Evangelos Kofos, Nationalism and Communism in Macedonia, Institute for Balkan Studies, Θεσσαλονίκη 1964
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF MAPS
GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
NATIONALIST STRUGGLES FOR MACEDONIA
CHAPTER I: THE STRUGGLE FOR OTTOMAN-HELD MACEDONIA
The Historical Roots of the Controversy
A. The Macedonian Greeks in the War of Independence
B. The National Awakening of the Slavs
Macedonia : A Contest Prize for Diplomacy 13
A. The Religious coup: The Establishment of the Exarchate (1870) and its Consequences
B. The Diplomatic coup: The Treaty of San Stefano (1878) and its Legacy
C. The Military coup: The Annexation of Eastern Rumelia (1885) and its Significance for Macedonian Developments
Macedonia: A Contest Prize for Underground Activities
A. Penetration by the Exarchate : 1885-1893
B. The Impact of Propaganda on the Peoples of Macedonia
C. The Birth of the I.M.R.O. and its Objectives : 1893-1902
D. Serbian Activities from 1887-1902
E. Greek Reactions : 1893-1902
CHAPTER II : WARS FOR MACEDONIA
The Macedonian Stuggle: 1903-1908
The Balkan Wars
A. Diplomatic Negotiations
B. Wins and Losses in the Wars
The World War and the Peace Settlement
A. The Bulgarian Occupation of Macedonia
B. The Treaty of Neuilly and the Exchange of Minorities
CHAPTER III : THE INTER-WAR YEARS
The “Macedonian Question” in Yugoslavia and Greece
A. The Case for Southern Serbia
B. Greek Macedonia and the Slavophones
The l.M.R.O. and the Macedonian Question in Bulgaria
BALKAN COMMUNISTS AND THE MACEDONIAN QUESTION
CHAPTER IV : THE YEARS OF PREPARATION
The Formation of Communist Parties and the Macedonian Question
A. The Macedonian Struggle
B. The Revolt of the Young Turks
C. The Wars and the Balkan Socialists
International Communism Adopts the Bulgarian View : 1921-1935
A. The Ideological Setting
B. Bulgarian Efforts for an “Independent Macedonia” : 1920-1924
C. The Slogan for a “United and Independent Macedonia” and its Impact
1. Resolutions by the BCF and the Comintern
2. The KKE in the Light of the 1924 Resolution
3. The CPY following the 1924 Decision
4. Communists and the I.M.R.O.
The Emergence of National Socialism : Reversion of Communist Tactics
A. The Seventh Comintern Congress
B. The Greek Communists
C. The Yugoslav Communists
D. The Bulgarian Communists
CHAPTER V: WAR AND OCCUPATION IN MACEDONIA : THE POLICIES OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS
The Eve of the Second World War
A. German-Yugoslav-Negotiations for Macedonia
B. German-Bulgarian Negotiations for Macedonia
The Bulgarian Occupation of Macedonia
A. The Bulgarians in Greece
1. Occupation in Eastern Macedonia 'UESTION
2. Propaganda and Subversion in Western Macedonia
B. The Bulgarians in Yugoslav Macedonia
The Greek and Yugoslav Governments-in-exile
CHAPTER VI: WAR AND OCCUPATION IN MACEDONIA: THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTIES
The Struggle for Yugoslav Macedonia
A. The Conflict between the CPY and CPB
B. The 1943 Jajce Resolution and its Impact
The Struggle for Greek Macedonia
A. The KKE and the “Slav-Macedonians”
B. Yugoslav Interest in the Greek Partisan Movement
C. The Slav-Macedonian National Liberation Front (S.N.O.F.)
D. The Wartime Position of the KKE on the National Issue
E. The KKE and the Bulgarians
A. The Establishment of the People’s Republic of Macedonia
B. Yugoslav-Bulgarian Negotiations for Federation (1944-1945)
C. The Bulgarian Communists and Macedonia (1945)
D. Greek Macedonia in 1945
CHAPTER VII: FROM LIBERATION THROUGH THE TITO- COMINFORM SPLIT
The Paris Peace Conference
Toward a Yugoslav-Bulgarian Agreement: 1946-1948
A. Internal Problems in the People’s Republic of Macedonia
B. Bulgarian Concessions
C. The Bled Agreement
D. Soviet Reactions
The Guerrilla War in Greek Macedonia
A. The KKE on the Macedonian Question at the Outbreak of the Rebellion
D. Yugoslavia and the Guerrilla War in Greece
E. Bulgaria and the Guerrilla War
F. The Role of the "Slav-Macedonians” in the Rebellion
