Friday, January 30, 2009

What's In A Name? You Wouldn't Ask That Question If You Lived In Macedonia(FYROM)

Visitors to the FYROM Macedonian capital, Skopje, now fly into Alexander the Great Airport.

January 30, 2009
By Blagoje Kuzmanovski

SKOPJE -- In searching for the perfect ancient hero to arouse a sense of national identify in their modern-day citizens,
FYROM Macedonian officials have settled on a provocative spokesperson -- Alexander the Great.

The image of the ancient Greek king and warrior, who at the time of his death in 323 BC had conquered most of the known world, beams intently down on residents from billboards with the message “You are Macedonia.”

A lengthy television ad depicts him on the eve of a crucial battle, calling on his fighters -- in the fluent South Slavic strains of contemporary Macedonian -- to be decisive and unafraid of the challenges ahead.

Even Skopje’s tiny international airport is in on the act. Until recently, the hub of national carrier FYROM Macedonian Airlines’ two-plane fleet was called Petrovec Airport. Now it is the Alexander the Great Airport.

Travelers at the airport walking past a massive bust of the ancient conqueror appear indifferent to the encroaching hellenization. But the rebranding frenzy is raising tempers in Greece.

'Expression Of Our Identity'

Athens has spent the past 17 years in a standoff with its northern neighbor over the right to claim the king -- and the name Macedonia -- as its own. Greece has blocked Skopje’s NATO entry over the bitter row, and has threatened to scupper its EU bid, as well.

Greek sculptures inside a government building in Skopje

But Sefik Duraki, a FYROM Macedonian government spokesperson, appears unrepentant.

“We see this [revival of our ancient Greek past] as an expression of our identity, a kind of nation-building exercise, and a confirmation of our statehood," Duraki says. "It’s not our intention to be provocative.”

Officials in Athens might disagree. Buildings, roads, and squares in FYROM Macedonia are renamed on an increasingly frequent basis to honor the ancient king and his forebears.

Duraki himself this month announced at least two such rechristenings. A major north-south trans-European highway was to be renamed Alexander of Macedon highway. And a Skopje football stadium will now be called the Philip the Second football arena -- in honor of Alexander’s father.

Alexander the Great was born in Pella, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. That heritage, Skopje says, gives it the right to claim the warrior's image as its own. But Pella is located in what is now Greek Macedonia, and Athens argues that the only country with the right to Alexander's legacy is Greece.

Powerful Lever

The issue has divided the two countries since the early 1990s, when the Socialist Republic of Macedonia split from Yugoslavia and constitutionally anointed itself the Republic of Macedonia.

By focusing the public’s attention on the glories of the past, [the government has] found the perfect way to provide an escape from reality. Greece objected, and insists on using the provisional reference of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in its official dealings with Skopje.

It has also exercised a far more powerful lever in blocking FYROM Macedonia's NATO and EU bids unless Skopje adopts a name that is acceptable to the Greek leadership.

Officials in Macedonia announced in November it would take Greece to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for blocking the NATO invite, which it says contravenes a 1995 interim accord between the two countries.

In the meantime, Skopje continues to keep its ties with the military alliance warm, with the commander of NATO's allied joint force command, Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, arriving in Macedonia on January 30 for a two-day visit.

Many FYROM Macedonians say they are tired of their government's grandstanding, which has only grown more pronounced as the country approaches presidential and local elections on March 22.

Biljana Vankovska, a political science professor at Skopje University, says she worries the dispute with Greece is doing their country irreparable harm by blocking the path toward Western integration.

"By focusing the public’s attention on the glories of the past, [the government has] found the perfect way to provide an escape from reality,” Vankovska says.

The unremitting dispute between Macedonia and Greece has also proved a mounting source of irritation to the international community.

The United Nations has appointed a special mediator in the quarrel, and is urging Skopje to accept the "Republic of Northern Macedonia" for international purposes -- and pressing Athens to drop its veto threats at NATO and the EU if Skopje does.

The EU, which is struggling to slowly herd the Balkan countries onto a membership track, has appeared almost exasperated with the dispute, and signaled particular frustration after Skopje's decision on the Alexander of Macedon highway.

Hellenization Campaign

The International Crisis Group think-tank this month issued a report warning the name dispute may undermine efforts to stabilize the Western Balkans, and called on both Athens and Skopje to take steps toward repairing the relationship.

The ICG called on Macedonian officials to accept the UN's name proposal, and to reverse its hellenization campaign and restore the original names to the Skopje airport and other buildings and roads rechristened in recent years.

It also urged other NATO and EU members to "actively encourage" Greece to drop its NATO and EU objections and to "respond positively" to any concessions by Skopje on the name issue.

Some FYROM Macedonians say they would welcome an opportunity to strip their country of some of the government's overreaching attempts to co-opt Alexander the Great.

After all, says Todor Cepreganov, the director of the National History Institute at Skopje’s Saints Cyril and Methodius University, there is more to FYROM Macedonian history than ancient history.

“I don’t agree that in our search for identity Macedonia should only look back to ancient times," he says. "Yes, we have our roots in ancient times, but we shouldn’t abandon our Slavic roots, either."

source:Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty

Monday, January 26, 2009

Racial discrimination from the FYROM TV as regards the human races

MRTV television house broadcast silly segments as regards the human races and specially the whites or "Macedonoids", blacks, yellows and ...mulattoes. This is what we call as regards the "Macedonism", a extreme ideology, similar to nazism that aim to the people that not adopted this ideology.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of racial discrimination, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. '

The below documanter, that produced from FYROM governmental TV channel is a great example of the Racial Discrimination. To safeguard anything “Macedonian” after its independence the government of the FYROM passed the Penal Code (articles 178 and 179) making the challenge to anything “Macedonian a crime.” That includes the universities. What happened to democracy? What happened to the academic freedom and non-attribution?

Transcript(from V.Gl):

O, Lord! Dearest God, which is in Heaven! Do you see our Macedonian agonies? Do you hear the crying of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and of our children? For the offspring which died for Macedonia?

We are bleeding for thousands of years, the living wounds of our offspring are left to them. O, Lord, You are the Only One at the Heaven. Only You are looking at our mother, crucified at four sides as the Son of God. Wherever You go, You are stepping over a grave and fall over bones. O, Lord, appear now, say us the truth, to us and to the world, because St. Nicholas came in my dream and told me: "and I am from the land of love and goodness, and I am a Macedonian. And I shed a bloody tear in the pot of our pain. But the truth is at the Almighty. Ask Him and He will tell it, because our Macedonian era has arrived. O, Lord, only You know that two truths exist, but the justice is only one. Thousands of book were spread all over the world by our neighbors with fake history and twisted truth about Macedonia. O, Lord, only You know our true justice: who we are, from where we are and why we are Macedonians? And to the Apostle Paul during dream a Macedonian appeared, saying: "come to Macedonia and help us".

And St. Apostle Paul listened to the prayer and firstly came among us, Macedonians. And now here, 2.000 years we are believing only in You, and in 2.000 Churches and Monasteries we are praying, and from the eternity we are waiting on You. I already can't remember, but I know, I, Macedon of Govrlevo, I am alone with God for 8.000 years and I pray in front of the largest cross in the world. You, the only Lord, dearest God which is in Heaven, listen to our prayer, come to Armageddon, lend us a hand and tell us the truth about the evil and the good, to us and to the whole world, because no more blood left in us, for the great mother - Macedonia"God"

Divine blessing for you, my Macedonians. I have waited for thousands of years to be called by you. From always with you, from eternity I am coming, I am already among you because here neither time nor space exists. Here, at my place, the time is still. But at your place, the time is now, for me to explain. Your mother earth I have inhabited with three races: the White-Macedonoids, the Yellow-Mongoloids and the Black-Negroids. The rest-all are mulattoes. From you, Macedonians, the descendants of Macedon, I have impregnated the White race and everything began from you, to the Sea of Japan. All White people are your brothers because they carry Macedonian gene. And all the migrations started from your place towards the north. Kokino, Porodin, Radobor, Angelci, Barutnica, Govrlevo, wherever you dig you shall find the truth who you are, why you are and from where are you. Evil diabolic souls obscured the truth for thousands of years and lied to the world.

How much did you suffered and to what kind of plights did you passed, because I was sending you temptations, but you have stayed faithful, my Children. Children of the sun and of the flowers, blessed with the joy, love and goodness. I send you Tsars for thousands of years and now I am giving you again. You are giving them to everybody, you didn't left them for you. How many Tsars are here with Me and how Macedonians are, so many stars are on the heaven and sand in the sea is. Let all the Angels sing, for everybody who are with Me, who from love for Macedonia, exchanged their life for eternity and shared the Tsardom here with Me. Already the Angels are singing for all of you which understood God's glory, for all of you to which I gave a part of Paradise, for all of you I gifted with love and peace, for all of you which waited for Me and have seen My arrival.

Here, I am now coming to Macedonia, I am now among you, to tell you the truthful truth, which is among you under the soil. The grave of Alexander, the Macedonian Tsar, I shall open it, and the entire world at bowing in front of you I shall bring. How many Macedonian graves I have yet to open, because souls near me desire the truth. Love your greatest enemies, because I send them to be of greatest help to you. The truth about Macedonia and you, Macedonians, should be known to the world. Because you were first among the firsts, most dignified among the most dignified. Now the Macedonian era arrived, the whole world to obtain the truth, to see that honor and blessing is to be a Macedonian, a descendant of Macedon and son of the God of Universe. Children of mine, blessed and eternal be, here where the sun and flowers rules, let there be eternal joy, love and goodness. Among you, I am now noble. In eternal Macedonia, blessed one, amen!

In 2001, the European Union explicitly banned racism along with many other forms of social discrimination in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the legal effect of which, if any, would necessarily be limited to Institutions of the European Union: "Article 21 of the charter prohibits discrimination on any ground such as race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, disability, age or sexual orientation and also discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

FYROM is a great example of a form of a social discrimination.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Answers to Professor Victor Friedman Allegations as regards the Macedonian Issue


Dr. Victor Friedman the so-called “expert” linguist from the University of Chicago in his interview with Christopher Deliso of on Macedonia, states:

“…it’s been that way ever since modern Macedonians began to call themselves Macedonians. The Greeks have been denying the existence of its Macedonian minority since acquiring Greek Macedonia at the Treaty of Bucharest following the Second Balkan War (1913)…”
Even though Dr. Friedman projects an aura of expertise as a Professor of Slavic and Balkan Linguistics, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, his answers to Christopher Deliso makes one wonder about his basic Balkan historical knowledge. It is therefore compelling to remind the good Professor of some historical facts regarding the Balkans.

The history of the FYROM is very recent. It started approximately in the fifth century AD. Originally the southern Slavs were called Venedi, but the Byzantines changed their name to Sklavini when they migrated to the south part of the Balkans because the Slavs established alliances, or unions amongst themselves called “sklavinije.” These Sklavinije asserted as their high commanders a regular hierarchy of princes such as Hatson, Akamir and Prvud. In the middle of the 5th century AD the southern Slavs crossed the Carpathian Mountains and settled in the former Roman provinces of Panonia (modern day Hungary) and Dacia (modern day Romania). The first Slavic and Turkic tribes of the Bulgarians started attacking the Balkan areas jointly in the 5th century AD. In the beginning, they robbed the Byzantine population, devastating the countryside and then returning to their bases. Former FYROM President Gligorov verified the above with his statement: “according to the history of the Macedonian people the prevailing view is that we are Slavs. We came from the Balkan [Mountains] in the sixth, seventh century and settled on the land called Macedonia. Even so, this is not what gives the identity of our people” (Kiro Gligorov, Skopje, 2000, 354). Lasting settlements of Slavs in parts of the Macedonian area began at the end of the sixth century. Up to the middle of the seventh century the seven Slavic tribes, namely Draguviti, Bereziti, Sagudati, Rinhini, Strumljani, Smoljani, Velegeziti, Milingi, Ezerites, Timoani, Abodrini, and Moravijani united in tribal unions, thus turning into an important political and ethnic factor in the history of the Balkans. They are the ancestors of the current Slavic population of the FYROM. According the Yugoslavian Military Encyclopedia (ed. 1974) the Timočani, Abodrini, and Moravijani, at present, are part of the Serbian Nation.

