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Old 04-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #541
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Default Macedonian Struggle for Independence - Part 40 - Macedonia between the Great Wars

Macedonian Struggle for Independence



Part 40 - Macedonia between the Great Wars



By Risto Stefov

[email protected]

April 2011



After the 1919 Peace Treaty of Versailles was concluded and the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest was ratified, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria reestablished authority over their respective Macedonian territories and resumed their assimilation and denationalization policies forcibly turning Macedonians into Greek, Serbians and Bulgarians under the harshest measures.



Serbia quickly took the initiative to change peoples’ names into Serbian sounding ones, colonized the most fertile parts of Macedonia with Serbian colonists and installed the Serbian language as the official language of correspondence in its occupied part of Macedonia.



Greece took its assimilation policies a step further and replaced all Macedonian names, both personal and toponyms, with Greek sounding ones. Each family and person were stripped of their Macedonian name and given an alien name. The Macedonian name of every village, town, city, river, lake, mountain, township, region, etc., in the entire Greek occupied Macedonian territory was changed and replaced with a Greek one. Meaningful names that had historical, cultural, mythical and symbolic meaning for the Macedonian people were replaced with alien meaningless names, very difficult to remember. Clearly this was a Greek attempt to not only erase everything that was Macedonian from the geographic map but to also erase everything Macedonian from the memory of the Macedonian people. Unfortunately that was not all that Greece perpetrated against the Macedonian people. During the 1930’s the Macedonian language was banned and Macedonians were forbidden from speaking it, even in the privacy of their own homes. This was done to a people that spoke no other language and without the simplest care as to how they were going to survive. I do not believe a word has yet been invented to describe the Greek cruelty perpetrated against the Macedonian people, a cruelty that still exists to this day about which no one seems to care, not even those who supposedly champion human rights.



It seems that the only opposition to this cruelty came from Bulgaria, not because Bulgaria cared for the Macedonian people but because Bulgaria was smarting from what it had lost for a second time and was looking for ways to recover it. But instead of making things better, Bulgarian complaints about the mistreatment of the so-called “Bulgarians” in Macedonia prompted both the Greek and Serbian regimes to further cleanse the Macedonian population. While the Serbs evicted Macedonian people affiliated with the Greek Patriarchate and Bulgarian Exarchate Churches from their Serbian occupied Macedonian territories, the Greeks evicted those affiliated with the Serbian Patriarchate and the Bulgarian Exarchate Churches. But even after that Bulgaria continued to complain, claiming that all Macedonians were Bulgarians.



If this “Bulgarian interference” in any way served the Macedonians, in a positive way, it did so by keeping the Macedonian question alive. By maintaining that the Macedonian question was not resolved, as had been claimed by Greece, Serbia and the Great Powers after Macedonia’s partition in 1913, Bulgaria, in a small way, helped some Macedonians, especially those who had left Macedonia, to hold onto their Macedonian national consciousness, not to accept Macedonia’s division and to continue to struggle for liberation and unity.



Macedonians with a developed Macedonian national consciousness who dared to show their sentiments in public were exiled from Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian occupied Macedonia and many found their way to various cities in Europe and the world, from where they continued to work for the Macedonian cause. But unfortunately there was always some external factor or some kind of “ideological reason” to divide them.



Many Macedonian intellectuals, after fleeing the oppressive atmosphere at home, managed to educate themselves abroad only to be caught up in the clutches of another ideological division, the so-called “left” and “right”.



At the same time it was well understood that the “right”, which was in power at the time, was against the Macedonians and against the creation of a Macedonian state. Those on the left, on the other hand, saw the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle as a potential ally in the struggle against the right, particularly against the Balkan monarchies. But in order to entice the Macedonians to see things their way, the left needed to give the Macedonians its support and did this by recognizing the Macedonian nation and its place in the Balkans.



By accepting the problems Macedonians were faced with, the communists or “left” expected the Macedonian Revolutionary Movement to initiate a revolution in the Balkans, which would later expand to all of Europe. This however was a Macedonian problem and had to be solved by Macedonians and for this reason the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (MRO) needed to be bolstered, starting with uniting all of its various factions. Their first attempt was to unite all the parties grouped around MRO and its current leader Todor Aleksandrov and bring them all under the influence of the communists and the Comintern.



The first serious negotiation to create a United Macedonian Revolutionary Organization began in 1923 and ended successfully in Vienna in May 1924 with several agreements being reached. The MRO’s character, it was decided, would more or less remain the same as that of the Ilinden era; that is to fight for the liberation and unification of Macedonia. Unfortunately Todor Aleksandrov and Aleksandar Protogerov, the then leaders of the MRO, removed their signatures immediately after signing the agreements. This created friction between the delegates and placed a permanent wedge between the forces on the right and those on the left.



Denouncing the work of the left, on July 10, 1924, Todor Aleksandrov declared that his MRO was the only competent Organization to struggle for a free and independent Macedonia. Unfortunately when he called Greece and Serbia “occupiers of Macedonia” he neglected to mention the same for Bulgaria.



Being divided along too many lines, any attempt made to unite the Macedonian forces at that time was futile. This unfortunately only served the interests of the Macedonian people’s enemies, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, who also strongly opposed any form of Macedonian political unity. To be sure that Macedonian unity was never achieved, at least in the short term, Macedonia’s enemies, particularly the Bulgarians, took further action and on August 31, 1924 had Todor Aleksandrov murdered and replaced with Vancho Mihajlov who took over the MRO leadership after the February 25, 1925 Gorna Dzhumaja Congress.



Mihajlov took complete control of MRO and personally directed its activities. He reorganized MRO’s military wing and added new divisions. The militia was reorganized along with the Organization’s intelligence service and both were given new directives. A new combat strategy was also worked out and secret armed groups were introduced in almost every village, town and city in his jurisdiction. Small versatile armed units were also created for the purpose of invading the Serbian and Greek occupied parts of Macedonia and carrying out various missions, assassinations and terrorist activities.



It was estimated that in the period from 1925 to 1928, in the Serbian occupied part of Macedonia alone, 149 armed incidents were recorded during which 43 officials were killed and 76 wounded, 90 civilians were killed or wounded, 25 soldiers and gendarmes were killed and 23 wounded, and 9 MRO fighters were killed and 15 wounded. (Vanche Stojchev. “Military History of Macedonia”. Military academy. Skopje, 2004. Page 531)



MRO under Mihajlov’s leadership, after Aleksandar Protogerov’s assassination on June 7, 1928, took an unusual turn and became a “state within a state”. Mihajlov not only took control of the MRO and its military wing but also imposed his own rules on the entire civilian population under his jurisdiction. He introduced the collection of taxes and implemented a recruitment program to recruit civilians into his military and militia formations. In fact the MRO Central Committee under Mihailov’s rule went as far as to create military and judicial rules for administering the entire region under MRO influence and made an effort to induct the entire civilian population into its militia formations.



