weakness from the allegedly mighty Great Powers.

This failure handicapped the Western mission from the beginning. And power plays between the Great Powers ensured that there would be no common front in negotiating with the Turks. For example, General Degiorgis requested the power to transmit orders to the Ottoman officers and to denounce those who do not obey, to remove officers from the gendarmerie who were unfit or who had displayed bad behavior, and a written consent for the use of the officers and NCOs for a two year term.

However, the Turkish government rejected these proposals as a violation of sovereignty. When Russia and Austria-Hungary argued that the effective implementation of article 2 required this power, Germany intervened on behalf of Turkey. Adolf Frieherr Marschall von Bieberstein, the German ambassador to Constantinople from 1897-1912, met with Tewfik Pasha, the Foreign Minister of Ottoman Turkey, to prevent the Mürzsteg Reforms from coming into force.

The German position was that the general’s request exceeded the authority granted by Article 2. Interestingly, the Germans also argued that the requirements and interests of Islam should be taken into account: it would be blasphemous that a Christian should command a Muslim.

A second demand was made. Some 60 foreign officers were requested for the mission, whose “executive power” was defined; the power to “denounce” gendarmes was defined as “removing” them. The Turkish government accepted 25 officers for each sector, with additional officers brought in as needed. The military attaches considered 5 officers per sector as insufficient. Giesl wanted to increase the amount of Austrian officers in the vilayet of Kosovo. The Italian general accused Austria-Hungary of seeking to advance its own interests and influence in the region at the expense of the reforms. It was not an auspicious start to a joint action that allegedly reflected the best of Europe’s humanitarian impulses.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 24, 2006
Grumbling and Unease: the Mürzsteg Reforms Implemented

Part seven in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

From January to April 1904, the Great Powers set up the international administrative apparatus dictated by the Mürzsteg Plan in Macedonia. In January, Calice and Zinoviev discussed the terms and conditions for the implementation of the reforms with Abdul Hamid in Constantinople. Hamid accepted the nine articles but reserved the right to agree on the practical details of the implementation. His major concern was over articles 1 and 2, because he felt they harmed the sovereignty and prestige of his dwindling empire.

The sultan was able to win the crucial right that Turkish officials be allowed to accompany the Civil Agents on their inspections- thus overseeing the overseers. Tacit intimidation could thus be enforced by the Turkish officials, ensuring that fearful villagers would put on a brave face for the foreigners. The reorganization plan was put under the command of an Italian general, Emilio Degiorgis, who himself was under the command of Sultan Abdul Hamid. The reforms would be overseen by the two Civil Agents, the Italian general, and the chiefs of the military missions from the Great Powers.

Skepticism and Concerns

The Austro-Hungarian Civil Agent appointed was Heinrich MˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºller von Roghoj, who had earlier been assigned to Bosnia and who spoke Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian and Russian. The Russian Civil Agent was N. Demerik, who had earlier been the consul to Beirut and Monastir. The Civil Agents arrived in Salonika on January 21, 1904.

Austrian Civil Agent Muller von Roghoj observed that the Muslims showed open hostility and resentment, while the Christians hoped and expected to see results from the reforms. Louis Steeg, French consul in Salonika, noted the skepticism of the Christian population. The Austrian Civil Agent lamented that his field of activity did not go beyond “a demarcation line” established by the Turkish government. At first, Demerik and Muller von Roghoj were restricted to Salonika. Their mandate was limited, and they could not intervene in “the field.”

Heinrich Freiherr von Calice, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Ottoman Turkey at Constantinople from 1880-1906, was surprised by the Ottoman Turkish decree. He perceived it to be a “fait accompli.” Chalice did not believe that the self-imposed Turkish reforms would bring meaningful changes. The ambassador noted, correctly, that they would likely be ineffectual because the valis did not have any real power and lacked funds to carry out the reforms. In fact, the diplomats representing the Great Powers saw the Turkish reforms merely as delaying tactics meant to preclude any sterner solutions enforced by the Great Powers themselves.

For his part, the French ambassador dismissed the Mürzsteg Plan, stating that “these reforms are only an illusion.” He lamented that “the new reforms consist in the multiplication of an expensive and mindless machinery; it seems that one wanted to organize not progress, but resistance.”

Ambassador Steeg’s reaction was to write a report which described another, more dynamic programme that could serve as the basis for future diplomatic reforms in Macedonia. He proposed that the valis serve a fixed term of five years, that they be given authority to act, that each vilayet have its own budget, and that foreign inspectors from countries such as Belgium and Denmark be brought in to supervise the implementation of the reforms. He also proposed the creation of a gendarmerie that would be trained by foreign instructors and receive an adequate salary. Under Article 18 of the decree, the inspector general was allowed a contingent of civil and military officials to assist him. Under Article 18, a commission was to be set up to verify and oversee the implementation of the reforms.

Of the Great Powers, only Germany rejected the reforms. Turkey was an ally and client state with which it had long held close military and diplomatic ties, and German military technology and instructors had a major role in attempts to revitalize the Ottomans’ fighting force. Yet all the other Great Powers accepted the reforms as an effective international humanitarian and diplomatic intervention in Macedonia. Turkey hesitantly accepted the program- in fact, it had little other choice due to the diplomatic pressure that was being imposed from without.

However, the announced reforms were not greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm by other Balkan countries. Serbia criticized the new initiative, because it did not provide any guarantees that the reforms would actually be applied. And Bulgaria criticized the “moderation” or perceived laxity of the requirements that the Ottomans had to fulfill. Both held that nowhere near enough had been promised to safeguard the livelihoods of their nationals living in Macedonia.

Reforms without Substance, Violence without End

Modern viewers of the past 15 years in the Balkans can point to any number of cases, the most flagrant being Kosovo, where a wide gulf exists between the vaunted standards of Western interventionists and their dismal application in reality. The situation was no different a century ago.

Nevertheless, as has been the case in modern Balkan experience, the intervening forces tried to put a rosy spin on things; what was championed was “the spirit of Mürzsteg,” an excessively optimistic picture of the reforms. Agenor Goluchowski, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, saw Mürzsteg as advancing two objectives. First, the February or Vienna reform plan accepted by Turkey had to be enforced by the two Civil Agents sent by Austria-Hungary and Russia. Second, he saw the goal as humanitarian intervention “to come in aid of the Christian populations which suffered so much from the war and devastations.”

The Mürzsteg Programme was thus heralded as a peacekeeping mission to restore stability and order in Macedonia, and to give the Macedonian people a greater say in their future by establishing greater local autonomy. Goluchowski saw the intervention as one that would benefit the population, because the Great Powers would be a benevolent, neutral force separating the Turkish forces and the revolutionary committees. That was the plan, anyway.

What in fact happened was a worsening of the cycle of violence between the Turks and the revolutionaries. Soon it became clear that the key problem with the reforms was that there was no outside supervision or monitoring. The Turks and their co-religionists were free to continue their atrocities against the Christians. The situation thus actually continued to deteriorate further following the reforms.

And the discrimination extended well down the chain of command. Albanian Muslim beys in the Kosovo vilayet rejected the concessions granted to the Orthodox Christians, particularly to the hated Serbian population. These Albanian officials, known as the “dire beys” or “lords of the valleys,” refused to allow Christians into the gendarmerie. Instead, they launched raids and attacks on the already persecuted subject population.

