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Old 04-17-2019, 09:03 PM   #71
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The book Se za Makedonija which has the letters published by Todor Aleksandrov are all from the Bulgarian archives. One needs to ask how many other letters are there and whether the letters that we're made available are the letters which the Bulgarians wanted to be released. Another question would be if there are other letters which do not tie into their agenda and have purposely been kept hidden from the the light of day.

In neutral sources Todor Aleksandrov can be seen as discussing a Macedonia seperate from Bulgaria and wanting an independent Macedonia, whilst documents that came from Bulgaria and their archives paints him in another light.

Make's me question their authenticity and transparency of the Bulgarian archives.
We have this issue with not just Aleksandrov but with almost our entire history. Because we never had autonomy. So much that was written down was written by others, and the little that we wrote down fell into the hands of others as well.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:49 AM   #72
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The book Se za Makedonija which has the letters published by Todor Aleksandrov are all from the Bulgarian archives. One needs to ask how many other letters are there and whether the letters that we're made available are the letters which the Bulgarians wanted to be released. Another question would be if there are other letters which do not tie into their agenda and have purposely been kept hidden from the the light of day.

In neutral sources Todor Aleksandrov can be seen as discussing a Macedonia seperate from Bulgaria and wanting an independent Macedonia, whilst documents that came from Bulgaria and their archives paints him in another light.

Make's me question their authenticity and transparency of the Bulgarian archives.

That's what I'm trying to get at, can't forget many of these documents we receive are from Bulgarian sources and they're obviously not going to release what they don't want.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:17 AM   #73
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That's what I'm trying to get at, can't forget many of these documents we receive are from Bulgarian sources and they're obviously not going to release what they don't want.

The book many refer to "Se za Makedonija" was from letters sourced from the Bulgarian archives.

I would've been shocked if they actually released something that went against their state narrative with regards to Macedonia and the Macedonians.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:18 AM   #74
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We have this issue with not just Aleksandrov but with almost our entire history. Because we never had autonomy. So much that was written down was written by others, and the little that we wrote down fell into the hands of others as well.
There's enough written and spoken by Aleksandrov's Macedonian contemporaries to show that his principles were compromised, his methods eventually became alienating, and his allegiances were questionable. This can't be brushed off simply as "a left-right divide" or "it was the times." We celebrate Delchev, Sandanski and their allies not just because of their commitment to Macedonia for the Macedonians, but for their commitment to certain principles. These two men openly spoke against Bulgarian interference, for example. Aleksandrov welcomed Bulgaria's "help". Mihajlov welcomed Hitler's help. Both the latter believed in an independent Macedonia. Both viewed themselves as Bulgars; both were willing to do whatever to stay in power. That's unquestionable.

I think there are enough unbiased sources and enough spoken by Macedonians themselves to show that Aleksandrov has a place, but we should not seek to reconfigure our historical narrative to include him as a celebrated hero -- there are many lesser known Macedonians and non-Macedonians (Todor Panica, just as one example of a non-Macedonian) who deserve more recognition than Aleksandrov for their contributions to our cause. Aleksandrov's role in reviving IMRO is important; however, it is important because it ended up being the wrong type of IMRO that Macedonians needed.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:20 AM   #75
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There's enough written and spoken by Aleksandrov's Macedonian contemporaries to show that his principles were compromised, his methods eventually became alienating, and his allegiances were questionable. This can't be brushed off simply as "a left-right divide" or "it was the times." We celebrate Delchev, Sandanski and their allies not just because of their commitment to Macedonia for the Macedonians, but for their commitment to certain principles. These two men openly spoke against Bulgarian interference, for example. Aleksandrov welcomed Bulgaria's "help". Mihajlov welcomed Hitler's help. Both the latter believed in an independent Macedonia. Both viewed themselves as Bulgars; both were willing to do whatever to stay in power. That's unquestionable.

I think there are enough unbiased sources and enough spoken by Macedonians themselves to show that Aleksandrov has a place, but we should not seek to reconfigure our historical narrative to include him as a celebrated hero -- there are many lesser known Macedonians and non-Macedonians (Todor Panica, just as one example of a non-Macedonian) who deserve more recognition than Aleksandrov for their contributions to our cause. Aleksandrov's role in reviving IMRO is important; however, it is important because it ended up being the wrong type of IMRO that Macedonians needed.
I should have been more clear, I am not naive as to Aleksondrov's probable allegiances and intentions. I was speaking towards the reality that as a people we lack first hand or unbiased accounts of many parts of our history. This is even going back as far as antiquity. We seem to always be at the mercy of our historical enemies who either hold historical documents are were the ones who produced them in the first place.

It's a problem now but it was probably an even bigger problem when our national consciousness was forming because the lack of historians and historical documents helped manipulate Macedonians into not identifying as Macedonians or rather identifying as something else. Our people were never in control of information and that really hurt their ability to spread their own nationalist propaganda.

As far as Aleksandrov, its complicated and I think many people are focusing on the wrong things.

The focus seems to be whether he was "Macedonian"(good guy) or "Bulgarian" (bad guy). What many seem to miss is that he could have been Macedonian, believed in an independent Macedonian identity and yet still have been a bad guy. A lot of what we need in order to judge him fully was in his own head, we will never know what was in his heart and his head BUT as you have meticulously outlined, his actions were unequivocally bad.

What people need to remember is that just because someone thought they were fighting for Macedonia, doesn't make them a hero. Zaev probably thinks what he did in changing our name was good for Macedonia and its people, does that make him a hero? Aleksandrov's actions, tactics, and affiliations were undoubtedly harmful to the Macedonian cause. Whether his actions were sinister or naive doesn't matter in my opinion. Even if he was just trying to "play" Bulgaria, that was the wrong thing to do and certainly caused more harm than good to his fellow Macedonians.

