Monday, January 28, 2008

Archbishop Christodoulos Passed Away

4-Day National Mourning

Late Archbishop Christodoulos, who breathed his last on Monday dawn after a seven-month battle with cancer, will be buried in the highest state honors at Athens’ First Cemetery on coming Thursday. Church bells have been tolling since early in the morning, while flags in public buildings and schools have been flying at half mast throughout Greece. Christodoulos’ mortal remains have been lying in state at the Athens Cathedral. A joint ministerial decision singed by the Ministers of Interior, Finance, Health, Education and National Defence, declared a four-day period of national mourning, while the day of his funeral all public agencies and schools will remain closed.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What are the main claims of Macedonism ?

The very act of the foundation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), together with all its subsequent actions as a political entity from 1944 to the present day, show that ‘Macedonianism’ is the basic totalitarian ideological tenet of that state. With this tenet the state and the Slavic component in a population of several different ethnic groups have constructed their existence as a nation and their ‘historical’ mission. Right at the very start, ‘Macedonism’ was proclaimed as a sacred dogma, allowing of no discussion, let alone questioning. It has been practised with all the means available to a State that, up to 1991, had been forced to operate under a totalitarian Communist regime where there ‘was but one’ Truth and where the question that bulked above all others was ‘the security of the State’. Anyone dissenting did so with the foreknowledge that he or she would be ‘eliminated’.

When this totalitarian regime collapsed, as it was bound to do, from external causes, nothing changed. There has been no relaxation in the human geography of power at FYROM, not even in the sacred dogma and the State’s duty to safeguard it. The question is one about which a society trained for generations at the hard camp of Macedonianism remains tight-lipped, phobia-prone, and trigger-happy.

An alternative view of the matter has yet to establish itself, any dialogue being considered out of the question. Instead, every pronouncement to the international community by every Skopje government since 1991 has insisted that even the slightest modification to State ‘Macedonianism’ would be fatal to the very existence of the State and the people. And the outward and visible sign of this insistence is the claim to have a monopoly on the name ‘Macedonia’.

These final apocalyptic assertions from Skopje have effectively been espoused by scores of other states, the USA being one example, precisely because they are well aware how ramshackle is the whole artificial but temporarily expedient structure.

They are certainly not ignorant of history. But for the time being they play down what is a self-evident fact. Following the adoption of ‘Macedonism’ as an ideology, FYROM has been trapped in a dead-end of its own making. Sooner or later it is bound not only to destabilize at large a region which is still in a state of flux, but also to place its own Balkan interests in jeopardy.

Those powerful foreign interests that protect Skopje and make use of her may be counting on exploiting for themselves when the time comes. But the sad conclusion from major events on the international stage – in Iraq, say, in Palestine, in the Islamic world, or in the global context of terrorism – is that in some at least of the places where decisions are taken politics is no longer the art of foresight and anticipation. For the Great Powers of today, it is no longer five minutes to midnight, but five minutes past.

The official totalitarian State ideology cultivated in Skopje and theirs claims are....

  1. It claims that Macedonia has long been a distinct political entity; and that during the two Balkan Wars (1912-1913) against the Ottoman Empire, master of the region from the 14th century onwards, the latter partitioned a ‘united’ (when was she ever thus?) Macedonia among ‘its conquerors’, namely Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia, with a small part of it later coming into the possession of Albania.
  2. It claims that Serb Macedonia – what was known until 1941 as Vardarska Banovina – was liberated in 1944, to become from thence onward the metropolitan centre of the ‘splintered and still subservient Macedonian nation’. It is the ‘inalienable national rights’ of this nation which the now independent State of FYROM has been seeing to, in line with an express provision of its present constitution (a clause necessarily revoked in 1995).
  3. It claims that Greek Macedonia is still ‘under foreign occupation’, viz by Greece, which is said to have ‘inflicted genocide on the Macedonian People’. (This region is therefore always referred to as ‘Aegean’ - never as ‘Greek’ - Macedonia by Skopje, which officially recognizes the Greek Civil War of 1944-1949 as ‘the Macedonian’ national liberation struggle to free Aegean Macedonia’ and to incorporate the latter in ‘the free motherland’, meaning FYROM). It makes similar claims, though these often fluctuate, against Bulgaria, and less loudly against Albania.
  4. It claims that the ancient Macedonians – notable examples being Alexander the Great and his father Philip – ‘were not Greeks’. As ‘conquerors of Aegean Macedonia’ and ‘oppressors of our brothers the Aegean Macedonians’, from 1913 onwards, the Greeks have been ‘usurping’ the history, the civilization, and the name of the ancient Macedonians, ‘the forefathers’ of FYROM’s (Slav) Macedonian nation.

