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Macedonian Nationalism by Misirkov, 1925!

Macedonia 1919-1939

Macedonian Nationalism

We, the Macedonian intelligentsia, undoubtedly bear the greatest responsibility for the situation facing our country today. There are, however, certain extenuating circumstances which might justify us in the eyes of our unfortunate fellow-countrymen, especially those who have been driven from their homes and are now forced to wander, unwelcome and unwanted, in various part’s of Bulgaria.

For a full thirty years the Macedonians have been waging a heroic battle to release themselves from the yoke of Turkey. But at the same time the foreign propagandists have been infecting our country and demoralizing part of the population. The Macedonian intel-ligentsia have largely devoted themselves to revolutionary activity; but there have been some who have found other ways possibly no less important than that of the revolutionary struggle to ensure the success of Macedonia’s endeavors.

My book On the Macedonian Matters, published in 1903 in Sofia, and my article On the Importance of the Moravian or Resavian Dialects for the Historical Ethnography of the Balkan Peninsula, have shown that some of the Macedonian intellectuals are seeking and have found, another way of fighting, i.e. an independent Macedonian scientific way of thinking and a Macedonian national Consciousness.

I do not regret having declared myself in favor of Macedonian separatism twenty-eight years ago. Separatism was for me, and remains, the only way out, the best means by which the Macedonian intelligentsia could pay back and continue to repay their debt towards their people.

In 1912, when I was asked by my fellow villagers what should be done if our village remained under Greek control, I answered: no matter under whose control this village may remain, you will stay where you are, you shall not move anywhere.

Maybe from the great-Bulgarian point of view my advice was not sufficiently patriotic, but from the Macedonian point of view this was the only proper advice.

But when the Greeks forced many Macedonians to flee to Bulgaria I should, as a Bulgarian, have been glad that the Bulgarian people had lost their land just as long as they had been spared from Hellenization.

But I am not glad that they were forced to move. Nor can I look at this question through the eyes of Mr. Mih. Madzharov (one of the editors of Mir B.K.) who says that the underground and the city industry of Bulgaria benefited from the arrival of the refugees.

Here my Macedonian patriotism overcomes my Bulgarian patriotism. The Macedonians are necessary to Macedonia; it is only with the Macedonians that Macedonia can belong to the Macedonians, never without them.

The Macedonians should either remain where they are and let the devil take care of them if he likes or, if it is their fate to be forced to move, they should move from one part of Macedonia to another, but this should still be Macedonia and not Bulgaria, Serbia, or Greece. If they are driven out of the Greek part of Macedonia, the Macedonians should move into the Serbian part of Macedonia and form military settlements to await the day when they might return to their homes.

You may say that a Bulgarian cannot reason like this. Yes, but a Macedonian can and should reason like this.

I hope it will not be held against me that I, as a Macedonian, place the interests of my country before all… I am a Macedonian, I have a Macedonian’s consciousness, and so I have my own Macedonian view of the past, present, and future of my country and of all the South Slavs; and so I should like them to consult us, the Macedonians, about all the questions concerning us and our neighbors, and not have everything end merely with agreements between Bulgaria and Serbia about us – but without us …

Note: This article was written after an agreement signed between Greece and Bulgaria in 1923, according to which a great number of Aegean Macedonians would be turned out of their homes and driven into Bulgaria during winter, under the worst possible conditions, when the Bulgarians had not made even the most rudimentary preparations for receiving, housing, and feeding tens and even hundreds of thousands of Macedonian refugees.

K. Misirkov: Macedonian Nationalism, “Mir”, 7427, 12. III 1925, 1.


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