The Bulgarians extended the term Macedonia to the area of the former Western Bulgarian Empire (present-day FYROM) just north of Macedonia proper. The Serbs, to counter the renaming of the land, extended the term Old Serbia to the south calling it South Serbia.
At present, about 90% of the ancient Macedonian kingdom is within Greece.
The failure of the Russian diplomacy to establish a dominant satellite state in the southern Balkans in the Council of Berlin in 1878 transformed into the impetus to do so after the complete control of the communist forces that established the USSR in October 1917. The new Russian-led government realized that to spread the communist ideology and encroach as many lands as possible for the benefit of the USSR; the state had to continue the foreign policies of Imperial Russia. Such a foreign policy meant for the south Balkans that, the national interests of Bulgaria were identical with national interests of the USSR. The goal of the USSR was the establishment of a Greater Bulgaria, and if the plan failed due to external pressure create a new state that would serve the national interests of both Bulgaria and the USSR.
On March 4, 1919, the Central Committee of the USSR created a body that would concentrate to the spreading of the communist ideology worldwide through a series of indoctrination, but also an effort to solve the issue of the national question which had haunted the new state vis-a-vis the Marxist ideology.
Krste Petkov Misirkov, a Bulgarian socialist, born in the region of Greek Macedonia published a book in Sofia, Bulgaria, titled On Macedonian matters in 1903 (Misirkov, Skopje, 1974). That book either was redacted or even revised between August 1914 and the end of 1923. In this book, Misirkov referred the Slav population of Macedonia as Macedonian Slavs or Macedonians explaining on page 159 that the term was regional, not ethnic. It is the same name that Greeks and others who live in Macedonia use today. There is NO Macedonian ethnicity; it never was. Ethnically, ancient Macedonians were Greeks.
During the Fifth World Congress transpired in June-July 1924, the Comintern issued a lengthy resolution titled “III Communist International, Fifth Congress - June 17 - July 8, 1924 "Resolution on National Question in Central Europe and Balkans”. In the first section under the title “Macedonian and Thracian Questions”, the resolution declared the establishment of the “Balkan Federation” to be created regarding Macedonia from territories from the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia), Bulgaria and Greece. Regarding Thrace, the resolution called for the secession of Thrace from Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Both, Macedonia and Thrace, would be included in the “Balkan Federation”. The “liberation” of Macedonia and Thrace would be achieved by vigorous “support of the national revolutionary movements of the oppressed peoples of Macedonia and Thrace for the formation of independent republics”, which then would unite into one communist state. The Macedonian and Thracian people were all inhabitants of those lands regardless of their ethnic background or religion.
The 11 January 1934 Resolution was drafted in Moscow under the title “The Macedonian Question and the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - United (IMRO-U)”. Its purpose was the reinforcement of the previous resolution (1924) while section I recognized the Macedonian nation not as a community of descent, but as a political entity or a country per glossary of the Comintern. A nation as a community of descent per Comintern was a tribe. In section II of the resolution, the Comintern appointed the government of the nation to the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) aka VMRO transforming the nation into a nation-state, always per the Comintern glossary. As for the Macedonian people, according to the same lexicon were, again, all inhabitants of those lands regardless of their ethnic background or religion. Section II of the resolution referred to the governance and indoctrination of the people mentioned above.
It is remarkable that not one of the above documents referred to a “Macedonian people” as a community of descent, i.e., a nation in an ethnic sense. On the contrary, the main goal was the appropriation of lands which would be “liberated” by the communists and indoctrinated later by the IMRO.
The communists of Skopje attempted to connect themselves to the ancient Macedonians, but they were turned down by the Yugoslav communists as their claim was “deceptive” (Katardjiev, Skopje, 1986, 376-377). Simultaneously, Yugoslav communists were adamant, “We cannot recognize you as a national distinction” (Katardjiev, Skopje, 1986, 381-382).
In fact, there is no explicit recognition by any legal authority in the Marxist Yugoslavia of an ethnic group called “Macedonian”. For Yugoslavia, the Macedonian ethnicity developed in the same manner that the Montenegrin ethnicity did, implicitly.
Such was the spirit which Kiro Gligorov, the first FYROM President, used making clear to representatives of the FYROM Australian diaspora that refused to accept the facts (Gligorov, Skopje, 2000, 354). According to Historian Eugene Borza, “Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians, and Macedonians[sic], cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom… Only the most radical Slavic factions – mostly in the United States, Canada, and Australia – even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity[…] Politics in the Balkans transcends historical and biological truths” (Borza,1999, 255).
The Marxist government of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FPRJ), later known as the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) let the “Macedonian” ethnicity develop only to use it as a tool for further expansion. Such a made up ethnicity could establish a birthright of a Slav people over the land of Greek Macedonia and the port of Thessaloniki as its prize.
The FYROM diaspora had developed the notion, “what kind of Macedonians are we if we cannot claim our ancestry to the Macedonians of Alexander the Great?” Under monetary, non-monetary influence, and political extortion of its diaspora, politicians of the FYROM at first entertained the thought of their “blood relationship” to the ancient Macedonians. However, as the time passed the pure wishful thinking developed to a staunch belief and beefed up by malfeasance and manipulation of historical facts turned into irredentism. Since the independence of the FYROM, Greece has confronted and endured belligerent predisposition to include but not limited to demographic manipulations, forgeries of history, and relentless disinformation, especially from the FYROM ultra-nationalistic diaspora.
If one desires regional stability and peace in the Balkans, one must help efface the source of the evil; stop assisting the verbal and tangible provocation of the FYROM diaspora in the world.
About Marcus A. Templar
Professor Marcus A. Templar is a former U.S. Army Cryptologic Linguist (Language Analyst), Certified U.S. Army Instructor of Intelligence Courses, Certified Foreign Disclosures Officer, Certified Translator Interpreter of Serbo-Croatian, SIGINT / All-Source Intelligence Analyst. He is the Macedonian League's National Security Advisor.
To read all his papers, please click here.
About the Macedonian League
We are an international professional Hellenic advocacy group. Our primary purpose is to advance our interests to informed and responsive governments on issues concerning Greece's national security and territorial integrity.
The Macedonian League's main focus is on the “Macedonian name dispute”, as this dispute is a serious national security issue that threatens the territorial integrity of Greece.
The Macedonian League also focuses on exposing and combating anti-Hellenism and analyzing political developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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