Saturday, October 28, 2006
The new national-liberation struggle in Vardar Macedonia, 1944-1991
Dimitar G. Gotsev
(Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia 1999
The events, happening in Vardar Macedonia since 1944, where the pan-serbian communists made an out-law the bulgarian nationality, language and history, as well as the aspiration of the local intelligentsia to defend them even at the cost of its life, are an extremely important scientific and current political problem.
The main aim of this study is to take a fleeting look on those tragic events, which are of fatal importance to several generations of bulgarians, left on their own for several decades (since 1944), to defend the bulgarian name and language, the bulgarian history and national-cultural identity of Macedonia, and to a certain extent the whole bulgarian spirit.
The dramatic pages, dedicated to the heroism and self-sacrifice of the intelligentsia in Macedonia, standing, after 1944, in the lead of the fight against the pan-serbian communist oppression of the bulgarian population of Macedonia, must become public knowledge not only to the bulgarian but also to the international public consciousness.
The research study is based completely on original sources. Predominantly, the documental notes of the most notorious participants in the new struggle have been used. Facts from the press, concerning the mentioned events, as well as the published abroad and at home documental memories have also been used.
The present study (which is part of a bigger investigation) is a colourless reflection of the victims given and the tragedy, lived through by the bulgarians in Vardar Macedonia under the serbocommunist regime during the period examined.
After the new return of the pan-serbian chauvinists to Vardar Macedonia, in October and November of 1944, in spite of having status of "federal unit" in the newly created yugoslav federation, the region, once again becomes a valley of tears, blood and death.
In order to force the bulgarian population to resign to the externally enforced pan-serbian communist decision on Vardar Macedonia, the new authorities, headed by Svetozar Voukmanovitch-Tempo, Lazar Koulishevski, Alexander Rankovitch and others, undertake mass repressions and assassinations of the eminent and more open-minded patriots in Macedonia, proclaiming them for "pan-bulgarian chauvinists", "fascists", "michailovists", "IMRO-ists" etc., all "mortal sins", for which the pan-serbian chauvunists and their servants in Macedonia prosecute and murder.
Only in 1945 and 1946, with or without sentence have been executed or have dissappeared without trace more than 4700 bulgarians. There are mass murders in Prilep, Bitolya, Veles, Koumanovo, Shtip, the villages around Malashevtsi, Kavadartsi and in other places. At the same time, more than 15 000 are arrested, accused as "collaborators of the bulgarian occupator", of "insult of the macedonian honour" and that they work against the unity of new Yugoslavia. These are, in fact, thousands of macedonian patriots, who openly confront the return of Vardar Macedonia, in no matter what form, to Serbian Yugoslavia. They do not accept the macedonian name to be confronted with the bulgarian essence of Macedonia, nor to cultivate hatred and detestation for Bulgaria, as principal criterion of "macedonian" patriotism.
THE SOLDIERS' MUTINY
The first serious resistance against the return of Vardar Macedonia to Yugoslavia, is the armed mutiny of the "macedonian army" in Scopije in December 1944. Receiving an order to dislocate to the "Srem's front" in Serbia, several thousand soldiers and officers from all regions of Vardar Macedonia, most of them just demissioned from the bulgarian army, organise armed mutiny. On December 16, 1944, they head for the Headquarters of the National Liberation Struggle (NLS), located in the Officers House in Scopije, with the slogans:" We don't want Srem! We want Salonica", "We don't want new Yugoslavia! We want free and independent Macedonia". These slogans frighten to death the High Command in Scopije. Seeing a sea of armed soldiers surrounding the Officers' Houise and hearing them, Sv. Voukmanovitch-Tempo declares to the officers around him, most of them serbs that, these are "bugarashi", "IMRO-ists", "vantchomichailovists", "fascists". They have to be stopped, and their leaders shot. Such instruction Tempo receives from Belgrade, too. All local soldiers and officers, who disobey the Supreme Command of NLS and voice the slogan for "independent Macedonia" are to be immediately shot, is said in the order of the Supreme Comand of the Yugoslavian Army in Belgrade. Tempo, then, sends the Shtip-born General Michail Apostolski, who, "most politely", invites all officers disagreeing with the order of the Headquarters for translocation for Srem, to gather in the Hall of the Officers' House and discuss together the situation, while the soldiers are to return to the barracks.
The officers leading the mutiny acept the invitation, with no thought of possible treason.
All, after entering the Officers' House, are disarmed in a most violent way and with hands bound are taken to the cellars. There, Tempo in person, carries out the short interrogation and the executions with the words: "Hotchesh Solun, eve ti ga!" (you want Salonica, here it is). In this way, on December 16, 1944, for several hours only, according to still not fully verified information, are killed around 70 officers, young macedonian patriots, who have the consciousness to fight not only for the liberation of Macedonia from the german fascists, but also not to permit its new enslavement by Serbia and Greece. Almost thousand soldiers, understanding that something is happening to their commanders, head once again for the center of Scopije. They, however, are met by serbian partizans and tchetniks, who commence violent machine -gun fire on them. Several dozens of them fall dead, others are wounded and die without any help having been offered. About 900 are disarmed, arrested and imprisoned in the old turkish fortress "Kaleto". Left and "forgotten" there for more than a month without food, water, covers and etc., almost all of them die from cold and hunger in the dark dungeons.
This historical event, of great historical and national importance in the newest history of the bulgarians in Macedonia, is still to be examined and evaluated in the future.The evidence, which appears now on it, the stories of witnesses, including those of Gen. Apostolski given to scientific researchers in Scopije, are categorical that this mutiny is a deed of the officers and soldiers, members or supporters of IMRO's ideas, who as macedonan patriots are the first to show resistance and become victims of the struggle against the return of the serbian yoke in Macedonia, this time done by YKP under the mask of the macedonism.
THE FIRST POLITICAL TRIALS
Together with the mass murders without trial and sentences in the end of 1944 and all throughout 1945, the serbocommunist authorities organize legal processes against the leading bulgarian intelligentsia.
Among the first accused are: D. Giuselev, doctor of philosophy from Doiran; eng. D. Tchkatrov from Prilep; eng. Spiro Kitintchev fom Scopije; Dr. Robev of Bitolya; Dr. V. Svetiev of Bitolya; Dr. Vl. Toudjarovski of Liuboino village, Bitolya; eng. Hr. Svetiev of Bitolya; Dr. Ass. Tatartchev of Ressen; V. Hadjikimov of Shtip; Dr P. Burdarov of Prilep; St. Stefanov, lawyer from Kratovo; Il. Kotsarev, lawyer from Ohrid; eng. V. Spantchev of Debar region; Rosa Koizeklieva, schoolmistress from Shtip; N. Pavlov, lawyer from Tetovo; Dr. Bl. Pantchev of Scopije; Dr. P. Hitrov of Veles; Al. Kostov, lawyer from Bitolya; Hr. Rizov, merchant from Bitolya and thousands of their coactivists and followers from the whole Vardar Macedonia, all eminent activists of IMRO and the Macedonian Youth Secret Revolutionary Organisation (MYSRO). Besides being in the lead of the fight against the serbian yoke, in the years of the liberation 1941-1944, they head the bulgarian national- cultural activity in Macedonia. With their trials and sentencing, as V. Hadjikimov writes in his memoires, the serbocommunist authorities, put on the bench of the accused the bulgarian history, the bulgarian national consciousness, culture and language in Macedonia. In the serbian courts until 1941, the fighters for liberation of Macedonia are tried by the Law for persecution and destruction of the bandits or the Law for Defence of the State. Now, to the "macedonian court" people are brought under the "Law for the Macedonian honour". Every one who considers himself bulgarian or thinks that the history, language and the nationality of the slavonnic population in Macedonia are bulgarian, automatically is attacked by the strict prosecution paragraphs of this anti-bulgarian law with the accusal that he works against "the people and the state", that he is enemy of "new Yugoslavia", of the brotherhood and unity of the "yugoslavian people" and so on.
The persecuted by the serbo-communist authorities bulgarians, end by being tried, as in the royal courts, until 1941 because they are bulgarians, and they want to separate Vardar Macedona from Yugoslavia in order to create an independent Macedonia or attach it to Bulgaria and etc. For these accusations D.Giuselev, D. Tchkatrov and 200 other comrades, are sentenced during the Students Trial in Scopije, in 1927, to 15- 20 years of strict regime imprisonement by the serbian enslavers.
On the trials, organized against the above-mentioned and other eminent intellectuals, they are accused of meeting the entry of the Bulgarian army in Macedonia (in April 1941); that together with their followers have worked for the revival and the victory of the bulgarian national cause in Macedonia, thus acting against their "own people".
