Monday, September 29, 2008

Risto Stefov(aka Chris Stefou) vs Carnegie: Misrepresenting the 1914 Carnegie Report

Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) once more use his Historical revisionism (also but less often in English "negationism"). This term describes the process that attempts to rewrite history by minimizing, denying or simply ignoring essential facts. Perpetrators of such attempts to distort the historical record often use the term because it allows them to cloak their illegitimate activities with a phrase which has a legitimate. It is sometimes hard for a non-historian to distinguish between a book published by a historian doing peer-reviwed acedemic work, and a bestselling "amateur writer of history".
In his articles Chris Stefou(aka Risto Stefov) used the most known forms , parts from the most common tactics of the Historical Revisionism-Negationism.
  • The selective use of facts
  • The denial or derision of known facts
  • Argument from ignorance (hence the historian community's emphasis on the importance of historical memory and historical studies)
  • The assumption of unproven facts
  • The fabrication of facts
  • The obfuscation of facts
more in this thread.

Chris Philipou in his blog has written a great article that expose Stefov as about the Carnegie Commision Report "claims". Read the article and you will realize why this person is a expert of the Slavmacedonian (FYROM) Historical revisionism

In 1914 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report regarding the conduct of the nations that participated in the Balkan Wars. The report was written by an international commission that was dispatched to the region in order to investigate the actions of the Balkan armies as well as to investigate the causes of the various conflicts that took place during the wars.

Risto Stefov, who also publishes books under the name "Chris Stefou", has used the 1914 Carnegie Commission Report on the Balkan Wars as a primary reference for many of his articles. He has written a whole series titled "Greek attrocities in Macedonia" which can be found on

In these articles Stefov engages in a heavy dose of historical revisionism. He implies that the Carnegie Commission report describes atrocities committed against "ethnic Macedonians" when in fact the report made no mention of any "ethnic Macedonian" population. The fact that the report made no mention of "ethnic Macedonians" does not phase Stefov who shamelessly converts the Bulgarians the report described into "ethnic Macedonians". Stefov retrospectively molds the population descriptions found in the report to adhere to his nationalist historiography. He and his followers imply that the reason the report described "ethnic Macedonians" as Bulgarians was because the authors of the report were categorizing by religious affiliation. Their theory suggests that because 'ethnic Macedonians' attended the Bulgarian church (Exarchy) they were described as Bulgarians.

The report demolishes this theory in 2 ways:

The report makes it clear that those who attended the Bulgarian church were of Bulgarian nationality. If these people were actually "ethnic Macedonians" why would the authors of the report make the following statement?:

2. The report clearly states that the Serbs were amongst the first to categorize the Slavs of Macedonia as a distinct group from the Bulgarians for political purposes. The authors of the report clearly viewed the Slavic population as Bulgarian despite the claim of Serbian scholars who attempted to distinguish this group from the Bulgarians in order to diminish Bulgaria's claim to the region:
It should be sobering for Stefov's readers to actually read the pages of the report and to see for themselves how the "ethnic Macedonians" Stefov describes in his articles were actually recorded as Bulgarians by the international commisison. As an example Stefov goes into length describing attrocities committed in Kukush by the Greek army. This is how the actual report describes Kukush:

Regardless of Stefov's attempts to focus only on the actions of the Greek army in order to demonize the Greek state as much as possible, the fact is that the 1914 Carnegie Commission report also describes atrocities committed by the other combatants. As an example this is an excerpt from the report which describes the massacre of Greeks in the Greek town of Doxato:

The report was published during an era when the "Macedonian" ethno/national identity was still in it's infancy stages. The report provides the reader with valuable contemporary insight into how contemporary geopolitical dynamics fostered the notion that the Slavs of the region were a distinct ethnic group. Up to the period of the Balkan Wars the Slavic population of the region was largely regarded as Bulgarian. The 1914 Carnegie Commisison report was authored by an international commission that spent time in the region. Their observations of the Slavic population of the region concurs with a vast number of other contemporary first hand accounts . Stefov and his nationalist cronies engage in a dishonest practice when they misrepresent the commission's first hand observations and reconstruct the Bulgarians described in the report as "ethnic Macedonians".
Implying that the Carnegie Commission failed to record what Stefov et al allege was the largest ethnic group in the region is akin to a modern international commission going into Palestine and not recording any Palestinians!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Reality and the Weight of History: Why the Greek People Cannot Easily Accept FYROM's Claims

By Aristide D. Caratzas
Special to The National Herald

The dispute regarding the official name by which will be known the Former (communist) Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has appeared to many policymakers from arcane to trivial. Yet its mishandling over the last 15 years, especially the last few months, has resulted consequences which have raised the political cost for some of the world's major players, and increased tension 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 U.S. President at an annual NATO meeting, in this case the much touted Bucharest Summit this past April: President Bush proclaimed the "strong support" of the United States to the Skopje regime's bid for NATO membership, only to have it denied under threat of a veto by the Greek Government. Nor did the NATO Secretary-General's visit to Athens and Skopje after the Summit increase the likelihood of a positive result, while the mediation process currently under the direction of U.S. diplomat Matthew Nimetz finds progress elusive.