Mihajlov’s rules and personal interests were supported and enforced by his militia, which he seeded in almost every populated sector of his jurisdiction. The smaller formations consisted of a group of about 30 persons that, when necessary, could combine with other small groups to form larger formations. In 1927, in Nevrokop Region alone, 7,390 people had joined Mihajlov’s militia of whom 5,853 were armed. Mihajlov even employed students in his intelligence service, all paid for by the tax money he collected from the Macedonian people.



By carrying out armed missions and assassinations, Mihajlov attempted to demonstrate to the European Powers that the Macedonian question was not resolved, at least not until the entire Macedonian territory was annexed by Bulgaria. After 1929 Mihajlov attempted to stifle the reestablishment of friendly relations between Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In fact, to maintain control of his jurisdiction, Mihajlov persecuted everyone who got in his way including communists, anarchists, federalists, members of MRO (United), the Agricultural Party and all persons who seemed suspicious. Mihajlov was responsible for the murder of many prominent Macedonians including Gjorche Petrov, Dimo Hadzhi Dimov, Vladislav Kovachev and Arseni Jovkov.



Unfortunately, instead of improving the situation for the Macedonian people, Mihajlov’s murderous rampage completely discredited the Macedonian Liberation Movement and its reputation abroad. The European public did not approve of such behaviour and called for such activities to be curtailed. Taking advantage of the situation the Greek and Serbian regimes were first to react by taking strict measures against the Macedonian population in their respective areas.



Having European public opinion turned against him and being cut off from the Greek and Serbian occupied parts of Macedonia, Mihajlov quickly became a liability to Bulgarian interests.



During a coup in Sofia on May 19, 1934, a new government took power in Bulgaria and among other things ordered a halt on all of MRO and Mihajlov’s activities inside the Bulgarian state. In fact this new government outlawed all Macedonian organizations, associations and newspapers. MRO’s records, properties and weapons were all confiscated by the Bulgarian police. Among the material confiscated were 10,938 rifles, 7,767 bombs, 637 revolvers, 47 machineguns, 15 automatic rifles, 3 mortars, 701,388 bullets and 21,339,421 levs (Bulgarian currency). (Vanche Stojchev. “Military History of Macedonia”. Military academy. Skopje, 2004. Page 532)



Being forced out of Bulgaria, Mihajlov found sanctuary in Istanbul, Warsaw, Berlin and Zagreb and was supported by political factions in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and other places where assassins were in demand. Mihajlov was credited with planning Yugoslav king Aleksandar’s assassination in October 1934 in Marseilles. The king was assassinated by Vladimir Georgiev Chernozemski, a member of Mihajlov’s MRO.



While the right wing MRO pursued violence and terror, the left wing came to an agreement in 1924 to unite all other MRO factions under the name MRO (United) by which it was recognized by the Comintern and accepted as a partner in the Balkan Communist Federation in 1925. MRO’s recognition by the communists, particularly by the Balkan communist parties, implied that a Macedonian people with a Macedonian consciousness existed and was struggling to free itself and to create an independent Macedonian state. Gotse Delchev’s ideology, along with the Krushevo Republic platform, was adopted as part of MRO (United)’s platform while MRO (United) itself set its course to liberate and unite Macedonia.



This was going to be a socialist revolution under the influence of the Comintern where a Balkan communist federation was going to be created in which Macedonia would be united within its ethno-geographic borders and would become an equal member among the other Balkan countries. At least this was the plan, initially.



Many Macedonians saw this as a good plan and an opportunity to finally realize their dreams. By accepting MRO (United)’s meager demands and recognizing the Macedonian people as an identity with the need to liberate itself and create its own country, the communists became very influential over the Macedonian people, drawing many into their ranks.



I must emphasize at this point that MRO (United) was not a communist organization. It was a national revolutionary organization just like its Ilinden predecessor which fought to liberate all of Macedonia. Most Macedonians who joined the communist parties in their respective countries did so because there was no Macedonian communist party at that time. They joined the communists not because they were “ideological believers” of communism but because the communists were willing, at least in principle, to help them achieve their goals, gain their independence and create their own country.



The creation of a Balkan communist federation would have meant that all people in the Balkans would coexist as nations of one country under the influence of one party, something like the Yugoslav model which came to exist later. Unfortunately not all communist parties in the Balkan countries were comfortable with that idea, even though they initially approved it.



Because there was no Macedonian communist party, the Macedonian party members were integrated into the communist parties of the countries in which they lived. Unfortunately due to more pressing and more important concerns, Macedonian issues were given little to no attention. In other words these parties cared more about their own country than they cared about Macedonia, particularly in nationalistic countries such as Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria.



There were also other factors which influenced MRO (United)’s ability to work in the various occupied parts of Macedonia. Factors such as the forced assimilation and repression had taken a toll on the Macedonian people in the occupied territories. Also there was no communication between the younger Macedonian generations now divided and occupied by a foe determined not only to erase their national identity but to eradicate their language, culture and everything that was Macedonian.



After its acceptance by the Cominturn, the MRO (United) established branches in all three parts of occupied Macedonia. The branch established in Bulgarian occupied Macedonia issued several publications including one about the Macedonians in Greece wanting to speak their mother tongue in public and in schools. In 1935 it publicly made a bold statement declaring that the Macedonians living in Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria were neither “Slavophone Greeks”, “pure Greeks”, “Serbians” nor “Bulgarians”, they were simply Macedonians; a people with a past, present and future, not as a patchwork of the imperial states but as an independent Macedonian nation which had been fighting for decades to gain its own right to self-determination.



The Bulgarians unfortunately did not see things the same way and began to arrest MRO (United) leaders. The heaviest blow came in 1936 when about sixty distinguished leaders and activists were arrested and taken to court. At their trial the group was accused of openly stating that they were Macedonians fighting for the establishment of a Macedonian nation. The group did not deny the charges, despite the heavy sentences it was going to receive. Their courageous stand found wide echoes among the Macedonian masses in Bulgaria and helped them raise national awareness regarding their problem. The trial ended with all receiving heavy sentences. Tried in absence were also members of the MRO (United) Central Committee, Dimitar Vlahov, Vladimir Poptomov and Metodi Shatorov, who at the time were working abroad.



