Todor Aleksandrov

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  • Karposh
    Member
    • Aug 2015
    • 863

    #61
    Gotta hand it to you LoM, you are without doubt the king of open-ended questions (and statements). Which bit in particular is contentious for you so I can translate it for you from Macedonian Wikipedia?



    Yes, that's where I got my info from. I've condensed it to the main points that stuck out for me.
    • The secret talks in Vienna between the communist leaning Macedonians and the right wing Macedonians.
    • The establishment of certain principles in moving forward with VMRO as a United force where Bulgaria would not be an influence or a factor.
    • The manifesto's declaration of the Macedonian people being a separate Balkan people (something Bulgarian Wikipedia concurs with).
    • Todor Aleksandrov fearing for his life and denying he had anything to do with the manifesto.


    Was it any of these points or was something else that I mentioned that caught your eye that you want me to clarify. Stick to specifics my friend...I'm not a mind reader. None of what I've stated is contentious and is public knowledge.

    Comment

    • Liberator of Makedonija
      Senior Member
      • Apr 2014
      • 1597

      #62
      Originally posted by Karposh View Post
      Gotta hand it to you LoM, you are without doubt the king of open-ended questions (and statements). Which bit in particular is contentious for you so I can translate it for you from Macedonian Wikipedia?



      Yes, that's where I got my info from. I've condensed it to the main points that stuck out for me.
      • The secret talks in Vienna between the communist leaning Macedonians and the right wing Macedonians.
      • The establishment of certain principles in moving forward with VMRO as a United force where Bulgaria would not be an influence or a factor.
      • The manifesto's declaration of the Macedonian people being a separate Balkan people (something Bulgarian Wikipedia concurs with).
      • Todor Aleksandrov fearing for his life and denying he had anything to do with the manifesto.


      Was it any of these points or was something else that I mentioned that caught your eye that you want me to clarify. Stick to specifics my friend...I'm not a mind reader. None of what I've stated is contentious and is public knowledge.

      I just wanted to know where you were getting your information from as those are obviously some big claims to make and shouldn't be made lightly. I always ask for evidence in these circumstances.
      I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

      Comment

      • Karposh
        Member
        • Aug 2015
        • 863

        #63
        All good. I'm happy to provide further clarification. Which, in your mind, would constitute a big claim? Give me all of them or just one (I don't really mind) and explain to me what makes it such a big claim.

        Comment

        • Liberator of Makedonija
          Senior Member
          • Apr 2014
          • 1597

          #64
          Originally posted by Karposh View Post
          All good. I'm happy to provide further clarification. Which, in your mind, would constitute a big claim? Give me all of them or just one (I don't really mind) and explain to me what makes it such a big claim.
          Just all the background and intricate details with the May Manifesto. Information on what happened is conflicting and limited so I would consider anything about it to be a big claim as we still don't have a clear idea of what went down and how.
          I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

          Comment

          • Karposh
            Member
            • Aug 2015
            • 863

            #65
            Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
            Just all the background and intricate details with the May Manifesto. Information on what happened is conflicting and limited so I would consider anything about it to be a big claim as we still don't have a clear idea of what went down and how.
            I'll be honest, if I'm not sure about something in our recent, late 19th/early 20th Century Macedonian history, my first port of call is Wikipedia. I don't have a library of peer reviewed and authenticated Macedonian history books so Wikipedia is the next best thing for me. It gives me a quick and easily digestible snap-shot of key events and players. Most of us are quite aware that we cannot rely on anything Macedonian on English Wikipedia because it is constantly being vandalised by Bulgarian trolls so I tend to just get the basics from English Wikipedia and then automatically skip to Macedonian Wikipedia for a more in-depth look. You can generally tell the English Wikipedia entries have been vandalised and are heavily biased by the amount of personal opinions intertwined between actual historical facts. This is clearly done in order to explain away certain inconsistencies that go against their whole "Macedonians are a made-up nation" narrative.