The flaws of the reforms were that the measures proposed were under-funded or not funded at all. The officials, policemen, and soldiers were not regularly salaried. This created an incentive to maintain the status quo. No general amnesty was offered to the insurgents. Article 5 of the program established a commission to review and evaluate amnesty claims, but the uncertainty precluded refugees from returning to face jeopardy. Finally, the British government wanted a Christian governor to supervise the reforms instead of a Turkish subject in the service of the Turkish government. This presented a conflict of interest that made the implementation of the reforms unworkable.

Reception of the Foreigners

The arrival of the international officers was greeted favorably by Macedonia’s Slavic populations. They saw the officers “as protection against the arbitrariness of the Ottoman administration.” The Greeks however were more hostile, having their own different and irredentist interests. The French military attache reported that in the vilayet of Kosovo, “the arrival of Austro-Hungarian officers in the vilayet had irritated the Serbians, and Bulgarians and the Turkish or Albanian Moslems.”

In Skopje, the Muslims of the “well-to-do classes” were hostile to the Austrian officers, offended at the liberties granted to Christians in a city where the official religion was Islam. They saw the increase in rights to Christians as an insult and a humiliation for Islam. Christians were the rayah, or herd, in Muslim society. One of the Western officers wisecracked that “they consider us more or less like a plague from God. As for the Turkish authorities, they hate us, but respect us.” Captain Leon Falconetti noted that the Turks maintain “a conspiracy of silence.”

It was abundantly clear that the Great Powers were determined to use the conflict in Macedonia to advance their own national interests, while neglecting the human and civil rights of the Christian population. Decision-making was hampered by the fact that negotiations, debates, and discussions would be needed before the divergent interests and goals of the six Great Powers could be reconciled. This resulted in compromises and half-measures that led to delays and indecision.

And so as the Programme, fatally compromised from the start wore on, the relations between the interventionists and both the Turkish and Christian populations worsened- though this did not prevent all sides from trying to curry favor with the outsiders.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 22, 2006
The Bloody Road from Krusevo to Mürzsteg

Part six in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

In the energized manifesto he delivered following the creation of the first republic in the history of the Balkans, at Krusevo, revolutionary President Nikola Karev declared:

“”Freedom or Death’ is written on our foreheads and on our blood-stained banner. We have already raised that banner and there is no way back.”

It was a grim prediction. On August 2, 1903, what would become known as the Ilinden uprising began. The Turks had prepared 150,000 troops in the Macedonian vilayets, arranged in 175 battalions, in anticipation of the rebellion. Parts of the Strandzha Mountains in Bulgaria and several Macedonian villages and towns were taken by the rebels, who euphorically proclaimed a republic in the most important one, Krusevo, on August 3.

Yet it was to end more like the massacre at Crete’s Arkadi Monastery in 1866 than as some triumphant liberation. After only 10 days the Turkish forces retook the town, killing over 100 civilians.

In a show of unprecedented savagery, they burned 366 houses and 203 stores, with over 700 houses pillaged and looted, according to Nadine Lange-Akhund’s The Macedonian Question Christian women were violated, and their fingers and ears were cut off to retrieve the jewelry.

In the aftermath of the revolt, the hills and valleys of Macedonia were bathed in blood. 201 Macedonian villages were burned down by the Turkish forces, 12,400 houses were pillaged, 4,694 people were killed, 70,835 people were left without shelter, and 30,000 refugees fled to Bulgaria. Villagers fleeing to the mountains starved on a diet of grass, and disease took a heavy toll also. The Macedonian fighters had achieved no freedom, but a lot of death.

Karev’s enlightened, if ill-fated vision of rule was a departure from that of the Ottomans; he promised that the Macedonians were trying to liberate “mother Macedonia” for all of its peoples, whether Christian or Muslim:

“we have not raised against the peaceful, diligent and honest Turkish people who, like ourselves, earn their living through sweat full of blood- they are our brothers with whom we have always lived and would like to live again. We have not risen to slaughter and plunder, to set fire and steal- we have had enough of countless derebeyis pillaging and plundering our poor and blood-stained Macedonia. We have not risen to convert to Christianity and disgrace your mothers and sisters, wives and daughters; you should know that your property, your lives, your faith and your honour are as dear to us as our own. Alas, we have taken up arms only to protect our property, our lives, our faith and our honour.”

Karev asked only that those who chose to not participate in the struggle at least not collaborate with the authorities. But fear of Turkish wrath was stronger in most cases than the promises of a relatively powerless revolutionary leader.

Results of the Uprising: The Reaction from Abroad

If the revolutionaries did not achieve freedom, what they did gain was an increase in attention and sympathy from European publics shocked at the Turkish atrocities.

Again, the emotive Western writers played a role in consciousness-raising, as the politicians on the other hand had long sought to keep a positive spin on things to ensure the status quo held. A sampling of what confronted the journalists is described in Englishman John Booth’s 1905 book, Troubles in the Balkans. Take for example Booth’s visit to the destroyed village of Kremen:

“three miles further some strange heaps of rubble lay piled on each side of the path, and we were riding on a thickness of smashed tiles. This was Kremen.

Scrambling to the top of a heap of earth and stones one got the full effect. Shapeless wall-shoulders stood out of the mass, and the end of a charred beam pointed drunkenly into the sky; all down the hillside below the loose piles bulged and the empty, shorn walls gaped; no sound came up from the crushed houses – no figure moved in the choked streets, hardly traceable in the general level of rubbish; everywhere was desolation and black ruin.

…A year before, it seemed, a band of insurgents from Bulgaria had been lurking in the neighbourhood and no doubt had come to Kremen for food. The people were accused of having harboured revolutionaries, and a body of troops arrived to execute vengeance on the village, which was not done in any haphazard fashion, but deliberately and with fore-thought. The troops brought with them ponies carrying tins of petroleum lashed to their packsaddles, which were unloaded, and the soldiers, producing squirts, soon covered the walls and roofs with the spirit. After each house had been thoroughly sacked the tins were emptied upon piles of bedding and the whole village was fired at a given signal. Lurid descriptions of the usual horrible scenes followed – old men brained whilst trying to protect their daughters; women’s hands cut off and their children murdered before their eyes; outrage, pillage, and massacre let loose. Truly the Turkish soldier – quiet enough in peace time – is a demon out of hell when the lust of blood is on him. The police-officer and the escort had the decency to look ashamed of their countrymen’s work, and made no effort to hide the worst evidences of it.

Kremen is only a sample. The countryside is thick with the ruins of Christian villages stamped out in the same way, with the same old weary details in every case. There is nothing new in it all – it did not happen for the first time that year nor fifty years before. It has been going on for centuries, and always will go on until the Christians in Macedonia are given the right to live a freeman’s life and the power to uphold that right by the only people who can give it – the Powers of Europe.”

The Western political leaders somewhat reluctantly rose to the challenge presented in such accounts. The significant result of Ilinden was that it widened the field of interesting parties, who were no longer limited to Russia and Austria-Hungary. In the aftermath of the spectacular failure of the Krusevo Republic, the French ambassador in St. Petersburg, M. Maurice Bompard, stressed that France wanted “to take a more active part” in Balkan affairs.

The British Foreign Ministry too stated that “the moment has arrived when Europe cannot remain indifferent” to the events in the three vilayets of Macedonia. The government had been stung by criticism following Balfour’s claim that “the balance of criminality lies not with the Turks, but with the rebels.”

The London Daily News attacked the prime minister’s statement immediately on September 14, 1903, editorializing that: “the balance of criminality is surely here in our own land. Britain had denied Macedonia freedom at [the 1878 Congress of] Berlin, knowing that (continued) Ottoman rule was synonymous with cruelty and tyranny, and by adopting a laissez-faire attitude at the juncture, Britain is a consenting party to all the ghastly murders and massacres in Macedonia.”