Given the complexity of the situation, it is useful to reconsider, or perhaps consider for the first time, some of the elements of this case which make it much harder to resolve than the cursory - and sloppy - assessments of some foreign policy "professionals" have heretofore suggested.

Until now, some of these professionals, especially in Washington, have approached this process mechanistically, hoping somehow that the implicit threat of American displeasure would sway the Greek Government. On one level, they can not be faulted, as the latter has caved many times in the past; however, there is little flexibility on this issue since, after repeated polling over many years, it has become clear that over 85 percent of the Greek public consistently demands a hard line.

I remember a meeting in mid-1992 between then State Department Spokesman (later Ambassador) R. Nicholas Burns and a group of Greek American leaders. In answer to a question about the precedent affecting the European border system which 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 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, as does the entire dispute regarding the name of the tenuous statelet, has its foundation in the settlements following the Second World War - in short, in recent history.

In the effort to understand causalities of issues thrust upon the stage of international affairs, it is ironic that diplomats, other foreign policy professionals and political scientists often opt to ignore history. Yet history, the word deriving from the root of the perfect tense of the Greek verb "to know," literally means "those things that I have come to know." Thus, on one level, it is simply the accretion of particular knowledge of a phenomenon over time.

It is therefore treacherous to wade into the Balkans, where human experience has been recorded for millennia and folk memories are long, and not 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 Centuries BC, or cites mythological ethno-ge-netic constructions, which may be obscure to diplomats and policymakers.

Many Greeks argue by making reference to 4,000 years of the Hellenism 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 which matters most, even if it has largely 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: the unresolved issues regarding ethnic and linguistic minorities before the War; the Axis occupation and policy of collaboration with minority groups; and 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 need only recall the use of ethnic minorities by the German National Socialist regime to destabilize Eastern Europe in the 1930's. 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. The allegations, of what we today would call human rights violations by the Czechs and the Poles provided the justification for the interventions which led first to the collapse of the Czech state, and then to the War when the Germans attacked Poland.

The defeat of the Axis resulted in settlements which effectively ended the claims by minorities, which had collaborated with it. To cite a few prominent examples, over three million Sudeten Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia; many of their leaders were executed, and virtually all of their properties were seized. The same happened in certain parts of Poland. In Danzig, the name of which was changed to the Polish "Gdansk," the remnants of Germans were expelled, and their properties were seized. Similar acts took place in other countries which experienced occupation and collaboration of minorities with the enemy.

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 (only the Greek province used that name at the time), the German High Command under Field Marshal Sieg-mund 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 group VMRO (Slavic for "Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization"), whose agenda was to mobilize and coordinate the activities of Slavophone inhabitants in Macedonia for the benefit of the Axis occupiers.

The leader of VMRO was Ivan "Vancho" Mihailoff (also transliterated as "Mihailov" in some of the literature), a major figure in the history of Southeast European extremist nationalist movements, though little studied even by experts.

Mihailoff had prevailed in the bloody power struggles, which included dozens of assassinations and other terrorist acts, for the leadership of VMRO by 1930. 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 organization, and an operational base from which the offensives into Yugoslavia and Gfeece were conducted

Mihailoff also had close links to Ante Pavelic, whom he assisted in the formation of the Ustashe (the Croatian Nazis, whose ardor and cruelty embarrassed even their German allies), and with Heinrich Himmler, to whom he introduced the Croat leader. Mihailoff cooperated with Pavelic in the spectacular assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Marseilles in 1934. The triggerman, Vlado Chernozem-ski, a close associate of Mihailoff, had been attached to the Ustashe on his order for the preceding two years. Between 1941 and 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 as a result of their defeat by Greek forces on the Albanian frontier. They developed a policy to exploit 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 Mihailoff s intention to implement it. Thus, the Italians were assisted by VMRO, which sent out agents of its irredentist "Kostour (Kastoria) Brotherhood," headed by Spiro Vasilieff in order to set the foundations.

Detachments of Slavophone volunteers were first formed in 1943, and accompanied Italian units searching for arms from the stores of the retreating Greek forces, which the country people were often hiding. These volunteers joined the Italian-sponsored "Axis-Macedonian-Bulgarian Committee," which became better known as the "Komitato" (or "Komitet"), first founded in Kastoria by Anton Kaltchev, a Bulgarian officer of Slavo-Macedonian antecedents connected to Mihailoffs VMRO who enjoyed the respect of the Germans. Soon after, a military arm of this organization was formed and came to be known as the "Macedonian-Bulgarian Command," or less formally as the "Ohrana."

Led by Kaltchev, the Ohrana was able was able to mobilize significant forces. Bands recruited from Kastoria, Fiorina and Edessa and the surrounding villages - i.e., central and western Macedonia - probably fielded about 5,000 men by mid-1943. These forces assisted the Italians in operations against Greek resistance organizations, and in intimidating and terrorizing the local population opposed to the Axis occupation.

Parallel to these military and "police" activities, Kaltchev also consolidated his control over the Slavophone population of all political inclinations. He interceded with the Germans, for example, in order to free individuals nominally identified with the Left who had been exiled by the Metaxas government. In addition, he penetrated (leftist) EAM, for a time the major Greek resistance organization, by placing his agents in its leadership ranks through SNOF, its Slavophone partner.

