Allen Upward, the phrase “Macedonia for Macedonians” and the Fabrications of FYROM’s propaganda


By Chiotis

The following quote has been used numerous times by propagandists of the FYROM diaspora to prove that a ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity existed in the region en masse at the turn of last century. Naturally the parrots who mindlessly eat up his misrepresentations regurgitate the exact same quote in different forums:

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……Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908, pp. 204-205

It took me a while to find Allen Upward’s book The East End Of Europe published in 1908. Thanks to I found a reprinted copy. Anyone who gets a chance to read through this book will know that Allen Upward is the last source of information the nationalist propagandists from FYROM should be citing in their articles. His assertions and detailed descriptions of the political and historical conditions of the region devastate the nationalist historiography espoused by the FYROM propagandists. For the propagandists to quote Upward in support of their far fetched historiagraphy shows they have no shame and no integrity. Before I deal with the above quote I would like to put forth some of Upward’s statements.

In this first excerpt Upward talks about the mythical character of the ‘Macedonian nationality’ and how the mythical idea was recently put forth by the Bulgarians for political purposes.(Remember this book was published in 1908) This excerpt also deals with Gladstone’s “Macedonia for the Macedonians” statement that we have seen perpetually quoted on the nationalist websites of our friends. Please take the time to read this excerpt as I think it is very important:

In order to pave the way to the annexation of Rumelia, the task before the Bulgarian imperialists was twofold. In the first place they had to detach the Slav-speaking inhabitants from the Patriarcate, and attach them to the Exarchate. But that in itself would not have been enough, because of the local distribution of the different races. The Hellenes, as we should expect, occupy the whole of the sea coast in a nearly solid mass, which shades off in approaching the centre and north. The Slav element is equally solid in the north, and fades away to almost nothing on approaching the sea. The danger which the statesmen of Sofia had to fear was an equitable partition of the country on these lines between the two natioanalities, which would leave Bulgaria bigger indeed, but without the coveted coastline of the Aegean, and without that reversion to Constantinople which is the prime goal of Balkan ambitions. […]

In order to justify the annexation of the entire territory between Bulgaria and the sea, therefore, it became necessary to create a fictitious country with a fictitious nationality. To return to the former illustration, we must imagine an independant Irish Republic desirous of adding the whole of Scottland to its dominion. It would be obliged, in the first place, to teach the Gaelic population that they were Irishmen, in order to enlist their support, and then to preach that Scotland was an invisible whole in order to establish a claim over the low lands.

The Bulgarian propagandists found what they required in the word “Macedonia” a name with no more definite significance than Wessex or Languedoc. Unfortunately for themselves, the Greeks had been the first to make use of this name, with its classical associations, and to give it a wide extension to the north in interests of Hellenic expansion. As usual their exaggerated pretensions defeated themselves, and the Bulgars now hoist them with their own petard, by persuading Europe that Macedonia was a definite political entity, like Wales or Switzerland. [..]

The Macedonia thus constituted has no more national identity or cohesion than India. But the Christians on the whole outnumber the Moslems by probably four to three, and if the European Powers could be wrought upon to ignore the Moslem element in the population, as is so constantly done by European writers, and erect “Macedonia” into an autonomous state like Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria would have the fairest prospect of repeating her former coup. It was possibly with a view to some such result that Gladstone threw out the phrase “Macedonia for the Macedonians”, a phrase which, be it said with all respect, could not have been used by any man of impartiality and intelligence who possesed a first hand knowledge of the country. The Bulgarians were prompt to adopt it, for the use against the Turks, while keeping that of Macedonia for the bulgars for use against the Greeks. Within th elast few years, however, they have felt encouraged to lay claim openly to the remaining vilayet of Rumelia; the committee which directs the Folk War from Sofia has taken the name of “Macedonia-Adrianople” and bands of Comitadjis have been actively at work in the valley of the Martiza. IT IS THEREFORE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE THE MYTHICAL CHARACTER OF THE “MACEDONIAN” nationality in the eyes of every element in the Macedonian population. pgs 25-27

Now, let us deal with the quote constantly used by the nationalist propagandists:

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……Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908, pp. 204-205

What the propagandist leave out is the paragraph immediately following the above excerpt:

And so the “Bulgarophone” villagers are no longer willing to admit they speak Bulgarian. They have coined a NEW term of their own accord, and henceforth, 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 TAUGHT THEY ARE MACEDONIANS

Some points regarding the above excerpt:

1. Upward states that the peasants calling their language ‘Macedonian’ is a new trend. This contradicts the historiography espoused by our propagandist friends who would have us believe that this language was referred to as ‘Macedonian’ since the days of Alexander. By reading upward’s book it also becomes obvious that this trend was not widespread at the time! This is contrary to the natioanalist FYROM historiography!