The British Foreign Secretary from 1900-1905, Lord Landsdowne, and the 5th Marquess, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, called for the establishment of international military control in Macedonia, sending foreign soldiers to assist Hilmi Pasha, a reassessment of orientation that would become increasingly pronounced over the next four years. By 1907, a British government that had once opposed any reduction of Ottoman sovereignty would actually call for Macedonian autonomy.

Such shifts were major achievements for the revolutionaries. However, at the same time they were self-defeating; every new Great Power to arrive on the scene in Macedonia wanted to expand its own influence, inevitably resulting in internal dissonance and a weakened common front, and slowed impetus for practical reform. This, combined with the Ottoman tactic of playing the different Christian sides against one another, ensured that the bloodshed would continue and that Macedonia would never be free, reforms or no reforms.

Origins and Legal Basis of the Murzsteg Reform Plan

The alleged nobility of the enterprise was indeed undermined by latent rivalries. To prevent France and Britain from gaining the diplomatic initiative in Macedonia, Austria-Hungary and Russia sent Turkey a note on September 24, 1903 declaring that they “insist on the program approved by all the Powers,” a reference to the existing Vienna Plan. Landsdowne proposed in a letter of September 29th to the British ambassador in Vienna that a Christian government be nominated for Macedonia, without attachment to the Balkans or to the signatory powers to the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. An alternative proposal was for an Ottoman Turkish governor with European assessors or advisors. He also wanted a reorganization of the gendarmerie with an increase in the number of officers.

The Austro-Hungarian/Russian reaction to these initiatives by Britain and France was the programme laid out in the Mürzsteg Reform Plan, which built on the model laid out by the Vienna Plan and, six years before that, the interventionist scheme in Crete.

On September 30, 1903, the Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Czar Nicholas II met at Mürzsteg – that “dismal hunting lodge in Styria,” in central Austria – to decide the fate of Macedonia. The second Austro-Hungarian/Russian Reform Scheme was the result of these deliberations, and became known as the Mürzsteg Reform Plan. The two heads of state met ostensibly to ensure that the Vienna Plan reforms of February were being adequately followed.

What resulted, however, was an altogether new and expanded set of reforms that incorporated the recommendations of the other powers. On October 22, they submitted these new reforms to the Turkish government. On November 25, the Turks, who had been blasted by criticism over their heavy-handed response to the Krusevo uprising, reluctantly accepted the nine points of what came to be known as the Mürzsteg Program.

The initiative for the Mürzsteg Reform Plan came from Baron Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in St. Petersburg, then the capital of Tsarist Russia. He supported the cooperation embodied in the Mürzsteg Program between Austria-Hungary and his own state, and he favored the continuation of a joint foreign policy between the two countries in the Balkans.

What Aehrenthal was hoping for was to extend the entente between Russia and Austria-Hungary that had been established in 1897, thus continuing the policy of Otto von Bismarck which had divided the Balkans into Russian and Austro-Hungarian spheres of influence and control.

Aehrenthal wanted to revive the Dreikaiserbund or Three Emperors Union from the Bismarck era. The entente had been established when Emperor Franz Joseph I and Foreign Minister Agenor Goluchowski met with Czar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg in 1897, agreeing to a policy of carefully defined interventionism. The understanding would exist, however, only until 1908, when Austria-Hungary took the fateful step of annexing Bosnia.

The Mürzsteg Reform Plan thus exemplified the kind of activity envisioned by the agreement reached by Russian and Austro-Hungarian diplomats five years before. The plan was also a natural extension, or the next phase of the Vienna Plan, which had been found lacking in several respects.

Under Mürzsteg, the powers resolved to create an international gendarmerie that would restore order and stability for the Christian populations, however, without infringing on the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire.

According to the plan, the Austro-Hungarian and Russian ambassadors in Ottoman Constantinople would be charged with implementing the reforms. The Austrian and Russian consuls in Macedonia were instructed to be in charge of “watching over a strict application of the agreed reforms.” They were also to “meet as often as possible to discuss in common the measures taken by the Ottoman authorities.” They first had to reach a “preliminary understanding” if they were going to intervene in the Turkish administration in Macedonia. If any disagreements arose, the consuls were to contact their respective ambassadors in Constantinople.

Article 23 of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin was cited as the authoritative legal basis for the reforms and accompanying international intervention. Recourse to the controversial and contested 1878 treaty was taken to preserve the Sultan’s sovereignty over Macedonia. This document was then considered a holy grail of sorts for international relations in the Balkans, and like the UN Resolution for Kosovo more than a century later, carried within it the seeds of regional destruction.

The Reforms in Detail: Articles and Ambiguities

As a key part of the international intervention, administrative and judicial reforms in Macedonia were to be carried out. Austro-Hungarian and Russian agents would participate jointly with Turkish forces in securing and maintaining law and order, in the implementation of police reforms, and in tax collection. In those parts of southern Macedonia where the insurgency was fiercest, a new gendarmerie would be created under the command of foreign international officers. Local Macedonians would have a voice in the local government and in the courts of law. Refugees would be allowed to return to their homes and destroyed villages and towns would be rebuilt and reconstructed. All this was, again, in line with the Treaty of Berlin’s 25 year-old instructions.

Another clause in the Mürzsteg Programme proposed that Macedonia should be subdivided administratively “along lines of nationality.” This would become a highly problematic error of ambiguity, because nationalities at the time were neither distinct nor well-established, and displayed considerable fluidity depending on the local circumstances in the various sub-regions of Macedonia.

Great Power exploitation of this stipulation, especially and most egregiously by Austria-Hungary, ensured that the Albanian-populated areas would be excluded from the reforms, thus ensuring that setting the benchmarks of civilization would be selectively implemented. Indeed, there is a clear line between the disparity codified in 1903 and the failure, one century later, of the latest foreign peacekeepers’ “Standards before Status” program in Kosovo.

Specifically, the Mürzsteg Reform Plan consisted of nine articles. They can be summarized as follows:

1.) Special Civil Agents from Austria-Hungary and Russia were to be appointed to the office of the Ottoman Inspector General, Hilmi Pasha, for two-year terms to accompany him and to call to his attention the needs of the Christian population, report on the abuses of the authorities, send their recommendations to the ambassadors in Constantinople, and report on events in the country. Secretaries and Dragomans were to be provided for the Agents to assist them. The goal of the agents was to supervise the implementation of the reforms and to ascertain the needs of the population.

2.) The Turkish gendarmerie and police was to be reorganized. A foreign general was to assume control of the reorganization of the gendarmerie in the three vilayets. He would be in the service of the Turkish government and could add deputies to his staff, from the military forces of the Great Powers, who would act as instructors, promoters, and supervisors. They would oversee the actions of the Turkish troops towards the population. They could also request additional officers and sub-officers from foreign countries. The failure of the Swedish officers was noted, due to their lack of knowledge of the local conditions and their inability to speak any of the local languages.

3.) As soon as stability was restored, the Turkish government was to modify the administrative divisions of the country to reflect a regular or nature grouping of different nationalities. The Turkish policy was one of gerrymandering the districts and vilayets to ensure Muslim dominance and to pit one nationality or religious or ethnic group against another. The policy was one of Divide et Impera: Divide and Rule. Moreover, in the Ottoman Empire, there were only two divisions, based on religion. There were the Muslims, who ruled, and the Christians, who were the servants. The reform sought to address this.