The terms Vardar Macedonia, Macedonia of Pirin and Aegean Macedonia used by the citizens of the FYROM were tricks by the former Yugoslavia to serve effectively its aggressive and political purposes. There are no official or unofficial records or statistics, according to which the FYROM inhabitants are called “Macedonians.” As all ethnologist scientists agree no separate Macedonian ethnos ever existed in history, (Arnold van Gennep: Traité comparatif des nationalités. Paris, 1922. A, 212;). The expression “Macedonian nation” is the creation of Pan-Slavism, used first by the Russian N. S. Zarganko in 1890, having the meaning of a nonexistent separate ethnicity being the Trojan horse for the Slavic aggression against Greece. Suddenly and out of nowhere a “Macedonian” ethnos was created in Southern Yugoslavia, known by names such as South Serbia and People’s Republic of Macedonia. The Manifesto of Krushevo of 1903 is a testimony to the geographic nature of the term Macedonia and Macedonian people. The hero of the FYROM Goce Delchev states in an authenticated letter that they “are Bulgarians” while the so-called father of FYROM’s “Macedonism” affirms the Slavonic culture of the “Macedonians” (Giorgio Nurigianni, 1972).

In the official Turkish census of 1904-1905 there is no mention of any “Macedonians.” The population of the European part of the Ottoman Empire, during the census was a total of 4,183,575 people and had the following structure: 1,823,500 Moslems, 1,619,300 Greeks, 455,000 Bulgarians, 151,235 Jews, 95,350 Armenians, 16,550 Serbs, 13,750 Vlachs and 8,890 Roma. The census was organized by the Inspector General Hilmi Pasha, who was appointed by the Sultan. The same census shows that in the Vilayet of Manastir the population consisted of 670,250 people and had the following structure: 250,000 Greeks, 223,000 Moslems, 143,000 Bulgarians, 13,150 Serbs, 6,150 Vlachs and 4,950 Jews. The same census also shows that the population of the Vilayet of Thessaloniki, except the Sanjak of Divris and Elbasan consisted of 1,070,100 people and had the following structure: 423,500 Moslems, 362,000 Greeks, 128,000 Bulgarians, 69,200 Jews, 8,650 Roma, 7,350 Vlachs and 1,400 Serbs. (These figures are taken from the book THE COLLUSION AGAINST MACEDONIA by Theodore Sarandis, page 25). The same numbers were reflected in the ethnographic map appended to the work of the Italian ethnographer Amatore Virgili. A census took place in Yugoslavia in 1940. The official results of this census showed no mention of a Macedonian nation. According to the census, the population of the Region of present day FYROM, amounted to 1,071,426 people and had the following structure: 710,676 Slavs (66%), 334,285 Albanians & Turks (31.2%) and 26,465 Vlachs & Greeks (2.8%).

However what happened to the Slavs residents of Southern Yugoslavia, which was also part of the Vardarska Banovina area for a time after the name change of the region into the Peoples’ Republic of Macedonia in August 1944? Did they all disappear? Did they migrate somewhere else? None of the aforementioned happened. Tito’s totalitarian regime in August 1944, accompanied by Stalin’s mandate, direction and blessing and the slavish cooperation and allegiance of all totalitarian consanguineous parties and governments, aimed to rename the region People’s Republic of Macedonia and its inhabitants to become “Macedonians” overnight. All Eastern bloc countries were aiming to usurp Greek Macedonia with its warm port of Thessaloniki as their trophy. During the Balkan Wars 1912-13 there was no “Macedonian” army to fight the rights of the supposed “Macedonians.” During the negotiating talks of the Bucharest Treaty, there were no representatives of any “Macedonian Nation”. The 1914 Carnegie Report (Report of the International Commission to Report on the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars) not only did not record the existence of a “Macedonian” army, but neither did it record the existence of any “ethnic Macedonian” civilians.

In 1921 in Moscow, the Komintern (3rd Communist International) overviewed the seizure of Macedonia and Thrace in Greece, placing them into the communist bloc. Based on this decision, and when other efforts had no results, the then powerful Yugoslav Communist leader Tito had to find another approach. He suddenly discovered that the “Macedonians,” are not Greek and the “Macedonian” language is not the Greek language and“Scholars” from the People’s Republic of Macedonia were commissioned to re-write their history books to include the ancient Macedonian History according to the wishes of the League of Communists of communist Yugoslavia, accompanied by perverted maps showing their “Macedonia” going all the way down to the northern half of Mount Olympus. Also, “linguists” led by Blagoj Konev, a.k.a. Blaže Koneski, were appointed to create the alphabet for and refine the “newly discovered” Macedonian language, which, of course, was made to sound as if it were the “natural development” of the ancient Macedonian language. Through their control of mass media and education, the government of People’s Republic of Macedonia then introduced this language and claimed that it is the language that was spoken by the ancient Macedonians. However, this language is grammatically nearly identical to Bulgarian and, due to continuous government interventions its vocabulary tends to include more Serbo-Croatian words that have replaced the Bulgarian words. Former FYROM Prime Minister Georgievski affirming this fact wrote: “I will give an example with the newly formed stupidity expressed in the term ‘classical Macedonian language’ (language in Ancient Macedonia as a basis of modern Macedonian language?!). The whole story about Ancient Macedonia sounds undoubtedly very nice. However, there is a great problem, a huge hole of about 2,000 years during which we have neither oral nor written tradition, nor a single scientific argument!” (Ljubco Georgievski, FOCUS, 31 March 2008 ).

It is truly unnecessary to be forced to defend the well-known historical facts about ancient Macedonia’s Hellenism after so many books and reputable, respected world historians and archaeologists have written articles about it. The archaeological findings in Macedonia proper and all the way to Central Asia, Egypt and India where Alexander the Great went, including cities with Greek names, coins and statues with Greek inscriptions, letters written by simple Macedonian soldiers and by simple Macedonian women as the curse of the Pella Katadesmos, written in Northwestern Greek dialect, architectural styles of temples, writings by ancient historians, all demonstrate the Hellenism of Macedonia. The marble statues and gravestones in two continents speak Greek! There is not a shred of evidence that a language other than Greek was spoken in ancient Macedonia and in countries conquered by Alexander the Great.

A practical question could be posed to Professor Friedman. Mount Olympus is in Macedonia, Greece. Would the Athenians, Spartans, and the other Greeks have their Gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Aphrodite, etc) living on a mountain belonging to Macedonia if that province was not part of the Greek world? Dr. Federico Krutwig Sagredo, President of Hellenic College of Bilbao in Spain in a lecture stated: Macedonians were only the people who were members of a Greek tribe “…Those who are now saying that the Slavs of Skopje are Macedonians are either lying or lack knowledge or they have hidden irredentist purposes ….” (Hellenic Education, Ancient Greek Courses - 7th Lesson, p. 117).

There is not one scientific argument regarding the imaginary amalgamation of the Slavs with the ancient Macedonians, who according to Fanula Papazoglu’s dissertation were Greek speakers (Fanula Papazoglu, Skopje 1957, 333). The newly authenticated inscription of Katadesmos brings the Macedonian dialect in the realm of Northwestern Greek dialects along with Acarnanian and Aetolian, which verifies Titus Livius’ statement that “Aetolians, Acarnanians, and Macedonians are people of the same speech.” Katadesmos bears “the phenomena that distinguish the Northwest Greek dialects” as pointed out by Carl D. Buck (Carl D. Buck, 1907, 241-276). Dr. Friedman argues that the Bulgarian language differs from the “Macedonian” language because their bases are different. The Bulgarian language has its basis in Sofia whereas the “Macedonian” comes from the Veles, Bitola, Prilep and Kichevo area. If the FYROM language has its basis on the dialect of Veles, Bitola, Prilep and Kichevo area, that statement proves that FYROM Slavic was born in 1945. The government of the People’s Republic of “Macedonia” imposed that basis on its people during that time. Based on Friedman’s argument, what was the basis of the pre-1945 “Macedonian” language? Sofia? It had to be because the “Macedonian” language did not exist on its own since there were two additional equal dialects, the one of Stip-Strumica and one of Skopje. In addition, as a matter of political agenda and policy successive governments of Skopje inserted through controlled education and press vocabulary from other Slavic languages, especially from Serbian, aiming to create a completely different language from the one the people of that Republic spoke in 1945. To safeguard anything “Macedonian” after its independence the government of the FYROM passed the Penal Code (articles 178 and 179) making the challenge to anything “Macedonian a crime.” That includes the universities. What happened to democracy? What happened to the academic freedom and non-attribution? Regarding the loss of the infinitive, it is a fact that it is a regional issue applying to all south Balkan languages. In the case of the FYROM language it never had one since its mother language, Bulgarian, has long lost its infinitive with a few traces of the old infinitive remaining in the negative Imperative, which has almost disappeared.
FYROM is a small landlocked country in the southern Balkans with serious domestic issues, which exports problems and instability to its neighboring countries. It is the only country in Europe that reciprocity and compromise are unknown, while irredentism and aggression are the norm. It is the result of an ultra-nationalistic government that follows Macedonism, a nationalistic concept created by the communists based on a history that they purposely falsified in order to hide imperialistic and revanchist views. The present ultra-nationalist government of the FYROM continues the communist policies based on the lie of Macedonism. Therefore, if the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia needs a lie in order to exist, its existence is redundant.

By Theodore Spyropoulos – USA SAE Coordinator
Assisted by Marcus A. Templar-Balkans Expert

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Macedonia: it's not just the name

by Aristede Caratzas
via e-mail
Photos are mine

The dispute regarding the official name by which the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is known appears to many policy makers to be anything from arcane to trivial. Yet its mishandling during the last 15 years, and especially in the last few months, has had political consequences for some of the world’s major players and has increased tensions and the potential for instability in the Balkans - referred to by historians and diplomats as Europe’s “soft underbelly”.

The case in point is the unprecedented defeat of a United States president at a NATO meeting - the much touted Bucharest summit in April of last year. President George W. Bush proclaimed the US’ “strong support” for the Republic of Macedonia’s bid for NATO membership, only to have it denied under the threat of a veto by the Greek government. Nor did the NATO Secretary-General’s visit to Athens and Skopje - the capital of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - following the NATO summit, increase the likelihood of a positive result, while the mediation process currently under way under the direction of US diplomat Matthew Nimetz finds progress elusive.
Given the complexity of the situation it is useful to consider some of the elements of this case that make it much harder to resolve than the cursory (and sloppy) assessments that some foreign policy “professionals” have suggested. Until now some of these professionals, especially those based in Washington, have approached this process mechanistically, hoping somehow that the implicit threat of American displeasure would sway the Greek government. Although Greece has caved in many times in the past, there is little flexibility on this issue; After repeated polling over many years, it has become clear that more than 85 per cent of the Greek public consistently demands a hard line on the issue.

This writer remembers a meeting in mid 1992 between Nicholas Burns, then State Department Spokesman and later Ambassador, and a group of Greek-American leaders. In answer to a question about the precedent affecting the European border system that would result from the recognition of the Skopje regime under the name of “Macedonia” (it then had explicit claims on Greek territory not to mention the history that is outlined below), Burns slammed his notebook shut and refused to discuss the implications. Some of the Greek-American leaders appeared more annoyed with the questioner than with Burns’ evasive little tiff. Yet this question has, as does the entire dispute regarding the name of the tenuous state, its foundation in the settlements following World War II: in short, in recent history.
In trying to understand the issues that are thrust upon the stage of international affairs, it is ironic that diplomats, other foreign policy professionals and political scientists often opt to ignore history. But it is treacherous to wade into the Balkans - where human experience has been recorded for millennia and folk memories are long - and not to be sensitive to recent historical traumas.

