Fictitious Academia: Political activism, covered in academic cloak in the University of Utah

Pan-Macedonian Association

Fictitious Academia:
 Political activism, covered in academic cloak in the University of Utah
 

By Nina Gatzoulis*
 
The presentations of the majority of the academics participating in the 7th “Macedonian”- North American Conference on “Macedonian” Studies at the University of Utah that took place from November 5-7, 2009, amounted to an anti-Hellenic delirium. The Universities of Utah and Chicago jointly organized the conference, in cooperation with the United “Macedonian” Diaspora (UMD) of Skopje based in Washington D.C.
 
Most of the presenters, with a few exceptions, aimed to launch an aggressive propaganda attack against Greece, presenting their views without scientific and academic research criteria, without references to sources thereby promoting unilateral research.
 
Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos in her presentation “Alexander the Great and the mythic lands”, implied that the educator Thanasis Lerounis approached the Kalash tribe in Afghanistan through an education program, funded by Greek ministries and thus created the myth of the Kalash as descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. However, she claimed that “Macedonia” approached the tribe of the Hunza in 2008 on private initiative. Dr. Neofotistos used the term “Macedonia” freely, rather than the Republic of “Macedonia,” creating the impression that the entire region of Macedonia (in Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania) belongs to Skopje. Dr. Neofotistos referred to FYROM as “Macedonia”, and she only named the Slavs as “Macedonians”, while the Albanians citizens of “Macedonia” were referred as “the Albanians”, which is academically unacceptable.
               
An unrivaled individual in anti-Hellenism was Dr. Philip Shashko, whose presentation titled “Tasos Kostopoulos on Macedonia and the Slavs in Greece: When a forbidden language speaks truth to power”, was an eruption of hatred against Greece. Dr. Shashko cited, and presented as scientific evidence, the contents of Tasos Kostopoulos’ book (journalist of the Sunday addition Ios in the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia)!
 
The culmination of the political-activism and racism with a “scientific” cover was Dr. Loring Danforth’s presentations. Dr. Danforth spoke about the research he has completed for the book he has co-authored with the Dutch anthropologist who teaches at the University of Thessaly, Dr. Riki van Boeschoten, entitled “Macedonian refugee children from the Greek Civil War”. Although it was stated that during the Civil War in Greece, Greek and “Macedonian” children were kidnapped and led by the communists into communist countries, their research did not include any Greek children.
 
Mary Rossova from a village of  “Aegean Macedonia” in her presentation “From Trnaa to Toronto: The life story of a dete begalec”, recounted how her family with the help of partisans fled to escape the “bad” Greek soldiers in locations across the Iron Curtain countries. She talked about her life in the communist countries and how she finally arrived in Canada, “although,” as she mentioned “a capitalist country” she lives happily with her family there. Trying to give a bad image of Greece she said that upon visiting her homeland in “Aegean Macedonia”, she found her old house in ruins and complained that one…Greek official at the border treated her with arrogance!
 
Traian Dimitriou, also a dete begalec (refugee child) in Dr. Danfroth’s research presentation titled “A Macedonian child in a Greek technical school during the Greek Civil War”, narrated how he ended up in a children’s camp of Queen Frederika in Leros. His vast criticism was that the trip by boat to the island “was awful because the sea was stormy!” He only took weekly baths (!) and was forced to sing the Greek national anthem daily! There was reporting by the ‘victims’ of the camps that many of the children were sold to wealthy families. When the members of the panel were asked by a representative of the Pan-Macedonian Association if there are documented sources for these allegations, they admitted they had none.
 
Both children of the Greek Civil War stressed that they did not want to leave their homeland, but had to remain in the former communist countries against their will. Since the communist governments kept them against their will in what way is it Greece’s fault? They failed to indicate that they had every opportunity to go back and stay in Greece when the Greek government through various U.N. resolutions, called on all Greek citizens who were displaced during the Greek Civil War in communist countries to go back to their homeland (see: UN Resolutions 382 (V Section C), 1950; 618 (VII), 1952; 517 (VI), 1952). There is no doubt regarding Greece’s and the UN’s position on this issue, even though Dr. Danforth implied that the U.N. resolutions were inconclusive. Therefore this claim is not true as is also evident by the strong support of the U.S. Government at the time at all levels. President Harry S. Truman addressing the Congress and with reference to Resolution 514, did not leave any doubt about the strong support of the U.S. to the U.N. resolutions: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13766.
 
It is indeed noteworthy that FYROM accuses Greece that she banished her children, while the Slav/communists kidnapped the Greek children from all over Greece in order to “protect” them. Obviously they chose to forget that the mastermind behind the mass kidnapping of the children was the right hand of Tito, Edvard Kardelj. If the “child saving” was done to protect children, how do they substantiate their claim that the camps of Queen Frederika were not protecting the children?
               
The Danforth /van Boeschoten research was unilateral, and only examined the cases of children who willingly were led by their communist parents, or even sent to Iron Curtain countries with the consent of their parents. Conversely, among the expatriates who attended the conference was Mrs. Irene Damopoulou Karatzios.  Mrs. Karatzios was one of the children amongst thousands of other children with or without parents who were abducted by partisans and were led into several Iron Curtain countries against their will. When Dr. Danforth was asked if Mrs. Karatzios could speak about her plight, he prohibited her to speak in a peremptory manner. In a private discussion with Mrs. Karatzios, Dr. Danforth said he read the book “The Cry of Irene” which was written about her and implied that her claims are untrue!
 
An excerpt of Mrs. Karatzios’ plight in the book “The Cry of Irene”, authored by Dr. Ioannis Bougas, is provided:  (ISBN: 969-454-022-X email: erodhios@erodhios.gr):
 
My mother’s denial to give my little brother and myself away to the communist guerillas, so that we might be delivered into the iron curtain countries, a deed organized by the KKE, placed her in the ranking of a shady “ reactionary” and put the entire family as KKE’s target for revenge. First they took my mother to help the rebels in the mountains carrying materials, where she was often physically tortured. My brother, along with other residents of our village and I, were ordered to abandon our homes and forced to live in makeshift huts in the nearby forest.
 
Later, they led us cross the borders secretly and we entered Albania. After walking on foot for several days, almost without food or water, we arrived in a dirty prison labor camp. Once reunited with our mother, we spent some time in various prisons in Albania, and finally we were dragged in the galley of Loulé in Romania, where my brother and I attended the Russian-Romanian schools of their “father” and “god” Stalin. In addition we suffered incredible pressure from the leaders of KKE to give up our motherland Greece and become Slavomacedonians           
 
One of the most balanced and informative presentations was that of Dr. Bill Darden titled “Greek articles vs. Slavic relatives in the Strumchki (Makedonski) Apostol and other early Slavic text” which focused on the difficulty of translating the Bible from Greek to Slavic.
 
Dr. Emilija Crenkovska presented on “The language of the Old Church Slavonic writing of Macedonia in the period of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire”, in the “Macedonian” language, without translation or even a written summary of the content of her speech. Members of the Pan-Macedonian Association, knowledgeable of the language of  FYROM and the local Greek slavophone idioms explained that Dr. Crenkovska spoke in the Serbo-Bulgarian language of FYROM that she named “Macedonian”. When a member of the Pan-Macedonian Association conveyed this information to the panelists he did not receive an answer, and some individuals in the audience urged the presenters not to pay attention to such interventions!
 
Quite notable was the reaction of the Dr.Victor Friedman, Professor of Linguistics and Balkan Studies from the University of Chicago. When a member of the Pan-Macedonian Association tried to approach him in a friendly manner, the academic exploded and started shouting, “the ‘Macedonians’ have a right to exist!” Also one could characterize as inappropriate the efforts of Dr. Friedman and Andrew Graan (doctoral candidate under the auspices of Dr. Friedman) to distract the university journalist who was interviewing Mrs. Karatzios and the writer of this article. Addressing the journalist, Dr. Friedman said: “take everything they say with a grain of salt…”
 
Members of the Pan-Macedonian Association U.S.A have attended several propaganda events organized by FYROM and its Diaspora in American universities. Unfortunately, while the Greek embassy is being informed of such events, the Greek state is absent in FYROM’s efforts to defame Greece. It is particularly important that representatives of the Greek State participate in such conferences to refute the ignorant argumentation of the academic community of FYROM.  Moreover, relevant scientific conferences with the participation of foreign academics have to be seriously considered by Greece in the future. In addition the libraries of American universities should be enriched by contemporary English-language material on the issue of Macedonia. These failures generate “data” which Hellenism will be forced to face in the future.
 
*Mrs. Gatzoulis is the Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA

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Comments
Goran Stojanov says:

KE wrote:

“In some alternative reality maybe the Russians would have chosen to help the pan-Orthodox angle of Greek nationalism instead and we’d all be playing for the same team now. The thought is disturbing enough (we have enough fools as we stand to have your goat-obsessed lot onboard) that thankfully things did not pan out thus – even if it would have meant a lot less bloodshed.”

Yes, I agree. 😉

demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Stojanov

And little of what you write has to do with the Koine Greek spoken/spread by ancient Macedonians. Why don’t FYROM speak Greek if they treasure their alleged “Macedonian” roots so much? As you well know, your SLAVIC language uses the same Cyrillic alphabet as several other Slavic nations. Are you claiming Russians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Poles, and other Slavs are now equally “ethnic Macedonians” too? To me the only reason you call yourselves “Macedonians” is because of ethnic insecurities over your very real ethnic Bulgarian heritage.

Ancient Macedonians spread spoke Greek during the Hellenistic age. The Greek language of today still uses the same alphabet. And although the language has evolved how much you want to bet Greeks can read ancient Macedonian artifacts considerably better than those that claim to speak the “Macedonian language” (aka a revised Bulgarian dialect)

An alphabet is not “just” an alphabet. While this is changing in the age of rapid global transport and communication, historically speaking the language we spoke used to say a great deal about the balance of our roots. Yours are largely in the Slavic sphere. Ours is in the Greek. Capeche?

I have no idea why FYROM hide from their Bulgarian heritage Goran. Why are you so ashamed to admit many of your national heroes today were self-identifying Bulgarians? (seeking to make a Macedonia but in a BULGARIAN ONLY ethnic sense)

(points you like to constantly gloss over to ramble on in circles over issues that obfuscate the truth behind what we are saying)

e.g. Macedonians means only Macedonian Bulgarians” -Krste Misirkov

e.g.
“We talked a long time about the goal of this organization and at last we fixed it on autonomy of Macedonia with the priority of the Bulgarian element. We couldn’t accept the position for “direct joining to Bulgaria” because we saw that it would meet big difficulties by reason of confrontation of the Great powers and the aspirations of the neighboring small countries and Turkey. It passed through our thoughts that one autonomous Macedonia could easier unite with Bulgaria subsequently and if the worst comes to the worst, that it could play a role as a unification link of a federation of Balkan people.” (In memoirs of Hristo Tatarchev -- founding member BMARC/IMRO)

e.g. ‘The idea that Alexander the Great belongs to us was at the mind of some outsider groups only. These groups were insignificant in the first years of our independence. But the big problem is that the old Balkan nations have been learned to legitimize themselves through their history. In the Balkans to be recognized as a nation you need to have history of 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Since you (Greece ) forced us to invent a history, we did invent it.’
(FYROM Foreign Minister Denko Maleski -- 1991 to 1993)
rel="nofollow">

e.g.
BMARC statutues Vo-authored by Gotse Delchev and later IMRO friends)
Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the BULGARIAN POPULATION in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas -- printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.
Chapter II. -- Structure and Organization
Art. 3. A member of BMARC can be any BULGARIAN, independent of gender
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Internal_Macedonian_Revolutionary_Organization

etc… etc…

KE says:

Mr. Stojanov I’m very glad that the alfavita texts are being studied -- leaving aside the insidious crap you like to inject everywhere about “unclassified” etc. (not that I have high expectations from your lot) it is an interesting part of the history of Southern Slavonic speech in the Balkans. I hope that the equivalent level of attention is being paid in Bulgaria to equivalent texts.

As for your argumentation regarding the reason IMRO used alfavita for revolutionary texts it sounds as the easy explanation but for the fact that IMRO was at the same time butchering the people teaching alfavita to the very same Patriarchists… 😉 Then again more perverse things have happened.

Ilinden indeed had some success among Patriarchists. Given the very recent catastrophic defeat for Greece in 1897 and subsequent bankruptcy (something I see your buddies are praying for lately) consular reports do verify that the Patriarchist element was despairing of freedom coming from Greece and thus was in many cases lured by the IMRO propaganda -- interestingly enough there is a record of a group of Grkomans 🙂 joining the fight and singing a song (not in Greek) which self-described them as Greeks. 🙂 But once the Bulgarian flags were fully out in the open it did not take that long for them to figure out they were duped. And -- oh the irony -- the Patriarchists of Krushevo itself bore the brunt of the Turkish reprisals -- not your revolutionary heroes… Still, even without managing to hold on to the Patriarchists you have the Romanizing Vlachs of Pelagonia (and to a lesser extent of Vermion) that did choose to ally themselves with IMRO. That is about the extent of success your national idea had outside its core group of Exarchist Slav speakers -- maybe you can find some Orthodox Albanian you also lured away…

If you decide to talk about ancient history at least please get some basic facts correct: There was no level of wholesale Hellenization of the Eastern Mediterranean that can be compared to the extent of Hellenic elements in the ancient Macedonian culture. Not to mention the temporal difference in these processes, or their causes. Furthermore the Latinization of the Balkans did not include all of the lands corresponding to your imaginary “fatherland”. Indeed the Northern parts were in the Latin speaking zone but the Southern parts (including the core Macedonian regions of Pieria, Emathia etc. were on the Greek side of the Greek-Latin linguistic divide.

As for the early Greek scholars please have the decency not only to provide the full picture (for example Paparigopoulos’ full thesis as it evolved in challenge to Grotte especially -- you should have chosen to stick to Neroulos) but take in account that the scholars of the time felt they had to accept and promote the ideas that their established peers in the West had about ancient Greece (essentially a romantic view of democratic city-states) in order to have their academic credentials accepted. These rather simplistic ideas (the ancient Greek world was far more complicated) were by definition such that the Ancient Macedonians did not fit in (the clear example of George Grotte comes to mind). But when it comes to revolutionary leaders and intellectuals like Rigas that did not have the same need for acceptance, both Alexander the Great and modern Macedonians had a place as Greeks. Which why even right after the creation of the Greek state Macedonia was alongside Crete, Thessaly and Epirus the immediate targets for revolutionary movements emanating from Greece.

Finally as to the Russian forces behind Panslavicism I will not disagree -- the momentum of Bulgarian nationalism was multiplied by Russian support. In some alternative reality maybe the Russians would have chosen to help the pan-Orthodox angle of Greek nationalism instead and we’d all be playing for the same team now. The thought is disturbing enough (we have enough fools as we stand to have your goat-obsessed lot onboard) that thankfully things did not pan out thus -- even if it would have meant a lot less bloodshed.