The Italian capitulation and withdrawal from the war in the Summer of 1943 would have left the Slavophone Axis collaborators in Greece without a sponsor had it not been for some prescient moves by the aforementioned Ivan Mihailoff. He and his supporters in the Central Committee of VMRO contacted the Germans directly (without the knowledge and authority of the Bulgarian Government). It appears that Mihailoffs plans extended beyond support of the volunteer units to setting the foundations for the creation of an independent "Macedonia" under German protection. It was also anticipated that the VMRO volunteers would form the core of the armed forces of a future independent "Macedonia," in addition to providing administration, indoctrination and education in the6 Lenn (Fiorina), Kostur (Kastoria) and Voden (Edessa) districts under German control.

Mihailoff traveled to Berlin in early August 1943, when he was received by Reichsfuhrer-SS Himmler at the Sichercheitsdienst (Security Service) headquarters, and also appears to have met with Hitler. Mihailoff apparently received consent to create two to three battalions of volunteers who would be armed and supported by the Germans, and who would be under the command and disposal of Himmler's organization. There is extensive evidence that Himmler's office followed through in order to implement the terms of this agreement, appointing SS Major (Hauptbahfiihrer) Heider to coordinate the arming and equipping the VMRO volunteers.

In March 1944 the village companies of Kastoria were reorganized into militias, and were armed and prepared for service by the Germans and Kaltchev's loyalists based in and around the villages near Edessa and Florina, also 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 Mechanized Infantry Division.

VMRO also organized three volunteer battalions under its name. They were formed by Slavophone officers sent from Bulgaria to Edessa, where they arrived in June 1944. These officers met with SS Major Heider in order to formalize the implementation of the agreement reached between Mihailoff and Himmler. Thus were formed the 1st VMRO Volunteer Battalion-Kostur (Kastoria), headed by Captain Ivan Motikarov, with the strength of about 500 men; they were armed with machine guns and rifles, and included one sniper company. In the summer of 1944, they were assigned to a reinforced company of the 4th SS Police Mechanized Infantry Division whence, in the words of a military historian, "the civilian population was so afraid of this battle group that their very presence in the area was enough to quiet any civilian protest."

The 3rd VMRO Volunteer Battalion-Voden (Edessa) was headed by Georgi Dimchev and Atanas Pashkov. Dimchev (deemed a hero by VMRO), who was born near Gi-annitsa, and Pashkov proved successful in recruiting over 800 volunteers not only from Edessa, but also from Giannitsa and Goumenissa. They were armed and equipped, and wore on their hats the skull-and crossed bones symbol, which referred to both die Slavo-Macedon-ian revolutionaries and their new allies,Himmler'sSS.The last to form was the 2nd VMRO Volunteer Battalion-Lerin (Florina), which saw action in the waning weeks of the Axis occupation.

The German forces, assisted by their Slavophone collaborators, launched the last coordinated attack against organized Greek resistance on July 3-17. "Operation Stone Eagle" took place in the northern Pindus area by elements of the 4th SS Division, the 104th Jager Division and the 1st and 2nd VMRO Volunteer Battalions, 12-15 thousand men in total, with the objective of containing elements of the ELAS 8th and 9th Divisions. According to testimonies at 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 Thessaloniki, where he was tried by the Greek Government for war crimes and was executed.

Many of the Greek Slavophones who had filled the ranks of the VMRO volunteer (i.e., Axis collaborator) units enlisted in the ranks of SNOF, which was created by the Greek Communist Party. After Bulgaria aligned itself with the Soviets, this process accelerated. Thus, Slavophone collaborators found their way to DSE (Demokratikos Stratos Elladas), the military force of the Greek Communist Party, during the civil war in Greece, 1946-49. After the communist defeat, most of those who sided with the Axis, later with the DSE, in the name of "Macedonian" nationalism, were never allowed to return to Greece.

Mihailoff survived the war and settled in Rome, where he died in 1990, a year before the collapse of Yugoslavia. In 1950, he published a book in the United States, "Macedonia: A Switzerland of the Balkans," in which he proposed the establishment of what we would today call an independent "multi-cultural" state where the Slavo-Macedonians would have the dominant position in this entity, a thesis which, paradoxically, has been revived by some presently West European "progressives”' and American liberals.

Mihailoff wrote in the shadow of the People's Republic of Macedonia, a communist state which had formed by Marshal Tito within the Yugoslav Federation in 1945. He devoted the next 40 years of his life in guiding the nationalist extremists of the Slavo-Macedonian diaspora in the United States, Canada and Australia.

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 and extremist rhetoric reminiscent of the discourse of its collaborationist predecessor-namesake. It draws much of its support from the Slavo-Macedonian diaspora in the U.S., Canada and Australia, 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 Slavo-Macedonian 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 Sude-tenland 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.

But realism dictates that we should not be optimistic in the short term. Hijacking the name of Macedonia, arbitrarily seizing cultural symbols (e.g., Philip II, Alexander the Great, Saints Cyril and Method-ios, among others) and now claiming "minorities" and properties in Greece as this piece is being written, demonstrates that FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevsky, heading the present-day VMRO, and the Skopjian leadership have inherited Mihailoffs nationalist extremist vision. Unless they sober up, they will reap the whirlwind.

