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Old 07-17-2014, 03:27 AM   #1
DraganOfStip
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Default The Bloody Christmas of 1945 - a distortion of facts by Bulgarians

I recently came across this article in the Macedonian newspaper from Blagoevgrad,Bulgaria called "Narodna volja".
It is concentrating on one of Bulgaria's attempts to present the mass shooting of 1945 in Veles,Resen and Kumanovo not as shooting of anti-communists,collaborators etc.,but as shootings of "Bulgarians that refused to accept the newly formed Macedonian nationality by the communist authorities in Yugoslavia".They are presenting these people as martyrs of communism and trying to distort the real events in order to push their propaganda forward.
Don't know if this event has been debated elsewhere on this forum,but nonetheless here's a link to the article (including statement from the son of one of the killed in those shootings),it dates from 2009 but I think it deserves to be on this forum.

http://www.narodnavolja.com/articles2009/02/txt09.asp
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:14 PM   #2
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This is probably the only relevant thread, so I'm moving it here. Searching for documents in English:

Bloody Christmas (1945)
From English Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Christmas_(1945)

The link can also lead to the Macedonian and Bulgarian versions of Wikipedia. There's no Serbian one (hmmm).

Anti-Bulgarian trials in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia in 1944-1948
by unknown from a Bulgarian blog (in English)
http://genocide-in-macedonia.blogspo...1944-1948.html
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Amphipolis View Post
This is probably the only relevant thread, so I'm moving it here. Searching for documents in English:

Bloody Christmas (1945)
From English Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Christmas_(1945)

The link can also lead to the Macedonian and Bulgarian versions of Wikipedia. There's no Serbian one (hmmm).

Anti-Bulgarian trials in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia in 1944-1948
by unknown from a Bulgarian blog (in English)
http://genocide-in-macedonia.blogspo...1944-1948.html
May I ask what was the purpose of these links?

The first one is from a Wikipedia article where sources used include several Bulgarians, a Serb, and a Greek.
For relevance, just use Google Translate on the Macedonian Wikipedia article.

The second is clearly a Bulgarian blog which only corroborates my original post, about how Bulgarians are twisting this event for their own propaganda purposes by presenting the killed people as Bulgarians instead of Macedonians.

If you're trying to make some kind of a point, now is the time to put it forward.
Otherwise, stop posting anti-Macedonian propaganda.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:56 AM   #4
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80 years since this tragedy and it's still so unknown by our people
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:42 AM   #5
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Here in Bulgaria this massacre is very well known and remembered, but they claim that the victims were killed because they identified as Bulgarians and were against the Macedonization started by the communist government, is there anything true to that or is it Bulgarian propaganda like usual? And what was the real reason for which these prople were killed, was it because they were anti-communists, or they had collaborated with the occupiers during the war, or because they wanted an independent Macedonia?
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Old 07-07-2021, 11:53 AM   #6
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Here in Bulgaria this massacre is very well known and remembered, but they claim that the victims were killed because they identified as Bulgarians and were against the Macedonization started by the communist government, is there anything true to that or is it Bulgarian propaganda like usual? And what was the real reason for which these prople were killed, was it because they were anti-communists, or they had collaborated with the occupiers during the war, or because they wanted an independent Macedonia?
The Macedonian wikipedia page on this topic provides a general overview: https://mk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91...B%D0%B5_(1945)

That there were reprisals against Macedonians who were fascist-collaborators, anti-communists or opposed to some of the policies of the CPY is beyond doubt. Given the understandable sentiment that existed following the occupation of Macedonia, people who harboured Bulgar sympathies may have also been targeted. The problem with the narrative coming out of Bulgaria is that your intellectually dishonest historians have a habit of simplifying these complex issues so they can treat most of the casualties as people who, to use your indoctrinated characterisation, “were killed because they identified as Bulgarians and were against the Macedonization started by the communist government”. The finer details don’t seem to matter to them.

Post-WWII authorities in Macedonia were far from ideal, but efforts were made to teach Macedonians a standardised literary language based on the dialects they already spoke, give prevalence to an identity they already possessed, and celebrate the history of their land and ancestors. That wasn’t a process of “Macedonization”, which implies turning something non-Macedonian into Macedonian. Instead, it was a process that promoted the dominant culture in Macedonia over earlier vices, where the native inhabitants finally had an opportunity to chart their own course, on their own terms, at least to a degree. It wasn’t perfect, but at least Macedonian individualism had the backing of state institutions and was given some breathing space. Naturally, it flourished thereafter.

