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Summary of "the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia"
Volume I by Todor Simovski

Institute for National History, Skopje, Macedonia 1978


As a result of the Balkan Wars (1919-1913) and the Bucharest Peace Treaty from July 28, (August 10th) 1913, ratified by Neuilly Peace treaty (14/27) in November 1919 and by Sevres Peace Treaty from July 28 (August 10th) 1920, Macedonia was divided among three Balkan states (Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria).The part which came under Greece and henceforward it represents an integral part of the Greek state, covers an area of 33.953 sq. kms, from totally 66.474 sq. kms, so much as has got Macedonia, on the whole. Greece, by inclusion of Aegean Macedonia in its structure same as the other territories taken during and after the Balkan Wars, got increased from 63.211 sq. kms. to 129. 880 sq. kms., and from 2.631.952 to 6.204.684 inhabitants as much as it numbered in 1920. This way it gained state boundaries towards Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, though even they were neither natural nor ethnic towards these states. From totally 2.000.000 inhabitants in Macedonia on the whole before its partition, more from the half of it, in other words, 1.163.477 inhabitants lived in Aegean Macedonia. The national structure of its population, which, as a result of the five century slavery, met with serious ethnic changes on the eve of the Balkan Wars, was the following: Macedonian Christians about 326.000, Macedonian Moslems 41.000, Turks 295.000, Greek Christians 240.000, Greek Moslems 14.000, Christian Vlachs 46.000, Moslem Vlachs 3.500, Albanian Moslems and Christians 9.000, Jews 60.000, Gypsies 30.000, and the rest from other minorities. Thus the national structure of Aegean Macedonia looked approximately like, on the eve of the Balkan Wars. Here we have not got an intention to take into consideration the history of the nationalities in Aegean Macedonia and its former ethnic structure. But at any rate, it deserves to emphasize that before the Turkish arrival the Macedonian nationality was more numerous from the other nationalities which were inhabited here, besides the frequent wars in the past which brought chaos, ruins, and migration, the Macedonians remained the main nationality in Aegean Macedonia. But the thing that occurred in the past for a period of more centuries, took part for a relatively short time, in the period after the Balkan Wars, in which had happened such enormous migrations and ethnic changes in Aegean Macedonia, which had bad consequences the Macedonian people, on the whole. A great injustice was done to the Macedonian people, by partition of Macedonia among the three neighboring states, who, henceforth was fighting for its national freedom. The only one alternative for itself remained further struggle which, in spite of the new circumstances. This time becomes more complex and harder. Besides that, of this partition, taking into consideration all the repercussions, the Macedonians from the three parts of Macedonia were subjected to assimilation torture, and forced migration, with an intention to change the ethnic structure of Macedonia. Such attempts practically contributed to consequences, which, before all, were expressed and have been expressing in the change of national structure of Macedonia, to the disadvantage of the Macedonians. In such a politics of the bourgeois governments of neighboring Greece much advantage was taken of a few historical events. which till the end have been used for their aims. They are, as follows: 1. The first and Second Balkan War from 1912-1913; 2. The First World War from 19l4~1918; 3. The Greco-Turkish War from 1919-1922 and the Convention of Lausanne from 1923' 4. The Second World War and the Civil War in Greece from 1940-1949 and 5. The policy that follows after the Civil war in Greece, with difference that this policy is much more refined, but equally denationalizing for the Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia. I THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THE BALKAN WARS 19l2-l913 After the First Balkan War being declared on 4th, (17) i. C on 5th October (18) 1912. the allied troops: Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek and Montenegrin heavily defeated the Turkish troops, because of which Turkey was forced to ask for a Peace Treaty (December 4, 1912) The war with Turkey legally ended by conclusion of London Peace Treaty on May 17, (30) 1913, with which the territory of the European part of Turkey was given to the allied troops, without determination of their borders. That is why, and mainly because of their misunderstandings, which of them to take a bigger part from the newly liberated Macedonian territories, blazed up the Second Balkan War which very soon came to an end in a total defeat of Bulgaria. It does worth mentioning that the allied troops their misunderstandings and their big aspirations were showing since in the course of the First Balkan War, in which the Turkish and other Moslem population in Macedonian suffered at the most. It is not a secret that the worst torture towards the Moslem population showed Greek and Bulgarian troops and authorities. These allied troops killed thousands of Moslems, burst, into flames houses, villages, and even whole quarters of towns inhabited by Moslems. But, on the occupied territories did not suffer only Moslem population during the First Balkan War, though it had greatest troubles. Carrying out faithfully their imperialistic plans in Macedonia, the Greek and Bulgarian occupying authorities started torturing the Christian population, which according to their calculations and opinions was not feeling as theirs. The Second Balkan War which showed itself as much more violent and which began on June 29, 1913, the Macedonian people suffered 100 much. In this war especially by the Greek forces were killed thousands of innocent Macedonians of whom the bigger part of women and children, especially in the Kukush and Demir Hisar regions, where the military operations have been carried out. Also, ten Macedonian villages together with the beautiful town of Kukush have been burnt and ruined. The Bulgarian troops were equally violent towards the Greek population, especially in the towns of Seres and Doksat. As a result from the two Balkan wars, Bulgaria on its territory got about 112.090 war refugees of which 50.000 Macedonians, out of whom 30.000 from Aegean Macedonia. Greece, in the territory of Aegean Macedonia got about 15.000 refugees, mostly Turks, less Greeks, Macedonians Patriarchates and Vlachs from Bulgaria, Vardar Macedonia and Pirin Macedonia, from Thrace and Asia Minor. A certain part of them will remain on the territory of Aegean Macedonia in order to fulfill the gaps that appeared during the two wars. The other, mostly Turks and other Moslems, moved to Turkey through Thessaloniki Port immediately after the normalization of the situation, helped by the Greek authorities. which made their life very hard in order to get rid them, as soon as, possible. But, in spite of the fact that in the course of the Second Balkan War the Macedonians because of the mentioned violence, were considerably moved out in some regions (Kukush, Demir Hisar, Seres, etc.), they still remained further as the main nationality in Aegean Macedonia, and in absolute minority in the border regions with Vardar Macedonia which was within the framework of Serbia and with Bulgaria. Such a situation could not satisfy at last the Greek plans whose aim was to hellenize this non-Greek rich region. This act could have achieved only by forced moving out or assimilation of the Macedonians, and by forced moving out of the Turkish and other population from one, and from the other side. to be moved in with Greek or with population with Greek feelings, newcomers from Caucasus, Asia Minor and other regions. Because of that, immediately after the concluded Peace Treaty hard pressure has been made over Macedonians and Turks to leave their houses and villages and to move out the Greek state. Such a pressure forced a certain number of Macedonian families to move to Bulgaria and Serbia (in other words in Vardar Macedonia which was in its structure) as well as, one forced migration overseas. This migration was temporary interrupted because of the First World War and the stationing of the allied troops (French, English, Serbian etc.)in Aegean Macedonia.