To be fair, much of the discourse of those most immediately involved has related to realities of the 5th-4th century BC, or cites mythological ethnogenetic constructions, which may be obscure to diplomats and policy makers. Many Greeks argue their case by making reference to 4,000 years of the Hellenicity of Macedonia; while the Skopje regime’s mythology increasingly expands its symbolic pantheon to include Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great, even though the Slavic culture and language, which are the axes of its purported identity, appeared a little more than a millennium later.

Yet the history that matters most, even if it largely has been ignored so far, refers to recent events, those taking place before, during and after World War II. In the Balkans these fall into three major categories:
  1. the unresolved issues regarding ethnic and linguistic minorities before World War II;
  2. the Axis occupation and policy of collaboration with minority groups; and
  3. the successful shift from collaboration with the Nazis to alliances with Communists by some of these minority groups.
In order to set a broader historical context, one only needs to recall the use of ethnic minorities by the German National Socialist regime to destabilise Eastern Europe in the 1930s. In practice that meant that the Nazis encouraged the Sudeten German minority in Czechoslovakia and the German minority in Poland in order to put pressure on those states. These minorities were encouraged to make allegations of, what we would today call, human rights violations against the Czechs and the Poles: this provided the justification for the interventions that led, first to the collapse of the Czech state, and then to world war, when the Germans attacked Poland.
In Greece, after the Germans invaded in 1941, they established occupation zones for their forces and those of their Italian and Bulgarian allies. In Macedonia (the Greek province only used that name at the time), the German High Command under Field Marshal Siegmund List approved of the presence of Slavophone “liaison officers” to be attached to the occupying forces. These were mostly Bulgarian officers, linked to the nationalist VMRO group (Slavic for “Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization”), whose agenda was to mobilise and co-ordinate the activities of the Slavophone inhabitants in Macedonia for the benefit of the Axis occupiers.

The leader of VMRO was Ivan “Vancho” Mihailoff (also known as “Mihailov” in some the literature): he was a major figure in the history of southeast European extremist nationalist movements, though little studied even by experts. By 1930 Mihailoff had prevailed in the bloody power struggles (which included dozens of assassinations and other terrorist acts) for the leadership of VMRO.

VMRO's main goal had always been the creation of an independent “Macedonian” state; it had built an extensive network in Bulgaria, which was used to provide financing for the organisation and an operational base from which the offensives into Yugoslavia and Greece were conducted.

Mihailoff had close links to Ante Pavelic, whom he assisted in the formation of the Ustashe (the Croatian Nazis, whose ardour and cruelty embarrassed even their German allies) and, with Heinrich Himmler, to whom he introduced the Croat leader.

Mihailoff co-operated with Pavelic in the spectacular assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Marseilles in 1934. The triggerman, Vlado Chernozemski, a close associate of Mihailoff, had been attached to the Ustashe on his order for the preceding two years. Between 1941-1944 Mihailoff settled in Zagreb, using it as his base of operations.

Meanwhile, the region of western Macedonia in Greece was occupied by the Italians, who were still smarting from their defeat by the Greek forces. They developed a policy of exploiting the grievances of linguistic minorities, of which some members of the Slavophone group proved most responsive.

This was the result of a visit to Rome by Pavelic, who personally persuaded Mussolini and Ciano of the wisdom of such a policy and of the intention of Mihailoff to implement it. Thus the Italians were assisted by VMRO, which sent out agents of its irredentist “Kostour [Kastoria] Brotherhood” headed by a Spiro Vasilieff to Kastoria in order to set up the foundations. Detachments of Slavophone volunteers were first formed in 1943 and they accompanied Italian units searching for arms from the stores of the retreating Greek forces, which the country people often were hiding.

These volunteers joined the Italian sponsored the “Axis Macedonian-Bulgarian Committee,” which became better known as the “Komitato” (or “Komitet”). It was first founded in the Kastoria by Anton Kaltchev, a Bulgarian officer of Slavo Macedonian antecedents connected to Mihailoff’s VMRO, who enjoyed the respect of the Germans. Soon, a military arm of this organisation was formed and came to be known as the “Macedonian Bulgarian Command,” or less formally the “Ohrana”.

Led by Kaltchev, the Ohrana was able was able to mobilise significant forces, recruited from Kastoria, Florina and Edessa and the surrounding villages, i.e. central and west Macedonia. This probably fielded about 5,000 men by mid 1943. These forces assisted the Italians in operations against the Greek resistance organisations, and in intimidating and terrorising the local population opposed to the Axis occupation.

Mihailoff travelled to Berlin in early August 1943, where he was received by Reichsführer-SS Himmler at the Sichercheitsdienst (Security Service) headquarters: he also appears to have met with Hitler. Mihailoff apparently received consent to create two to three battalions of volunteers which would be armed and supported by the Germans and be under the command and disposal of Himmler’s organisation (i.e. the SS). There is extensive evidence that Himmler’s office followed up in order to implement the terms of this agreement, appointing SS Major (Hauptbahführer) Heider to co-ordinate the arming and equipping the VMRO volunteers.

In March 1944 the village companies of Kastoria, were reorganised into militias, and were armed and prepared for service by the Germans; and Kaltchev’s loyalists based in around Edessa and Florina also were included in this project. After some initial skirmishes with the Greek ELAS resistance forces, beginning on May 4 several VMRO volunteer companies from Kastoria and Edessa participated in the anti-guerrilla “Operation May Thunderstorm”, as part of the “Battle Group Lange,” spearheaded by elements the Nazi 4th SS Mechanised Infantry Division.

The German forces assisted by their Slavophone collaborators launched the last co-ordinated attack against organised Greek resistance from July 3 to July 17. The “Operation Stone Eagle” took place in the northern Pindus area with the objective of containing elements the Greek Resistance forces’ ELAS 8th and 9th Divisions. According to testimonies of the time the objective was partly achieved.

When the Germans withdrew from Greece, and Bulgaria declared war on Germany, the Ohrana and the Slavophone collaborationist effort collapsed. Anton Kaltchev fled Greece, but was apprehended by Yugoslav communist partisans and delivered to ELAS. He ended up in Thessalonica, where he was tried by the Greek government for war crimes and was executed.

It is ironic, but not altogether surprising, that FYROM, the present successor state to the People’s Republic invented by Tito, is ruled by one of VMRO’s factions. While the Skopje regime formally rejects Mihailoff, it has resumed a not-so-couched irredentist, nationalist, extremist, rhetoric reminiscent of the discourse of its collaborationist predecessor namesake. It draws much of its support from the Slavomacedonian diaspora in the US, Canada and Australia. The regime is the ideological inheritor of Ivan Mihailoff, close friend and ally of Anton Pavelic and Heinrich Himmler.

In this reality, borne of a bitter historical experience, is to be sought the reason for the nearly instinctive reaction of Greek popular feeling (cutting across party lines) against FYROM’s claims, whether as to its name or its revived irredentist claims about minorities and properties. The Slavomacedonian collaborators and their children, who fought twice against the Greek state, should no more expect recompense by that state than the children of the Germans of the Sudetenland expect from the Czech Republic or those of Danzig from Poland. When they accept that truth, it will be the first step for a genuine rapprochement with the Greek people.

Realism however dictates that we should not be optimistic in the short term. Hijacking the name of Macedonia, arbitrarily seizing cultural symbols (i.e. Philip II, Alexander the Great, Saints Cyril and Methodius, among others) and now claiming “minorities” and properties in Greece, demonstrates that Prime Minister Nikola Gruevsky, heading the present day VMRO and the Skopjan leadership, have inherited Mihailoff’s nationalist extremist vision.

Meanwhile, Bush and those of his supporters in Washington and elsewhere who have been studiously ignorant until now, should come to understand that the Greek people (supported not only by most Greek-Americans, but many other people who experienced the wrath of totalitarian extremists) are not likely to agree to terms proposed by a regime which revives the discourse of its dark past.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pulp Fiction - The "Macedonians" in Victoria

'book´ "The Macedonians in Victoria" published in October 2007 by our very own Victorian Multicultural Commission, provides an example of the quandary a ´multicultural´ organization can find itself in, when caused to ´adjudicate´ not only between two opposing forms of nationalism among ethnic minorities but when members of those minorities, in this case, those purporting to be ´Macedonians´ appear to abuse the goodwill and benign interest of the authorities in promoting ethnic harmony, by misapplying their resources towards indulging in polemics that may cause inter-ethnic strife.

While it is trite that two opposing views exist within the broader community as to the ´Macedonian identity´, it is of concern that the authors of the book seem to have placed the unwitting Victorian Multicultural Commission in a position where it could be seen as unilaterally having ´taken sides´ upon the Macedonian issue, something that is not the case. This is particularly unfortunate, given that the publication appears to be full of inflammatory comments and unsubstantiated statements whose aim appears to be to discredit the Greek State, Greek-Australians and especially those of Macedonian background. We can only be assuaged by remarks made by responsible persons within the Commission that they were unaware of the inclusion of such comments in the book and certainly do not endorse them.

In particular the following is to be noted:

a) Authorship

One of the co-authors of the book, Robert Najdovski, is eighteen years old. While it is unclear to what extent, if any, he is responsible for any of the research or text in the book, the sponsorship of a supposed "scholarly" work by an academically unqualified secondary student places the Victorian Multicultural Commission in a compromised posititon.

b) Offensive and Racist Front Cover

The front cover of the book is offensive to many nationalities who have traditionally resided in the geographical region of Macedonia. It depicts a map that presents Northern Greece, eastern Bulgaria and western Albania as forming a political entity entitled ´Macedonia´, something that is not the case. The implication appears to be that these lands somehow belong together or should form a single entity.

This irredentist attitude is further displayed in the illustrations adorning the top of the front cover. The authors have sought fit to include two landmarks of the city of Thessaloniki, the White Tower and the Church of Saint Sophia, thereby implying that the said city, which is the second largest city in Greece, should belong to their ´homeland.´ It is to be noted in passing that in a recent message to the Pan-Macedonian Federation of Australia, from Premier John Brumby, he links Melbourne´s Dimitria Festival, a celebration of the patron Saint of Thessaloniki, with "the traditions and culture of Macedonian Hellenism." Finally of course, the ubiquitous Star of Vergina is displayed rising from the left (Bulgarian) shoulder of ´Macedonia´, a historic logo that is actually owned by the Greek State, and which has been discarded by the FYROM government as a national symbol in favour of a sun reminiscent of that appearing on the Japanese Imperial war flag.

c) Title and Content

The book seems not to examine in any detail, "The Macedonians in Victoria". Instead a good deal of space is taken up in chapters such as "The Macedonians in Albania", "The Formation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1944", and polemical chapters such as "Our country is Macedonia" (p149), "We are Macedonians" (p 175) and "The prejudice of Jeff Kennett" (p 181). Essentially, this appears to be a book with an explicit political purpose: to promote the arguments of those members of the community who culturally and ethnically identify with the FYROM and to assert a particularly narrow racially exclusive conception of such an identity. Thus, while the book is entitled "The Macedonians in Victoria", the book excludes the history of Greek, Albanian, Turkish, Romany, Serbian, Bulgarian and Vlach-speaking Macedonians who live in Victoria.As such, it discriminates against Macedonians who do not fit the authors´ ethnic stereotyping, on the basis of their race.