G. The United Nations on the Macedonian Question
The Impact of the Cominform's Decision on the Macedonian Question
A. The Last Year of the Guerrilla War : July 1948 - August 1949
1. From July to December 1948
2. The KKE’s New Macedonian Policy: The January 1949 Resolution
3. Reaction against KKE’s New Policy
4. End of Yugoslav Support to the Guerrillas
5. The Departure of the "Slav-Macedonians” from Greece
B. Bulgaria’s New Dominant Role in Macedonian Politics
CHAPTER VIII: THE DECLINE OF THE CONTROVERSY
The Last Years of the Stalinist Era : 1949-1954
A. The KKE and the "Slav-Macedonian” Issue in exile
1. Inter-Party Recriminations
2. Rivalry between Skopje and the KKE
3. The Formation "of Iliden”
B. Greek-Yugoslav Relations and Macedonia
1. Diplomatic Negotiations
2. From Normalization to Alliance
The Era of Uneasy Co-existence
A. Yugoslav-Bulgarian Reconciliation: 1955-1957
B. New Yugoslav-Bulgarian Feud over Macedonia: 1958-1960
C. The KKE and the Yugoslavs: 1955-1962
For almost a century, the Macedonian Question has occupied a unique position in Balkan politics, unique because it is the most controversial issue keeping the Balkan peoples apart.
In Macedonia, as in most highly disputed lands, one hardly feels confident when trying to untangle the strings of confusion. In the endless game of politics, propaganda has been elevated to the rank of scholarship; hopes and national aspirations have assumed the form of rightful demands. A serious student of the problem, or a conscientious diplomat in the field, experiences uncertainty as to what constitutes a fact and what a myth in the Macedonian paradox.
Macedonia has suffered from far too extensive a bibliography, one tending to obscure rather than clarify the real issues. Few have been the true scholarly works. Most of the books, brochures, pamphlets and articles have been written in the heat of passion, prompted by the urge to defend or to project one side over the other. The geographic boundaries of the region, for instance, have been exposed to numerous interpretations and have caused many a scholar and propagandist to devote time and energy arguing on end over seemingly insignificant points. History, always a convenient means for converting past glories into contemporary political claims, has been twisted and recast a hundred times in order to justify individual national views. Worse yet, the analysis of the ethnological structure of Macedonia has been subjected to a savage treatment at the hands of the respective national propagandas, since it was felt, that whoever appeared to command the loyalties of the majority, enjoyed a greater chance of seeing his views enforced.
Today, however, marks a period of relative calm. The revolutionaries—known either as chauvinist comitadjis or communist guerrillas—have been withdrawn from the scene. Though propaganda war is still on, it is now strong and aggressive, now gentle and couched in diplomatic undertones. In such a tranquil respite this study was undertaken hoping to shed a little more light on a complex issue; weigh a little more soberly the events which shook this part of the world in recent years, and draw —if possible — the proper conclusions in order to better comprehend the elements and motivations which tend to bring the Macedonian issue constantly to the foreground.
The Macedonian Question has been a combination of age-old national antagonisms, messianic ambitions, Great Power politics, racial suspicions, economic considerations and, more recently, conflicting socio-political ideologies.
Initially, it commenced as a typical example of a national awakening of neighboring peoples, only it soon manifested itself in an unbridled urge for territorial expansion, sometimes justified, more often not. At the same time, the geopolitical value of the region attracted the attention of the Great Powers who tended to complicate the issue and accentuate local antagonisms by espousing now one, now the other of the Balkan peoples.