On the trial, organised in Scopije on May 28 until June 2 1945, the three most notorious leaders of MYSRO and eminent political figures in Macedonia of the 1941-1944 period
D. Giouselev, D. Tchkatrov and Spiro Kitintchev are accused by the serbo-communist court that they have accepted the "occupation" as fulfillment "of a centenial dream of the macedonians to unite with Mother Bulgaria". As well as, that as ideologists and leaders of the intelligentsia, during the period 1941 1944, have tought the people of Macedonia to bulgarian national spirit. All thrree of them accept the accusations, declaring that during their whole life they, in full consciousness and readiness for self-sacrifice, have fought for the defence of the bulgarian population from the serbian assimilation and the liberation of Macedonia from serbian domination. For this struggle, they have spent 10 years in the gloomy serbian prisons and death-camps in Royal Yugoslavia. For the "macedonian" judges, however, they are only "enemies of the people" and "traitors" to Macedonia.
The accused defend themselves with more than dignity. D. Giouselev openly states: "Who are you, to judge me for my activity. I served my people, and who do you serve?" D.Tchkatrov says, that he feels "soiled, being tried by "macedonians", who have already sentenced him as fighter for the liberation of Macedonia from serbian slavery." Almost in identical way, react his comrades. In front of the "macedonian" judges, they defend not only themselves, but the struggles of IMRO and MYSRO and the bulgarian nature of Macedonia from centuries time, as well. The court sentences all three of them to death. D. Giouselev and D. Tchkatrov are shot, while S. Kitintchev dies in the prison as result of tortures.
Such sentences are pronounced and executed over hundreds of bulgarians in 1945-1946, not only in Scopije, but in all towns of Vardar Macedonia as well. Only in Scopije, 18 trials with 226 accused are carried out, of which 22 are sentenced to death. Amongst them are: Dimitar Todorov of Veles, Emil Michailov of Shtip, Metodi Trendafilov of Scopije, Dimitar Katlanov of Scopije, Angel Dimkov of Scopije, Iliya Nedkov of Shtip, Dr. Panayot Hitrov of Veles, Pantche Delev of Veles, Vassil Hadjikimov of Shtip, Traiko Popov of v. Rashtak in the Scopije region, Traiko Tchundev of v. Podless in the Veles region.
To long tears of imprisonment are sentenced thousands of bulgarians. Amongst them : Dimitar Voinitsaliev, Kosta Hrisimov, Dr. Dimitar Zlatarev, Dr. Iliya Tchulev, eng. Kiril
Petsakov, Stefan Kouzmanov, Krastio Ivanovski, Petar Zdraveev, Boris Gradishki, Nicola Popov, Radko Gradishki, Evtim Gashev, Milka Tsvetanova, Ana Kostova, Stoilko Davidov, Traiko Iovtchev, Nicola Vetrov, Dimitar Panov, Bruno Kotev, Tome Issailov, father Gogov, Yordan Dimitrov. Dimitar Davidov, Boris Peev, Nicola Pavlov, Miho Mihailov, Vasse Poupkov, Atse Traitchev, Todor Krainitchanets, Grigor Tchoulev, Alekso Stoimenov and thousands of their comrades.
In Shtip, in series of legal processes, according to the newspapers: "New Macedonia" in the 1945 issues of February 11, March 10, May 31st; "Politica" of October 16th 1945; "Borba" of May 10th 1946 as well as others, taken to court and sentenced to death are 7 bulgarians while another 32 are sentenced to long-term imprisonement under the law of the "national honour". Among them are: Iliya Hadjislankov, Vassil Pouzdarliev, Dobre Ivanov, Anton Kovatchev, Mane Ivanov, Tode Angelov, Stoyan Andreev all of them from Shtip;
Blagoi Tsipoushev of Radovish; Georgi Zafirov, Vlado Madjarov, Iliya Yougov and Georgi Tcholakov of Gevgeli; Angel Evtimov, Emanouil Peshev, Trifon Evtimov of Vinitsa in the Kotchansko region; Pavle Marinov, Pantcho Arsov, Sande Manev, Yordan Teodosiev of Kotchani and many others.
Of the tried in Prilep in 1945, 28 people, according th the newspapers "New Macedonia" of April 28th 1945 and "Borba" of October 6th 1945, 10 are sentenced to death. Among them are: Petar Spassov, Dimitar Naydenov, Dr Petar Ivanov, Alexander Hadjizdravev and Hristo Surtchev all from Prilep; Ivan Tsakov, Iliya Angelov, Petar Stoyanov and Petar Petrov of Dren (Prilep's regoon); as well as Georgi Trompev, Haralampi Boutlev, Kiril Kouzmanov, Boris Popov and others- all of them bulgarian intellectuals, former members or followers of IMRO and MYSRO.
In Veles, according to "New Macedonia" of April 30th and June 2nd 1945 and "Borba" of June 12th 1945, the following are sentenced to death: Georgi Dimitrov, Nako Georgiev, Blazho Boikovski, Yanko Shopov, Hristo Danailov, Pantcho Stavrev, Bozhin Rizov, Milan Atanasov, Georgi Ivanov and Trifon Lazov; to long-term imprisonement are sentenced: Liuben Brutchkov, Todor Gorgov, Blagoi Tchoushkov, Lazar Kitsev, Angel Dimov, Blagoi Varnaliev and others.
In Bitolya, accoprding to "Politica" of May 24th 1945, in a single trial, 9 bulgarians were sentenced to death. Among them: Michail Michailov, Voidan Bimbilov, Georgi Moskov, Boris Todorov, Alexander Dalov and others. To long-term imprisonement, according to
"Borba" of July 1st, 1945, are sentenced Hristo Rizov, Dr. Konstantin Robev, Toma Gigov, Nikola Kolarov, Tsvetan Damev, Dr. Assen Tatartchev, Dr. Vlado Toudjarovski, Tsane Kostov and others.
In Ohrid, to 10 -15 years of strict regime of imprisonement are sentenced Iliya Kotsarev, Savo Kotsarev, Stoitcho Tashev, Nikola Argirov, Naum Jossifov, Toma Gaidadjiev, Lioubtcho Kotsarov and many others.
Arrests, trials, sentences to death or long-term imprisonement of the most notorious bulgarians are done in the other small towns of Vardar Macedonia. In Gevgeli are tried more than 35 people, in Stroumitsa more than 60, in Berovo and Deltchevo more than 100, in Kotchani -48 and so on. At all legal processes, all of them are accused of being "pan-bulgarians", "michailovists", "IMRO-ists", "fascists" and enemies of "new Yugoslavia".
THE TRIAL AGAINST THE DEMOCRATIC FRONT "ILINDEN 1903"
Its founders and first leaders are Kosta Hrissimov- Smilets, school teacher in the village of Starchishte, Seres region, Dr. Iliya Tchoulev of Kavadartsi and Dr. Naum Zlatarov of Ohrid. The Democratic Front establishes its organisations in Scopije, Bitolya, Veles, Ohrid and Kavadartsi.
In the spirit of the programmes of the national liberation movements in Macedonia till 1941, the organisation accepts as its aim to defend with all means the bulgarian name, language and history, rejected and persecued by the new macedono-serbomanian authorities. Second, in secret statements to inform the international public opinion of the new barbarism, done to the bulgarians in Vardar and Aegian Macedonia, is said in the status document of the organisation.
In September 1945, the leadership of the Democratic Front "Ilinden 1903", sends an extensive statement to the governments of USSR, USA, England and France. It states that, after the Second World War, having taken the lives of millions but bringing liberty to many people, the question of Macedonia has not received its long expected and just resolution. The bulgarians in Macedonia, as in the time of the turkish regime and later under the sebian and greek domination, are again submitted to persecutions, assimilaton and destruction.The prisons, continiues the statement, are full of bulgarians. There is not a place where murder has not been done, while in Veles, Koumanovo and many other places, mass murders in the most beastly manner happen."The tortures in the prisons are medieval".
The statement is an appeal to the governments of the Great Powers to support the right of the population in Macedonia for self-identification under international control. Thus, it will be given the chance to decide its own its fate. "Without free Macedonia, ends the statement, there can be no peace on the Balkans". The statement is signed by Kosta Hrisimov, Dr. Iliya Thcoulev, Dr. Dimitar Zlatarev, eng. Stefan Kouzmanov and Kosta Dinev- lawyer.
