Modern Greece and the Macedonian Heritage – Part 16 – On to Macedonia
By Risto Stefov, firstname.lastname@example.org, April 19, 2009
Modern Greeks, who were educated through the Greek educational system, seem to think that Macedonians did not exist prior to the 1940’s. In fact some are so sure that they are willing to stake their own reputation on it, so they say.
One Greek, who claimed to be a Professor of History, not long ago wrote and told me that there is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of Macedonians prior to Tito’s “alleged” creation of Macedonia. In fact, he said that he was so sure that Macedonians did not exist he was willing to accept everything I said at face value if I could only show him a single piece of evidence that proved Macedonians existed before 1940.
Believing he was sincere, I had no reason to doubt him, I took up his challenge and put together a document which can be found at this link: http://www.oshchima.com/Historical%20Documents/hdoc1.pdf
After reviewing the document the good professor was kind enough to write back to me but it wasn’t what I expected. The only thing he wrote was “Macedonia is Greek”! Nothing else! I never heard from him again.
I used to believe that Greeks were sincere in their quest for the truth but experience has taught me differently. I used to believe if one laid the facts on the table all arguments could be resolved through reasoning and logic but unfortunately I was wrong! As I have found out over the years, Modern Greeks, at least the ones I have dealt with, are not interested in finding “the truth” unless the truth serves their purpose. The only thing these Greeks are interested in, as I have found, is covering up all evidence that might challenge their claims on Macedonia and expose their lies. Facts, evidence, or logic do not matter and no Greek can be convinced of the truth unless it serves his or her purpose or supports his or her claims on Macedonia. Therefore it would be a waste of time to try and prove anything to a Greek who is convinced that his or her truth is the only truth.
If I were to classify the Greeks into categories I would classify them into three types. The first type which includes the vast majority of Greeks is the silent type which steers away from “anomalies” or information that is not explained by their indoctrination. These Greeks have found that curiosity can be painful, as Anastasia Karakasidou discovered when she wrote her book “Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood”.
The second type of Greek is a patriotic and devoted type who believes that everything the Greek government tells him or her, particularly about Macedonia, is true. This Greek is taught to believe the indigenous Macedonians, the ones who lived in Macedonia for many generations, the ones whose lands Greece stole, are his or her enemies. They are convinced that these Macedonians are preoccupied with “stealing” their Macedonia from them and therefore should not be trusted and should be punished at every opportunity.
The third and most dangerous type of Greek is the one who knows the truth but is entrusted with protecting Greek interests at any cost. This is the Greek that seeks out evidence in order to destroy it.
So the next time a Greek asks you to produce evidence that proves Macedonians exist remember that by providing this evidence you are helping him or her to cover it up.
The problem these Greeks have is not only with evidence but with the people who are bent on digging it up. Remember Karakasidou’s case? The Greeks threatened to “blow up” the publishing house in London if it published her book. Greeks often use this kind of “intimidation” to prevent what they deem “damaging” information from coming out. But more often than not, they publish “their own” versions of “the facts” to create confusion and bury the truth. For example Greeks, for years, maintained that Macedonians did not exist. But when stories started surfacing that Macedonians do indeed exist, they invented the idea that these people were not really “ethnic Macedonians” but “geographic Macedonians”. In other words they are called “Macedonians” not because they are ethnic Macedonians but because they are “Greeks” who just happened to live in Macedonia!
Until a couple of decades ago, according to these Greeks, Macedonians did not exist; today, according to the same Greeks, we have all kinds of Macedonians. In fact the Greek Prime Minister himself just announced to the Greek Parliament that he too is a “Macedonian”! This is how Greeks logic works. If you can’t outright eradicate “the information” then you bury it in a huge tangle of lies. Greeks are experts at this!
Fortunately Macedonians and even foreigners are slowly coming on to these “Greek tricks” and the Greek lies are gradually being exposed.
Today there is an overwhelming amount of evidence uncovered all over the world not just from books but also from newspapers and journals. Greeks however are trying very hard to bury it by side tracking the reader with personal attacks on the messenger instead of dealing with the message. In place of responding to the questions posed, Greeks tend to attack the credibility of the messenger calling him or her “anti-Greek” having an “axe to grind” or not possessing “the right credentials” to be an authority. It seems that when facts are presented that contradict the “Greek view”, Greeks tend to dismiss them by accusing the presenter of not having the “right credentials”.
Recently old newspaper stories from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s have also been surfacing from various library archives. These newspapers, it appears, have been carrying all sorts of stories from the Balkan conflicts, including many from the Macedonian 1903 Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. These stories exist and are real and can be found in the archives of practically every major library in the world. Some of these documents are now being digitized and will soon be available online everywhere on the internet. Here are some examples;
These stories talk about Macedonians fighting for their freedom, Macedonians who according to the Greeks did not exist prior to the 1940’s. With stories like these coming out no one in the world is going to believe the Greeks and their false claims. No one is going to believe that the references “Macedonian” and “Macedonians” are “geographic” and not “ethnic”. Who in the world, except Greeks, uses “geographic” references when referring to people’s “ethnic” or “national” identities?