Meanwhile, Bush and those of his supporters in Washington and elsewhere who have been studiedly 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.

Mr. Caratzas, a trained historian, is an academic publisher and international policy consultant based in Athens and Scarsdale, New York

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

US Congress supports Greece on FYROM’s name issue

130 Members of Congress have so far co-sponsored Resolutions H.356 and S.300, expressing the sense of the Senate / House of Representatives that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece regarding ‘‘hostile activities or propaganda’’ and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for the FYROM.

MENENDEZ/SNOWE: Macedonian quandary

Senators Bob Menendez and Olympia Snowe
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

With the attention of Euro-Atlantic diplomats understandably focused on cooling the conflict in the Caucasus, the United States must not forget that much work remains to be done to address tensions elsewhere in the mountains of Southeastern Europe.

Enhancing and preserving the hard-won stability of the Balkans requires that Washington not become complacent about remaining irredentist agendas in this complex region. This should be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's focus when she is in New York this week at the convening of the United Nations General Assembly with the foreign ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In 1944, Secretary of State Edward Stettinius expressed concerns about Yugoslavian communist leader Josip Broz Tito creating a "Macedonian" province and consciousness among his people. Stettinius saw the destructive potential in Tito's choice of a name describing an ancient geographical area, 52 percent of which is located in modern Greece, 9 percent in Bulgaria and 39 percent in Yugoslavia. His description of Tito's actions as "a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece" manifested years later when Tito's "Macedonians" crossed into Greece as participants in Greece's anti-communist civil war (1946-49).

Nearly half a century later, that Yugoslavian province became an independent nation in 1991 identified by the United Nations and internationally as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" or "FYROM." Yet Tito's furtive aims live on in many ways, including the nation's pursuit of the name "Macedonia." Its new constitution called on all "Macedonians" in neighboring countries to rise up and unite. In addition, FYROM printed currency featuring the White Tower of Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece, and created a flag featuring the Macedonian symbol from the dynasty of Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, which was located in Greece.
Years of productive U.S. and U.N. diplomacy moved FYROM to drop the offending language from its constitution and symbols from its currency and flag. Many believed FYROM was moving toward adopting a name such as "North Macedonia" or "Upper Macedonia" which appropriately describes its own geography.

However in 2004, the administration disregarded possible long-term consequences and focused exclusively on short-term intra-FYROM political goals. It split from U.N., NATO and EU policies to recognize FYROM as the "Republic of Macedonia" in a misguided attempt to provide cover to Western-oriented leaders in an intensely nationalistic political environment. This sudden about-face undermined international efforts to solve the name issue, and emboldened those within FYROM opposed to a diplomatic solution.

Shortly thereafter, a videotape surfaced showing FYROM's state schools teaching that northern Greece is FYROM territory occupied by Greece. Maps showing northern Greece as part of FYROM also appeared in school textbooks and one was recently displayed behind Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at a ceremony. Most recently the political leadership in Skopje launched an unprecedented campaign of claims against Greece, thus undermining the ongoing talks under United Nations auspices.

Due to FYROM's intransigence on the name dispute, it was prohibited from joining NATO at the group's April summit, thus thwarting American security interests. In Bucharest, NATO leaders unanimously decided that an invitation to FYROM will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. In breaking with the international community on FYROM's name and failing to condemn its provocations, the U.S. administration bolstered FYROM's intransigence and inadvertently contributed to the deadlock in NATO. To correct this, we recently requested clarification on the administration's position on this issue. The State Department responded with a letter that stated, "Our ambassador [to FYROM] will, as well, help these leaders understand the dangers of irredentism in any form and the importance of avoiding the implications of irredentism in any form."

From our perspective, this was an improvement on the U.S. position. Yet when this language from the letter was recently read aloud at a State Department briefing, the department's spokesman indicated its position on the issue had not changed. We strongly believe it would be an error to eschew progress on this issue at the very moment it is most required.

Miss Rice has an ideal opportunity in New York to demonstrate America's opposition to any form of irredentism in FYROM and resolve the question of accession to NATO. She can tell FYROM that unless it accepts an international name that describes only its territory, such as "North" or "Upper" Macedonia, to be also used in the bilateral relations with the United States, by a time certain, the U.S. will withdraw bilateral recognition of FYROM as "Republic of Macedonia."

She can thus regenerate the American pressure necessary to resolve the problem, avoid sowing the seeds of another potential conflict in Europe and open the door for FYROM's accession to the European Union and NATO. This requires engagement, leadership and proactive diplomacy. Such a solution will have bipartisan support in the Congress.

Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican, are members of the United States Senate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Withdrawal of U.S. Recognition of FYROM as 'Macedonia'?

Washington, D.C-- “Withdrawal of Americaʼs recognition of FYROM as ʽMacedoniaʼ could be near. It could make the list of one of the first examples of the changes in Washington policy promised by Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are jointly advocating the withdrawal of U.S. recognition of FYROM as ʽMacedoniaʼ, in a soon-to-be-published newspaper Op-Ed. Menendez is a fellow Democrat and close friend of Senator Obama and of his Vice Presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden, serving with them on the Senateʼs Europe Subcommittee. Snowe is a close friend of Senator McCain and one of the few fellow Republican mavericks in the Senate,” said leaders of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH).