In October 1945, the authorities find and arrest the activists having signed the statement. In some of them, a list of unknown members of the organistion is found, who are also arrested. Inspite of the incredible violence and cruelties inflicted on the arrested, the authorities never find out any further details on the network and the activities of the organisation. According to "Politica" of March 30-th 1946, 11 leaders of the Democratic Front "Ilinden 1903" are brought in front of the Supreme Court in Scopije. They are accused under the law for "insult" of the "macedonian honour", that in an illegal way have sent a statement to the Great Powers, in which the yugoslavian authorities are mispresented. Finally, the prosecutor, Nikola Vrazhelski accuses them, that they have aspired for the creation of a terroristic organisation in Vardar Macedonia, as a copy of IMRO.. Inspite of the dignified defence of the leaders of the organisation, who stress that they are not terrorist, but are fighting with legal and educational means for the defence of bulgarian nationality and independent Macedonia, the Supreme Court sentences all of them to long-term, strict regime imprisonment for a period of 5 till 20 years. Among the convicted are: Kosta Hrisimov, Dr. Dimitar Zlatarski, Dr. Iliya Tchoulev, Kosta Dinev, Stefan Kousmanov, Petar Toushanov, Kiril Petsakov, Serafim Lazarov, Atanas Anev, Luka Soukelev and Metodi Svetiev. In Bitolya, Veles, Kavadartsi, Gevgeli, Stroumitsa and other places of Vardar Macedonia are arrested, tried and sentenced several hundred people, members of the Democratic Front "Ilinden 1903". After the legal processes, the organisation unites with the local structures of IMRO and in the following years they act together.
REESTABLISHMENT OF IMRO IN VARDAR MACEDONIA
The repressions and murders, the unprecedented persecution of everything bulgarian, provoke strong reaction among the population of Vardar Macedonia. An organised resistance against the new authorities arises. Amids the multiple secret organistions, having appeared after december 1944, fighting against the new serbo-communist occupation in defence of the bulgarian spirit and for independent Macedonia, the main, the biggest, the most influential and acting on the territory of whole Macedonia is the IMRO. It is reestablished in 1945 and continiues the fight for fulfilment of its aims.
In October 1945, upon the initiative of Dr. Vassil Ivanov of Strumitsa, Dr. Kosta Trentchev of Tsarevo selo and Dr. Kosta Terziev of Koukoush, after long preliminary preparations, a secret meeting takes place in Scopije, of more than 30 notorious bulgarians of all parts of Vardar Macedonia. They discuss the situation of the bulgarian population, put by the new communist authorities of Yugoslavia in the position of an out-law.
After they conclude that the people of Macedonia was cheated by YKP, and has fallen again under pan-serbian slavery, the participants in the discussions decide to proclaim this meeting as the Ninth (reestablishing) Congress, which gives beginning to a new struggle of IMRO. A temporary statute of the organisation is prepared by Dr. V. Ivanov and voted by the Congress. In accordance with the new conditions the main postulations in it are : 1. IMRO considers the return of Vardar Macedonia as illegal, as it is done by force and treason, without democratic referendum of the people.2. IMRO will fight for official acceptance of the bulgarian nationality and the reopening of the bulgarian schools and churches, closed or forbidden without reason upon Belgrade's orders in the end of 1944. 3. IMRO will fight with all possible means., mainly legal, Vardar Macedonia, as previewed in a special paragraph of the Constitution of SFRY, to leave legally Yugoslavia, in accordance with its national and cultural interests, different from those of the other republics of the federation. 4. IMRO will insist in front of the governments of the Great Powers to support its demands for just resolution of the macedonian question on the Paris Peace Conference, with the creation of
" Free and Independent Macedonia", under the patronage of the Great Powers or the UN.
5. Members of IMRO can be all honest macedonian patriots, irrespective of their political beliefs, who in the past, as well as now, have fought and are fighting against the serbian slavery for free Macedonia.
According to this temporary statute, Vardar Macedonia is divided in three organisational regions:Bitoliya, Scopije and Shtip. Central leadership is elected, consisting of 13 members.
Besides the three doctors in the central leadership are included: Metodi Popov of Boudinartsi, Blagoi Gashteev of Vladimirovo, Nikola Ivanov of Roussinovo, Georgi Gotsev of Pantcharevo, Kiril Sievski of Robovo, all of them from the Shtip organisational region; Assen Temov of Shtip, Toma Davkov of Gorni Balvan (Shtip region), Dimitar Peev and Boris Tcharktchiev of Radovish and Milan Traikov of Scopije.
To all members in the reestablishment congress, Regional #1 of Imro, is given, which contains the ideas and aims in the name of which the organisation will fight. Those, who have these instructions, are obliged to start immediately the formation of secret organisational network of IMRO in their regions. It is advised, the groups in the villages to be of three members, while in the towns of five, all independent of one another, who will contact the Central Committee of IMRO through the local, district and regional leaderships.
The statute and aims of the new struggle, as well as the organistional structure are taken as idea, concept and effectuation from the already existing documents of IMRO and MYSRO, consideration being taken for the new realities in Vardar Macedonia. The more so, that Dr. V. Ivanov and Dr. K. Trentchev, as activists of the Macedonian Students Union in Vienna, Leiptzig and Paris, in the period between the world wars, are very well acquainted with these documents and the aims of the struggle of IMRO.
The organisation quickly finds its followers and by June- July 1946, when the first crack downs take place, it counts more than 10 000 organised members. Since the end of 1945 and throughout 1946, activists of IMRO actively distribute to the population type-written materials and leaflets, denouncing the crimes committed by the pan-serbian communists toward the bulgarians in Macedonia.
A statement- Memorandum, written by the leaders of IMRO, is sent in April and May to the governments of the Great Powers. In it, are described in details, the history of the macedonian question since its appearance in 1878, the struggles and victims given by the bulgarian population for its liberation from turkish and afterwards from serbian and greek slavery. Special attention is paid to the massacres, murders and terror committed by the new pan-serbian authorities after their return to Macedonia in November 1944.This is why, on behalf of the population of Vardar Macedonia, in the memorandum is requested that, the governments of the Great Powers and their ambassadors at the Paris Peace Conference, support the right of self- assesment of the population of Macedonia under international patronage, in order to certify that, it has never had, nor has anything in common in historical, national and political plan neither with the Royal nor with Tito's Yugoslavia. It is fighting for "free and independent Macedonia".
This memorandum, signed by 7 members of the leadership of IMRO Dr. Vassil Georgiev, Dr. Kosta Terziev, Dr. Kosta Trentchev. Dimitar Peev, Georgi Kotsev, Kiril Siveski and the priest Nikola Popov, is dispatched to the representatives of the Great Powers in Paris by several different routes.Through his brother, Pando Ivanov, minister at the time, Dr. V. Ivanov sends the memorandun to the Prime-minister of Vardar Macedonia, Metodi Andonov -Tchento.He reads it and not only does not disagree with the statement, but declares that, the presented in the memorandum is the complete truth and those horrifying things done by L. Koulishevski, Sv. Voukmanovitch-Tempo and Al. Rankovitch, against the will of the government in Macedonia must be brought to the attention of the international public opinion.
With the appearance of the memorandum in the European capitals comes the break-through in IMRO. The treason, according to Dr. V. Ivanov's notes, has come from the outside. After the handing over of the letter in Paris to the yugoslavian delegation, those who have signed it become subjected to surveillance. Little by little, the authorities identify the leading people and the main centers of IMRO's activity.
In the beginning of May, 1946, the Prime-minister Metodi Andonov -Tchento understands, that the activity of IMRO is discovered and warns its leaders to destroy everything, that could compromise them during their arrest. He advises them to defend themselves as a legal and tolerant opposition, which, by peaceful means, defends its national and political ideas. Events develop very fast and in May and June the authorities arrest more than 3000 members of IMRO in Vardar Macedonia, together with all its leaders.The Prime-minister sends immediately Pavel Shatev to Sofia to meet representatives of the bulgarian government and to explain to them, that in Vardar Macedonia not socialism is built, but the pan-serbian chauvinists with the help of their faithful servant, L. Koulishevski, persecute everything bulgarian, change the names of living and dead bulgarians, manipulate the people of Macedonia against its brothers in Bulgaria and so on. All this, P.Shatev tells the secretary of CC of BWP(c) Traitcho Kostov demanding the cooperation of Bulgaria to intercede for the stopping of the serbian vandalism over the bulgarians in Macedonia.
On the next day of his return from Sofia, in his office in the Ministry of Justice, comes the internal minister of Yugoslavia who arrests him and sends him to jail.
Then, the Prime-minister M.Andonov-Tchento, himself, decides to go to Paris and distribute an appeal, in which the Great Powers are requested to send an enquiry commission, to certify on the spot, that in Macedonia innocent bulgarians are murdered and repressed as well as to support the right for self-assessment of Macedonia, for her exit of the Yugoslav federation and establishment of an independent state under international guarantees. While preparing his departure, however, on July 14th 1946, he is arrested, and after four months of long investigations, becomes the first Prime-minister to be condemned to 14 years of strict regime imprisonment. And all this, because he does not want to be responsible for the accusation of his countrymen, that consciously or not, has cooperated with the serbs to return again to Macedonia and to persecute and destroy the bulgarian population like before 1941. Exactly for this reason, he supports the programme of IMRO and afterwards with dignity serves 9 full years of imprisonment, together with all other convicted IMRO-ists.