These four central tenets of ‘Macedonianism’, given in chronological sequence with the necessary background, are already enough to show that while feigning ‘legitimate irredentism’, Skopje is openly and unambiguously declaring her expansionist designs towards Greek Macedonia. The arguments themselves are full of holes, yet they have been swallowed, wittingly, by dozens of civilized states, the United States included.


Because they want to advance their own interests and promote hidden geopolitical agendas in the region. But this is a serious blunder, and it goes against their interests. And in politics a blunder (said Talleyrand) is worse than a crime. Small the FYROM may be, but in the hands of powerful third parties it could be lead to catastrophe.

It should lastly be pointed out that for the State and the Slavs of Skopje ‘Macedonism’ has become an article of faith, a question of existence. This question needs fodder to survive, which means constructing an equally fictitious ‘enemy’: Greece.

But at the same time this State and its Slavic population are well aware, since they see it in their daily lives, of what Greece – ‘the enemy’ – can do for them. Better than any of Skopje’s other neighbours, with more resolve, effectiveness and credibility, Greece is assisting them with their economic development, their orientation towards Europe, the cohesion of their ethnically disparate society, and the existence and the security of their State. This she does better and more credibly than all the other Balkan countries put together; and all that she is after is peace in the region, productive cooperation, and a common sense of dignity. The pity of it is that the two positions are so far apart.


Macedonism FYROM'S Expansionist Designs against Greece, 1944-2006

Related articles:

  1. Macedonism, a ultra-Nationalilst ideology that spread from FYROM Worldwide
  2. Why Macedonian Slavs Stealing the Greek Macedonian History?

Sunday, January 20, 2008


“Grecomans” was used by the Bulgarians as a derogatory term to define the Greek Slavophones, i.e. those who remained firm to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to Hellenism.
It is interesting to note that in 1883, despite the growth of the Bulgarian national and ecclessiastical movement, the situation in terms of ecclesiastical affiliation in the northern “border” bishoprics of the contested central zone presented the following picture Bishopric of Ohrid and Prespa, patriarchist families 3030, exarchist 6003; Bishopric of lPelagonia (Monastir), patriarchist 6459, exarchist 4988; Bishopric of Moglena (Florina), patriarchist 2433, exarchist 699. The majority of these patriarchists were Vlachophone and Slavophone “Grecomans”.

Please keep in your mind the names of the Bishoprics.

Data from [AYE/”Constantinople Embassy” / 1883, Dokos (Monastir) to Koundouriotis (Con/pole), No. 210, 15/27 Nov. 1883] , [Dillimas and Orientations by Evagellos Kofos]

Grecomaniac or Grecophile

The above words are terms that used from the ultra-nationalist in order to determine the Greek Slavphones during the Greek Struggle in the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century.These terms came from Bulgarian or Serbian nationlist elements.

Today the FYROMacedonian ultra-natiolists diaspora centers REPLACE these odds and using these terms in order to insult these Greeks.

For the sake of the thread let us accept that the old Bulgarians, those who in current Makedonoski theory “considered” themselves Bulgarians and who, in fact, lived in Macedonia, as a minority community, however, as is apparent from the Ottoman statistics for 1905, have erroneously been taken as constituting a segment of the “Macedonian” nation.

As we have said, however, these people were Bulgarians:
they never (at that time) called themselves “Macedonians”; they fought as comitadjis in the ranks of the Bulgarian Committee and later, in 1924, taking advantage of the Kafantaris-Molov agreement on the “voluntary exchange of populations”, they left for Bulgaria. None of them moved to what was then the district of Skopje –which, moreover, was at that time certainly not called “Macedonia”: it was merely “Vardarska Banovina” (Directorate of the Axios), an administrative district of the then Kingdom of Serbia.