Towards the end of 1925 and 1926 the MRO (United) with the help of the communists began to form branches in the Serbian occupied part of Macedonia. Soon after branches were established in Veles, Kumanovo, Shtip, Skopje, Prilep, Kavadartsi, Strumitsa, Gevgelija and other places, they began receiving newspapers and publications such as “Macedonian Work” (Makedonsko delo) and “Balkan Federation” (Balkanska Federatsija) from the MRO (United) headquarters in Vienna. The Vienna based headquarters was engaged in extensive publishing activities, printing and distributing various publications throughout Macedonia, the Balkans, Europe and America.



Unfortunately MRO (United)’s struggle for an independent Macedonia was not well received by the Serbian authorities either and here too MRO (United) found it difficult to operate, especially after the January 6, 1929 dictatorship. After a secret printing press was discovered, Serbian authorities became suspicious and arrested a group of 49 people in Veles. This literally put the publications, including the worldwide well-known “Macedonian Work” (Makedosko delo) publication, out of commission. Members of MRO (United) who were arrested received heavy sentences and were imprisoned.



It took a little longer for MRO (United) to establish itself in Greek occupied Macedonia but with the help of the Communist Party of Greece (CPG) it took root there too.



The CPG had a revolutionary platform and stood behind the unification of the whole of Macedonia and for its inclusion in the federation of Balkan Peoples as an equal member. This was of enormous significance in attracting the Macedonian people into its ranks.



Soon after establishing itself in Greek occupied Macedonia the MRO (United) made contact with the Central Committee of MRO (United) in Vienna. This was done through Dimitar Vlahov, a leading MRO (United) personality and through Nedelko Pop Nedelkov, a famous Macedonian revolutionary.



A distribution channel was soon established through Solun for receiving and distributing the newspapers "Balkan Federation" (Balkanska federatsija) and "Macedonian work" (Makedonsko delo) as well as a variety of propaganda materials sent out by the central organization in Vienna. Another distribution link was made through Albania which involved the clandestine transportation of difficult and dangerous materials, which in 1934 led to the death of Gjorgji Krontselchev in Solun at the hands of the Greek police.



Immediately after the CPG’s Fifth Congress, a conference was arranged to take place in Voden in March 1934. During this conference, attended by delegates from Voden, Kostur and Enidzhe Vardar Regions, the MRO (United) leadership for the branch in Greek occupied Macedonia was elected. Andrea Chipov, a well-known Macedonian revolutionary, Communist functionary and candidate-member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, was appointed head and Hristo Galabov, Mihail Kljonev and Aleko Tenekedzhiev were elected leaders. The seat of the organization was established in Solun along with a small printing press used to publish leaflets and other propaganda material.



The Comintern and CPG’s recognition of the Macedonian people as a distinct Macedonian nation greatly contributed to MRO (United)’s success in Greek occupied Macedonia, which prompted it to put forward demands for the opening of Macedonian schools, for the use of the Macedonian language in public life and for other national and cultural rights for the Macedonian people.



Proof of these demands being supported by the leaders of the Greek Communist Party can be found in the following statement made by Sklavenas, leader of the Parliamentary Communist Group, in the Greek Parliament on April 25th, 1936: “The question which the government is ignoring in its declarations is that of granting equality to both the local population and to the national minorities living inside Greece. This in the main concerns the Macedonian nation. Anyone who has traveled through Macedonia, especially in those districts which are inhabited by compact masses of Macedonians, has surely felt the particular pressure which is being exerted upon them. The right to have their own schools, to use the Macedonian language and practice their own customs is strictly forbidden to them. Such a situation has compelled the Macedonian population to organize itself and to wage a struggle to achieve these rights, a struggle in which we cannot but support them.” (A History of the Macedonian People, Skopje: Macedonian Review Editions, 1979. page 310)



A statement such as the above went beyond certain attitudes held at the time by the leadership of the CPG. During the CPG’s Sixth Congress, held in December 1935, suggestions were made to replace the slogan “united and independent Macedonia” with the slogan “full equality for the minorities”. This change was justified because of the change in the population’s composition in Greek occupied Macedonia as a result of the Asia Minor colonists being settled there.



Circumstances which had been favourable for the MRO (United) only a short time ago quickly became unfavourable, especially after the Metaxas dictatorship came to power in August 1936. The new regime declared the CPG and the MRO (United) illegal and set in motion large-scale arrests, prosecutions and internments for both. Among those affected by this were Andrea Chipov, Lazo Trpovski, Hristo Galabov, Trifun Hadzhijanev, Aleko Tenekedzhiev, Foti Urumov and Kosta Dumov. Thus the life of MRO (United) in Greek occupied Macedonia also came to an abrupt end.



To be continued.
Taken from a personal email from R.Stefov
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #542
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Default Where did we lose our country? – External support

Where did we lose our country? – External support



By Risto Stefov

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April 10, 2011



Another factor that has tremendously contributed to losing our country to our neighbours is our inability to gain support from other nations, people and the Great Powers.



Why this is I don’t know. Is it perhaps because the 19th century powers did not want a Macedonia to exist from fear that what happened 2,300 years ago might happen again? That Macedonia would rise up again and swallow the world? Was it hatred for the Macedonian people for what they did to the world under Alexander the Greats’ reign? Was it jealousy because of ancient Macedonia’s glory and accomplishments? Was it because Christianity in Europe began in Macedonia and the Macedonians gave the Eastern European world their alphabet?



Like I said, I don’t know for sure but I do know with certainty that no one came to the Macedonian peoples’ rescue when they attempted to liberate themselves from the Ottomans in 1903.



That unfortunately was not the first or the last time the Macedonians were left on their own to take their punishment while the rest of the world watched.



Macedonia fought fiercely against Roman dominance but lost to the Romans because of arrogance and because they underestimated Roman military capabilities. But none the less Macedonia did put fear in the hearts of the Romans to have it divided into four parts so that it could never again reunite and become a threat; a division that lasted approximately 600 years.



The Roman division of Macedonia was repeated in 1913 when the Great Powers allowed Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria to invade, occupy and partition Macedonia. Could this latest division have been purely a coincidence or for fear that a united Macedonia would again pose a threat to the world? Think about it! Most major wars, including two major Roman battles, have been fought in Macedonia and over Macedonia. Macedonia seems to be a magnet for conflicts, conflicts which have always been brought from the outside and which drew the world into them.



One can think what they like about Macedonia but if they know Macedonia’s history they will arrive at the inescapable conclusion that there is something mysterious about this land and its people which one cannot put their finger on. One will come to the conclusion that Macedonia is timeless and glorious but at the same time is put down, de-emphasized and diminished, but one will not understand why.