The peace treaties which ended the Balkan wars and the First World War, settled the issue juridically. The population transfers of the first two decades of the 20th century, reduced, to some extend, the importance of the ethnological aspect of the problem. Yet, other considerations continued to keep it alive. Among them were economic interests, as expressed in Bulgarian efforts for a territorial outlet in the Aegean Sea; group pressures, like the case of the Bulgarian Macedonian refugees in Bulgaria agitating for return to their native villages in Greek and Yugoslav Macedonia; and irresponsible actions by the various dictators who had come to power in the Balkan states during the inter-war period and who tended to act impulsively on whatever concerned Macedonia. Finally, the emergence of communism in the Balkans was instrumental in reviving and accentuating the old controversy.
Before anyone proceeds with a study of this problem, it is important that certain bacic facts are well taken into consideration.
Macedonia is neither a geographical nor a national entity. For the past fifty years it has remained, above all, a political problem which from time to time, emerges with varied degrees of acuteness. A land of high mountains and fertile plains, traversed by wide but unnavigable rivers which follow a general southerly direction, it occupies the most important economic and strategic location in Southeastern Europe. Its natural and confortable harbors of Thessaloniki and Kavala, on the Aegean, can stimulate the trade of the entire peninsula; they can also provide excellent access to the interior of the Balkans for military operations and, indeed, they have. Its plains which cut the monotony of southern Balkan mountain ranges constitute the granary not only for Macedonia but for the surrounding regions as well; yet, these same plains have been over the ages the main gateways for invaders coming to pillage and conquer. Valuable commercial routes traverse Macedonia linking Greece with Central Europe and the Orient with the West; but, again, these same routes have been an endless temptation to old and new imperialist-minded powers. In the present international situation, Macedonia constitutes the most tempting —and vulnerable—region in the North Atlantic defense complex. In the event of a major confrontation between the two blocs it bars a descent of the Soviets toward the Mediterranean, at the same time remaining a valuable forward base for the Western Alliance. Thus, since Macedonia excels in paradoxes, it is no surprise that whatever appears to be a God-sent gift, is frequently an unwarranted anathema.
Today the commonly accepted boundaries of Macedonia follow the administrative divisions of the respective Macedonian provinces in Greece, Yugoslavia and, to some extent, in Bulgaria. In the north, they follow the direction of the Shar Mountains and the hills north of Skopje; in the east they move along the Rila and Rhodope Mountain ranges and, inside Greece, along the Nestos River. The southern limits begin at the mouth of the Nestos, and follow the coastline to the slopes of Mount Olympus and thence, to the edge of the Pindus range. There, they take a sharp northerly direction, forming the western boundary with the lakes of Prespa and Ohrid as focal points.
The periphery of Macedonia crosses four national boundaries entering only briefly into Albania in the region of the lakes. Greek Macedonia occupies 51.56 per cent of the area, or 34,602,5 square kilometers; Yugoslav Macedonia 38.32 per cent or 25,713 square kilometers and Bulgarian Macedonia 10.12 per cent or 6,789,2 square kilometers.
It is fruitless to trace the boundaries of Macedonia throughout the ages. Yugoslavs and Bulgarians generally agree on the delimitation as presented above, although at times, for political reasons, they tend to exclude certain districts of southern Greek Macedonia. The Greeks, on the other hand, do not accept the northern demarcation, contending that it was drawn arbitrarily on the basis of Ottoman administrative divisions rather, than on historical tradition. Instead, they limit the geographical region of Macedonia to the confines of the old Macedonian state of classical times. According to their view, present-day Greek Macedonia, and only certain narrow belts north of the border in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, can be rightly referred to by the name "Macedonia.” Consequently, when the Yugoslavs talk of a "Macedonian” state in their country —for that matter, a "Macedonian” state of Slavs — the Greeks feel that their neighbors are manipulating arbitrarily a name and a state which rightfully belongs to their own classical heritage.
Today, Greek Macedonia is divided into three geographical regions, i.e. Eastern Macedonia, comprising the towns of Serres, Drama and the port of Kavala, Central Macedonia with Thessaloniki, and Western Macedonia whose major towns are Kastoria, Fiorina, Kozani and Edessa. Administratively, it is divided into twelve nomoi or prefectures, each with a prefect appointed by the Government. Thessaloniki is the capital of Macedonia and the seat of the Minister of Northern Greece who has the rank of a full cabinet minister and whose jurisdiction extends over Thrace as well as Macedonia.
