Documents on the Struggle of the Macedonian People for Indipendence and Nation-State


Appeal of the "National Macedonian-Albanian League" Brother Macedonians! Brother Albanians! ...There is no need that the Bulgarians, the Greeks or others amend our homeland... Executive Committee British Museum (British Library), London, 1902


Nikola Karev to Goce Delchev ...Let us not expect freedom either from the Greeks or the Bulgarians; it is we, the Macedonians, who should fight for our Macedonia ourselves... Neobjaveno pismo, Nova Makedonija, (Skopje), XXIV, nbr.7744 (May 5 1968), p.8


William Gladstone ...Next to the Ottoman Govt. nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy then jealousies between Greek and Slav, and plans by the States already existing for appropriating other territory. Why not Macedonia for Macedonians, as well as Bulgaria for Bulgarians and Servia for Servians. And if they are small and weak, let them bind themselves together for defence, so that they may not be devoured by others, either great and small, which would probably be the effect of their quarreling among themselves. The Times (London), 6th January 1897, p.12


A. Brutus (A. Drandar): Concerning a movement in Macedonia A considerable section of the European press does not cease to inform us of the immense sufferings undergone by the Christian population of Macedonia....It was the sad fate of that population that made us publish this booklet, based upon our experience and personal observations I had acquired impartially, as a foreigner, during my stay in Macedonia of several years...If one takes a retrospective view of the history of Macedonia to the most ancient of times, one remains amazed by the great role this small country, this classical country par excellance, played in the world....The Macedonian, born in a land to which nature was so favorable, has always longed for heroic feats and aspired to great deeds...Even the glorious cradle of Ancient Hellenism is subjected to the Macedonian kings...We find Macedonians on the Byzantine throne at the time when this empire was at its peak. Following the course of history, we see how the star of Macedonia shone with the same intensity. It plays the chief role in the revival of the Slav people. Thus, the two brothers exalted to apostles, Cyril and Methodius, objects of general admiration for the Slav world, are Macedonians, and owing to the very existence of these two apostles, this small land becomes the cradle of the Slav people to whom it gives its religion and art...The inhabitants of Macedonia do not want to be annexed either to Bulgaria or Serbia, or Greece; they want, they want so strongly, to live a human life in an autonomous country. Their slogan is: Macedonia to the Macedonians. A. Brutus, A Propos d'un Mouvement en Macedonie, Bruxelles 1900, pp.12-13, 15, 56.