2. Upward states that the Bulgarian agents would be delighted to know that peasants are calling themselves ‘Macedonians’. Why? Remember the first excerpt which implies the goal of the Bulgarians was to create a fictitious ‘Macedonian’ nationality in order to first create an autonomous country and then to incorporate it into the Bulgarian state.

3. Even though the villager stated he spoke ‘Makendonski’, there is no mention of the ethnic/national allegiance of this particular villager. As a matter of fact Upward states that language cannot be used as an indicator of ethnic/national affiliation and goes as far as stating that the makedonski speakers in the neighbouring village of Nisia are Greek:

Everyone who knows the Greeks, every one who has had opportunities of comparing them with their neighbours, will agree with me that there could be no better evidence than this, that the villagers of Nisia were Greeks, WHATEVER DIALECT THEY SPOKE. pg 210

4. This is what Upward states regarding the allegiance of the slav speaking villages:

Let me dispose of this language question once for all. In Asia Minor there is a large Greek population which speaks nothing but Turkish. Their Bishops preach to them in Turkish, which is, as a Turk once politely reminded me, the language of the country. Yet no one has ever suggested that they are Turks, and no one would be more surprised by such a suggestion than the Turks themselves.[..]

The peasantry which the Government of Sofia desires to govern is older than Sofia, and order than the Bulgarian invasion. Its original speech has been lost, and it is unlikey as not to be represented by Albanian. Under the Macedoinan kings it became Greek. Under the Romans it may have taken a Roman tinge, with the result preserved in the Vlach dialect. Under the successive invasions of Serbs and Bulgars it became a Slav dialect resembling Bulgar rather than Serb. Under the Turks whole villages embraced the language wof the new conquerors with their religion. TODAY THIS PEASANTRY IS RETURNING TO GREEK, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE SCHOOLS, AND CLAIMING A HELLENIC NATIONALITY“.

Taking all of these excerpts into consideration it is obvious that the use of the Upward’s statement by our nationalist propagandist friends was misleading. In now way does he equate peasants speaking a ‘makedonski’ with an authentic cohesive ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity espoused by the slavs in the region! On the contrary, he states that the Macedonian nationality is mythical, put forth by Bulgarian propaganda, and that many of those who speak ‘Makedonski’ were Greeks!

Source: MOTW

Related posts:

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Allen Upward, The East End of Europe, London 1908
  2. 1908, Allen Upward – “Macedonia” the Necessity to Create a Fictitious Country with a Fictitious Nationality!!!
  3. 1908 Allen Upward – The Mythical character of the “Macedonian” Nationality
  4. Modern writers about the Bulgarian origin of FYROMs Slavs – Francis Seymour Stevenson
  5. Macedonia : FYROM propaganda and the Right of Self-Determination
Macedonian says:

rel="nofollow"> thats a little thing that can explain you why macedonia is greek.Actually fyrom’s people are uneducated people that following their leaders like a sheep.Thei do not have enought infos and the only ideas that they become is from their leaders.Thats why they are sure that ancient macedonia was fyrom’s part

iconoclast says:

This is an excellent article, ten stars.

This article, on its own, entirely exposes the propagandist garbage psuedo-history of these incompetent Slavs, of the FYROM. I’d like to see what these fools say to this. This has to be propagated as far and as wide as possible. so all can see the fake shill that these Slavs have used.

The author, Xiotis, a great Phillhellene must be highly commended!

Macedonia was Greek, is Greek, and will always be Greek!

Ivan says:

Macedonia was Bulgarian/Greek, is currently unfortunately not any of these, and we will see what it will be… ;-)

Makedonas-Thessalonikos says:

Actually this is the storie of their life!!!This is how propaganda works,half of the storie is best storie!!Its our duty to tell this people the truth and bring them back to reallity!!Well done to the author!!