FYROM’S History Books: Facts
The Ambassador of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr.
Dimitrov during a recent briefing in Washington D.C. tried to
convince a few congressional staffers not to support HR 521 and 306.
Regarding the history books of the FYROM public education, where the
propaganda against Greece emanates, he stated: “Even though the
mentioned textbooks do not include any of the alleged nationalist
propaganda, it has to be known that they are no longer in use, since
a new history curriculum was developed for all grades in 2003”.
In answer to Ambassador Dimitrov’s arguments a recent article, can be
brought up, published by the well-known Greek newspaper
Eleftherotypia on October 10, 2005. There are other studies regarding
the history and other texts of the FYROM pupils that have been done,
such as Dr. Evangelos Kofos’ study, The Vision of a “Greater
Macedonia”, as well as various air produced documentaries, such as
Papahelas’ Envelopes, aired in the winter of 2004. However since
Eleftherotypia’ s article is a most recent one, it is used as an
argument to Mr. Dimitrov’s statement: “The new curriculum was drafted
in accordance with guidelines of the Council of Europe’s EUROCLIO, an
association of European instructors of history, which emphasize the
use of historically accurate maps to illustrate political, ethnic and
other developments during the specific historical period”.
Propaganda goes to school
By Dina Karatziou
The issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia enters a new
critical phase with Nimetz’s last proposal, which was rejected by the
Greek side, and the concern of the neighboring State’s EU entrance
negotiations, connected with the solution that will finally be given
regarding the question of the name.
However, even if the problem focuses in the name, other problems
should also be regarded. Amongst others the propaganda issue
of “Macedonians in bondage” has been pointed out (texts of the
special mediator). Especially when propaganda penetrates into the
system of the neighboring State’s education system and is recorded in
the official schoolbooks.
This opinion is conclusive after a decennial research by Professor P.
Ksohellis of the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and scientists
of Center of Research of School Books and Cross-cultural Education,
regarding books of History and Maternal Language of the FYROM and
four additional Balkan States.
Examples of excerpts of various schoolbooks are interesting:
In the second grade History book of secondary education, the map that
defines the national borders of Macedonia includes the current area
of the FYROM, Bulgarian Macedonia and an area of Greek territory, of
which its south-western utmost point begins from the Greek-Albanian
borders, it follows the ridge of mountain Olympus and continues along
the whole Aegean coastal area, up to the bordering lines of
prefectures Kavala and Xanthi.
No essential change in the handbooks is marked since the Interim
Accord was signed in 1995. According to the Agreement “Each Party
shall promptly take effective measures to prohibit hostile activities
or propaganda by State-controlled agencies and to discourage acts by
private entities likely to incite violence, hatred or hostility
against each other”.
In 1996-97 the Maternal Language and History books continue repeating
the same stereotype: “the distinct element of the Macedonian Nation
and the vision of liberating the remaining parts of Macedonia, that
politically belong in the neighboring states of the FYROM”.
The text reading of the total eight grades of public education, as
well as the handbooks of linguistic exercises, present the geographic
area of the three administrative sections of the Ottoman Empire in
Europe, during the 19th C, as the paternal hearth of the neighboring
The Reading text of 8th grade, referring to the Vilaets of
Thessaloniki, Monastiri, Kosovo-Skopje, the area of “Greater
Macedonia”, states: “Macedonian land, land of the Fathers, land of
the Ancestors, from Ohrid to the Aegean and to Pirin”.
Equally characteristic, for the stereotype “Macedonia” and the
consecutive fabricated arguments that are cultivated in the students
of the FYROM, are also the verses included in the 2nd grade Reader of
“To Macedonia with love: From Pelister to Pirin, from Vroutok to the
white Aegean, three flowers – a bouquet of flowers, a united nation.
Macedonia, dear land! Beautiful land since many centuries, your name
awakens love, a heart in three flowers, it offers us much love,
Macedonia, name eternal!”
Perhaps however, more indicative of the poem’s intention to maintain
and preserve these feelings of “national unfairness”, is the question
of the text’s comprehension which follows: “Pay attention to the
verse “a heart in three flowers “. Which heart are we talking about?
Which are the three flowers the poet sings
The researchers of these books observe that the books of History
cultivate feelings of irredentism and national indignation in a
greater degree than any other text, targeting the neighboring
populations such as Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs. The picture of
an “occupied Macedonia of the Aegean” and an “oppressed Macedonian
minority” in the Greek territory, totally dominates all texts.
Also in frequent use are the terms “anti-
Macedonians” , “assimilation” , “oppression” , “prohibition” , “denational
ization” and “cruelty”. Indicative examples:
The “bad” Greeks
For the period of WWI:
“Before the outbreak of WWI, Macedonia was shared in three parts, to
three Balkan states, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria, and a small piece
was in Albania. The Macedonians were involuntarily mobilized to join
the troops of these three Balkan states and were forced to fight for
foreign interests… There was nothing advantageous for the
Macedonian people in that region which was under Greek occupation.
They mistreated the Macedonian population, just like the Bulgarian
occupants did in the other part of Macedonia… “(8th grade history
For the period after WWII:
“After the Varkiza agreement the Macedonian name and Macedonian
language were both prohibited for a second time in the region of the
Aegean Macedonia, as well as all national and cultural privileges
that the Macedonian population had ensured at the duration of the
struggle of liberation. Immediately after 1945, the Greek governments
applied a policy of terrorism in order to force the Macedonian
population to emigrate or to paralyze them in a national and
political sense”. (8th grade history book)
The cruelty of Greek authorities, the imprisonments, the retribution,
as well as the violent persecutions of the Macedonian people,
fascinated the entire world. For the inhuman behavior of (Greeks)
toward the Macedonians the League of Nations became interested also”.
(8th grade history book)
A picture speaks a thousand words: In this book the appropriation of
the era of Alexander the Great is apparent.
The plaque the books show (6th grade book) is actually the memorial
plaque of King Samuil for his parents written in pure Bulgarian.
Of course a divided Macedonia “occupied” by foreign peoples.
It is evident that the maps of various school books demonstrate in a
subtle, but clear manner that The FYROM Slavs do not recognize
Hellenic sovereignty over the Greek part of Macedonia, Macedonia
Proper; this is the reason they insist on calling it Aegean Macedonia
and not Greek or Hellenic Macedonia. It also violates the Interim
Agreement signed by both Greece and The FYROM and the Constitution of
The FYROM itself – amendment replacing and clarifying article 49 of
the said Constitution. The dream and the goal of The FYROM Slavs are
the incorporation of the Hellenic part of Macedonia into their newly
independent country with the city of Thessaloniki as the first
The books say that the ancient Macedonians were not Greeks, but they
were related to the Greeks and their languages were very close and
they could speak with each other.
The Pan-Macedonian Association of America, Sixty Years of Activity.
http://www.panmaced onian.info/ FYROM%20History% 20Books.htm