These CEH leaders stressed that, “Obamaʼs and McCainʼs focus on improving Americaʼs image abroad will require closer U.S. adherence to the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, OECD and international law. The spirit of these international conventions opposes a country seeking a name that describes neighboring territory that its citizens want to annex.”

“All sides of the issue recognize that ʽMacedoniaʼ describes an ancient kingdom, the majority of which is in northern Greece, and they are aware of numerous recent examples of FYROMʼs citizensʼ desire to annex this territory. As well, the opinion of Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, Demetrios, who was born and raised in the Macedonian region of Greece, is highly regarded by both nominees. They both invited him to participate in their recent national conventions.”

“Recognition of FYROM as ʽMacedoniaʼ was an interim measure, as explained in early November of 2004 by Condoleezza Rice to Archbishop Demetrios and some of our members. She said that the U.S. advocated a final name negotiated by the UN and acceptable to Greece. Some Congressional Republicans and senior UN and US officials would like Rice to reverse that recognition decision before leaving office. They believe it froze FYROMʼs movement toward a name acceptable to Greece. Furthermore, FYROMʼs lack of movement on the name recently thwarted U.S. efforts to make FYROM part of NATO. This set back the NATO Membership Action Plan and injured U.S. security interests.”

“The administrationʼs recognition of FYROM as ʽMacedoniaʼ has put the U.S. in the untenable position of effectively supporting FYROMʼs irredentism against the north of Greece, an American ally. FYROMʼs irredentist aims were made clear by its recent rejection of Macedonian names that describe only territory within their borders – Northern Macedonia or Upper Macedonia – and by its Prime Ministerʼs recent appearance at a ceremony standing before a map showing northern Greece annexed.”

CEH leaders concluded by saying that, “Secretary Riceʼs timetable and options have narrowed. She must either:
(1) utilize what appears to be her only chance of unfreezing UN and NATO efforts and disassociating America from FYROMʼs irredentist goals -- withdrawing the interim recognition of FYROM as ʽMacedoniaʼ; or
(2) leave office with this destabilizing situation in the Balkans, failure of the NATO Membership Action Plan and irredentist-supporting image as part of the Bush Administrationʼs international legacy.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama Once More Assures Greeks for his Support on the FYROM Name Issue

A dynamic presentation by the Pan-Macedonian Association Supreme President Mrs. Nina Gatzoulis during presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign gathering in New Hampshire.
The Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association, Mrs. Nina Gatzoulis, thanked Senator Obama for cosponsoring Senate Resolution SR 300, during the presidential candidate’s visit to Dover, New Hampshire on Friday 12, 2008. The US Senator, in response to Mrs. Gatzoulis’ statements mentioned:

You know my views and that I am supportive of your issue…

He then asked her to give him the content of her speech. Mrs. Gatzoulis thanked him for his support and also gave him Dr. Papavizas’ book Claiming Macedonia and a coin, depicting Alexander the Great on one side and the Vergina sun with the Pan-Macedonian designation on the other.

Mrs. Gatzoulis’ speech:

Senator Obama, welcome to New Hampshire and to my hometown of Dover.

I am Nina Gatzoulis and I am the Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association of the U.S.A. I came to this wonderful country many years ago from Macedonia, the Northern province of Greece that is my birthplace as well as the birthplace and real home of Alexander the Great. On behalf of all the members of our Association, a great number of which reside in this beautiful state of New Hampshire, I wish to present to you with these small gifts as a token of our appreciation for your co-sponsorship of Senate Resolution SR-300 which calls on the FYROM, a country north of Greece that wishes to be called Macedonia, to stop its propaganda against Greece and to diligently negotiate a mutually acceptable name that would provide long and lasting peace in the Balkans.

Through the cosponsoring of this resolution, it is our hope that the United States will be sending the FYROM the clear message that their attempt to rewrite history and steal the cultural heritage of an honorable people is not acceptable behavior. The Bush administration by recognizing this state as “Macedonia, “ while the name issue was being negotiated under UN has encouraged FYROM to adopt the most obstinate intransigent stance regarding the negotiations. They refuse to discuss any other name than Republic of “Macedonia”, even though according to the Interim Accord in 1995, they agreed that a new name must be found for their country. The Bush administration by recognizing this state as “Macedonia,” has become instrumental into the most horrific revision of history throughout the ages.

Thank you,

Nina Gatzoulis, Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Macedonia and the preliminary treaty of San Stefano (1878)

by Konstandinos Vakalopoulos
abstract from the book "Modern History of Macedonia 1830-1912", 1988
Barbounakis Publishing

On the same day as the forming of the provisional revolutionary government on Mount Olympus, that is to say, on 21 February/3 March 1878, the preliminary peace treaty of San Stefano was signed between Russia and Turkey [1] The end of the Russo-Turkish War was a great disappointment to the Greeks of Macedonia, who never ceased to hope for a more active involvement of the Greek state in the Macedonian problem, and to expect much from the presence of the Greek army in the Ottoman provinces, not to mention the international situation created by the Russo-Turkish conflict. Their conviction that the Greek armed forces would take armed action (with Macedonian support) was so deeply rooted that they could hardly bring themselves to believe that the Russo-Turkish armistice had already been signed [2].

