Sunday, October 29, 2006


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Macedonians Prohibited fromSpeaking their Native Language

1959 - Village of Atrapos, Aegean Macedoniapeople forced to swear the following oath

"I do promise before God, the people, and the official state authorities, that from this day on I shall cease to speak the Slav dialect which gives ground for misunderstandings to the enemies of our country - the Bulgarians - and that I will speak always and everywhere the official language of our fatherland, the Greek language, in which the holy gospel is written."

During the period 1936-1940 about 5250 Bulgarian-Macedonian were prosecuted for using Bulgarian language in public places. Such practices continued well after WWII and are still prevalent in Greece today. The newspaper articles (with the accompanying translations) and the above photograph show how desperate and determined Greece is to eradicate any claim of a "minority".

Greek newspaper Eliniki Phon (8 Aug 1959) published in Florina (Aegean Macedonia) which reads

"Tomorrow the inhabitants of Atrapos (original Bulgarian name Krapeshina) will swear before God and the people in an official ceremony that hence forward they will promise not to speak the Slav dialect, which in the hands of the Slav propagandists, has become a weapon pointed at the national consciousness of the Macedonians. The proud people of Atropos will take an oath to speak Greek only, so that in this way they may stress their Greek origin and the Greek consciousness".

Greek newspaper Phoni tis Kastorias (4 Oct 1959) reprints an article from the Salonika newspaper Makedonia which reads:

"During the last two months the inhabitants of some villages in northern Greece (Macedonia) in official mass ceremonies proclaimed that they will cease to use the Slav dialect and that in future they will only speak Greek. The first ceremony took place in the village of Trebeno, district of Kojani, which has, according to the census of 1952, 692 inhabitants. It was followed by other villages such as Breshcheni, Kostour district, (41 inhabitants), Atropos (Krapeshina), Florina district, (466 inhabitants) and so forth."

Macedonians Persecuted in Greece

The Greek position on basic human rights for non-Hellenic ethnic groups within its state has been, and still is, quite outrageous. However we continually have to listen to the Greek government and the Greek "Holy" Synod's charges of oppression and maltreatment with respect to the Cypriot-Greeks. The factual record therefore indicts the Greeks as hypocrites. Although Greece signed the Treaty of Sevres (Aug 10, 1920) for the "Protection of Minorities in Greece", and ratified obligations under Article 46 of the Treaty of Neuilly (1919) she has failed to honour both of these legal and international commitments.

Within the Greek schools, Macedonian-Bulgarian children from the earliest age were indoctrinated with negative Bulgarian imagery which portrayed the Bulgarian race as evil and barbarous. Children, as young as 4 and 5, who inadvertently spoke in their native Slavonic tongue, were sadistically beaten The policy of Greek rule has been to affect the cultural genocide of Macedonian-Bulgarians living in Aegean Macedonia (In Vardar the Serbs practised just plain genocide).

So common was Greek maltreatment of its non-Hellenic population that in 1924 the League of Nations, in one of its rare coordinated actions, found the Greek government guilty of violating the human rights of the Bulgarian minority. The particular incident involved a Greek officer, Doksaniks, who after seemingly ordering the detention and transfer of 19 local villagers to the town of Ser, gave further orders that they be executed on the road between Turnlis and Gorno Bordo. What then followed were Bulgarian executions en masse for their refusal to be expatriated to Bulgaria. Following the subsequent international uproar, protests, and threats of sanctions, a meeting between Politis (Greece) and Kalkoff (Bulgaria) was held in Geneva on 29 Sep 1919 in which the Greek government agreed to fully acknowledge the existence (for the first time) and respect the rights of the Bulgarian minority in GreeceThis latter agreement (the Politis-Kalkoff Protocol) was also counter-signed by Sir Eric Drummond as secretary-general of the League of Nations.

Under direct scrutiny of the League of Nations, a special education department for the minorities was opened. However Greece insisted that the "minority" it had just acknowledged as "Bulgarian", should not be educated in their native Bulgarian language, but rather in a "local" idiom, which used a Latin instead of a cyrillic alphabetThe end result was publication of the primer ABECEDAR (1925). It has been said by some that ABECEDAR was an honest attempt by Greece to meet the requirements of their local population. This is untenable by any form of objective linguistic analysis. Thus Miletich, an expert on Slavic languages referred to the ABECEDAR as a document of

levantine carelessness, demi-culture and analphabetismMore recently Hill, another authority on Slavic linguistics, points out that many dialects used north of the border were also incorporated in the Greek "experiment" possibly aimed at the Macedonians in Yugoslavia. In fact it was Yugoslavia which pressured the Greek state to finally abandon the project.
Meeting the religious needs of the "minority" was also an obligation, but one for which the League of Nations released Greece, as in the end it did for everything else. Unfortunately for the Macedonians the League of Nations was no more than a bureaucratic body which merely catalogued their cries for human rights and dignity. This was well illustrated by the so-called right of minorities to directly petition the League of Nations on human rights violations. However in the Macedonian case it is well documented that the League chose to deliberately disregard such petitions to avoid re-opening the Macedonian question (see comments in CA Macartney - National States and National Minorities - London - 1934). The persecution and hardship the Bulgarians of Aegean Macedonia faced in this time was vividly described by the Englishman W Child, in a letter he sent from the very region.

