The ethnic consciousness of Macedonians throughout the history

“It happens that Macedonians who come to Bulgaria continue to call themselves Macedonians... In Bulgaria, whether they are descended from a Macedonian who travelled eastward in 1878, or whether they are quite recent emigrants, they call themselves Macedonians...”

Baerlein, Henry., “What is happening in Macedonia” in Fortnightly Review, 123, (May, 1928), pp.624-632

“Those people whom I had met were insistent on calling themselves neither Serbs nor Bulgars, but Macedonians. There seemed to be no love lost for the Bulgarians”.

British Foriegn Office, FO 371/11405, Kennard (Belgrade) to A. Chamberlain, 21 April, 1926. Enclosure, R.A Gallop, "Conditions in Macedonia", 19 April, 1926, p1. Cited in A. Rossos, The British Foreign Office and Macedonian National Identity, 1919-1941, p.10

“In the evenings in their own houses or when we had given the officials the slip, we encouraged them to speak to us. Then we in-variably heard the same story as "It's a bad administration. They want to force us to become Greeks, in language, in religion, in sentiment, in every way. We have served in the Greek army and we have fought for them: now they insult us by calling us 'damned Bulgars'…" To my question "What do you want, an autonomous Macedonia or a Macedonia under Bulgaria?" the answer was generally the same: "We want good administration, we are Macedonians, not Greeks or Bulgars." ”

Colonel A. Corfe 1923 - Foreign Office document O371/8566.

“We have many times heard from the Macedonists that they are not Bulgarians but Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians.

"The Macedonian question" by Petko Slavejkov, Bulgarian historian, 1871.

“The Macedonian Slavs considered and called themselves "Makedonci".”

British National Archives, FO 371/11337, Enclosure, 23 April, 1926

“It happens that Macedonians who come to Bulgaria continue to call themselves Macedonians... In Bulgaria, whether they are descended from a Macedonian who travelled eastward in 1878, or whether they are quite recent emigrants, they call themselves Macedonians...”

Baerlein, Henry., “What is happening in Macedonia” in Fortnightly Review, 123, (May, 1928), pp.624-632

“the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; they call themselves Macedonians, and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control”

Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedoinan autonomy, Public Record Office (London) - FO 608/44. Peace Conference (British delegation), 1919.

“The slavophone population of Serbian Macedonia definitely regard themselves as distinct from the Serbs. If asked their nationality they say that they are Macedonians, and they speak the Macedonian dialect. The inhabitants here are no more Serb than the Macedonians of Serbia - they speak Macedonian, and they call themselves Macedonians.

British Foriegn Office, FO 371/11245, p.2 and p.3. Also cited in A.Rossos, The British Foriegn Office and Macedonian National Identity, 1918 - 1941, p.11

“I asked him what language they spoke, and my Greek interpreter carelessly rendered the answer Bulgare. But the man himself had said "Makedonski". I drew attention to this word and the witness explained that he did not consider the rural dialect used in Macedonia the same as Bulgarian, and refused to call it by that name.

Allen Upward, The East End of Europe. London, 1908, pp. 204-205.

“... Don't fool yourself, Despot, the national spirit in Macedonia has attained such a state that Jesus Christ himself, if he were to descend from heaven, could not convince a Macedonian that he is a Bulgarian or a Serb, except for those Macedonians in whom Bulgarian propaganda has already taken root.”

Temko Popov (1855-1931), Macedonian Publicist, May 9 1888 Salonika

"Neither Bulgar nor Serb" said one such old woman, defiantly, when we left the Monastir road at Dobraveni, "I am Macedonian only and I am sick of war." ”

The National Geographic Magazine - "On the Monastir Road" by Herbert Corey - May 1917, p. 388

“Being shocked and increasingly concerned, I struck the village mayor when I heard him speak Bulgarian, which he wishes to call Macedonian, and I recommended that in the future he should always and everywhere speak only Greek, and that he should recommend that his villagers do the same.”

(Greek Infantry Lieutenant Dim. Kamburas in his report about the situation in the Village Armensko of January 25, 1925)

“In the Kastoria(Kostur) Kaza, delegations from the villages came to see us and declared that they wanted neither Greek nor Bulgarian teachers and priests; rather they insisted that they be Macedonians. When questioned about their nationality, they replied that they are Macedonians. These declarations, which are far from being isolated, demonstrate that the Christian population of Macedonia is fed-up with the oppression of the various propagandas, and that in them is beginning to awaken a national consciousness different from those being imposed on them from outside.”

V.I. Kosik, “Gordiev uzel Balkan,” in R.P. Grishina, ed., Makedonnia, Problemi istorii I kuluri (Institut Slavianovedeniia, Rossiiskaia academia nauk, 1999, 63)

“We are Macedonians, not Serbs, not Bulgars, but simply Macedonians.”

"Makedonski Golos" - 8 june 1915, Sankt Peterburg, Russia.

“It is a grievous error to suppose that we seek to acquire Macedonia on behalf of Bulgaria. We Macedonians consider ourselves to be an entirely separate national element, and we are not in the least disposed to allow our country to be seized by Bulgaria, Servia, or Greece. We will, in fact, oppose any such incorporation with all our might. Macedonia must belong to the Macedonians.

