Posts Tagged ‘Bitola’

Pseudomacedonia – The Fallacy Of A Cause

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC)
October 21, 2008

Pseudomacedonia – The Fallacy Of A Cause

Interlocutors of Slavic spiritual, cultural and biological origin, originating from the area of the former Vardarska Banovina, please give me your attention – even though it might not suit your contradictory, inconsistent, ignorant patchwork of information and its abuse via unorthodox methods.

I have stated my basic bibliography many times, but another one is not too much: I am a Serb, graduated archaeology in 2002, worked as volunteer at couple of dozen excavation and in laboratory work. Apart from Serbian, I speak FYROM’s Bulgarian dialect elevated in 1940´s by Communists into “Macedonian literature standard”, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Old Church Slavonic and Latin. From 2005 I am student of History at UKIM, with my last undergraduate year being 2008/9.

Just like most people from FYROM, I used to accept the “Macedonian truth” about our unity as a people and our victimization by neighbors, primarily by Greeks. I was more exposed to anti-Greek propaganda (”600,000 Macedonians under Greek slavery” etc, of that type),not least because I was a half-Aegean from a sociobiological perspective and I grew in “Aegean” household. But starting to realize that “Macedonism” is based on lies, conclusions which I reached via extensive contact with foreign historic, anthropological, linguistic literature, I rejected my Pseudomacedonian identity, accepted the Serbian one, as an authentic centuries old identity in the northern strip of FYROM from where my patrilineal ancestors originate from.

After that I confronted the establishment at UKIM, both during my first studies and now , more vigorously, during the second. I came to conclusion that this particular brands of lies that are produced by the Academia or are being produced by various individuals (Donski, Tentov et al.) and are condoned and praised by highest institutions represent a ferocious attack on our true Slavic, Bulgaro-Serbian being which includes a number of semi-assimilated Greco-Vlach and that such brazen ideology is generator of crisis in the wider Balkan area.

The number of opponents of the Pseudomacedonistic ideology is now small, but nonetheless visible. Among the Serbian community mechanisms of cultural conservatism and innovation are rich enough to secure distinct, non-pseudomacedonian ethnic identity. The Pseudomacedonian mass is decaying by the acts of Bulgarian irredentism (passports, radical VMRO fractions, annual festivities of Bulgarian history, Skopje students in Bulgaria). Greeks are starting with progressive tempo their own initiatives regarding the organization and stimulation of cultural and political initiatives of Greek type among Vlach population of Monastiri/Bitola, Gevgeli and Krusovo.

In such vibrant situation upon which the emotions extrapolated from the ongoing negotiations are interwoven, many people from FYROM have chosen Pseudomacedonian nationalism as an answer to their thirst for national identity and national path after the collapse of Yugoslav Communistic ideology. In the name of aprioristic dogmatic “truths” which energize them, they are spending time in “hypermacedonization”: ad nauseum proclamation of the holy “truths” of the Pseudomacedonism, the crucial among which is the claim that today´s “Makedonci” of FYROM are direct descendants of Alexander´s Macedonians, which in turn were quite distinct from Greeks and from which today´s “Makedonci” inherited the genetic basis, their language (!), culture (including folklore) and a “right” to expand and embrace alleged 1,000,000 more of their kin, primarily in Greece, then Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia.

Well, let me disappoint you by raising these very valid points:

1.Ancient Macedonians were a conglomerate of Greek tribes and clans constituting a conservative monarchist military democracy , essentially an evolved extension of Dorian and on longer period, Indo-European system of social architecture.

2.Ancient Macedonians were present a long time before Philip and Alexander, and were considered Greeks by other Greeks as they were allowed to participate in the Olympic Games, an event in which only Greeks were allowed to participate. Persians used the term “Yauna Takabara” (Greek wearing a hat) for Macedonians already in the fifth century BC.

3.Dozens of epigraphic objects predating the epoch of Philip and Alexander show clearly a Greek language of North-Western type.

4. The names of Macedonians were not an import from the south since there is a marked deficit of names of eminent Athenians and other Greeks south from Macedonia.

5. From its prehistoric inception, Macedonia was an area which was for the most part, even more restrictive in size than today´s Greek Macedonia. Only 10% of today´s FYROM appears within the borders of Ancient Macedonia, probably without significant ethnic changes among native Paeonian stock, situated from ancient times North-Eastern from Macedonians, bordering on Thracians in Eastern FYROM, Dardanians in the line of Tetovo-Skoplje-Kumanovo and Illyrians proper from Ohrid to Kiev and Debar. As you may see, FYROM was essentially never Macedonia neither ethnically nor politically!

