Please see article below by SAE of USA answering Dr. Friedman’s comment in an interview (click on the link below) with Christopher Deliso regarding FYROM and the language.
OUR ANSWERS TO PROFESSOR VICTOR FRIEDMAN’S ALLEGATIONS ON MACEDONIA
By Theodore Spyropoulos – USA SAE Coordinator
Assisted by Marcus A. Templar-Balkans Expert
Dr. Victor Friedman the so-called “expert” linguist from the University of Chicago in his interview with Christopher Deliso of Balkanalysis.com on Macedonia, states: “…it’s been that way ever since modern Macedonians began to call themselves Macedonians. The Greeks have been denying the existence of its Macedonian minority since acquiring Greek Macedonia at the Treaty of Bucharest following the Second Balkan War (1913)…”
Even though Dr. Friedman projects an aura of expertise as a Professor of Slavic and Balkan Linguistics, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, his answers to Christopher Deliso makes one wonder about his basic Balkan historical knowledge. It is therefore compelling to remind the good Professor of some historical facts regarding the Balkans.
The history of the FYROM is very recent. It started approximately in the fifth century AD. Originally the southern Slavs were called Venedi, but the Byzantines changed their name to Sklavini when they migrated to the south part of the Balkans because the Slavs established alliances, or unions amongst themselves called “sklavinije.” These Sklavinije asserted as their high commanders a regular hierarchy of princes such as Hatson, Akamir and Prvud. In the middle of the 5th century AD the southern Slavs crossed the Carpathian Mountains and settled in the former Roman provinces of Panonia (modern day Hungary) and Dacia (modern day Romania). The first Slavic and Turkic tribes of the Bulgarians started attacking the Balkan areas jointly in the 5th century AD. In the beginning, they robbed the Byzantine population, devastating the countryside and then returning to their bases. Former FYROM President Gligorov verified the above with his statement: “according to the history of the Macedonian people the prevailing view is that we are Slavs. We came from the Balkan [Mountains] in the sixth, seventh century and settled on the land called Macedonia. Even so, this is not what gives the identity of our people” (Kiro Gligorov, Skopje, 2000, 354). Lasting settlements of Slavs in parts of the Macedonian area began at the end of the sixth century. Up to the middle of the seventh century the seven Slavic tribes, namely Draguviti, Bereziti, Sagudati, Rinhini, Strumljani, Smoljani, Velegeziti, Milingi, Ezerites, Timočani, Abodrini, and Moravijani united in tribal unions, thus turning into an important political and ethnic factor in the history of the Balkans. They are the ancestors of the current Slavic population of the FYROM. According the Yugoslavian Military Encyclopedia (ed. 1974) the Timočani, Abodrini, and Moravijani, at present, are part of the Serbian Nation.
The terms Vardar Macedonia, Macedonia of Pirin and Aegean Macedonia used by the citizens of the FYROM were tricks by the former Yugoslavia to serve effectively its aggressive and political purposes. There are no official or unofficial records or statistics, according to which the FYROM inhabitants are called “Macedonians.” As all ethnologist scientists agree no separate Macedonian ethnos ever existed in history, (Arnold van Gennep: Traité comparatif des nationalités. Paris, 1922. A, 212;). The expression “Macedonian nation” is the creation of Pan-Slavism, used first by the Russian N. S. Zarganko in 1890, having the meaning of a nonexistent separate ethnicity being the Trojan horse for the Slavic aggression against Greece. Suddenly and out of nowhere a “Macedonian” ethnos was created in Southern Yugoslavia, known by names such as South Serbia and People’s Republic of Macedonia. The Manifesto of Krushevo of 1903 is a testimony to the geographic nature of the term Macedonia and Macedonian people. The hero of the FYROM Goce Delchev states in an authenticated letter that they “are Bulgarians” while the so-called father of FYROM’s “Macedonism” affirms the Slavonic culture of the “Macedonians” (Giorgio Nurigianni, 1972).