On many occasions, in their attempt to foist racial homogeneity upon the racially diverse Victorians of "Macedonian" origin, the authors seem to make questionable claims such as that in the 1930´s 90% of the Macedonian population in Australia came from ´Aegean Macedonia´ (p 54). This is misleading because it does not address the issue of whether or not that population actually had a Greek consciousness, which we would argue, is the case. In effect, the authors seem to deny to many Greek-Victorians, the right to identify with their own Macedonian heritage, which heritage cannot be determined on racially exclusivist lines.

d) Offensive and irredentist use of the term ´Aegean Macedonia´.

It is common knowledge that various nationalist extremists who culturally and ethnically identify with FYROM refer to the Greek province of Macedonia as ´Aegean Macedonia´, and display it on their maps as terra irredenta to be redeemed, as the authors have done. The authors liberally employ this term, making offensive irredentist statements such as "The Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia did not succeed in liberating themselves either in the Second World War or during the Civil War of Greece…" (p 38). Again, at page 141, the authors state that "…Aegean Macedonia... is still within Greek political borders…" and also refer to it as "the Greek ruled part of Macedonia" (p 42). Here the authors are clearly stating that Greek Macedonia and its inhabitants should belong to the entity with which they culturally identify. Further, on page 79, they include a photograph of one Risto Altin, also known as Christos Altis, who they state has devoted "his life…to Macedonia´s liberation." This appears to be a highly improper misuse of the Victorian Multicultural Commission´s funds

As if this were not enough, on page 39, in order to grant legitimacy to their irredentist argument, they statethat "Macedonian remains the language spoken of (sic)… Aegean Macedonia." This is incorrect. The overwhelming majority of the population of the Greek province of Macedonia speaks Greek. The authors then impugn the right of the inhabitants of the Greek province of Macedonia to live in their homes stating: "After the Greek Civil War, Macedonians were driven out of the Aegean part of Macedonia and they were ´replaced´ by people of other than Macedonian origin." (p 44) This oblique attempt to allege ethnic cleansing is both unhistorical and mischievous. Further, it has nothing to do with the life of ethnic minorities in Victoria, which Diatribe is informed, formed the subject of the authors´ application for a grant to publish the book.

The publication of a book through State funds, that does not respect the sovereignty of nations and calls for the revision of borders, especially when this is based upon fallacious evidence, sets a dangerous precedent that threatens to disrupt the social cohesion, ethnic harmony, mutual respect and co-existence of racially diverse, multicultural Victoria.

e) Racism directed against Greeks

The book is replete with disparaging references towards the Greeks, both of Greece and Australia. The following of many such inclusions within the book, appear to attempt to portray the Greeks as implacable enemies of the authors´ compatriots:

i) The inclusion of a photo of protesters bearing a placard that reads "I´m not scared of Greeks, raciest (sic) vampires".

ii) Statements such as "Greeks and Macedonians were always at odds" (p 147)

iii) Quoting from a speech referring to the Greek community in Australia, where the following is said: "Unfortunately our suppressors have advantages even here" (p 154).

iv) Constant references to "the power of the Greek vote" (p 168) and "the Greek lobby", implying that Greek-Australians are able to subvert the Australian political system. The convening of a conference by the Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies is thus referred to as "a provocation of the Greek lobby" (p 138). Further, they make the extra-ordinary claim: "A Greek representative of the Pan-Macedonian Federation of Australia admitted that Jeff Kennett´s support might have been related to vote-grabbing. He also confirmed that that is what politics is about." (p 183). This is particularly hurtful and offensive, as it is reminiscent of and parallels anti-Semitic accusations of Jewish political influence. As if to drive the analogy further, the authors also accuse "the Greek lobby of starting the fire at Saint Nicholas," (p 88) in the same manner that the Nazi´s blamed the burning of the Reichstag upon the Jews. Of course, such comments are defamatory as the arsonists in this and other cases are unknown.

v) The country of Greece is portrayed as a violent oppressor. Thus there are references to: "Greece´s lies and misrepresentations" (p 155), "ethnic Macedonians in Greece had been subjected to the most extreme measures of forced assimilation" (p 107) as well as Greece allegedly meting out the following punishments for "speaking Macedonian… forced eating of salted fish… imprisonment, the drinking of castor oil… piercing the tongue with a needle, cutting off part of the ears" (p 43) Further, the unsubstantiated claim that "5,000 Macedonians were imprisoned for using Macedonian" (p 43) and that "Greece was not very happy with the reunion of the children refugees as they told the world the truth about what happened…" (p 130) appears to be part of a calculated attempt to discredit Greeks and Greece in the eyes of the uninformed reader, with unreal, unfounded, unsubstantiated and imaginative tirades.Again one wonders what these references have to do with the title of the book "The Macedonians in Victoria."

e) General Racism and Sexism

Of particular concern are the apparently latent assertions of ´Macedonian´ cultural superiority and racial stereotyping as they occur within the book, even where the book makes some sort of attempt to sketch the life of only one specific section of the Macedonian community, chosen arbitrarily along racial lines. For example, the authors lament the fact that "the children, through the schools become more Australianised" (p 69). They also make gross racial generalisations as follows: "Unlike their English-speaking counterpart who can live in a rented flat, Macedonians prefer to get a loan from the bank and buy their own houses" (p 69) Such racial stereotyping verges on the ridiculous when the authors state that "it is not very common for Macedonians to buy businesses as … there is no Macedonian ´tradition of involvement in business. The Macedonian´s expectations include a house with a large garden in which they can grow vegetables and plant fruit trees." (p 69). The Macedonian Greek community is comprised of many members who are successful businessmen. The authors´ assertion is fallacious.

Sexist references also abound within the book. The authors are particularly demeaning when referring to the place of women in Macedonian society. According to the author: "The majority of Macedonian women support the old traditions, saying that the family ´where the hen sings´ is not a family" ( p 67). It is highly offensive to refer to women as ´hens´ and thus discount the equal position of women in society. In particular, unsubstantiated and unreferenced comments such as "The daughters are brought up under strict supervision and are expected to perform their domestic duties, leaving the running of their private lives to the greater ´wisdom´ of their male relatives" and "It is seen as a waste of time and money for a girl to go to university because, when she marries, her education would be wasted. Worse still, higher education may lessen the girl´s chances of making a good marriage…" (p 67) are unscholarly, fallacious and present a biased view of "Macedonian" women. Within the Macedonian Greek community, there are countless examples of emancipated, educated women who play a leading role within their families, profession and society in general. Such generalised observations as are made by the authors present an idealised, incorrectly static and thoroughly sexist view of "Macedonian" society.

The Pan-Macedonian Federation of Australia, (and the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council), and indeed the entire Greek community is right to be greatly incensed and also bemused at the publication of this amateurish polemic. It does not delineate the history of the "Macedonians" in Victoria but appears to use this title as a vehicle and/or cover to advance contentious and racist arguments about the "Macedonian" identity and to indulge in polemics with the Greek-Australian community.The Greek community respects diversity of culture and perspective and applauds the valuable work of the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

The Greek community is also mature enough to understand that on such sensitive issues, given that the parameters of multiculturalism are not defined by us, due care should be taken not to recklessly offend other ethnicities. For, it is in the tolerance and respect for other cultures, regardless of any historical or political differences, that true multiculturalism lies. As proponents of this principle, we are proud to call ourselves Australians and would hate to think that a small, self-interested section of society would so blatantly attempt to disrupt our ethnic cohesion and commitment to tolerance, by enlisting the support of our own Victorian Multicultural Commission to this end, under false pretexts. Meanwhile, let us be secure in the knowledge that such printed material purporting to be history satisfies the jaded cravings of the few and is seldom read or considered by the many, however well received by the recyclers it may be.

by Dean Kalimniou

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Historical Politics and Historical “Masterpieces” in FYROM*

*For explicative reasons I have changed (e.g. Macedonia to FYROM) and add some ethnological terms (e.g. Slav) and, I put it in the red.

by Stefan Troebst

The disintegration of the Yugoslav Federation placed the historians apart from the successor states before approaching the task of reconsidering the national composition and tendencies of the, until then, dominant common Yugoslav historical “masterpiece” [1] . In this regard, FYROM is an exception: the ideology of Yugoslavianism proclaimed in 1952 was here once again subordinated to the one of Macedonianism [2] , when nation-building became at all possible in 1994, when this republic was constituted. The Yugoslav Communist Party clearly understood that the policy for Macedonianization of the Yugoslav Vardar Macedonia, as well as temporarily of the Bulgarian Pirin Macedonia, promises little success, when there is a parallel policy of Yugoslavization being carried out [3] . Of course, the renunciation of this supranational concept is an insufficient explanation for the success of the project for creating a Macedonian nation, which was conducted from Belgrade. In 1995, the social anthropologist from the US, Kate S. Brown, tried to examine this success with the help of the “national imagination” in the now independent Macedonia, and, toward this aim, formulated the following leading question:

“In the 1990s, Slav Macedonians speak a language codified in 1946, spoken by less than two million people, and with a very slender literature. They are members of an Orthodox Church whose authority was established by a socialist political regime in 1968. They are heirs to a 1903 revolution that until the 1940s was described by almost all sources as being Bulgarian. They are descendants from people who were called, and at times called themselves, Serbs or Bulgarians. They have no modern history of independent statehood; the last period that they can claim as boasting a Macedonian regime was in the 11th century. The Republic of Macedonia, established by consensus authorized by a referendum, has no internationally agreed name [...]. Yet its Slavic inhabitants have no doubt that they are Macedonians, and that the territory they occupy has always been and should always be occupied by Macedonians. The question that baffles many Western observers is simple: how do these people know who they are?” [4]

Let us assume that that “you” really know, then one of the two central components of the answer must be: since historians, like politicians, with the help of transmission belts, which were controlled by the state for a long time and became pluralized in the meantime (such as school, church, army, media, the communist party, etc.), transmitted to “you” the news first in one and then in another colour in the form of an historical “masterpiece”. Or, to put it differently, namely, expressed with the diction of the likewise young direction in the research of the analyses of the “historical politics”, led by the elite and the state: We are dealing here with a successful “public creation of the historical, and identifying images which would be developed through rituals and discussions”, that is, with an attempt “at building identities towards interpreting historical events” [5] .

It seems that the second component of the answer is contrary to the first one: Brown’s question “do the Slav Macedonians know who they are” is, in principle, meaningless, and it is substantial that they know who they don’t want to be, namely, neither Bulgarians nor Serbs, and, least of all, Greeks or Albanians. The decisive thing for this autochthonous option of “the nostrism”, (our-cism), is not only the policy of memories, conducted by the services of the authorities, which strives towards creating a collective identity, and described and analysed by Kate Brown with the help of the creation and proclamation of the so-called “Krusevo Republic” in 1903, but precisely a policy that strives towards the rational calculus of political-security, social, and last, but not least, economic kind.

It could be said that Slav Macedonians, declare themselves “Macedonians”, if, for no other reason, than at least because they are, first of all, convinced as to the necessity and all-inclusiveness of the ethno-national self-determination; and, second, because the identification “Macedonians” seems to them to be the most attractive option out of all that could have been chosen from 1944 onwards.