What is the fate of the arrested members of IMRO? After long investigations, accompanied by physical and psychic inquisitions, hundreds of them die unable to withstand the cruel tortures, some of them during the investigation itself. For the leaders of IMRO, a special trial is prepared, where they are to be denounced as "traitors", "bulgarian agents" and to be sentenced to death. The Memorandum case, however, achieves such publicity in the European press, that the Great Powers USSR, USA, England and France send in January 1947 delegation, which is to check in place what is happening in Macedonia. Arriving in Belgrade, however, the delegation of the international powers is stopped, being told, that it can not visit Macedonia, and that its demand to meet the arrested leaders of IMRO is an interference with the internal affairs of Yugoslavia. The representatives of the Great Powers declare that they will not turn back until they meet the people of IMRO, who have sent them the memorandum.
For 10 days, the yugoslavian authorities do not want to hear of such a thing. The biggest enemies of this being Rankovitch, Tempo and Koulishevski.Then the delegates, through their embassies and missions, direct their demand to Tito personally. Forced to accept the request, the authorities in Belgrade inform the delegation of the Great Powers on their conditions :
1. instead with all of the leaders of IMRO (13) they will meet only with three;2. the meeting will take place in Belgrade and not in Scopije; 3. the conversation will be in serbian; 4. the foreign delegates can not talk directly with the prisoners.
Insisting on such conditions, the authorities hope that the delegates of the Great Powers will give up their mission. However, they agree the meeting to take place even under these conditions.
For a whole week, the authorities in Scopije, prepare the three doctors, telling them of a meeting with some european "journalists", who were supposedly making a general enquiry on the conditions of the political prisoners on the Balkans. From the way, they were told how to behave and what to say, as Dr. Ivanov writes in his notes, it became clear to them that this was not going to be only a "journalistic" enquiry, but something more serious, concerning the essence of the struggles of IMRO in Macedonia at the time. The little that the doctors manage to say to each other, before they are taken away in a frosty January morning, from the prison of Idrizovo and driven to the Scopije airport, is that, no mater whom they meet, they have to behave with dignity and defend uncompromisingly the ideas of IMRO and the stand taken in memorandum for the Great Powers concerning the resolution of the macedonian question at the forthcoming conference in Paris.
In Belgrade, they are taken directly to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The three doctors are with bound hands at the back, but here they are additionally tied to the chairs. From the conversation of the guards, they learn that they will meet foreign diplomats. The three leaders of IMRO want to be left alone, at least for five minutes for consultation on their positions. Al. Rankovitch warns them not to forget where they are and that there is no other position exept full repentance, no mater whom they meet.
Dr. Ivanov answers that, even if they wanted, they could not forget where they are, as only in a police as his can be seen double tied, blue from inquisitions human skeletons like them.
" All IMRO-ists and bugarashi in Yugoslavia will turn to skeletons" answers back Rankovitch. Then Dr. Terziev, turns to him and says that, they do not know why they are here and that if they were to meet foreigners, they would like to be informed what is going on. And if this is made up, in order to submit them to other physical and moral tortures, they do not understand why they should have travelled that far.
A representative of the Foreign Ministry in Belgrade explains that in answer to their memorandun on the situation in Yugoslavia and especially in Macedonia, foreign representatives have arrived in Belgrade, wanting to hear personally from them, whether they still support the things they wrote in the statement. If it comes to this meeting, he advised them, they were not to speak that they are bulgarians and are fighting for independent Macedonia. This was an idea of the "bulgarian fascists" of the Ivan Michailov type, and would worsen further their situation.
Now the three leaders fully understand two things: that the representatives of the Great Powers have received their memorandum and know of their situation and, therefore, want meeting with them; and second, learn what exactly the yugoslavian authorities want to hide from the foreigners.
At the meeting with the envoys of the Great Powers, the three doctors are first adressed by the french representative. On behalf of his collegues, he declares that the commissioners of the Great Powers in the Paris Peace Talks are very well acquainted with their personal fate and the fate of their followers. He tells them, they are sent by their governments to meet them and understand what is the cause of their contradictions with the new authorities.
The interpreter of UDB ( department of state security), however, translates that the french representative has condemned the three doctors for their "fascist" and separatist activity concerning Macedonia. Dr. Ivamov, well-knowing French, points out, that the representative of France has not said what she had translated, and with such a translation, he and his comrades will refuse conversation with the representatives of the Great Powers.
The french diplomat understands what has happened, and violating the conditions of the authorities, turns directly to Dr. Ivanov, stating that he will ask him and his friends several questions and if they answer honestly, everything will finish quickly and without complications.
" Your excellency-answers Dr. Ivanov- You are preparing the postwar peace, while we in Macedonia are still at war. The fact that you are here, confirms my words. The memorandum sent by us to your governments is absolutely truthful we would sign, even now, for every word in it. As the authorities contest it, we demand for an international enquiry, chosen by you, which is to check on the spot every fact presented by us for persecutions, repressions and murders of thousands of innocent bulgarians in Macedonia."
What actually, do you want from the Great Powers, asks the french diplomat. In our memorandum, explains Dr. Ivanov, we have depicted in detail our problems and our demands. But, I will answer you, even here. For several decades Macedonia has been three times forcefully partitioned and enslaved by its neighbours on the provisions of international dictates: in Berlin 1878, in Bucarest 1913, and Neuilly 1919. Europe and the world know the tragedy of the bulgarians in Macedonia and the Balkans. Today we want self-determination of the population of Macedonia under international control, in order not to have a repetition of the present bloody history. At this moment, L. Koulishevski, violently reacts, stating that "the macedonian people" has "selfdetermined" itself already, through the "national-liberation fights" and "the brotherhood and unity" with the other yugoslav peoples. Dr. Ivanov answers, that this is pure demagogy, as the people of Macedonia has not had such possibility.This is supported by the fact, that the delegates from Macedonia, headed by M. Andonov-Tchento, consiously and with fighting have forced in the new constitution of Yugoslavia the "clause" for self-determination and separation from the Federation, if this is in the interest of any of the republics. Now, after having been convinced, that Macedonia has no historical, ethnical, economical and other cultural interest common with Yugoslavia's Federation, they demand, with a suitable political fact, through referendum, approved by the Great Powers to leave the present Federation and to be pronounced an independent state under international guarantees. This will be a just historical deed, not only for the welfare of Macedonia, but also for the peace on the Balkans, Europe and the world. This is the programme and the demand of IMRO to the Paris Peace Conference, concludes Dr. Ivanov.
Against this statement of Dr. Ivanov reacts Tempo, calling the three doctors "pronounced bulgarian chauvinists", "michailovists", "fascists" etc. declaring that their idea of "independent Macedonia" is "fascist" and unrealizable, because Bulgaria has long ago given up the idea and has admitted that in Macedonia there are no bulgarians. Furthermore, the affiliation of Pirin Macedonia to Yugoslavia was forthcoming.
Dr. Ivanov contradicts him, that the struggle of IMRO is popular and supported by the whole population of Macedonia for centuries, before anyone had heard the word "fascist", and as far as Pirin Macedonia"s joining of Yugoslavia, he did remember there was a case of Vardar Macedonia joining Bulgaria, but there has never been the opposite.
At that moment, the russian representative, Vladimir Velitski, turns to Dr. Trentchev, who had kept silent till that moment, asking him whether he wants to say anything as the meeting was at its end. Dr. Trentchev said that, from what he has heard and seen, he has not noticed anything hopeful. His comrades have stated the aims of IMRO's struggle, which he unreservedly supports. He underlined that for the representatives of the Great Powers it should be clear that, if in Macedonia democratic conditions had existed, they would have defended their ideas by legitimate means, something they were striving for.
Till now, said the russian representative, every thing is clear, but what would they do in the future? As far as my personal opinion is concerned, stated Dr. Trentchev, I would say that it should not be expected of us to give up or denounce our ideas. With these ideas we have been brought up, with them we live and for them we are fighting. The situation, however, at present is such that only the Great Powers, in Paris, can decide whether to present Macedonia with liberty and independence or to leave it in its present situation. Inside Macedonia, itself, it is necessary to have thousands of innocent arrested people freed and a modus vivendi to be found between the authorities and IMRO. In this situation their exellencies could intermediate, concludes Dr. Trentchev.
After this unexpected statement of Dr. Trentchev, the authorities present, announce that this is demagogy and tactical step, aimed at misleading the representatives of the Great Powers on the nature of IMRO, by presenting it as a constructive public force.