Chris Philipou says:

Mr. Stoyanov,

Please stop regurgitating the vast generalizations advertised by your less than polished nationalist ‘google’ historians. Paparrigopoulos, in his “History of the Hellenic Nation”, established the ancient Macedonians as a pertinent element of Greek national historiography. In light of the fact that you present Paparrigopoulos as a credible authority on Greek history will you also accept his thesis of Greek continuity since ancient times? I suspect that you will not. I also suspect that the weekend historians on Maknews who originated the “no 19th century Greek scholars viewed the ancient Macedonians as Greeks theory” ripped off the notion from Roudometof’s “Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic Conflict. There are two problems with this “thoery” as put forth by you and your compatriots:

1. The weekend historians promoting this quote failed to read beyond the pretty yellow google highlights and as a result failed to pick up on the fact that Roudometof claimed that this so called consensus was allegedly in effect prior to the mid 19th century. This, of course, demolishes the claim put forth by your diaspora ‘academia’ which suggests that 20th century Greek historiography manufactured a relationship between the ancient Greeks and the ancient Macedonians as the result of politics.

2. Roudometof is, like you, over generalizing and completely overlooks the works of the likes of Filipidis & Konstantas (1791) and Dionysios Pyrrhos (1846) and others.

It is my opinion that the arguments of who the ancient Macedonians were or were not have absolutely no bearing on modern nations today. What we do know is that the ancient Macedonian royal house regarded itself as Greek and that by Roman times the ancient Macedonians were regarded as a Northern Greek tribe by other Greeks as even Badian and Borza tell us.

Now, Mr. Stoyanov, since you do seem to place a heavy value on the consensus that national historians develop perhaps you can comment on the view put forth by the state sponsored “Macedonian Acadamy of Sciences and Arts”, less than 20 years ago, which described how and when the regional descriptor “Macedonian” was given an ethnic significance:

“However, during the 1840’s the Macedonian population came into contact with Bulgarian literacy and the Bulgarian language, and in so doing DIFFERENTIATED themselves from those ALREADY KNOWN as Bulgarians. They rejected Bulgarian features, but being unable to refer themselves simply as SLAVS, they took the name of their country, which possessed a long traditionand a famous past. A SWIFT PERIOD OF “MACEDONIZATION” FOLLOWED, AFFECTING EVERYTHING, AND INTELLECTUALS AND ACTIVISTS EVEN CHANGED THEIR FAMILY NAMES”. “Macedonia and its relations with Greece, Skopje 1993”

Furthermore the scholars of this state sponsored institution claimed that “Macedonia’s” boundaries were established in the 19th century (page 125).

Hence, Mr. Stoyanov, according to the views of your own state sponsored intellectuals of less than 20 years ago your populace diverged from a population that was regarded as Bulgarian and your definition of “Macedonia” was established less than 200 years ago. Will you give the same credence to this scholarly consensus as you do to the alleged consensus that your compatriots have ripped off and modified from Roudometof? Of course not.

Goran Stojanov says:

As to why IMRO leaders wrote using alfavita, the rationale is simple: they wanted to make sure that Patriarchist Macedonians and Vlachs can understand them too. An alphabet is just an alphabet. Here is an example of once sentence in Macedonian language written in Cyrillic, two different Latin scripts, and alfavita:

Еве една реченица на Македонски јазик.
Eve edna rečenica na Makedonski jazik.
Eve edna rechenitsa na Makedonski yazik.
Εβε εντνα ρετσσενητσα να Μακεντονσκη ιαζηκ.

Goran Stojanov says:

KE,

The influence of Paisij’s manuscript is way overrated. Up to 1884, full six years after the creation of the Bulgarian state, his book was not even published. Only ten manuscripts were created over a period of 120 years, few excerpts of the book were printed in Vienna in mid 1850-ties, but that was it. Much more influence can be attributed to Neofit’s New Testament published in 1839 in 5000 copies, and his Grammar published in 1836. They were both in Cyrillic and he made a serious attempt to modernize the Old Slavonic language, using his native Pirin dialect as a basis for it. But it was ultimately the Russian money and massive printing of schoolbooks in 1840-ties and 1850-ties that triggered the revival.

The Macedonian idea of the unity between the Patriarchists (both Vlach and Macedonian), Exarchists and Moslem Macedonians was not without followers. Don’t forget that Krushevo Uprising in 1903 succeeded in a town that was both Patriarchist and predominantly Vlach. What the Movement didn’t have was external support. On the contrary, it was sabotaged by Bulgarians, and suppressed by practically everybody else.

As for the Macedonian texts written with alfavita, there is an entire department in the Institut for Macedonian language “Krste Misirkov” in Skopje that is devoted to studying these texts. They just published a book “The use of the letter alpha to determine the dark vowels in dialectal alfavita Macedonian texts”. They also recently found some alfavita texts in the library of Venecia from the 15 and 16 century, written in Macedonian language using the alfavita. The manuscripts were “unclassified” since the Greek scholars could not read them. Then they invited a scientist from Macedonia and she quickly determined the language as Macedonian and the dialects as central, South-Western and Lower-Vardar dialects (more precisely from the area of Prilep, Kostur and Voden) .

Chris Philipou,

The process of hellenization of the Ancient Macedonians can only be understood in the context of hellenization of the entire eastern Mediterranean region. But nothing more or beyond that. We know that during the Roman rule the Latin language took precedence in most of Macedonia. But that also is too long ago to have any practical meaning on the nation creating processes in the 19 century. What is far more important is the perception that Greek intellectuals had about the Macedonians (both ancient and modern) during the 19 century. And we know that they did not consider the Ancient Macedonians to be a Hellenic nation. Paparigopoulos, for example, one of the first Modern Greek historians, in his book “General History” published in 1848 wrote: “Macedonian nation fulfilled, in the frame of the general world history, one completely different mission than the one of the Hellenic nation.”

KE says:

Mr. Stojanov thankfully I do not have to rely on you to learn what is being taught -- a lot of your schoolbook material was translated and (with pictures to prove the point) published in Greece. I have no idea when you went to school but if the “slightly” you seem to accept as a possibility is accurate then you’re simply lying through your teeth. 😉 But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the more recent situation is simply a case of rampant Macedonism having grown out of control.

However you may want to window dress it the initial efforts with the rise of nationalism for Slavic liturgy were instigated by Bulgarians I’m afraid. Indeed the modern birth of Bulgarian nationalism can be traced to Mt. Athos and a passionate monk called Paisi. That at a later time a small elite tried to forge a separate path from that of the Bulgarians can indeed be claimed as the emergence of a separate South Slavic nationalism from the Serbian and the Bulgarian one -- one which culminated in your current nation.

The division between Patriarchists and Exarchists was obviously not doctrinal -- it was purely political. And the very fact that a Patriarchist village in the midst of the IMRO-Greek band “war” of 1903-1906 would be compelled to switch allegiance by IMRO kommitatzis from the Patriarch to the Exarch shows that even your national heroes understood very well the political significance of such divisions as indications of affiliation to a national idea. For all the nice talk at the time of the Ilinden uprising about bringing all nationalities together (not just Slavic speakers) they knew that what they really needed to do was make the villagers switch church and schools to the Exarchist/Bulgarian ones. If that meant butchering the priest/teacher so be it -- the Greek side was equally ruthless BTW -- I need not paint any pretty picture there either. So allow me to smile when I hear the standard spiel about “unite: Exarchists, Patriarchists and Moslems alike” -- the funny part is that with respect to the third branch, the Moslems, even to this day your ethnogenesis has been largely unsuccessful in incorporating them fully into the national narrative -- causing them to defect to the Turks or the Albanians or declare themselves to be yet another, different group.

BTW what you call “partition of our country” was nothing more than their nationalist dreams of a country -- not only because it was all Ottoman villayets etc. but mainly because judging from the maps used by IMRO “your country” included regions in the South exclusively populated by non-Slavic speaking populations. So even in the hypothetical situation that all Slavic speaking Patriarchists decided to switch over to the Exarchate, your “country” would still be as much of an expansionist dream as those of the other Balkan nations… And of course they never actually engaged in such a defection en masse -- which makes it even more expansionist.

As for your concluding remark, all ethnogenesis is elite driven anyway -- regardless of which school of nationalism you ascribe to (well, minus the “primordialists” like the average maknews member). But the interesting thing about the Greek ethnogenesis is that it percolated quickly to some of the non-intellectual warrior class, thanks to the effects of the French revolution. The fact that Greek was considered (in the parlance of those days) a “high culture” thanks to the ancient roots of the Greek language, meant that even people that wanted to record the other languages spoken in the area, be it South Slavic dialects, Vlach or Arvanitika, would do so using Greek characters. To suggest BTW that a person that knew how to read the Greek Alphabet was not educated in Greek (so that the Slavic gospels would be targeting non-Greek speaking priests) is ludicrous. And to extend nationalist overtones to an effort of this type requires careful justification -- Paisi was very purposeful in using Kyrillica to push for a Bulgarian national revival. I’m personally extremely interested in the very few pieces of IMRO material written using Greek letters -- at a time that Greek teachers were being driven out of villages at best, murdered at worst (again no need to point out the obvious reciprocal activity by the Greeks, I’m well aware of it). What was the rationale behind such a move? Maybe in 100 years the Southern Balkans will actually have advanced to the stage that we will be able to address such (minor but still interesting) issues without trying to score nationalist points.

Chris Philipou says:

Mr. Mitreski wrote: “What is wrong with the statement that Macedonia is divided? Don’t we agree that there are parts of Macedonia in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania?”

The problem with the statement, Mr. Mitreski, is the underlying and constantly promoted implication that the “divided” parts of “Macedonia” are occupied and rightfully belong to those who affiliate with a “Macedonian” ethno/national identity. In reality, Mr. Mitreski, a consensus of your definition of “Macedonia” was only established during the 19th century and the region which you define as “Macedonia” never belonged to a “Macedonian” nation and was never under the political control of a “Macedonian” ethnicity. As a matter of fact, in the context of the early 20th century Balkans, the geographic descriptor “Macedonia” had about as much ethnic significance as the geographic descriptor “the Balkans” has today. This is the heart of the problem, Mr. Mitreski: the offspring of a subset of all of the different peoples that have resided in the region have recently given an ethnic significance to what was, for centuries, a geographic descriptor with the direct implication that everything associated to the region, including the “divided” parts, rightfully belongs to them.

The undertone of the statement, Mr. Mitreski, as put forth by your organization can not be viewed as benign in light of the actions of certain prominent members of the UMD. Your organizations constant presence on the likes of the racist maknews.com forums extinguishes any benifit of doubt that the statement should be taken at face value. When the likes of Koloski participate in a forum where Hellenism is described as a disease and Greeks are described as “inferior” people by forum moderators you deface your organization’s credibility. Imagine, Mr. Koloski, how any American based diaspora organization would be perceived if many of its prominent members participated on nationalist forums where Jews and/or African Americans or people of Mexican ancestry are described in the same manner in which Greeks are described on Maknews.

Mr. Mangovski wrote: “The ancient Macedonians did not regard themselves as Greeks, neither they were regarded as such by the Greeks until the second half of the 19th C. (This just for those that justify Greece’s policies on ancient history). ”

Mr. Mangovski, you need to stop recycling this quote by N. Hammond. Hammond was addressing the period of 4th century BC Macedonia. Even if you read Dr. Danforth’s book, the one that you were so quick to advertise on usenet forums several yeas ago, you would understand that even the most skeptical of scholars when it comes to the “Greekness” of the ancient Macedonians (Borza and Badian) concede that the Macedonians were fully Hellenized by roman times.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@MR. Stojanov

*** “There is not even one reference to ancient Macedonians as our ancestors. Not even an allusion. ”

You are either a liar or are utterly oblivious to what’s going on in your own country. Let’s not pretend you don’t know FYROM is building a giant statue of Alexander in their capital or that all sorts of statements to the effect you are related to ancient Macedonians aren’t being uttered by your government officials.

“In an interview in his office, sitting next to a wall-size copy of a 13th-century icon of Alexander, Kuzman insisted that Greece had stolen the conqueror’s legacy from Macedonia, not the other way around.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/27/AR2009072702653_2.html

“For the first time in its 65-year history, this semi-official tome asserts that Macedonians do not descend from Slavs, as official histories previously suggested, but from the Macedonians of the era of Antiquity.”

“Official data show the authorities are paying thousands of people to work on archaeological projects. The director of the Bureau for Protection of Cultural Heritage, archaeologist Pasko Kuzman, says their work will prove that today’s Macedonians descend from the Macedonians of Classical Antiquity – not from the Slavs who migrated into the Balkans from the 5th-century onwards”
http://www.b92.net/eng/insight/opinions.php?nav_id=63275

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@KE

*** “Of course “continuity” in the strict sense of the word is a joke (which unfortunately many of my compatriots and from what I can see the vast majority of yours do believe in). But among the elites (educated as well as partially the military leaders) the sense of cultural connectedness was there”

I think what’s a joke is FYROM’s (and its supporters) ad-hoc use of terms like “continuity” in the first place. It’s very political, unscientific, and too abstract in meaning. It leaves too much room for individuals to decide what it should mean.

For instance, there was linguistic continuity for many Greeks (unbroken from what I can tell as I find usage of the language in every century I check). On the other side there obviously we changed religion (although I myself am not religious at all) And obviously there wasn’t national continuity (when Greeks, along with much of Europe, considered themselves Roman citizens) However, it’s notable to say there was no Greek state or “Greek citizen” during ancient times either and that Germans were rules the Holy Roman empire as Romans at one point too (but few claim they weren’t related to Germans)

Imagine if you were an alien anthropologist visited Greece and some other region 2500 years ago. Our alien friends didn’t have any clue what people labeled their identity but could observe their behaviors. They notice Greeks discussing philosophy, mathematics, biology, geometry, ta physica, etc… 2500 years later they show up again and look at Greeks and that other region again. Who would they say actually resemble their alleged ancestors more on a behavioral level? As far as I can tell Greeks would win that comparison hands down in most situations… yet no one would dare offend 1.3 billion Chinese citizens by suggesting they weren’t related to ancient Chinese populations.

While people today are accustomed to seeing certain attributes as native to their own cultures, the historical reality is some of their key attitudes and behaviors actually originated in ancient Greece, By no means am I suggesting it’s the only place or even the majority (and of course ancient Greeks took ideas from Egyptians and others too), nor that I personally am responsible (Greeks have a bad habit of taking too much pride in events from 2500 years ago) , but nevertheless it’s true aspects of ancient Greek culture have been widely adopted around the world.

While some of Greeks detractors claim Greeks today are “eastern” in culture (relate to more western nations that would be true) their reference point they are making they assertions from already includes a heavy dose of Greek culture on themselves. What they don’t fully appreciate is that their own behaviors in many respects is much like ancient Greeks (but rebranded under their own national identities) As I recall the words philosophy, mathematics, biology, geometry, ta physica, and the Greek langauge are all native to Greece right?

Aside from being offensive, it’s immensely irrational for someone to argue that modern Greeks not similar to ancient Greeks. (as opposed to say modern Greeks behaving like a tribe in Africa, Eskimos in Canada, aboriginals in Australia, etc…)

In other words, the claim Greeks lack any cultural continuity to ancient Greeks is laughably inaccurate. What has occurred is countless attributes that we share in common with ancient Greeks have been obfuscated by the wild success of aspects of ancient Greek culture globally. (and our detractors are lying to themselves if they think their own claimed ancestral roots and modern behaviors haven’t been tremendously influenced by Greek culture)

Goran Stojanov says:

KE,

Contrary to what you are told, in R. Macedonian’s schools they teach the modernist theory of the origin of the nations. There is not even one reference to ancient Macedonians as our ancestors. Not even an allusion. Or I should say: there was not when I was a student. Since after Greece started the so called “name-dispute” things may have changed slightly.