Lesser people with lesser accomplishments have been emphasized above the Macedonians and even helped to create their own countries. These same people who emphasized and helped these lesser people de-emphasized Macedonia and tried to erase it from history. Why? This is not something we can take lightly; we must view this with some suspicion.



Allow me to run down highlights of our most recent history:



The Macedonian people’s problems began in 1878, first with the Russians and then with the Western Great Powers, mainly Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain.



Even though Macedonians fought on Russia’s side in the Russian-Ottoman War of 1877-78, expecting Russia to help liberate them, Russia sold them out by creating a greater Bulgarian state and handed Macedonia to the Bulgarians.



Then when the Western European Great Powers became involved and met at the Berlin Congress in 1878 the Macedonians were certain that their situation would be well looked after and that Macedonia would be given autonomy just as Bulgaria was. Unfortunately that did not happen. But worse the European Powers ignored the Macedonian people’s pleas and gave Macedonia back to the Ottomans. Even worse than that, knowing that the Ottomans would retaliate against the Macedonians, none of the Powers made sure that the Macedonians would not be harmed. Was this a coincidence or was it done on purpose to ethnically cleanse the Macedonian population?



By signing the San Stefano treaty Russia agreed to the creation of a greater Bulgarian State which was to include Macedonian lands and people. Then as the Western Powers intervened in the Berlin Congress, instead of sorting things out and giving Macedonia autonomy as they did Bulgaria, they again sold out the Macedonians by giving Macedonia back to the Ottomans.



Instead of granting Macedonia real autonomy like they did for Bulgaria, the Great Powers offered empty words that led nowhere. According to articles 23 and 62 of the Berlin Congress, the Macedonian people were to receive political and religious autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. They were also promised political, religious and educational reforms which never materialized. Given that Macedonia was handed back to the Ottomans to do as they pleased, the situation was further aggravated by the Ottoman decision to bring Muslim settlers into Macedonia. Macedonia in fact became the dumping ground for renegades from the Ottoman army and for Muslims who escaped from Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia, Herzegovina and other regions from which the Ottomans lost territories. More than 60,000 Muslim families were dumped and disbursed in Macedonia to be accommodated in Christian homes and to become an economic burden of the Macedonian people.



After the Berlin Congress those Macedonians who stubbornly fought against the Ottomans fled to Serbia and Bulgaria, in fear of their lives. More than 200 Macedonian villages were emptied of their inhabitants. The ones that remained unfortunately faired the worst as the Ottomans hit them with new taxes to pay for war damages and to supply the fast growing Ottoman military machine, which by now numbered 80 battalions. The devastation in Macedonia was further exacerbated by the arming of Albanian Militias and allowing them to settle in Skopje and establish their own rule in Macedonia.



There was also a matter of the huge debt of money which the Ottomans had borrowed from the Western Powers that now had to be paid back, which again became a burden on the Macedonian people. By now Macedonian villages were paying over thirty different taxes which became a struggle for survival. It was during these times that Macedonians found themselves wishing to be liberated or dead because life the way it was, was not worth living.



Even before the Berlin Congress and before their fate was sealed by the Western Great Powers, leading Macedonians could not accept the idea of a Macedonia unified with Bulgaria so the decisions of the San Stefano Treaty were opposed. But after the Berlin Congress Macedonians were in disbelief and horrified by the actions of the Western European Great Powers, especially when they gave Macedonia back to the Ottomans without any guarantees that the population would be protected from retaliation and harm.



In the eyes of the Macedonian people the Great Powers committed many sins. They sold out Macedonia and their Christian brothers for profit. No wonder some European Union states today are intolerant of the Macedonians. How could they recognize Macedonia and Macedonian people today when they were guilty of selling them out in the past?



To recognize the Macedonians today would mean that they would have to admit that they made grave errors in the past. These errors on the side of the Western European Great Powers however were no small matter for the Macedonian people who a century and a quarter later are still fighting for their rights and freedoms.



But that was not the first time the Macedonian people were betrayed by European countries. In spite of the Macedonian people’s attempt to again liberate themselves in 1903 and create their own Macedonian state, they were again betrayed by allowing Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria to partition Macedonia by the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest to which the European Powers were signatories and again in 1919 after European borders were again recognized.



In 1945 the Macedonian people living in Greece, after helping to expel the Fascists and Nazis from Greece, came close to being recognized as Macedonians and here again none of the Western European states supported their recognition.



In 1991 when the Republic of Macedonia declared its independence most Western Europeans states again voted against the recognition of a Macedonian state.



Are these all coincidences? Doesn’t anyone see a pattern here?



Is there a conspiracy to erase Macedonia and its accomplishments from history?



There are those today who say that Greece is “nobody” and has been “nobody” from the day it was created for the first time in 1829. Greece is a front for others who hide behind it and don’t want to see the emergence of a Macedonian state.



To some extent they are right, Greece has been and still is a protectorate of the Great Powers who always come to its rescue whenever it gets itself into trouble, be it economic or otherwise.



So who are these Great Powers and what do they have against Macedonia and the Macedonian people?



Since I don’t know the answer to either question I would have to speculate from its behaviour that France is one of the Great Powers. But I have no idea why the French would dislike the Macedonians so much that they would want to see the Macedonian name and ethnic identity disappear? I am somewhat mystified here. What have the Macedonian people done to France that was so wrong, that France wants an end to their existence?



Was it because our forefathers wanted to create a Macedonian republic in 1903 when France was a kingdom?



I feel as I have failed to provide answers to the most puzzling questions, questions that cannot be taken lightly if we are to survive as a people. Therefore it is imperative that we find out why we as a people have been put down, de-emphasized and diminished by France and the other Great powers. Correcting this, I believe, will put us back on track.



To be continued.
taken from a private email from R.Stefov
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #543
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Actually, these questions are not that difficult to answer.

Russians fought with Turks for centuries, only for one reason; To be able to set sail on Aegean and then Mediterranean sea. They couldn't defeat us in numerous attempts, even when Ottoman empire was in weakest situation because western Europeans always supported Turks vs Russians since Russian dream of reaching Mediterranean sea was also western European`s nightmare too.

Russians took over Bulgaria in 1878 but their ultimate goal was getting western Thrace and Salonika to reach Aegean sea but they failed, mostly because western Europeans didn't allow that happen. They preferred Turks to keep Macedonia for some more time instead of letting Russians get it by using their puppets in Bulgaria.