6.Expansion of Macedonia under Alexander the Great shows progressive patronage of a Hellenic way of life, culture and civilization (i.e. Hellenistic Period). The entire enormous opus of linguistic material on three continents was exclusively in Greek. Isn´t it strange that the dominating Macedonian element, if it was ethnically of alien nature vis-a-vis Greeks, did not left hundreds, if not thousands monuments in its alleged separate, non-Greek language as a sign of its prestige? From those times we have testimonies of the historians about Hellenic ethnic identity of chief historical protagonist among Macedonians.

10.Analysis of the entire corpus of Macedonian-authored inscription reveal a form of Greek which is quite different from the Ionic dialects and which has self-developed Greek features , thus proving that the Greek language among Macedonians is not borrowing.

11. There is a gap of 900 years from the Macedonia of Alexander to the arrival of Slavs, a North-Eastern agricultural people whose arrival is recorded by Gothic, Byzantine and Arab sources, confirmed with archaeology and attested with the extensive name changes of ancient geonymes. These Slavs, i.e. the part of them which overlapped Macedonia never took the name Macedonians for themselves, nor there was any mixture between the Greek and Vlach Christian population and the pagan newcomers. It would appear that from 7th and 8th century A.D. to the formation of Samuel Empire in 10th, that the people from FYROM were known as Bulgarians. The first Slavic text in the area of FYROM show Bulgarian features, while the Bitola text confirms the Bulgarian ethnology of the dynasty and people.DAI doesn´t mention Slavic Macedonians. Serbs in 13/14th century A.D. never mentioned Macedonians, but very often Greeks, Albanians, Vlachs and even the tiny Saxon community. The Macedonia proper during Serb rule was a separate province, with Greek as the official language.

12. Not a single Turkish document mentions any “Macedonian” ethnicity nor do the books by Turkish travelers. Not a single local work of literacy mentions “Macedonians”, “Macedonian language” etc. There are hundred references from other Balkanites, Westerners, Russians all the way to 19th century A.D. about Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Jews, Vlachs but no Macedonians!

13. The process of Bulgarian national awakening in FYROM, which began as a movement for Slavic-Bulgarian literacy, Church and school and ended with creation of VMRO (fmr. BMORK) is extensively studied and confirms that there was absolutely no proof of any authentic “Macedonian ethnic feeling” among the population.

14.Only in late 19th century A.D., conclusive with Yugoslav decision, based on the Commintern´s decision to establish a “Macedonian” nationality and state there are occasional and sporadic appearances of the Pseudomacedonian idea, in many cases by authors which renounced them later, like Misirkov. The population still considers itself Bulgarian, with lower percentage thinking of itself as “Macedonian” but not necessary in opposition with the broader Bulgarian national feeling. Most organization and eminent individuals fighting either for “Independent Macedonia” or Greater Bulgaria expressed their Bulgarian identity and that is extensively documented.

15. Even after the process of ethno-linguistic mutation, most folkloristic and lingustical features of the post-1944 “Macedonian” ethnos have strong analogies with Bulgarian vernacular.

So then, what are Pseudomacedonians doing constructively, excluding their opposition of overwhelming, rigidly scientifically analyzed evidence for the Greekness of Macedonia and Macedonians, their opposition to the fact that no significant cultural and biological admixture happened between Slavs and Greeks, that history doesn´t know for Macedonian identity of Slavic type attested in documents and other points which testify against their ideology?

They tend to use nothing much but stubbornness nurtured out of spiritual impoverishment of Pseudomacedonian culture and fanatical, extensive injection of pseudonationalism by VMRO-DPMNE and the attached crew of pseudo historians, together with other forms of indoctrination. All their “reasoning” is devastated by the use of brute logic in unity with fact and proper reasoning. In the attempt to gain some pleasure from playing “tough opposition”, they will most likely end up bitter and over-run by the political elite of FYROM, instead of emancipated beings capable of integrating and rationally judging all viewpoints, and intergrating in the European (EU) society.

Vasko Gligorijevic

(formely known as Wasilj Gligorov)


[email protected]
(Australian Macedonian Advisory Council)

The New “Macedonian” Question

Friday, October 24th, 2008


The New Macedonian Question

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

October 23, 2008

The birth of the ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’

In Europe there are many place-names which have strong historical associations, but none more so than Macedonia [1]. It is a measure of the fame of the ancient Macedonians, that their name has survived for over 2,500 years to describe a corner of the Balkan Peninsula, long after they themselves ceased to play any important part in European history.