At this place, the representatives of the Great Powers express their gratitude for the meeting, having it understood that it is over.
The behaviour of the three doctors, defending the programme of IMRO in front of the representatives of the Great Powers, enfuriates the highest ranking yugoslavian communist functionaries. After the meeting, the leaders of IMRO are thrown in horse wagons and in terrible cold travel two days from Belgrade to Scopije, without any food.
This is the end of an extremely important historical moment of the newest history of the struggles of IMRO for the liberation of Macedonia.This is maybe a unique case in the history of the national-liberative movements of the bulgarians in Macedonia, when representatives of the Great Powers officially meet arrested leaders of IMRO, and all this in a moment when the organisation and its ideas are rejected and persecuted in all Balkan countries.
The historical science will, still in the time to come, evaluate the national value of this event in the newest history of the bulgarians in Vardar Macedonia, after 1945 till now.
According the documental notes of Dr. V. Ivanov, after the end of the meeting, the three doctors manage to exchange opinions on the statements made by them. All three agree, that inspite of the unpreparedness for such a meeting, they have succeded to well present and defend their struggle and the ideas of IMRO on the resolution of the macedonian question.
A serious discussion, however, starts on Dr. Trentchev's statement. His two comrades accuse him even in "capitulationism", due to his words, that as though the activity of IMRO is
the reason for the mass outrages over the bulgarians in Macedonia in 1945-1946. As weakness is judged his appeal for the the foreign ambassadors to "intermediate" for reconciliation between the authorities and IMRO. Furthermore, they voice doubts of an arranged with the authorities statement.
T o all these remarks, Dr. Trentchev answers, that what he said is not different from that of his friends and that only in his concluding words he has said some more "diplomatic" words, so that the foreign diplomats not to remain with the impressons that the leaders of IMRO are people, with whom tolerant conversation is not possible. As far as the appeal for intermediation for a reconcilliation with the authorities, Dr. Trentchev answers, that he wanted to present IMRO as party, relying of the Great Powers.
The meeting of the three doctors in the positions of leaders of IMRO with the representatives of the Great Powers as well as their behaviour, is topic for discussions and comments not only among the arrested activists of IMRO, but also among all members of the organisation, still free in the territory of Vardar Macedonia and outside the country.
Under the influence of the activity of IMRO, many organisations with the name and ideas of IMRO appear in Vardar Macedonia, acting independently for the liberation of Vardar Macedonia in the different regions since 1944 until now a days.
A special influence, due to its historical charisma and ideas, IMRO has over the young generation and mostly over the students and high-school pupils. There is not a single school or university in Vardar Macedonia, where there has not been IMRO youth organisation, discovered by the serbocomunist authorities. This is the biggest present and expression of gratitute for those fearless bulgarian patriots, who in 1945, reestablish the activity of IMRO
against the pan-serbian slavery in Macedonia, an idea and struggle for several generations since 1945 until today.
The reestablishment and the activity of IMRO after 1944 are aimed at the new serbian occupation, during which the cause of the macedonian bulgarians was rejected and persecuted even in Patriotic Front Bulgaria, when the idea of "macedonian nation" was implemented with sword and fire not only in Vardar and Aegian Macedonia, but also in Bulgaria.This is not only heroism, but mainly sense for historical premonition and responsability of the intelligentsia in Macedonia to its tribe.
The readiness shown for selfsacrifice in the name of the struggle for official acceptance of the bulgarian nationality in Macedonia, the categorical demand in the memorandum of IMRO to the Paris Peace Conferene and the UN, for peaceful separation of Vardar Macedonia from the Yugoslavian Federation and the announcement, following a referendum of Macedonia as an "independent state", under the protection of the UN and the Great Powers is a great action of the macedonan bulgarians and mainly the intelligentsia in Macedonia. The course and the development of the historical events and processes on the Balkans, as well as those connected with the general development of the macedonian question in the decades that followed, proved the correctness of the historical views, basis of the ideas and programmes of IMRO since 1945, relating to the future resolution of the macedonian question, based on the historical thruth, outside the Yugoslavian federation, something of special actuality in our days.
THE LEGAL PROCESS AGAINST THE CENTRAL LEADERSHIP OF IMRO
Since 25th until 30th of March 1947, in Scopije legal process is held against the central leadership of IMRO. The attorney Blagoi Popov[ski] of Prilep, state prosecutor of the trial, reads for two days the prosecutors indictment statement against 13 leading activists of IMRO.
For the truths sake, it should be mentioned, that amongst the multiple absurd, fabricated accusations, published in the newspaper "New Macedonia", the prosecutor indictment statement mentions many truthful things on the activity and aims of IMRO for the period 1945-1946.The implicit mixing of actual facts and gross political lies and slanders, leads the indictement to absurd statements. Leaving aside the fabrications and slanders, the main aims for which the accused are fighting, and according to the prosecutors indictment deserve for them the most severe punishment are:
separation of PR Macedonia from FYR Yugoslavia and creation of an independent state, which is to include the other parts of the region, under the protection of England and America.
agitation by the activists of IMRO, that the anglo-americans will support the idea for separation from Yugoslavia and its independance.
the preparation and sending of the memorandum by the leaders of IMRO to the Great Powers, with an appeal at the Paris Peace Conference the macedonian question to be justly resolved by giving the right to self-determination, separation from Yugoslavia and creation of independent Macedonia.
-except the illegal activity, the aim of IMRO to participate in the elections for a constituent meeting in 1946, as a legal party with a separate political platform, including the question for the official acceptance of the bulgarian nationality in Macedonia and as well as its independent participation in the elections as an opponent of the "communist peoples front".
To all these truthful or false accusations, the prosecutor indicts the activists of IMRO of connections with the greek monarcho-fascist authorities and with the pan-serbian chauvinists of Milan Grol, of having contacts with the opposition in Bulgaria Nikola Petkov and Kosta Loultchev, and the principal one that they are have been in contact with Ivan Michailov. All this showed in a most definitive way the destructive character of IMRO toward Yugoslavia.
For five days the accused, without right to personal lawyers, having only public defence, answer both the general accusations of the indictment and the accusations of the investigation and the prosecutor on personal "criminal" offences of each one of them, connected or not with IMRO's activity.First from the accused in defence of the common indictment of IMRO, speaks Dr. Ivanov. He declares that on behalf of his comrades, energetically protests against the, presented in the indictment act, monstruous inventions, vulgar lies and slanders against them.In this way, the authorities attempt to present them as "criminals", "terrorists", "murderers", "foreign agents" and so on, in order to justify themselves in front of the people of Macedonia and the world for the monstrous repressions and the predecided death sentences. In this tendentious and illegal creation called indictment act, Dr. Ivanov sees a well developped by UDB plan for moral, political and physical destruction, not only of the accused, but also an attempt at total discreditation, rejection and persecution of IMRO as idea, struggle and historical heritage of Macedonia. The last is very dangerous, as it aims at changing the wholesome national history of the macedonian bulgarians.
Further on, Dr. Ivanov protests against the fact, that in the indictment act, he and his comrades, activists of IMRO, are being called "agents" of the english and american imperialism, the greek monarchofascists, the pan-serbian chauvinists of Milan Grol an so on.This is not only untrue, but is insulting as well, for every macedonia patriot, bearing in mind that it is exactly against the pan-serbian and pan-greek chauvinists that IMRO has been fighting for decades. IMRO, underlines further Dr. Ivanov, although following the traditions of the historical struggles, has appeared in 1945 as an unique phenomenon, as conteraction of the new serbian slavery over Macedonia under the veil of the macedonism. The men who reestablished the IMRO are only local people with high morale and sense of responsability, with respect of the cause of Macedonia. All have good education and knowledge on the national affairs and have authority in the society.Inspite of the cruel inquisitions they have been submitted to, there had been no traitor betwen them.With their conduct they have won the respect and sympathies of fighting Macedonia.
In answer to the statement, that IMRO both in the past and at present show itself as a "varchovist" organisation, defending the pan-bulgarian interests in Macedonia, Dr. Ivanov states that, in the different periods of its history, IMRO has had different enemies and aims. Since 1893 till 1941 it is fighting against the turkish, greek and serbian slavery. Since 1945, as he points out, IMRO has its own idea and programme, in accordance with the situation of Vardar Macedonia, after the end of World War II. In the memorandum sent to the UN and the Great Powers, quoted in the indictment act, IMRO has stated clearly and exactly what are its aims and ideas. The have been dfinitely stated to the representatives of the Great Powers in Belgrade. In the indictment act, however, points out Dr. V. Ivanov, nothing is mentioned on this meeting.