Why great powers wanted Greece to get Aegean Macedonia? It`s because Macedonia`s population was so diverse and as the author wrote here, some Macedonians was pro-Russian and Pro-Bulgaria as this was seen in 1877-1878. So, Macedonian people was dangerous for the aims of great powers. They preferred Greeks to get it because they would be much loyal to them than Macedonians.

But instead of questioning why Russians didn't "liberate" you in 1878, like Risto Stefov does, you should be grateful that Russians couldn't do that because most likely you wouldn't exist today. You all would be Bulgarians now, adhered to Sofia church and speaking Bulgarian dialect.


Besides that, no one "liberates" anyone for nothing. Do you think Bulgaria really liberated in 1878? They just became vassals of Russians, nothing else. Do you really think Russians "liberated" Bulgaria just to save their fellow christians? Apparently this author named Risto Stefov thinks like that because he is angry about why orthodox Russians or christian Europe didn't "save" Macedonia. He is either too romantic or naive because religion has no place in world politics except being a tool or a pretense to abuse.

Last edited by Onur; 04-09-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:09 PM   #544
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Interesting observations Onur.
I fear you may be correct. Russia certainly has never helped a nation. The Russians would not have cared less about the differences between the Bulgarians and the Macedonians. I suspect church matters would have been the undoing of that union as Russia would have tried to bind us all in some kind of Orthodox alliance.

I think Stefov is addressing that notion that many Macedonians feel the Russians should have helped them. I have no idea why they feel this way.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:53 PM   #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onur View Post
Russians took over Bulgaria in 1878 but their ultimate goal was getting western Thrace and Salonika to reach Aegean sea but they failed, mostly because western Europeans didn't allow that happen. They preferred Turks to keep Macedonia for some more time instead of letting Russians get it by using their puppets in Bulgaria.
That 'preference' of the European 'powers' was a devastating blow for Macedonia, as it left the Macedonians helpless against vengeful Ottoman refugees, troops and mercenaries. The Macedonians had their own aspirations too, Onur, you seem to think that most of the revolutionary activity in Macedonia was generated by external elements, it wasn't. And Macedonians in 1878 would have chosen Russian over Ottoman rule at the drop of a hat, for a number of obvious reasons.
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It`s because Macedonia`s population was so diverse and as the author wrote here, some Macedonians was pro-Russian and Pro-Bulgaria as this was seen in 1877-1878.
Onur, are you suggesting that Macedonia's population was more 'diverse' than others in the empire? 19th century Ottoman losses against the Russians and the influx of Muslim refugees in the part of Europe that was still controlled by the Porte did alter the balance in Macedonia somewhat, but Macedonians were always the majority.
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So, Macedonian people was dangerous for the aims of great powers. They preferred Greeks to get it because they would be much loyal to them than Macedonians.
The Macedonians were also dangerous for the Ottomans, and they too preferred the Greeks because they could rely on their loyalty against the common foe (Macedonians).
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But instead of questioning why Russians didn't "liberate" you in 1878, like Risto Stefov does, you should be grateful that Russians couldn't do that because most likely you wouldn't exist today. You all would be Bulgarians now, adhered to Sofia church and speaking Bulgarian dialect.
That is just completely wrong. Firstly, despite repeated attempts to gain recognition, the Ottomans didn't allow the Macedonians to be considered a separate people with their own institutions. If Macedonia rid itself of Ottoman rule within the context of San Stefano, it's intellectual classes and common people would have found it easier to assert themselves and their culture. At least it would have been a level playing field. Friction in terms of identity, historical interpretation, literature, learning material, political leadership, etc was already in existence. Furthermore, with Ohrid also located in the boundaries of San Stefano, the Macedonians would have reacted to the encroachment of the Exarchate (as it eventually did in any case). Therefore, Macedonian aspirations for liberation and self-control would have continued, as another clash for freedom (this time from the Bulgarians) was inevitable. And much easier.

I would rather that situation than all of the propaganda, rape, murder and pillaging that was inflicted on the Macedonian population for the next 25 years by the Ottomans and neighbouring states.
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Do you think Bulgaria really liberated in 1878? They just became vassals of Russians, nothing else. Do you really think Russians "liberated" Bulgaria just to save their fellow christians?
I don't think the Russian government really cared as much for enslaved Christians than it did for its expansionist aims, but better a Russian vassal than an Ottoman slave. You will not be able to find many Christian peasants from the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century that would argue otherwise.

We have had this conversation before Onur, I will give you the parallel that I did last time - consider the Turkic peoples within the Russian Empire during the 19th century. How many of them would have chosen Russian over Ottoman rule? Not many, irrespective of Ottoman expansionist aims and their questionable dedication to liberate enslaved Muslims.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:12 PM   #546
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
I think Stefov is addressing that notion that many Macedonians feel the Russians should have helped them. I have no idea why they feel this way.
The Russians were free, Orthodox Christians, in a rising empire, and the most populous and powerful in the Slavic-speaking 'world'. Despite their ulterior motives, they often provided assistance to rebel movements and helped the other Slavic-speaking peoples in the Balkans obtain freedom to one degree or another.

I am not sure about 'should', but I can see why Macedonians during the 19th century 'would' feel that the Russians would come to their aid. Having said that, I think as a people there was much more collective action by Macedonians than the Bulgarians in the pursuit of freedom.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:48 AM   #547
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The Macedonians had their own aspirations too, Onur, you seem to think that most of the revolutionary activity in Macedonia was generated by external elements, it wasn't.
Yes, there was groups who worked for the autonomous Macedonia for Macedonians (incl. Aegean side) but they were weak comparing to pro-Bulgar, pro-Russian ones. Young Turks was perfectly aware of Russian and western European aims for Macedonia and they immediately agreed with Sandanski for autonomous Macedonia to create federal Ottoman state in 1908 but when pro-Bulgars realized that, they tried to kill Sandanski and all the other Macedonians who works for free Macedonia because they got scared of the plans of Young Turks revolutionaries and Sandanski. Already, Athens, Sofia and Belgrade started Balkan wars soon after that.