You say things are complicated. Yes and no. Things were quite simple, and then the issues were not resolved, so they became complicated. At the beginning of the 19 century there was only one Christian Orthodox Church in Macedonia. In many areas local priests were allowed to preach in Macedonian, much like in Kulakia (greek Halastra) and Voden (greek Edessa). But in most churches, the preaching was still in Greek only. With the all-Eurpoean wave of nationalism that culminated in 1948, many Macedonians started to send petitions to the Patriarch to let their priests preach in Slavonic, including the church-communities from Ohrid, Prilep, Kukush, Veles and Kostur. Later Bulgarians joined the movement, and Russians decided to help them, so in 1871 they managed to get the Exarchat recognized.

Here Macedonians divided on a religious level: some stayed loyal to the Patriarch, and some joined this new Exarchate. Yet others unsuccessfully tried to create a third Macedonian church body, to restore the Ohrid Archbishopy (for which there were two movements in 1874 and 1891). This division turned into a political division, that later resulted in military actions, and partition of Macedonia.

Macedonian inteligencia realized that this divisions are deadly for us, since they lead into a partition of our county. That is the whole subject of Misirkov’s “On Macedonian Matteres”. And if we can sum it in one sentence it would be: “We Macedonians should forget all our petty church and political disputes, and unite: Exarchists, Patriarshists and Moslems alike, otherwise our neighbors will divide our homeland.”

I do not doubt there among the educated Greeks, some were aware of the Hellenic Heritage. But they were few and far between. It was the same for us too. Although both the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets were invented in Macedonia, at the beginning of the 19 century, Macedonians did not remember it. Of course, there were few monks in few monasteries that knew it, but the general population knew nothing about it. And many used the greek alphabet to write our Macedonian language.

KE says:

Oral history has its uses -- but accuracy is not its best forte: Hence the numbers of the “deca begalci” ballooned to 28k or (based on the bullshit that you’ll feed them) your children will be claiming in a few decades that in the first decade of the 21st century the Greek army was using radioactive weapons in the Lofi army training grounds.

That said there is no doubt that centuries of Christianity had erased the significance of the ancient Greece culture among the uneducated populace -- both in Greece and elsewhere where there were a lot of ancient ruins. A lot more artefacts would have survived if that had not been the case. BUT I find you failing your own “TM the Google Scholar” sources -- he has already posted as part of his crusade the case of an objecting local telling Elgin’s people to take good care of their loot because we will ask for them back. And -- oh my -- the local apparently was an Arvanite -- just like Bouboulina, one of the most famous figures of the Greek revolution who gave her fortune to the cause. And guess what, she named her flagship “Agamemnon” -- not Skenderbeg or some other figure associated with the modern Albanian nation… Can you blame Otto and Droydsen for that? Did they get on the time machine TM and the gang like to ride? ;->

The following was written by Makrigiannis, a -- oh my Goodness! -- grekophone (nope, he was no Vlach, no Arvanite, no Slavic or Turkish speaker and yes, despite your collective wet dreams these people existed in very large numbers) leader of the Greek Revolution. He was uneducated, taught himself to read and write and never adopted Katharevousa -- he wrote his memoirs in the pure language of the people at the time:

1. Είχα δυο αγάλματα περίφημα, μια γυναίκα κι’ ένα βασιλόπουλο ατόφια – φαίνονταν οι φλέβες· τόση εντέλειαν είχαν. Όταν χάλασαν τον Πόρον, τα ’χαν πάρη κάτι στρατιώτες και εις τ’ Άργος θα τα πουλουύσαν κάτι Ευρωπαίων· χίλια τάλλαρα γύρευαν. Άντεσε κ’ εγώ εκεί, πέρναγα· πήρα τους στρατιώτες, τους μίλησα· «Αυτά και δέκα χιλιάδες τάλλαρα να σας δώσουνε, να μην το καταδεχτήτε να βγουν από την πατρίδα μας. Δι’ αυτά πολεμήσαμεν». (Βγάζω και τους δίνω τρακόσια πενήντα τάλλαρα.)· κι’ όταν φιλιωθούμεν με τον Κυβερνήτη, (ότι τρωγόμαστε), τα δίνω και σας δίνει ό,τι του ζητήσετε διά να μείνουν εις την πατρίδα απάνου». Και τα ’χα κρυμμένα. Τότε με την αναφορά μου τα πρόσφερα του Βασιλέως να χρησιμέψουν διά την πατρίδα.

http://www.snhell.gr/testimonies/content.asp?id=152&author_id=102

In translation:

I had two beautiful statues, a woman and a prince with all their limbs -- you could see their veins, they were that perfect. When Poros was taken, some of our soldiers took them and were planning to sell them in Argos to some Europeans; they were asking for thousand “tallara”. I was passing by, took the soldiers aside and told them: “Even if they offer you ten thousand tallara for these, do not stoop so low as to allow them to leave our country. IT IS FOR THESE THAT WE FOUGHT. (I take my wallet off and give them three hundred and fifty tallara.) And when we make up with the Governor (since at the time we were at odds), I will give them to him and he will give you everything you ask of him so they can stay in our homeland. And then I hid them. I later offered them to the King to be of use for the country.

The Governor mentioned is Kapodistrias -- for this event took place during his brief rule, before Otto (or Droydsen) were even an issue. The statues were later offered to Otto.

Are you seriously telling us that Makrigiannis was taught by Otto and Droydsen to save the statues from being sold?

So Mr. Stojanov of course “continuity” in the strict sense of the word is a joke (which unfortunately many of my compatriots and from what I can see the vast majority of yours do believe in). But among the elites (educated as well as partially the military leaders) the sense of cultural connectedness was there, well before Otto. Our nation had a clear historical head-start compared to yours, for more than one reason.

BTW Makrigiannis’ memoirs contain a lot of references to -- oh my -- the Macedonian fighters among the revolutionaries, among them survivors of the Naoussa failed insurrection which your historians have appropriated. Guess what? He writes how as far back as the early 1840, less than 15 years from independence, and they were all together conspiring (against the wishes of the Bavarians) to instigate a revolution in Thessaly and Macedonia…

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Stojanov

*** “The future Greek nation needed to wait the arrival of Bavarian prince Otto and his friend Droizen, a classical historian and a very romantic soul, in order to tell them who they should be re-awakened as. “:

While of course some historical knowledge was lost your narrative is just more repetitive gibberish FYROM nationalists spread on the Internet (and have come to believe because they repeat this lie over and over again-much like they claim Delchev, an ethnic Bulgarian,as an “ethnic Macedonian”) There are plenty of examples of Greeks before the “great powers” showed up in the region to convince us we were Greek. We were speaking Greek long BEFORE your Bavarian price showed up there Stojanov. Greeks followed the Greek orthodox religion (including literguies in Koine and middle age Greek BEFORE the Great powers showed up)

In fact many Byzantine scholars actually moved to Italy with the collapse of the old Byzantine state to TEACH the west Greek philosophy in the 15th century. (see Georgius Gemistus, John Argyropoulos. George of Trebizond, Basilios Bessarion to name a few)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_scholars_in_the_Renaissance

Contrary to your “romantic” narrative, the very fact the great powers supported Greeks… as Greeks… would strongly indicate they themselves at the time believed we were Greeks. That Greeks didn’t have the power to singlehandedly defeat an Ottoman state (10 times its population) is not a sign that Greeks didn’t want their own state. Prior uprisings had occurred in prior centuries but had failed
(e.g. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/547950/Dionysius-Skylosophos)

While Greeks didn’t exist as “Greek citizens” (since there obviously no Greek state) the Roman Greeks (now known as “Byzantines”) on many many occasions referenced their Greek roots. About the best argument FYROM have is that some Albanians, Vlachs, and Slavs all were also part of the original Greek population. However, immigration occurs in every nation and among every ethnic group on earth. Just because we mix doesn’t mean people don’t have an ethnic consciousness. Is every person in China “pure” chinese. Germany? Spain? etc…

And just because a few were speaking Albanian and say located in Athens (pop. 4000 at the time) , does not necessarily mean they were all Albanians or had an Albanian ethnic consciousness. In addition, Greek is the much older group and dominated the region for many centuries. Modern DNA seems to show that people in the surrounding region share some common ancestry with ancient Greeks (although again not “pure” since there is no such thing as a pure ethnic group. Identity is not the same as some particular set of genes or a passport.)

However, let me run with your Greeks are too mongrel to be “real” Greeks anymore assertion for a moment (a view that you share in common with Nazi racial scientists I would add) I’d be curious to know if you are suggesting modern ethnic Jews in Israel (created in the 20th century) aren’t really related to ancient Israelites either?

Using your own arguments “modern” Jews mixed tremendously as a nomadic people (probably more so than Greeks that were mostly contained to a tiny region of the world). The Hebrew language was only put into widespread use in recent centuries-largely in lew of Yiddish (whereas Greek has been in continuous use) Jews in the 17th century had very little knowledge of actual events in 500 BC. The Jewish religion much like the modern Greek Orthodox one dates to at least Roman times (probably even much older). Modern Jewish culture has also evolved considerable since ancient times (and I would note on a practical level, some aspects of the outlook of many people around the world actually originates from Greece)

In short, everything you say about Greeks would seem to apply in equal quantities to modern ethnic atheist “Hebrew” speakers (using phrasing that FYROM likes to describe Greeks). So do you deny the identity of ethnic Jews? (i.e. do you claim they are only a modern creation and unrelated to ancient Israelites? Or do you show prejudice only towards Greeks to deny our own ancient roots.

I also find it fascinating that FYROM nationalists feel the need to deny Greek’s Hellenic roots while simultaneously claiming their right to self-identification an absolute AND claiming ancient Macedonians weren’t Greeks. Why should it bother you what Greeks think of themselves if you admit yourself you are not related to ancient Macedonians there Mr. Stojanov?

Many of your ethical positions appear to be self-contradicting to me Goran. It’s obvious such logical inconsistencies are primarily due to your desire to justify FYROM’s naming.

Goran Stojanov says:

KE, you helped me learn something about my town Strumica (even though it was on the town’s web page). I didn’t know that Greek army ever occupied the town, even for seven days. That detail was not preserved in the oral memory of my family. And it was less than hundred years ago. Which only tells us that the assumptions of unbroken continuity between the ancient or medieval nations, and the modern nations is a false one. The oral history is not the best way to preserve even very simple facts of history. When Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, from 1801 to 1812 was removing the sculptures of the Parthenon and loading them on the ships, did any of the locals of Athens objected it? They could not care less, since they did not know. They didn’t have any recollection that these sculptures are part of their cultural heritage. The future Greek nation needed to wait the arrival of Bavarian prince Otto and his friend Droizen, a classical historian and a very romantic soul, in order to tell them who they should be re-awakened as.

KE says:

Oh my -- Slavko rushes to the rescue! Here’s a truly charming man from up close Mr. Stojanov (and one whose politics I abhor but I do recognize that unlike a lot of your diaspora super patriots he at least he put his money where his mouth is and left the USA for the Balkan so he could work towards “reunification” and all the rest).

Indeed these debates have being going on for a very long time online with no result as far as reaching some common ground is concerned. As for your facts at least the first one is an indisputable fact -- it would be nice if you could convince your maknews buddies about it though. 🙂 The rest are at best subject to interpretation (even the part about “threat” as I can easily see FYRoM playing the role Pakistan’s ISS played in Afghanistan if it chooses to let things escalate -- there is no dearth of patriotic volunteers on your side).

But since you brought two surprising (coming from you) issues up:
a) Do you follow Gellner or his student Smith in your ideas about nations as children of modernism? It would give us a nice data point to ponder before we can talk about the nuances of Anderson, Kedourie etc. I will not mention Hobsbawm as as a good American I’m sure such a hardcore Marxist gives you the creeps. 😉
b) Do you seriously mean that Greece is a multi-ethnic nation (or did you mean state)? If the former is the case it does not make sense given your stance so far (including the aside about “happy Greeks”) but it would be great if you accepted that national consciousness is not dictated by mother tongue or culture alone. Then you could leave all the talk of Grkomani and pushkari aside… If the latter then it is no real news either -- the Greek government officially recognizes even Armenian and Jewish communities (it does not use the word minority) for example.

Megarovitis says:

1. It is true that the name Macedonia was used by Greece prior to 1988.

I’m very glad you acknowledge it.

2. The ancient Macedonians did not regard themselves as Greeks, neither they were regarded as such by the Greeks until the second half of the 19th C. (This just for those that justify Greece’s policies on ancient history).

Lists of theorodokoi, references of Greek clerics to the ancient Macedonians in the early Ottoman centuries, Rigas Ferraios prove your statement wrong in various stages of history. The fact that you have missed these (and more…) doesn’t mean that the matter is as neat as you’d like to think. I agree that ancient history is irrelevant but this concerns both sides, “SARISA” o “pure descendant of ancient Macedonians”.

3. The Republic of Macedonia is not a threat to Greece – Macedonian nationalism is. God knows how many of those “happy Greeks” would suddenly declare themselves Macedonian in the right conditions.

If you mean FYROM’s “God” (Macedonoidi -- white race), then his knowledge is spurious.

4. The term “Macedonian” in whatever form (Macedonians do not exist, they are Slavs, Gypsies, gyftoskopians, Bulgarians, slavophones) exclusively refers to ethnic Macedonians for the last 200 years or so. (I subscribe to the theory that modern nations arose in the 19th C.)

Read the newly posted book by Abbott on this very site (whatever “*ethnic* Macedonian” means in the 19th century). He uses Macedonians, unhyphenated, to refer to…Greeks.

5. Ethnic Macedonians were the majority population on the geographic teriitory of Macedonia prior to 1913 and the Macedonian language was lingua franca in this territory (as Mrs. Gatzouli wrote recently calling it an idiom). There are thousands of notarial documents issued by the Greek state where the language is called Macedonian, as well as at least one census.

Whatever “*ethnic* Macedonian” means, again. Greek was also a lingua franca “in this territory”, especially among the educated/merchant/etc. classes.

6. Greece is a multiethnic nation, as are most of the nations in the world and especially in the Balkans.

No doubt, though the Balkans don’t necessarily present such a special case. The purpose of this point escapes me. Oh wait, it probably is your usual argument of “we are Macedonians, descendants of the ancient ones -- a pure nation -- unlike you Vlach-Arvanite-Turkish Greeks”. You’re quite subtle in usually omitting “Slavs” since there’s no chance a Slav-speaker of Macedonia could be Greek and not…”Macedonian”.

I’m glad that such a dean of “macedonism” has decided to join in, though unfortunately much less extreme in his views than usual (no “they are under occupation”s but only “they will be free to assert themselves openly”s). Who can guess why?

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Mangovski

You see what you want to see.

*** “The ancient Macedonians did not regard themselves as Greeks, neither they were regarded as such by the Greeks until the second half of the 19th C. (This just for those that justify Greece’s policies on ancient history).”

Rubbish. Unlike in the 19th century, there is strong evidence in the 20th century indicating ancient Macedonians SELF-IDENTIFIED as Greeks (e.g. centuries of participation in the Greek-only ancient Olympic games as Greeks, spreading Koine Greek, spreading Greek culture, etc…). A minority of scholars claim they weren’t originally ethnically Greek but merged into the Greek populations later. While in my opinion this is dubious it’s plausible depending how one defines “ethnic”. However, I would note the word “ethnic” is of Greek etymology “ethnos”. It seems rather unsporting that someone should use a language ancient Macedonians spoke and spread…to deny their own usage of themselves as Greeks.