A.V. Amfiteatrov: The Land of Discord Each Slav should and is obliged to feel sympathy for Macedonian freedom. But Macedonian freedom cannot be achieved with their own, Macedonian means. The land is too small and weak to fight against the power of Constantinople, which only has to give a sign and tens of thousands of soldiers will attack the Rumalian vilayets and strangle them like mice before Europe could compose itself, even before Europe could know it. Hence, Macedonia cannot be freed with its own forces. Only an evil enemy, an unconscious enemy of Slavism could desire an armed movement in Macedonia now when the land is totally unprepared for an uprising, in circumstances of tied hands of the whole Europe, of Serbo-Bulgarian clashes, of huge preparations of the Turks against the slightest possibilities of movement. Or a real fool. These were the exact words of one of the high-ranking persons deciding the fate of Balkan Slavism in a discussion with me concerning the Macedonian committees. Nobody in Europe, none of the Great Powers can actively intercede in favor of the Macedonians against the Turks at the present moment - except, perhaps, Austria. Bu the very name of Austria causes panic in the Macedonian Slav element, who will allow Austria to reign in Macedonia? For it would be the destruction of all ideas of pan-Slavism, it would be the end of the Eastern Question, it would be the decisive and last victory of the German world over the Slav world. Then, we the Russians, would only be humbly left to falling out of step with that state with the projected historical tasks, with the repudiation of racial ideals - a state similar to modern Italy or Spain, only in greater proportions. The young Slav states, adjacent to Macedonia, are too young and too poor to go into struggle for it. At the same time, these states are disintegrating both from the internal situation and external family hostilities. The Bulgarians and the Serbians cannot stand each other; each consider Macedonia as their lawful property. Neither the Bulgarians nor the Serbs have even the slightest desire to create Macedonia for Macedonia. Enthusiast for an autonomous Macedonia can only be found among the Macedonian natives. Neither the Serb nor the Bulgarian wants the autonomy of Macedonia. As far as the question of whether Macedonia should become Bulgarian or Serbian is concerned, every Bulgarian would tell you with utter sincerity: -It would be better that the Turks ruled there eternally then to give the Serbs a chance to spread towards the Aegean Sea. And the Serb would say: - It would be better that the Turks did there whatever they allow your damned brothers to achieve their Greater Bulgaria from one sea to the other! The question of nationality has not been settled in Macedonia and it is hard to assume that it will ever be settled in a satisfactory manner. If we are to believe Gopcevic and Jasterbov there are almost no Bulgarians - all of the are Serbs. If we are to believe Ofejkov and Miljukov, there are no Serbs, all of them are Bulgarians. It is more probable that where we are dealing with a perfectly branch of Slavs, transitional between the Bulgarians and the Serbs. But that branch taken alone is insufficiently significant to win its freedom and turn itself into a state unit. Consequently, no matter how the question of its nationality is resolved, it is deprived of the possibility to exist, so to say; it is cursed in itself to serve as political material directly for its neighbors, and deviously and indirectly for Europe, which governs its naighbours. The basic reason for the failures of the Macedonian revolutionary organization lies in the fact that it is fed by means that have historically proved their ineffectiveness against state order of a European kind to overthrow the system and authority that have nothing in common with European order; since with the tactics, which have overthrown many European government, it attempts to erase military slavery, which has continued in Macedonia and Old Serbia for five centuries now; since the arms, victorious in the civil war, are also used in external war, because the Turk is not a fellow-citizen and compatriot of the Slavs, but he was, is and will be their external enemy... - They consider me a Bulgarophile, I.A. Zinovjev told me. But it isn't so at all. I behave in perfectly equal manner to all Slavs, and, if a person is decent and likable, it is all the same to me whether he is a Bulgarian, a Serb or a Macedonian. But I am a Russian representative and I have been sent here to protect, first of all, Russian interests. Permanent patronage over the Balkan Slavs is inseparably linked with Russian interests. We are their natural patrons. But this patronage does not mean Russia's following of Slav leaders; patronage is not characterless yielding. However, as far as the Macedonian question is concerned, the Bulgarians, as our most spoilt children in the whole of the Slav world, would like precisely to lead Russia with them where they have blindly started closing their eyes, demanding that the patronage be turned into yielding. The activities of the Macedonian committees, long under the patronage (with) our tolerance of the Bulgarian government, had the following direct calculation: - We shall force the Turks to abandon their reserved behavior they have taken up and borne with difficulty - wit a series of small explosions, murders and blackmails we shall arose the fanatic excitement of the Moslems, the Sultan will be forced to give in to the demands of his subjects of the same faith, and Turkish atrocities will start in Macedonia, blood will be shed, villages will be burnt. For the attainment of the sublime goal it is of no consequence whether fifty or fifty thousand people will be killed - the main thing is: slaughter must be caused, which will in turn cause the necessity of European intervention, and since the protection of the Slavs is the perennial deed of Russia and it will never leave the Macedonian question to Austria - consequently, volens-nolens, Russia shall have to send again hundred of thousands of soldiers to the Balkan Peninsula and achieve the freedom of Macedonia with its bayonets, i.e. it should put the land into the mouth of the Bulgarians. For they don't recognize any other nationality in Macedonia except the Bulgarian one. Consequently, the future freedom of Macedonia for them is either the fulfillment of the Treaty of San Stefano and unification of Macedonia with the Bulgarian Principality, or a creation of a new autonomous Bulgarian body, which will sooner or later be merged with the former into an 'integral Bulgaria'.... Cvetan Stanoevski, Kako ja vidoa Makedonija, Skopje 1978, pp.189-190,193-194.


Victor Berard on the Macedonians. The ambition for a small homeland, the egotism of a small nation, is not the ultimate ideal of the Macedonians. To replace Turkish subjugation with Greek, Serbian or Bulgarian dependence does not seem to them to represent some great gain...Until recently France did not know the Macedonians. They were Thracian, Peons, Sclavins for us, a wild and almost a mythical people, that lived somewhere at the bottom of some unknown land for us. We either did not know them or despised them, since we heard of them from the malicious notes of the ancient and modern Greeks... La Revue de Paris, Juin 1903.


A Macedonian Theory Was it so long before the liberation of the Bulgarians that throughout Bulgaria, in answer to the question as to what they were (by nationality), the Bulgarians said they were "Christians" or raya (non-Moslem Turkish subjects)?And even now it is not so rare on occasion to hear a Bulgarian answering in court as to the question of his nationality that he is a "Christian". The notion of nationality has still not become a new accomplishment of his mind. During the Turkish period, the Bulgarian peasant referred to the Bulgarians in the towns as "Greeks" and city lother were "Greek dress" for him. And since the Greeks designated that peasant as a "fat-headed Bulgar", his brother from the town loved to be called a "Hellene", so that he should not be scorned for his real national name. It is not exactly the same case with what Mr. Misirkov elaborates concerning the name of the Macedonian Slav? The name "Bulgar" fell even in Bulgaria to such position which earned only the contempt of the others. This name appeared so empty even in the mouth of the Bulgarians themselves that it became a synonym for "Christian"; the later designated the whole ethnic contents of Bulgarian individual and social consciousness. When our peasant used to say "we are Bulgars", he meant "we are Christians", i.e. Orthodox. The Russian Tsar was a "Bulgarian Tsar" for him not by nationality, but by Orthodox Christianity. A. Teodorov-Balan, Edna makedonska teorija - Periodichesko spisanie (Sofia), LXV (1904), p.818