Migration Movements in Aegean Macedonia during the First World War

This process of migration from Aegean Macedonia, as well as, the already started process of colonization with emigration from Caucasus and other regions was interrupted because of the situation, Serbian armed troops retreating from its own territory and the invasion of Vardar and East Aegean Macedonia by the Bulgarian armed troops and the stationing of the allied troops at the territory of Aegean Macedonia. Besides that, and exactly because of the new situation a new Macedonian emigration began during the war which was directed in three directions. Dissatisfied by the Serbian, and later on by the Bulgarian occupation, one part of the Macedonians who lived in these territories were going away towards Aegean Macedonia, where under the "care" of the Greek authorities they had moved in the border regions: Lerin, Sorovitch, Ostrovo, Voden, Meglen, Enidze Vardar, Gumendze, Bojmitsa, Kukush. Later on, the bigger part of Macedonian emigrants from Vardar Macedonia, especially after the allied troops, had again left Bitola find themselves under care of the Serbian civil and military authorities, who very often had not been satisfied by the anti-Serbian and anti-Slavic policy of the Greeks, who do their best in order to make troubles about taking care of this emigration. Moreover, there were now emigrants from Aegean Macedonia in direction to the territory occupied by the Bulgarians, before all with an intention to avoid recruiting in the Greek army. According to the official statistics, about 14.000 fled from Vardar Macedonia to Aegean Macedonia during the First World War (this number concerns those who did not come hack after the war). Then again about 41.000, fled to Bulgaria, out them one half from the Aegean part of Macedonia. Divided into years, this emigration in Bulgaria was reached: 3.759 in 1915, 6.713 in 1916, 2.376 in 1917, 13.454 in 1918, and 14.785 in 1919, war refugees. This number of emigrants was much more bigger, but a good part of them after normalizing of the situation come back to their places of birth. This emigration, especially that which refers to 1916, was consisted of peasants and citizens who in the autumn 1916 were removed in the internal parts by force from the villages and towns which found on the very front line, among whom were inhabitants of the towns of Dojran and Gevgelija. From the above mentioned emigration in Bulgaria, which as we have mentioned was 41.000, had been settled down, such as; 5.500 in Plovdiv and its vicinity, while the other in other tows and regions of Bulgaria. The end of the First World War was satisfactory for Greece. It spread out in Thrace too, which, according to Bucharest Peace Treaty it belonged to Bulgaria. The Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia lost a lot because of the mentioned forced emigrations. On the other side, here about 100.000 emigrants with Greek feelings have been settled down. But, the situation in Aegean Macedonia remained further on unsatisfactory for Greece. The bigger part from the population was not Greek, but the majority consisted of Macedonians, Turks and other nationalities. Besides that, one number from the colonized population in Aegean Macedonia consisted of Macedonians from Pirin and Vardar Macedonia, who, though patriarchists, were not of "much interest" to the Greeks.