“Men of Athens… In truth I would not tell it to you if I did not care so much for all Hellas (Greece); I myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Hellas change her freedom for slavery.
(The speech of Alexander I of Macedonia when he was admitted to the Olympic games, Herodotus, ” Histories”, 9.45, ed. A. D. Godley)”
(further reading by an army of qualified historians to be found here: http://macedonia-evidence.org/)

The irony here is on one side FYROM claim they should be known as “ethnic Macedonians” yet they would deny ancient Macedonians the same right to be known as Greeks? And in either case, even the minority of historians that argue they weren’t original Greeks, still argue that they merged with the rest of the Greek world during the Hellenistic and later Roman period. I have yet to find a single history (not from FYROM) that claims they were Slavic and spoke a Slavic dialect.

You Mr. Mangovski, beyond simply the name, have about as much in common with ancient Macedonians as any Serb, Albanian or Bulgarian. It would be more accurate historically to suggest you are ethnic Bulgarians if you were concerned for the truth. You are just one more example of a FYROM nationalist unauthentically arguing ancient Macedonians weren’t Greeks simply so FYROM can justify their usage of the name (to later justify the giant statue in their capital and claim themselves related to “ancient Macedonians”)

*** The Republic of Macedonia is not a threat to Greece – Macedonian nationalism is. God knows how many of those “happy Greeks” would suddenly declare themselves Macedonian in the right conditions.

More rubbish. Rainbow received an entire 3000 votes in Macedonia last time out because Macedonians in Greece can read ancient Macedonian artifacts for themselves. Trust me when I say they aren’t written in your Bulgarian dialect that’s been renamed “Macedonian” nor do they claim ancient Macedonians were Slavic. The reason why there is a name dispute is because we consider ancient Macedonians part of our own identity. (and we don’t live in ancient paionia)

*** I subscribe to the theory that modern nations arose in the 19th

You uttered a tautology not a “theory”. Of course “modern” nations are modern. However, human beings and nations existed before that. And before the formation of the modern Greek state, my ancestors were discussing their ancient Greek ancestors, discussing Greek philosophy (which is native to Greece), in Greece in Greek. Do you comprehend modern ethnic Jews existed prior to the formation of modern Israel in the 20th century?

*** Greece is a multiethnic nation, as are most of the nations in the world and especially in the Balkans.

Indeed. Spain and France and Germany and Sweden are multi-ethnic as well. Does this mean that there is no such thing as a someone ethnically Spanish, French, German, and Swedish? Does this mean the 93.5% of the Greek population don’t consider themselves Greeks? Does this mean 99.9+% of the population of Iceland don’t consider themselves ethnic Icelanders?

*** “Ethnic Macedonians were the majority population on the geographic teriitory of Macedonia prior to 1913 and the Macedonian language was lingua franca in this territory”

More gibberish historical narrative empty of factual substance. As census data shows the majority of the population were SELF_IDENTIFYING Bulgarians during that period not “ethnic Macedonians”. At the time Ottoman territories that today correspond to FYROM and Macedonia Greece was populated by many ethnic groups… none of them “ethnic Macedonian”.

The majority of FYROM’s ancestors in the last 200 years were self-identifying Bulgarians that spoke what was generally still known as a Bulgarian dialect at the time. If the Bulgarians of IMRO hadn’t started its “Macedonian” head games in the late 19th century (followed up by communist Yugoslavians doing the same thing) in all probability you would today still consider yourselves ethnic Bulgarians and your language Bulgarian.

You are a splinter group of essentially former ethnic Bulgarians Mangovski who hide the balance of your true ethnic roots not only the world but from yourselves.

“The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov’s call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians.(Loring Danforth, “The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ Press, December 1995 p.64)

(Excerpt from the statute of BMARC, predecessor of IMRO, 1896. Written originally in what was considered Bulgarian co-authored by Gruev, Delchev, and friends)
Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the BULGARIAN POPULATION in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas -- printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.
Chapter II. -- Structure and Organization
Art. 3. A member of BMARC can be any BULGARIAN, independent of gender
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Internal_Macedonian_Revolutionary_Organization

etc..

Slavko Mangovski says:

As my “friend” KE can wittness these back and forths have been going on since the dawn of the Internet without any results. When one country tries to impose a solution on another one that usually means war. So that we see come clarity in the “fog of war” going on, here are some facts.

1. It is true that the name Macedonia was used by Greece prior to 1988.

2. The ancient Macedonians did not regard themselves as Greeks, neither they were regarded as such by the Greeks until the second half of the 19th C. (This just for those that justify Greece’s policies on ancient history).

3. The Republic of Macedonia is not a threat to Greece -- Macedonian nationalism is. God knows how many of those “happy Greeks” would suddenly declare themselves Macedonian in the right conditions.

4. The term “Macedonian” in whatever form (Macedonians do not exist, they are Slavs, Gypsies, gyftoskopians, Bulgarians, slavophones) exclusively refers to ethnic Macedonians for the last 200 years or so. (I subscribe to the theory that modern nations arose in the 19th C.)

5. Ethnic Macedonians were the majority population on the geographic teriitory of Macedonia prior to 1913 and the Macedonian language was lingua franca in this territory (as Mrs. Gatzouli wrote recently calling it an idiom). There are thousands of notarial documents issued by the Greek state where the language is called Macedonian, as well as at least one census.

6. Greece is a multiethnic nation, as are most of the nations in the world and especially in the Balkans.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@KE

In my opinion we should refrain from using curse words when speaking to either FYROM nationals or any of our anti-Greek detractors.

Having said that, I feel your fury my unknown friend. I too feel a great deal of hostility not only to FYROM nationals but towards those that claim to support “human rights” while simultaneously staying virtually dead silent about FYROM’s anti-Greek behavior. Once again our IMRO neighbors are seemingly trying to eradicate both our national and ethnic existence to take Macedonia from us (this time using “human rights” as a smokescreen) They did the same as IMRO Bulgarians during the Balkan wars, as IMRO WW2 fascist collaborators, as IMRO Tito communists, and now via their current ruling party that provocatively chose a name linked to IMRO.

It’s not only crazy that some in FYROM now believe their state propaganda that their Bulgarian dialect is “Macedonian”… but it’s downright scary other people don’t see the sheer lunacy of claiming Greeks, the ones that can still read many ancient Macedonian artifacts for themselves, are in no way related. The 20th century has provided countless pieces of cultural evidence from the middle ages and ancient Greece connecting us…whereas almost all of FYROM’s evidence points to Slavic roots. Yet some people are attempting to put our two historical claims on Macedonia at par? Heck why not claim Polish “speakers” are the “real” Germans too?

How is it possible so many people are blind to the sheer magnitude of FYROM’s irredentist behavior? How isn’t it incredibly obvious that the FYROM government have given wildly conflicting narratives of their own ethnic roots in the last 10 years alone? (going from not being officially related to being direct descendants- with many bizarrely claiming they aren’t even Slavic?) Yet practically no one says anything?

In short, a mob of self-righteous activists that supported them not noticing isn’t an accident. They avoid the discomfort of noticing and attack Greeks instead to hide their own shame in prematurely naming FYROM “Macedonians” (after we told them there would be negative repercussions and weren’t listened to) Instead of apologizing to Greeks and retracting recognition of FYROM (as a punishment for their bad behavior), they are skirting moral responsibility for their own mistake of sticking their necks out by trusting the FYROM government.

So instead what they are trying to do is create distance from both ancient Macedonians being “real Greeks” and from we ourselves from being “real Greeks” (e..g the NY Times trotting out that post-modernist twit Dimou who’s sole claim to fame is bashing Greeks with negative stereotypes and historical half-truths). They are also coming after Greeks on a bunch of mostly trumped up “human rights” offenses by re-framing historical events like…..

-- communist terrorists kicking to the curb while trying to forcibly annex Macedonia Greece to neighboring country are an “evacuation of refugee children”.

-- not usually tracking minorities (like several other countries in Europe and around the world) is now called “not recognizing minorities”.

-- a Greek government that fought fascists head on during early WW2 is called a “fascist regime”

-- “Macedonia was partitioned” not “Ottoman territories were partitioned”

-- etc.. etc..

I can hardly wait until some Turks one day declare themselves “ethnic Athenians”, Turkish as “Attic Greek” and extreme leftists like Dimitras proclaims he’s “protecting the ethnic Athenian minority living in Athens” and slanderously demonizes Greeks as all”racists”. Apparently, Macedonians (and all Greeks for that matter) are now supposed to be held hostage indefinitely while FYROM decides our heritage for us. What’s truly remarkable is those that claim we deny FYROM’s ethnic identity… are actually the ones effectively helping FYROM deny our Greek roots. I’ve tried to stay open minded about FYROM’s historical views but the sheer hypocrisy that FYROM’s new national identity should require Macedonians erase their own makes it quite clear anti-Greek prejudice is at work here.

KE says:

And a few more datapoints that your “Google scholar” TM forgot to mention about Sempsis:
a) His family left Strumica in 1919 for Greece -- not in 1913. I guess by that time they would have heard from your returning relatives that in Greece people speak Greek and not your language… 🙂
b) He fell in love with and married a …. -- oh the horror -- refugee from Asia Minor! My goodness how could he “soil” the Makedonski bloodline with that of the “Asiatics” to put things in the parlance of your maknews buddies…
The amount of disgust your lot causes me by claiming him and others who clearly chose their national affiliation different from yours is beyond belief…

KE says:

Ah Mr. Stojanov, I see you could not help yourself when it comes to sharing with us your family history…

All I can say is that if your behaviour is a case of “I try to be as nice as I can when I speak to you guys. Who knows, you may be my distant relatives.” then you really are very bad at it. You remind me of an Albanian fuckwit of a priest, an internet warrior like yourself, who many years ago was trying to convince me that I’m a lost sheep to the Albanian nation. When he lost hope of “winning me back” he pulled a Freud on me blaming it all on some subconscious rejection of my grandfather who I was apparently blaming -- without knowing it -- for not transfering to me the ancestral language or something equally fucked up. Fortunately for him his face was behind a monitor and not in front of me.

If you really cared about being nice you could start as a bare minimum to use the Greek name of a city or town before putting the Slavic one in paretheses when addressing Greeks. Or even be truly respectful (as I am when it comes to placenames) and use the Greek name for cities in Greece and if asked provide the alternative Slavic name. But that would just be too much for any self-respecting nationalist, wouldn’t it now?

When transferring to us the latest TM “discovery” from maknews at least have the decency to not further distort the information. You write that no-one in his family spoke a word of Greek and that he learnt Greek in school and yet the text from his biography presented yesterday at maknews reports that he either learnt Greek at school or he learnt it from his father (“who was acquainted with Greek”), the latter being the position put by Margarita Sempsis who said he did not attend Greek school (and has reported elsewhere that apart from his mother the rest of the family members spoke Greek). Did you really think you could pull a fast one that easily?

As for the rest of your comments: Your Strumicani did not write letters in perfect Attic Greek but in Katharevousa. And while your villager relatives may have spoken no Greek at all, many of the Patriarchist residents of Strumica itself (which was by the time of the Balkan wars a Patriarchist island in Exarchist territory) were not only schooled in Greek but went on to send their children to University etc. So of course they would be capable of writing letters in Greek regardless of their mother tongue.

Since you actually report that the villagers burnt their own villages maybe you can inform your compatriots not to blame everything on the evil Greeks:

In the summer of 1913, Strumica and its district experienced another, short-lived but vandal and severe occupation by the Greek army. Only nine days after the outbreak of the Second Balkan War, on June 25, the Greek army entered the city and on August 8 set it on fire, which raged until August 15. Over 1,900 public buildings, churches, houses, cafes, warehouses, and practically all cultural and historical monuments, were destroyed. Entirely or partially, the Greeks also burnt down the villages Kosturino, Raborci, Popcevo, Dabile, Novo Selo, Zubovo, and Cam Ciflik. The latter was never reconstructed. On their departure, August 17, they set on fire the Veljusa Monastery, burning down the monastery overnight shelter and partially the church.

http://www.strumicaonline.com/new/display_article.php?aid=3
(the fact that the part burnt was the Patriarchist part is not reported BTW) and partly an official text in:
http://www.strumica.gov.mk/html/eng/c_history.asp

At least so far as Zubovo is concerned you can only blame your relatives.

As for the “gospel of Kulakija” which you’ve already looked at my question is do you understand it given the alphabet it is written in? Why not in Kyrillica? And why even during IMRO times there arerevolutionary texts using Greek characters? Did it ever even so slightly make you wonder that things might be more complicated than the clean picture you like to work with?

In the end, 100 years ago your IMRO heroes could not separate cultural or even family closeness with national conscience. 100 years later their ideological descendants keep doing the same. To them -- and their Albanian, Roumanian and Bulgarian ideological cousins -- the Greek nation has “stolen their brothers” and they cannot get over it. It is a real pity that people with your interest in the language are most certainly the least appropriate to help preserve the local slavic dialects in Greece -- because their real interest is not linguistic but political. And that’s why I have no problem using harsh language to describe people like yourself trying to use culture to achieve nationalist aims of “awakening”. I do the same for those (thankfully extremely few) Greeks that are trying to “awaken” Greek-speaking muslims in Turkey under the pretext of interest in the preservation of their language.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Replying to Mr. Stojanov:

Most of them did not speak Greek at all.

At the time, several ethnic groups were living in the region; for example, the Jews of Thessaloniki. But language or religion is irrelevant. A prominent example is the Greek War of Independence, where Muslim Greeks fought against Muslim Turks to liberate a predominantly Christian nation.

Similarly, many people with Greek ethnic consciousness, fighting for Greece during the Macedonian Struggle, spoke one or several of the Slavic dialects of Macedonia and so did their families.

Few of my family stayed too, and learned Greek, and now they are either Greeks (or Greek-Macedonians).

This is not unheard of. It happens everywhere, especially during wartime, across the borders. The same goes for Greeks forced to flee to Communist countries and Greeks left behind in Asia Minor during the population exchange. But in the case that you mention, the number should be insignificant.

In 1884, Logothetis, the consul of Greece in Ottoman Thessaloniki, submitted a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The report was confidential and he had no interest in falsifying the numbers (mainly Ottoman counts’ based), as the Ministry should have a clear picture when examining the prospects in liberating Greece’s northern regions. The greek population of “Southern” Macedonia (more or less today’s greek part), was approximately 1,073,000. The rest were 565,000 Turks, 215,000 Bulgarians, 85,000 Jews and 16,000 Vlachs.

Now I have another question for you: In the middle of the 19 century in Kulakija (Greek Halastra Χαλάστρα, some 20km west of Solun (Greek Θεσσαλονίκη) a Macedonian priest translated portions of the Bible in the local Macedonian dialect, using Greek alphabet. Can any of you understand it?

If we’re talking about 1938, as I see from the printed document, then it’s the 20th century.

Nevertheless, an analogy would be more suitable for an answer. Italians don’t understand Griko, a mixed greek dialect spoken by the few descendants of Greek settlers in Magna Grecia.

Goran Stojanov says:

Thank you,

I will have to do some reading. I am honestly surprised that my Stromnicani in 1878 were able to write in perfect Attic Greek. Or maybe someone was helping them write their letter to the Berlin Congress, since it is a well known fact that the Partiarchists of Strumica did not speak Greek at home. Most of them did not speak Greek at all. And I know this from my own family… Ok, I’ll have to tell the whole story. KE already revealed a small portion of it, and I was still mad at him for using the word vermin… but the story is funny and true:

In the summer 1913, just as the Second Balkan War was ending, a call came from Greece and all Patriarchists of Strumica and few Patriarchist villages, quickly prepared to move to Greece. My great-grandmother was from a Patriarchist family from the village of Zubovo, so when the local priest learned of the news, he organized a procession. With a cross and an icon, they went from village to village to get their Greek brides back as they were getting ready to move to Greece. When they came in my great-grandfather’s yard, he told them: I don’t know if my wife is Greek or not, but I do know that she is my wife, and she stays here with me.