The Macedonian Villages ...I asked him what language they spoke, and my Greek interpreter carelessly rendered the answer Bulgare. The man himself had said Makedonski. I drew attention to this word and the witness explained that he did not consider the rural dialect used in Macedonia the same as Bulgarian, and refused to call it by that name. It was Macedonian, a word to which he gave the Slav form of Makedonski, but which I was to hear farther north in the Greek form of Makedonike. And so the "Bulgarophone" villagers are no longer willing to admit that they speak Bulgarian. They have coined a new term of their own accord, and henceforth their dialect, until they have got rid of it, is to be known as "Macedonian". My Athenian friends were delighted when I told them of this on my return. It should give even greater pleasure to those Bulgarian agents who are so anxious to see the Macedonians thought they are Macedonians. Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908, pp. 204-205

June 25, 1910

Archimandrite Neophyte in Skopje to Bulgarian Exarch Joseph in Constantinople: Starting from some time ago, as I have already informed You several times, matters in the eparchy, and especially here have not developed as they should. The Eparchy Council, which, as You know, consists of the town's elders, has decided to send You a letter in which it strongly condemns the candidature of the former Metropolitan of Skopje, Theodosius, and among other things, upon my suggestion writes the following in the protest: "Outraged, we read in the newspapers that a group of villains wishes at any cost to urge the population - the voters of the Skopje Eparchy - to bring back that typical intransigent, Theodosious, as the Metropolitan of the Skopje Eparchy. This is the same Theodosius who 17 or 18 years ago wanted to separate the Skopje Eparchy from the Exarchate and proclaim himself an independent Metropolitan. For this purpose, he then made a special seal on which he deleted the words "Bulgarian Exarchate", so sacred to us, and printed his own baptismal certificates, marriage certificates and other documents; he did not fulfill the circular letters and the orders of the Exarchate, etc. Yet, since at that time there were not such a strong anti-Bulgarian movement among the local Bulgarians, it was possible for the Exarchate to remove this dangerous schismatic in time and thereby preserve the unity of the Bulgarian Church in Turkey. Now this same schismatic, contrary to Exarchist interests, wishes to restore his eparchy and continue his dishonest business of disuniting our Bulgarian people. We protest most strongly against his nomination as Metropolitan of Skopje, because he insults the Bulgarian feeling among the population". Unfortunately, Your Grace, if the Eparchy Council has such people with common sense, this is not the case with some craftsman's circles, which have come under the influence of Mr. Petar Pop Arsov, a teacher, who has taken the idea into his head that he is a leader of the people. He constantly speaks against the Exarchate and its leadership, including myself, and urges the craftsman to support Metropolitan Theodosios' candidature, since he once suffered for defending the interests of the Macedonians. It would not be superfluous if I informed You about another problem, which, I presume, will represent a kind of plot in this whole election propaganda. I have understood from some members of the Council that Krste Petkov, who at one time started "Misirkovism", had requested from certain relative of his, living here in Skopje, that he put him in touch with this teacher, Petar Pop Arsov, in connection with collecting songs about Krale Marko in the Skopje district, and Mr. Pop Arsov was so kind as to agree immediately. I am writing this to you, Your Grace, a justified suspicion that schismatic forces are being brought to life here. The said Mr. Krste Misirkov expressed in a letter to his relative has desire to return to Macedonia, more precisely, to come to Skopje as soon as Macedonia was liberated. The man wished to be a professor at the Skopje university (?!). If this is true, and there are no reasons for lying to me, then You may conclude Yourself what danger threatens the Bulgarian idea in these historic times. Just imagine if the "Misirkovism" of Mr. Krste, the "separatism' of His Grace Theodosius and the "autonomism" of Mr. Petar Pop Arsov joined together! I am of the opinion, Your Grace, upon the basis of the protest by the Eparchy Council (which was, after all, published in the press) that the candidature of His Grace Theodosius should be withdrawn, by which a danger of as yet unseen proportions for the Bulgarian cause in Macedonia would be evaded. I remain Your Grace's younger brother in Jesus Christ and I pray for You. S. Dimevski, Diskusija - K.P. Misirkov i nacionalno-kulturniot razvoj na makedonskiot narod do Osloboduvanjeto - Zbornik Misirkov. Simpozium. Skopje, Institut za makedonski jazik, 1975, pp.338-339. 1905(?)