Today the geographical boundaries of Macedonia are difficult to define, however, little is known about the new ‘Macedonian question’. For instance: How well known is it in the world that in the Balkans there are two Macedonias, separated by a common frontier?

How many people know that the northern small landlocked Slavonic Macedonia, known officially as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), has a seat at the UN, whereas the historical Greek Macedonia does not, because it is not a state but only a province of Greece?

How many people know how and when this multi-ethnic state was created?

In order to forge a new nation-state from a population, various parts of which possess a different national/ ethnical background or consciousness, you need three key elements: a political motive, fabricated history and a fabricated language.

Let’s examine how the state of FYROM was created. The geographical area which makes up FYROM today did not appear as ‘Macedonia’ on any map before the Second World War. Its population is mainly Slavonic and Albanian. In 1944 Tito announced the creation of the ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’ in order to provide a launching pad from which to lay claim to Greek Macedonia and the warm-water port of Thessaloniki [2].

While the Western Allies were busy planning the future of the Balkans, others had already shaped it. By the last quarter of 1944, the communists were the indisputable rulers in Yugoslavia and were working hard to become so in Bulgaria too. POLITICALLY Tito had turned the old “Southern Serbia” (named as Vardarska Banovina) into the “People’s Republic of Macedonia”, without taking the trouble to consult his Bulgarian or Greek comrades as he entertained designs for the incorporation of all parts of geographical Macedonia into his new federal unit [3].

The ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’ was a political creation only, since its population, a polyglot conglomeration of nationalities, had no substantial “Macedonian” national consciousness. Tito’s Macedonia, with Skopje as its capital, was created in the same manner as Stalin’s Belorussia after the end of the Bolshevik revolution.

ETHNOLOGICALLY, Tito’s new “Macedonian” republic was to be forged out of a population with ethnic and linguistic ties to Albania, Bulgaria or Serbia. The 1940 official Yugoslav census recognized only two large ethnic groups in Vardar Province: Slavs at 69% and Muslims at 31%. In 1945, three years after the formation of the ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’, the Slavs disappeared from the census and were replaced by 66% ‘Macedonians’! By recognizing the existence of a separate ‘Macedonian’ nation, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was able to gain control of Vardar Macedonia and justify retaining it as part of the Yugoslav federation [4]. In order to accomplish this it was necessary to eliminate the sense of Bulgarian national identity shared by many inhabitants of the area. Since this was clearly not in the interests of Yugoslavia, and since the inter-war policy of Serbianization under the Yugoslav Kingdom had failed, the only alternative was to recognize the Slavs of Vardar Macedonia as neither Bulgarians nor Serbs, but as something else as………..”Macedonians”.

Recognizing the ‘Macedonian’ nation and establishing the ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’ was the most effective way for Yugoslav officials to integrate Vardar Macedonia securely into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Another motive behind the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’s decision to recognize the existence of a separate Macedonian nation was its desire to extend Yugoslav control over Bulgarian and Greek Macedonia as well [5].

LINGUISTICALLY the new nation needed a language and script. Initially the spoken dialect of northern geographical Macedonia was chosen as the basis for the “Macedonian” language. To sever the linguistic bonds between the “Macedonians” and the others slavic speakers (Serbs and Bulgarians), this new language was fabricated and touted as a separate Macedonian language, the language, it was said, of Alexander the Great!

Hupchick explains: “The new ‘Macedonian’ literary language intentionally was based on a dialect spoken in the central Vardar area (Prilep-Bitola region) to remove it geographically as far as possible from Bulgarian and Serbian linguistic ‘contaminations’. A separate ‘Macedonian’Cyrillic alphabet (including wholly new letters & a few Serbiancharacters) was devised to make the language different from Bulgarian.

‘Bulgarianisms’ were replaced by folk substitutes, and modern Bulgarian, Serbian or Russian technical words and modern expressions intentionally were avoided in favor of Western (including American) terms. Literary Macedonian was as different as humanly possible from other slavic languages, being a veritable linguistic hodgepodge approaching the French meaning of macedoine when referring to a mixed salad” [6].

To complete the charade, Tito’s regime commissioned the linguist Blago Konev (he changed his name later to Blaze Koneski) to devise an new alphabet. Koneski modified the Serbian version of the Cyrillic alphabet and called it the “Macedonian alphabet”. Koneski and his linguistics also modified the Old Church Slavonic, (now named in the FYROM as “old Macedonian”), and fabricated the lexicon of the “Macedonian” language from a mixture of Bulgarian, Serb, Croat, Slovenian, and other Slavic languages. The alphabet was accepted on 3 May 1945 and the orthography on 7 June 1945.