Migration Movements in Aegean Macedonia between 1919 and 1940

1. Migration of Macedonians in Bulgaria, Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and the overseas countries between 1919 and 1940

We have already seen that about 50.000 Macedonians emigrated from the territory of Aegean Macedonia to Bulgaria during the Balkan Wars and the First World War. This forced emigration of the Macedonians did not give the expected results to Greek authorities, as in Aegean Macedonia it remained to live further on, taking into consideration the natural growth of population, about 270.000 - 300.000 Macedonians. Taking this fact into consideration, the Greeks in accordance with the allied troops, forced Bulgaria on a special convention which was based on Article 56, line 2, from Neuilly Peace Treaty. The convention was expecting "voluntary" exchange of population between Bulgaria and Greece. This intruding on purpose had got an aim to justify the forced emigration of the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia to Bulgaria. But, when the defeated Bulgaria did not give any resistance, because on the account of the Macedonians, had got an intention to get free from the Greek population which was living in Bulgaria, especially in Plovdiv and its surrounding, as well as in the Black Sea's towns and villages. For this purpose was envisaged and guaranteed compensation of their estates, for which was named a special commission by the Council of the League of Nations, on September 20, 1920. The commission consisted of two members, such as Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Corfe from New Zealand, and Major Mariel de Roover from Belgium. One of them was President, and the other one was vice-president. In this commission were included one Bulgarian and one Greek. The commission was supposed to supervise and to facilitate the emigration and the compensation of the estates of the emigrants. But the convention itself in the practice together with the commission was not useful. For the period of three years from the nomination and functioning of the commission was faced that neither Macedonians, who were living within the framework of the Greek state, nor the Greeks living in Bulgaria, had not got any intention of leaving voluntarily their fireplaces. For the period from 1919 to the Autumn of 1923, in both directions emigrated, hardly 800 emigrants, and together with it took the advantage of the services of the Greek and Bulgarian mixed commission, and less than one third, out of them, were Macedonians, or more than 250 persons. But, another fact for the Macedonians, and not only for them, had got very significant results for the exchanges in ethnic structure of Aegean Macedonia, and it was Greco-Turkish War between 1919 and 1922. The megalomaniac aspirations for the Greek bourgeoisie towards Asia Minor especially towards the seaside parts of Asia Minor, which they considered as theirs by historical law, which is an alleged reason coming from the former Byzantine Empire, which inheritor was considered to be Greece, brought it into war with much more powerful Turkey. This war which lasted from 1919-1922 and in which were killed a lot of Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia, who were fighting together with the Greek troops, ended in a total defeat of Greece. Turkey took the advantage of this victory and imposed on Greece the Convention of Lausanne. It anticipated forced emigration of all Christians from the Turkish state to Greece, as well as, to all the Moslems from Greece to Turkey. An exception was making only for the Moslem population from Western Thrace and for the Christians in Constantinople, because of special long-term plans to each of them. Practically the Turks since in the course of the military operations in 1922 were moving out by force the Greek population from the seaside of Asia Minor and during l923 and 1924 was forced according to this convention to move out to Greece. That is why Greece found itself in a finally inferior situation, not only because of the defeat but for Greece were lost all the megalomaniac plans for Asia Minor. But it took the advantage of moving in the bigger part of this Greek emigration which approximately amounted to about 1.230.000 persons, before all, in Aegean Macedonia. In this way it had the opportunity of having a possibility to basically exchange the ethnic structure of Aegean Macedonia. That is why here have been settled down more than 640.000 newcomers, while in the meantime, according to the same convention were moved out more than 300.000 Turks and other Moslems out of whom, more than 40.000 were Macedonians. This means that these circumstances were used for forced emigration of the Macedonians. On the pretext of having difficulties about settling down of the refugees, in Macedonian families were placed by force one and more families of refugees. This phenomenon was most characteristic in the border regions in order to make the life of Macedonians unbearable. This forced resettlement was followed and by confiscating of estates, inventory and other households The physical terror and other kinds of pressure were not avoided. Besides that, in the whole Aegean Macedonia were formed armed units which. on the pretext of looking for guerrillas, were terrorizing the Macedonian families, doing massive jailing, and even single and mass murders. Among more massive murders, we are going to mention the murder of 19 Macedonian peasants from the villages of Trlis, Kapachoy and Lovchen, who, tied up, had been killed on July 27, 1924, as well as, the more massive throwing into prison of peasants and citizens from Lerin and the Lerin region in November l925, when a lot of them have been shot, and the others condemned to long-term slavery. The numerous terrorist actions of these armed units and all other methods of violence which were carried out by the Greek authorities, forced a lot of Macedonians to move in Bulgaria, and a smaller part in Vardar Macedonia, or in then SHS, especially in the regions of Bitola, Gevgelija and Strumitsa. According to the official statistic data available our disposal, for the period of 1923 - 1928 in Bulgaria under these circumstances emigrated about of 33.000 Macedonians, and approximately 10.000 in SHS. These Macedonians had been forced to emigrate because they found themselves under unbearable conditions, permanently terrorized, provoked by the Greek authorities and armed groups. It was natural, the sole solution for their salvation to seek in emigrating, thinking that in this way they will save themselves from hanging, from the physical and spiritual horrors and, at least, to be free from the daily nightmare, to find relative peace in emigration.