“Since the declaration of the Republic of Macedonia the Greek government has asserted that it has exclusive copyright to the use of the Star of Vergina. But is has been argued that since modern day Greeks are not descended from the ancient Greeks: ‘The Star of Vergina is not a Greek symbol, except in the sense that it happens to have been found in the territory of the present-day Greek state. The modern day Greeks appropriate ancient Greek cultural symbols because they happen to live in more or less the same part of the world as the ancient Greeks did” (“Experimenting with Democracy Regime Change in the Balkans”, Edited by Geoffrey Pridham and Tom Gallagher, page 271)
“It is widely recognized that national symbols are often a modern creation which do not reflect the reality of the circumstances they purport to represent. Tradition can be invented. Modern Greece, for example, is a relatively new creation and bears little resemblance to the ancient Greece which is the source of much of its symbolism.” (“Experimenting with Democracy Regime Change in the Balkans”, Edited by Geoffrey Pridham and Tom Gallagher, page 271)
So let us dispense with the niceties and tell it the way it is. Greeks who know the truth know very well that Macedonians have as much right to the Macedonian heritage as Greeks do to the Greek heritage. Even though the Modern Greeks are not the descendents of the so-called ancient Greeks they consciously laid claim to the ancient Greek heritage. Why are they then protesting against the Macedonians laying claim to the Macedonian heritage, even though the Macedonians have been living in Macedonia a lot longer then the Modern Greeks have lived in Greece? Looking at the problem another way, why is the world not challenging these imposters for usurping the Greek heritage? If Macedonians have no right to the Macedonian heritage then surely the Modern Greeks have no right to the Greek heritage?
We know that the Greeks acquired Greece and Greek occupied Macedonia under false pretences so why are we not putting all this on the table and making it part of the so-called “name negotiations” with Greece?
“And, once again, we came to this often visited intersection; there are some very progressive Greeks who do not subscribe to this middle-age Greek thinking and who see the people in the Balkans living in peace and harmony-these are the true Greeks and then, there are newly created Greeks, those whose heritage has been wiped out and replaced with the newly “morphed” ethnicity “Greek-Macedonian”. Since they-in this Greek created problem-stand to lose the most, they are the “true” Greek soldiers in the forefront fighting the battle. I am sure they wouldn’t dare dig deeper into their past because they will inevitably find “skeletons” which have another story to tell: their grandfathers did not even speak Greek nor did they share in these “megali” Greek dream. What they dreamed the most and with a heavy heart longed for, were their abandoned homes, forsaken culture and their way of life in their Asia Minor communities.
Sooner than later all these Greek lies and fabrications will run their course and Europe will have no choice but to put an end to this Greek farce.” (Gandeto, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/98213)
“Those who espouse extreme nationalist positions, claiming (as they invoke Alexander, Philip, and Aristotle) that the name of Macedonia is exclusively Greek and that there is no such thing as a Macedonian minority, are reacting to the exigencies of a perhaps genuine dangerous local situation in which their country faces potentially hostile neighbours on several fronts; but they are also resuscitating the very logic that has always compromised their supposed independence to begin with – the logic according to which all the country’s modern claims must be evaluated by the yardstick of ancient history.” (Michael Herzfeld, “Anthropology – Theoretical Practice in Culture and Society”, pages 67 and 68).
“It is a myth that the population exchange ensured an uncontested and harmonious national homogeneity or that the refugees became integrated into Greek society in an unproblematic way. The criterion used for the population exchange was that of religion, in line with the tradition of the millet system. In many instances the refugees could hardly speak Greek and many had been reluctant to leave their lands and home where they had lived for generations.
Although the refugees from Asia Minor are collectively referred to as a single group, in fact they came from various cultural, linguistic, social and regional backgrounds.” (“Mediating the Nation – News, Audiences and the Politics of Identity” by Mirca Madianou, page 31)
And now I leave you with this:
THIS MACEDONIAN SUN
[The National flag]
By Spero Thompson
Patriots rose and fell in the Ilinden uprising
Turks holocaust villages, hope flees the land
Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgars drive out the Ottomans
Partitioning of Macedonia, their Balkan war prize demand
Europe’s power struggles bring a darkness of night
Ilinden, Balkan, World wars; repeatedly Macedonia is overrun
Sunrise overcomes night, announcing a new day
In 1991 history records the rising of the Macedonian Sun
Macedonia’s twentieth century featured bloodshed and hope
Began in bloodshed, ending in independence, hope realized
A standard is raised to represent and identify themselves
By symbol and colour, their nationhood is visualized
For so long a people oppressed and suppressed
Now masters of their own house and land
A century of, sultanate, monarchy, communism then autonomy
Today under their own flag they stand
The Macedonian Sun, a boldly emblazoned flag
On a field of red, a golden risen sun
The sun signifies a new day of self-rule
Red, for a history written in blood, a memorandum
A banner derived from their ancient heraldic emblem
Eyes see… ‘we are a people’ its proclamation
Proud emigrant sons and daughters see it fly
World acknowledged, flag of their mother nation
Historically, countries play leading or supportive roles
Now Macedonia is cast in a modern part
Ally to all who pursue peace and democracy
The Macedonian Sun, their pledge of national heart
Reader, listener, understand the meaning of this flag
With both prospect and retrospect you will see
The sun looks ahead, to a new era begun
Red, looks back on blood, sacrificed for country
This century, as nations strive, ideology against ideology
Fly in honour and freedom, oh Macedonian Sun
Until all flags are lowered, required no more
When His kingdom come, Gods will be done
To be Continued.