Sveta Simic, representative of the Kingdom of Serbia in Bulgaria, to Jovan Jovanovich-Pizon, head of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade. D. Gruev again visited me last Saturday. D. Hristov also chanced to be in my house, so we spent more then 3 hours in discussion. The Macedonians have been afraid that the Bulgarians and we agreed to divide them, and accordingly they are the only ones left to frown at the Imperial Alliance. They suspect it hides something else. They continually make agreements and preparations but undertake nothing more serious. They constantly send smaller bands and ammunition into their country. All their activity is reduced to this only in present. They would like to make an agreement with us, but such as to sacrifice nothing of what they call their autonomy. They have come to see more and more that there are obstacles before them which they cannot fight successfully, and under the influence of which they continually lose their importance as an authoritative factor in the development of the Maced(onian) question. This is what hurts them immensely. They are divided among themselves, just as before. The differences of their views also intensify their personal hatred, which makes some of them avoid the others, plotting among themselves....Unfavorable rumors reach us from Macedonia, too. The people, craving for freedom, would like to reject their yoke and uncertainty as soon as possible, so that they would be ready for some decisive steps as well, but their distrust both of their leaders and Bulgaria prevent them. Under the influence of the news about the Imperial Alliance a mood has been created in which they would like to be freed from their yoke at any cost, even if they were compelled to come under Bulgaria and Serbia. And if these two did not help them, they would gladly accept Austrian occupation, as well... Arhiv SFR Jugoslavije (Belgrade) - Fond Jovan Jovanovic-Pizon, 80 (1905).


To my brother in arms, Dushan, voyvoda from the village of Bistrica Brother, you should know that I have received your letter and understood all that you wrote me. We have put the people in great trouble, it is true, but who is to blame for this? You say we are to blame, we say you are to blame. As far as I know, ten years have passed (and) has never been over those years any bloodshed between ourselves or division into Serbomans or Bulgarophils. We have been Macedonian fighters and we will fight to the end for the Macedonian people, but we do not fight for Bulgaria or Serbia, nor Greece; they are free and live freely and drink in shaded inns; they have the right to drink so since they shed their blood earlier. We, who come from this Macedonian land should work for Macedonia, because our Macedonian brothers are murdered on the roads and our Macedonian sisters are disgraced by the bloody Turk, by the fat Turk. We are not against any nationality of either Bulgaria, Serbia, or Greece; we should recognize the merit of those who would help us. If there had been any Serbian, Bulgarian or Greek land here, they should not have waited for us to die in the mountains but should have liberated Macedonia with their armies; only then they could have demanded Serbia, Bulgarian or Greek land here... Blazhe Krusheski DA SSID - Fond Izvrshnog odbora Srpske narodne organizacije F-6 (1906)


A.V. Amfiteatrov: Macedonia ...Following the Russian war, Turkey of the old regime finally turned into a "sick man", and the heirs of the executors of the expected will gathered around his death-bed. The future destiny of Macedonia came to depend not as much on the will of Turkey itself as on the sympathies of the European guardians. In the 19th century Europe learned through Germany, Italy and Greece to consider the right to national self-determination a little. Thus, all the states and countries bordering on Macedonia have started intensive propaganda in favor of their nationalities, as it were a race or along jump for an award. They have taken care, as much as they have means and power, to persuade Europe by truth and lies, that allegedly the national self-determination of the Macedonian inclines in their favor, and not in favor of the neighboring nation. In this respect the Bulgarians proved more swift the their rivals. In order to make Macedonia Bulgarian, they had to Bulgarize the Macedonians. Thus, following the Bulgaro-Serbian War of 1885, the greatest powers and considerable sacrifices of the Bulgarian state apparatus were given to the Bulgarization of the Macedonian Slavs. Bulgarian agents were the priests and the teachers; the comitajis and band-members became the secret government of the country and, allegedly, its soul. In the beginning the propaganda was exceedingly successful. Miljukov, who visited Macedonia towards the end of the nineties, looked at it too much through Bulgarian glasses and - so to say - proclaimed all the Macedonians to be full-blooded Bulgarians. But his mistake can be considered as made with clear conscience. He found Macedonia so profoundly and brilliantly Bulgarized that it is no wonder that he took the clothes for the body - the culture for the nationality. Those who have read The Land of Discord know my view about the Macedonians. They are neither Serbs nor Bulgarians, but a primordial Slav people with simple basic language which is to a great degree able to be subject to any form offered by another, more influential and more developed Slav culture. There are Macedonian Bulgarians where the Bulgarian school and Church are firmly established, and Serbs where literacy is in the hands of the Serbs. They could have been turned with the same ease, under the influence of education, religion and commerce, into Little Russians, Great Russians or Poles. Their language is melted metal which can easily be molded into any kindred form. But - a related one. So, it is national kinship which is the main reason for making Macedonia a center of confrontation between the Slavs and for destroying the Greek influence in it. Statistics about Macedonia are confusing, tendentious and fantastic. In spite of that, even according to Greek sources, it is easy to see the Hellenes represent a minority in the Macedonian vilayets. As a result of this and aiming to create a majority, the Greeks had to resort to sufficiently unscrupulous falsifications, counting all Slav Patriarchists as Greeks. These are Slavs who have not acknowledged the Exarchate but remained faithful to the Constatinople Patriarchate, although they speak only Slavic. In this way the Greeks have come to understand one's nationality in the same manner as the Turks - religion equals nationality. A patriarchist - means a Greek... C. Stanoevski, Kako ja vidoa Makedonija, pp.210-211.


