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Old 11-17-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
TrueMacedonian
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Default Fighting the Turk in the Balkans/The Death of Dame Gruev

http://books.google.com/books?id=bZE...age&q=&f=false

The basis for this post is to examine the book Fighting the Turk in the Balkans: an American's adventures with the Macedonian Revolutionists by Arthur Douglas Howden Smith (1908).

Upon reading the first few pages the authors introduction gives you an idea of where this text is headed;

Quote:
I had always been interested in the Balkans, particularly in Bulgaria and Macedonia, and when, in the fall of 1907, a chance was offered to me to go to Sofia and observe conditions at firsthand, I could not decline it. Naturally, one does not start on such an expedition as on the usual summer holiday. Letters of introduction were necessary, and I was carefully instructed in the personal phases of the insurrection, besides being given intimate side-lights on the characters of the prominent chiefs.

There were at the time three revolutions against the Turk raging in Macedonia—Bulgarian, Greek, and Servian. Of these the Bulgarian revolt was the most important and the one that was best known to the rest of the world. This was not extraordinary, because the Bulgarians undoubtedly form a majority of the Macedonian population. It has been computed that of about 4,000,000, they include 2,500,000.

It should be remembered, to begin with, that there is no Macedonian race, as a distinct type. 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.
However wonderful an ethnologist and sociologist this adventurer was this text still demonstrates a part of our recent history that we should acknowledge irregardless of the fact that Mr. Smith was an ignorant American looking for adventure and a book to write. Upon reading his book I noticed that not one Macedonian ever states "I am Bulgarian" or "I speak Bulgarian". Mr. Smith is such an adventurer that he decided to go to a country where he did not speak the language. Hence on page 21 he writes;
Quote:
Shortly after reaching Sofia, I started out to find the Revolutionary Committee, which has the direction of the insurrection in Macedonia. Now, I had had some experience in tracking down South American juntas in New York, but still, I was somewhat uncertain as to how to go about a search for revolutionists in a strange city. It turned out to be absurdly simple, though. An hour or two proved that it was useless for me, ignorant of the language, to play my hand alone, and I appealed to the commissionaire of my hotel, a wonderful Austrian, named Carl, who spoke six tongues and could understand as many more.
Well I guess ignorance is bliss considering that our adventurer Mr. Smith labeled people accordingly to what he had heard. No matter though. Mr. Smith also uses the socio-labor identity label that westerners used on the Balkan peoples. Do a search in his book for the word "peasant" and the words "Bulgar" or "Bulgarian" appear. When he talks about the "Greeks" on page 361 he talks about their "Wealth" and about "Merchants". When he talks about the "Vlachs" or "Roumanians" on page 213 he talks of "Shepherds" who were bi-lingual.

And of course as to be expected even more confusion at the end of the book where Mr. Smith writes on page 366;

Quote:
The outsider who visits the Balkans, and tries to gain an unprejudiced viewpoint, from which to gaze over the situation, cannot help feeling influenced by Bulgaria's position. Bulgaria's claim on Macedonia is based chiefly on the ground of population. "Give us the Bulgarians," is the demand of Sofia. "Let the Greeks have the Greeks and the Serbs have the Serbs."

That is all very well, but how are you going to decide exactly who are Greeks, or Serbs, or Bulgars? While in this chapter I have spoken of broad geographical lines, there is no doubt in my mind that a strict division of the land on such principles would visit much hardship upon thousands of peasants. The hopeless tangle of races baffles one at every turn. For there are Greeks in the Bulgarian area, and Bulgars in the Greek area, and both are scattered through Old Servia.
The hopeless tangle of races are actually the hopeless tangle of propaganda religions that Mr. Smith is describing. So in essence our friend Mr. Smith was as confused as the modern "greek" who discovered that his yaya spoke the "local Slavic idiom".

Smith runs with the Vrhovists in his book but he tells of an interesting story. Here it is;



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Old 11-17-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
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Here are some interesting pics from his book;






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Old 11-17-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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Great pictures.
Clearly this guy had too much "sireeny" between his ears.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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Grupa obvineti vo sudski proces za edna od aferite vo Bitolskiot vilaet od 1901.Vo preden plan-Dame Gruev.Slikata e napravena od Milton ManakiIn this photo: DAME GRUEV
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:34 AM   #5
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These assumptions that we are 'Bulgars' or 'Slavs' or 'Greeks' etc have found their way into the literature through the colonial propaganda of our occupiers.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:38 AM   #6
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Here's something else that is interesting in Smith's book;




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Old 11-18-2009, 12:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelister View Post
These assumptions that we are 'Bulgars' or 'Slavs' or 'Greeks' etc have found their way into the literature through the colonial propaganda of our occupiers.
True. Which is why topics like this one - http://www.macedoniantruth.org/forum...read.php?t=835

are extremely valuable to every Macedonian who wants to learn why it is and why it was that Macedonians were called "bulgar" and why they sometimes called themselves "bulgars". This is where people from Macedonia's past like Misirkov come into play.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:44 AM   #8
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Well presented TM, an interesting text.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:40 AM   #9
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THe photos are really good & the book offers a surprise as to why Macedonians were known as Bulgarian.The enemies of Macedonia will do anything even to try to confuse people's identity.They will say that your not a real Macedonian but a Bulgarian.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueMacedonian View Post
It means Europe is still asleep.

Nice stuff TM.
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