The writing of a history for the ‘People’s Republic of Macedonia’ had the same goal as the creation of the language – to de-Bulgarianize the Slavs of Vardar Macedonia and create a separate national consciousness. Since Marx claimed to have discovered the immutable laws of history, communists have considered the “correct” interpretation of history as the foundation of all social science and a key element of nationality. As usual in the Balkans, history is a primary ingredient in the development of national consciousness. Hence, the Yugoslav communists were most anxious to mould the history of the Macedonian region to fit their conception of Slav-Macedonian consciousness.

In the 1960s and 70s, the Yugoslavs established committees to concern themselves with the “Macedonian” language and ethnicity in Yugoslavia and abroad, trained teachers in the language, and sent linguists to America, Canada, and Australia to teach the language and present lectures on the existence of a special Slavic race, related to ancient Macedonians.

According to a 1944 U.S State Department Airgram, the U.S considered, “talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” [7].

What has changed so that the USA and the Bush administration, through its recognition FYROM as ‘Macedonia’ in 2004, now supports these aggressive intentions against Greece?

To be continued……..

by Akritas


1] English term of “Macedonia” derived from the Latin Macedonius “Macedonian,” from Gk. Makedones, lit. “highlanders” or “the tall ones,” related to makednos “long, tall,” makros “long, large”

(see macro-).

2] International Organization, Vol. 1, No. 3, (Sep., 1947), pp.

494-508. Appointed under the Security Council resolution of December 19, 1946, the “Commission of Investigation Concerning Greek Frontier Incidents” on May 27, 1947 submitted a report, to the Security Council.

The general conclusion of the UN Commission as about Macedonia issue, was that Yugoslav and Bulgarian Governments themselves revived and promoted a separatist movement among the Slav minorities in Macedonia.

In making this finding, the Commission pointed out that some 20,000 Greek citizens had fled to Yugoslavia and some 5,000 to Bulgaria — most of them Slavs — and that the treatment of this group by Greek officials had “provided fertile breeding ground for separatist movements.” In Yugoslavia, Macedonian separatism was the special goal of an organization called the NOF (National Labor Front) which had its headquarters in Skopje and Monastirion(Bitola).

3] The Macedonian Question, Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939-1949, Dimitrios Livanios, page 245.

4] Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Palmer and King , page 199.

5] The Macedonian Conflict, Loring Danforth, page 66.

6] Dennis Hupchick, The Balkans from Constantinople to Communism, 2002, p.430.

7] US Department, CircularAirgram(868.014/26 Dec. 1944)

Travels in European Turkey in 1850

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

I’ll present JUST ONE BOOK written by Edmund Spencer who traveled to Macedonia and other parts of Ottoman Turkey in 1850. He clearly tells us that the population of Macedonia was Greek, Bulgarian, and Servian that the Osman’s fear would begin insurrections. Furthermore, well before the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate, Spencer clearly describes the people of Uskiub (Skopje ), Zagochori (in Epirus), and Bitoglia (Bitola/Monastiri)… he also explains that they attend the Greek church, in Bitola, but clearly states that the congregation of that church is mostly Bulgarian, with a few Greeks, and Zinzars.This boo0k was written in 1851 well before the Excharhate  schism of 1870.


A story about Florina from a local.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

                                                                   LOUISE’S  DOUBLA

A family story by Theodore Modis


I am sitting by my mother’s hospital bed. She is 95 years old. When her temperature goes up she sometimes enters a state of delirium talking, singing, reliving old memories, or venturing into new fantasy ones. At these moments I am reminded of my grandmother who at the age of 86, and due to no diagnosed illness, she permanently entered a fantasy world. What triggered that event was a technological development in the recording media. 


In the mid 1950s the first local radio station made its appearance in Florina, the little town of northern western Greece where we lived. One of the first programs the radio station aired was an interview with Paraskevi Modis. I remember the radio-station staff showing up at my house with some cumbersome equipment they called tape recorders. They were interested in my grandfather’s life, and in particular they wanted that Paraskevi sing for them the folkloric grassroots song that emerged spontaneously when her husband was assassinated. She did, they recorded it, and then played it back to her. That was it!  She went into a crisis about the “devil machine that took her voice” and the next day she snapped into her fantasy world.

At he turn of the 19th century my grandfather, Theodore Modis, was a prominent merchant of Monastiri (today Bitola in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia), a commercial junction in the southern Balkans under Turkish occupation at that time. Turbulence was brewing, however, as the Turks were preparing to leave. The Ottoman Empire retracted leaving behind disputed land. Greeks, Bulgars, Albanians, and Serbs organized themselves into committatos. My grandfather was head of the Greek committato.