Regardless of the fact that Macedonia had not been occupied by the Russian army during the war, Ignatiev took as his basis the agreement reached between the Great Powers at the Conference of Constantinople, and de­manded that the greater part of Thrace and Macedonia, including Thessaloniki, should be handed over to Bulgaria. In the event, when the boundaries of the projected Bulgarian principality were plotted, they did enclose many Greek towns, such as Monastir, Kastoria and Edessa in the West, Kavala in the East, and other Greek centres on the Black Sea coast. Only part of Thrace (south of Rhodope and east of Porto Lago), Chalkidiki, the city of Thessaloniki, and the districts south of the Kastoria - Veria axis were to remain Ottoman. Thus the preliminary treaty of San Stefano constituted, in the opinion of F. Adanir, 'the reward of the Exarchist communities of Macedonia for their long endeavours in the cause of religious and national independence [3]. In reality, however, the treaty ignored the numerical superiority of the Greek population of Macedonia, whether Greek-speaking, Slavonic-speaking, Vlach-speaking or Albanian-speaking, flouted its legitimate rights, and contributed to its substantial shrinkage [4]. Indeed, with a view to forestalling any violent Greek reaction that was likely, Ignatiev intended to establish Russian civil and military authorities in the disputed areas as soon as possible. To this end he appointed Hitrovo, the Russian consul, civil commissioner for Macedonia at Monastir [5]. As a sop to the ethnic minorities of the new Bulgarian state, the treaty provided that their interests should be taken seriously into account in areas of mixed population under the organization of the proposed Bulgarian principality [6]

All Greeks were shocked by the provisions of the preliminary treaty of San Stefano. As at the time of the Conference of Constantinople, the Greek associations at Constantinople led the field in placing the issue before international public opinion. A coordinating committee, consisting of Thracians A. Psycharis and V. Sarakiotis, and Macedonians M. Papadopoulos and I. Krikotsos, took strong action to support a fair deal for the Greeks, collaboration with other Constantinopolitan literary associations. They published statistical and ethnological charts and amassed innumerable written protests from the Greek communities in the Ottoman provinces. The principal purpose behind the Greek efforts was to ensure that the diplomatic representives of the Great Powers in Constantinople, as well as the Euro-journalists, were kept properly informed. With this object in view, distin ished Greeks from Macedonia and Thrace were given the task of travelli round the European capitals so as to make on-the-spot contacts wi important government figures and to put forward the Greek case[7].

In Athens the Association for the Propagation of Greek Letters tried, the instigation of Professor Konstandinos Paparrigopoulos, to draw attention of the Austrian geographer, Heinrich Kiepert, to new statistics the ethnic composition of the Macedonian population which had b carefully garnered by Greek consuls and metropolitans throughout the regio (Kiepert was the geographer on whose ethnological data the Russians h based their demands at the Conference of Constantinople). The Austrian ' not, however, appear much disposed to alter his original views. Neverthele in his new work of cartography, which was published in 1878 and bore title Notice explicative sur la carte ethnographique des pays helleniques, slav. albanais et roumains, dessinee par M. Henri Kiepert, he did recognize predominance of the Greek element in Epirus, Southern Macedonia Thrace, from the Illyrian coastline to the shores of the Black Sea [8]. The G viewpoint was vividly promoted in Stanford's ethnological map, published London in 1877, which depicted Macedonian Hellenism as extending up to Sar (Skardu) and Balkan Mountains, on the basis of the Association's data [9] Two further maps were drawn up that year in a similar spirit by F. Bianc and A. Synvet[10].

The Greeks of Macedonia and Thrace also reacted strongly to t provisions of the preliminary treaty of San Stefano. They were swift to exp in every quarter their strong sense of indignation at this blatant and unj violation of the principles of international law, by sending one petition af another to the Greek government, the Great Powers and the Patriarchate, petitions flowed in from all the Greek communes of Greater Macedonia, fr speakers of Greek, Slavonic, Vlach and Albanian alike, and expressed th absolute opposition to the terms of the treaty. Their national consciousness they proclaimed, was Greek; and they demanded union with Greece or, failing that, the continuation of Ottoman rule in Macedonia [11]. The written protest the Greek commune of Skopje alone ran to about 14,000 signatures [12]. Especially perturbed were the Greeks of Northern Macedonia, who saw themselves being annexed by the Bulgarian principality[13]; so they continued to publicize wherever they could their sense of being Greek and to emphasize their presence in the north of the region. In March 1878 an envoy of the British embassy at Constantinople, Captain Synge, visited Macedonia on an ethno­graphic fact-finding mission. There he met many Greek inhabitants who protested to him in the bitterest terms about the treaty of San Stefano and the ethnological contours of the Kiepert map [14]. At Siatista the local population categorically declared to him that they would fight with every means at their disposal rather than allow their territory to be merged with Bulgaria. They even asked Synge for advice as to what other steps they should take in the context of European diplomacy to bring about the vindication of the Greek side. He urged the people of Siatista to send a petition to the Greek delegate at the Congress of Berlin. At the village of Leipsista (Neapoli) in the Vo'ion province near Kozani, Synge encountered the local beys, who informed him that they would never become Bulgarians and that they would prefer Greek to Turkish rule [15]. In truth, the Turkish government officials in Macedonia did appear to be in the grip of strong fears arising from the probable loss of Turkish territory in Europe. Pressure was put on the metropolitan of Thessaloniki, Ioakim, by Turkish circles who endeavoured to induce him to support the signing of joint petitions by Greeks and Turks opposed to the Bulgarian annexation of Macedonia. Yet the Greek communities in Macedo­nia were totally opposed to this proposal as long as these written protests contained no supplementary request for change in the existing system of administration. [16]