            Just as an example, the English Wikipedia entry on the May Manifesto, among the many insulting personal opinions in there, there is also this gem:

            This communist-influenced document reads as an excuse for a Macedonian state for the silliest of reasons: "endowed with the most varied natural riches and a favorable climate; with its ethnically diverse population of upwards of 2,302,000 persons; with a strategic and economic position in the middle of the Balkans [...] has all the rights and conditions necessary for an independent political existence. Forming an independent and self governing state". Once again the IMRO explicitly states Macedonia is multi-ethnic. It also declares its goal to be the "liberation and reunion of the separated parts of Macedonia in a fully autonomous and independent political unit within its natural geographic and ethnic frontiers".
            It might be silly to this tatar troll but the point the manifesto is trying to make, which the tatar troll is deliberately trying to ignore, is that Macedonia is blessed with rich natural resources and is more than capable of standing alone without the need to be under the tutelage of any of the neighbouring Balkan states. Notice how he stresses that the IMRO explicitly states Macedonia is multi-ethnic but fails to let the readers know about the part in the document that refers to the Macedonian people as an independent Balkan people. It is on this basis that the whole manifesto was even formulated - the idea that, the Macedonian people, as an independent Balkan people, have the right to self determination and an independent country of their own.

            As a matter of fact, if this tatar troll bothered to read his own Bulgarian Wikipedia entry on the May Manifesto, he would have seen that the document, besides mentioning Macedonia's ethnically diverse population, also speaks about the Macedonian people as being independent and not a part of any other Balkan people. From Bulgarian Wikipedia on the May Manifesto:

            Манифестът прави разлика между македонския и другите балкански народи и поради това този акт се смята днес в Република Македония, като един от основните жалони по пътя към официалното признаване на отделна македонска нация.
            Translation:
            The Manifesto distinguishes between the "Macedonian" and the other Balkan peoples and is therefore considered today in the Republic of Macedonia as one of the main pillars on the road to the official recognition of a separate Macedonian nation.

            Todor Aleksandrov seems to be a controversial figure among Macedonians. I'm not sure exactly what the split is but opinions seem to be evenly divided between those who think he was a misunderstood and patriotic Macedonian who used Bulgaria and Bulgarians for Macedonian ends and that he never really was pro-Bulgarian and; those who believe he was nothing short of a sell-out scumbag Bulgarophile dog.

            I think there is enough plausible evidence, based on what was being discussed in Vienna and the details of the manifesto, where Bulgaria is treated as an enemy of the Macedonian people, that Todor Aleksandrov believed in these principles and ideals. A sell-out pro-Bulgarian would never have entertained such ideas. But, of course, I wasn't there and never personally met the guy to make a definitive call on whether he was pro-Macedonian or pro-Bulgarian. I will say this however, subterfuge was a very real thing among Macedonians living in Bulgaria during that time so anything they said publicly or in writing during those times should be taken with a grain of salt where there is a hint of duality in national identity.

            Speaking about Macedonians using subterfuge to deflect Bulgarian suspicions, I have a really good example of such a thing with regard to Goce Delchev. On the 35th anniversary of Goce Delchev's death, a special edition newspaper was being prepared for publication by the Sofia-based cultural-benefactor brotherhood "Goce Delchev" in Bulgaria with eyewitness accounts and memories from people who knew and worked with Goce in the Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation. This brotherhood was made up of Macedonian refugees from Kukush and the Kukush region, Delchev's birthplace. The article I have describes how the newspaper was quite an important document for the national positions of the Macedonian intelligentsia between the two world wars. The newspaper had ten pages in large format (70 x 50 cm) and, in it are published important eyewitness accounts about Macedonia and the Macedonian people. When the Bulgarian censors noticed that the newspaper speaks of a Macedonian people and a Macedonian nation in a non-Bulgarian context, they promptly banned its publication. The one and only originally printed copy of the newspaper was saved by Mitko Zafirovski, one of the editors of the newspaper, who somehow managed to save, and later, smuggle into Skopje.The newspaper was prepared by Angel Dinev and a few other publicists, for the 35th anniversary of Delchev's death in Banica. The article I have gives many examples of subterfuge but the best one I can share is the following account:

            The special edition newspaper about Goce concludes with Angel Dinev's article "The Man and the Revolutionary Goce Delchev" in which there is a description of an event where Goce Delchev grants clemency to the supremist agents Georgi Kitanov and Dimitar Belev, who, together with Doncho 'Aramijata', were sent on a mission to kill Goce somewhere in the Seres region. Once Goce's men had captured them, they brought them to him and asked him to pronounce judgement on them. "Let them go", Goce told them. "They are not yet aware they are Macedonians. Treat them well and you'll see they will be beneficial to our cause which we serve". The supremist agents were promptly freed.