Serbia consequently delivered a protest to the Greek government for having exchanged these people for Greeks living in Bulgaria when, according to Serbia, they were in fact Serbs, (not, of course, “Macedonians”). All the “Bulgarophones”, as they were called at that time, who remained in Greece were old Patriarchists (adherents of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) from the time of the Bulgarian Schism, veterans of the Macedonian Struggle:

“Grecomaniacs” (passionately Greek), in the words of the Bulgarians and their descendants.

The following discussion on the nationality of these Bulgarian speakers, which Michel Paillares reports (op.cit., pp. 50-51) having had with Hilmi Pasha, the Inspector General of the Macedonian vilayets of Monastir and Thessaloniki, is significant:

But these Bulgarophones insist that they are really Greeks?

They say they are Greeks when no coercion, no constraint, is brought to bear on them.

And what is your opinion, Your Excellency?

My opinion, and the opinion of my government, is that they are Greeks. We classify our subjects according to which schools and which Church they attend. Being unable to win people by peaceful propaganda, the Comitadjis do not hesitate to make use of the most atrocious methods. They turn to the knife, the revolver, the axe

It is equally significant that much earlier, in 1871, the Russian Goloubinskii (see the relevant note in my dissertation on “The liberation of Thessaloniki”, op.cit., pp. 25-26) had written:

These purported Greeks nourished a more implacable hatred and a more intense scorn for all things Bulgarian or Slavic than did real Greeks.

Just recently my attention was drawn to a passage in the magazine Tachydromos, an extract from a book by Giovanni Amadori-Virgili, a former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, entitled “La questione Rumeliota (Macedonia, Vecchia Serbia, Albania, Epiro) e la politica italiana”, published in 1908 as number 1 in a series by the Biblioteca Italiana on foreign policy.

The passage in question reads:

Through their partiotic sentiments and their devotion to Greek traditions and Greek culture, the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia express their vigorous determination to be Greeks.

Legally, after the population exchange, the subject was closed, for those who remained were those who did not want to leave Greece, who did not choose to be Bulgarians. Nowhere is there any mention of the term “Macedonians”. If today certain of their descendants have discovered that they are “Macedonians”, that does not alter the situation, because it was to them, or at least to some of them, that the Skopje radio station addressed its March 5, 1990 broadcast, saying that “the most dangerous ones are those same hellenized Macedonians, the traitors, the anti-Macedonians” (here I would merely recall the slogan launched in 1895 by the Bulgarian Committee: “Death to the Grecophiles”).

After all this, then, how many “authentic” indigenous “Macedonians” did Greece have, according to the Skopjians?
And after all that, how is it possible to maintain that there was a single “Macedonian” people, which was dismembered and divided among Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria?
Let us take a closer look at what is currently being advaced on the subject of oppressed “Macedonians”. Skopjians tend to contradict themselves, now proclaiming the existence of 300.000 oppressed “Macedonians” in Greek Macedonia (this was the figure given by Simovski: cf. Peter Hill in the draft for the new Australian encyclopaedia and my communication to the Athens Academy, op.cit., p. 97), now 230.000 (Skopjian radio, 25 September 1991). In a also old statement to “Nova Makedonija” (29 July 1992),

Kiro Hatzivasilief declared:
“As to how many of this ethnic group (“Macedonians”) there are living in Greece, unfortunately no one has precise statistic data”.

And let us not overlook Mr Sidiropoulos (an ethnic “Macedonian” and member of the nationalist Uranio Toxo), who affirmed on an Australian national television broadcast in 1994 that the number of “Macedonians” in Greece amounted to no fewer than 1.000.000.

Of course today the Uranio Toxo nationalist claim other numbers (??) after the slaps in the several Greek elections.Also many of them became again Bulgarians by rejected theirs ancient Macedonian descents.

Grecoman Villages at the 40s

Among the Slavmacedonian villages that involved in that decade at the black period of the modern Greek history, were some of them that resisted in the blackmails of the autonomistic and foreighn influence organizations like Ohrana(1943, Bulgaria) and SNOF or NOF(1943-1949, Yugoslavia mainly and Bulgaria only at the beggining).Of course a lot of villages felt as also felt and other Greek villages in other regions of the mainland at the time of the occupation and civil war.