The significant functionality of the state identification apparatus of the historical-political order of rules, led by the elite, which the ethnologist Brown, at first, has difficulties explaining to herself in the Macedonian case, acts much less surprisingly from the aspect of the other social and humanistic disciplines. Miroslav Chroh, Ernest Galner and Benedict Anderson described in the past decades what David D. Lytin expressed in the clearly enunciated formula: “Identities are not inherited like skin colour [...] but constructed like an art object.” [6] The majority and the foreign historiography for Macedonia have always presented the process of creation of a Macedonian nation as a combination of autochthonous aspirations for integration “from beneath”, and of a state nation-building “from above”. [7]

At any rate, the beginning of the active national-historical direction with the historical “masterpieces”, which was for the first time possible in 1944, developed in Macedonia much harder than was the case with the creation of the neighbouring nations of the Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians and others in the 19th century. These neighbours almost completely plundered the historical events and characters from the land, and there was only debris left for the belated nation. A consequence of this was that first that parts of the “plundered history” were returned, and a second was that an attempt was made to make the debris become a fundamental part of the autochthonous history [8] . This resulted in a long phase of experimenting and revising, during which the influence of non-scientific instances increased. This specific link of politics with historiography in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (SRM) and in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) is covered in detail in the great research project “Mutual Dependence of Historiography and Politics in Eastern Europe”, initiated by Gunter Schteckl in 1975. He set as his objective, despite the successes and the tendencies for development, to clear out, above all, the political function of historical science in the communist countries in Europe in the middle of the sixties. During the course of this work, the focus of the enterprise was the “production” of loyalty of an ideological and national kind [9] . The result of the study for the Macedonian case, published in 1983, was that this was a case of mutual dependence, i.e. influence between politics and historical science, where historians do not simply have the role of registrars obedient to orders. For their significant political influence, they had to pay the price for the rigidity of the science. The summary is correspondingly pessimistic:

“The main obstacle for methodical revival of the Slav Macedonian historical science is, no doubt, the typical symbiosis between the politically active temporary historians and those professional politicians, who, on the basis of the specificity of SRM, dedicated themselves intensively on creating a realistic political “operational” national history. There is no similar case of mutual dependence of historiography and politics on such a level in Eastern or Southeast Europe [10] ”.
What then was directed to the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia refers, in the greatest part, to present Macedonia as well. The titular nation of the Balkan state, which gained independence in 1991, and its political representatives used the “history” as an argument for retaining the concept of democracy on ethnic lines as a fully closed representation: according to the ethno-centric point of view of the Macedonian majority “well, they did not fight for more than a century” for independence to now divide their own state with the Albanian “immigrants” from the Yugoslav time! [11] This level of reflection is the same as from the first Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, in whose (in the meantime outdated) Preamble, the country is defined as a “national state of the Macedonian nation”, while granting lower status to the other third of the population, “the Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Romani and other minorities” [12] . Bearing in mind the modern history of the region around Macedonia, this is actually a completely unhistorical definition, because the movement for autonomy in the Osmanli Macedonia near the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, which the Constitutional Preamble refers to, operated in a multiethnic even supranational regional concept in which the notion “Macedonian” existed as a common term for the Bulgarians, Turks, Vlachs, Jews, Serbs, Albanians, Greeks and others [13] . The ethno-national connotation of the signifier “Macedonian”, which was aimed at the Christian Orthodox, south Slavic language nation, and additionally at the Bulgarians and Serbs, and was itself unknown in the central Balkan region of that time, gained significance only after the Second World War.

In an intellectual area, such as the one described, in which, as in the vivid image of Eric Hobsbawm, “history” is the main ingredient for producing political dynamite [14] , historians still have a truly important social function. However, professional historical science does not have an easy job. The historiography production in FYROM in the nineties confirms the great domination of historical and political topics, which can be fully “nationally” instrumentalised [15] . It is true that the leap into independence in 1991 and the devaluation of the ideological monopoly of the Union of Communists of Macedonia, which was taking place parallel with it, offered a chance for internationalising to the historical science, and thus for developing its professionalism as well, but that has hardly been used so far. The reasons for this are very clear:

The already strong interweaving of politics and historiography, which resulted from the leading role of historians in the Slav Macedonian-Yugoslav project of nation-building from 1944, has now increased even further [16] . If the task of historical research in Skopje so far was to promote historically the existence of the Slav Macedonian nation and to propagate it outside – in the direction of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia – now it gained another internally political function: the Albanian Macedonians in the new Macedonia, who for the greatest part are Muslims, were supposed to be qualified as an historically autochthonous group, as a tolerated community from “abroad”, which, when it “misbehaves” politically (or in another way) should go back to “where it came from”; according to the majority, it should return to Kosovo, even Albania [17] . And in this it wasn’t necessary for the institutions that dealt with the historical and scientific research to issue a formal warrant for bringing “historical evidence”, since the post-communists and the nationalists among the Slav Macedonian historians were unanimous in terms of the aversion towards the proven Albanian Macedonians [18] , who were pejoratively called “Shiptare” in scientific publications. In a 1998 report for the “Ethnic Changes in the Republic of Macedonia after the Liberation in 1944”, Krste Bitoski, a long-time member in the narrow leading circle of the Institute for National History [19] , which had a monopoly throughout the history, wrote that there is “exuberant alienation” of the country with “Muslim, and mostly Albanian population”. “The Albanian penetration” which, according to him, “was almost permanent in the last two to three centuries, assumed a form with a clearly defined aim when the Albanian state was constituted in 1913 [20] ”. His ethno-demographic prognosis for the future was this:

“As a result of these changes, the position of the Macedonian people as a majority was seriously threatened, despite the fact that with its struggles and numerous victims in the past, it accomplished Macedonian statehood. The ratio of 5:1 between the Slav Macedonian majority and the Albanian minority in the first years after the liberation (until1991) were reduced to 3:1; this represents an alarming warning that in the not-so-distant future the Macedonian nation will become a minority, thus losing its constitutionality; and this is a unique case in the history of modern Europe” [21] .

The fact that such rhetoric was accepted in the Review prepared for the 50th anniversary of the Institute for National History clears out significantly the degree of politicisation, and, at the same time, the scientific level of the Institute. The armed conflict in 2001 [22] between the “National Liberation Army” (NLA or UCK) of the Albanian Macedonians and the security forces of the Republic of Macedonia, which were mainly composed of Macedonians, was an occasion for both Ivan Katardziev and Blaze Ristovski [23] , the most innovative and productive and at the same time the most well-known history experts, to give similar nationalistic, and, in the case of Ristovski, even racist statements [24] . Hence, no one is surprised by the fact that there are only a few Albanian Macedonians among the historians working in the Institute for National History, the Universities in Skopje and Bitola, as well as in the Department for History within the Academy of Sciences and Arts.

And it is enough to say, that further to the exceptionally strong interweaving of politics and historiography, it can be concluded that there exists a clear institutional and personal continuity in the scientific area. Thus, more than ten years after independence was announced, the Institute for National History still has the same name – it has not changed, for example, to the Institute for History of Macedonia. Also, the Institute for Slav Macedonian Language “Krste Misirkov” has not been renamed the Institute for Languages of Macedonia; or the great historiography project – the six-volume publication of the whole history, which is in the process of realisation, is called in the same way as its predecessor that dates from 1969 [25] , “History of the Macedonian people” [26] , and not “History of Macedonia”. “Macedonian people” in a legal sense is not defined as a constitutional nation, but unanimously ethno-national, thus explicitly excluding the non-Macedonian part of the population with its history.

The “masterpiece” for the history of this same “Macedonian nation” from 1944 has remained basically unchanged until 1991. This canonised perspective is focused on two points of culmination, namely first on the anti-Osmanli movement for autonomy from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, which begins with the founding of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation – VMRO - in 1889. Its culmination is the Uprising on 20 July, i.e. according to the new calendar: 2 August, St. Ilija’s Day (Ilinden) in 1903, which resulted in the proclamation of the “Krusevo Republic”, in a small mountain town in a mountainous region. A second point of culmination is said to be the partisan fight against the Bulgarian, Italian and German occupation during the Second World War. Usually 1941 is taken as its starting point, and its end the constitutive session of the “Antifascist Assembly for the Popular Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) on St. Ilija’s Day 1944, as a predecessor to the government of the Republic of Macedonia, which was constituted in 1945 within Tito’s Yugoslavia. At that time the partisan fight was considered to be the completion of the Uprising in 1903, and the constituting of the Republic of Macedonia within communist Yugoslavia as a continuation of the “Krusevo Republic” [27] . The epithet “Second Ilinden” became om mani padme hum of the politics and the historical science in Skopje. The mass celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first ASNOM session from 1944 should have been the most obvious evidence that even in independent Macedonia nothing should be changed in reference to it [28] .

The reactions that occurred after the critical examination of how such a holy link was established between the “first” and the “second Ilinden” up to the nineties were described convincingly by the above mentioned Kate Brown using the experiences of both her and of the new historian Jovan Donev from the Institute for National History [29] .

The modifications of the “masterpiece”, which followed after 1991 were, until recently, mainly cosmetic, which, above all, was due to the strong continuity in the institutions and among the personalities of Macedonian historical science and historical policy during the time before and after 1991. For the historical scene of Macedonia, the Yugoslav Republic, in which post-communist parties ruled until 1998, the same name was convenient as an incubator of the new nation and its state attributes – and not as a straightjacket of the authoritative regime from Belgrade. The reason for this was not so much that there were many emotional gaps between the former communists and their adversaries and victims, as the German diplomat who was familiar with FYROM, Klaus Schrameyer, assumed in 1997 [30] , but because the possibilities for articulation were completely taken away from these “adversaries and victims” by the post-communist monopoly in the area of science and media [31] until the change of the government in 1998 and the arrival of the nationalists. Their dissident viewpoint of their own national history sheds light on the true expression “third Ilinden” [32] which refers to the Referendum for independence on 8 September 1991: The statehood, which was then decided, meant for the post-communists only a continuation of the process for state affirmation which had started in 1994; but the nationalists from the coalition government in 1998 – the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity – VMRO-DPMNE, saw in the period from 1903 to 1944 only the first steps toward the edge of periodisation from 1991 [33] , which was essentially decisive.

This is, in fact, the main difference in the interpretation of the history and the historical politics of the nationalists and post-communists. The core of their content – at least from an observer’s viewpoint – may seem only moderately inclined to conflicts, but its institutional aspects point to a degree of sharpness of the conflict. The historical and political floodgate during Tito’s time, the Institute for National History, is still controlled by the post-communists, yet the newcomers have their own institutions for historical examination, among them the Archive of FYROM from which they have turned into their own bastion [34] . The director Zoran Todorovski and his predecessor Kiro Dojcinovski, both historians by profession and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE [35] , succeeded in uniting recognised experts both from the “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje and from the Institute for National History, among them Ivan Katardziev [36] . This national-conservative group also made a monopoly in the writing of textbooks for the schools – a circumstance that both announced their hasty abandonment of the ideology in a party-communist sense and signified a different interpretation in the national function [37] .
Bearing in mind the dramatic ethno-political polarisation of the country during the conflict in 2001, it is improbable that there will soon be plurality in the Macedonian historical science to the same degree as there has been internationalisation and development in its professionalism.

However, it is certainly true that the taboos from the period 1944-1991 [38] , the obligatory pro-Serb tendency among the “socialist” basic orientation, a no-less obligatory anti-Bulgarian movement, disappeared during the meantime. Contrary to that, the principled consensus for antiquity, continuity and dignity of the Slav Macedonian nation, i.e. the commitment to the national-historical paradigm, was put into question only at the very beginning. The historians gave up the ideological premises of Tito’s and post-Tito’s time relatively quickly. Thus, in those parts of the “masterpiece”, whose content consisted of those Slav Macedonian political organisations from the time before 1944 and their fight against the forces that wanted to divide Macedonia, they introduced currents and persons who were until then taboos because of the ideology of the Communist Party. This refers to people such as Boris Serafov, one of the main actors of the Ilinden Uprising in 1903, who was until then excluded from the national pantheon under the suspicion that he was a “Bugarophil” [39] ; to Todor Aleksandrov, who from 1919 until his murder in 1924 was president of the Central Committee of VMRO and who brought it onto a pro-world course [40] ; to Aleksandrov’s anti-communist successor Ivan Mihajlov from 1924 to 1934, and who then became leader of the right wing of VMRO [41] ; to the anti-communist leader of the partisans Metodija Antonov – Cento [42] ; the national communist dissident Panko Brasnarov [43] ; the Bulgarian party official Metodija Shatorov – Sharlo [44] , positioned in Skopje, a city that was then under Bulgarian occupation; and it also referred to the Macedonian national revolutionary Pavel Shatev [45] . One early evidence for the change of the perspectives was the short review entitled “Golden Book, 100 Years of VMRO”, published by the then opposition party VMRO-DPMNE in 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of VMRO as a counter-draft of the post-communist representation, the review for the anniversary in which, besides the VMRO-DPMNE President, Ljubco Georgievski, there were the names of six other history experts, among them one from the Institute for National History [46] .