Boris Sarafov - The Times, London, April 12, 1901, pp. 3-4

“In the part of Macedonia which is now under greek rule, the greek language is barely understood. If you ask the people about their nationality almost always the answer is "We are Macedonians". ”

Veritas - "Makedoniia pod igo, 1919-1929." - 1931

“He is picturesque and peaceable, he works hard in the fields and in large number of cases speaks "Makedonski" which the Serbs call Serbian, and the Bulgars Bulgarian, and knows no Turkish and very little Greek.”

With the Serbs in Macedonia - Douglas Walshe - 1920.

“...These are peasants and their language is understood by Bulgarians and Serbs. They dislike the Bulgarians because they take their children to the army. They hate the Serbs for mistreating them...They do not want to be called "Bvlgari" (Bulgarians), nor "Srrp" (Serbs), nor "Gkrrts"(Greeks). Only Macedonians.

"Life in the Tomb" ("Η ζωή εν τάφω") - Stratis Myrivili - first edition [1924]. Athens 1991, p.104-5.

“Because Macedonia is the reason for many trouble between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, why wouldn't we create an independent Macedonia, after all the Macedonians do not recognize any nationality except Macedonian.

L'Action Francaise No. 209, 29 july, 1919

“They are also people in Macedonia who decline to be considered either Serbians or Bulgarians and who want to be simply Macedonians.”

"Forty years of diplomacy" by Baron Rosen - New York - Oct 20 1923

“In the district of Ostrovo/Bitola nine times out of ten these people, despite being the subject of dispute by three adjoining countries – Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece – would reply in response to the question as to their nationality that they were Macedonians”.

Edmond Bouchie de Belle, La Macedoine et les Macedoniens, Paris, 1922, 80, IV, 303.

“Once we reached Macedonia, what struck us most was the ease and zest with which the Macedonian underground battled against the Bulgarian occupying authorities. We stayed there a week and not a night went by without fighting in the streets . It was the same in Bitolj [Bitola] which the Bulgarian nationalists claim as 'the most Bulgarian of all Macedonian towns.' We found the people there as anti-Bulgarian as they are everywhere in Macedonia. They had organized several groups which at intervals retired into the mountains for training. They were extremely well organized and in contact with all the guerrillas in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece.”

M. Padev, Escape from the Balkans. London, 1944.

The real Greeks would have never driven out the Turks. They were too degraded even to wish for liberty. For many years after we had achieved our own independence they called the times of Turkish rule - the good times. It was the Macedonians and Albanians and foreigners who fought the Turks.

Dimitrios Kallergis (famous Greek general and statesman) - Conversations with M. Thiers, M. Guizot, and other distinguished persons, during the second empire - Nassau William Senior, 1878.

"Macedonian" is the rightful name of this language, which the Bulgarians wrongfully call Bulgarian.”

"Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Blood“ - Ion Dragoumis.

“They were not Greeks nor Turks, we called them Bulgarians but their language is not Bulgarian, but Macedonian. There were some wonderfull people amongs them, honest, hospitable and kind.”

"When I was a Boy in Greece" - George Demetrios, 1913.

“And it does not require much for me to persuade you, my dearest brother in Christ, that our holy Exarchate with its ecclesiastical and educational activity here in Macedonia is actually performing the most wretched task of taking away the name of a people and replacing it with another, taking away its mother tongue and replacing it with another, taking away all its national symbols and replacing them with others, all in order to secure for its government and its Bulgarian merchants commercial penetration into new territory.

A letter to Dionysus Moskov - Theodosius Gologanov, 1891.

“Is it not about time to stop the national division of one and the same people only because one recognizes the Patriarchate, the other the Exarchate, and the third reveres Mohammed? Is it not about time to stop the hatred amongst brothers? And how can this be done, if not by having our people’s church, through the Archbishopric of Ohrid? I will be sincere, my dear brother in Christ, and tell you openly: we the Macedonians suffer less from the Turks — long live the padishah — than from the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, who threw themselves on our pitiful country like eagles on a carcass and want to dismember it.

A letter to Dionysus Moskov - Theodosius Gologanov, 1891.

“In foreign lands, Macedonians, are said all sorts of things, they are looked at sternly and called rudely. Have, you, Macedonians, heard what old people say: There have not been bolder people than the Macedonians. The Tsar Alexander the Macedonian, three hundred years before Christ conquered the whole planet with the Macedonians. Our king Philip is a Slav, the Tsar Alexander is a Slav, they have been given birth to by our Slavonic grandmothers. Macedonians! remember Macedonian heroism and follow the path of your ancestors! It is better to lose our lives in our dear country than bear all kinds of maltreatment.”

"Самовила Македонска" (Samovila Makedonska - Macedonian Fairy) - Georgi Pulevski, 1879.

“What do we call a nation? – People who are of the same origin and who speak the same words and who live and make friends of each other, who have the same customs and songs and entertainment are what we call a nation, and the place where that people lives is called the people's country. Thus the Macedonians also are a nation and the place which is theirs is called Macedonia.

"Dictionary of Three Languages" - Georgi Pulevski, 1875.

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+

hint: use your keyboard's left or right button

5/28