We, even from the bench of the accused, appeal energetically to the Great Powers and the UN to fulfill the demands of IMRO, which are the following: 1. To be accepted and guaranteed the right of national and political self-determination of the people of Macedonia under international control. 2.At the Paris Peace Conference to be accepted the right of Vardar Macedonia in a peacefull way to leave the Yugoslavian federation. 3. Macedonia to be pronounced an independent nation with international guarantees.
These are our ideas and demands today, says Dr. Ivanov, ending that, for these ideas the best sons and daughters of Macedonia are fighting and giving their lives. The tried IMRO-ists not only in Scopije, but also in the whole of Vardar Macedonia, according to him, will defend, until the end, the righteousness of their struggle, and with dignity will meet the punishments, prepared for them by the servants of Belgrade.
The defence statement of Dr. Ivanov produces a violent reaction in the legal tribunal. There is not an qualification which has not been used against him "fascist", "michailovist", "pan-Bulgarian", "traitor" and so on. The prosecutor attacks him, by stating that he and his friend, Dr. Trentchev are old "bulgarian agents", and even as students have carried out orders of Iv. Michailov in Vienna, Paris and in othr places in Europe, and now are obeying his commands. It is at his initiative, that they have created the IMRO, in order to continiue the old fight against Tito's Yugoslavia.
Dr. Ivanov answers that he has never denied his membership, as student in Vienna in the Macedonian Students Union in Europe. He has never met Iv. Michailov, and especially 1944 is the last time this could have happened. The coincidence of the ideas and struggles of IMRO in the past and now, he stresses, is inevitable, as both before and now, Yugoslavia is the biggest enemy of Macedonia. His speach is interrupted, the word taken away, and punished by the prosecutor to solitary confinement for "unprecedented audacity".
In similar way defends his ideas and himself D-r. Kosta Trentchev. He also refutes the indictement act stating, that it is built in a partisan style. The court, according to him, is not interested in the truth at all, but has one aim only to accuse IMRO and its leaders of monstruous crimes, by declaring IMRO as "fascists" and "terrorist", and its members sentenced as "bandits" and "murderers". Just as it had been done to IMRO and the macedonian revolutionaries, in turkish time till 1912, and afterwards by the royal serbian enslavers until 1941.
To the accusation of the prosecutor-attorney, that IMRO has always been in service of Bulgaria, Dr. Trentchev answers: in an independent Macedonia, for which IMRO is fighting, and for which they are put to trial today, there will be no persecution of any nationality, least of all the bulgarian. More over that, the people in Macedonia do not make such difference between the notions "bulgarian" and "macedonian", the way the authorities of Yugoslavia consciously implement with precise political aims. It should not be forgotten, that till 1941, Macedonia was proclaimed as "South Banovina" and its population for "southern serbs". It is well known to the world, what were the consecquences for those that dared call themselves bulgarians. There is no difference between the policy of Belgrade till 1941 and nowadays concerning the assimilation and destruction of the bulgarians in Macedonia, concludes Dr. Trentchev. The thousands of murders of bulgarians, only for the period 1945-1946, are unquestionable proof of this. As national protest against this barbarianship, the accused have restored the IMRO, which has as aim to fight for natioanl self-determination and independent Macedonia under international guarantees, as an alternative to the, imposed from outside, Yugoslavian federation.
At this moment the attorney takes away the word from Dr. Trentchev. And not only this.The notes and film materials of several foreign jouranalists, present at the process, are confiscated by the UDB- agents, before they leave the court room.
Very interesting and courageous defence speech is made by Dr. K. Terziev. He arrives in the court room in bad physical condition. His stomach is torn by the beatings, while, at the same time, the authorities forbid any medical aid to be provided to him. They hope, that in this condition, he will give up his defence speech. Dr. Terziev, however, arrives in court and makes a big defence statement on the ideas of IMRO and Macedonia's cause.Concerning the indictment act, he states that, the things said on IMRO as an organisation, as well as for the accused, is result of base falsifications and slanders.Further on, he stresses his solidarity with his comrades in their defence of the reestablishment and activity of IMRO since 1945.
"PR Maceodnia is free in new Yugoslavia" retorts the prosecutor. Dr Terziev answers that Macedonia is not free, and that is why there is struggles in it. As one of the main accused in the trial against IMRO, he states that he wants to declare in front of the court what for IMRO is fighting since 1945, and why its leaders are not "bandits" and "fascists", as the indictment act depicts them, but are revolutionaries and popular figures, who do not accept as liberation the return of Macedonia to Yugoslavia.He mentions several reasons as arguements. The decision, Vardar Macedonia to enter the Yugoslavian Fedration, is not a decision and wish of the macedonian people, as it is said. On the contrary, it is imposed by the Great Powers and the pan-serbian chauvinists in YKP, in total rejection of the centenial struggles, victims and desires of Macedonia for freedom. If this is not so, why are all these thousands of murders of innocent people, why are the prisons and camps full of honest macedonian patriots? As far as the thousnd times repeated "national-liberation struggle", Dr. Terziev points out, that he knows this struggle very well and can say that it was not struggle of the people of Macedonia, that this struggle is imposed from outside, by Serbia, by YKP, with pan- Serbian conquerors's aims. This is seen best by the return of the serbian colonists, these incredible marroders, murderers, and sebisators of the population, who after 1945, just as in royal Yugoslavia, have the privileges of "national fighters" and have again taken the most fertile land, confiscated from the best and most honoured bulgarian patriots, fighters for the freedom of Macedonia.The same was done with the enforcement of the serbian alphabet and the serbisation of the language, the abandonment of the macedonian alphabet and language, announced to be bulgarian, while at the same time, being in use for centuries in the schools and churches of Macedonia.No matter in what form Yugoslavia may transform itself, says Dr. Terziev, with its pan-serbian content, she cannot give Macedonia that cultural, national and spiritual freedom IMRO for decades is fighting for. Macedonia can fulfill its national strife only as free and independent state, under international guarantees.
The attorney attacks Dr. Terziev, calling him old traitor of Macedonia, being first "bulgarian agent", then becoming serbian and as reward from Belgade moving up in the career hierarchy to the position of deputy-head of a department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr. Terziev answers, that as member of the federalist organisation between the two wars he went to Belgrade and from there found work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is precisely in this Ministry, that he had the possibility to acquaint himself with the serbian conquerors plans on Macedonia, which after 1944, masked by the macedonism have involved not only the Vardar but also the other parts of Macedonia, exceding by far the expansionism of the pan-serbian bourgeoisie and dynasty till 1941. Dr. Terziev wanted to disclose these plans to the court in detail, so that the rightfulness of the ideas and struggles of IMRO for self- determination and independence could be seen.At this moment the prosecutor took his word away.
With extreme fury, the prosecutor-attorney and the judges attack the teacher Dimitar Peev.They insist that he tells upon whose initiative exactly, has he written the memorandum to the Great Powers for the separation of Vardar Macedonia from Yugoslavia.D. Peev explains that the memorandum is an act of the leadership of the IMRO and part of its programme. IMRO wanted the world to learn the truth on the situation in Macedonia since 1944. Therefore, it was not necessary for IMRO to wait for initiative from outside. Besides, continiues D. Peev, with its memorandum, IMRO gives idea to the Great Powers how to solve the macedonian question at the peace conference in Paris.But why is your memorandun identical with the one sent by I. Michailov to other places?, asks the attorney. Our fight is mainly national, answers D.Peev. It is impossible not to have identicity in the historical grounds of the past and present ideas and demands of IMRO. But this is pure pan- bulgarism and betrayal of Macedonia, jumps again the prosecutor. D.Peev says that, ever since its creation, IMRO has fought for the liberty of the bulgarians in Macedonia, however, who understands it how or how is it called is another question. His statement is also interrupted by the attorney, having his word taken away.
The attorney cross examines Georgi Gotsev, as well. During his first detention, he succeds to escape and for two months he is searched for by the authorities. He is accused of entering in contact, during that time, with the bulgarian authorities and of coming back to continiue the underground work of his arrested comrades, being entrusted with the liason between IMRO and officers of the bulgarian intelligence service. G. Gotsev answers, that with the present official policy of Bulgaria on Macedonia, contacts between the bulgarian authorities and IMRO in Vardar Macedonia is not paoosible to be established. Had the organisation had such contacts, its leaders would not have ended in jail, says Gotsev. During the whole time of his"underground" activity, he was in Vardar Macedonia and only upon his return in his birthplace, was he arrested. To the direct question of the prosecutor, from where did he have a procuration as leader of IMRO, with which he not only had hid himself, but had also organized several meetings with members and followers of IMRO in Berovo, Tsarevo selo, Vinitsa, Kotchani, Shtip, Veles, Scopije and others, Gotsev answers that he has recieved this procuration in 1945 from Dr. Trentchev. Such documents had all the leaders of IMRO, but after their arrest, he was the only one to move along the "password" of the organisation.