It is true that it maybe no longer represents a taboo, but the history of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia still remains a “white spot”. The only publications that contain news do not come from the pens of the historians, but from party officials, politicians, members of the army, law experts, journalists, etc [47] . Only two historians with critical and research tendencies from the Institute for National History are exceptions to the rule, namely Novica Veljanovski – the present director of the Institute – and Violeta Achkova, who work on the period 1944-1953 [48] , both of whom have fully expressed themselves about post-war history [49] .
One concession which puts on pressure certainly stresses the present Macedonian “masterpiece” in comparison to the that before 1991: it shows its beginning. The Communist Party, when writing Macedonian national history, drew a level between, at first, the beginnings of the “Macedonian people” with the phases of the creation of the “Macedonian nation”, and in a Marxist-Leninist way established that they date from the start of the mature industrialisation of the Balkan area – therefore from the middle of the 19th century. In the fifties, this had already been already corrected, so that the Ohrid kingdom of Tsar Samuil from the 11th century – a date which was given advantage over the great movement of peoples and the settlement of the Slavs on the Balkans in the period following the 6th century – marked the beginnings of the “history of the Macedonian people” [50] . As for the politically conditioned fixing on the “Slavism” of the Slav Macedonians in the time of Yugoslavia in 1991, the perspectives changed:

“Macedonian” in a modern sense is no longer viewed equally with the “Slavs”, but pertains to its “antique roots” from the time of Philip II, who ruled Macedonia in the 4th century BC, and his son Alexander (the Great), who were now portrayed as national heroes, with their influence spreading over 27 centuries, and there is even a reference to the Macedonian gene, i.e. creating a non-Slavic, ethnic line from Macedonians of ancient times to Macedonians of the present. What in the first half of the nineties was only an imaginary idea for those who dealt with history as a hobby, such as the well-known politician Vasil Tupurkovski [51] , now belongs to the cannon of the national history. The authoritative “Macedonian Historical Dictionary”, which was published by the Institute for National History in 2001 establishes a historical continuity between the ancient and modern Slav Macedonians, even an ethnic continuity between their permanent residents:

“After the settlement of the Slavs in Macedonia (6th – 7th century), there was an integration of the greater part of the assimilated Hellenic and Roman descendants of the ancient Macedonians into a Slavic majority, and in this way they contributed to the creation of the new ethnicity on Macedonian soil, in which the dominant role was played by the Slavic element (the language, the habits) and Christian culture” [52] .

This handbook excludes, in a most severe form, the non-Macedonian (in an ethnical sense) parts of the history of Macedonia from its national historical picture. Thus, if the Albanians from the western and north-west part of the country, where they make up the majority, are at all mentioned, then they appear only as groups who helped the Italian occupational power during the Second World War, or as ideologues of a greater Albanian and anti-Slav Macedonian program of expansion, with the exception of being “good communists” in the partisan battle [53] . Among some 60 authors of the short review, there is only one historian who is an Albanian Macedonian [54] .

The mainstream of the Slav Macedonian historical science is very much prepared for a consensus when it comes to the hiding of Albanian parts of the historical “masterpiece”, just as when it comes to the incorporation of antiquity into it. However, this does not refer to the newly opened discussion about the Bulgarian aspect of history and culture of Macedonia, which was taboo until recently, and which divides the governing party VMRO-DPMNE into “Bugarophiles” and “Macedonists” [55] . Here, one can clear out one bitter as much as politically destructive struggle for the past between the new issue of the “old” Bulgarian “masterpiece” of Slav Macedonian history and its “new” Macedonian variant. The potential influence of the suspicion of that “anti-Bulgarian or de-Bulgarizing aspect of the Slav Macedonian culture”, which, according to Stephen E. Palmer and Robert R. King, in 1971 presented the main ingredient of the Yugoslav politics from the forties [56] , was until recently considered by all the political actors and producers of the history in Skopje as being so dangerous that they had to put in every effort to keep this Pandora’s box closed. However, since 1999 this has significantly changed. Thus, Mladen Srbinovski, the Director of the Popular and University Library in Skopje, underlined the “Bulgarian character” of the “first Ilinden” from 1903 as positive, and contrary to that, the anti-Bulgarian, Serbian-inclined character of the “second” one from 1944 as negative, whereas he signifies Macedonianism as a “kitsch” [57] . In October 2000, the Members of Parliament from VMRO-DPMNE participated in a religious ceremony organised in memory of the suicide-assassin from VMRO, Vlado Cernozemski, who, on orders from Mihajlov and his ethno-national VMRO, which was defined as Bulgarian, killed the Yugoslav king Alexander I Karadzordzevic and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Louis Bareau in Marseilles in 1934 [58] . In January 2002, VMRO-DPMNE members unveiled in the centre of Skopje a memorial plaque for Mara Buneva, another suicide-assassin, who killed a high-ranking official from Belgrade in 1928 in Skopje, which was then under Serb authority, [59] . This new pro-Bulgarian tendency of Slav Macedonian historical politics is completely contrary to the raison d’etre of the Macedonian nation-building, which since 1944 has been conducted from “above”. The ethno-political polarising, which was caused in this way has a historical reflex, since, apart from the Bulgarian option, which has so far been forbidden, another option from the subdued past is beginning to become acceptable, namely the Serb one. The language historian Christian Voss goes so far as to suppose that within the “new positioning of the Slav Macedonian identity, the academic elite in Skopje is divided into pro-Serb and pro-Bulgarian groups [60] . If one day, according to the quoted worst case scenario of Bitoski, the Macedonian people becomes a minority and thus loses its statehood, then the culprits will not be the Albanians, but much more the new-old Bulgarian and Serb Macedonians.

The great degree of politicisation of Slav Macedonian historical science has not disappeared but, on the contrary, has just continued to grow. The polarisation of the political system and the media in the 90s opened up new possibilities to the historians from Macedonia, and gave them a multitude of new impulses. And, when it comes to the internalisation of FYROM historiography, the national vagueness combined with the deficit knowledge of foreign languages further disrupt the acceptance of non-Slav Macedonian literature on the history of Southeast Europe in general, and especially the Macedonian one. As a consequence, there is limited international interweaving, and the process of developing the expertise of the historians in Skopje that started in the post-Tito period after 1991 has not accelerated. Yet, there are some flickers of hope: the Institute for National History marked its 50th anniversary in 1998 with a symposium entitled “Macedonian historical science – accomplishments and problems”. However, the anthology that was published contains 43 texts, among which there were not less than three of a (self)critical nature that referred to the typical Macedonian symbiosis between politics and historiography before and after 1991 [61] . The book also contains texts by seven foreign historians, amongst whom three are from Serbia, and one each from Bulgaria, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Germany. There is certainly no text by a Greek or an Albanian, let alone by an Albanian Macedonian. The historical science of this mini-republic, shaken by crisis, has a long way to go from “a history of the Macedonian people” to becoming “a history of Macedonia”. However, a turn in the direction of “the history of the Macedonian Bulgarians”, just as a turn in the direction of “the history of Southern Serbia”, cannot for certain be excluded.