2. The Settlement or the Macedonian Emigrants in Bulgaria

Not entering in the procedure of emigration of this Macedonian emigration which was almost stripped up to skin before the emigration, we will give you just a short survey about the first years in Bulgaria. When there was a bigger number of Macedonian families for emigration and when they were ready to depart after having received all the necessary documents, in fact, for them started new tortures, troubles and suffering. Arriving with difficulties to the railway station from where they ought to have been thrown into special for them freight trains which should have transported them to Bulgaria, where they were supposed to wait for them for days and sometimes for weeks. And at the end when the train departed with the heavy freight intended in fact for deportation and took them off the other side of the border, where in their opinion their tragedy should have ended. But, from here started new sufferings of the Macedonian emigrants, which were not small Practically, they looked like more difficult and unbearable, as they were accompanied with agony not seeing any security for their future. Here are some characteristic reports by responsible Bulgarian personages responsible for their acceptance and lodging: The member of the National Committee D. Dinev. in his report to the Executive Committee from August 11, 1924, among the other, for the way the refugees arrived and what help had been given to them, is writing the following: "…In Svilengrad the refugees' families arrive at midnight at 1 to 1,30 a.m. Here they keep them, disinfect, vaccinate, and then keep them 3 to 10 days in a camp. The tortured refugees, being completely desperate cannot hear even a good word by anyone. Here they will be burnt by the hot Summer sun, by the wind, by the rain. They were not allowed to be put up in the quarantine barracks not even the sick and mothers with children…" After releasing from the quarantine the troubles do not end for the refugees from the railway station where they "unload", nor by their transportation and lodging to the settlements in the various regions of Bulgaria. It could be seen from many letter's and from the official reports of the responsible for their lodging. In such a report from June 11, 1924, among the other things is written: "... From Bourgas to Mesambria on a few places we met groups of desperate refugees, for whose situation I would like to say that they resemble everything else, but not to people." It is clear that to the refugees' families the Bulgarian authorities very rarely fulfilled what wishes they had and that in such state, they could easily become a victim of different diseases. Exactly because of this it is not strange the conclusion of d-r Talev, who with his cable of July 1924 to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to the National Committee reports the following: "…In Bourgas region I concluded that all the refugees are infected by fever... The very bad road and hunger exhausted the refugees and we are very sorry to see dead people by fever…" Much more noticeable the bad care of the Bulgarian authorities about the settling of the refugees could be found in the report of the annual assembly of the National Committee of the Macedonian philanthropic societies, held in Sofia from 31 January to February 2, 1926. In this report in regard to the refugees' question is written the following: "…The refugees were coming bare, hungry, tortured and exhausted. They hoped that here in liberated Bulgaria they will put an end of their slavery, physical and moral sufferings, that they will be met and accepted here as brothers and at least will have a temporary settlement. But it was difficult to them! Since after their arrival at Svilengrad station they were welcomed by the official authorities in a way what immediately was getting cold their little hope, which they had after leaving their houses, in order to change it with complete despair, in front of the violent Bulgarian reality... Instead of brother's, total cold welcome by the interested authorities, and somewhere from the natives, in order to reach the paradox the refugees to be treated as interned in Lovechko, or to call them "Eskimos and Barbarians", as the Mesambrian village mayor did in his letter to the regional mayor of the town of Bourgas". The report concludes with the violent truth bellow, that "…the dead traveling companion of depriving, despair and hunger did not come late to make his harvest very rich. The dead from 20% in the Plovdiv region reached to 80% in the Rouse region." A lot of refugees were dying, as was reported in many official documents, as well as, in the paper of Andre' Wurfbain, who, in his book on page 106 writes: ..... Temporary put up in school buildings, railway stations, cottages or tents, they very easy became attractive to all infections, because they were already exhausted from the former depriving. Because of lack of cultivable land, a lot of refugees were directed towards the fertile land of Bourgas, and which became unbearable be- cause of the fever which was devastating there. The mortality was increasing. 