Bulgarian statesman Dimitar Rizov on his nationality ....In the golden months of the successful beginning of the war against the Turks, he spoke to me as a convinced Yugoslav (South Slav). He explained to me, I being a Croat, the real situation of matters in Macedonia and said that it was shame that the first free Slav state had not been founded in Macedonia, which would equally attract to union the Bulgarians and the Serbs, and would be a bond and not a cause of discord between the Serbs and the Bulgarians...He told me that the Macedonians, to tell the objective truth, were neither Bulgarians nor Serbs, but Macedonian Slavs who spoke in their own individual Macedonian language or dialect. ..."Our people", he said, "were only 'Macedonian Christians,' and then, when Greek propaganda developed they become 'Macedonian Christian Slavs'. It was all the same to us which Christian country would help us to free ourselves from the Turks. I was born in Bitola. There were several grammar-schools in Bitola: Turkish, Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian. It was all the same to us, the Slavs, which Slav grammar-school we attended. For example, alongside many of my friends who later became Bulgarians, I attended the Serbian grammar-school. It is true that the teachers in the grammar-school told we were Serbs, just as those in the Bulgarian grammar-school were told that we were Bulgarians, but we kept our own counsel, and that was what our parents told us at home: it does not matter, let them talk, but we are Macedonian Christian Slavs..." Ivan Meshtrovic, famous Croatian sculptor, Uspomene na politichke ljude i dogagjaje. Zagreb 1969, pp. 25-26, 39.

March 1, 1913

Memorandum on the Independence of Macedonia submitted by the Macedonian colony in St. Petersburg to the Conference of the representatives of the Great Powers in London. is more suitable for all the neighbors of Macedonia that this country remain undivided, since by any division, sections of our living compatriots will remain under foreign authority and will perish. The Macedonians have won their right to self-determination over their whole recent history, as well...The Serbs and the Bulgarians deliberately say nothing about these huge Macedonian victories and permit nobody to write about them...As a result of all this, the Macedonian Colony in St.Petersburg, fulfilling its sacred duty towards its fatherland and conscientiously applying the slogan "Macedonia to the Macedonians", protests and cannot remain indifferent when the allied Balkan states (Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece) - our brothers in blood and faith - aim to dismember our fatherland....Here is what is needed for the Macedonian people; 1. Macedonia should remain a single, indivisible and independent Balkan state with it geographic, ethnographic, historical, economic and political borders. 2. A Macedonian national assembly should be established on the basis of general elections in Salonika in the soonest possible time, which would work out in detail the internal structure of the state and determine its relations with the neighboring states. Makedonskii Golos, St. Petersburg 1913-1914


Nace Dimov Chupovski: A Political Survey of Macedonia and the Macedonians. In examining the Macedonian question from the political point of view, I shall not deal with the old times....Condemned at first to Roman rule, and then to Byzantine oppression, and finally to Turkish slavery, the terrible name of Macedonian found shelter from generation to generation in Macedonian hearts only...In the same towns and villages, the priests that receive salary from the Bulgarian Exarchate call themselves Bulgarians, those that receive salary from the Serbian Metropolitan office call themselves Serbians...Besides, the Macedonians were always allies and participants both in the liberation of the Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians....From all that has been previously mentioned, I dare say that the Macedonians have a one hundred percent right to autonomy and not to being subjected to dismembering among the Greeks, the Serbs and Bulgarians. Disregarding this fact, the Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian governments, aiming to extend their frontiers into Macedonians territory, spare no means and exterminate the Macedonians who refuse to call themselves Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians...The Macedonian people will not reconcile themselves either with those who aspire to deprive them of their language, customs and the natural desire to be free masters of their own house. Hence, only if the Serbs, Greeks and Bulgarians renounce their aspirations will Macedonia live in a friendly way .... N.D. Dimov, Istoricheskii ocherk Makedonii i makedonskih slavjan - Peterburg, 1913

June 7, 1913

To the Governments and the Public of the Allied Balkans States The Macedonians have continually, over the centuries, risen up and fought for independence and freedom, and by their persistent struggle aided the liberation of Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria....More then on hundred thousand Macedonian fighters have fought shoulder to shoulder with the allied armies....Instead of Macedonia, celebrated by Alexander of Macedon, consecrated by the Apostle St. Paul, dignified by the activity of the holy brothers SS. Cyril and Methodius....instead of united, integral and free Macedonia, European diplomacy, and alongside it, you, too, our brothers - allies and liberators, are tearing us into pieces and defiling our sacred ideals....Remember, brother Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks, that you were reborn to start a new life only after 14 bloody wars of Russia against the Ottoman Empire...Remember that a dismembered Macedonia will be an eternal apple of discord among you. Remember that also in the past times of history one after another state perished in the struggle for Macedonia and do not continue the bloody list of the dead in the present time.... Macedonia should be an independent state within its ethnographic, geographical, cultural and historical boundaries, with a government accountable to a national assembly...a national representative body should be the city of Salonika, elected by general vote. Brother allies and liberators! We hope that our words will reach your hearts and minds.... St. Petersburg Signed by the authorized representatives Makedonskii Golos, St. Petersburg, pp. 52-55

