The Ethnic and Historical origins of FYROM Part VII

Post WW2 and Tito – ‘Macedonism’ finds its fruition

By the end of WW2 and the German retreat, the Communist Partisans, under Marshall Josip Broz Tito, emerged as the most powerful force in Yugoslavia. Under the Yalta Conference Agreement between the Soviets and Western Powers, Yugoslavia (including modern F.Y.R.O.M) was agreed to be left to the CPY (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) and under the Soviets’ sphere of influence receiving much financial and military aid from Moscow. Bulgaria also came under the Soviet bloc at this time. At Yalta, Greece however was agreed to remain outside the communist bloc.

Greece and the Greek civil war

Greece thus became the first flash point of the cold war. In the early stages after the war, Stalin agressively pursued other tactics of attempting to establish a presence in Greece as well as building up a large presence on both the Greek and Turkish borders in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. After the Yalta agreement with the British and Americans however, Stalin respected the agreement and the red army did not cross into Greece from Bulgaria as many had anticipated. Because of this the KKE had to rely on Yugoslav aid and guerillas to maintain the strong position they had gained during the occupation and later maintain fight in the civil war which broke out even before the Germans had left. The Democratic army, controlled by the KKE and aided by the increasingly powerful Tito as well as Albanian, Bulgarian communist guerilla allies, all actively took part in some way in the agressive action against Greek Macedonian territory during the civil war. In 1949 the communists were defeated with British and American financial support by Greek government forces. With the defeat of the Greek communists and the closing of the border by Tito, any hope of incorporating Greek Macedonia and the warm water port of Thessaloniki into the newly formed ‘Macedonian Peoples Republic’ in Vardar died. The CPY continued its claims on Greek Macedonia in the decades following, despite later breaking from Stalin’s influence in 1948 and followed a policy of non-allignment which endured in Yugoslavia right up until the 1990s.

Yugoslavia and the Peoples’ Republic of Macedonia

In Yugoslavia, it was through the CPY, that ‘Macedonism’ found its fruition as an ideology; Tito using the previous preparation and policies of those before him to strengthen his own Yugoslavia. This was surely something which annoyed Stalin and played a part in the Stalin-Tito split. After much struggling in the shadows of Balkan politics since its inception, Macedonist ideas were codified and intensified in 1944, as the ‘Peoples’ republic of macedonia”, for Tito’s own causes with Greek Macedonia and Salonika as his aims. With the defeat of the communists in the Greek civil war, many Greek communists and Slavs who had fought in SNOF fled the border and defected to Yugoslavia and other avenues were evidently taken to lay claim to Greek Macedonia and Thessaloniki by Yugoslavia, the new Republic comprising only of the Vardar region only. The First Assembly of the ASNOM (Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia) on August 2 1944 passed the resolution proclaiming the Macedonian state and declaring Macedonian the republic’s official language.

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“During the occupation…a combined effort was made to wrest Macedonia from Greece — an effort that allegedly continues, although in altered form… The main conspirational activity in Macedonia today appears to be directed from Skopje.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES – July 16, 1946

“The possible creation of a Macedonian free state within Greece to amalgamate with Marshal Tito’s Federated Macedonia State, with is capital in Skopje…would fulfill the Slavic objectives of re-uniting the…province of Macedonia under Slavic rule, giving access of the sea to Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.”

C. L. Sulzberger, THE NEW YORK TIMES – July 26, 1946

“According to most reliable information, a secret meeting was held yesterday at Comi in southern bulgaria…to draw up plans for a general rising in Greek Macedonia, with the ultimate object of incorporating that region with Salonica in an automonous Macedonia under Yugoslav hegemony.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES – August 19, 1946

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Tito saw a way of exploiting two goals by adopting ‘Macedonism’: 1) Being to find an alternative to the generally failed policy of Serbinization of the Bulgarian population of Vardar region since 1913 and 2) Being that, with the defeat of the communists in the Greek civil war and to get around the provisions of the Yalta Conference and establish a presence in Greece and gaining control of the warm water port of Thessaloniki by laying claim to Greek Macedonia.

In WW2’s aftermath, Tito and the Commitern quickly adopted the Macedonist ideology and set about constructing a fully fledged “Macedonian” ethnicity in Vardarska as a means of laying claim to Greek Macedonia. He renamed the old Yugoslav/ Serb province of ‘Vardarska Banovina’, as it had been known since 1913, the ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’ or the ‘Peoples’ Republic of Macedonia’. This plot to falsify the situation in Macedonia was a “Cloak for agressive intentions against Greece”, according to this 1944 U.S State Department document:

1944 U.S State Department document adressing the Partisans intentions for the ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’

To codify this concept into a political reality Tito:

-Utilised the existing streak of Macedonist seperatism from Bulgarian consciousness in Vardar to construct and codify a fully fledged ethnicity.

-Declared, In March 1945, a puppet “Macedonian” government for the People’s Republic of Macedonia which was created as one of republics of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, governed by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

-Made the official language of this republic the “Macedonian language” and set up various committees to deal with the codification of the language and alphabet, to purge the language of any Bulgarian traits where applicable. Language was considered the vital component of nurturing Macedonian nationalism by Belgrade. (see: Belgrade’s committees for Macedonian language and Alphabet

-On July 19, 1967, a bill for the creation of the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” was submitted to the Serbian Orthodox Church which had been the sole titulary in the region since 1919. The bill, after initially being rejected, was then accepted under stong pressure by the Communist authorities. As a result, it was not recognized as a Church by any other Orthodox Church or by the Vatican.