65% of refugees put up near Bourgas, died in only two years." Same image of the situation of refugees in Bulgaria gives Lucien Cramer in the "Revue Internationale de la Croix Rouge, VII" No.83 of November 1925, where he writes: "…When we saw the miserable situation of refugees in Bulgaria, we thought that we are in one of the circles of hell by Dante. This is a real scandal for Europe and is unbearable…" The delegates of the International Labor Bureau with the League of Nations, Procter and Ticksie', during the visit of the refugees camps noticed: "…It is horrible! We are defeated up to that extent that we cannot feed ourselves, nor to sleep peacefully from the ugly pictures that we saw through the refugees camps…" Here are given only a few fragments from the real picture in front of which found themselves the Macedonian refugees in Bulgaria, as a consequence of the megalomaniac plans and aspirations of Greece and Bulgaria, toward the Macedonian people, which the Macedonian people paid very dearly. The lodging of the Macedonian refugees at the territory of the Kingdom of SHS was going relatively easier not only because their emigration was happening in relatively normal conditions, but because their number was considerably smaller. Besides that, not once in then "South Star" newspaper, which was coming out in Bitola, in Belgrade "Politics", in the other Yugoslav papers, as well as, the agency "Avala" mentioned the deviations and terror of the Greek authorities towards the Macedonians. We should also mention here that between the two world wars from Aegean Macedonia because of the same political reasons we have emigration overseas. In regard to this emigration we consider that it is necessary shortly to tell the motives and process of emigration from earlier times in order to get clearer picture of the things which occurred afterwards. The tradition of Macedonians, especially from the poor regions to go abroad is very old, and is mostly expressed in XVIII and XIX century, There were Macedonian migrant workers mostly in Constantinople, Anatolia, Egypt, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and in the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The migrant workers are known as craftsmen, manual workers and tiny merchants. Their main professions were: masonry, milling, bakery, pastry shops, inn keeping, making tiles and ceramics, tiny trade, etc. Most of these migrant workers kept their families in the villages, where, from time to time, they went back to visit, built rich houses, bought estates. Very rare they took their families with them in the places of their work, Constantinople, Sofia, Bucharest, Belgrade, Alexandria, Cairo, etc. The tradition for going further, at the beginning to the countries of Western Europe, is from recent time, while the tradition for going to overseas countries mainly begins with the forced terror of the Turkish authority, i. e. from the end of the XIX century and the be- ginning of the XX century. The most migrant workers went to America after the Ilinden Uprising, when in Macedonia remained tens of villages burnt by the Turkish troops and "bashibozuk." Bigger emigration in the overseas countries there is after the Balkan Wars, especially from Aegean Macedonia, and this phenomenon mainly has got a political character. The Greek authorities as was mentioned before helped the emigration, which in the first years after the Balkan Wars was very big. But, because of the First World War from 1916, thanks to the circumstances, Greece tried to reduce the migration of Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia. Again it begins after the end of the war and especially after the end of the Greco-Turkish War and the great arrival of Greek emigration from Asia Minor to Aegean Macedonia. This time there is emigration, especially in Ca- nada and Australia. The inflow of Macedonian emigrants in these countries considerably increases after the Dictatorship of Metaxas in Greece from August 4, 1936 when there is more violent terror over the Macedonians: prohibition to use Macedonian even in their houses and when the num ber of prisoners and interned Macedonians because of their feelings is increasing. This process lasts till the Second World War, practically up to the declaration of the Greco-Turkish War of October 28, 1940. From all the above mentioned it seems that the Convention of Lousanne from July 24, 1923. i.e. by the forced emigration of this Christian population from Greece to Turkey, as well as, the new emigration of Macedonians to Bulgaria and partly in Vardar Macedonia, which was within the framework of the Kingdom of SHS and in the overseas countries, basically changed the ethnic structure of Aegean Macedonia. Such forced measures of de-colonization and colonization in fact gave the required results for the Greek bourgeois megalomaniac politics. But we should say that besides the forced migrations of Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia from 1912-1040, which amounted to about 90.000, the number of Macedonians remained still very big. Taking into consideration the natural growth of Macedonians which in average amounts 24%, the number in 1940 amounted same as it amounted in the period before the Balkan wars, i.e. was going from 300.000 to 320.000 Macedonians. But in many typical Macedonian regions where historically Greeks have never lived, such as Voden, Enidze Vardar, Gomendzi, Kukush, Demir Hisar and other regions, as a result of such policies in some of them the Macedonians remained a minority. More- over in the regions of Voden, Lerin and Kostur the percentage of Macedonians still remained further relatively high, from 55% in the Voden region to 85% in the Lerin region. Such a continuing state worried the Greek authorities, because all up to then measures of forced immigration and assimilation did not give the expected results till the end. But, it represents an historical fact that as a consequence from the Balkan Wars, the First World War. Greco-Turkish War from 1919 to 1922 and the conventions that followed as well as the denationalizing and assimilation politics of the Greek state and the big colonization that followed to a great measure changed the ethnic composition of Aegean Macedonia. Her population thanks to the colonization policies, as well as, to the natural growth and the mentioned instability, showed a permanent growth. From 1.084.022 inhabitants as it numbered in 1920 it increased in 1928 to 1.410.884 and in 1940 to 1.752.091 inhabitants. The last growth is a result, before all to the natural growth, in which a vital place takes the Macedonian population.