            Comment

            • Liberator of Makedonija
              Senior Member
              • Apr 2014
              • 1597

              #66
              Originally posted by Karposh View Post
              I'll be honest, if I'm not sure about something in our recent, late 19th/early 20th Century Macedonian history, my first port of call is Wikipedia. I don't have a library of peer reviewed and authenticated Macedonian history books so Wikipedia is the next best thing for me. It gives me a quick and easily digestible snap-shot of key events and players. Most of us are quite aware that we cannot rely on anything Macedonian on English Wikipedia because it is constantly being vandalised by Bulgarian trolls so I tend to just get the basics from English Wikipedia and then automatically skip to Macedonian Wikipedia for a more in-depth look. You can generally tell the English Wikipedia entries have been vandalised and are heavily biased by the amount of personal opinions intertwined between actual historical facts. This is clearly done in order to explain away certain inconsistencies that go against their whole "Macedonians are a made-up nation" narrative.
              I do this as well though Macedonian wikipedia isn't the most reliable at times either.


              Originally posted by Karposh View Post
              Todor Aleksandrov seems to be a controversial figure among Macedonians. I'm not sure exactly what the split is but opinions seem to be evenly divided between those who think he was a misunderstood and patriotic Macedonian who used Bulgaria and Bulgarians for Macedonian ends and that he never really was pro-Bulgarian and; those who believe he was nothing short of a sell-out scumbag Bulgarophile dog.

              I think there is enough plausible evidence, based on what was being discussed in Vienna and the details of the manifesto, where Bulgaria is treated as an enemy of the Macedonian people, that Todor Aleksandrov believed in these principles and ideals. A sell-out pro-Bulgarian would never have entertained such ideas. But, of course, I wasn't there and never personally met the guy to make a definitive call on whether he was pro-Macedonian or pro-Bulgarian. I will say this however, subterfuge was a very real thing among Macedonians living in Bulgaria during that time so anything they said publicly or in writing during those times should be taken with a grain of salt where there is a hint of duality in national identity.
              Personally for me I see Aleksandrov as a person who's views changed thoughout his life, which is no different from other Macedonian figures or any other human for that matter. I too believe there is evidence that suggests he was very much a patriotic Macedonian who simply used the tools at his disposble, which at the time was the Bulgarian government. When the opportunity to utilise a different method presented it self (e.g. the Comintern) he seemingly jumped at the opportunity.

              Originally posted by Karposh View Post
              Speaking about Macedonians using subterfuge to deflect Bulgarian suspicions, I have a really good example of such a thing with regard to Goce Delchev. On the 35th anniversary of Goce Delchev's death, a special edition newspaper was being prepared for publication by the Sofia-based cultural-benefactor brotherhood "Goce Delchev" in Bulgaria with eyewitness accounts and memories from people who knew and worked with Goce in the Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation. This brotherhood was made up of Macedonian refugees from Kukush and the Kukush region, Delchev's birthplace. The article I have describes how the newspaper was quite an important document for the national positions of the Macedonian intelligentsia between the two world wars. The newspaper had ten pages in large format (70 x 50 cm) and, in it are published important eyewitness accounts about Macedonia and the Macedonian people. When the Bulgarian censors noticed that the newspaper speaks of a Macedonian people and a Macedonian nation in a non-Bulgarian context, they promptly banned its publication. The one and only originally printed copy of the newspaper was saved by Mitko Zafirovski, one of the editors of the newspaper, who somehow managed to save, and later, smuggle into Skopje.The newspaper was prepared by Angel Dinev and a few other publicists, for the 35th anniversary of Delchev's death in Banica. The article I have gives many examples of subterfuge but the best one I can share is the following account:
              I've never heard of this paper or organisation, is there a digital copy of the sole survivng article or any other published material that mentions it? Would love to have a read. But you do highlight a very real occurance, that being the Bulgarian government's censoring of material that explicitly states the uniqueness and separateness of the Macedonian people in relation to their neighbours. Some of the best documented cases of this would be the banning of the Young Macedonian Literary Society and their newspaper 'Loza' in the early 1890s and the burning of copies of Krste Misirkov's 'Za Makedonskite Raboti' in 1903.
              I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

              Comment

              • Carlin
                Senior Member
                • Dec 2011
                • 3332

                #67
                Тодор Александров - Писмо до Јован Јовичевиќ од септември 1923 г.", публикувано во "С за Македонија: Документи: 1919-1924", Скопје, 2005 год.