Quote:
And Macedonians in 1878 would have chosen Russian over Ottoman rule at the drop of a hat, for a number of obvious reasons.
Thats exactly why Macedonians were "dangerous" for the aims of western Europeans. You were untrustworthy to them. Especially Athens was non-stop warning western Europeans against pro-Bulgarian Macedonians, like how Macedonia under Bulgarian regime would be dangerous for them and Macedonia should be part of Greek kingdom instead of slipping in to the hands of Bulgaria, the vassals of Russia. You know, Bulgarian army reached to the Salonika first in 1912 but British got involved and threw Bulgarians out of Salonika by ordering Russia to do so. Then Russians sent Bulgarian army to invade Istanbul because their supposed exit to the Aegean sea closed down in Salonika with British intervention, so they tried the impossible, invading Istanbul. Bulgarian army invaded eastern Thrace for few months but they were never able to go further in to Istanbul. You know that pro-Bulgar Macedonians was enrolled in that Bulgarian army and they were busy fulfilling the wishes of Russians in eastern Thrace instead of defending Aegean Macedonia against Greeks. Greeks virtually took over Aegean Macedonia without much conflict. Turkish army immediately pulled back in to eastern Thrace along with Bulgarian army and Greeks found Aegean Macedonia as free to swallow. There was no Turks, no Bulgarians, no Macedonians to defy them.

Also, another interesting thing is, today`s nationalistic Bulgarians asks from Turkey to pay 15 billion dollars of compensation just because we threw them out from eastern Thrace in 1912. They say that Turks did genocide upon them!!! But they don't even question whatta fuck Bulgarians was doing in there at first, trying to reach Istanbul. I mean what was the relation with Bulgarians(incl. enrolled Macedonians in their army) with Istanbul? They died trying to do that but for what and why? Just like the Australians at Gallipoli in 1915. What Australians was doing in Turkey at first and why they were there???

SOM, now do you understand what i mean while i said that Bulgarians were just Russian vassals? A yoke is a yoke, no matter what or who, Turks or Russians.

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Onur, are you suggesting that Macedonia's population was more 'diverse' than others in the empire? 19th century Ottoman losses against the Russians and the influx of Muslim refugees in the part of Europe that was still controlled by the Porte did alter the balance in Macedonia somewhat, but Macedonians were always the majority.
I was mostly pointing out the diversion of Macedonian population in terms of opinions. There was Macedonians who favored Greece, some working with Armenians, some with Bulgars, some supported Russians, muslims and Jews was supporting Turkish government and even the Macedonian followers of Sandanski was supporting Young Turks revolutionaries. Then there was some Albanian muslims who worked for creation of Albania within Macedonia.


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The Macedonians were also dangerous for the Ottomans, and they too preferred the Greeks because they could rely on their loyalty against the common foe (Macedonians).

Firstly, despite repeated attempts to gain recognition, the Ottomans didn't allow the Macedonians to be considered a separate people with their own institutions.
Young Turks started to negotiate with rebels for autonomous Macedonia within the Ottoman empire after 1907. Ofc they spoke with the ones like Sandanski, not with the ones who works for Sofia or Athens. I`ve read numerous memoirs about that and i would like you to read these too but it`s in Turkish. Especially the memoirs of Albanian officers are quite interesting. They were thinking like Young Turks are destroying Albanian-Turkish muslim unity by agreeing with christian slavs in Macedonia and they should have negotiate with Sofia to virtually sell out Macedonia to them (so Albanians can get their own share from Macedonia laters!!!).


Quote:
If Macedonia rid itself of Ottoman rule within the context of San Stefano, it's intellectual classes and common people would have found it easier to assert themselves and their culture. At least it would have been a level playing field. Friction in terms of identity, historical interpretation, literature, learning material, political leadership, etc was already in existence. Furthermore, with Ohrid also located in the boundaries of San Stefano, the Macedonians would have reacted to the encroachment of the Exarchate (as it eventually did in any case). Therefore, Macedonian aspirations for liberation and self-control would have continued, as another clash for freedom (this time from the Bulgarians) was inevitable. And much easier.

I would rather that situation than all of the propaganda, rape, murder and pillaging that was inflicted on the Macedonian population for the next 25 years by the Ottomans and neighbouring states.
All these are just theory but i don't agree with you. If Russians would get Macedonia too in 1878, then they would leave you in to the hands of Bulgarians and all the Russification processes after 1878 would be undergone in Macedonia too. Bulgarian Exarchate who gained this status in 1870 from Ottoman empire would never ever allow your Ohrid church to have an authority over Macedonians. Bulgarian authorities would also NEVER allow your distinct culture and habits to continue. I am 100% sure that they would immediately start Bulgarization of Macedonia and Russian supported Bulgar church would start widespread education of new Bulgarian language with zillions of Russian words in Macedonia.


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I don't think the Russian government really cared as much for enslaved Christians than it did for its expansionist aims, but better a Russian vassal than an Ottoman slave. You will not be able to find many Christian peasants from the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century that would argue otherwise.

We have had this conversation before Onur, I will give you the parallel that I did last time - consider the Turkic peoples within the Russian Empire during the 19th century. How many of them would have chosen Russian over Ottoman rule? Not many, irrespective of Ottoman expansionist aims and their questionable dedication to liberate enslaved Muslims.
Yes, this is true. We can compare the Turkic people of Russian empire with the Macedonians, Bulgarians of Balkans for this. Both Russia`s and Ottoman empire`s intentions was just expansionism of territories or least their ideas. There is no need to be so naive and think about that was just for saving christians or saving muslims respectively. This is just a game of politics still exists between Russians and Turks. You know, it was the Russians who created Armenia, just to serve as a buffer between Turkey and central Asia and they also supported Armenia to invade Azerbaijan in 1990. We still continue to play that little game of politics with them.