4.) Administrative and judicial institutions were to be reorganized to include local Christians. Local autonomy was to be encouraged.

5.) Mixed Commissions formed of an equal number of Christians and Muslim delegates were to be established in the main cities of the vilayets to review and examine the political and other crimes committed during the insurgency. The consular representatives of Russia and Austria-Hungary were to participate in these Commissions.

6.) The Turkish government was to provide special funds for the return of refugees who fled to Bulgaria and other regions to their places of origin. Christians who lost their possessions and savings and homes were to be assisted. Houses, churches, and schools destroyed by Turkish forces during the insurgency were to be restored. Commissions would decide how the money was to be distributed, with the participation of prominent Christians in the community. The use of the funds was to be supervised by Russian and Austro-Hungarian consuls.

7.) In Christian villages burned down by Turkish troops and Bashi-bazouk irregulars, the inhabitants were to be returned to their homes and be exempt from paying taxes for one year.

8.) The Turkish government was to reintroduce the February reforms of the Vienna Plan and those reforms which were made necessary subsequently.

9.) The Turkish government was to lay off ilaves, redifs of II class, reserve troops of the Turkish army. The formation of Bashi-bazouk irregular forces was to be absolutely prevented. Most of the “excesses and cruelties” of the insurgency were ascribed to these two units.

Not surprisingly, the Turks perceived “the foreign encroachment [to be] a real humiliation.” The program was seen by them as violating the sovereignty of Turkey. The imposition of the Civil Agents was seen as “interference from Russia and Austria in internal affairs.”

The vali of Salonika, Hassen Fehmi Pasha, regarded the program as follows: “Rather than humiliate us in this way it would be worth inciting us simply to evacuate Macedonia.” The announcement of the reforms created “a strong impression” in Constantinople. For Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece, it precluded them from having a say in the affairs of the vilayets, while increasing the influence of Austria-Hungary at the expense of Russia.

However, the revolutionaries in the IMRO and the pro-Bulgar Vrhovist Committees rejected the Mürzsteg Reforms. They saw these as a stop-gap measure insufficient to achieve any of their goals. Boris Saravov called the program the establishment of “the Austro-Russian protectorate.” Krste Tatarchev called for the recall of Hilmi Pasha, who he regarded as “too docile [in tolerating] massacres.” Despite the failure of the summer offensive in Krusevo, the IMRO did not disarm and continued to solicit funds for a renewed insurgency.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 20, 2006
Intervention Arrives in Macedonia: The Vienna Plan, 1902-1903

Part five in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso

It was the great insurrection of Djoumaia Bala in October-November 1902 that convinced the Great Powers to intervene in Macedonia on behalf of the Orthodox Christians. The revolt began in the northern part of the Salonika vilayet, where Ottoman troops came under attack from Macedonian guerrillas. Sultan Abdul Hamid sent 14 Turkish battalions equipped with 30 cannons. The districts or cazas of Djoumaia Bala, Petric, Melnik, and Razlog, comprising seventeen villages, had revolted against the Turkish forces, and an Ottoman Turkish tax collector and a credit agent had been killed.

Punishment was quick and severe. In the engagements between the insurgents and Turkish troops under Ibrahim Pasha, 80 of the former were killed, while 40 were taken prisoner. The Ottoman Turkish forces then carried out reprisals against the Macedonian civilian population, burning 28 villages. Atrocities were alleged to have been committed; the Turks were accused of torturing and murdering civilians, and raping women before the eyes of helpless children and elderly people. There were an estimated 3,000 refugees following the crackdown in what is today southwestern Bulgaria, or Pirin Macedonia.

The Great Powers Finally React

The reaction to these bloody events among the Great Powers was to impress upon the Ottoman Turkish government the urgency for reformative action. The Great Powers were convinced that this was necessary in order to force the implementation of a reform program that would protect the Christian civilian population.

Sir Nicholas Robert O’Conor (1843-1908), the British ambassador to Turkey in Constantinople from 1898 to 1908, proposed in November 1902 that the Great Powers take the lead in police, financial, and judicial administration in the three Macedonian vilayets of the Ottoman Empire. Sir O’Conor proposed that the signatory powers to the 1878 Treaty of Berlin (Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy) assume responsibility and control in Macedonia.

In Constantinople, Sir O’Conor personally relayed to Abdul Hamid the necessity of implementing significant and meaningful reforms in Macedonia. The British assessed the situation in Macedonia as “worrisome and grave.” In an ominous prediction, the French ambassador to Russia warned that the Great Powers had to act in order to forestall “the unrest to come” in Macedonia.

The proposal was alarming for the Turks, who rightly regarded it as a further check on their already weakened control of Macedonia. On November 30, therefore, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid promulgated an irade or decree for reform in the three vilayets of Macedonia, in order to preempt the European proposals and potential international intervention.

The decree consisted of 18 articles, divided into four chapters. Abdul Hamid decreed that the administration, instruction, public works, and the judiciary in Macedonia were to remain under Turkish control. He appointed an Inspector General with the rank of vizier, Hussein Hilmi Pasha (1855-1923), to implement the reforms and to remove and discipline any incompetent Turkish officials as well as the valis, or governors of the vilayets.

Born on the Greek island of Mytilini, Hilmi Pasha was at the time governor in far-off Yemen. He was appointed Inspector General of “the Roumelian provinces,” meaning Macedonia and Thrace, serving from 1902 to 1908. After this, he went on to become the Turkish Minister of the Interior in 1908-1909, in the latter year becoming Grand Vizier. It was on Hilmi Pasha’s shoulders that fell the task of implementing the proposed reforms in Macedonia, to bring stability, and to reconcile the Orthodox Christian populations to the resumption of Turkish rule.

The First Intervention: the Vienna Reforms

Nevertheless, the Turkish overtures were not sufficient to dissuade the Great Powers. From December 1902 to February 1903, they began to intervene directly in Macedonia, where the guerrilla insurgency was raging. Pressure was brought to bear to try and rein in the rampaging Turks, whose brutal crackdown on the insurgency had affected mostly civilians while lessening the credibility and control of the Ottoman authorities- a dangerous trend for the European powers, who were still hoping the status quo could be maintained without much further bloodshed.

The Austro-Hungarian and Russian ambassadors at the Porte, Heinrich Chalice and M.I. Zinoviev (ambassador 1898-1909), took responsibility for formulating the original joint plan for reforms in Macedonia. The plan had six points, the key ones being the reorganization of the gendarmerie by introducing Christians into the police force, and the purge of the administrative staff, which would be provided with an adequate salary.

Under this six-point reform programme, known as the “Vienna Plan,” an Inspector-General supplied by the Western powers was also to be appointed for Macedonia for a three-year term of office. He could only be recalled if Austria-Hungary and Russia assented, and the valis had to adhere strictly to his orders. Funds would be raised in each vilayet, with the provincial collections to be administered by local authorities, who would pay for military and civil services. Farm taxes were to be abolished. The collection of tithes was modified and restructured. And a general amnesty for political prisoners was proclaimed.

Most of these ideas were either envisioned in or inspired by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Other reforms were even more severe and humiliating for the Turks. The Inspector-General would have the authority to call in the army without consulting the Turkish government, and the Turkish gendarmerie and police were also to be reorganized under the supervision of foreign or international advisors.

In a further body blow to Turkish pride, the gendarmerie was to include Christians as well as Muslims, in proportion to their relative percentage of the local population. The bekchi or rural guards, often Muslims, were to become Christians where the majority population was Christian, since armed Muslim bekchi units had long terrorized and extorted Christian villages. However, as it turned out the reformers were powerless to enforce these reforms, and almost no Christians joined the Ottoman gendarmerie.