The Greeks not only persecute all alive Bulgarians, whom they alternatively call Bulgarian speaking or Slavonic speaking, but they also search for the graves of deceased Bulgarians, which are spread throughout Macedonia. They would not let them rest in peace even in the grave: they erase the Bulgarian inscriptions on the crosses, dig the bones from the graves and throw them outIn a particularly banal statement on 11 Oct 1930 the Greek Prime Minister Elefteros Vanizelos said

The issue of the Macedonian minority in Greece will be solved and I will be the first in Greece, who will engage himself to open Macedonian schools if that is requested by the peopleOf course anyone who made such a "request" earned themselves a one-way ticket to prison or worse. The following examples provide a truer perspective on Greece's commitment to this issue. On Jan 26 1926, Eliniki Makedoniki Pigmi, an organization fighting against Bulgarians, published the following directive

As from today we ban use of the Bulgarian dialect in all public places, in institutions, in trade relations, in meetings and gatherings, in festivities, receptions, weddings etc. We order that the Greek language be spoken in all the above stated cases. Police officers, authorities and government officials are not to speak with citizens in any other language but GreekDuring the dictatorship of Metaxas a law was passed that banned the use of the dialect (the term used to refer to the Bulgarian language). Here is an example:
Writ of Summons - The public prosecutor in the village of Kato Idruza (Dolno Kotori), based on the Articles 143-145 of the Criminal procedures, summons Georgus Jovanis Mitrusis, citizen of Polipotamos village (Nere) to appear personally in the court hall on May 15th, 1939, Monday, at 9.00am to be put on trial because on February 19, this year was caught speaking with another person in Slav language - thus violating Article 697 of the Criminal Law and in reference to the instruction of the police No.15/36. In case the person named above doesn't come he will be tried in absentia - Public prosecutor - Polipotamos, April 4, 1939

Massacre and Barbarism at Zagorichane

Greek Clergy and their cut-throats claim "God is on our Side"

The burning of the village of Zagorichane (Kostur district) and the massacre of its inhabitants was done by 7 Greek andart bands (lead by the so-called "kapetans" Vardas [Lt Georgios Tsontos from Crete as chief commander], Kaudis, Karavitis, Makris, Kukulakis, Pulanas, and Melios) on 25th of March 1905.
It is also important to state that at the time of the Greek attack on Zagorichane, there were no Bulgarian revolutionaries in the village. Also, just a few days before the attack, the Turkish asker (commander) came to the village to search for arms. Before he entered, the asker had his troops blow military horns, an act which frightened the village population. However, the Turkish officer explained to the peasants, that this sounding of horns was simply a military protocol, and whenever they heard it they should remain calm and realise it meant no danger.

Not uncoincidently the Greek attack on Zagorichane began with the same blowing of military horns as used by the Turks. If we consult the account given by the Greek historian Stamatis Raptis in "O kapetan Poulakas - Captain Pulakas. All Macedonian Struggle. Heroic Battles. Avengers Bulgarian-Killers. Most Patriotical Reading. With the True Images of the Heroes." (Athens, 1910, 2520p) on page 990 he writes.

"When Bulgarians hear the horn, they will think, that it is an asker, and will hurry to hide their weapons, where they can. So that we shall have time."The massacre at Zagorichane was documented afterwards by the Italian gendarme officers Manera, Gastoldi and Albera, Russian consul Kol, Austro-Hungarian consul Prohaska, and many others. In his report the Bulgarian diplomat A. Toshev (No. 447, from 30th of March, 1905) wrote

"They - Russian and Austrian consuls, and Italian officers Albera, Gastoldi and Manera - were horrified at all that they saw and found. The streets, and around the church, was strewn with corpses, many of which had been sadistically mutilated. There were 5-year-old children with their stomachs cut-open and their intestines ripped out; murdered women with their arms hacked off. Some of the dead had their skulls smashed and their brains removed, others had eyes gouged out, many had severed limbs. The body of the 60 year old priest was covered with wounds. An entire family had been killed by bombs thrown through the chimney, and from two holes in the roof. The bodies of the father, mother, and two children were appalling disfigured by the bombs. The youngest child, a 5 year old girl, had tried to escape through the door, but was killed by Greek bayonets. Russian consul Mr Kol was weeping. Austrian consul Mr Prohaska also had tears in his eyes. They both claimed that they had not witnessed such horrors and barbarities even in the time of the rebellion (1903)."

The Sadistic Murder of Lazar Pop Traykoff

just "Normal Cleric Duties" for theGreek Archbishop Germanos Karavangelis

a personal account 

by Dr HN Brailsfordin Macedonia: Its Races and their FutureMethuen & Co., London, 1906, p. 193-194.
I remember well our first meeting. We began our conversation in Greek, but in a few minutes we discovered that we had been at a German University together and the man I had taken for a Byzantine assumed the guise of a Berliner. Education is rare among the Greek bishops and I had never met a man among them who spoke a western tongue. His Beatitude seemed a modern of the moderns. Could this be the fanatic who persecuted Bulgarian peasants to force them into his church? Could this be the raging partisan who massed his people to drive the schismatic Bulgarian bishop from the town? In five minutes he had professed himself a philosopher. In ten minutes he had avowed himself a free-thinker.