In the official Turkish census of 1904-1905 there is no mention of any “Macedonians.” The population of the European part of the Ottoman Empire, during the census was a total of 4,183,575 people and had the following structure: 1,823,500 Moslems, 1,619,300 Greeks, 455,000 Bulgarians, 151,235 Jews, 95,350 Armenians, 16,550 Serbs, 13,750 Vlachs and 8,890 Roma. The census was organized by the Inspector General Hilmi Pasha, who was appointed by the Sultan. The same census shows that in the Vilayet of Manastir the population consisted of 670,250 people and had the following structure: 250,000 Greeks, 223,000 Moslems, 143,000 Bulgarians, 13,150 Serbs, 6,150 Vlachs and 4,950 Jews. The same census also shows that the population of the Vilayet of Thessaloniki, except the Sanjak of Divris and Elbasan consisted of 1,070,100 people and had the following structure: 423,500 Moslems, 362,000 Greeks, 128,000 Bulgarians, 69,200 Jews, 8,650 Roma, 7,350 Vlachs and 1,400 Serbs. (These figures are taken from the book THE COLLUSION AGAINST MACEDONIA by Theodore Sarandis, page 25). The same numbers were reflected in the ethnographic map appended to the work of the Italian ethnographer Amatore Virgili. A census took place in Yugoslavia in 1940. The official results of this census showed no mention of a Macedonian nation. According to the census, the population of the Region of present day FYROM, amounted to 1,071,426 people and had the following structure: 710,676 Slavs (66%), 334,285 Albanians & Turks (31.2%) and 26,465 Vlachs & Greeks (2.8%).
However what happened to the Slavs residents of Southern Yugoslavia, which was also part of the Vardarska Banovina area for a time after the name change of the region into the Peoples’ Republic of Macedonia in August 1944? Did they all disappear? Did they migrate somewhere else? None of the aforementioned happened. Tito’s totalitarian regime in August 1944, accompanied by Stalin’s mandate, direction and blessing and the slavish cooperation and allegiance of all totalitarian consanguineous parties and governments, aimed to rename the region People’s Republic of Macedonia and its inhabitants to become “Macedonians” overnight. All Eastern bloc countries were aiming to usurp Greek Macedonia with its warm port of Thessaloniki as their trophy. During the Balkan Wars 1912-13 there was no “Macedonian” army to fight the rights of the supposed “Macedonians.” During the negotiating talks of the Bucharest Treaty, there were no representatives of any “Macedonian Nation”. The 1914 Carnegie Report (Report of the International Commission to Report on the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars) not only did not record the existence of a “Macedonian” army, but neither did it record the existence of any “ethnic Macedonian” civilians.
In 1921 in Moscow, the Komintern (3rd Communist International) overviewed the seizure of Macedonia and Thrace in Greece, placing them into the communist bloc. Based on this decision, and when other efforts had no results, the then powerful Yugoslav Communist leader Tito had to find another approach. He suddenly discovered that the “Macedonians,” are not Greek and the “Macedonian” language is not the Greek language and“Scholars” from the People’s Republic of Macedonia were commissioned to re-write their history books to include the ancient Macedonian History according to the wishes of the League of Communists of communist Yugoslavia, accompanied by perverted maps showing their “Macedonia” going all the way down to the northern half of Mount Olympus. Also, “linguists” led by Blagoj Konev, a.k.a. Blaže Koneski, were appointed to create the alphabet for and refine the “newly discovered” Macedonian language, which, of course, was made to sound as if it were the “natural development” of the ancient Macedonian language. Through their control of mass media and education, the government of People’s Republic of Macedonia then introduced this language and claimed that it is the language that was spoken by the ancient Macedonians. However, this language is grammatically nearly identical to Bulgarian and, due to continuous government interventions its vocabulary tends to include more Serbo-Croatian words that have replaced the Bulgarian words. Former FYROM Prime Minister Georgievski affirming this fact wrote: “I will give an example with the newly formed stupidity expressed in the term ‘classical Macedonian language’ (language in Ancient Macedonia as a basis of modern Macedonian language?!). The whole story about Ancient Macedonia sounds undoubtedly very nice. However, there is a great problem, a huge hole of about 2,000 years during which we have neither oral nor written tradition, nor a single scientific argument!” (Ljubco Georgievski, FOCUS, 31 March 2008 ).