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* An expose at the conference “One century of postcommunist historiography: Approach to the past in the 90s at the Austrian Institute for Eastern and Southeastern Europe, at the Institute for Eastern European history at the University of Vienna and at the Historical Committee of the Austrian Academy of Sciences“ from 27 to 29 September, 2001. The author expresses his gratitude to Nada Boskovska – Laimgruber (Zurich), Ulrich Biksensic (Berlin), Christian Vos (Freiburgrg/Br.) and to Heinz Wilemsen (Bohum) for the materials, directions and criticism.
[1] Ivo Banac [Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe:] Yugoslavia, in: American Historical Review 97 (1992) 1085-1104. – For the notion historical “maestral story“, see: Matia Middle, Monica Gibas, Frank Haddler Sinnsitiftung and Systemlegitimationn durch historisches Erzählen: Überlegungen zu Funktionsmechanismen von Repräsentationen des Vergangenen, in: Zugänge zu historischen Meistererzählungen, ed. Matthias Middell, Monika Gibas, Frank Hadler (Leipzig 2000) 7-36 (= Comparativ 10 [2000], 2).
[2] Wolfgang Höpken, Zwischen „Klasse“ und „Nation“: Historiographie und ihre „Meistererzählungen“ in Südosteuropa in der Zeit des Sozialismus (1944-1990) in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte und Kultur Südosteuropas 2 (2000) 15-60, ovde 55.
[3] Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question (Hamden 1971); Othmar Nikola Haberl, Parteiorganisation und nationale Frage in Jugoslawien (Berlin 1976) 29-33. Vidi ja i glavata za Makedonija vo zbornikot Jugoslovenizam: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918-1992, ed. Dejan Djokic (London – publishing in process).
[4] Keith S. Brown, Of Meaning and Memories: The National Imagination in Macedonia (Ph. D. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago 1995) 5-6. Potoa izleguva u{te edno izdanie pod naslov: The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation (Princeton, NJ, 2002).
[5] Petra Bock, Edgar Wolfrum, Einleitung, vo: Umkämpfte Vergangenheit. Geschichtsbilder, Erinnerung und Vergangenheitspolitik im internationalen Vergleich, ed. Petra Bock, Edgar Wolfrum (Göttingen 1999) 7-14, ovde 9. Vidi i: Beate Binder, Wolfgang Kaschuba, Peter Niedermüller, „Geschichtspolitik“: Zur Aktualität nationaler Identitätsdiskurse in Europäischen Gesellschaften, vo: Gesellschaften im Vergleich. Forschungen aus Sozial- und Geschichtswissenschaft, ed. Hartmut Kaelble, Jürgen Schreiner (Frankfurt/M. 1998) 465-508.
[6] David D. Laitin, Identity in Formation. The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad (Ithaca, London 1998) 11. Vidi i Miroslav Hroch, Die Vorkämpfer der nationalen Bewegung bei den kleinen Völkern Europas. Eine vergleichende Analyse zur gesellschaftlichen Schichtung der patriotischen Gruppen (Prag 1968); Ders., Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of Patriotic Groups Among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge 1985; 2. Aufl. New York 2000); Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca 1983); The State of the Nation. Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism, ed. John A. Hall (Cambridge 1998); Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Natonalism (London, New York 1983; revised edition 1991). - For the assumptions for possibility of proving the „collective identity“ with his words „Irgendwie-Molluskel“ i.e. a univeral „false concept“ during a discussion at the scientific seminar of the special area for examining 417 (Regionenbezogene Identifikationsprozesse. Das Beispiel Sachsen) at the Leipzig University on 26 April 2001, Luc Nithamer, the most fervent critic of this kind, admitted that the national movements of XIX and XX century can fully be evaluated only as an expression of the group consciousness. See Luz Nithamer in cooperation with so Axel Dosman, Kollektive Identität. Heimliche Quellen einer unheimlichen Konjunktur (Reinbek bei Hamburg 2000).
[7] Mathias Bernath, Das mazedonische Problem in der Sicht der komparativen Nationalismusforschung, in: Südost-Forschungen 29 (1970) 237-248; George D. Matzureff, The Concept of a „Macedonian Nation“ as a New Dimension in Balkan Politics (Ph. D. Thesis, Washington 1978); Stefan Troebst, Makedonische Antworten auf die „Makedonische Frage“ 1944-1992: Nationalismus, Republiksgründung und nation-buil­ding in Makedonien, vo: Südosteuropa 41 (1992) 423-442; Ders., Yugoslav Macedonia, 1943-1953: Building the Party, the State and the Nation. In: State-Society Relations in Yugoslavia, 1945-1992, ed. Melissa K. Bokovoy, Jill A. Irvine, Carol S. Lilly (New York 1997) 243-266; und Hugh Poulton, Who Are the Macedonians? (London 2. Aufl. 2000).
[8] Keith S. Brown, Contests of Heritage and the Politics of Preservation in the FYROM, vo: Archeology under Fire. Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, ed. Lynn M. Meskell (London 1998) 68-86.
[9] Compare Die Interdependenz von Geschichte und Politik in Osteuropa seit 1945. Historiker-Fachtagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde e. V., Berlin, vom 9.-11. 6. 1976 in Bad Wiessee. Protokoll, ed. Günther Stökl. Vervielfältigtes Ms. (Stuttgart 1977), as well as Günther Stökl, Schlußbericht über das Forschungsprojekt „Die Interdependenz von Historiographie und Politik in Osteuropa“. Köln, 6. Januar 1983, vo: Archiv der VolkswagenStiftung, Hanover.
[10] Stefan Troebst, Die bulgarisch-jugoslawische Kontroverse um Makedonien 1967-1982 (München 1983) 241. Compare with the Macedonian version: Bugarsko-jugoslovenskata kontroverza za Makedonija 1967-1982. translation Slobodanka Popovska (Skopje 1997).
[11] For multinationality in Macedonia see: Heinz Willemsen, Stefan Troebst, Transformationskurs gehalten. Zehn Jahre Republik Makedonien, vo: Osteuropa 51 (2001) 299-315; Magarditsch Hatschikjan, Reparierte Nationen, separierte Gesellschaften. Makedonien und seine neue große Frage. Ebd., 316-330; Keith Brown, in the Realm of the Double-Headed Eagle: Parapolitics in Macedonia 1994-9, in: Macedonia. The Politics of Identity and Difference, ed. Jane K. Cowan (London, Sterling 2000) 123-139.
[12] Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, 1991. Translation Valentin Stojanovski, Barbara Utevska (Skopje 1992). For changes in the Constitution in 2001 see Ulrich Büchsenschütz, Die Verfassung der Republik Makedonien auf dem Prüfstand, in: Südosteuropa 50 (2001) 134-149, und Ulf Brunnbauer, Doch ein historischer Kompromiß? Perspektiven und Probleme der Verfassungsreform in Makedonien, ebd., 346-367.
[13] Compare Bernard Lory, Approches de l’identité macédonienne, vo: La République de Macédoine. Nouvelle venue dans le concert européen, ed. Bernard Lory, Christophe Chiclet (Paris, Montreal 1998) 13-32; Feroze A. K. Yasamee, Nationality in the Balkans. The Case of the Macedonians, vo: Balkans. A Mirror of the New International Order, ed. Günay Göksu Özdoğan, Kemâli Saybaşılı (Istanbul 1995) 121-132; Fikret Adanır, The Macedonians in the Ottoman Empire, 1878-1912. In: The Formation of National Elites, ed. Andreas Kappeler (Aldershot, New York 1992) 161-191.
[14] „I used to think that the profession of history, unlike that of, say, nuclear physics, could at least do no harm. Now I know it can. Our studies can turn into bomb factories like the workshops in which the IRA has learned to transform chemical fertiliser into an explosive.“ So Eric Hobsbawm, The New Threat of History, vo: New York Review of Books 40 (1993), 21 (16. Dezember) 62-64, ovde 63.
[15] Istoriografija na Makedonija. volume. IV: 1986-1995, ed. Aleksandar Trajanovski (Skopje 1997). See also Gorgi Stojčevski, Die Historiographie Makedoniens in den 90er Jahren, in: Österreichische Osthefte 44 (2002).
[16] Stefan Troebst, IMRO + 100 = FYROM? Kontinuitäten und Brüche in den makedonischen Nationalbewegungen in historiographischer Perspektive, in: Österreichische Osthefte 40 (1998) 217-234. Translation in Macedonian by Ivanka Solomonova see VMRO + 100 = PJRM? Politikata na makedonskata istoriografija, vo: Makedonskata istoriska nauka - dostignuvawa i problemi. Articles from the scientific gathering held in Skopje on 17-19 November 1998 for the 50th anniversary from the work of the Institute for National History, ed. Institute for National History (Skopje 2001) 123-140.
[17] For the legislative parallel action compare: Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia. In: Official newspaper of the Republic of Macedonia No. 67 from 3 November 1992, 1245-1248, according to which one could obtain citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia only if one was born on the territory of the new state or this was their place of living for at least the first 15 years of their life. About 150,000 people, i.e almost 8% of the population, did not fulfil this criterion at the time.
[18] Katerina Naumoska, Albanci ili Shiptari vo makedonskata istoriografija i ucebnicite po istorija, in: Aktuelni problemi vo makedonskata istoriografija i nastava po istorija, ed. Union of the Associations of Historians of the Republic of Macedonia (Skopje 1996) 81-85.
[19] For this institution, founded in 1948, which in 1963 was joined with the historical department of the Central Committee of the Alliance of Communists of Macedonia, compare: 50 years from the Institute for National History 1948-1998, ed. Institute for National History (Skopje 1998), as well as Gunnar Hering, Mazedonische Geschichtswissenschaft, in: Österreichische Osthefte 1 (1959), 2, 104-110; Gorgi Abadziev, Report of the work of the Institute for National History in Skopje, in: Südost-Forschungen 14 (1955) 457-459; Rudolf Preinerstorfer, Das Institut für nationale Geschichte in Skopje, vo: Südost-Forschungen 23 (1964) 342-345; Jutta de Jong, „Institute for National History“ in Skopje – additional report in: Südost-Forschungen 37 (1978) 204-205; Troebst, Kontroverse, 43-66; und Keith S. Brown, A Rising to Count On: Ilinden Between Politics and History in Post-Yugoslav Macedonia, vo: The Macedonian Question: Culture, Historiography, Politics, ed. Victor Roudometof (Boulder, New York 2000) 143-171.
[20] Krste Bitoski, Etnickite promeni vo Republika Makedonija po osloboduvanjeto vo 1944 god., in: Makedonskata istoriska nauka 437-441, here 437-438.
[21] Ibid. 441
[22] See Ulrich Büchsenschütz, Die Mazedonien-Krise (Bonn 2001) (= Politikinformation Osteuropa der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Heft 95); i Stefan Troebst, Vom interethnischen Schlachtfeld zum ethnopolitischen Stabilitätspol: Gewalt und Gewaltfreiheit in der Region Makedonien im 20. Jahrhundert, in: Nationalitätenkonflikte im 20. Jahrhundert. Ursachen von inter-ethnischer Gewalt im Vergleich, ed. Philipp Ther, Holm Sundhaussen (Wiesbaden 2001) 35-55, hier 48-51.
[23] For Katardziev see his critical work „Inventar na makedonskata nacionalna istorija“ published after „the change“: Ivan Katardziev, Politika i istorija - istorija i politika, in: Istorija 23 (1987 [1991]), 1-2, 9-29, i Makedonskite politickite sili i istoriskoto nasledstvo na makedonskiot narod, in: Istorija 26 (1990-1991 [1992]), 1-4, 7-28, Compare his latest synthetized issues: Ivan Katardziev, Makedonija i Makedoncite vo svetot (Skopje 1996); Sosedite na Makedonija - vcera, denes, utre (Skopje 1998); i Makedonija sproti Vtorata svetska vojna (Skopje 1999). Ristovski also wrote two syntheses recently from his large opus: Blaže Ristovski, Macedonia and the Macedonian People (Wien, Skopje 1999), and Istorija na makedonskiot narod (Skopje 1999).
[24] For the identification of Katardziev of the requests of the Macedonian Albanians and the political participation with the „Great Albania“ program see the German translation of an interview from the Skopje magazine Start br. 116 od 13. april 2001 god. : za{tita od pu{ki, Ustav, 143 -146. Ristovski believes that he has to use the session: „Interethnic Coexistence and Dialogue in the Western Balkan Region. del I: Macedonia“ of the Munich agency for Southeast Europe,Ohrid, in May 2001 in order to warn the non-Macedonian participants of the „African natality“ of Albanian Macedonians. For the report from the session see: URL
[25] Istorija na makedonskiot narod, ed. Institute for National History, volume 3 (Skopje 1969). To the first issue from 1949 god., whose title speaks about the „Macedonian History“, compare Kratok pregled na makedonskata istorija (Skopje 1949). In the second half of the 40s, even more influential than this textbook was the propagandist article of Kiril Nikolov entitled: Za makedonskata nacija (Skopje 1948).