The Migration from Aegean Macedonia during the Second World War and The Civil War in Greece

The process of denationalisation and assimilation was temporarily interrupted because of the Second World War and the events following after it. It doss worth mentioning the fact that the Macedonians during the Greco-Italian War intruded by Mousolini on October 28, 1940, showed great heroism, fighting in the first rows. They fought so bravely as they were sure that this struggle against the fascist aggressor represents a general international obligation and contribution against the mutual enemy of all the peoples. The April's War in 1940 brought to the fact Greece and within her framework Aegean Macedonia to become an war trophy of the German militarism. Aegean Macedonia this time also became a currency for buying of other conscience and interests, before all, to the Bulgarian revenge and to Italian fascism. For the Macedonians, as well as, all the other subjugated peoples in Europe by the German, Italian and Bulgarian fascism, the only solution for realizing of their eternal ideals, was the armed struggle. They did not hesitate at all to make a choice of this way full of sacrifices and sufferings, well-known to them for centuries. Because of the partition of Macedonia and the historical circumstances, the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia, besides this general task for all the Macedonians, should have fought also together with the Greek people, thinking that during the war or later on in the new anti-fascist Greece they will have their national rights, acquired during the struggle against their mutual enemy, the German, Italian and Bulgarian occupier. But in the practice and even during the big anti-fascist combat, in which the Macedonians participated massively, more and more they were becoming conscious that the anti-fascist forces in Greece did not have any intention to give the rights to the Macedonians. On the contra-ry, they were doing all the steps to stop such intentions and desires of the Macedonians. In this regard, of course, most engaged were those Greek forces who fought under shelter of the occupier. During the war armed troops of the occupier were crossing over the Macedonian villages and regions plundering, terrorizing and committing murders of the Macedonians. Such armed units from the type of Kirtsidakis, Kolaras, Poulos, Papadopoulos, Kisa Badzak. Andon Chaush, and other leaders of the collaboration PAO with great pleasure were attacking those Macedonian villages which in the past showed themselves as more revolutionary and stronger in their resistance. Because of more historical circumstances from a subjective and objective nature came to the fact the anti-fascist forces in Greece to throw the weapons. Their fate was solved with the Convention of Varkizha of February 12, 1945. Immediately after the Convention of Varkizha and leaving the weapons by the anti-fascist forces in Greece, the situation in the country became very bad. The Macedonians found themselves again in a very bad situation. After the Convention of Varkizha begins another pressure, terror and frightening. The murders, raping of women and girls, the plundering, burning of houses, internations, prisons, violence, persecution over the border, and the like, became an everyday work. It is enough only to have a look at the documentation issued by the Archives of Macedonia in the edition Aegean Macedonia in PLW« vol. I, II, III and IV, at the Yugoslav and International press of that time, at the very rich documentation gathered by the questionnaire com-mission of the United Nations, as well as, other documentation, in order to get to know the situation in which found the Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia immediately after the Second World War. The wave of running away was increasing from day to day. It was clear that the Greek monarcho-fascist state was resolved at any rate, not taking into consideration about the international protests, to liqui-date the Macedonians. For illustration here we will mention a few and not very characteristic terrorist actions: On February 20, 1945, the Greek armed troops attacked the Macedonian village Volak, Drama region, where they murdered seven peasants, burnt 40 houses, plundered the village and expelled 350 peasants. The same day such an armed group attacked the Macedonian village of Cruchuligovo, Seres region, where they arrested 15 peasants, plundered the village and expelled over the border 33 families. Only from February 12 to April 12, 1945 in East Aegean Macedonia the group of Andon Chaush killed 29 Macedonian peasants, put into prison 3.100 Macedonians, plundered ten villages and persecuted over the border more hundreds of Macedonians. In Kostur region, the Macedonian villages were attacked permanently by the armed troops, whose most applied methods were. mistreating, raping and plundering. So, on April 6, 1945 was attacked the village of Kumanichevo, where were plundered about 60 houses and carried away besides other things 1.000 sheep and 110 heads of horses and cows. On April 23 was plundered the village of Galishla, on April 27, the village of Aposkep. The same month was also plundered the village of Zagorichani from where 40 peasants were put to prison and from the villa-ge of Maniac were carried away 2.000 sheep, 500 heads of horses and cows, and 22 peasants put in jail. From the village of Chetirok were plundered 160 houses and closed 15 men and three women, one women killed and 2.500 sheep carried away together with 600 heads of horses and cows. Masive arrests, plundering, robberies, raping and individual murders through April, 1945 had got almost all the Macedonian villages in Kostur region, out of which mostly suffered: Izglibe, Tioloishta, B'mboki, Goson, Starichani, Ludovo, Rupishta, Semasi, Markoveni, Pesjak, Krchishta, Gorno Papratsko, Grache, Zupanishta, Smrdesh, Gabresh, D'mbeni etc. The same situation occurred in the Lerin, Voden, Meglen, Enidze