One of the most striking protests by Macedonian Greeks against the preliminary treaty of San Stefano was that passed on by Konstandinos Vatikiotis, Greek consul at Thessaloniki, to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 2 April 1878 [17]. This document, which originated with the members of the Educational Association of Strumica, included the following passage (composed in the educated Greek idiom of its time):

We, the inhabitants of Stroumnissa [Strumica] do not wish to suffer any form of subjugation to the Slavs, because we are and wish to be Macedonians and permanent members of the great Greek Family. We detest and abominate the Slav yoke more than we do the Turkish yoke. For the Turks showed respect to our ancestral manners and customs, left our religious system almost untouched and our traditional communes unaffected, did not hinder in the slightest our efforts on behalf of progress, and above all did not persecute our nationhood. Russia, on the other hand, will respect none of these things, as we are fully persuaded when we consider the dreadful fate of unlucky Poland. Anyone who thinks otherwise is to be pitied for his wilful self-deception or sheer ignorance. The remains of the antiquities in our country are all Greek; our way of thought is friendly, commercial, family-minded, and Greek; in our holy churches we conduct our ceremo­nies in Greek; in our schools only the Greek language is taught, nor has a Slav school ever existed in Stroumnissa; and, further­more, in the schools and in the churches of almost all the villages in our province only the Greek language exists;...[18].



[1]-Β. Η. Sumner, Russia and the Balkans 1870-1880, pp. 402-5, 627-36.
[2]-E. Kofos, op. cit., pp. 91, 304.
[3]-F. Adanir, Die Makedonische Frage, p. 83.
[4]-C. Naltsas, Der San Stefano Vertrag und das Griechentum, pp. 42-3.
[5]-E. Kofos, Greece and the Eastern Crisis, pp. 185-7, for bibliography and a detailed description of the diplomatic machinations, and pp. 188-90, for the Russian attitude to the fate of the remaining unliberated Greek provinces and to the Patriarchate. See also the precise limits of the Bulgarian principality as defined by the preliminary treaty of San Stefano in Documents diplomatiques: Affaires d'Orient, Congres de Berlin, 1878 (Pans, 1878), p. 24.
[6]- Documents diplomatiques, p. 25. See the text of the San Stefano treaty in G. Noradounghian, Recueil d'actes internationaux deI 'Empire Ottoman (Paris, 1903), pp. 3, 509-21. Cf. E. Kofos, Ο Ελληνισμός κατά την περίοδο 1869-1881 ρ. 123.
[7]-C. Naltsas, op. cit., pp. 44-5; Ε. Kofos, Greece and the Eastern Crisis, pp. 192-4.
[8]-K. Svolopoulos, Ο Heinrich Kiepert.., p. 4. Cf. Francuski dokumenti za istorijata na Makedonskiot narod (Skopje, 1969), series VI, vol. I (1878-1879), pp. 226-7.
[9]-E. Kofos, Greece and the Eastern Crisis, p. 194; for archival information about the repercussions of the San Stefano treaty, see op. cit., p. 191, note 4. Cf. also N. Garpolas, Πώς η Μακεδονία παρέμεινεν ελληνική, pp. 126-8; Η. R. Wilkinson, Maps and Politics, p. 71.
[10]- H. R. Wilkinson, op. cit., pp. 71-4.
[11]-E. Kofos, op. cit., p. 193 for details; idem, Η επανάστασις της Μακεδονίας, p. 38.
[12]-Ε. Kofos, op. cit., pp. 201-2, note 2.
[13]-Op. cit., pp. 197, 207.
[14]- Op. cit., pp. 111-12, 130.
[15]- I. Notaris, Αρχείον Στεφάνου Δραγούμη, pp. 305-6. Cf. Ε. Kofos, op. cit., p. 307.
[16]- E. Kofos, op. cit., pp. 130, 137-8.
[17]-E. Kofos, op. cit., pp. 130, 137-8.
[18]- Op. cit., p. 318. Cf. also the report by an anonymous inhabitant of Strumica dated 16 January 1878, pp. 304-7.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

1878 - Proclamation of the Temporary Government of Macedonia requesting Unification with Greece

This proclamation shatters 3 Slavmacedonian (FYROM) propagandistic lies about Macedonia:

FYROM propagandistic claim #1:
The name ‘Macedonia’ was not used by Greeks until after 1988. Until 1988, the area was known as ‘Northern Greece’ or ‘Northern New Territories’.As is evident in the Proclamation written in pure Greek by Macedonian Greeks this is simply not true. ‘The Ministry of Northern Greece’ changed its name to ‘The Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace’ in 1988…not the department/province!