So they left. Before departing for Dojran, where they boarded the train, they burnt the whole village and the crops that were not harvested, so the other villages will not have any profit from it. About two months passed by, and it was already late autumn when one day my distant in-laws showed again in my great-grandfather’s yard. How was Greece, he asked them. They were both ashamed and exhausted, but they told him in detail how they arrived in some strange village, where all the people spoke some strange language, not at all like ours. For leb (bread) they don’t say leb, for voda (water) they don’t say water… The local priest convinced them that all it takes for them to become Greeks is to start saying Kalimera, instead of Dobar den, but then they realized, Greek is one totally different language, and has nothing to do with Macedonian. At this point my grandfather, while telling the story, would show me the place in his yard where they made a temporary housing for them to spend the winter, since their houses in Zubovo were all burnt.

Most of the villagers of Zubovo returned. Few stayed. Few of my family stayed too, and learned Greek, and now they are either Greeks (or Greek-Macedonians). That’s why I try to be as nice as I can when I speak to you guys. Who knows, you may be my distant relatives.

But as far as these people are concerned, we agree. These People were Macedonians, and they surely were culturally different from the Greeks. Dimitrija Shemshev (Dimitrios Semsis) is another good example. He learned Greek when he was in his late teens. And, of course, he learned it at school, and not at home, since none in his family spoke a word of Greek.

Now I have another question for you: In the middle of the 19 century in Kulakija (Greek Halastra Χαλάστρα, some 20km west of Solun (Greek Θεσσαλονίκη) a Macedonian priest translated portions of the Bible in the local Macedonian dialect, using Greek alphabet. Can any of you understand it?

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demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Mr. Stojanov

“Can you give me some examples of ethnic Greeks that referred to themselves as Macedonians in cultural, and not purely regional, sense, prior to 1988. ”

The question doesn’t actually make completely sense from a Greek cultural perspective. Some try to cookie cutter cultural attributes of their own countries on other countries. While we are all equally human beings different nations can still have different customs and attitudes. While regional Macedonians are usually one and the same with cultural identity. not all Greeks living in Macedonia necessarily consider themselves Macedonians (e.g. someone that’s recently moved their from the Peloponnese or from some island might not call themselves Macedonians-albeit nearly all Greeks consider ancient Macedonians their ancestors)

By comparison, a citizen of Maine USA has a regional identity but my guess is for the most part it’s not very strong (the national or ethnic identity is usually much stronger in the US). In Greece, it is a far different situation. People tend to fiercely associate with regions for some reason. My guess (I’m not sure) for this is the language connection to the ancient past and the well recorded ancient history creates a situation where regional identities are much more pronounced (almost nation within a nation other than we are all bound by being Greeks).

This attitude seems to have been common even during the Byzantine era with themata. In my opinion, an extremely strong regional identity tends to be a cultural attribute of Greeks. This is not just Macedonians either (although they are the single biggest group) Crete is another good example and perhaps the best example is Cypriots. They have their own nation but also consider themselves Greeks . Perhaps in the future Greece might become many Hellenic nations like in the past. At the moment we still prefer to be one.

This 1988 date you speak of was a government reorganizations of Greek offices. I believe some ministries were moved around and renamed (as was recently was done against by the elimination of the Thrace-Macedonia ministry). I’m not sure why they keep renaming ministries (not only Macedonia). Politics probably has something to do with it but it doesn’t change the point that the people living in those regions strongly identity as Macedonians. (as I’m sure Mr. Danforth could have attested to if he ever visited the region before that date)

Many FYROM nationalists incorrectly believe that Greece banned the name “Macedonia” prior to the 1988 date (I’ve even read some FYROM public officials claim this lie). Nothing could be further from the truth. Although I’m sure Yugoslavian communists did their best to hide this information from their own people, the word Macedonia (and Macedonians) was put to use in Macedonia region of Greece immediately after the Balkan Wars (when Bulgarians, Serbs, and Greeks all ended up with more pieces of the old Ottoman empire) Churches, newspapers, certain government offices, etc… etc..

In fact, Macedonia was even used by Macedonian Greeks (living in Macedonia) prior to its liberation from the Turks (but in an informal unofficial capacity seeing as the Ottomans still controlled the region and its official name was neither Greek nor Slavic… it was Turkish). There are countless references on this website that will attest to fact Greece has been using the term “Macedonia” at a substantially higher frequency than FYROM did prior to Yugoslavia’s 1944 renaming of Vardar. However, let me provide you a few third party media outlets to show you it’s not Greek “propaganda”. (and there are plenty more)

“For three weeks the Partisan National Liberation Committee had been busy creating, on paper, the new Yugoslavia. Twice Tito had flown to Moscow, conferred with Stalin and the Peoples’ Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vlacheslav M. Molotov […] The new power at once began to expand. Yugoslav Macedonians insisted that Yugoslavia’s new Macedonian district should include not only Bulgarian Macedonia but Greek Macedonia.” (TIME Magazine, December 4, 1944)

“Though once the heart of the empire of Alexander the Great, (Macedonia) has been for centuries a geographical expression rather than a political entity, and is today inhabited by an inextricable medley of people, among whom the Serbs, now Yugoslavs, are certainly the least numerous. But a “Federal Macedonia” has been projected as an integral part of Tito’s plan for a federated Balkans…taking Greek Macedonia for an outlet to the Aegean Sea through Salonica. (THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 10, 1946)

“During the occupation[…]a combined effort was made to wrest Macedonia from Greece[…]an effort that allegedly continues, although in altered form[…] The main conspiratorial 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.”(THE NEW YORK TIMES, July 26, 1946)

Sadly the NY Times, some in the US government officials like Bush, and even some US scholars, have seemingly sadly forgotten their own reporting of events during that period. The NY Times wrote an article “shame on Greece” not so long ago. In it besides wildly misrepresenting Greeks positions as a childish dispute over just name they forgot to mention…

… their own government denied the existence of ethnic Macedonians
… past conflicts
… FYROM government’s changing ethnic narrative in the last 10 years
… the existence of millions of Greek Macedonians
… the views of classicists on whether Alexander was Slavic.
… all the maps being generated out of FYROM these days that show Macedonia as “occupied”.

They even forgot to mention their own newspaper reported Delchev’s death in 1903…. as a Bulgarian.
http://history-of-macedonia.com/wordpress/2009/02/25/evidence-about-the-bulgarian-leader-goce-delchev/

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

The Macedonian Society “Alexander the Great”, a cultural organization, published this Macedonian Calendar in 1908. The calendar is full of declarations of Greek ethnic identity, expressions of Macedonian cultural traits and calls to action against the Bulgarians and their sympathizers.

A six-page sample:

http://i.imgur.com/kjzu0.png

In the introduction, the editor says that “nobody questioned the greekness of Macedonia from the time of Philip and Alexander, until the last few years”; then, proceeds with the following report from 1907.

Last year, an unlettered Macedonian villager, demonstrated in front of a foreign diplomat the eternal Greek Macedonian* consciousness when he responded to him, questioned about the ethnicity he belongs to:
-- Dig the earth and you’ll discover ancient findings. If they’re not greek, then I’m not a Greek.

It is evident that the cultural organization**, the editor and the villager, identified as Greeks (ethnically) and Macedonians (culturally).

At the time, Gotse Delchev, the national hero of modern-day people claiming an ethnic Macedonian identity, talked about unification with his tatkovina, his fatherland.

That was Bulgaria.

* the compound “grecomacedonian” is used in the original, which makes the use of the term Macedonian even stronger, in the cultural sense
** many members did not even live in the region of Macedonia at the time, but felt that they should defend their Macedonian cultural heritage

akritas says:

Mr Stojanov in the below link you can read plenty of references regarding the issue that you ask

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9344680/Macedonia-A-Greek-Term-in-Modern-Usage

Goran Stojanov says:

Having a group of so well informed people here, can I, please, ask for some help regarding an issue that has been bothering me for a while: Can you give me some examples of ethnic Greeks that referred to themselves as Macedonians in cultural, and not purely regional, sense, prior to 1988.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Replying to Mr. Mitreski:

This discussion is going into a viscous cycle that I don’t see if very productive.

There is nothing vicious in this circle; comments are free and open to everyone. Thousands of present and future readers will be left with the impression that some people try to find an excuse to abstain from the discussion, because they have no valid arguments.

in the 1850s. As you know the Greek consciousness was far from developed

It was so much underdeveloped that in 1821, the Greeks fought against the Ottoman Empire for “Christ’s sacred faith and homeland’s freedom”, eventually establishing an independent Greek Kingdom in 1832.

Four centuries earlier, before the Fall of Constantinople, Georgius Gemistus Plethon wrote “we’re Greeks by genus, as our language and education testifies”.

If there was no Macedonian consciousness at the time, then why the IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) was named a Macedonian organization?

New Mexico’s name contains the word “Mexico”, but its residents don’t have a Mexican consciousness.

BMARC (Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Revolutionary Committee) was founded in 1893. BMARC was renamed SMARO (Secret Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Revolutionary Organization) in 1902, IMARO (Internal Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Revolutionary Organization) in 1905 and IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) in 1920.

Article 3 of BMARC’s statute, states that “a member of BMARC can be any Bulgarian”. Ivan Hadzhinikolov, one of BMARC’s founders, says in his memoirs that “liberated, Macedonia represents a second Bulgaria”.

IMRO’s goal, according to Gotse Delchev, was to unite with Bulgaria and autonomy was the first step. In his own words (1901): “We have to fight for the autonomy of Macedonia and Adrianople, as a stage for their future accession to our common fatherland, Bulgaria.”

Bulgaria was your national hero’s “tatkovina”. I suggest checking serious academic sources and originals from historical archives, not pseudohistorical rags.

Let’s leave Alexander the Great and every other historic figure out of this debate.

But you just mentioned IMRO and we can’t talk about its origins, without mentioning historical figures like Delchev. Besides that, your government seems obsessed with the “antiquization” policy. We can’t suddenly forget what is not convenient for you.

the right to self-determination goes to these Macedonians living in the Republic of Macedonia, in Greece, in Bulgaria, in Albania and in the rest of the world

The right for self-determination is not limited. It’s a universal right. Of course, I can’t wake up one morning and claim that I’m Chinese. That would be ridiculous.

If there are Greek nationals who also feel Macedonian, then that is their right to be called as such.

Those Greek nationals that are also Macedonians, don’t define the term as you do.

a Greek dimension to the Macedonian name. I don’t like this, but again, it is their individual right

So, you like self-determination for youself, but you don’t like self-determination for others -- although you feel obliged to accept it. Interesting.

According to Article 2 of UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, “it is essential to ensure harmonious interaction among people and groups with plural, varied and dynamic cultural identities”.

Half of Macedonia’s inhabitants are Greeks and have a Macedonian cultural identity, due to their Hellenic heritage. Another quarter has Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian, Roma or Turkish cultural identity. That leaves us with a minority of 25%, people prey to propaganda and historical falsification, refusing to accept that they are only a small part of Macedonia, have a different origin and should define theirselves accordingly.

akritas says:

Pr. Danforth your approach is a postmodernism view, is complicated and raised many questions.
Identity operates on two levels, the individual and the collective. The two levels are often confused in discussions of ethnic and national identity. The broadest subtype of collective cultural identities is the ethnie, or ethnic community.
Ethnies are characterized by a sense of origin and a sense of distinctiveness and a sense of place.
They are more than mere categories; they are communities.
An ethnic category, by contrast, is a population that others deem to constitute a historic group on the basis of one or more shared cultural characteristics; but the ethnic category lacks the other elements of an ethnie. Its members are unaware of their historic relationship; they lack a myth of common ancestry. They also have little or no sense of community.

Slav speakers of the modern geographical Macedonia, they may live in adjacent hamlets or valleys, but feel little sense of kinship.
An ethnie, by contrast, is a definite historic culture-community, some of whose members share a sense of solidarity.

So I have a Macedonian (cultural) identity that is a part of the Greek (national) identity.

In contrast the Slav Macedonian identity is a identity that belongs to a ethnic category. History teach us the fact that this ethnic group has changed its national identity five times during the 20th century, wavering from Bulgarian to Serbian to Bulgarian to “Slav Macedonian” and finally to “Macedonian” with the extremist view (as you remark and I agree) that they are descents from the Greek ancient tribe of Macedonians.

By calling them arbitrarily “Macedonians” you failed to segregate the Macedonian (cultural) identity from the Slav (cultural) identity.

ΚΕ says:

Mr. Mitreski Greek consciousness in the 1850 was considerably more developed than that of the remaining Balkan nations -- for a multitude of reasons I could expand on but I feel would be wasted on you given your record on this forum alone. That does not mean that it is primordial construct (as a great many Greeks as well as your compatriots seem to understand national identity to be) or that it is in some way or other superior etc. Given that IMRO initially included an Andrianople part to the title I would really appreciate your wondering to include some self-reflection instead of silly argumentation. There is nothing shameful about admiting that your nation and the Bulgarian one, although clearly distinct right now through forces of evolution (and also thanks to the brutal way Bulgarians behaved when they found themselves in control of the region you call Vardar Macedonia) have common roots. Austrians and Germans have common linguistic and partially national roots but are very much distinct nations and the numbers of Germans and Austrians that consider themselves part of the same nation are as small as the numbers of people in your country thinking of yourselves as Bulgarians waiting “reunification”, that is non-zero but very very small. By not trying to extend the clear emnity between the two national ideas of today directly to the past you would not have to jump through logical hoops to try and explain away the pro-Bulgarian statements of some of your own national heroes.

Once you leave the distortion of history to promote this concept of a nation whose lands AND people were “stolen” by its neighbors and you stick to ideas of self-identification then you do indeed have your strongest argument -- which is why many people around the world do not understand Greek concerns. But the truth of the matter is that your national idea is not devoid of the need to project itself back in the past in the aforementioned manner and thus all the ugliness that comes with that cannot be left out of the equation. By being known as plain “Macedonians” or even as “ethnic Macedonians” with no other differentiation you automatically gain the primacy you like to claim among the other native inhabitants of the region (I’ll leave the much hated by you refugees out of the story). Which fits your own national ideology of a partitioned homeland and its colonization just fine. You are essentially asking us in the name of dignity to automatically validate your viewpoint of being the dispossessed natives with all else being newcomers with all the logical implications that brings about. Sorry -- close but no cigar.

So in summary Mr. Mitreski I have no doubt you genuinely feel Macedonian and I cannot make you change the way you feel. In fact I would have never even tried. But the genuine nature of your feelings does not do away with the problems that the primacy of the undifferentiated term confers to your side.

Christos Karatzios says:

Dear Professor Danforth,

You wrote:

“I do not agree with Mr. Karatzios’ view that there has been a continuous, single, meaningful “Greek Macedonian identity” over the past two and a half centuries. “Greek” and “Macedonian” meant very different things in the 4th century BCE than they do now. In my opinion the complex history of the meaning of those words over the past two millenia does not bear on the rights of people in the Balkans to assert their national identities now.”