The publicized funeral of Theodore Modis in Monastiri in 1904

On September 5, 1904 someone entered the office of Theodore Modis and shot point-blank at him. The event marked the formal beginning of the Balkan wars and my grandfather was declared a Greek national martyr. As for Paraskevi, she did not accept her husband’s death peacefully. She decided to enter the armed struggle, transformed her imposing three-story house into guerrilla headquarters, and supported the Greek fighters in every possible way. It wasn’t long before her house became target of attacks. Eventually a targeted bomb set the house afire. At the last minute Paraskevi threw out of the windows whatever valuable could be saved, stashed everything on a horse-drawn carriage, including her two small children (Yorgo an Aglaia), and headed south toward already liberated Greece.

 Among the “valuables” she tried to salvage at the last minute was … well, a dress!

 Paraskevi was a beautiful woman. Light complexion, rosy chicks, and sky-blue eyes. Her looks had become legendary when at 22 she was seen at her window by passing Theodore who promptly asked for her hand. Their life as a couple was glorious, furious, and short. Well-to-do Theodore owned the biggest house in Monastiri, bought extravagant clothes for his wife, but was also fiercely jealous of anyone setting eyes on her. For her part, Paraskevi, was self-asserting, strong-willed, and at times she concealed a gun in her bosom and even slept with it. The couple quarreled often, and rumors say that on one occasion she had her husband at gunpoint.

Paraskevi and Theodore Modis in the late 1890s.

Coquetry was not the reason Paraskevi tried to salvage a dress while her house was burning. And yet, preoccupation with dressing ran in the family. Theodore’s grandfather—this is Yorgo’s great-great-great grandfather—most probably also named Theodore according to the strict tradition of passing first names from grandparent to grandchild, was extremely concerned about his dressing. His last name was not Modis at that time but some weird long difficult-to-pronounce name that my grandmother once told me and I forgot. But Yorgo’s great-great-great grandfather made a point to follow and dress according to the latest fashion. To keep up with trends he regularly ordered fashion magazines from Vienna for his tailors. Before too long the nickname Modis (from mod) was slapped on him and eventually became his last name.


However, the dress Paraskevi tried to salvage had more pragmatic value. It was a traditional Balkan dress decorated with golden coins. Several lines of golden pieces had been sewn in rows decorating the bust of the dress. The arrangement had small coins at the extremities (grossia) and progressively larger ones (flouria) toward the center. The row with the biggest coins doublas (from double)—pronounced as in hoopla—weighted heavily and had corresponding market value.


When I first set eyes on the garment as a little boy, large parts of the lower dress were missing. In the decades that followed, the garment would surface on occasions and another golden piece would be cut off for a special purpose (at some point, my mother removed a whole bunch of them to supplement my sister’s dowry). The last time I saw the garment Louise’s doubla came off. By now the one-time fancy dress resembled a rag.

As Paraskevi grew older and older she witnessed the disappearance of her friends and relatives one by one. This is the predicament of people who live long lives. They see many of theirs pass away. In the beginning the bad news would shake her and sometimes make her cry. But as the decades piled up her reaction to bad news became more and more concentrated around one central question: When the time comes, does one become aware that death is imminent? An odd premonition of what was in store for her.


Her excursion into her fantasy world lasted for a couple of months. During this time she called people with different names, Florina became Monastiri, and the Greek army was soon going to come and liberate it. But a few hours before she died she abruptly came back to reality. Not only she became lucid and clear minded, but she also asked to see a couple of persons she had been mean to. When they came to her bedside, she asked for forgiveness and only then she died.


The women in my family tend to have long lonely lives full of drama and emotion, which are invariably centered on one or two male figures. Several years ago I convinced my mother to write up her autobiography under a theme like “One Century, One Life”. She did, but when I read the manuscript, I suggested a different title: “One Love, One Life.” Instead of recounting her rich experiences spanning the better part of a century, she had described only a few idyllic years she spent with my father. Now she no longer sees well enough to write. The last thing she wrote was a dedication to Yorgo in the only remaining copy of her book. She just also used her last visiting card. It is in the red velvet box containing Louise’s doubla.


My grandmother in her fantasy world called me by her son’s name, Yorgo. Now in my mother’s delirium the name Yorgo also comes up. As with my grandmother there is confusion now too, in my mind, as I am sure in hers. She could mean her husband, me, or Yorgo.

Yorgo posing in “his” square in Florina, Greece

Theodore on “his” street in Thessaloniki.