Known Grecoman villages were the Proti(Kabasnica), Ammohori, Mesohori, Veve (Banica), Melite(Vostarane), Kratero and Kele.I will stand to the latter ones.

Kratero village completed destroyed from the DSE forces(Communist) in March of 1947.

Kele, a historical village because in 1913 the known komitadji Tsakalarof killed, with the Proti were the core of the Grekoman resistance against the commitadjis(Bulgarian or Yugoslavian).Also as I mention in my previous post(without to get any answer) the number of the Slavmacedonian that involved in the several autonomistic moovements estimated in 3000-40000 people in total population of 100000-120000 people.

In the last year of the supposing civil war in Macedonia the Slavmacedonians estimated in 14000 when the all DSE were 20000.

This post dedicated to the Greek Makedontsi of the Diaspora

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Makedonski (Slavmacedonian) language

Modern Slavic Macedonian (makedonski in Slavic Macedonian) is a South Slavic language (Slavic, Indo-European). It is not to be confused with Ancient Macedonian, an Indo-European language more close to the Greek(and not Slavic) affiliation, whose most famous speaker was Alexander the Great. Makedonski is closest to Bulgarian and Serbian.Makedonski is descended from the dialects of Slavic speakers who settled in the Balkan peninsula during the 6th and 7th centuries C.E.

The oldest attested Slavic language, Old Church Slavonic, was based on dialects spoken around Salonica, in what is today Greek Macedonia(Makedonia). As it came to be defined in the 19th century, geographic Macedonia is the region bounded by Mount Olympus, the Pindus range, Mounts Shar and Osogovo, the western Rhodopes, the lowercourse of the river Mesta (Greek Nestos), and the Aegean Sea. Many languages are spoken in this region, but it is the Slavic dialects to which the glossonym Makedonski is applied.The region was part of the Ottoman Empire from the late 15th century until 1912 and was partitioned among Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria (with a western strip of villages going to Albania) by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913.

The modern Republica of Makedonjia, in which Slavomakedonski is the official language, corresponds roughly to the southern part of the territory ceded to Serbia plus the Strumica valley. The population is 2 022 547 (2002 census) and the Makedonski speakers estimated in 65% of the population.

Outside the Republic, Slavomakedonski is spoken by ethnic communities in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Kosovo as well as by emigre´ communities elsewhere. Greece does not recognize the existence of minorities with the name of Macedonian , Bulgaria insists that all Slavmacedonians are really Bulgarians, Albania refused to include questions about language and ethnicity in its last census (2001), and there has not been an uncontested statistical exercise in Kosovo since 1981, so official figures on Makedonski speakers outside the republic are unavailable estimates range to 700 000.


The language spoken by the majority of the Slavonic people of the Republica of Makedonjia which they have quite arbitrarily known with the English term «Macedonian», is a Slavic dialect so closely resembling Bulgarian and Serbian, that according to linguistic principles it can hardly be considered an independent language at a par with the other two. The only detinite boundaries of this Slavic dialect are set by the Greek language. They broadly coincide with the South Slavic-Greek cultural frontiers except for a small enclave which that dialect forms on Greek territory in the mountainous regions north of Kastoria. In the West, that Slavic dialect borders on the Albanian language, but, in this case, the linguistic frontier does not coincide with the national Albanian- South Slavic border; for the State of Skopje counts among its inhabitants, 164,000 Albanian-speaking people.The linguistic frontier on the Serb and Bulgarian sides are lost in the fluidity of equally divided linguistic groups on either side and are impossible to determine. The so-called Makedonski dialect is, in fact, an intermediate stage between Bulgarian and Serb. As one moves towards Bulgaria, the Serb elements grow rarer while the Bulgarian elements multiply and vicc versa. For that reason, just as the Vardar region was the apple of discord between the politicians of Bulgaria and Serbia, so its language has become an object of dispute. Serbian linguists stress its affinities with the Serb language; Bulgarians emphasize its similarities with Bulgarian. Both are anxious to prove that it is reallv an extension of their respective languages.Makedonski dialects are divided by a major bundle of isoglosses running from northwest to southeast along the River Vardar, swerving southwest at the confluence of the Vardar and the Crna and continuing down the Crna and into Greece southeast of Florina. The number of the dialects according Slavmacedonians sources estimated in 51(Donski).