Oh? Assuming you meant two and half millenia instead of centuries, which does not change my argument, just what fragmented, plural, meaningless “Greek Macedonian identity” existed and exists among Greeks living in Macedonia? About the 4th Century BC, you clearly state that you believe (as do most historians and classicists worldwide) that the Ancient Macedonians were Greeks. From the Argead Dynasty, to the various Alexanders, to the Bible, to Anna Comnena and other Byzantine writings, to Mount Athos, to Korovangos’s Temporary Government of Macedonia in Litochoro, to the Temporary Government of Elimea, to the Makedoniko Komitato, to Ionas Dragoumis, to the Macedonian Struggle, to the Greek Civil War, to Macedonian Greeks presently:

What pluralistic identity have Greeks had in Macedonia before the date you quote (around 1900) for the “other” ethnic consciousness? Who self identified as Macedonians before that fateful date of around 1900? To this day when you ask a Greek from Macedonia what they are they will answer “Makedonas” just like a Cretan will answer “Kritikos”. Of course admitting that there existed a Macedonian identity that was Greek before the Bulgarian and Slavic one would mean you agree with me that the Greeks held this identity and continue to hold this identity longer than their neighbours which makes the Greek argument understandable and viable, doesn’t it? You would never admit this though.

As for your statement that the current southernmost Slavs of the former Yugoslavia identified as Bulgarians before: Of course you know that there were 2 Macedonist movements: the Bulgarian one around 1870 and then the Serbian/Yugoslav/Communist/Nationalist VMRO one. The latter is loudest now and continues as a State imposed force of historical revisionism that smacks of racsim towards the other neighbours around it. So why do they identify as THE Macedonians now? I wonder whose identity is questioned and negated by them asserting to be the bonafide Macedonians now? This is what Greeks object to…not to the existence of a nation north of our borders. I ask that you understand this.

Now to answer both you and Mr. Mitrevski: The term “Macedonian” has never carried with it a “complex meaning” to Greeks. To put this in perspective there was and is a stronger Macedonian identity among Greeks before “around 1900”.
If the “Macedonian” (in the Slavic sense) consciousness was suppressed by Greeks, and Bulgarians etc throughout the years making them identify as “Bulgarians”, then “MacedonoBulgarians”, then “Slavomacedonians”, then “Macedonians” it is not by fault of Greeks if that ethnic identity was not a strong one. For example, where are the ethnic Macedonian monasteries in the always sovereign and pluralistic community on Mt. Athos then?

As for the UMD Professor Danforth, I will bring up an analogy: Let’s assume I were to write a book about Christians killing Muslims in the Middle Ages that I believed to be unbiased and balanced etc. I would never accept an award by Hezbollah for it nor would I ever accept an invitation to speak at any of their conferences. That is a line I would not have crossed because in this world you are defined by the company you keep. I would also never have excused my presence there using my title as an academic. Eventually someone, somewhere will yell out that the Emperor has no clothes.

Thank you,
Christos Karatzios

Demitri Stathopolous says:

@Mitreski

You state “the only sense of “nationality” at that time was the affiliation with a church.”

This not true of all Greeks. There were Greeks well before the modern Greek state arose (and long before the alleged “great powers” convinced us we were Greeks). I welcome you to read up on Greek philosophers just prior to and post the Byzantine period. (who wrote about their ancient Hellenic heritage with thinkers like Pletho even going so far as to advocate a return of the ancient Gods)

*** “let’s leave Alexander the Great and every other historic figure out of this debate. It really does not matter for the issue at hand”

Apparently many of your fellow nationalists disagree with you. Because they constantly continue to use ancient Macedonians as their own and attempt to suggest to the rest of the world they are related to ancient Macedonians. If I recall the FYROM government is building a 17 meter status of Alexander in its capital is it not? Are you with a straight face going to argue a country that decided to call itself “Macedonian”, its ethnic group “Macedonians”, isn’t trying to imply that ancient Macedonians are their ancestors? (and thus Macedonia Greece as “occupied”)

** Macedonian Orthodox Church. Therefore, each church, Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian attempted to assimilate the Macedonian consciousness as much as they can

Wrong. The reality was there was virtually NO Macedonian consciousness. As Mr. Danforth correctly states it was created in the late 19th and early 20th century (largely by a small splinter group of Bulgarians)

*** If there was no Macedonian consciousness at the time, then why the IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) was named a Macedonian organization?

There was “Macedonian” mostly in the Bulgarian sense. And organization before IMRO (that included many members of IMRO was BMARC). The statues explicitly state it was ONLY for Bulgarians (I believe they were co-written by Delchev, Gruev, Karev, Tatarchev, and a few others that later became part of IMRO)

Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the BULGARIAN POPULATION in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas -- printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.
Chapter II. -- Structure and Organization
Art. 3. A member of BMARC can be any BULGARIAN, independent of gender
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Internal_Macedonian_Revolutionary_Organization

Tatarchev in his memoirs openly admits IMRO used “Macedonianism” as an attempt to trick the Great powers into helping a Bulgarian cause.

“We talked a long time about the goal of this organization and at last we fixed it on autonomy of Macedonia with the priority of the Bulgarian element. We couldn’t accept the position for “direct joining to Bulgaria” because we saw that it would meet big difficulties by reason of confrontation of the Great powers and the aspirations of the neighbouring small countries and Turkey. It passed through our thoughts that one autonomous Macedonia could easier unite with Bulgaria subsequently and if the worst comes to the worst, that it could play a role as a unificating link of a federation of Balkan people.”

*** “I don’t like this, but again, it is their individual right in this free country to name their organization and believe what they feel.:

If you really believe that then I recommend you contact your own nationalists that are attempting to eradicate both the Greek ethnic identity and our our Macedonians. (and also claim Macedonia Greece “occupied”)

e.g.
“WHEREAS, Macedonia was occupied in 1912 by its neighbours, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, and divided among them;”

“WHEREAS, The Republic of Macedonia, although covering only 39% of Macedonia’s ethnic territory, is a national state and pride of Macedonians everywhere.”

“b) Promote the good name of all Macedonians, by promoting the fact that the name Macedonia CAN ONLY BE SYNONYMOUS with the people who are nationally determined as Macedonians;”

http://www.unitedmacedonians.org/about_us.html (quotes pulled straight from the UM of Canada mission statement)

*** Likewise let us Macedonians be what we feel we are. No historic document can change my mind. What I know for certain is that I grew up in the Republic of Macedonia and I am Macedonian.

If no facts can change a man’s mind then they are defacto fanatics impervious to reason. Reasonable people are willing confront facts and accept the reality they say.

In your case the truth is the bulk of your ancestors appear to have been self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians. If you wish to rename yourselves “ethnic Macedonians” and hide your true Bulgarian ethnic roots (or at least thats the balance of them) out of senseless pride and hostility towards Greeks, it doesn’t change the fact of the matter. Myself I would rather live in peace and mutual respect but to do that requires FYROM stop these “Macedonian” word games, accept the reality of your Bulgarian roots, stop trying to erase the Greek ethnic identity (by usurping parts of Greece’s history). Most importantly FYROM organizations must stop claiming Macedonia as “occupied”.

“No matter whether we call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians we shall always feel as a nationality with a Bulgarian national consciousness,” (Misirkov – Sofia, No. 5, May 11th, 1924)
http://www.mak-truth.com/k_pap1.htm

“MACEDONIANS MEANS ONLY MACEDONIAN BULGARIANS)”
http://www.mak-truth.com/k_index.htm

“But now cries from the Macedonians can be heard: we are Bulgarians, we are more Bulgarians than the Bulgarians themselves. …….. You could be victors over Bulgaria and impose on it all sorts of treaties but this cannot change our conviction, our consciousness that we are not Serbians, that up till now we have called ourselves Bulgarians and this is what we are today and this is what we want to be called in the future.”
http://www.mak-truth.com/k_pap1.htm

‘If the question of racial similarity and difference between Bulgarians and Macedonians comes to be resolved on the basis of the national name, language and history, there is no doubt that we should resolve it as a Greek priest did in 1804; author of a four-language dictionary Greek, Bulgarian, Rumanian and Albanian and who regarded as Bulgarian the Western Macedonian dialect. Therefore when in Macedonia and Bulgaria there was no mention of the Bulgarian Exarchate, the Greeks, obviously well acquainted with the Balkan nationalities, do not make any distinction between a Bulgarian, a Macedonian and a Macedonian Slav. We the Macedonians, cannot, and have no reason to ignore this and similar facts, which can be quoted by the hundreds. We cannot ignore them because to do so means to distort our history, to hide the truth and to deceive ourselves.”
http://www.mak-truth.com/k_pap2.htm

Demitri Stathopolous says:

Loring states “Since national and ethnic identities are constructed and are not inborn.”

This is a philosophical statement that is highly political in nature. I suspect many would dramatically disagree with Mr. Danforth. While I agree to an extent it also over simplifies reality as well. Identities can be “constructed” in the sense every new generation and individual had to learn a sense of identity (and their subjective choices also help decide what they will identify as). This is how former ethnic Bulgarians came to believe themselves to be “ancient Macedonians’.

However, there is still an objective reality behind claims as well. Clearly not all identities are based on the same inputs or have logically and empirically the same merit. . Thus I can claim myself to be “ethnic Chinese” or an Aboriginal Austrialian-but I hardly think anyone would take my claims very seriously. Clearly language, location, culture and demographics also play a role in defining identity. A name is more than just a name contrary to FYROM’s dishonest suggestions it’s not.

With FYROM because the physical features aren’t as pronouncing (and it was a long time ago) some 3rd parties irrationally attempt to put FYROM’s wild historical claims at par with Greeks (my guess to morally justify calling FYROM “Macedonians” after we warned everyone it wasn’t a dispute over just a name) However, to Greeks that are far more cognizant of the cultural and historical differences it is much more obvious. To Greeks its as if people are calling ethnic Chinese, Japanese, and claiming famous Japanese historical figures were actually Chinese.

It’s implicitly a denial of the Greek ethnic identity and an attempt to hand it over to the neighboring country. IMO some people are too ashamed to admit they were wrong not to trust Greeks in the name dispute. Instead rather than face a little discomfort by retracting name recognition they are looking to demonize Greeks on a variety of mostly trumped up and exaggerated human rights violations to lump in FYROM. (which is what all these reframed “evacuee refugee books” and FYROM “human rights’ organizations are intended to do)

For instance, how much reporting does Helsinki Greece (that claims to cover the Balkans) actually do about FYROM nationalists that protest the current “Macedonianism” campaign of FYROM government? How often do they report the irredentist behavior of FYROM nationalists? How often do they mention heir wildly fluctuating historical narrative of themselves as “ancient Macedonians”? The omissions of what they report says a great deal about their motives just as much as what they do report.

Seems to me Dimitras, has lost all sense of objective reporting. Instead he appears to be trying to cover up his shame by seemingly trying to oppress the identity rights of Macedonians (and all Greeks) in their own nation. To make matters worse, in my opinion, he is also betraying the cause of human rights he claims to support blindly supporting FYROM nationalists that clearly have irredentist ambitions (“human” rights last I heard also including protecting the identity rights of ethnic Greeks, Bulgarians and Albanians too-- and respecting sovereign territory).

Aleksandar Mitreski says:

This discussion is going into a viscous cycle that I don’t see if very productive. I want to add one last thing.

Some of you have been harping on this point that there have been Macedonians declaring themselves as Bulgarians even after Goran provided facts that discussed the Macedonian consciousness in the 1850s. As you know the Greek consciousness was far from developed at that time as well. 500 years of Ottoman ruling does take a toll.

What is important is to understand few things about this timeframe.

1. The ottomans ruled the balkans
2. The only sense of “nationality” at that time was the affiliation with a church.
3. Given that point, there was no Macedonian Orthodox Church. Therefore, each church, Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian attempted to assimilate the Macedonian consciousness as much as they can. Many of these priest were “educators”.
4. Some Macedonians declared themselves as Bulgarian given the times they lived in during the late 1800s and early 1900s. To succeed in Sofia, which was an educational center that many Macedonian visited, they had to declare themselves as Bulgarians in order to be able to study. Similarly, now, there are many Macedonians who declare themselves as Bulgarian in order to get BG passports or free education. I know few of them who have done this, but are far from having a Bulgarian ethnicity.
5. If there was no Macedonian consciousness at the time, then why the IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) was named a Macedonian organization? Why wasn’t it a IBRO, as a bulgarian organization trying to liberate the bulgarian regions under turkish rule?

At any rate, all this history can be debated for 100 more pages. Let’s leave Alexander the Great and every other historic figure out of this debate. It really does not matter for the issue at hand.

What we all know for certain is the present, today, the current events. Right now, there is a nation that is identifying as Macedonian. There is no other nationality that feels the same way. Hence, the right to self-determination goes to these Macedonians living in the Republic of Macedonia, in Greece, in Bulgaria, in Albania and in the rest of the world where they also may feel as Macedonian.

If there are Greek nationals who also feel Macedonian, then that is their right to be called as such. There is a Pan-Macedonian organization. Their leadership identifies as Greek and gives a Greek dimension to the Macedonian name. I don’t like this, but again, it is their individual right in this free country to name their organization and believe what they feel.

Likewise let us Macedonians be what we feel we are. No historic document can change my mind. What I know for certain is that I grew up in the Republic of Macedonia and I am Macedonian.

Demitri Stathopolous says:

Mr Danforth states

“In my opinion the complex history of the meaning of those words over the past two millenia does not bear on the rights of people in the Balkans to assert their national identities now.”

and previously stated

“it is my opinion and that of the majority of linguists, anthropologists, and other scholars around the world that ancient history should not be the basis for determining national identities in the present and that self-ascription is the most relevant principle to take into account in these cases.:

Of course change happens over 2500 years so no one is claiming any nation is exactly the same as 2500 years later. I for one would be horrified if modern Spartans start leaving imperfect babies to die at the side of the road. Having said that, I hardly think Greeks are the only one to suggest their modern identity is based on on a connection to ancient populations in their nation. (which, in my opinion, is particular strong in Greece due to the close connection of our ancient language and the wild success of ancient Greek culture.. many aspects of which remain in practical use to this day)

But running with Mr. Danforth’s words, I’m curious to know if he equally applies his views on identity to ethnic Chinese, ethnic Jews, and other ethnic groups around the globe that seem to base their modern identity on ancient identities. For instance, does Mr. Danforth deny the identity of Israelis (i.e. secular Jewish ones) are based on the identity of ancient Israelites? Or is he showing bias by singling groups? (e.g Greeks to justify his long time non-neutral support of FYROM in the name dispute)

I’m also curious to know at roughly the cutoff date were Mr.Danforth feels people should no longer be permitted to base their identities on? 1500 years? 500 years? 1776?

Demitri Stathopolous says:

“Those supporting that ancient Macedonians were not ancient Greeks and that modern day Macedonians (note: he refers to people identifying as ethnic Macedonians) are descendants of Alexander the Great, have no place in our party. We don’t accept such perceptions.”

In my opinion Mr. Voskopoulos is unauthentic with his words and is just practicing yet another stalling tactic similar to the prior FYROM government (that claimed the same publicly but privately did the opposite) It is quite possible due to the timing of his statements Mr. Voskopoulos has been reading this thread and has read Mr. Danforth’s public statements.