September 5, 1913

Dimitrija Chupovski: What did Bulgaria represent for Macedonia The Bucharest Conference of the Balkan states completely destroyed Article 23 of the Berlin Congress which stipulated the introduction of reforms in Macedonia as a self-governing province of Turkey. At the time this stipulation gave wings to the hopes of the Macedonians for the possibility of creating an autonomous Macedonia and proved to be a counter-balance to the stipulations of the Treaty of San Stefano, which defaced Macedonia by its inclusion within the boundaries of Greater Bulgaria. However, regardless of the stipulations of the Berlin Congress, the Treaty of San Stefano constantly instigated the Bulgarians to actions for creating a Greater Bulgaria at the expanse of Macedonia and they continually spent millions of rubles for agitation in Macedonia by opening their own, purely Bulgarian, schools and churches. As a result of this, Bulgaria began regarding itself as the only future liberator of Macedonia, comparing its role in the cause of the liberation of macedonia with the role of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turksih War. We, however, cannot agree at all with such a comparison....Russia was Bulgaria's liberator, and accordingly, to compare its role with the role of Bulgaria in the present war is, at the very least, absurd and ridiculous for our contemporaries, before whose eyes this tragicomedy was being acted. The role of Bulgaria as regards to Macedonia was from the very beginning criminal; it was first to violate...the article of the Berlin Treaty which bound Turkey to introduce reforms in Macedonia. Moreover, carrying out unbearable, extremely chauvinist, propaganda among the Macedonians through its Constantinople Patriarchate, Bulgaria was the first to cause rivalry and the introduction of similar propaganda by the Greeks and the Serbs, thus instilling discord among the Macedonians. During the whole 30 years of its existence as a state, Bulgaria has carried out anti-Macedonian policy. Flattering and attracting the Macedonians to its side. at the same time it persecuted them with ferocity and hatred and strove to destroy in them any idea of an autonomous Macedonia; while doing so, the Bulgarians did not shrink from using any means. Thus, in 1888, the Bulgarian Government destroyed the 'Macedonian Literary Society' under the presidency of Georgi Pulevski....Two years later, in that same Sofia, the Bulgarian Government closed the evening schools, specially opened for the emigrant Macedonian craftsman, and the heads of those schools. Macedonian patriots - Damjan Gruev, Delchev, Petre Pop Arsov and many others - were expelled from Bulgaria. In addition, let us consider just those persecution to which the so-called Internal Macedonian Organization was exposed, working on the spiritual revival of Macedonia and its political liberation. Its members were persecuted both by the Bulgarian government and the Exarchate, the local instrument of those governments. In order to paralyze the successes resulting from the activity of the Internal Macedonian Organization, the Bulgarian government formed with Macedonian emigrant a requisite counter-Macedonian organization (made of the dregs(?) of society), known under the name of the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee, the task of which was to trumpet to the whole world that Macedonia is a purely Bulgarian country. Who does not know the shameful role of this Committee shown through its activity on the partition of Macedonia as a whole and of the Macedonian intelligentsia in particular? Guided by the Bulgarian government through its teachers and generals of the type of Mihajlovski and Conchev, this Committee acted against the Macedonian liberation movement and worked with all means on the annexation of macedonia to Bulgaria. Still more criminal was the role of Bulgaria in this shameful 'liberation' war. Did not Bulgaria hold long negotiations concerning the division of Macedonia with its present occupiers? Did it not, according to the treaty of 29th February 1912 with the Serbs, give to them the whole western section of Macedonia and thus violate its integrity? Did not Bulgaria, which attracted Greece, too, to the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance, start to divide Macedonia? Could it not know that the Greeks might join the alliance only because they had in mind the acquisition of the southern section of Macedonia? Is not Bulgaria to be blamed for the partition of Macedonia, hiding the real aim of the war from the representatives of the Macedonian people, which it had to reckon with. On the contrary, starting the war, it declared to the Macedonians that it was fighting against Turkey alongside the allies for their liberation. Allowing the Macedonians to organize themselves into military units, Bulgaria committed a hunderdfold crime, because it did not allow them to fight against Turkey in their native land, but directed them to Thrace, towards the shore of the Sea of Marmara, under the walls of Adrianople and the trenches of Chataldzha, which weren't needed, except for a bunch of Bulgarian glory-hunters; and the happened at the same time when the allied Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks were conquering Macedonia. How can we explain this criminal act of the Bulgarians towards the Macedonians, if not by the fear that those same Macedonians with arms in their hands would defend their homeland equally from any encroachments upon its independence? But in fact Bulgaria thus ruined not only Macedonia but also all its future. Shedding now crocodile tears for the lost Macedonia, did Bulgaria at the proper time make any attempt to preservethe indivisibility of Macedonia, which it likes to call its younger sister?How can some Bulgarian patriots claim that Bulgaria was in respect to Macedonia that biblical mother which appeared before Solomon's court? Would not a mother worthy of setting an example rather prefer to renounce her own son in only he could thus remain intact? However, as we all know, Bulgaria was the first to agree to the partition of Macedonia.Why has not Bulgaria up to this moment acted like a real "native mother" with her unselfishness, with motherly generosity towards macedonia, with a project for its autonomy? This is exactly the attitude of Bulgaria which could have ensured the integrity and indivisibility of macedonia, peace among the Balkan peoples and would have preserved the dignity of the "native mother" herself - Bulgaria. What hindered it, having included the item about the autonomy of Macedonia in the treaty, from raising at the proper time the question about the realization of that item? Nobody hinder it at all, but it did not make any attempts itself to raise this question. It did not make this attempt after the end of the first half of the war, when it realized that its allies of yesterday, the Serbs and the Greeks, having occupied Macedonia, would not like to leave it.And instead of submitting a project for autonomy, it decided to go to war, in order to gain as great as possible a section of Macedonia for itself.Even following the defeat, when the question was posed not for Macedonia but for Bulgaria itself - I am referring here to the Conference of Bucharest, where Bulgaria was "generously" offered an eighth or tenth part of Macedonia - here, too, it preferred to take that part, and did not follow the example of the biblical mother, renouncing its share of the child. I repeat, the following of this, there are some people again who compare the present position of Bulgaria to the position of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turksih War, with a desire in this way to represent it in the role of the same unselfish liberator as Russia was with regard to Bulgaria itself, refusing to see that the main reason for the misfortunes of macedonia were precisely the Bulgaria aspiration towards this long tortured land. Dimitrija Chupovski, Makednoskii Golos, pp. 130-133