-In 1969, the “History of the Macedonian nation” was published by Yugoslav state authors. Encountering much international dissaproval, the book gave any reference in the world’s archives to Macedonia and to historical figures and historical events connected in any way with Macedonia over the millennia, was manipulated and forcibly given a “ethnic Macedonian (Slavic) identity”. Again much effort was directed at purging the heavy Bulgarian inluence in the Slav history of Macedonia. (See: Skopjian and Yugoslav historical revisionism

-Set in motion expansionist aspirations, with a policy of referring Greek Macedonia as “Aegean Macedonia” with the warm-water port of Thessaloniki as its capital. Maps were issued of “occupied historical ethnic Macedonia” which limited Greece’s northern frontiers to Mount Olympus. As well as this the authorities released school text books exhibiting the idea of “Macedonian territories occupied by Greece”. Territory was also claimed to be occupied by Bulgaria and Albania.

-Alleged the existence of a “Macedonian minority” in Greece as a vehicle for this expansionism. In the decades following the Federal Yugoslav Government frequently “asserted” that a Slav minority (indeed a minority of the same nationality as the “Socialist Rep. of Macedonia”) existed in Greek Macedonia. (click on the below articles as an example of these claims and how Greek communists who had defected after the Greek civil war were used for that purpose)

First article: Greek Communist Guerillas

Second article: Yugoslavs claim minority in Greek Macedonia

Third article: Allegations of Yugoslav territorial ambitions

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Palmer and King describe, in 1971, Belgrade’s dual policies de-bulgarization and macedonization of the Vardar (FYROM) region:

“The treatment of Macedonian history has the same primary goal as the creation of the Macedonian language- to de-Bulgarize the Macedonians and create a seperate national consciousness.”

[Palmer & King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, 1971, excerpts taken from Chapter 9 “The Encouragement of Macedonian Culture”]

Josip Tito signs the declaration of of the ‘Socialist Republic of Macedonia’, 1945

The following is a letter from Lazar Panev Kolishev from Skopje prison requesting a pardon by Bulgarian king Boris for his involvment with the communists. Astonishingly this man was to become Tito’s envoy in Vardar and later to become President of the Yugoslav Federal Republic of Macedonia under the name Lazo Kolishevski (-Link to copy of Kolishev’s plea in Bulgarian):

Quote:

TO HIS HIGHNESS
BORIS the III, KING OF BULGARIANS
Sofia

PLEA FOR MERCY
from Lazar Panev Kolishev, prisoner at
the regional prison of Skopje, convicted to death penalty
by the Bitola military field court in the lawsuit 133/941
according to the Law for Defense of the State

YOUR HIGHNESS,

Resignedly and from my heart I beg YOU to replace my death penalty with other kind of punishment. I am son of extremely poor parents; I grew up in the circumstances of awful economical oppression and constant unemployment. Never in my life I’ve been thinking or acting criminally, whatsoever and especially towards the Bulgarian state, which we all – slaves Bulgarians have been waiting with anxiety in our souls since long time: to liberate and reunite us within its mothers embrace.
I have been learned to a heavy work and hard morsel. I’ve been only thinking to work and help my parents, to endure the weights of life. I’ve never felt there is a framed thought or idea in me, I’ve been and still I feel distant from the damned left ideas – that brought so much misfortune to so many young people and their parents, and actually I don’t understand it and I’ve never been under its’ influence. I’m son of Bulgarian parents; I consider and feel myself Bulgarian, despite of the horrible slavery, I’ve preserved the Bulgarian way of life, language and temper. My parents in their patriarcalement are still unaware what happens with me, and if I will be executed, their tragedy will be horrible; it will take away their only consolation and hope in their life – their child! I sincerely beg you to try to probe deeply into my plea and to understand the tragedy – mine and my parents’, when they’ll understand one day, that their last consolation has left them, and in such way! One more time I address my appeal to YOU, and YOUR PARENTAL HEART for YOUR ROYAL MERCY – to replace my death penalty with other kind of punishment, persuading You that one day, when I’ll comeback to the free life thanks to YOUR ROYAL MERCY – I will succeed to embrace the dearest lesson in my life, to be worthy Bulgarian with my work and faithful subject of YOUR HIGHNESS and mother Bulgaria!

Skopje, 7th of December 1941

Truly faithful to YOUR HIGHNESS:
Prisoner at the regional prison Skopje

Ethnic Falsifications

Similarities can be in various other instances with the plethora of socialist republics which were re-divided and sub-divided by the both the Soviet and Yugoslav Federations once communist rule had taken effect there. Tito adopted from the Soviets, policies of re-diving/ sub-dividing these socialist republics and often the manipulation of the ethnic conscience of the populations under their control were widespread.

Further examples of ethnic falsifications for political aims can be seen in other instances, albeit in differing circumstances. Belorussia and ‘Pirin Macedonia’ in Bulgaria as well are examples of this. Tito divided up Yugoslavia up into a federation of ‘socialist peoples’ republics regardless of historical and ethnic reality: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Hercegovina, Kosovo, Montinegro, Macedonia from 1945. A quote on the nature of the Socialist Republics which made up the Yugoslav Federation:

“Tito had employed this particular strategy for 35 years. He kept Yugoslavia at peace by sub-dividing Serbs and encouraging others’ ethnic separatism, then slapping it down whenever it got too far out of hand. Tito’s “peace” was nothing more than managed social warfare – precisely what takes place in any democratic political system”

http://www.antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=3957

By Voulgaroktonos

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