If one does a whois of the florina.org website (as of today since they things have a habit of changing once discussed publicly) you’ll discover the florina.org website was registered by Lubi Uzunovski.
http://whois.domaintools.com/florina.org

I also found an article by Risto Stefov, who appears to me to constantly suggest he is related to ancient Macedonians, claims Macedonia Greece as “occupied”, and denies the Greek ethnic identity in everything but name.
http://www.florina.org/news/2008/december05_e.asp

If one does a whois of one of the most extreme nationalist FYROM website’s out there (that seem to constantly claim themselves related to ancient Macedonians and from what I can tell deny the Greek ethnic identity), surprise surprise it is once again registered buLubi Uzunovski
http://whois.domaintools.com/maknews.com

I also believe Mr. Voskopoulos has had dealings with united Macedonians of Canada. MHRMI, and UMD (who all seem to make Alexander the Great references and deal with members of the shady crew of maknews) The UMD even has a credit card with an image on Alexander the Great on it.
http://www.cardpartner.com/app/united-macedonian-disapora

You will find links to MHRMI, maknews, UMD, .historyofmacedonia.org, and assortment of other websites on Rainbow’s florina.org website… many of them leading to websites with extreme FYROM nationalist views that attempt to portray themselves as related to “ancient Macedonians”
http://www.florina.org/links.asp

So either Mr. Voskopoulos is completely clueless as to the words and attitudes of his own associates or he’s a straight out liar. Given the pervasiveness of the claims of FYROM nationalists being “ancient Macedonians” among associate organizations… I think it is self-evident it is the latter and that the Rainbow Party is just one more front for FYROM nationalist trying to pretend publicly it disagrees with the current self-Hellenization policies of FYROM-while private supporting them.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Mr. Danforth ignored my previous comments regarding our Macedonian identity, but I won’t do the same -- even if I’m not his chosen one.

I would ask “Akritas” if he is Greek. If he says yes and adds that he is a “Macedonian,” then I will understand that he is a Greek and a Macedonian.

You’ll understand that he is a “Greek” AND a “Macedonian”, but a term is just a term. The only thing that matters, is the meaning of “Greek” and “Macedonian”. Gazmend Kapllani, an Albanian immigrant and a prominent journalist, living in Greece for almost two decades now, frequently identifies as a Greek.

I would then ask if he also accepts being identified as a ” Greek Macedoinian.” If he says yes, then we will have established three terms he accepts. I would label these identities as follows: Greek is a national identity and Macedonian is an ethnic or cultural identity (regional is also a possible term.)

Gazmend’s ethnic identity is Albanian, because that’s his heritage. But he works and lives in Greece, he studied in Greece up to PhD level, he writes books in Greek and says that he owes what he is today to the work of many greek cultural icons. In that spirit, besides being a citizen of the World, it could be said that his national identity is Greek, his ethnic identity is Albanian and his cultural identity is a mix of both.

A national identity is not an ethnic identity. An ethnic identity may be the basis for the formation of a national identity, but this approach belongs to the past. The United States of America are a nation, but a multiethnic one. One could have an Italian ethnic identity, along with a US national identity. Some Chinese immigrants never set foot outside of their Chinatowns and while they are technically US citizens, they don’t identify with an American nation and its culture.

Similarly if someone else from the area identifies himself as Macedonian and not Greek, I accept that as a statement of national identity as well.

What we accept personally, is not the widespread norm. In our case, it’s the weight that we put upon the terms. An ethnic Albanian from Skopje, could also claim such national identity.

The size of the Macedonian national minority is small, much smaller than the size of the group of people who would identify themselves as Greeks and Macedonians.

(That reminds me that you did not give your personal estimation about its size.)

Greek Macedonians (that is ethnic Greeks, belonging to the Greek nation, identifying culturally as Macedonians), are the dominant portion of the multiethnic region of Macedonia. People identifying as ethnic Macedonians are about half as many and a quarter of the region’s total population.

Why the minority should dictate what the majority should follow, is beyond my understanding. While everyone has the right to self-determination, if my or someone else’s right is in conflict with another one’s right, then we must find a common ground. Unfortunately, this becomes almost impossible, given the attitude of our northern neighbours’ government and its policies.

Maybe this could be useful:

“Those supporting that ancient Macedonians were not ancient Greeks and that modern day Macedonians (note: he refers to people identifying as ethnic Macedonians) are descendants of Alexander the Great, have no place in our party. We don’t accept such perceptions.”

Pavlos Voskopoulos, member of the political committee of “EFA-Rainbow -- Macedonian Political Party in Greece”.

“Macedonia” newspaper, December 6, 2009

http://www.makthes.gr/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=48102

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

Apparently US President Truman was living the same “myth” as Greeks when he used the precise word kidnapped in 1952 to describe what the communist had done to our children.

“And yet the thing that you have just told me about is far worse than anything that can take place in actual open war. This deportation and the KIDNAPPING of children has been going on, both in Greece, in Germany, in Romania, in Czechoslovakia, in Hungary, and in that part of Austria where the Russians themselves have control. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14134&st=greece&st1=

Funny enough. I couldn’t find an references where he claimed “Macedonian” children were “evacuated” and how they were “victims” to Greek “ethnic cleansing”. However, here are a few of the references I did find him mentioning FYROM’s communist guerrilla grandfathers.

“When the cold war started in Greece and Turkey, and Berlin, and finally in Korea, we had to put forth every effort possible to prevent all the free world from coming under Communist control. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14110&st=greece&st1=

“Greece faces great difficulty in absorbing the refugees of Greek origin who are being driven out of the Balkan satellites by the communists. Thus, the brutal policies of Soviet tyranny are aggravating overcrowded conditions which are already a danger to the stability of these free nations. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14435&st=greece&st1=

“Military assistance for nations in this area is recommended in the amount of 606 million dollars. Most of these funds are for Greece and Turkey, whose military assistance programs are carried under the heading of the Near East; defense support funds for those countries are included with those for Europe. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14424&st=greece&st1=

“Furthermore, even in the absence of such compacts, we have refused to tolerate assaults on the integrity of peace-loving nations whose conduct conforms to the principles of the Charter. We have given military as well as diplomatic aid directly to nations threatened by aggression. Through our aid to Greece and Turkey, we have recognized the fact that, if the principles of international peace are to prevail, free nations must have the means as well as the will to resist aggression. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13253&st=greece&st1=

“Despite the continuing ravages of the foreign-inspired guerrilla warfare, the Greek people remain determined to rebuild their own land in their own way, in freedom and in peace. This is the significance of the “Work and Victory” rally. The spirit of the people and the recent successes of the Greek armed forces confirm my confidence that the new totalitarian pressure will be contained, whatever difficulties may lie ahead. The American people are proud of their part in helping to preserve Greek independence and the structure of world peace through the Greek aid program.”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13414&st=greece&st1=

“the Soviet-inspired guerrilla war has been decisively defeated in Greece”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13793&st=greece&st1=

“That is what we did in Greece, when that nation was threatened by the aggression of international communism. The attack against Greece could have led to general war. But this country came to the aid of Greece. The United Nations supported Greek resistance. With our help, the determination and efforts of the Greek people defeated the attack on the spot. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14059&st=greece&st1=

“Greece faces great difficulty in absorbing the refugees of Greek origin who are being driven out of the Balkan satellites by the communists. Thus, the brutal policies of Soviet tyranny are aggravating overcrowded conditions which are already a danger to the stability of these free nations. This in general terms is the nature of the problem that now confronts free Europe. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14435&st=greece&st1=

“Today the situation in Greece is greatly changed. The guerilla bands which threatened Greece’s internal security have been defeated in the Grammos Mountains, and remnants are being brought under control by the Greek National Army troops, which are supplied by United States aid.”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=12992&st=greece&st1=

“The statement, released by the Department of State on December 30, follows:
“The claim of certain Communist guerrilla leaders that they have established at some unknown point a ‘First Provisional Democratic Government of Free Greece’ is a transparent device, the true purpose of which will be clear to everyone. It is only a phase in the familiar effort of certain elements to overthrow the legitimate and recognized Greek Government and to threaten the territorial integrity and political independence of Greece. It came as no surprise In itself, it would not materially change the existing situation.
“But if other countries were to recognize the group, this step would have serious implications. It would be clearly contrary to the principles of the United Nations Charter. And if the country concerned were one of Greece’s neighbors to the north, the act would constitute an open disregard of the recent recommendations of the United Nations Assembly, as set forth in the resolution of last October.”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=12811&st=greece&st1=

“Since the last report submitted November 7, 1947, Greece has been subjected to ever increasing pressure by the Communist minority, which, subservient to the foreign influences from which it draws support, would impose its will on the Greek people by force of arms. It is significant that the guerrilla warfare is directed not against the Greek Army but against the people of Greece. The deliberate and wanton destruction of Greek villages does not result from military engagements. It is determined and ruthless destruction intended to render people homeless and drive them from the soil; to force them into overcrowded urban centers where they become charges of an already overburdened state; and to create for them conditions of misery and hardship in the hope that this will make them susceptible to political agitation.[…]here are members of the United States Congress who visited Greece during the past few months who know what horrible reprisals are taken against those unwilling to fight for the Communist guerrillas. ”

“While recent developments are adverse, in that they have lengthened the time necessary for Greece’s ultimate recovery, the situation is not without encouragement. Greece is still a free country. The recent announcement of a “government” by the Communist guerrillas, who do not effectively control territory in which to exercise any of the functions of government, appears to have been an act of desperation and not of strength. The transparent device of declaring the “free government” has not materially changed the existing situation, except to reveal more clearly to the Greeks and to the world the true character of Greece’s enemy. The United States Government has already made known its view that recognition of this group by other governments would have serious implications and would be clearly contrary to the principles of the United Nations Charter”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13094&st=greece&st1=

“The situation in Greece has caused a great deal of uneasiness throughout the world. It has been the subject of a series of investigations on the part of commissions of the United Nations. The facts have been established over and over again by these investigations. They are clear beyond dispute. Some twenty thousand Greek guerrillas have been able to keep Greece in a state of unrest and to disrupt Greek recovery, primarily because of the aid and comfort they have been receiving from the neighboring countries of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=12927&st=greece&st1=

“Since the initiation of our major bi-partisan foreign aid program in 1947, the accomplishments of the free world have been very great. In Greece, the onrush of communist imperialism has been halted and forced to recede. Out of the ruins left by that aggression, a proud, self-reliant nation has re-established itself. Threatened economic and political collapse in Western Europe was averted through the intensive efforts of the great peoples of that continent aided by American resources.” (US President Dwight Eisenhower was apparently also part of the conspiracy against FYROM)
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=9836&st=greece&st1=

“This house is honored this evening in the privilege of entertaining the heads of a state to which all Western civilization will be forever indebted. Now this evening I shall not weary you with reciting those things which every schoolboy and every schoolgirl knows about the great achievements of Greece in science and art and philosophy. In all those things they have helped to make our Nation’s and other Western Nations’ civilization what it is. ”
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=9749&st=greece&st1=

And how did George Bush show his gratitude 50 years later? By betraying the Greeks who fought for their liberty against communist tyranny. They are allowed to call those Greeks “oppressors” by FYROM “human rights” organization’s today (and even sadly apparently far leftist organizations like Helsinki Greece that equally have no shame). They, and their apologists, like to pretend both the sides were morally equivalent during the war. The atrocities they committed onto Greeks on Greece’s own soil are lightly brushed over… while FYROM rolls out communist propaganda as if fresh from the desk of Tito and Stalin.

The persecutors label themselves the “oppressed” and stain the memories of Greeks that gave their lives up to preserve freedom.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

I just wish to note something. FYROM likes to use the word “evacuated” when describing the Greek children that were forcably taken from their parents homes during the Greek civil war. Aside from Truman using the word “removed” (which is not synonymous with “evacuated”)… he also uses the word “ABDUCTED” when describing the Greek children taken from their families.

” Letter to the Speaker on the Plight of Greek Children Abducted by Communist Guerrilla Forces.
April 19, 1950″

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13766&st=GREEK+CHILDREN&st1=

60 years later FYROM claim those Greek children were “evacuated”. This is pure propaganda from their ultra nationalists and far leftist supporters (e.g Dimitras who in my opinion, demonstrates anti-Greek behavior very much like the communists that almost gave away Macedonia to the Iron curtain) Their seemingly inability to report the facts of IMRO atrocities and immense suffering they brought on Greece during WW2 and later communist civil war-- indicates severe prejudice against Greeks. (masquerading as “human rights” to further FYROM’s cause in the name dispute by rebranding murderers, terrorists, and extremist fascist/communist nationalists as “victims”)

Loring Danforth says:

In reply to various comments above.
1.) Speaking at a UMD event does not mean I endorse positions taken by the UMD. In my opinion other speakers at the conference did not offer serious scholarly presentations. I expressed my disagreement with the other speakers at the time, I did cause some controversy by suggesting that “a single woman could give birth to one Greek and one Macedonian,” since national and ethnic identities are constructed and are not inborn. I have not yet been invited to speak at a Pan-Macedonian event, but if I were, I would be more than happy to do so. I attended many Pan Macedonian events during the year I was in Melbourne. I look forward to participating in the event Ms. Gatzouli plans to organize.

2.) I have been very critical of Mr. Damianakos’ work. I had not seen his comments on Ms. Karakasidou just now. I do not find them well informed. I have always been supportive of Ms. Karakasidou’s work.

3.) If Greeks can use the name Kostantinoupoli now without territorial designs on Istanbul, then Macedonians can use the term Lerin without territorial designs on Florina. My understanding is that the Slavic term “Solun” is in fact derived from the Greek “Thes-SALON-iki.” If anyone has good evidence to the contrary I would welcome it.

4.) I would ask “Akritas” if he is Greek. If he says yes and adds that he is a “Macedonian,” then I will understand that he is a Greek and a Macedonian. I would then ask if he also accepts being identified as a ” Greek Macedoinian.” If he says yes, then we will have established three terms he accepts. I would label these identities as follows: Greek is a national identity and Macedonian is an ethnic or cultural identity (regional is also a possible term.) Similarly if someone else from the area identifies himself as Macedonian and not Greek, I accept that as a statement of national identity as well. The size of the Macedonian national minority is small, much smaller than the size of the group of people who would identify themselves as Greeks and Macedonians.

5.) In reply to Mr. Karatzos, I would say that a Macedonian national identity developed about the turn of the century (1900).
Before that time most people who later developed a Macedonian national identity probably had a Bulgarian identity. I do not agree with Mr. Karatzios’ view that there has been a continuous, single, meaningful “Greek Macedonian identity” over the past two and a half centuries. “Greek” and “Macedonian” meant very different things in the 4th century BCE than they do now. In my opinion the complex history of the meaning of those words over the past two millenia does not bear on the rights of people in the Balkans to assert their national identities now.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Mr. Mitreski wrote:

Ms Danilovich, so this historic map of Macedonia http://makedonika.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/macedonia-on-a-map-by-comberford-1647/ (http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa260/Piperkata/Comberford_map_1647.jpg) made in 1647, yes 1647!, was just some crazy idea that maybe aliens dreamed up?

Where is Greece or the Hellenic Republic there?

I see that my short lesson regarding the difference between “historic” and “historical”, didn’t pay off.

Nevertheless, there are two questions for me to answer.

a) “…this historic (sic) map of Macedonia … was just some crazy idea that maybe aliens dreamed up?”
b) “Where is Greece or the Hellenic Republic there?”

Can you “Spot the Difference”?

It’s called a “portolan” map. Portolan maps are navigational maps and they describe ports and harbours. If you look closely, you’ll see these along the coastline. As a guide, the most important regions are noted, like “Morea” (the Peloponnese peninsula) or “Sicilia” (Sicily).

