The aspirations of the Bulgarians in Macedonia

Caterina Chekou *


After the defeat of the Greek army from the Nazi forces, the area from the Strymon to the Evros , along with the islands of Thasos and Samothrace ceded to Bulgaria in return for joining the Axis powers (except for three quarters of the prefecture of Evros , Following a claim by Turkey). Since then , for the conquerors were administered to the ” White Sea region “or” Aegean ” or ” ? Aegeais? ( Belomore ), which included the fourth region ( Stara Zagora - Plovdiv - Belomore ) Bulgarian territory.

Here lies the difference between Italian, German and Bulgarian occupation. The Italians and the Germans recognized that they are in a foreign country as an occupying power , while the Bulgarians are propagandized that ” liberated Bulgarian territory ” and intended to stay permanently. Bulgaria claimed that not occupied but liberated areas, which was the Bulgarian national territory weak Bulgarian population , because the earlier policy of Hellenization of the Greek state. Thus the results justify the Bulgarian census of May 31, 1941 on ” White Sea region , where 13 cities were recorded and 799 villages ( a total of 812 settlements) and counted 649 419 inhabitants. Namely by nationality 43 761 Bulgarians Pomaks 6138 , 72,985 Turks, 514,426 Greeks and 12,019 others ( Jews , Armenians , etc. ).

The new Bulgarian occupation was heavier than the previous (the first in the Balkans, 1912-1913 , and the second in the First World , the 1916 to 1919 ) as the Greeks the ” voulgarokratoumenis zone ( 514 426 Greeks against the Bulgarians s) faced with an aggressive expansionism in Bulgarian , updated by the new conditions for cooperation with Germany , and determined to end the war claim ” restoration of national unity in Bulgaria .

The monarchical power Vori C, the ‘ ready ‘for propaganda , cooperation and participation of civil , commercial and industrial , scientific and artistic community of Bulgaria, sought to overturn the demographic data and to (re) show unity ” Old Bulgarian ‘with’ neo- liberated ” territories.

Preparing the final desired attachment , with the creation of ” national rights “of” enslaved for years Bulgarian brothers “in the granted by the Germans in Bulgaria regions: Serbian territory , the Domvroutsa , Romanian province , but “the white region Sea “, ie the prefecture of Serres, in areas outside the Nigrita (outside of the fifth district of Serres ), the prefectures of Drama - Xanthi - Kavala - Rodopi and Evros, outside the buffer zone (outside of three quarters of the county Evros ).

Despite initial promises to the people security , rule of law in , life, honor and property , all testify that applied to newly acquired territories to Bulgaria a thoughtful and in detail, the program displayed in areas katochin appearance and character of Bulgarian .

The revolt of Drama and the massacre in Doxato

The first armed response to an intolerable yoke of the Bulgarian occupation, the rebellion of Drama and the surrounding region (28 to September 29, 1941 ) , is dark matter in many places. It seems that the party organization of the Communist Party Drama incorrectly assessed the situation: I got carried away , assuming a rapid victory of the ” Red Army “and the popular discontent and longing for a reaction to oppression. Gave credence to rumors of a communist uprising in Bulgaria against the Germans and the imminent accession of Bulgaria’s army of occupation to it ( possibly by ypovolimaies Safety Bulgarian occupation authorities - Ochrana . That is not impossible Bulgarian ” provocation “to the extermination of the Greek element ).

The uprising , however, was premature and the lack of military officials and appropriate mechanisms, and plans and objectives , left no prospect of success and led to tragedy.

Under the pretext of combating insurgency , the Bulgarian authorities have introduced harsh reprisals against the civilian population in the area of Drama : arrests, executions (3,000 in Drama and the village Doxato only) , interrogations , beatings , looting … The systematic persecution of the rebels continued until November 5, 1941 . Bulgarian forces managed to kill the armed rebel groups and the capture and execution of leaders of the Communist Party and, until mid 1942 , the few survivors of rebels attempted to flee the German- zone.

The ” events of the Drama ” shocked over the enslaved Greek people. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the consequences were decisive for the future: confused about the conditions for expression ” the movement of Drama , the Communist Party found no leadership, was now extremely difficult to develop any appreciable mass guerrilla movement , as shown reluctance and fear of people for armed action , but also suspicion and hostility towards the Communist Party once , which charged the terrible reprisals Bulgarians , thus fostering the emergence and autonomous action , mainly nationalist , resistance groups.

In conclusion, during the occupation 1941 - 1944 , Bulgaria, in complete contradiction with the official rhetoric of ” … to comply with strict equality and justice among the population …», through the weakening of the expulsion , extermination of ” voulgaropoiisis ‘ population and the final distortion of the ethnic composition of preparing the desired final annexation of Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace. To meet finally at the end of World War II , the dream of “Greater Bulgaria ” and prevail in the Balkans.

Efforts dehellenization population

The Greeks , refusing to voulgarokratoumeni Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace suffered during the three-year occupation (1941 - 1944) , measures to remove all ethnic and religious liberty , but also destroying the sclerotia steps :

- Ablation of the Greek state in all its manifestations (Administration , Church, Education …).

- Commitment to public and private economic life of the Bulgarian state and Bulgarian individuals ( forced cooperative disqualification …).

- Weakening of the Greek element by removing the stud , intellectual , social , moral , expulsions, for recruitment and abduction of women away from their homes ( hostage , ” Battalions of work ).

- ” Voulgaropoiisi “of the Greek element, the obligation to adopt Bulgarian identity , pressure for declaration of Bulgarian nationality , mandatory use of Bulgarian language in all events for private and public life , etc.

- Economic bled Greek element with positive unemployment, heavy taxation, forced loans from the Bulgarian government, grabs , etc.

- intimidation, violence, closures, poverty of the working classes , particularly the restrictions on food, water, lighting.

- Demographic dilution of the sites, with different pressures promoted the voluntary or forced migration of the Greek people.

- Distortion of the ethnic composition of the Bulgarian volunteers colonized with settlers.

- Propaganda of the Bulgarian interest by organizing conferences, etc. , construction engineering , etc. Sponsored by overt fanfare by the Bulgarian press.

- Display cultural - artistic - ” civilizing ” work with events in the occupied areas to demonstrate the Bulgarian character of the “New Bulgaria “( common origin , religion , language, customs and traditions ).

* Ms. Catherine Ceku has a doctorate in the History of the Ionian University.

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