But there, above my head, on the wall, in a conspicuous place hung the photograph of a ghastly head, severed at the neck, with a bullet through the jaw, dripping blood. And then I remember the tale. That head belonged to a Bulgarian chief. A band of bravoes in the Archbishop's pay had murdered him as he lay wounded in hiding. And the tale went on to tell how the murderers carried the bleeding trophy to the Palace and how the Archbishop had had it photographed and paid its price of fifty pieces of gold. And there, over my head, hung the photograph. Somehow, we stopped talking moral philosophy.

We met once again, and this time in the Konak of the Turkish Kaimakam and once more a photograph caught my eye. It showed the Turkish authorities standing in full-dress round a Turkish cannon and in their midst, handsome and conspicuous with an air of mastery and command, was the Archbishop himself. And then I remembered another tale which told how his Grace had sent his bravoes to guide the Turkish troops in their work of massacre and blessed the cannon that was to batter the Bulgarian villages to dust.

Lazar Pop Traykoff

The photographed head which Dr. Brailsford refers to was that of Lazar Pop Traykoff, a well-known leader and organizer of the revolutionary movement in the Kostour district. Pop Traykoff was born in 1877 in the village of Dembeny, district of Kostour.

At the head of a large cheta during the insurrection of 1903, Pop Traykoff was engaged in a number of battles with the troops of the Sultan. During the latter part of the insurrection, when the Kostour district became infested by hordes of Turkish troops and bashi-bozouks, Traykoff, at the head of a cheta of 485, departed for the Morovo district in western Macedonia. There they were engaged several times with the Turks. After the cheta was dispersed, Traykoff, with a detachment of 108 men, entered the village of Tchanista.

"Upon the arrival in Tchanista," states the late Mr. Palcheff, a veteran of the insurrection of 1903 who lived in Madison, Illinois, "Pop Traykoff, myself, and several others were quartered in the village priest's house. To our surprise, the priest, who happened to be a convert to the Greek Patriarchate, had already betrayed us to the Turks, and as a result a battle ensued early in the morning, the ninth of September" It was in this skirmish that Traykoff received a bullet wound through his jaw.

Soon he returned to his district to treat his wound. Unfortunately, he was promised medical attention by one of his subordinates in the district - the Voyvoda Kote Christoff of Rula. The latter had been a brigand before he joined the lMRO. As a member of the latter, he became very active in the Kostour district. When the insurgents began to lose ground, Kote, possessing the instinct of a brigand, became a renegade by selling his services to Karavangelis, the Greek bishop of Kostour. Kote notified the Greek bishop that the most hated Bulgarian chief, Lazar Pop Traykoff, was under his care. The bishop immediately ordered that at any cost Traykoff's head be delivered to him. For the consideration of fifty gold pieces, Kote murdered Traykoff, severed the head and sent it to Karavangelis, the bishop. The latter delivered it to the Kaimakam and Traykoff's head was exhibited before the rejoicing Greek and Turkish crowds.

Such was the tragic end of Lazar Pop Traykoff. He was not killed by the Turks with whom he battled in numerous skirmishes, but by a renegade at a time when he was in an utterly helpless physical condition. This tragedy occurred early in 1904. So was the youthful revolutionist, at the age of twenty-seven, treacherously slain at the instigation of the Phanariote "soldier," the Greek Bishop of Kostour.


Bishop Germanos Karavangelis
The Devil's Disciple

The leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church were the most crazed supporters of the Greek state's plan to eliminate the Bulgarian element from Macedonia. This allegiance to a program of human genocide is typified by the actions of the Metropolitan Bishop Germanos Karavangelis.
Information on Karavangelis's psychotic behaviour is available directly from his very own autobiography "Pinelopa Delta", published in 1959 by the Salonica Institute for Studies. In that work we note the following (and many more) admissions and comments by Karavangelis
He was the first and most fervent champion of the emergence of the andarts' (Greek cut-throats, murderers etc) movement in Macedonia.

For seven years (1900-1907), as Metropolitan Bishop of Kostur, he maintained the slogan "let no Bulgarian remain alive".
Together with Vardas, a Greek army officer, he inspired and helped organise the massacres at Zeleniche (Lerin) and Zagorichane (Kostur). Massacres which shocked the international community by the level of depravity and sadism which occurred.

Karavangelis regularly used assassins to eliminate people he had pre-selected. These killers were paid 5 pounds by Karavangelis, on delivery of the person's severed head. So proud was Karavangelis of his actions, that he had one of these "trophies" photographed and displayed in his office.

As the level of andart activity increased, he writes in his autobiography

"I kept regular contact with them through the consulate in Bitola and the Metropolitan bishops. I personally met them and instructed them to kill all priests and Bulgarian teachers."It is surprising that the Greek Church has not sought to canonise Karavangelis for his unswerving duty to God and country. But then perhaps they already have.

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