July 20, 1916

Rene Picard: The Autonomy of Macedonia The idea of Macedonia autonomy is familiar to all those who are acquainted with Balkan history and politics. If we asked the Christians of Macedonia they would answer that autonomy was the most desirable solution for them. There is and, in fact, there has always been a Macedonian spirit in Macedonia. Geographically, Macedonia has its own unity. Its borders are the following: to the south - Mt. Olympus, the mountains on the north bank of the River Bistrica, Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid; to the west - the Drim from Debar; to the northwest and north - the Shar Mountains, the highlands north of Skopje, the defile of Kumanovo, the mountains that mark the Serbo-Bulgarian frontiers of before 1912; to the east - the Rhodope Mountains. The borderline with Thrace on this side is not clear. The regions of Drama and Kavalla can either be adjoined to macedonia or separated from it; the plain of Drama is populated mostly by Turks; the town of Kavalla, like all the ports, has a strong Greek colony. To the south, the Chalcidice Peninsula is geographically Macedonian, but ethnographically Greek; the line of lakes separates it by a natural border from the rest of Macedonia... Les archives du Ministere des affiars etrangeres (Paris). Guerre 1914-1918, Balkans, Dossier generale, pp.158-165.

Dimitar Blagoev on the nationality of the Macedonians (Bulgarian Parliament session) December 10, 1917...D. Blagoev: Subordinate, but indipendant in their internal affairs. Someone from the left: Don't forget history. D.B.: What history? The one you falsify? (Laughter) We do not recognize such history. We see how things are in reality. It is a fact, gentleman national delegates, that there was a great struggle between the Bulgarian and the Slav peoples in the Balkan peninsula. And that process, descirebd by Mr. Sakszov and supportedd by others, was not aimed at the unification of the Bulgarian people but at domination over the Slav peoples in the Balkan Peninsula who moved en masse to Byzantium and Asia Minor, and on the other hand, went to the south, towards Macedonia


Rudolph Archibald Reiss on the Macedonians I said I would rather call your Bulgarophones Macedonians. You call these people Bulgarophones, owing to their language which is similar to Bulgarian. But, is it Bulgarian, is the same language spoken in Sofia? No. Macedonian is just as similar to Serbian as it is to Bulgarian. I am not a linguist and I would not allow myself a personal judgment, but disinterested Balaknologist have asserted to me that Macedonian is more similar to Serbian the Bulgarian. It is possible that there are linguists who assert the opposite. But it is a fact that the Macedonia language is spoken neither in Sofia nor in Belgrade. It is an individual Slav language, just as we have the Romansch in Switzerland, spoken in Grisons, apart from Italian. To my mind, the Macedonian can be called neither Bulgarian nor Serb, but simply Macedonian. R.A. Reiss, Sur la situation des Macedonianes et des musulmans dans les nouvelles provinces grecques. Paris, 1918, pp.6-7.