These radical changes were a lot for the Turks to swallow, conceived as they were for a land they considered their own. Yet they tried to make the best of their situation. In March, 1903, the Turkish government hired Captain Karl Ingvar Nandrup (1864-1909) from Norway and Viktor Axel Unander from Sweden to organize and oversee the reorganization of the Turkish gendarmerie forces in Macedonia. At that time Sweden and Norway were in a union under King Oscar II (1829-1907).

Nandrup wrote seven reports during his stay in Macedonia, from the early part of 1903 to December 30, 1904. For his part, Unander remained from May 1903 to May 1906. They were given the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel and Major respectively, and were also made inspectors in the Turkish gendarmerie. Nandrup filed regular reports from Skopje to King Oscar II on the conditions in Macedonia, which grew steadily worse.

The increasing power of the Macedonian revolutionaries and the failure of the Vienna Reforms to halt Turkish repression led to a continuing pattern of engagements; in January 1903, the Ottoman railway’s telegraph cable had been destroyed by a bomb, and two others were subsequently detonated on the Salonika-Constantinople railroad line at the Perai station. The amnesty of political prisoners intended for February 1903 backfired, as it only bolstered the ranks of the Macedonian and Bulgarian insurgents. It soon became clear that a general uprising was being planned for the spring of 1903.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

Mar 19, 2006
The Role of the Western Media in Prompting Intervention in Macedonia

Part four in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

One key but sometimes overlooked facet of the diplomatic meddling that led to the Mürzsteg Reforms is the role played by the Western media. Just as with the Yugoslav wars almost a century later, Western journalists and newspapers played a significant role in galvanizing public opinion against the Ottomans.

An Appetite for Atrocities

On the continent, the French newspapers Le Temps and Le Matin, as well as the Austrian newspaper Neue Freie Presse covered Macedonian events regularly, as did the London papers. To focus attention on the crisis in Macedonia, and thus to press the case for intervention, the Western media resorted to lurid descriptions of Turkish repression and demonized its leadership. Well before Slobodan Milosevic, therefore, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid was castigated as a “bloodthirsty tyrant” by a Western press that was fuelling the fires for intervention.

This style of depiction was partially the result of the media’s eternal appetite for sensational news. But it also derived to some extent from the European countries’ pro-Christian sentiment, at that time much more fervent than it is today. The Western media thus focused on the slaughter of helpless Christians by an infidel overlord. There had been, after all, plenty of precedents in “European Turkey” during the 19th century.

News reports spoke of “atrocities” and “massacres” committed in Macedonia, while they relayed the words of Bulgarian officials who accused the Turkish forces of “exterminating” the Bulgarian population, committing atrocities, torture, and murders. They also provided extensive lists of villages demolished and torched by the Turks.

Indeed, Western media reporting from Macedonia was somewhat manipulated and biased. Yet so was the information coming from the Turkish side. In 1903, the Ottomans sought to counter this harmful coverage, putting into effect a “strategy of information” aimed at improving Ottoman public relations and thus managing, to whatever extent possible, the media’s coverage of unfolding events in Macedonia.

They sought to ‘spin’ the uprising as mere acts of terrorism conducted by Bulgarian terrorists, allegedly a fringe and marginal movement with no popular support. They refused to grant Western journalists travel permits to cover the events in Macedonia, instead, presenting news handouts for journalists that presented a biased, misleading and in some cases false picture.

Yet some tentative allies such as Austria did try to placate the Porte. Agenor Goluchowski, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, stated that “speaking of extermination [of the Christians] is exaggerated.” And British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour declared, after all, that “the balance of criminality lies not with the Turks, but with the rebels” in September 1903.

The Original Embedded Journalist- in Revolution-era Macedonia

An American precursor to the “embedded journalist” concept of the early 21st century Iraq War arrived in the Balkans in 1905, in the person of one Albert Sonnichsen, a journalist and adventurer hailing from San Francisco. He ventured into the Macedonian hills with the guerrillas, often describing them as “bandits,’ and went along for the ride as they conducted their campaigns against Turkish forces, portraying a somewhat idealized image of the conflict.

For the American rogue journalist, it was also something of an adventure of self-discovery. In 1909, he published his experiences during the Macedonian insurgency in the recently republished Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars.

Sonnichsen was an interesting case for another reason. He seems to have been a precursor of the type of “advocacy journalists” encountered in the 1990s, a pro-intervention embedded reporter. But it was sometimes hard to tell exactly who he was advocating for. Indeed, Sonnichsen described the Macedonian insurgents in mixed terms:

“Apostol was Macedonia’s Robin Hood. For thirteen years he had followed the war trail… Apostol roamed the mountains, one of those picturesque brigands who have appeared among oppressed peoples during all the semi-barbaric periods of history, their exploits handed down in the folk songs of the peasants. Theirs was the single-ideaed creed of murder and destruction, the first instinct of primitive, illiterate men.”

One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. The insurgents and guerrilla groups in Macedonia were keen to seek Western intervention by whatever means possible. One of the most dramatic efforts occurred early on in the conflict, in 1901, when American aid worker and missionary Ellen Stone was kidnapped by men loyal to the legendary guerrilla leader Jane Sandanski of the IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization). The kidnapping was a gamble meant to focus international attention on Macedonia- and it worked.

The media flocked to the story, which has been retold in the modern age in a book depicting the “Miss Stone Affair” dramatically as “America’s first hostage crisis.” This depiction certainly has more truth to it than the argument of historian Mark Mazower, who claims that “Ellen Stone was, in fact, the first American victim of twentieth-century terrorism.” It might more accurately be said that the “crisis” – from which the clever missionary emerged unscathed, a celebrity and actually more sympathetic to the Macedonian cause – was an early example of media spectacle.

Considering the acknowledged ambiguity and loaded modern conception of the word “terrorist,” it is odd that Mazower would characterize the Stone affair as he does. But contemporary descriptions of the Macedonian insurgency by various interested parties did run the full gamut of terms, from terrorism to criminality to a national “liberation” and independence movement for human and civil rights.

Indeed, considering that Ms. Stone came out of the experience more favorable to the Macedonians than before her kidnapping, it seems again that media spectacle and image management had more to do with things than modern kidnapping of America’s, which is seldom conducted anymore to elicit sympathy for the captors – nor even for money, which Sandanski’s guerrillas were seeking also.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

Mar 17, 2006
Precursors to Mürzsteg: From the Congress of Vienna to Crete’s Liberation

Part three in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

The turn of events that led to the Mürzsteg Reforms and Western intervention in Macedonia in 1902 had origins in a political conception formalized three-quarters of a century earlier.

In 1815, the Congress of Vienna had established the foundations for a “Concert of Europe,’ a grouping of the most powerful European nations, which would ideally work jointly to ensure political stability and prevent the outbreak of war. It was, in a limited form, the primitive ancestor of the European Union.

In its time, the Concert of Europe was a reaction to the excessive aspirations of Napoleon, enacted in order to ensure the peace settlement of the Congress of Vienna. Its structure depended on the “Quadruple Alliance” of Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, which was expanded three years later to include the restored French monarchy. But the harmony was ephemeral, and differences of policy in dealing with and defining wars to be suppressed, especially between Britain and the Continental powers, led to the slow death of the values originally envisioned in the agreement.

Before the 1815 agreement had run its course, however, the temporary unity of Europe was harnessed for assisting in the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire.