We are so obsessed with claiming everyone as Macedonian, that we forget that Macedonians can be bad people too and hurt Macedonia.

Most if not all well known historical figures good and bad, only become good and bad over time and from a certain context. This goes well beyond Macedonia's revolutionary period. If Macedonians eventually leaned towards and were incorporated into Bulgaria, our history books would talk about how evil Delcev and Sandanski were for trying to divide the Bulgarian people.

For our current Macedonian perspective Aleksandrov was not a hero.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:26 AM   #76
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There's enough written and spoken by Aleksandrov's Macedonian contemporaries to show that his principles were compromised, his methods eventually became alienating, and his allegiances were questionable. This can't be brushed off simply as "a left-right divide" or "it was the times." We celebrate Delchev, Sandanski and their allies not just because of their commitment to Macedonia for the Macedonians, but for their commitment to certain principles. These two men openly spoke against Bulgarian interference, for example. Aleksandrov welcomed Bulgaria's "help". Mihajlov welcomed Hitler's help. Both the latter believed in an independent Macedonia. Both viewed themselves as Bulgars; both were willing to do whatever to stay in power. That's unquestionable.

I think there are enough unbiased sources and enough spoken by Macedonians themselves to show that Aleksandrov has a place, but we should not seek to reconfigure our historical narrative to include him as a celebrated hero -- there are many lesser known Macedonians and non-Macedonians (Todor Panica, just as one example of a non-Macedonian) who deserve more recognition than Aleksandrov for their contributions to our cause. Aleksandrov's role in reviving IMRO is important; however, it is important because it ended up being the wrong type of IMRO that Macedonians needed.

Actually, i think Todor Panica was a Macedonian... was related to the famous major Kosta Panica who was a famous general in Bulgaria which i remember from some of my readings.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:31 AM   #77
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I only just watched Mario's video and I think he made some good points about how it's never so black/white and that Aleksandrov was often intentionally contradictory and ambiguous as to not alienate potential allies.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:53 AM   #78
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Actually, i think Todor Panica was a Macedonian... was related to the famous major Kosta Panica who was a famous general in Bulgaria which i remember from some of my readings.
He was a nephew to Kosta. Todor's family was born in central and northern Bulgaria and traced their roots to central Bulgaria from the late 1600s at least. He had a Macedonian ancestor or two (from hundreds of years ago, likely, but not confirmed), but most of his lineage consisted of people with no known ties to Macedonia; instead, his "Macedonianism" wasn't necessarily due to his ancestry but rather to his ideology -- he loved the Macedonian Cause and the Macedonian movement. He viewed anyone as being part of the original VMRO as being Macedonian, regardless of what their ancestral roots were. That's how he became Macedonian as he defined it. He said:


"Who told you that I am a Bulgarian? So do you think, as thousands think? We from VMRO are not Bulgarians! We are Macedonians! I must explain to you tomorrow these things, obligatory, as soon as you, the Communists of Greece, consider us Bulgarians! You should know that you insult us when you say Bulgarians! ... We are Macedonians, I want to understand this! We will keep Pirin Macedonia under our control, temporarily, as we have now, where Tsankov does not dare to attack us. Later, together with the CPB, you and the CPY, we will strive for autonomy for the whole of Macedonia, so that we can make our country, as our first leader Sandanski desired."

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Old 04-18-2019, 09:20 AM   #79
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Most if not all well known historical figures good and bad, only become good and bad over time and from a certain context. This goes well beyond Macedonia's revolutionary period. If Macedonians eventually leaned towards and were incorporated into Bulgaria, our history books would talk about how evil Delcev and Sandanski were for trying to divide the Bulgarian people.

For our current Macedonian perspective Aleksandrov was not a hero.
This is a good point. Thanks for the clarification.

Sandanski was considered by many Macedonians between 1908 and 1915 as traitorous scum because he chose allegiance with the Young Turks over the Bulgarian crown. Sandanski despised Bulgarian nationalism, and many IMRO members and Macedonians during that period were pro-Bulgarian (for whatever reasons). People hated him for that, and for killing off Sarafov.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:38 PM   #80
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This is a good point. Thanks for the clarification.

Sandanski was considered by many Macedonians between 1908 and 1915 as traitorous scum because he chose allegiance with the Young Turks over the Bulgarian crown. Sandanski despised Bulgarian nationalism, and many IMRO members and Macedonians during that period were pro-Bulgarian (for whatever reasons). People hated him for that, and for killing off Sarafov.
Sandanski is a perfect example. Of what I'm talking about.

Goce Delcev is head and shoulders above the rest because I think he was the only one who really understood everything. His quote on the world being a place of cultural competition is what it all amounts to.

To be Macedonian is a choice, to be Bulgarian or Serbian is a choice. Its always silly when different nationalities argue back and forth about who belongs to who. Delcev understood this, that no nationality just exists, its a choice. It was a competition between competing ideologies. Some ideologies won, some lost, some ideologies could coexist, some couldn't.

People get too wrapped up in the black and white of good and evil. Is he a good guy or a bad guy. Aleksandrov was a man who held his own ideology, and that ideology was at odds with what we understand to be Macedonianism. If we accept Aleksandrov as a hero, then we also have to accept his ideology that was in direct contradiction to the idea of a unique and independent Macedonian identity.

He was Macedonian, who committed acts that hurt the Macedonian cause on more than one occasion. Even if at the end of his life he had a change of heart in relation to autonomy from Bulgaria, that doesn't make him a hero. The same could be said for many Macedonians past and present.
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