It is truly unnecessary to be forced to defend the well-known historical facts about ancient Macedonia’s Hellenism after so many books and reputable, respected world historians and archaeologists have written articles about it. The archaeological findings in Macedonia proper and all the way to Central Asia, Egypt and India where Alexander the Great went, including cities with Greek names, coins and statues with Greek inscriptions, letters written by simple Macedonian soldiers and by simple Macedonian women as the curse of the Pella Katadesmos, written in Northwestern Greek dialect, architectural styles of temples, writings by ancient historians, all demonstrate the Hellenism of Macedonia. The marble statues and gravestones in two continents speak Greek! There is not a shred of evidence that a language other than Greek was spoken in ancient Macedonia and in countries conquered by Alexander the Great.
A practical question could be posed to Professor Friedman. Mount Olympus is in Macedonia, Greece. Would the Athenians, Spartans, and the other Greeks have their Gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Aphrodite, etc) living on a mountain belonging to Macedonia if that province was not part of the Greek world?
Dr. Federico Krutwig Sagredo, President of Hellenic College of Bilbao in Spain in a lecture stated: Macedonians were only the people who were members of a Greek tribe “…Those who are now saying that the Slavs of Skopje are Macedonians are either lying or lack knowledge or they have hidden irredentist purposes ….” (Hellenic Education, Ancient Greek Courses – 7th Lesson, p. 117).
There is not one scientific argument regarding the imaginary amalgamation of the Slavs with the ancient Macedonians, who according to Fanula Papazoglu’s dissertation were Greek speakers (Fanula Papazoglu, Skopje 1957, 333). The newly authenticated inscription of Katadesmos brings the Macedonian dialect in the realm of Northwestern Greek dialects along with Acarnanian and Aetolian, which verifies Titus Livius’ statement that “Aetolians, Acarnanians, and Macedonians are people of the same speech.” Katadesmos bears “the phenomena that distinguish the Northwest Greek dialects” as pointed out by Carl D. Buck (Carl D. Buck, 1907, 241-276).
Dr. Friedman argues that the Bulgarian language differs from the “Macedonian” language because their bases are different. The Bulgarian language has its basis in Sofia whereas the “Macedonian” comes from the Veles, Bitola, Prilep and Kichevo area. If the FYROM language has its basis on the dialect of Veles, Bitola, Prilep and Kichevo area, that statement proves that FYROM Slavic was born in 1945. The government of the People’s Republic of “Macedonia” imposed that basis on its people during that time. Based on Friedman’s argument, what was the basis of the pre-1945 “Macedonian” language? Sofia? It had to be because the “Macedonian” language did not exist on its own since there were two additional equal dialects, the one of Stip-Strumica and one of Skopje. In addition, as a matter of political agenda and policy successive governments of Skopje inserted through controlled education and press vocabulary from other Slavic languages, especially from Serbian, aiming to create a completely different language from the one the people of that Republic spoke in 1945. To safeguard anything “Macedonian” after its independence the government of the FYROM passed the Penal Code (articles 178 and 179) making the challenge to anything “Macedonian a crime.” That includes the universities. What happened to democracy? What happened to the academic freedom and non-attribution? Regarding the loss of the infinitive, it is a fact that it is a regional issue applying to all south Balkan languages. In the case of the FYROM language it never had one since its mother language, Bulgarian, has long lost its infinitive with a few traces of the old infinitive remaining in the negative Imperative, which has almost disappeared.
FYROM is a small landlocked country in the southern Balkans with serious domestic issues, which exports problems and instability to its neighboring countries. It is the only country in Europe that reciprocity and compromise are unknown, while irredentism and aggression are the norm. It is the result of an ultra-nationalistic government that follows Macedonism, a nationalistic concept created by the communists based on a history that they purposely falsified in order to hide imperialistic and revanchist views. The present ultra-nationalist government of the FYROM continues the communist policies based on the lie of Macedonism. Therefore, if the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia needs a lie in order to exist, its existence is redundant.
The Pan-Macedonian Association of America, Sixty Years of Activity.
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