Intervention in Greece

This new European power bloc was put to the test by the Greek War of Independence, which began six years after its formation, triggered their intervention against the Ottoman occupiers. Considerable funds were raised in Britain for the Greek side, inspired by the widespread academic and artistic interest in classical Greece, and thus the idealized association of the ancient Hellenes with their modern heirs.

In July of 1827, the European powers agreed to impose autonomy for Greece. On 8 October, a joint Russian-British-French naval fleet under Admiral Edward Codrington attacked and destroyed the Turkish-Egyptian fleet at Navarino, on the coast of the Peloponnese.

The battle, ironically, happened by mistake; the allied fleet had only intended to make a show of force, but the Turks fired first and were almost completely annihilated. The destruction of the Ottoman fleet decisively weakened Turkey’s status as a naval power and dramatically increased the standing of Russia as a Mediterranean naval power. The maritime engagement represented a stunning body blow to Ottoman military might at a time when the far-flung empire could ill afford to lose its sea routes. Navarino was in some ways the beginning of the end, or a sign that the end was inevitable for the Ottoman Empire.

Immediately after the battle, 14,000 French expeditionary troops landed on the Peloponnese to maintain order. In February 1830, the Great Powers recognized the independence of Greece, then a fraction of its present size and with its capital not in Athens but in the Peloponnesian town of Nafplio. Yet since there were no polished diplomats among the rough-and-tumble Greek brigand bands – themselves similar in many ways to those that would emerge 70 years later in Macedonia – a king had to be imported. In 1832 thus arrived from Germany Prince Otto I, who would assume the throne of Greece.

The Cretan Struggle and the Intervention of 1897

The success of some of the Greek population to free itself of the Turkish yoke inspired other Greeks in still subjugated lands. Chief among these was Crete, the largest and richest Greek island and a strategic Mediterranean port.

Here, sporadic yet consistent revolts throughout the 19th century intensified, and as would be the case in turn-of-the-century Macedonia, Turkish massacres shocked the world and stimulated Europeans to act. The most dramatic such event occurred during the great uprising of 1866, when on November 8 the Rethymno-area monastery of Arkadi was besieged by 15,000 Turkish soldiers. The villagers huddled inside had used up all of their ammunition against the advancing Turks by the second evening. Rather than waiting to be massacred, the Cretans detonated barrels of gunpowder in storage- killing more than 600 of their own men, women and children, as well as around 1,500 Turks. The Cretans’ defiance unto death astonished the world and European criticism of Ottoman misrule grew louder. By 1896, a major insurgency against the Turkish administration finally succeeded in tipping the balance in favor of the Greeks.

As in the 1820’s, a Greek rebellion had resulted in an intervention from the major Christian powers. Through diplomatic pressure they forced the Turks to grant autonomy to Crete, which would be ruled by a local, Christian governor. So as to lessen the humiliation of the concessions, the Great Powers decreed that political functions were to be divided between Christians and Muslims according to a two-to-one ratio. In February 1897, Greek troops landed on the island. In March, the Great Powers sent an international peacekeeping force, made up of 3,000 European troops.

In a move that would exactly prefigure the Mürzsteg Programme in Macedonia, not to mention the UN/NATO partitioning of Kosovo in 1999, the Great Powers divided the island of Crete into 5 sectors, to be run by the British, French, Russians and Italians. The fifth sector was a special one to be created around the capital city of Chania in western Crete. To the Italian carabinieri was assigned the task of reorganizing the island’s Ottoman police.

In November 1898, the Turkish government withdrew its troops and administration from the island. In June of the following year, the administrative and judicial authority was handed over to the local Cretan leaders. An Admiral’s Council was set up to govern the island, which was later replaced by a Commission of Councils. The Ottoman government’s departure also convinced numerous Turkish Muslims, the minority population, to leave the island.

Although Crete had been for all intents and purposes liberated, it was not allowed to become a part of Greece, which kept a consulate alongside the other international diplomatic missions in the neighborhood of Halepa, on the seafront in Chania.

The successful Cretan uprising had been led by a dynamic and charismatic figure, Eleftherios Venizelos, who emerged from the mountains of west Crete with a motley band of tough fighters and would go on to become to the most important prime minister in the history of the Greek state, overseeing not only the eventual reunion of Crete with the motherland, but also the major territorial gains of the Balkan Wars and the tragic population exchanges of 1923.

A Final Factor: The Treaty of Berlin

One of the most important and accursed documents in the history of the modern Balkans is the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. It was meant to be a comprehensive settlement to the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 that had resulted in the liberation of Bulgaria and, very nearly, Constantinople itself. The treaty however sharply reduced the Bulgarian territorial gains that had been promised in the Treaty of San Stefano, which had immediately preceded it.

This “revision,” along with many other elements of the treaty, would lead to seething resentment among a variety of Balkan peoples and ethnic groups for many reasons. The full story of the treaties and their impact must be told elsewhere; for current purposes, it is sufficient to note where the Treaty of Berlin would have impact on the upcoming MˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºrzsteg Reforms in Macedonia.

In several sections, the treaty overseen by the Great Powers ordered Turkey to impose reforms and restructuring in Crete and Macedonia, also referred to as “Turkey in Europe” and “Eastern Roumelia.” A commission was to be set up, and Turkey was required to give Macedonians a greater voice in the government to establish political stability. These reforms, however, seem to have been fairly open-ended.

The fact that by 1903 very little progress had been made in this regard did not mean the Great Powers had forgotten about the 25 year-old treaty. They saw the Macedonian insurgency, in its very existence, as evidence that Turkey had not carried out Article XXIII of the treaty, which called on the Ottomans to reform and create special commissions, “in which the native element shall be largely represented, to settle the details of the new laws in each province,” both in Crete and Macedonia.

However, this provision of the treaty was respected about as much as the one affirming that the Ottomans could not use discriminate against their subjects on account of their religion. By 1880, a Macedonian revolutionary proto-committee had sprung up. Their complaint was that the treaty was not being honored. It was Article XXIII that became used as the legal and diplomatic basis for the Great Powers’ intervention in Macedonia in 1903.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

Mar 15, 2006
The Eastern Question: An Independent Macedonia or the Status Quo?

Part two in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was well into its twilight years. Once an unstoppable juggernaut that had expanded to the gates of Vienna and taken leading roles in arts, sciences and culture, the empire had been bruised and battered during a series of punishing wars that saw its Balkan territories steadily reduced during the 19th century. But the thorniest and most intractable struggle of all, one which drag down not only the Turks but their Balkan neighbors as well, was the ideological and military battle for Macedonia.

In 1902, the Ottoman state was confronted with an ongoing guerrilla insurgency in Macedonia, while a new insurrection was being planned for the following year. The long-subjugated Christian populations were rising up against an oppressor whose power was waning, something which alarmed the Great Powers. They sought variously, inconsistently and in the end fruitlessly to assert or abrogate the status quo. Austria-Hungary and Russia, both seeking to restore stability and the status quo, took a diplomatic joint leadership position and sought to intervene in the conflict. Both of these Great Powers made it clear to the Turks that administrative reforms were urgently needed in the face of the growing humanitarian crisis.

At the same time, the neighboring Balkan states were warned “to keep their turbulent elements in check in order not to lay themselves open to the suspicion of wanting to create complications” in Macedonia, wrote English reporter H.N. Brailsford. The nations of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Romania, all of which had their own unpleasant memories of Ottoman rule, also had rival and competing claims to Macedonia. Each had sent comitadji guerrilla groups into the region.