                "Почитуван господине,

                Вашиот план за една југословенска федеративна република не само што не е необичаен туку и е многу разумен. Што има подобро од тоа - Црна Гора, Босна, Хрватска, Словенија, Банат, Србија, Македонија, Бугарија - да формираат една федеративна република. Така би се создала една голема држава од албанските планини до Црно Море и од Трст до Солун. Кон таа федерација доброволно и по потреба, би се присоединиле и Грција, и Албанија, па и Романија, иако несловенски земји, па таа би се проширила до општобалканска федерација.

                Ние особено сметаме на тоа бидејќи во Македонија, нашата татковина, освен Бугари, живеат и Грци, и Турци, и Албанци, и Власи, па кога таа ќе биде самоуправна политичка единица во федерацијата, ќе може да се уреди така за сите споменати народности да имаат исти и еднакви права. Ние, македонските Бугари, многу страдавме и страдаме, та не сакаме ниту еден друг народ, колку и да е мал, да страда.

                Меѓутоа, наивност е да се мисли дека кралот Александар и кликата околу него од офицери, политичари и професори ќе го прифатат доброволно Вашиот план. Тие, кои посегнаа подмолно врз независноста на јуначка Црна Гора која, единствена од христијанските земји на полуостровот, не ѝ се потчини на големата Отоманска Империја - тие империјалисти братоубијци никогаш доброволно нема да се откажат од своето владеење и од својот престапен пансрбизам..."

                Comment

                • Karposh
                  Member
                  • Aug 2015
                  • 863

                  #68
                  That seems to be the consensus Carlin...Thank you for clarifying that he was a self declared Bulgarophile. I guess the main confusion lies in the fact that he was tightly interwoven in the May Manifesto, despite his denials about having anything to do with it - essentially an anti-Bulgarian document. A Bulgarophile giving his blessing to a document that espouses an independent Macedonian people and country, separate to the Bulgarians and the Bulgarian state? That's an odd contradiction for the casual observer don't you think? Did he really believe in the document's declaration? Can anyone really say for certain one way or the other? Maybe we should just take his denial of any involvement with the document at face value and end the controversy once and for all. If Bulgaria was really at the centre of his mind and heart then why the doubt among Macedonians? Why praise him in song as a hero of Macedonia and the Macedonian people if he regarded Macedonians as nothing more than little Bulgarians? But, again, thanks for the excerpt. I'm sure there's more from where that came from. The trouble is, and I guess this is where the controversy lies, his apparent involvement with the pro-Macedonian manifesto is something that cost him his life in the end. Killed by his own, the Bulgarians.

                  Comment

                  • Liberator of Makedonija
                    Senior Member
                    • Apr 2014
                    • 1597

                    #69
                    In some documents we're Bulgarians, in others we are Macedonians, I guess we need to question who was writing down this history and where it's coming from.
                    I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

                    Comment

                    • VMRO
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 1462

                      #70
                      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.
                      Verata vo Mislite, VMRO vo dushata, Makedonia vo Srceto.

                      Vnatreshna Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija.

                      Comment

                      • Gocka
                        Senior Member
                        • Dec 2012
                        • 2306

                        #71
                        Originally posted by VMRO View Post
                        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.

                        Comment

                        • Liberator of Makedonija
                          Senior Member
                          • Apr 2014
                          • 1597

                          #72
                          Originally posted by VMRO View Post
                          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.
                          I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

                          Comment

                          • VMRO
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2008
                            • 1462

                            #73
                            Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
                            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.
                            Verata vo Mislite, VMRO vo dushata, Makedonia vo Srceto.

                            Vnatreshna Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija.

                            Comment

                            • vicsinad
                              Senior Member
                              • May 2011
                              • 2337

                              #74
                              Originally posted by Gocka View Post
                              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.

                              Comment

                              • Gocka
                                Senior Member
                                • Dec 2012
                                • 2306

                                #75
                                Originally posted by vicsinad View Post
                                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.

                                Comment

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