The map you refer to (complete here), does not define borders and names of kingdoms or countries. For example, “Proventia” (Provence) is on the left, but there is no France. Provence was part of the Kingdom of France for almost two centuries, before the map was published.

The names serve their purpose in rererence to the coasts. The Anatolian coast, the Dalmatian coast (note also the omission of the Republic of Ragusa), the Romanian coast. The Macedonian coast.

The Hellenic Republic is nowhere to be found, since time travel was not available at the time (pun intended). The Kingdom of Greece was established in 1832 and the Eastern Roman Empire fell to the Ottomans a few centuries ago. Regardless, references to Greece can be found in many political, non-navigational maps, such as this one from 1570. The map was created by Abraham Ortelius, creator of the first modern atlas:

http://i.imgur.com/3kBx1.jpg

Strangely, I see “Grecia” (Greece), “Italia” (Italy) and “Raguza” (Ragusa, Dubrovnik), but no “Macedonia”.

Maybe the aliens abducted it.

About the Gruevski incident, Mr. Mitreski told us:

Nobody is denying that the incident occurred, we were just wondering for its origin.

Oh, now I understand. You’re “wondering” out loud.

This reminds me of Glenn “just sayin'” Beck’s twisted logic and conspiracy theories, immortalized by John Stewart in “The 11/3 Project“.

(For those not familiar with the context, Glenn Beck, a controversial US TV presenter, said that President Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people”, closing his statement with “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.”)

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Mitreski

You are discrediting yourself. The Ottomans controlled the entire region during that period. The toponyms were TURKISH at the time (the Ottomans changed them after conquering the old Roman/Byzantine Themata) . I suggest you contact the Turkish foreign ministry if you want to see what actual maps of the period looked like.

My guess is you’ve misrepresented the maps context in some manner (which seems to be the norm for FYROM nationalists as they attempt to prove they are “ancient Macedonians”). But in either case the map says nothing about demographics, language, nor ancient historical claims.

Your laughable map proves absolutely nothing other than you have a vivid imagination that dramatically parts with historical reality that Turkey controlled the region. The very fact you use such a map as “proof” of something only provides further evidence that FYROM nationalists rampantly promote historical revisionism.

PBO says:

It’s clear that Mr. Mitreski is playing around. Why would we expect to find any post-Ottoman state in that map? Can you understand the difference between “state” and “geographical region” (or “historical map” vs “map depicting irredentist wet dreams” for that matter)?

Aleksandar Mitreski says:

Ms Danilovich, so this historic map of Macedonia http://makedonika.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/macedonia-on-a-map-by-comberford-1647/ (http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa260/Piperkata/Comberford_map_1647.jpg) made in 1647, yes 1647!, was just some crazy idea that maybe aliens dreamed up?

Where is Greece or the Hellenic Republic there?

You are discrediting yourself with those last statements. Nobody is denying that the incident occurred, we were just wondering for its origin.

KE says:

Mr. Mitreski I realize that it’s difficult for you to separate fantasy from reality but don’t assume the same of others:
1) The map of the unification of Greece refers to border changes introduced via international treaties and clearly labels them differentiating between temporary (such as the Asia Minor Coast and Eastern Thrace) and permanent ones. As such it truly represents historical events.
2) ALL maps of “united” (don’t let your buddies see you referred to “Greater”) Macedonia used by your ilk do not represent such historical events as there was no treaty that established such borders. That is a fact that you cannot argue around. IF the map had been one of San Stefano Bulgaria -- clearly labelled as such then a reciprocal argument could be made as it was an international treaty even if it did not come to effect in the end. But if the map Gruevski bowed in front of had been San Stefano Bulgaria then his name would have to have been Georgievski, isn’t that so? 😉
3) If next time a Greek prime minister pays his respects to Eleftherios Venizelos or some other Greek historical figure he bows in front of a map of the Greek territorial designs of the era of that figure you might also be able to claim that a criticism of Gruevski is hyprocritical. That is because beyond the historical accuracy or not of such a map (an argument that you are unable to win) such an act has a symbolic meaning which is very clear (and revisionist in nature). BUT that has not happened. And until it happens (if ever) instead of blaming us blame the inability of your boxer of a prime minister to keep his desires in check.

Not only are these maps not historical (even if they could be in themselves old and thus of historical intererest) but they represent the nationalist dreams of your kind in a so-called “ethno-geographic” concoction -- including BTW areas such as the south-eastern part of Kastoria, the whole of Grevena and most of Kozani (minus Ptolemaida), most of Emathia, all of Pieria, almost all of Halkidiki, half of Serres and part of Drama and all of Kavala prefectures and even the island of Thassos, essentially the Southern half of Greek Macedonia. In fact from time to time you guys get confused (thanks to Kanchov) and forget to include Pieria (which ends up in no-mans land as it certainly is not Thessalian) and Thassos. The irony is that not a single Slavic speaking settlement was recorded in the aforementioned Southern Macedonian areas -- even by the pro-Bulgarian Kanchov! They were populated before 1912 by Christians and some Muslims, Greek, Vlach and Turkish speaking and in the case of the Christians they clearly identified with the Greek national cause (while the Greek speaking -- Valaades -- Muslims for example did not). Yet you have the audacity to include them (to this day) in your wet dreams. Wet dreams that are propagated to your youth in their school books -- when learning about WWII for example they are presented with maps of a united Macedonia, sometimes with, sometimes without the state borders, such as this map taken from a school book of your country and depecting the German-Bulgarian-Italian-Albanian WWII control of the area (no state borders in this one BTW):
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/7866/withqh0.png
It’s no wonder that the protest in Pela square (fully supported although not organized by the ruling VMRO-DPMNE -- http://sofiaecho.com/2008/02/28/651578_macedonians-protest-over-constitutional-name) was dominated by the presence of the huge “United Macedonia” banner exhibiting the same irredentism. The silence from certain academics BTW was defeaning… ;->
http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/4892/protestpelavw6.jpg

Finally I will repeat myself -- your own media reported as an excuse that the map was put in place by a known elderly “patriot” that always goes to such events. Now you are suggesting that said patriot was a Greek spy in hiding for all these years? Anything to shift the blame… In today’s day and age the Greek blogs were reporting the event on the same day -- at least this time round the Greek authorities caught on to the news quickly enough to make use of it.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

@Mr Stojanov

You, much like your fellow nationalists, are lying to yourself if you believe there was a widespread “Macedonian” ethnic consciousness in the 19th century. You are the one that is taking things out of context. Consider Mr.Danforth’s words (who hasn’t used neutral UN designations and has constantly supported FYROM in the name dispute-hardly someone you can claim has been on Greece’s side)

“It must be noted that the construction of a distinct Macedonian national identity is a relatively recent phenomenon even by Balkan standards. Its origins can be traced to the work of a small group of late nineteenth- and early twentieth -century intellectuals like Krste Misirkov, who in 1903 called for the “recognition of the Slavs in Macedonia as a separate nationality -- Macedonians” (Misirkov 1974:73). At this time, however, the majority of the Slavic-speaking inhabitants of Macedonia were illiterate peasants with no clearly developed sense of national identity see Friedman (1975). http://www.gate.net/~mango/Danforth_National_Conflict.htm

“The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov’s call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians.(Loring Danforth, “The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ Press, December 1995 p.64)

And aide from ignoring all my evidence, you also cherry picked passage from Misirkov’s work that suit your narrative. You complete ignore that Misirkov wrote afterwards (you are welcome to examine his diary). You ignore the Bulgarian context of the Illiden uprising. You keep assuring us of some sort of conspiracy between census takers from many different nations at the time (including Slav ones). And while you claim that you aren’t related to ancient Macedonians, you then contradict your own position by seemingly trying show some sort of Macedonian continuity.

Perhaps if you, UMD, MHRMI, and the rest of the self-proclaimed FYROM “human rights” organizations spoke out against the current FYROM government’s self-Hellenization campaign (that is using Greek symbols throughout its nation and constantly trying to portray themselves as ancient Macedonians rather than Slavs-we might believe you. As it stands, it sounds like just more anti-Greek propaganda and empty promises intended to fool well-meaning academics like Danforth and politicians that trusted FYROM’s own ELECTED leadership when it claimed not so long ago…

‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’
(FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka in speech to US representatives iin Washington, -- January 22 1999)

‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.'(FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov -- Interview to Ottawa Citizen Newspaper 24 February 1999)

“We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” (Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President -- Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992)
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Your government claims it’s just a silly dispute over a name so again, why doesn’t it change it if a name is just a name as it claims? Is it lying and is the reality a name is more than just a name? And if FYROM isn’t lying, how exactly does changing its name prevent it from speaking your language and having a unique idenity? And why do FYROM nationalists feel the need to hypocritically deny the ethnic identity of Greeks? (by denying our Hellenic roots).

I would argue FYROM don’t want to compromise on a name precisely because the former Bulgarians of FYROM long term plan is to continue to claim themselves related to ancient Macedonians and that Macedonia Greece is “occupied”. Macedonians (and all Greeks) that can read ancient Macedonian artifacts for themselves, that consider ancient Macedonians their ancestors, will have something to say about it. We believe our ancestors would have preferred Macedonians to keep Greek as their primary language not your Bulgarian dialect you’ve renamed “Macedonian”. We believe our ancestors would have preferred us to use the name Thessaloníki for Macedonia’s largest city (not rename it “Solun”). We believe history shows our Macedonian ancestors would have wanted to be remembered as Greeks.

For some bizarre reason FYROM are ashamed of cherishing the fact the balance of its ethnic roots are mostly Bulgarian. Instead they wish to pretend to be ancient Macedonians. However, history is written
http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html

Aleksandar Mitreski says:

Ms Danilovich

So it is ok for the Greek Parliament to publish a “historic” map of Greater Greece that encompass territories of its neighbors and it should not be offensive to anyone, yet is it unacceptable, nationalistic, iredentistic, etc, etc to have a historic map of Greater Macedonia?

Isn’t that hypocritical once again? Please enlighten us how this is once again different.

Btw, I find if very interesting how that picture was distributed by the Greek Ambassador in DC to the Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) here in the US the very next day. I guess news travels very fast, especially when that incident happened right before the FRC was to discuss Macedonia’s membership in NATO, 2 months prior to the NATO summit, during the most intense diplomacy activity of the Greek and Macedonian sides.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Goran Stojanov wrote:

Krste Misirkov […] does not even argue that we are a nation separate from Greeks, because that is obvious.

So obvious that Krste Crvenkovski (President of the Central Committee of the Union of Communists in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia), told Todor Zhivkov (First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bulgaria) on May 19, 1967:

“And whether bulgarian consciousness exists in Macedonia, this is a historical legacy. We’re now writing our history. We can’t write that until 1940 we were Bulgarians and after 1940 Macedonians.”

Official document:

http://imgur.com/GgRYp.png

Regarding the Gruevski photo, Mr. Stojanov’s excuse is this:

[…] someone taped that piece of paper with a scotch tape moments before Mr. Gruevski arrived. (Probably it was the very person that took the picture and quickly e-mailed it to the ones who ordered it). The Macedonian security failed to notice it (and quite frankly was not bothered with it all that much). It is an obvious improvisation, printed on someone’s home ink-jet printer, and not something that the Macedonian government produced or published.

In other words, Mr. Stojanov claims that the Greeks ordered the photo and bribed Mr. Gruevski’s guards, in order to cause a diplomatic incident. Therefore, we’re left only with two options:

a) Mr. Gruevski liked the map so much, that he did not order anyone to take it down.
b) There is no sense of national pride among the people bound with the duty of protecting the Prime Minister and they have no respect for their ethnic identity.

Choose your poison.

Goran Stojanov says:

Demitri,

The book: “On Macedonian Matters” is a polemic literature. Krste Misirkov stages a dispute where he argues his basic idea: that we Macedonians are a nation separate from both Bulgarians and Serbs. He does not even argue that we are a nation separate from Greeks, because that is obvious. In the course of the book he lays out the arguments of his opposing sides (Bulgarians and the Bulgarian educated Macedonian inteligencia, Serbs and the Serb educated Macedonian inteligencia … ) and responds to these arguments.

What you are doing is you are taking out of context the very arguments that Misirkov refutes, and present them as his point of view. Please read the book. Do not just seek for a certain key words, and carve out as much of the text as you need to “demonstrate your point”.

By the way I just realized that the English translation of the book here http://misirkov.org/kpm_zmr_eng.htm is incomplete, namely the fourth chapter is unfinished, and it contains the culmination of the argument. You can find the complete book here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_Macedonian_Matters

On the censuses, again: none of these censuses were done using the modern methodology, where each person is asked to self-identify his/her ethnicity and language. As a matter of fact, it is only the census of K’ncov that was done using systematic field data, and he, of course, expressed his point of view: that all Macedonians are Bulgarians. All other censuses used either K’ncov’s census, or the incomplete Turkish censuses where data was collected only on the religious affiliation, and manipulated them to their liking.

What is important, though, is that this very K’ncov, in another book named “Orohidrography of Macedonia”, clearly admits that both slavophonic and romanophonic inhabitants of Macedonia call themselves Macedonians, and the surrounding nations use that name for them, while Turks, Albanians and Greek, do not call themselves Macedonians, but when asked where are you from, they respond: from Macedonia.

Jenny Efstathiou-Danilovich says:

Mr. Mitreski wrote:

So it is ok for the Greek Parliament to publish a “historic” map of Greater Greece that encompass territories of its neighbors and it should not be offensive to anyone, yet is it unacceptable, nationalistic, iredentistic, etc, etc to have a historic map of Greater Macedonia?

The map you refer to, is not a “historic” map of “Greater Greece”, but a historical map of Greece.

Historic means important, momentous, of great proportions. Historical defines something related to the past.

The territories coloured in the map, were territories of the Kingdom of Greece. Eastern Thrace was part of Greece in the past and the wider Smyrne area (Ionia) was under direct greek administration. Everything is also explained in the legend accompanying the map.

The entity you refer to, “Greater Macedonia”, never existed and that’s why there could be no “historic (sic) map of Greater Macedonia”. The Kingdom of Greece was recognized internationally. Nobody ever heard of an entity with the name “Greater Macedonia” and only irredentist circles use this name without quotes.

But after all, “there is only one Macedonia, a divided one“, right?

Continuing, Mr. Mitreski says:

Btw, I find if very interesting how that picture was distributed by the Greek Ambassador in DC to the Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) here in the US the very next day. I guess news travels very fast, especially when that incident happened right before the FRC was to discuss Macedonia’s membership in NATO, 2 months prior to the NATO summit, during the most intense diplomacy activity of the Greek and Macedonian sides.

Apparently, Mr. Mitreski, UMD’s vice president and Mr. Stojanov, UMD’s member, imply that the incident was a result of Greek Intelligence. I would say that it was certainly not a product of their government’s intelligence. But according to their rationale, we’re only left with two options, if the Greeks ordered the photo and bribed Mr. Gruevski’s guards:

a) Mr. Gruevski liked the map so much, that he did not order anyone to take it down.
b) There is no sense of national pride among the people bound with the duty of protecting the Prime Minister and they have no respect for their ethnic identity.

Surely, if Greeks were trying to break security and tape this map in front of your Prime Minister, you’d notice them. Customs would call Skopje and inform them of an unlicensed Trojan Horse trying to enter the country on rollerblades.

Anyway, freedom of expression is of outmost importance. Others say that 9/11 was an inside job, some others deny the Holocaust…