Two centers of Balkan Slavic literacy arose, one in what is now northeastern Bulgaria, the other in what is now southwestern geographical Macedonia. In the early 19th century, all these intellectuals called their language Bulgarian, but a struggle emerged between those who favored northeast Bulgarian dialects and those who favored western Makedonski dialects as the basis for what would become the standard language. Northeast Bulgarian became the basis of standard Bulgarian, and Macedonci intellectuals began to work for a separate Makedonski literary language. The earliest known published statement of a separate Makedonskata linguistic identity was by Gjorgji Pulevski 1875, but evidence of the beginnings of separatism can be dated to a letter from the teacher Nikola Filipov of Bansko to the Bulgarian philologist Najden Gerov in 1848 expressing dissatisfaction with the use of eastern Bulgarian in literature and textbooks (Friedman, 2000: 183) and attacks in the Bulgarian-language press of the 1850’s on works using Slavomakedonski dialects (Friedman, 2000: 180).

Kristo Misirikov a known Bulgarian Macedonian scholar write as about the closing connection of the Slavomakedonski and Bulgarian languages in 1910…

We the Makedonci voluntarily choose one and the same language with Bulgarians long before the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkey. The prohibition from the Serbs to use our literally language, which is the only one connection between us and Bulgarians is significant violation of our human rights. .. and further.. when they forbid us to call ourselves Bulgarians, to learn Bulgarian history and to be ashamed from everything which connect us with Bulgarians. It is enough to learn our Makedonci culture and history to understand that we are very different from Serbian nationality.


To sever the linguistic bonds between the Makedonci and Serbs and Bulgarians, a new language was fabricated and touted as a separate Macedonian language, the language, it was said, of Alexander the Great (Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou 1988). In contrast to Alexander's language, which had an alphabet (Greek), the present Makedonci language did not have an alphabet until 1945.
To complete the deception, Tito commissioned the linguist Blago Konev (he changed his name later to Blaze Koneski) to devise an alphabet. Koneski modified the Serbian version of the Cyrillic alphabet and called it the "Macedonian alphabet" (Templar 2002). Koneski and his glossologists also modified the old church Slavonic, used by Cyril and Methodius (now named "old Macedonian"), and fabricated the lexicon of the Makedonski language from a mixture of Bulgarian, Serb-Croat, Slovenian and Greek languages.

In the photograph at the befinning of this post you can see the commission that established from Yugoslav authorities in November 1944 and created the Makedonski alphabete.
Left to right: Vasil Ilioski, Hristo Zografov, Krum Toshev, Dare Djambas, Venko Markovski, Mirko Pavlovski, Mihail Petrushevski, Hristo Prodanov, Georgi Kiselinov, Georgi Shoptraianov, Iovan Kostov.

The new nation needed a written language, and initially the spoken dialect of northern geographical Macedonia (South FYROM) was chosen as the basis for the Slavomakedonski language. However, this was deemed too close to Serbian and the dialects of Bitola-Veles became the norm. These dialects were closer to the literary language of Bulgaria but because the latter was based on the eastern Bulgarian dialects, it allowed enough differentiation for the Yugoslavs to claim it as a language distinct from Bulgarian-a point which Bulgaria has bitterly contested ever since. In fact the differentiation between the Slavomakedonski and Bulgarian dialects becomes progressively less pronounced on an east-west basis. Slavomakedonski shares nearly all the same distinct characteristics which separate Bulgarian from other Slav languages lack of cases, the post-positive definite article, replacement of the infinitive form, and preservation of the simple verbal forms for the past and imperfect tenses-but whether it is truly a different language from Bulgarian or merely a dialect of it is a moot point(Poulton).

The alphabet was accepted on 3 May 1945 and the orthography on 7 June 1945, and the first primer in the new language appeared by 1946, in which year a Makedonskata Department in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Skopje was also founded.

Below is document that showed how created the Makedonski alphabete( Spyridon Sfetas )

A grammar of the Slavomakedonski literary language appeared in 1952 with the help of the American linguist Horant Lunt, and the Institute for the Makedonski Language "Krste P' Misirkov" was founded the following year. Since the Second world 'war the new republic has used the full weight of the education system and the bureaucracy to make the new language common parlance, and indeed it is noticeable that old people still tend to speak a mixture of dialects which include obvious Serbianisms and Bulgarianisms, while those young enough to have gone through the education system in its entirety speak a 'purer' Macedonian (Andriotis).