Var-dar, Kaljarsko, Kukush and other regions. Up to the end of June 1945 only in Kostur region were imprisoned 800 peasants. In Kukush region were killed 110 peasants, more than 400 imprisoned 2.500 persecuted over the border and more of 1.000, who run away to Yugoslavia. Because of the same reason from Kostur and Lerin region more than 2.000 persons passed the Yugoslav border. Only in July were killed 117 men and women. The number of those Macedonians from Lerin region put in prisons is twice bigger than that in Kostur region. Besides this kind of terror, they established improvised courts in order to condemn the Macedonians to capital punishments, and livelong slavery, with an intention to frighten them more and more and to force them to go over the border. On April 25, 1945 in Thessaloniki were condemned to death 6 Macedonians and 2 for livelong slavery. In July in Kostur were condemned to death and capital punishments 109 Macedonian’s. On July 18, the Greek authorities make enormous pressure over the Macedonians in the village of Tekelievo, Thessaloniki region, to leave the village and to emigrate in Yugoslavia. On August 12, in Thessaloniki were condemned to death and shot 8 Macedonians from the Voden region, on November 17, 9 youngsters were killed above the village of Barovitsa, the Gumendzti region, who, frightened not to be caught were hiding in the woods. Generally speaking, during 1945 the terror goes on with the same intensity, and the pressure over the Macedonians to leave their houses and to emigrate to Yugoslavia was much bigger. The number of sacrifices was much bigger. Such a particularly difficult situation gave a rise to more protests and interventions of an international character. Even the American Slavic Committee in July, the same 1945 sent a cable to Truman, Stalin and Churchill, asking to take measures and to come to an end the terror over the Macedonians which was applying the official Greek authority. Also the President of the Macedonian union in USA sent a protest letter to the Greek Ambassador in USA with similar contents. But all this did not help to better the situation of the Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia, on the contrary, it became increasingly worse. This terror which was made over the Macedonians and over the Greek democratic citizens was the main reason of the Civil war in Greece. As it is known, The Civil war in Greece lasted almost more than three and a half year, i.e. from the early spring of 1946 to Autumn 1949, and ended with the defeat of the democratic forces in Greece. The results from the Civil War were enormous. Tenths of Macedonian villages were ruined, a lot of them became very rare. Ten thousands of emigrants found themselves not only in Yugoslavia, but in all other East European countries. The Greek authority troops during the persecution of the troops of DAG whose basic core consisted of Macedonians had an intention fundamentally to ruin the Macedonian villages, in order to frighten the population and to force it to run away. This was the reason because of which numerous Macedonian villages were entirely deserted by their Macedonian inhabitants. During the anti-fascist and Civil war in Greece, the Macedonians not only give more than 20.000 victims, thousands imprisoned and ten entirely ruined villages, but, they had been forced to leave their houses and under most inconvenient conditions to pass the border more than 50.000 Macedonians. With the end of the Second World War and the Civil War in Greece ended one more phase of forced emigration for the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia. This time were heavily struck and those Macedonian regions which, up to a certain extent, had been a little bit protected in the previous big migration movements, such as: the Kostur, Lerin, Voden and Kaljarsko regions. The census from 1951 in comparison with that in 1940 tells us the best situation in the Kostur and Lerin regions, where the Macedonian population was most compact. According to this census the Lerin region shows 19.504, and the Kostur region 17.868 less inhabitants, i.e. both two regions in 1951 numbered 37.372 inhabitants less in comparison 1940. If we count at the same time the natural growth of population which is naturally, and if we deduct the number of the new colonists inhabited here after the Civil war, then we can freely conclude that in both regions the number of the Macedonians is reduced more than the quoted off number. Considerable reducing of the population had almost all the Macedonian regions, especially Meglen, Gumendzisko, Demir Hisar, SE Drama and other regions. It is considered that the number of the killed and refugee Macedonians for the period of 1941-1949 is over 70.000. From all the mentioned above it is clear that the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia during the Civil war in Greece (1946-1949) undergone the biggest reducing, which is almost, equal to the reducing from 1912 to 1940. Now, we put the question: How many Macedonians remained Aegean Macedonia after all this reducing immediately after the Civil War in Greece? It is not difficult to answer this question, when we know that directly before the Greco-Italian War of October 28, 1940, number of the Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia was moving from 300.000 to 320.000. According to it, we can conclude that in 1951 when we have the fifth in turn official statistics of Greece for Aegean Macedonia, taking into consideration the reducing of 80.000 inhabitants the period of 1940-1949, as well as, the growth of population for period, which, of course, because of the military circumstances is smaller in comparison with the previous peaceful period, in Aegean Macedonia further on remained to live more than 250.000 Macedonians. Up to this knowledge we could come and by the already made analysis for ethnic structure of each settlement, especially in Aegean Macedonia during the census of population in 1951.