[26] Istorija na makedonskiot narod, ed. Institute for National History. 6 volumes. (Skopje 1998). Volume 1: Makedonija od praistoriskoto vreme do potpaaweto pod turska vlast (1371 godina), ed. Branko Panov (Skopje 2000); volume 2: Makedonija pod turska vlast (from XIV till the end of XVII century), ed. Aleksandar Stojanovski (Skopje 1998), and volume 4: Ivan Katardziev, Makedonija meu Balkanskite i Vtorata svetska vojna (1912-1941) (Skopje 2000).
[27] James Krapfl, The Ideals of Ilinden: Uses of Memory and Nationalism in Socialist Macedonia. In: State and Nation Building in East Central Europe: Contemporary Perspectives, ed. John S. Micgiel (New York 1996) 297-316; Brown, A Rising to Count On, passim. With this comes one almost parallel attempt at creating an independent Macedonian state by Adolf Hitler in the first days of September 1944 which is hardly taken into consideration in the Skopje historiography. As an exception compare Marjan Dimitrijevski, Obidot na Van~o Mihajlov za sozdavanje na "Nezavisna Makedonija# 1944 godina. Vo: Makedonskata istoriska nauka, 309-329, as well as Stefan Troebst, „Führerbefehl!“ - Adolf Hitler und die Proklamation eines unabhängigen Makedonien (September 1944). Eine archivalische Miszelle, vo: Osteuropa 52 (2002), H. 4.
[28] The continuity in the assessments of the ASNOM decisions allows for a comparison of the authoritative collection for the meeting on the 50th anniverary of ASNOM with those that took place of the 40th, 30th or 20th anniversaries during the Yugoslav period: ASNOM - pedeset godini makedonska dr`ava 1944-1994. Prilozi od nau~en sobir odr`an na 17-18 noemvri 1994, ed. Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Institute for National History (Skopje 1995); ASNOM vo sozdavaweto na drzavata na makedonskiot narod. Exposes from the scientific gathering held from 29 to 31 October 1984 godina in Skopje, ed. Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (Skopje 1987); ASNOM - ostvaruvanje na ideite za sozdavawe na makedonskata drzava i negoviot megunaroden odglas i odraz. Simpozium posveten na 30-godi{ninata od ASNOM. Skopje, 23-25 oktomvri 1974 godina, ed. Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (Skopje 1977); Razvitokot na drzavnosta na makedonskiot narod. Materials from the Symposium for the 20th anniversary from the first Assembly of ASNOM held on 23 and 24 October 1964, ed. Institute for National History (Skopje 1966). An issue was published for the 50th anniversary with the protocols of the ASNOM Presidium in the period 6 August 1944 - 28 May 1945. Compare: The Presidium of ASNOM Minutes, ed. Institute of National History (Skopje 1994). For the 40the anniversary from the Archive of Macedonia, the postcommunist government in Macedonia in 1993 decided to publish an explanatory edition of ASNOM documents: Dokumenti, ed. Archive of Macedonia, as a joint venture of the Archive of Macedonia, and the institution „Matica makedonska“ supported by the work of the Macednian Diaspora. So far have been published volume I, 1 i I, 2 (Skopje 1984), I, 3 (Skopje 1987), I, 4 i I,5 (Skopje 1994) as well as II,1 (Skopje 1995).
[29] Keith S. Brown, Would the Real Nationalists Please Step Forward: Destructive Nationalism in Macedonia, vo: Fieldwork Dilemmas: Anthropologists in Postsocialist States, ed. Hermine De Soto, Nora Dudwick (Madison 2000) 31-48.
[30] Klaus Schrameyer, Makedonien: Friedlichkeit, Maß und Vernunft – mit balkanischem Charme, vo: Südosteuropa 46 (1997) 661-694, ovde 665.
[31] Heinz Willemsem, Machtwechsel in der EJR Makedonien, vo: Südosteuropa 48 (1999) 16-28.
[32] For the „Third Ilinden“ see Vladimir Cupeski, A bre Makedonce. Abecedar i pamfleti za naci-bolsevizmot 1982-1990 (Skopje 1993) 33-36; i Brown, A Rising to Count On, 163. The difference about the „official“ movement of the history can easily be seen in the example from the chronicle published for the 50th anniversary of the existence of the Institute for National History in 1998 god. Here it refers to the „second Ilinden“. Compare Novica Veljanovski, Approaching the Fiftieth Anniversary, vo: 50 godini Institut za nacionalna istorija, 7-17, ovde 7.
[33] Brown, A Rising to Count On, 165.
[34] For the archive see its Homepage (URL http: //www .arhiv. gov. mk /Ang1.htm) . (URL http://www. soros. org. mk /archive/index.htm).
[35] For the revisionist picture of the history of the director of the Archive of Macedonia compare Zoran Todorovski, Dejnosta na desnite strui i na organizaciite, vo: Aleksandar Trajanovski i dr., "Zlatna kniga 100 godini VMRO# (Skopje 1993) 152-192; Vnatre{nata Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija 1924-1934 (Skopje 1997); and Makedonskata istoriografija i politikata (aktuelni refleksii vo makedonskiot pluralisti~ki sistem), vo: Makedonskata istoriska nauka, 505-517. For a no less revisionist view of the world compare Kiro Dojcinovski, Makedonija niz vekovite (Skopje 1995).
[36] See "Antijugoslovenski memoari“ by Gligor Krsteski, Otpori i progoni 1946-1950 (Skopje 1994), as well as the two „revisionist“ editions: Nastani na Skopskoto kale na 7 januari 1945 god. Dokumenti, ed. Archive of Macedonia, Institute for National History, Matica makedonska (Skopje 1997), and: Italijanski diplomatski dokumenti za Makedonija. Volume 1, book 1: 1918-1924, ed. Ivan Katarxiev, Alenka Lape (Skopje 2001).
[37] Vidi Evangelos Kofos, The Vision of „Greater Macedonia“. Remarks on FYROM’s new school textbooks (Thessaloniki 1994), and Sofia Vouri, War and National History. The Case of History Textbooks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1991-1993), vo: Öl ins Feuer? Schulbücher, ethnische Stereotypen und Gewalt in Südosteuropa, ed. Wolfgang Höpken (Hannover 1996) 179-214, ovde 180-181. Among the 27 stated authors of history texbooks (212-213) there are names of only four cooperators from the Institute for National History – among them two with a clear orientation towards VMRO-DPMNE. See: Ivan Katardziev, Aktuelni problemi na makedonskata istoriografija, vo: Aktuelni problemi, 7-11, here 10, as well as Naumoska, Albanci ili Shiptari.
[38] Christian Voss, Sprach- und Geschichtsrevision in Makedonien. Zur Dekonstruktion von Blaže Koneski, vo: Osteuropa 51 (2001) 953-967.
[39] Brown, A Rising to Count On, 155-160.
[40] Compare the significant hagiographical performance by Dimitar Galev: Todor Aleksandrov od avtonomija do samostojna drzava (Skopje 1995), and Branislav Sinadinovski, Todor Aleksandrov (Sveti Nikole 1995).
[41] Ivan Katardziev, Predgovor, in: Ivan Mihajlov, Po trnliviot pat na makedonskoto osloboditelno delo, ed. Ivan Katardziev (Skopje 2001) 5-20 (Macedonian translation of „Bregalnicki“ [= Ivan Michajlov], Po trŭnlivija pŭt na makedonskoto osvoboditelno delo [O. O. 1939]). See Katardziev, Makedonija sproti Vtorata svetska vojna; Makedonija megu Balkanskite i Vtorata svetska vojna; as well as in: Vreme na zreenje. Makedonskoto nacionalno pra­sane megu dvete svetski vojni (1919-1930). Tom 2 . (Skopje 1977).
[42] Fidanka Tanaskova, Metodija Andonov Cento (Skopje 1990); Cento - covek, revolucioner, drzavnik. Anthology of materials from the Round Table held on 26.11.1991 in Prilep, ed. Orde Ivanoski (Prilep 1993); Blaze Ristovski, Cento i centovizmot vo istorijata i vo sovremenosta, vo: Sovremenost 43 (1993), 5-6, 167-175.
[43] Vo Nau~en sobir "Panko Bra{narov# & @ivot i delo (1883-1951)“, ed. Vera Veskovic-Vangeli (Titov Veles 1992).
[44] Riste Bunteski-Bunte, Metodija Satorov-Sarlo (Politi~ki stavovi) (Prilep 1997).
[45] Pavel Satev: vreme - zivot - delo (1882-1951), ed. Institute for National History (Skopje 1996). The Archive of Macedonia also announced an anthology for Satev : Zbornik Pavel Satev, ed. Arhiv na Makedonija (Skopje – prepared for publishing).
[46] Ljupco Georgievski, VMRO – DPMNE (1990-1993), follower of VMRO’s ideas, in: „Zlatna kniga 100 godini VMRO“, 249-255. For the publications of the postcommunists for the anniversary compare: Sto godini od osnovanjeto na VMRO i 90 godini od Ilindenskoto vostanie. Articles from the scientific gathering held on 21-23 October 1993, ed. Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (Skopje 1994), and Ivan Katardziev, Sto godini od formiranjeto na VMRO - sto godini revolucionerna tradicija (Skopje 1993).
[47] Radoslav Ogwanovski, Makedonija vo sedumdesettite godini (Skopje 1990); Slavko Milosavlevski, Strav od promeni. Krizata na politickiot sistem na Jugoslavija vo sedumdesettite godini (Skopje 1991); Ilija Maksimovski, Politickiot zatvorenik za Makedonija (Skopje 1991); Dimitar Mircev, Dramata na pluralizacijata (Skopje 1991); Stojan Risteski, Sudeni za Makedonija (1945-1983) (Skopje 1993); Stavre Xikov, Makedonija vo komunisti~kiot triagolnik (Skopje 1993); Mitre Arsovski, Hronika na eden neminoven raspad (Skopje 1995); Ilija Maksimovski, Makedonija vo strategijata na pretsedatelot? (Skopje 1995); Grozdan Cvetkovski, Za {to se borevme (Skopje 1995); Krste Crvenkovski, Slavko Milosavlevski, Nasiot pogled za vremeto na Kolisevski (Skopje 1996); Kole Mangov, Vo odbrana na makedonskiot nacionalen identitet (Skopje 1998); Nada Aleksoska, Smiljan Griovski - agentot na CIA (Skopje 1999); Jovan Pavlovski, Misel Pavlovski, Vcera i denes - Makedonija! Praktikum po istorija (Skopje 2000); Kiro Gligorov, Makedonija e se sto imame (Skopje 2001).
[48] Novica Veljanovski, Administrativno-centralisticiot period vo drzavno-pravniot razvoj na Makedonija (1945-1953) (Skopje 1992); Makedonija vo jugoslovensko-bugarskite odnosi 1944-1953 (Skopje 1998); Violeta Ackoska, Zadrugarstvoto i agrarnata politika 1945-1955 godina; Zadolzitelniot otkup vo Makedonija 1945-1953 godina (Skopje 1995); Agrarnata reforma i kolonizacijata vo Makedonija 1944-1953. Dokumenti, ed. Violeta Ackoska (Skopje 1997).
[49] Novica Veljanovski, Obid za periodizacijata na istoriskoto minato po Vtorata svetska vojna (1945-1991), in: Glasnik na Institutot za nacionalna istorija 42 (1998), 2, 7-26; Violeta Ackoska, Mestoto i ulogata na vladite na Makedonija. Some aspects of their consituting and work 1945-1995 godina, in: Glasnik na Institutot za nacionalna istorija 39 (1995), 1-2, 15-31.
[50] For this, see the published anthology of standard sources from the Faculty for Philosophical and Historical Sciencies at the Kiril and Metodij University, Skopje, for the Macedonian national history, whose first volume covers the period from the arrival of the Slavs in Macedonia till the end of the First World War (Dokumenti za borbata na makedonskiot narod za samostojnost i za nacionalna dr`ava. Tom I: Od naseluvaweto na Slovenite vo Makedonija do krajot na Prvata svetska vojna, ed. Faculty of Philosophical and Historical Sciences at the „Ss.Kiril i Metodij“ University - Skopje 1981) as well as the one-volume synthesis of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Russian translation, published in 1986, and whose first volume covers the period from the 4th to the 14th centuries, (Makedonija i makedonskij narod. Istorija makedonskogo naroda, ed. Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite [Skopje 1986] 5-64).
[51] Vasil Tupurkovski, Istorija na Makedonija - Filip II (Skopje 1995).
[52] O. A., Anticki Makedonci, in: Makedonski istoriski recnik, ed. Institut za nacionalna istorija (Skopje 2000) 39-40, ovde 40. sporedi i Nade Proeva, Studii za antickite Makedonci (Skopje 1997).
[53] While the topics „Albanians“ and „Albanian“ are missing; under the expression „Greater Albania“ is that „The idea for greater Albania today presents the constant political orientation of the Albanian national-chauvinist circles.“ (O. A., Golema Albanija. In: Makedonski istoriski recnik 131).
[54] Ibid. 6.
[55] Thus, Prime Minister Georgievski in 1996 changed the orthographic form of his name from the Macedonian variant „Ljupco“ into the one with Bulgarian way of writing „Ljubco“.
[56] Palmer, King, Yugoslav Communism, 134.
[57] Mladen Srbinovski, Obedi nistoznost (Skopje 1999) 59.
[58] Bugarska propaganda u Makedoniji. Počast atentatoru. In: Vreme od 2 noemvri 2000 god., 40. For the assassination itself look in Stephen Clissold’s “Murder in Marseille“. Chapter 3: Marseille, in: The South Slav Journal 7 (1984), 1-2 (23-24) 18-26.
[59] Utrinski vesnik from 14 January 2002. The memorial plaque was erected at the site of the assassination, where during the years of the Bulgarian occupation of Skopje from 1941 to 1944 there was a similar memorial plaque. – For the act and its consequences see Buneva see Stefan Troebst, Mussolini, Makedonien und die Mächte 1922-1930. Die „Innere Makedonische Revolutionäre Organisation“ in der Südosteuropapolitik des faschistischen Italien (Köln, Wien 1987) 279-288.
[60] Voss, Sprach- und Geschichtsrevision, 954.
[61] Violeta A~koska, Politikata i istoriografija 1944-1998, vo: Makedonskata istoriska nauka, 487-503; Todorovski, Makedonskata istoriografija i politika; i Troebst, VMRO + 100 = PJRM?.