Of what exactly did these groups consist? Just over 30 years later, Balkan sojourner Rebecca West met one such former guerrilla, an encounter which gave her the opportunity to describe the character of the comitadji. Her depiction is both witty and telling:

“the comitadji who waged guerrilla warfare against the Turks in Macedonia before the war covered a wide range of character. Some were highly disciplined, courageous, and ascetic men, often from good families in the freed Slav countries, who harried the Turkish troops, particularly those sent to punish Christian villages, and who held unofficial courts to correct the collapse of the legal system in the Turkish provinces. Others were fanatics who were happy in massacring the Turks but even happier when they were purging the movement of suspected traitors. Others were robust nationalists, to whom the proceedings seemed a natural way of spirited living. Others were black-guards who were in the business because they enjoyed murder and banditry.

All intermediate shades of character were fully represented. This made it difficult for the Western student to form a clear opinion about Near Eastern politics; it also made it difficult, very difficult, for a Macedonian peasant who saw a band of armed men approaching his village.”

The comitadji guerrilla raids provoked brutal reprisals by the Turkish military forces, which included the widespread murder of civilians and the burning and destruction of numerous villages and towns in Macedonia. The humanitarian disaster and crisis were worsening, perpetuated by an ongoing insurgency that, while undertaken by a diverse range of groups whose purpose was often opaque, took on broadly nationalist contours as the war continued.

Repression, Unease and the Call for Intervention

The brutal Turkish counter-measures against the Macedonian insurgents created a widespread popular perception in Europe that something had to be done to stop the “murders and rapine” in Macedonia, as a contemporary observer put it. While the British government proposed administrative and judicial reform in Macedonia, the traditionally cautious imperial power was however committed to maintaining the status quo- i.e., Turkey’s continued rule in the Balkans. British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, in a speech before the House of Commons on September 14, 1903, stated that “the balance of criminality lies not with the Turks, but with the rebels.”

There was notable dissonance between the Great Powers, which all sought to protect their own interests in the region. Britain eventually came around to the idea of a sovereign Macedonia under a Christian governor, but Russia and Austria-Hungary opposed this plan. Germany opposed any restrictions on Turkish sovereignty.

For his part, US President Theodore Roosevelt discussed the Macedonian crisis and suppression of the insurgency in his December 6, 1904 State of the Union message before Congress. “In Turkey,” he said, “our difficulties arise less from the way in which our citizens are sometimes treated than from the indignation inevitably excited in seeing such fearful misrule as has been witnessed both in Armenia and Macedonia.” Nevertheless, the United States did not get directly involved with the turbulence in the Balkans.

A key role in the Great Power negotiations was played by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Vladimir Lamsdorff, who went to Vienna to discuss the plan with his Austrian counterpart. The count also visited Belgrade on December 26, 1902, and four days later reached Sofia. The outcome of this shuttle diplomacy was announced in February 1903 as “the Viennese Plan” or Vienna Reform Scheme. The Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid was forced to accept this unpleasant new check on his sovereignty in the Balkans- a sign of how desperate were the fortunes of the once mighty Turkish empire.

The Vienna Plan was the direct precursor to the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, which established zones of responsibility for each of the Great Powers. These states charged themselves with overseeing the implementation of reform and keeping a lookout for any abuses of human rights by the Turkish authorities. However, the mission was fragmented and had no “muscle,’ meaning that the observers were unable to intervene directly to stop the bloodshed.

The Austro-Hungarian and Russian plan included recommendations from Britain as well. But these measures were perceived as merely cosmetic and superficial; it was already a case of too little too late in a wild land on the brink of independence and flirting with chaos. Ultimately, the Vienna Plan and its successor, the Mürzsteg Programme of reforms, would fail.

By 1908, when the Great Powers had lost all confidence in the Macedonian reforms and when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia, it was clear that a major, region-wide war was in the offing. The former failure led to the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, and the latter provocation to World War I. Given the enormity of these events, it is remarkable that very few pay attention to the role of Western intervention and rivalries in the Macedonia crisis of the first decade of the twentieth century.

The Ottoman Administration and Police Structures

Before getting into the narrative of events surrounding the reform schemes in our next installment of this series, it is necessary to get acquainted with some terms relating to the administrative organization of the Ottoman Empire, and the regions they covered.

The Turkish Balkan possessions were divided according to a precise administrative system, which however generally does not conform to the present borders of today’s Balkan states.

izvor: http://www.balkanalysis.com/blog/2006/03/

The largest unit was the province or vilayet. The governor of the province was known as a vali, and he had the rank of a pasha– equivalent to a military general. Above the vali, overseeing multiple provinces, was the beylerbey, second only to the vizier. Each vilayet was subdivided into two or three sandzaks or districts, the governors of which were termed mutessarifs, who also had the rank of pasha. The caza was a department, governed by a caimakam or prefect, who had the rank of a bey, equivalent to a military colonel. The nahiye was a group of villages, governed by a moudir or sub-prefect.

In all, there were six vilayets in European Turkey. There were the two Albanian ones in the west, Jannina (Epirus) and Scutari. The three vilayets in the center were largely Macedonian- Salonika, Monastir (Bitola), and Kosovo, with the capital being in Skopje, or Uskub in Turkish. Subdividing the Macedonian vilayets, the territory consisted of 12 sandzaks and 71 cazas– 26 in Salonika, 22 in Monastir, and 23 in Kosovo.

To the east, in Thrace, was the vilayet of Adrianople (Edirne). The Ottoman capital, Constantinople, formed a vilayet in itself. The MˆšÃ‰Â¬Âºrzsteg Reforms were meant to apply only to the three Macedonian vilayets of Salonika, Monastir and Kosovo.

The police entrusted with providing law and order in Macedonia, the Ottoman gendarmerie, fell under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of War. The gendarmes were made up of males between 25 to 45 years of age, who served for two years. They were organized into regiments, battalions, and companies. Each vilayet was assigned a gendarme regiment, while each sandzak had a battalion, and each caza had a company. They functioned as a rural police under the command of the vali.

These groups patrolled the rural areas to maintain public safety and order, acted as sentries, security guards at banks and post offices, delivered court orders and executed arrest warrants. They were organized in gendarme forts called karakols, or station houses. The officer corps was described wittily by Austrian military attache Gustav Hubka as a “privileged extortionist mob and scourge of brigands.”

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co., 1903.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

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Mar 14, 2006
Prologue to the Past: Mürzsteg’s Recurring Intervention

Part one in a 10-part series on the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, by Carl Savich and Christopher Deliso.

Right now, it is March of 2006, and Austria is midway through a six-month honorary presidency of the European Union. Among its key stated goals are the “stabilization” and “integration” of the West Balkans into the EU.

Kosovo, presently divided up into pieces controlled by today’s Great Powers, is being administered by an international body, UNMIK, following claims of atrocities and human rights violations in 1999 caused the West to intervene on behalf of the Albanians there.

Yet while no one speaks of it today, there was a UNMIK before UNMIK- way before. It existed 100 years ago today, and was located not in Kosovo but in neighboring Macedonia. It was known as the Mürzsteg Reform Programme, and it too was sparked by allegations of massacres, and criticisms about the misrule of the Ottoman Empire, then the sovereign power in Macedonia.

Incidentally, Austria (as one half of the Dual Monarchy, it was much more powerful than it is today) had a crucial role in setting it up. The original Balkan peacekeeping mission ended in disaster, and was followed by cataclysmic war that changed the world. Today’s interventionists have more modest aspirations for the UNMIK and its legacy. But give them time.