G.Gotsev declares, that the instructions he had given were not new, but concerned only the programmes and aims of IMRO to continiue with peaceful and legal means the fight for the creation of independent Macedonia, guaranteed by the Great Powers and the UN. The attorney interrupts him and demands whether the "appeal" in the Shtip- Maleshev region against the return of the colonists, done on G. Gotsev's initiative is also part of the "legal" activity of IMRO. G. Gotsev answers, that this is an activity of IMRO, and that the reaction in his region, being the strongest, is something natural. The return of the colonists, declares Gotsev, means, for Macedonia, the return of the old serbian slavery, and in Shtip and Maleshev this slavery has left black veils in every house. Therefore, there the whole population is signing the categoricl demand to have the return of the serbian colonists stopped.
The attorney changes the tone for a moment, expressing the wonder and even the regret that "such a young man" has fallen in the trap of a "criminal" organisation, having put himself in service of the enemies of "new Yugoslavia". G. Gotsev answers, that as far as youth is concerned, Gotse Deltchev and Dame Gruev were 20 years old, when they created and lead the IMRO. As far as the statement of the attorney, that IMRO is a "criminal" organisation, he states that it is presented as such only by the enemies of Macedonia. The attorney insists that he and his IMRO have nothing to do with the IMRO of Gotse and Dame. G. Gotsev answers, that in his family there have been fighters for the liberation of Macedonia for almost a century, and his father Yane Gotsev was member of IMRO and close friend of Gotse Deltchev, having participated in the Ilinden uprising, for what had been thrown in the turkish prisons. Later, as member of IMRO, had been persecuted and arrested by the serbian authorities in royal Yugoslavia. Therefore, this struggle can not be torn between the generations. It will continiue with the coming generations, until the ideal for freedom of Macedoia does not become reality. The attorney' nerves gave away and after an almost ten hours of interrogations, with insults and qualifications of the sort of "michailovist, fascist, pan-bulgarist" and others, takes away his word.
Then comes Blagoi Gashteev' turn. Besides being member of the central leadership, at his arrest and during the search in his home, UDB finds arms, left from the bulgarian army. To the question of the prosecutor, what did they need the arms for, Bl. Gashteev answers, that IMRO was hoping that there would come the day, when these arms will be necessary for the defence of independent Macedonia.
In similar way, the cause of IMRO is defended by the teacher Kiril Siveski, Metodi Popov, Assen Tempov, Boris Tcharaktchiev, Toma Davkov and the priest Nikola Popov. All accused defend courageously IMRO'deeds and their fight in the name of the bulgarian spirit and independent Macedonia.
Based upon the investigation procedures against IMRO in 1946-1947, the indictement act against the wholesome activity of the organisation since 1945 and the five-day hearings of the testimony of the leaders of IMRO in front of the Scopije Regional Court, the prosecutor Popovski asks for death penalty of all accused. The Court, however, pronounces the following sentences:
1. Dr. Konstantin Hristov Terziev -death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
2. Dr. Vassil Andonov Ivanov death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
3. Dr. Kosta Nikolov Trentchev- death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
4. Metodi Popov death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
5. Blagoi Gashteev death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
6. Priest Nikola Popov death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
7. Assen Tomov death by shooting and confiscation of his property.
8. Toma Davkov, landowner 20 years strict prison regime.
9. Kiril Evtimov Siveski, teacher 15 years strict prison regime.
10. Georgi Gotsev, landowner 12 years strict prison regime.
11. Dimitar Peev, land surveyor 10 years strict prison regime.
12. Boris Tcharaktchiev, clerk 15 years strict prison regime.
13. Milan Traikov, clerk 8 years imprisonment.
The Supreme court in Belgrade, under the pressure from the UN and the Great Powers, cancels the death sentences of the leaders of IMRO. Only that of Dr. Konstantin Terziev is left. He is executed on April 15th 1947, near the prison of Idrizovo.
The fate of the convicts is different. The term of the sentences is gradually decreased and most of the leaders of IMRO serve 10- 12 years of hard labour imprisonment in Idrizovo, near Scopije, as well as in other prisons in former Yugoslavia. In 1957-1958 the prisoners still alive are freed. Three of them Dimitar Peev of Stroumitsa, Kiril Siveski of Robevo, Berovo region, and Toma Davkov of Gorni Balvan, Shtip region, die in the prison of Idrizovo.
Of the 13 reestablishers, leaders and sentenced heros of IMRO in 1998 alive are only three. Georgi Gotsev, who because of the persecution by the serbocommunist authorities after his release from the prison, escaped with his whole family to Bulgaria, lives today in Blagoevgrad; Blagoi Gashteev lives in Stroumitsa and Boris Tcharaktchiev in Scopije.
This is the course of the trial against the central leadership of IMRO in Scopije. Not less dramatic is the fate of other thousands of arrested members and followers of IMRO, tried in all other towns of Vardar Macedoia Scopije, Veles, Shtip, Bitolya, Prilep, Kitchevo, Ohrid, Kavadartsi, Stroumitsa, Radovish, Kotchani, Deltchevo, Berovo and others.
OTHER ORGANISATIONS AND TRIALS
The above mentioned processes has just passed, when the authorities discover another big organisation of IMRO. It is created in April 1947 by the former teacher Angel Mishev of Skatchentsi, Veles region. He restores the activity of IMRO in the regions of Veles, Scopije, Kroushevo and Bitolya. In the Broushanska Mountain in the region of Tikveshko, A. Mishev
forms an underground headquarters of IMRO and connects all groups of the organisation in these regions by a couriers network.
Using flying leaflets, the organisation calls on the population to show resistance to the serbocommunist authorities, who persecute and suffocate even the most basic rights of the bulgarians. This is the reason for the leadership of the organisation to carry out armament of some of the groups and formation of military units (tchetas) of IMRO. Angel Mishev contacts the Macedonian Patriotic Organisation (MPO) in USA, from where he receives the newspaper "Macedonian Tribune" and other printed materials. Through them, the organisation persuades the population, that an active resistance to the serbocommunist authorities will lead to the creation of an independent Macedonia, protected by England and America.
In the beginning of 1947, the organisation is broken up. Hundreds of its members are arrested and after cruel investigations and inqiusitions are sentenced to long terms of hard labour. According to the newspaper "Politica" of May 14th, 1948, the trial against the leadership of the organisation has lasted three days from May 11th to 14th. They were accused of treason, terrorism, attempt of separating Vardar Macedonia from Yugoslavia. For these accusations, the Scopije Regional Court issues the following sentences : Angel Mishev death penalty, Stefko Gelev of Broushani, Tikveshko region death, Zjivko Iliev of Manastirets, Tikvesko- death, Pando Atanassov of Skatchantsi, Veles 20 years imprisonment, Ferdo Jovkov of Kavadartsi 20 years, Temelko Neshkov of Belo pole, Prilep 12 years, Dontcho Popandov of Vatosh, Tikvesh 15 years and others.
The cruel sentences and the public executions and the murders without sentences of eminent bulgarians do not result in fear and resignation, on the contrary they lead to even bigger hatred toward the serbocommunists.
Parralel with Angel Mishev's IMRO, in Bitolya acts IMRO headed by Metodi Kolarov. It is formed in the end of 1945, and is discovered in January 1947. There is a two day trial held in Bitolya ( 29-30th April) against the leadership of IMRO in the Bitolya region. Its members, all from the town, are accused of the creation of a terrorist organisation, fighting for the separation of Vardar Macedonia from Yugoslavia, and formation of an independent Macedonia headed by Ivan Michailov. The Court accuses them of insult of the "macedonian honour", as the accused stated that the macedonians were bulgarians.
For these accusations the Regional Court in Bitolya pronounces the heaviest sentences:
1. Metodi Nikolov Kolarov, as creator of IMRO in BItolya and principal ideologue is sentenced to death and confiscation of his property. 2. Slave Todorov Petrov 12 years hard labour. 3. Blagoi Velev Natchevski 15 years hard labour. 4. Jontche Mishkov Kouzmanov 20 years hard labour. 5. Vangel Spassov Georgiev 6 years hard labour. 6. Lazar Atanassov Bozhilov 8 years hard labour. 7. Novitsa Georgiev Milakov 7 years hard labour.
8. Alexander Toshkov Lozanov 11 years hard labour. 9. Nikola Metodiev Kolarov 15 years hard labour. 10. Petar Paritchev Dinev 11 years hard labour. 11. Atanas Michailov 10 years hard labour.