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #548
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Yes, there was groups who worked for the autonomous Macedonia for Macedonians (incl. Aegean side) but they were weak comparing to pro-Bulgar, pro-Russian ones.
The Macedonian revolution was much more complicated than that, and often individuals considered to be of a particular 'persuasion' would overlap into another. This history of IMARO is a tangled web which will take a great deal of discussions to clear up.
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You know, Bulgarian army reached to the Salonika first in 1912 but British got involved and threw Bulgarians out of Salonika by ordering Russia to do so.
I have heard about it. Do you have any sources which support it?
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You know that pro-Bulgar Macedonians was enrolled in that Bulgarian army and they were busy fulfilling the wishes of Russians in eastern Thrace instead of defending Aegean Macedonia against Greeks.
Not all of them were pro-Bulgar, they just saw more hope in their assistance than anybody else at the time. I have read about some suggesting that there were 100,000 Macedonian fighters that enlisted in the Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian armies on the hope that Macedonia would become a free land. Desperate and naive.
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I was mostly pointing out the diversion of Macedonian population in terms of opinions. There was Macedonians who favored Greece, some working with Armenians, some with Bulgars, some supported Russians, muslims and Jews was supporting Turkish government and even the Macedonian followers of Sandanski was supporting Young Turks revolutionaries. Then there was some Albanian muslims who worked for creation of Albania within Macedonia.
That may be true, although it has a lot to do with the propaganda of neighbouring states. One thing that can confidently be said is that the majority of Macedonia's inhabitants remained Macedonian in culture, language and conviction - when not forced, coerced or brainwashed into declaring as something else. I am not sure if the same can be said about many other former Ottoman regions in Europe and Asia of the same size.
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Young Turks started to negotiate with rebels for autonomous Macedonia within the Ottoman empire after 1907. Ofc they spoke with the ones like Sandanski, not with the ones who works for Sofia or Athens. I`ve read numerous memoirs about that and i would like you to read these too but it`s in Turkish. Especially the memoirs of Albanian officers are quite interesting. They were thinking like Young Turks are destroying Albanian-Turkish muslim unity by agreeing with christian slavs in Macedonia and they should have negotiate with Sofia to virtually sell out Macedonia to them (so Albanians can get their own share from Macedonia laters!!!).
It would be great if you could translate those Albanian memoirs about the Macedonian Christians in English and post them up here, even if they are just short sentences. What did the Young Turks contribute to the idea and/or realisation of an autonomous Macedonia? I am not aware of anything, those discussions which took place with Jane Sandanski resulted in nothing but more empty promises from foreigners.
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All these are just theory but i don't agree with you. If Russians would get Macedonia too in 1878, then they would leave you in to the hands of Bulgarians and all the Russification processes after 1878 would be undergone in Macedonia too.
You can't agree because you're not understanding the point I am trying to make - any Macedonian from that period would have preferred to take their chances in the 'hands' of the Bulgarians than the Turks.
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Bulgarian Exarchate who gained this status in 1870 from Ottoman empire would never ever allow your Ohrid church to have an authority over Macedonians.
The Ottomans never allowed it either, so again, refer to the point I made above - our chances against the Bulgarians were greater than our chances against the Turks.
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Bulgarian authorities would also NEVER allow your distinct culture and habits to continue.
After being occupied by Bulgars, Serbs and Greeks and Albanians who have never been sympathetic to Macedonians asserting their own culture, and still surviving, I think we would have managed to hold our own. I fear that you underestimate Macedonian tenacity way too much.
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I am 100% sure that they would immediately start Bulgarization of Macedonia and Russian supported Bulgar church would start widespread education of new Bulgarian language with zillions of Russian words in Macedonia.
Lol, relax mate, you're exaggerations are bordering on scare-mongering. There is no doubt that the Bulgars would've tried, and the Russians would have probably been supportive of them, at least initially, but the Macedonians would have resisted. You must understand by that time Macedonians were no longer prepared to be ruled by foreigners, self-rule was the ultimate goal.
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You know, it was the Russians who created Armenia, just to serve as a buffer between Turkey and central Asia and they also supported Armenia to invade Azerbaijan in 1990.
You don't think Armenia had the right to exist as a country? I think the Armenians have a little more precedent than a mere by-product of Russian aspirations.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:27 AM   #549
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
It would be great if you could translate those Albanian memoirs about the Macedonian Christians in English and post them up here, even if they are just short sentences. What did the Young Turks contribute to the idea and/or realisation of an autonomous Macedonia? I am not aware of anything, those discussions which took place with Jane Sandanski resulted in nothing but more empty promises from foreigners.
I am quite busy these days but i can translate some of them whenever possible. As far as i remember from what i`ve read, Young Turks and Sandanski agreed about the terms of autonomous Macedonia (incl. Aegean side). Already, Young Turks government`s initial plan was saving Ottoman empire by creating federal states by giving autonomy to Arabs(Syrians, Palestinians, Libyans etc), Albania and Macedonia. They already created multi-ethnic parliament in Istanbul and worked for it. According to the terms agreed with Sandanski, Young Turks disbanded the Albanian bashibozuks in Macedonia and forbid them to carry firearms by ordering them to leave their weapons. Arabs was also quite happy but these developments created panic in great powers. Bulgaria sent assassins to kill Sandanski and his friends, Italy invaded Libya in 1911-1912 and Belgrade, Sofia, Athens immediately agreed to start Balkan wars because if autonomous Macedonia would be supported by local people (all muslims and Jews already supported that), then this would be the end of dreams about Greek Macedonia, Serbian Yugoslavia, Bulgarian Macedonia.


I don't know if there are such programs already but i think Macedonian government should set up student exchange programs with Turkish universities and send master and phd students here for history departments. As you can guess, there are a lot of historical documents here about Macedonia and all they need to do start working on them and translate to Macedonian. I saw two Turkish students from Skopje before but they told me that they prefer to stay in Turkey since they don't have any visa or work permit problems, just because they are Turks, so, they stay here. But these people comes here by their own. If Macedonian government sets up programs, then they can call these people back to Macedonia.



Quote:
Lol, relax mate, you're exaggerations are bordering on scare-mongering. There is no doubt that the Bulgars would've tried, and the Russians would have probably been supportive of them, at least initially, but the Macedonians would have resisted.
I know, sometimes i do exaggerate things but i don't think that the case for this issue. After all, i know what Bulgarian regime did to Gagauz, Pomak and Turkish people in Bulgaria. So, it`s not difficult to guess what would happen to Macedonians under Bulgarian regime. If they were thinking about Bulgarization of Turkish people by changing their names to Vladamir, Sophia and even changing the names on gravestones of Turkish people, then what they would do to you and what would be the result?



Quote:
You don't think Armenia had the right to exist as a country? I think the Armenians have a little more precedent than a mere by-product of Russian aspirations.
Ofc they have a right to have a country but this doesn't change the fact that Russians founded current Armenia to create some kind of buffer between Turkey and central Asia. Especially between Turkey and Azeri Turks who controls most of energy rich Khazar sea. Bolsheviks was clever by doing that because in WW-2, they were able to beat Germany with the oil they leeched from Azerbaijan.

Maybe you don't know that but Azeris were majority in current Armenian lands before 1915 but they have been expelled to further east by Armenians and Russians after formation of Armenia;

YouTube - Putin on Armenian History

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #550
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Default From the Once Classified Files - Part 9‏

British Embassy - Moscow



May 2, 1944



My telegram No. 1128.



1. Taken in conjunction with articles to which attention was drawn in my telegram under reference article in “Trud” of May 1st (see my telegram No. 1138) warrants assumption that Soviet press has received a directive to play up EAM and to discredit new Greek Government by argument that Greek situation is in all essential respects analogous to that prevailing in Yugoslavia. This assumption is supported by detached tone of Molotov’s acknowledgment of Prime Minister’s message about Greece (your telegram No. 1309). It looks therefore as if though attitude of Soviet Government towards Greece is beginning to crystallize in a direction which diverges from our own.