FYROM propagandistic claim #2:
There were no Greeks in Macedonia until after Greece invaded and expelled the ‘Macedonians’ in 1912 and brought more Greeks from Turkey in 1923.Again, shameless lies. This document is proof that Greeks in Macedonia, not wanting to be ruled by Turkey anymore, took up arms and started a revolution. They formed a government and appealed to Greece and the European Powers to unite them with their motherland Greece! All this as Turkey was getting ready to sign the Treaty of San Stefano which allowed Russia to give Macedonia to Bulgaria.

FYROM propagandistic claim #3:
There was no Greek revolution against Turkey in Macedonia as happened in Southern Greece because there were no Greeks living in Macedonia.
This lie can now be destroyed along with the rest of Skopjean Macedonism and irredentism. To continue to propagate these lies is not worthy of a civil society.



To the Governments of the European powers

The long lasting sufferings which the respectable governments have heard about from their representatives, and which by now have reached a state of stressful despair, have obliged the inhabitants of Macedonia to take up arms in order to defend their lives, their honour and property. Calling a meeting today the representatives of the various communities in Macedonia, overthrew the Sultan’s tyrannical authority, declared the union of Macedonia with mother Greece, and chose us in order to form the Temporary Government of the revolution with the obligation to ask from the Christian super powers their mighty protection for the justification of our fight…(Macedonia) is ready to be freed and connected to mother Greece, even if it needs to be delivered to fire and disaster rather than continue living under the tyranny of various Turkish notables. They destroyed and violated the honour and sanctity of family life. All promises and obligations that the Turkish authorities gave to its subjects have proved by now to be nothing more than purposely sly and deceptive. The Turkish government has several times granted rights but tyranny has never been loosened. On the contrary, our misfortunes became endless and horrible because this government has neither power nor authority. Therefore, we were forced to seek our arms so that we may die as men as Greeks if we are not allowed to live like logical and free men.

[Signed] In Litohoro, Mt. Olympus [on] 19th February, 1878 [by the members of]

The Temporary Government of Macedonia:

Evangelos Korovangos, President;
A. Asteriou;
G.V. Zahariadis;
Nikiforos, Monastic priest;
Athanasios Georgiou;
Ioannis G. Vergidis;
Giannis Nikolaou

We ask the Consul General of Greece to read [and transmit] the present document.


Pages 81, 84, 116, and 117
From the book:
Macedonia, Macedonian Struggle, Greece-Macedonia 4000 Years
By: Konstantinos Douflias, Historian-Folklorist-Journalist
Aegean Publications

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Skopje’s Summer Follies: Enough Please Nikola!

Author: Haps Borgen
1 September 2008

Was anybody really paying attention? After all, the summer’s activities included a serious flare-up in the Caucasus, the Beijing Olympics, the true start of the US 2008 election campaign, and the arrest of Radovan Karadzic and his removal to The Hague for trial.

Nevertheless, the summer follies in the FYROM’s capital included a heavy dose of barely disguised Slavo-Macedonian irredentism, apparently aimed at shifting the centre of discussion from the FYROM name negotiations (which Skopje knows it can not win on its terms) to the broader issue of some kind of “Macedonian” (and here they mean Slavic) cultural or linguistic entity.

Rubbish. Fortunately, most of the Greek government and the Commission in Brussels dismissed outright PM Nikola Gruevski’s torrent of letters and representations about his alleged “Macedonian” ethnicity and Greece’s alleged mistreatment of ethnic “Macedonians” and their properties (since Greece considers Macedonians to be Greeks, this is quite novel.) Cooler heads prevailed, with many analysts concluding these tactics were aimed at Gruevski’s domestic constituency.

It is truly excellent news that most of Europe quickly dismissed these inflammatory tactics coming out of Skopje. The Greek side was clearly not looking to exacerbate the problems, and the summer vacation period in both countries kept tempers well below the danger zone. There were only a few reports of trouble with tourist movements from either country visiting the other.

Washington did little to help, at least publically. These FYROMacedonian identity/ethnicity/property problems bandied about by PM Gruevski unfortunately took on more significance than they otherwise would have received since the “Macedonian ethnicity” issue has been accepted by the US State Department’s famed Balkan wizards as meritorious. This is of course thanks to acting Under Secretary of State Daniel Fried’s strong tilt in favor of Skopje since the failed April 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit. After ultra-nationalist PM Gruevski was re-elected in June as a result of Skopje’s troubled general elections, he somehow believed he still had Washington’s support for his irredentist agenda, instead of focusing carefully on UNmediated name talks still being managed by Matthew Nimetz.

We can only hope there will be a serious new attempt by Skopje to deal with the substance of the name dispute. It seems Athens remains ready to talk, but this can not be guaranteed forever in the face of continuing irredentist provocations from Skopje. Reports have surfaced of a US-sponsored plan to be hammered out in the presence of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when all interested parties converge in New York for the UN General Assembly session later in September. Rumors of Skopje’s agreement to change its Constitutional Name (Republic of Macedonia,) after an adjustment period, were quickly dismissed by US sources. Meanwhile, FYROM officials were scurrying about the US, with FM Antonio Milososki attending the recent Democratic National Convention in Denver and PM Gruevski slated to attend the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis- St. Paul this week. Stay tuned, there is still time for another (desperate) act before Skopje loses its remaining best friends in Washington.