You indicated that the event in question is well known and remembered in Bulgaria. Can you cite some contemporary evidence (records, accounts, testimonies, etc.) that refers to specific people being killed for rejecting this supposed “Macedonization” imposed by the new government?
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Old 07-08-2021, 09:08 AM   #7
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Post-WWII authorities in Macedonia were far from ideal, but efforts were made to teach Macedonians a standardised literary language based on the dialects they already spoke, give prevalence to an identity they already possessed, and celebrate the history of their land and ancestors. That wasn’t a process of “Macedonization”, which implies turning something non-Macedonian into Macedonian. Instead, it was a process that promoted the dominant culture in Macedonia over earlier vices, where the native inhabitants finally had an opportunity to chart their own course, on their own terms, at least to a degree. It wasn’t perfect, but at least Macedonian individualism had the backing of state institutions and was given some breathing space. Naturally, it flourished thereafter.
That is such a good point that is often overlooked when the whole "Macedonization" process occurring post WWII narrative is put forth. It is, of course, meant to imply something artificial when, in fact, it's only natural that Macedonians would want to take the opportunity to promote their own language, identity and history in their recently created state following the aftermath of WWII. There were limits, of course, as to how much they could express their Macedonian individualism but at least they were allowed to be Macedonians. If the same was true in the other parts of Macedonia, and the Macedonians were not restricted in expressing their Macedonian identity, then, no doubt, you would have seen a similar "Macedonization" process for the Macedonians in Greece and Bulgaria. In fact, the "Macedonization" process in the Pirin region was well underway under Georgi Dimitrov (a Macedonian himself) before he was poisoned in Moscow and the whole "Macedonization" process subsequently ended abruptly. A "Macedonization" process was well underway in Greece as well during the Greek civil war before Britain and the US decided to napalm the Macedonian partizans holed up in the Macedonian mountains in the name of Democracy. Again, the whole Macedonization process subsequently ended abruptly in that country too. Sometimes I wonder if the poms and yanks would have acted differently if they knew they weren't napalming a bunch of evil communists but a people fighting for national liberation and basic human rights...I doubt it.
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Old 07-08-2021, 07:26 PM   #8
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I would contend the Croatians did this much later than the Macedonians and arguably in a far more unnatural way (e.g. their word for "helicopter"). Yet nobody says a word about how they sought to distance themselves from the Serbs linguistically. In contrast, the Macedonians finally had their chance to codify what already existed.

Pathetic that we as Macedonians have to even justify these actions. (Let me remind the Greeks reading this that they finalised their own language codification in 1977).
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Old 07-10-2021, 04:36 AM   #9
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While we’re on the topic of exaggerated statistics, there is another claim made by certain people from Bulgaria about events that followed the reprisals in 1945. Apparently, around 100,000 Macedonians with pro-Bulgar sympathies were imprisoned by communist authorities in Macedonia. In the Wikipedia pages that mention this topic, which are routinely manipulated by Bulgar chauvinists, the sources that are usually cited for this ‘mass persecution’ include Victor Roudometof (Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question. p.104) and John Phillips (Macedonia: Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans. p.40). Both, in turn, refer to Hugh Poulton (Who are the Macedonians. p.118) as a source, who wrote the following:
Quote:
However, there were those who retained their pro-Bulgarian sympathies and suffered severe repression as a result. Bulgarian sources assert that thousands lost their lives due to this cause after 1944, and that more than 100,000 people were imprisoned under ‘the law for the protection of Macedonian national honour’ for opposing the new ethnogenesis.
Poulton doesn’t cite an actual source to corroborate the second sentence, aside from his reference to some ambiguous “Bulgarian sources”. What evidence is there that 100,000 people were arrested under this law? More importantly, what evidence is there that those 100,000 people (if that figure is to be believed) had pro-Bulgar sympathies? Perhaps Griffey can enlighten us when he decides to respond to the earlier question.

Many of the Macedonians who advocated for a united and independent Macedonia were imprisoned after WWII. During their trials, it became the norm for communist authorities to brand them as having pro-Bulgar sympathies or being supporters of Vančo Mihailov, whilst some were even accused of supporting the return of King Peter to Serbia. It was the same old game. Depending on the adjudicator, a Macedonian with independent thought or even one who didn’t fully comply with whatever external ideology was being imposed on them at the time, would be labelled as a lackey for one side or the other. Yet, according to their own testimonies, these people possessed a Macedonian national identity and supported neither Mihailov nor Peter. Stojan Risteski (Sudeni za Makedonija. pp. 290, 302, 310, 320, etc.) cites several first-hand accounts as evidence of this sentiment.

The existence of such people (not to mention the dissidents who managed to escape and become activists in the diaspora) not only refutes the wholesale claims made by historians from Bulgaria with respect to the victims of communism in Macedonia, but helps explain, in part, the main reason so many people were persecuted. It was their opposition to certain policies that were being implemented by the CPY, and, by extension, their proxies within the CPM. Thus, in a broader context, the number of those persecuted simply because they may have espoused a Bulgar identity or exhibited genuine pro-Bulgar sympathies, aside from those who also collaborated with the fascist occupiers during the war, was peripheral. Persecution for the rejection of “Macedonization” – a (mischaracterised) process that was supported by most Macedonians, including many of those who were imprisoned, was even more marginal.
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:56 AM   #10
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Mario Hristovski disputes the occurrences of "Bloody Christmas":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid...9sHistoryTalks
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