2. When speaking about Balkan situation as instructed in your telegram No. 1261 I shall take opportunity to draw attention to unfortunate impression “Trud”’s article conveys at the time when we are bending our efforts towards restoration of Greek unity. When referring to Macedonia I shall moreover mention article in “Red Star” of April 30th (see my telegram No. 1138) with its favourable references to Tito’s recent promise of an autonomous Macedonia. This last-named article, which goes to show that Tito’s views on this subject are endorsed here is incidentally the first reference we have seen in the Soviet papers to Marshal Tito’s recently proclaimed program.



3. In view of importance of our avoiding serious divergence between Soviet Government and ourselves about Greece it would seem advisable that my own forthcoming representations to Soviet authorities should be reinforced by some plain speaking to Soviet Ambassador in London.





British Embassy Moscow



May 1944



My immediately preceding telegram.



H.M. Minister from his local knowledge of pre-war Balkan problems, has suggested to me that Marshal Tito’s program as disclosed in Sulzberger interview which we have just seen is historical sequence of pre-war movement towards creation of an integrated Ygoslavia. Following are his comments on the subject which may possibly assist in clarifying the present situation.



2. On the Bulgarian side this movement played an important part in the 1934 coup d’etat at Sofia which lead at the same time to the collapse of the Mihailovist Macedonians and their supporters in the army backed by King Boris. Bulgarians responsible for this event, some of whom are presumably still active behind the scenes, were ardent believers in a rapprochement with Yugoslavia and inclined to amalgamation with Yugoslavia in a federal state in which Macedonia would naturally fall into place as an autonomous unit.



3. In Yugoslavia Mr. Balfour found that a similar concept prevailed not on1y amongst Pan-Serbs who argued that a greater Yugoslavia would offer a bulwark to great power domination of the Balkans, but also among the Croats who looked upon fusion of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia as a means of counteracting predominant influence of the Serbs. Leaving aside its Pan-Serb advocates, the greater Yugoslavia concept bore a distinctly agrarian, not to say left wing, complications. It was in any case most disquieting to the Greeks and Romanians and an important factor in their refusal of the Balkan entente to contain Bulgaria.



4. Development of integral Yugoslavia idea was retarded in the pre-war period by existence of separate dynasties in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, by deep mistrust of Bulgaria in Yugoslav governing circles, and by the interplay of great power rivalry in the Balkans. Martial Tito's present programme, which appears to commend itself to the Soviet authorities, revives the concept in its essential features excepting that it specifically excludes Greek Macedonia from the proposal to give Macedonia full autonomy within a federated greater Yugoslavia. The evident corollary to this exception is that Greece should be ruled by those elements best qualified to ensure their permanent friendship to the proposed new Slav State.





Bulgaria – Macedonia - Greece

Minutes

H.E.



In accordance with foreign office telegram No. 1261 of the 27th April (at 64/4/44) and in the light of subsequent press articles commented upon in Moscow telegram No. 1139 of the 2nd May (at 122/10/44) Y.E. when next seeing M. Molotov might say that you have the following remarks to make about Balkan problems: -



1. Bulgaria



Y.E. might tell M. Molotov you are still awaiting the written answer which M. Vyshinski informed you on the 4th April would be returned to your letter of March 31st asking whether the Soviet Minister at Sofia was coming to Moscow and whether the Soviet Government had any plans for exploiting the situation in Bulgaria to the common advantage.



Y.E. might then remind M. Molotov that, as you told M. Vyshinski in your talk with him on the 4th April, we had heard from our Ambassador at Angora at the end of March that the Bulgarian Military Attaché there was spreading the story that when the ed Army reached the Danube the Bulgarian Government would invoke the aid of the Soviet Government to persuade its Allies to get Bulgaria out of the war in return for them being allowed to keep Greek Thrace and Salonika. Y.E. might then go on to say that H.M.G. are still inclined to think that like drowning men who clutch at straws, the Bulgarians may be counting on some such absurd idea as a means of saving their own skin. Does M. Molotov think that there are any means of disabusing the Bulgarian Government that they have nothing to gain by sitting tight in the hope that they may trade themselves out of the war at the expense of Greece? In general Y.E. might repeat the H.M.G. would welcome any information which the Soviet Government felt able to give them about the attitude of these Balkan Mr. Micawbers who seem to be waiting for something to turn up.



2. Macedonia



Y.E. might say that H.M.G. have noticed that in an interview given to the American journalist Mr. Sulzburger published in the “New York Times” on the 11th April, Dr. Joseph Smodlaka, who deals with foreign affairs on Marshal Tito’s National Committee, spoke of the need to solve the relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria by giving Macedonia full autonomy within a federal Yugoslavia. You might then say that you had yourself noticed an article in “Red Star” of the 30th April which approved the declaration about an autonomous Macedonia. Y.E. might go on to say that H.M.G. have asked you to tell him that they assume the Soviet Government share their view that this idea of an autonomous Macedonia, on which we ourselves at present do not wish to commit ourselves, should stand over for eventual discussion at the peace conference when it should be decided in agreement with fully representative Yugoslav and Greek Governments.



3. Greece



Y.E. might say that you have noticed from the reply of M. Molotov to the Prime Minister’s message of the 25th of April about Greece, the text of which you had received from the Foreign Office, that the Soviet Government did not feel able to accept any responsibility for Greek affairs or for measures taken by the British Government. You might go on to say that you hopped that the Soviet Government at any rate fully appreciated that we are spending all our efforts to secure Greek unity.



From Bulgaria to War office



December 13th, 1944



From: A.C.C. Bulgaria

To: The War Office



EMERGENCY



Ref. A.F.H.Q. FX 66493 of 10th Dec and my M/279 of 11th Dec., Most reliable information tells us that within last 24 hours he has received following news from several independent sources of whom bone fides he is sure but whose reports are so far unconfirmed. Partisans of General Apostolovski’s Macedonia Army have crossed Greek frontier ostensibly to give aid to ELAS but in fact to establish themselves in Greek Macedonia. These troops described as 1st Macedonian Bde reported commanded by Petsko Trajkov probably number about 3,000. Some source states that Bulgarian Partisans under Slavche Trnski have entered Thrace between Nevrokop and Drama in co-operation with Macedonians.



It is not (rpt not) believed that Bulgarian Govt is in any way party to either of these movements. Personality notes on Trajkov and Trnski follow. Please pass to foreign office.



T.0.0.1710.
taken from email from R.stefov
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