In subsequent years, painstaking efforts were also made to camouflage the language's fabricated origin, but nonetheless it remains an offshoot of Bulgarian and is spoken in villages and towns of what is now known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).'" The new dialect was carefully cleansed of glossic elements betraying its Bulgarian origin, replaced by "Macedonian" neologisms, and forced on the pupils from above for political reasons (Koneski 1993; Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou 1988).

These comments are not meant to denigrate the language spoken in FYROM today, but simply to insist that this most impressive new language must not be touted as "Macedonian," which it is not, but sinlply as a new Slavonic dialect based on the Bulgarian language.(Papavizas, 2006)

The most recently poltical aspect is that two university professors in electrical engineering ( Aristotel Tentov and Tome Bosevski ) from Skopje, operating under the auspices of the government funded Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Skopje and presented to the official Makedonskata Academy of Sciences and Arts , are claiming that the " Egyptian Demotic" script is, in fact, a text related to the "old Slavonic Makedonski language" and is Ancient Macedonian. This contradicts all mainstream interpretations of the Stone and the mainstream scientific evidence that Ancient Macedonian was not a Slavic language and, not least, that Slavic speaking peoples did not reach the Balkan peninsula until the 6th CenturyCE. This theory is also promoted by the authorities and church in Skopje as a "2,200 Years Old Script and Text in the Makedonski Language".

References and recommended books..
  1. Spyridon Sfetas,The Configuration of the Slavmacedonian Identity, Vanias,2003
  2. George Papavizas, Claiming Macedonia,2006
  3. Maria Nystazopoulou - Pelekidou, The "Macedonian Question",1988
  4. P.N. Adriotis, The federative republic of Skopje and its language
  5. Hugh Poulton,Who are the Macedonians?, 1995
  6. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Keith Brown, 2005

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ethnological Composition of Macedonia -1925

In my previous article with the title Racial Migrations In Macedonia During The Years 1912-1924 I quoted that in the book " Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics" the writer Iakovos Michailides publish and analyze for a first time two secret statistics as about the Slavphones populations that done from the Greek authorities in Macedonia and Thrace.

This confidential statistical account of the Governorship-General of Macedonia referring to the population of the region as it was in the first quarter of 1925, estimates the Slavmacedonians at 173,954 persons. Of those, 97,836 or 7.1% of the total population were listed as bearing pro-Bulgarian sympathies (former Exarchists) and 76,118 or 5.5% as 'Patriarchists', that is, of pro-Greek sympathies. Of the 97,836 'Schismatic' Slavmacedonians, however, 11,238 were expected to emigrate; thus their number would be reduced to 86,398. The remaining 88% of the total population of Macedonia, consisting of indigenous Greeks, Hellenized Vlachs, a few pro-Romanian Vlachs, a few Muslim Albanians, a considble number of Jews and the Greek refugees settled in the region.