In the following chapters, we will take another look at this curious, neglected and vital episode in Macedonia’s past- one that is ineluctably bound up with developments today and which should be seen as a warning and admonition regarding the dangers and unforeseen consequences of intervention. This first chapter summarizes, in broad strokes, the narrative that we will embark upon in more detail in the following ones.

Atrocities and the Call for Intervention

As the twentieth century dawned on Europe, Macedonia was under the control of a country whose retribution grew more vicious in direct proportion to the weakening of that state’s power. The Ottoman Empire was crumbling, and various factions and brigand bands sought to drive the Turks out of the contested region. The result was massive bloodshed and a violent crackdown on Macedonia’s Christian populations which, while it has been totally forgotten, more than matched the barbarity of the recent wars in the Balkans.

The Armenians in the far east of the empire, who were also rebelling, were not the only ones whose plight captivated Westerners. The cry for intervention in Macedonia grew louder with each failed uprising and each successful Turkish reprisal against already impoverished Christian villagers.

The Vienna and Mürzsteg Plans, in Theory and Practice

Fuelled by popular sentiment, but even more so by colonial self-interest, the Great Powers began in late 1902 to formulate a plan for reforms which the Ottomans would be compelled to accept. The first one, known as the Vienna Plan, proved ineffectual and in early October 1903, following the disastrous Ilinden Uprising of August and resulting political intrigue in Europe’s capitals, that Austro-Hungarian and Russian diplomats finally met in Vienna and Mürzsteg to hammer out a real Macedonian reform program.

The program was jointly announced, and was named after its place of agreement- according to British historian Arthur May, “a dismal hunting lodge in Styria” in central Austria. The Mürzsteg agreement asserted that there would be no changes of borders- just as did the similarly ill-fated UN Resolution 1244 that ended the Kosovo War 96 years later.

Both reform plans basically envisioned a Macedonia still ruled by the Ottoman Empire, but which would be a kinder and gentler place to live for its inhabitants. They called for improving the economic and security status of the oppressed Christian populations and for incorporating more of them into state service. Propositions like insurgent amnesties and tax breaks for returning refugees were also made. But those who expected that the reforms would help preserve a very fragile status quo would soon be disappointed.

As in Kosovo today, the interventionist governments sought to put a positive spin on the situation, despite the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground. In practice, the reforms proved hard to carry out. The international observers in the gendarmes had a delicate role that was almost impossible to perform: they were tasked with reporting on abuses of the Turkish officials, while at the same time remaining dependent upon them for their safety and well-being. They could not execute their mandate effectively because they had only an advisory role and a limited mandate. Their goals under Mürzsteg were to reorganize the gendarmerie and to bring order, safety, and stability. They could only counsel. They could not command.

There were also the inevitable power struggles between the representatives of the Great Powers, which diluted the strength of the mission and ruined its ability to function. Commanding Italian General Emilio Degiorgis sought to maintain “impartiality” in his mandate, but biases were often revealed. The Austrians favored the Albanians, while the Russians favored the Serbs. Germany supported the Ottoman Turkish government. The British shifted during the seven-year interventionist experiment from a position of supporting Ottoman sovereignty to one of a free Macedonia. Throughout, their collective biases and hidden agendas would be a hindrance to the effective implementation of the reforms.

From 1904-1908, the joint military commission continued to meet twice a year, and sent their reports to the Austrian and Russian embassies, who in turn passed them on to the Turkish government. But a low-intensity guerrilla war continued to rage throughout the duration of the Western intervention, and the self-appointed guardians of the moral order remained powerless to stop it.

Indeed, while the Christian population had at first held out high expectations for the reform program, it later felt disappointed, betrayed and even deceived. It became clear that the Great Powers were acting to advance their own interests in Macedonia, and not to achieve any meaningful reform or to help the Christian population.

The 48 officers dispatched to the Macedonian region did however give the Christian population a minor sense of security. The police reforms did improve the quality of the gendarmerie. The actual Western officers in the field carried out their mission in good faith, in spite of its ambiguous and complex character of their mandate. However, they continued to meet with obstruction from the Turkish officials.

The Turkish officials continued to oppose the reforms through obstructionism and delay, through passive resistance and through general inertia. The Sultan, Abdul Hamid, refused to accelerate the pace of the reforms and did everything to discourage their implementation. At first, he believed he could wait out the reforms by employing stalling and delaying tactics. Turkish officials sought to intimidate and pressure Christians from making complaints and from voicing their grievances to the officers. Turkish officials showed bad faith at every turn.

There were, however, exceptions. Some of the best cooperation came from Ottoman officials who were not natives of the Balkans and who could thus act more impartially. The vali of Kosovo, Mahmoud Chevket Pasha, was a native of Baghdad; he actively supported the reforms, as did the commander of the Skopje zone, Osman Fewzi Pasha, a Tartar.

The problem with the reforms was that 48 international officers were an inadequate number to monitor the huge area of the three Macedonian vilayets. The Turkish government kept the number of the reorganized gendarmerie intentionally low to minimize their impact and effectiveness.

The introduction of Christians in the gendarmerie, one of the stipulated reforms, was generally not successful. They were undisciplined and unpopular in both Muslim and Christian areas. They were seen as traitors and lackeys by the Christians, and were despised by Muslims who detested the thought of letting Christians controlling them. They were said to be lacking in “moral value” and “political conviction.” In 1907, the fifth year of the reform programme, they made up only 10 percent of the gendarmerie. Christians also were issued gun licenses infrequently, while Muslims were well-armed and carried firearms openly. The reforms did not prevent abuses against Christians or ensure their safety. The abuses of the gendarmes were, however, lessened due to the reforms.

The Failure of the Reform Programme

By September of 1909, the Mürzsteg Reform Plan was officially dead. Its tepid results meant that it would only be a matter of time before the lackluster intervention — and the status quo it propped up — would be overtaken by events. Among these the most important were the Young Turk revolution of July 1908, and the Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia three months later.

The Great Powers, which had gone into Macedonia with the stated hope of making benevolent rulers of the Turks, instead abetted the bloodshed and followed their interests. Yet their interpretation of their own best interests was antiquated; it was based on obsolete conceptions of the world and the relation of states with one another.

At this feverish time of transition, however, each of the Great Powers followed its own interventionist and colonialist intuition on a quixotic quest deep into the Balkans. None of the states would come out of it unscathed, even if the full brunt of the blowback only arrived five years after the end of the Mürzsteg Programme, with the onset of the Great War.

Partial Bibliography

Booth, John. Troubles in the Balkans. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1905.

Brailsford, Henry Noel. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future. London: Methuen & Co., 1906.

Curtis, William Eleroy. The Turk and His Lost Provinces. Chicago: Fleming Revell Co.

Fraser, John Foster. Pictures from the Balkans. London: Cassell and Company, 1906.

Lange-Akhund, Nadine. The Macedonian Question, 1893-1908: From Western Sources. NY: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Macartney, Carlile Aylmer. The Habsburg Empire, 1790-1918. NY: Macmillan, 1969.

Mazower, Mark. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

May, Arthur J. The Hapsburg Monarchy, 1867-1914. NY: W.W. Norton, 1951.

Sakellariou, M.B., ed. Macedonia. Athens: Ekdotike Athenon S.A., 1983.

Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997.

Sonnichsen, Albert. Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit: A Californian in the Balkan Wars. NY: Duffield & Co., 1909.

izvor: http://www.balkanalysis.com/blog/2006/03/

Last edited by DedoAleko; 10-07-2015 at 05:58 AM.
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