January 4, 1919

Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedonian autonomy St. Paul's Hospital, Salonika Dear Sir, Please excuse the liberty I take in writing you, it is because the final settlement in the Balkans is of vital interest to the Catholics in these countries. - I have been 33 years in this Mission, the Uniate Catholic Mission, which at the beginning of the Second Balkan War counted about 10,000 Catholics. The Treaty of Bucharest, which divided Macedonia without any regard to justice, was the cause of these poor people being dispersed on account of their Slav language, which was forbidden in Churches and schools. - The Bishop had his residence in Salonika, he has now been in exile more then 3 years, his priests are dispersed, his flock is indeed without pastors, nor do we have any hope of his return to any place under Greek or Serbian rule. - The Greeks will not admit the Slav language in Churches or schools; the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; they call themselves Macedonians, and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control. - I whatever way Macedonia might be divided, the people would be always discontented, and would fight again as soon as possible. The only hope I can foresee is in strong autonomy, which neither Greeks nor Bulgars nor Serbs would dare attack; then the Macedonians, who are really intelligent and docile when they are well treated. would peacefully develop this beautiful fertile country... Surely Europe will not leave Macedonia under people whom the Macedonians hate, and whom they will continually fight... Public Record Office (London) - FO 608/44. Peace Conference (British delegation), 1919.

April 10, 1919

Protest from the Provisional representative of the IMRO to the Paris Peace Conference To His Excellency, Monsieur Clemanceau, President of the Council: It is duty of my honor, as a delegate of the Macedonian Committees to the High Peace Conference, to protest against the maneuvers of certain suspicious persons who claim to speak in the name of Macedonia and represent some so-called "Executive Committee of the Macedonian Societies". Let me be allowed to indicate that the Macedonian emigrants to Bulgaria have over the past 30 years created quite a small class of Macedonians Bulgarized to such a point that they sacrifice completely the interests of their native land to those of Bulgaria. People who have two homelands are generally suspicious; what to say, on the other hand, about those who do not hesitate to propose as delegates to the Conference two persons such as Aleksandrov and Protogerov, adherents to the Kaiser and Ferdinand, and organizers of the massacres in Nish? Indeed, there is noone else who could more compromise the cause of "Autonomous Macedonia" before the Aeropagus of the victors! Hence I have the honor to point out that the only Macedonian Societies free from any Bulgarian political influence, or any other, and representing loyally the whole of Macedonia, without distinction of language or religion, are the Macedonian Committees, which starting from the 1893 constituted the IMRO... It is in their name, and by no means in the name of Bulgaria or the Bulgarians, that I have already had the honor to request and now I am requesting again from Your Excellency to grant me an audience so that I may present to You the desires of the Macedonian people... Archimandrite Paul Christoff, General Vicar of Thrace, delegate of the Macedonian Committees. A. Lainovich, Jugoslavika u biblioteci za savremenu - medzhunarodnu dokumentaciju u Parizu - Godishen zbornik na FF, 24-25 (1972-73) pp. 88-89

July 1919

Bulgarian Nikola Pushkarov on "The Economic Wealth of Macedonia and its Neighbors" All the neighbors of Macedonia wish her well. Each of them tries through all means to convince the Macedonians of its significance as a savior. When the population of Macedonia doubts the sincerity of the unwanted liberators, they even prove to it the opposite by the sword. And each of the neighbors denies the other the right to be a liberator. The neighbors waged wars in this dispute, they had been fighting among themselves for years to the right of Macedonia's liberators. They exhausted the three neighboring peoples and almost exterminated the Macedonian people. The wars ended, because the peoples realized that the liberation of Macedonia had turned into enormous increase of the capital of the false patriots at the expanse of the peoples ' blood and sweat. Today the exhausted peoples, exasperated by the terrible patriotic deeds of the false patriots, demand payment for the lies, for the terrible lies which threw them into terrible rows. But the false patriots of the neighbors do not despair; they have created special agencies of mercenaries responsible for proving by excusable and inexcusable means how the Macedonians most closely belong to the "homeland" of their patrons. They have called the population of this unfortunate land either "Bulgarophone Greeks", or "Macedonians Slavo-Serbs,: or "brothers beyond Mount Rila."... ...It is the wealth of Macedonia which makes the false patriots of her neighbors mad with "patriotism". Makes them burn with desire to cut off as large as possible a portion of Macedonia for themselves to "liberate" it, i.e. to deprive the Macedonians of the chance of governing themselves. But you must keep your land, Macedonians, from the false good wishes of those individuals. They will bring you a new slavery, harsher then the former. Your land is entirely capable of an independent existence. ...Unite around the banner of the autonomy of your homeland, because it is the only banner which you will not be persecuted for not being a Greek, Serb or Bulgarian, but simply Macedonian. Bjoletin br. 8 (19.VII.1919) pp.7-8

November 18, 1919

Telegram from the General Council of the Macedonian Societies in Switzerland to the Peace Conference in Paris ..Assembled at its plenary session and working in the name of the whole of the Macedonian people, without serving any foreign policy, energetically protest against the clause allowing the Macedonians the right to opt for Bulgarian nationality. We do not want to be made instruments of Bulgarian irredentism in Macedonia. Macedonia has never been a part of the present Bulgarian Kingdom. The Bulgarian diplomats, who bear part of the responsibilities for the misfortunes of the Macedonian population, are by no means qualified to intercede in favor of our cause and have no right to do it... Secretary: Bl. Bojadziev; Vice-Persident: G. Nikolov Lj. Lape, Aktivnosta na Glavniot odbor, p. 190