Since 1944, Yugoslav Macedonia has been known as the People’s Republic of Macedonia, one of the six federative republics of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Skopje, a city of approximately 170,000 inhabitants, is the capital of the region and the seat of the local government and assembly. Administratively it is composed of seven departments,i.e. Bitola (Monastir), Kumanovo, Ohrid, Skopje, Stip, Tetovo and Titov Veles.
At present, the regions which comprise what was traditionally known as Bulgarian "Pirin” Macedonia, are the Prefecture of Blagoevgrad and the district of Kiunstendil in the new (1959) Prefecture of Stanke Dimitrov. The Prefecture of Blagoevgrad comprises six administrative districts: Blagoevgrad, Goce Deldev, Petrid, Razlog and Sandaski. In addition there are the town-districts of Bansko and Melnik.
The Macedonian provinces in Greece and Bulgaria are fully integrated in the respective countries with no separate status. Only Yugoslav Macedonia, for reasons which will be analyzed in due course, has a type of autonomy as a federated component of Yugoslavia. There is no communion between the three parts of Macedonia. In fact, there is more dividing them than uniting them, the only exception being the relationship between Bulgarian and Yugoslav Macedonia whose common historical past and racial kinship tend to bring them together. Yet, even in their case, political considerations influence their orientation more effectively than historical ties.
Today, Greek and Bulgarian Macedonia are ethnically homogeneous regions. In Greek Macedonia, according to the latest official figures, there are 1,700,835 inhabitants of whom 41,017 are classified as Slav-speaking. In Bulgarian Macedonia (Prefecture of Blagoevgrad only), according to the 1956 census there were 281,015 inhabitants of whom 187,789 were classified as ethnic "Macedonians.” At present, although the results of the 1961-1962 census have not been published, all inhabitants are considered as ethnic Bulgarians. Yugoslav Macedonia is a different case. Since 1944, a "Macedonian” nationality has been recognized by the communist regime, and all the inhabitants of the region —known until that time as Serbs or Bulgarians—are termed "Macedonians.” According to 1961 official estimates, the population of Yugoslav Macedonia is 1,404,000.
It is not for this introductory section to try to examine in detail the merits of the argument over the question of the existence of a "Macedonian” nationality. It is only hoped that in subsequent pages this point —as well as a score of others —will emerge a little more clearly.
The present book is divided into two parts. Part One, which is based on secondary sources, has been included mostly as an introduction for the uninitiated reader and as a basis for allowing for intelligent comparisons. Briefly, it reviews the "old” Macedonian Question, as it developed from the time of its 19th century awakening of nationalities to the Second World War when Bulgaria, allied to Nazi Germany, appeared to have come close to realizing her century-old aspirations of occupying the entire region. Part Two, which is far more extensive and brings to light previously unpublished data, deals with the role of communism in the shaping of the "new” Macedonian Question. It begins with a return to the first decades of this century, when the Bolsheviks began to consider the potentialities of the Macedonian issue for the advancement of their own objectives in the Balkans; it ends at the time of this writing when tensions are considerably low on all sides.
 Figures for the Greek and Bulgarian Macedonian regions are taken from Christopher S. Christides, The Macedonian Camouflage in the Light of Facts and Figures (Athens : The Hellenic Publishing Company, 1949), p. 53, and for Yugoslav Macedonia from Petit Manuel de la Yougoslavie, 1962 (Belgrade: Federal Institute of Statistics, 1962), p. 20.
 In April 1963, Yugoslavia and her republics replaced the "People’s Republic” by the "Socialist Republic.” Since the present book deals with events prior to this change, the old name will be retained.
 Petit Manuel de la Yougoslavie, 1962, op. cit., p. 121.
 Ibid., p. 20. The 1953 official statistics for the population gave a more detail breakdown for the population of the " P.R. of Macedonia: ”
Source: Federal Statistical Institute : Statistical Year-book of Yugoslavia, 1959 (Belgrade, April 1959), p. 23.