The Macedonian Tendency: We're here, we're not queer, we're not Greeks, deal with it!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We're here, we're not queer, we're not Greeks, deal with it!

The Greek nationalist desire to denounce ethnic Macedonians as traitors while at the same time denying our very existence is difficult to juggle. The article below is an example of the an attack on Macedonians is actually helpful since it affirms our very existence. However, the discussion regarding the number of Macedonians in Greece claimed by Macedonian emigre groups harms our credibility. Lets get together and deal with the facts.

Macedonian Heritage - 'Communist Landlords' and Political Refugees from Greek Macedonia:

"Slav-speaking peasants in Western Greek Macedonia were indeed the backbone of the Communist led Democratic Army in the last year of the Greek Civil War (1948-49). Either communist by belief or forcefully conscripted, in any case they were compelled to leave the country along with the retreating communist fighters of the 'Democratic Army' in 1949. In their ranks were World War II collaborators of the German, Bulgarian, and Italian occupation armies, as well as Slav-Macedonian communist activist of the Civil War. The latter were inspired either by the Yugoslav dream to annexe Greek territories or by the prospect of a united Macedonian state within a Balkan Communist Federation. All had to flee to avoid persecution for high treason."

How many Slav-speakers fled away? Greek bibliography generally accepts that 30-35,000 plus some 14,000 children, out of 28,000 moved across the border by the "Democratic Army". "Nova Macedonija" (see MILS 5.7.1996) mentioned 65,000 political refugees, a much cited specialist Dr Risto Kirjazovski, an Egejski himself, talks about 80,000 refugees (MILS 26.1.1996). Other Slav-Macedonian sources give different figures: the "Association of the Aegean Macedonians" in Bitola claims 100,000; a similar association in Poland cites 250,000; in the electronic list "Makedon" even the figure of 300,000 was once mentioned. The evaluation of these sources is easier, if we take into consideration that in 1940 the total population in all three prefectures of Florina, Kastoria, and Pella, Slav- and non-Slav-speakers together, was 275,000; 55,000 of them were interwar refugees from Asia Minor. In 1951 the total population of the same prefectures, which were heavily involved in the War, was 234,000. Apparently the discrepancy is due not only to a tendency of exaggeration by certain Slav-macedonian nationalist or refugee organisations, but also on account of including as Egejski mixed marriage families and descendants born in F.Y.R.O.M. or other countries (Australia, Canada, etc.).

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