As is clear from this table in 1925 the majority of the Slavmacedonians who opted to remain in Greece lived in the districts of Fiorina and Kastoria in western Macedonia, as well as in Karatzova, Pella, and Giannitsa in central and Serres in eastern Macedonia. The credibility of this source is evidenced by a number of other official documents which estimate that the number of all Slav Macedonians, both Exarchists and Patriarchists, was about 160,000.
In 2006 the Oxford University publish a new book with the title....Population Exchange in Greek Macedonia: The Forced Settlement of Refugees 1922-1930 that include this confidential account. Dr Elisabeth Kontogiorgi has analytical desciptions not only from the specific statistical account but examine all the migration procedure that took place in Macedonia incuding recurring themes as the geographical distribution of the refugees, changing patterns of settlement and toponyms, the organization of health services in the countryside, as well as the execution of irrigation and drainage works in marshlands. Kontogiorgi also throws light upon and analyses the puzzling mixture of achievement and failure which characterizes the history of the region.
Below is the editorial review from Amazon :
Following the defeat of the Greek Army in 1922 by nationalist Turkish forces, the Convention of Lausanne in 1923 specified the first compulsory exchange of populations ratified by an international organization. The arrival in Greece of over 1.2 million refugees and their settlement proved to be a watershed with far-reaching consequences for the country. Dr Kontogiorgi examines the exchange of populations and the agricultural settlement in Greek Macedonia of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Asia Minor and the Pontus, Eastern Thrace, the Caucasus, and Bulgaria during the inter-war period. She examines Greek state policy and the role of the Refugee Settlement Commission which, under the auspices of the League of Nations, carried out the refugee resettlement project. Macedonia, a multilingual and ethnically diverse society, experienced a transformation so dramatic that it literally changed its character. Kontogiorgi charts that change and attempts to provide the means of understanding it. The consequences of the settlement of refugees for the ethnological composition of the population, and its political, social, demographic, and economic implications are treated in the light of new archival material. Reality is separated from myth in examining the factors involved in the process of integration of the newcomers and assimilation of the inhabitants - both refugees and indigenous - of the New Lands into the nation-state. Kontogiorgi examines the impact of the agrarian reforms and land distribution and makes an effort to convert the climate of the rural society of Macedonia during the inter-war period. The antagonisms between Slavophone and Vlach-speaking natives and refugee newcomers regarding the reallocation of former Muslim properties had significant ramifications for the political events in the region in the years to come. Other recurring themes in the book include the geographical distribution of the refugees, changing patterns of settlement and toponyms, the organisation of health services in the countryside, as well as the execution of irrigation and drainage works in marshlands. Kontogiorgi also throws light upon and analyses the puzzling mixture of achievement and failure which characterizes the history of the region during this transitional period. As the first successful refugee resettlement project of its kind, the 'refugee experiment' in Macedonia could provide a template for similar projects involving refugee movements in many parts of the world today.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Formation of the Autocephalous Church of FYROMacedonia

the below article is abstract from the great book of George Papavisas with the title Claiming Macedonia: The Struggle for the Heritage, Territory and the Name of the Historic Hellenic Land, 1862-2004 and has as subject the formation of the Autocephalous Church of fYROMacedonia

Formation of the Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia"Continuing efforts to sever the link between the newly created "Mace­donians" and the other Balkan Slavs and Bulgarians, and to boost the Macedonian consciousness (Palmer and King 1971), the government of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, with CPY's support, formed the Orthodox Church of "Macedonia" in 1967 with Skopje as the seat, despite protests by the Serbian Patriarchate. None of the other five Yugoslav republics had an autocephalous church. It was the only church formed by a communist regime, whose motto in the past was Lenin's dictum: "Religion is the opium of the masses." The Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia" broke the reli­gious ties of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia's Slavomacedonians with the Serbs and Bulgarians. Little by little everything became "Macedonian" in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia: history, culture, heroes, monu­ments, music, events, locations, language, even the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 (which they renamed the "Macedonian National Liberation War") and, finally, the church in 1967.

By playing with the two meanings of the name, the ethnic and the geographic, history revisionists in Skopje constructed an artificial "Macedonian" nationality from Serbs and Bul­garians and created such confusion among unsuspecting foreigners who were unable to distinguish between the two meanings," assuming that everything Macedonian must belong to the Slavs of the Vardar Province or "Macedonia."

The formation of the independent Church of "Macedonia" solved the religious affiliation problem faced by the diaspora Slavic emigrants. From the beginning of the twentieth century to 1967 slavophone immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Australia attended the Macedono-Bulgar-ian Orthodox Church affiliated with the Bulgarian Exarchate. After 1967, however, the members of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization (MPO) split into two groups, the Bulgarophiles, who still attend the Macedono-Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Skopje-oriented slavophones, who attend the Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia."

The Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia" was formed in violation of the rules of the Orthodox Church to strengthen Macedonia's autonomy vis-a-vis Serbia —autonomy expressed with the slogan "one state, one church, one nation" . The independent "Macedonian" Orthodox Church also founded an extremely active bishopric in America and propagandized extensively on the Macedonian Question as a CPY tool. The church's intense "Macedonian" activism in the United States and Canada is supported by about thirty thousand Slav-speakers who continue to stir provocatively the Macedonian problem. The slavophones in Amer­ica, mostly of Yugoslav origin, who emigrated after 1950, became the most vociferous people on the Macedonian issue, with their activism continuing unabated today in the press, on television, and on the Internet.

"for fair use only"