The Migration from Aegean Macedonia to Overseas Countries After The Civil War In Greece

We have already concluded shortly that the migration movements and repercussions on the exchange of the ethnic structure in Aegean Macedonia which took part in the period of 1912-1949, as a result of the historical events and the discrimination politics of the Greek authorities. But besides the big reducing of the Macedonians for this relatively short period - from four decades - moreover the presence of thousand of Macedonians in the place of birth further on remained to represent »care« of the Greek authorities. Though it is known that all over the world, because of its specificity the minorities can and should represent a bridge and connection between the neighboring peoples and states, for free internal understanding collaboration in all the spheres of life and internal relations, and many places they in fact are, but unfortunately in the practice, in case it did not come true. It has got as a result to go on toward applying of discrimination and assimilation measures. In the case was applied one, though not a new one but after the war pretty efficient measure for further reducing of the Macedonians - emigration in the overseas countries. This occurrence up to the Second World War how much to weaken the Macedonian rows in the place of birth, this considerably political emigration in the overseas countries, up to a certain extent, absorbed the extra from the labor where the natural growth was very bigger. But now, after the Civil War in Greece, the process of emigration of Macedonians in the overseas countries was more rapid as a result of the further discrimination politics of Greek authorities over the Macedonians which created a feeling of uncertainty with them. The Greek authorities with all the possible means helped their migration, which this time first of all was directed to Australia, Canada, and partly to USA. We may divide into two periods the process of migration after the Civil War in Greece: First, from 1950 to 1961 Second, from 1962 to 1971 In the first period, i. e. from 1950 to 1961 the migration though important, is smaller to that one in the second period. In this time the biggest migration we have got from the Kostur and Lerin region, but considerably were touched and other Macedonian regions. Even for the first time of the history of migration in the oversea countries are included settlements and regions, where such a kind of migration was not known in the past. For this period according to the same indicators the biggest migration has got from Lerin where from 69.391 inhabitants, as much as numbered the population on 1951, 2.035 inhabitants is less in 1961. In fact, the number of emigrated is bigger because here is not counted the natural growth of the population, as well as, the fact that in this region there was enough colonizing of deserted Macedonian villages from the Civil war. For the Kostur region though the number of the inhabitants 1.180 is bigger in 1961 in comparison with 1951, also the number of the emigrated Macedonians is very big which could be seen from specially reduced number of inhabitants of the Macedonian villages in comparison with the former census. The second phase of migration refers to the time from 1961-1971. In this period of time the process of migration in the overseas countries from Aegean Macedonia for this period could be seen not only from the annuals of the Greek statistic office, but and from considerably reduced number of inhabitants in the Macedonian villages and besides the natural growth, what best is supposed to be seen from the census of population in Aegean Macedonia in 1971. * * *

We have made an attempt to give only one short survey of the process of migration movements and repercussions on the exchanges of the ethnic structure in Aegean Macedonia for the period of 1912-1971. They according to their propositions and consequences belong to the most important of this kind of Europe in this period. They at any time, before all, had political motives. Besides that and besides the induced reducing what had been done to the Macedonians from Aegean Macedonia in the last six decades, is interesting the fact that their presence here is further on hi and in the Voden, Lerin and Kostur regions even today it represents majority. The further presence of over 220.000 Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia tells of the fact that it is not easy to tear up the roots of people there, where he has been living for centuries, besides all the measures of violence and denationalization that have been taken against it. Here is also mentioned the fact that in interest of any country is politics of respecting the rights of the minorities, living in it and acknowledgment of their individuality together with all the possibilities of developing freely all its national traditions and culture. It is of interest to Greece itself, as in the practice and through the history has been proved that denying of freedom and the national traditions of the peoples and minorities do not lead toward collaboration and closeness among peoples.


(Translated by Blagoj Stoichovski)


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