The sentenced leaders of IMRO in Bitolya and the region, almost all of them intellectuals, deny the accusation that they were terrorists, as for the three years of the organisation's existance, not a single terrorist act has been done. They defend their opinion, that Vardar Macedonia is forcefully and with treachery united again to Yugoslavia, something the people of Macedonia will never accept, as it has not forgotten the serbian slavery, are the words of Metodi Kolarov in answer to the indictment act. As far as the accusation of insult to the "macedonian honour" is concerned, since the accused think of themselves as bulgarians, it is yet another absurd, as the population of Macedonia is bulgarian by nationality.
Legal processes of this type and accusations as insult to the "macedonian honour", independent Macedonia and etc. in this period ( 1947-1950) are held in all towns of Vardar Macedonia.
Together with the organisations of IMRO, headed by influential intellectuals and open minded bulgarians, participants in the struggle for the liberation of Macedonia from serbian slavery in 1941 and first in line of resistance against the pan- serbian macedonism after 1944, of extreme importance is the new struggle of the studying youth in Vardar Macedonia.
Accordind to the newspaper "Borba", since Audust 21 st 1946 in the High School in Shtip, headed by Pantcho Hadjismilev, a students organisation of IMRO is formed. The leaders of the youth organisation have as aim to fight in defence of the bulgarian nationaliy, submitted to rejection and persecution, and for the creation of independent Macedonia. They spread their network among the students of Veles and Stroumitsa. In talks and by distribution of printed materials, they explain their aims. In the beginning of March 1946, the serbomanian authorities reveal the organisation and arrest 12 students from Shtip's High School. At the trial, hald on June 12th till 19th in Shtip, the students are accused that they have created a youth michailovist terrorist organisation, carrying out intensive oral and written propaganda against "peoples power", "Macedonian honour" and "the brotherhood and unity" of the Yugoslavian peoples, as well as for the separation of Vardar Macedonia from Yugoslavia, intending to proclaim it for independent under the protection of America.The students do not deny the indictment, declaring that their fight is continiuation of IMRO's fight for liberation of Macedonia from serbian slavery. Inspite of their minority, the court pronounces heavy sentences. Pantcho Hadjismilev is sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment, Naum Koizekliev to 7 years, Boris Davkov to 6 years, Dimitar Iliev to 5 years, Vassil Evtimov to 4 years of strict imprisonment regime and hard labour.
In May 1946, the authorities discover another students organisation of IMRO in the High School of Stroumitsa, arresting 25 people, headed by Metodi Kalkashliev. After several months of investigations in Shtip's prison, on August 31st 1946, they are brought to court.
In the indictment act, according to "Politica" of September 2nd, 1946, it is said that in its overall activity, the organisation has worked against the new order in Macedonia. In the printed leaflets and in other materials it has denyed the macedonian nation, and its members, even during the investigations, have declared that the population in Macedonia is bulgarian by nationality. Futhermore, the organisation was built on the principles of Vantche Michailov's IMRO of "threes" and "fives" and has intended to use armed terror. For this aim, it has armed its members. For these accusations 22 students, aged between 16 and 19 years, have been sentenced from 1 to 10 years of strict regime imprisonment. Amongst them are : Metodi Kalkashliev, Kosta Hadjimishev, Liuben Toptchev, Mirtcho Petsev, Borislav Belev, Nikola Apostolov, Ivan Andonov and others.
An IMRO students organisation similar to the one in Stroumitsa, is discovered by the authorities in the High School of Veles. In April 1947, the Court in Veles sententences on accusation for activity against the imposed from outside serbocommunist slavery in Vardar Macedonia, the creators of the organisation Blagoi Djaikov, Kroum Tchoushkov, Todor Loukarov, Pantcho Velev, Miltcho Angelov and Kiril Simeonov to strict imprisonment for a term from 3 to 7 years.
In June 1947, in the High School in Ohrid, an IMRO organisation is discovered. On August 27 and 28 th, its leadership is brought to trial. According to "Politica" of August 30th 1947, in the indictment act it is said that the accused have acted from totally pan-bulgarian and michailovists' positions against "new Yugoslavia". In response, the accused students declare in front of the jury, that they have formed IMRO, with the aim fighting against the return of the serbs and the serbization of Macedonia. The Court pronounces the following sentences: Savo Kotsarev 8 years imprisonment, Klime Evrov 8 years, Tashko Stoyanov 10 years, Kiril Mayov 8 years, Kroum Miladinov 5 years, Petar Mostrov 5 years, Nikola Georgiev 6 years. More than 20 pupils receive suspended sentences and are freed.
In the years 1947 1950, in almost all high schools and towns of Vardar Macedonia an IMRO called "Pravda" (justice) is formed. It is created in December 1947 in Ressen by the students Zhivko Stavrev, Hristo Popov and Jontche Lazarov.Afterwards, it spreads to Scopije, infiltrating mainly the medical high school. At the lead of the organisation are Mirko Georgiev, Nikola Kazankov, Pande Peshev, Kotcho Nikov, Dimitar Dimitrov and others. In Shtip, the organisation is headed by Georgi Dotsev, Doushko Stamenov, Ilya Hristov and Atso Rountev. In Prilep by Grigor Krastev, Kostadin Sotirov, Blagoi Rampov, Blagoi Mamrev, Koycho Smitchkov. In Bitolya by Liuben Tchokrevski, Dane Popov, Ivan Proev, in Gevgeli Kostadin Kolenkov, Josko Jossifov and so on.
The organisation has an aim, similar to MYSRO in the years before 1941, to attract as members the main mass of students in Vardar Macedonia, to fight against the return of the serbs and for independent Macedonia outside Yugoslavia. On March 27 th 1950, in the bulding of the railway station in Veles, a meeting of the representatives of the students' organisations of several towns is held. A status is accepted and a declaration was sent on bealf of IMRO "Pravda" to the UN, insisting Macedonia to be accepted as a separate state. The declaration falls in the hands of the authorities, with arrests following, first in Shtip and then in Scopije, Bitolya, Prilep, Ressen and other places. During the trials held in August 1950, tens of leaders and members of IMRO "Pravda" are sentenced to terms from 2 to 10 years strict impisonment, on the accusations that they have created an illegal terrorist organisation and by means of armed struggle were wanting to separate Vardar Macedonia from Yugoslavia and pronounce it independent and headed by Ivan Michailov.
A lot of the students are not discovered and continiue the activity of the organistion, spreading it to the university circles. In 1951, the authorities discover a students organisation of IMRO in the Medical and Philosophical Faculties in Scopije. According to its status, its aim is to fight with all means against the sebocommunists, for independent Macedonia separate from Yugoslavia, in the spirit of IMRO from before 1941. Instead of arrests and trial, on August 13th 1951, the authorities in Stroumitsa execute the leaders of the organistion, the university students Mirtcho Petsev, Stefan Toptchev, Borislav Belev, Georgi Kostourkov, and Georgi Yaramov, announcing that they had wanted to escape to Greece.
In the years that followed, the authorities discover organisations of IMRO with the same bulgarian national ideology in : Ohrid -1953; Bitolya 1956, 1973; Scopije 1952, 1953, 1957, 1961, 1970 and 1985; Kroushevo -1959, 1964; Shtip- 1954, 1960, 1971; Veles 1957, 1963, 1972, and others. The more important legal prcesses organized are against the poet Venko Markovski (1950), the students' trial in Scopije (1961), the process against Todor and Pliska Manasiev in 1970 in Shtip, the 1972 trial of the writer Pando Eftimov, against Dimitar Yaranov (1983), the 1985 trial in Scopije of Angel Mitrev- the Hero and Angel Krainitchanets all of them ending with pronounced sentences for long term imprisonment.
The last anti-bulgarian legal process of the serbocommunist authorities of Vardar Macedonia was organised in 1991 in Veles, against Georgi Kalaouzarov, Kroum Tchoushkov, Gotse Tchoushkov and others. They were accused of setting fire to the yugoslavian flag, attempting an attack on the Officers House of the serbian army in Veles and warning the yugoslavian army to leave Macedonia.
The resistance of the whole population reaches its culmination in 1991, when it forces the serbocommunist authorities to hold the wanted for years referendum on the future of Vardar Macedonia.It is held on September 8th 1991. Its results are a complete coincidence and verification of the demands of the activists of IMRO and the youth organisations, of the thousands of persecuted, repressed and imprisoned intellectuals. More than 97% of the population support the immediate separation of Vardar Macedonia from the Yugoslav Federation and the creation of independent Republic of Macedonia. Thus, an important part of the programme of the national liberation movement of the bulgarians in Macedonia of the period since the world wars was fulfilled.
With its brave resistance to the serbian occupational authorities, in the period 1991-1992, the macedonian patriots did not permit, the mobilised in the serbian army youth to be transferred against the croatian army, at the time fighting for free and independent Croatia. Those who were sent by the serbian command to the croatian front, were sent back to Macedonia by a "secret committee" of heroic mothers.
At first glance, the serbian military and civil authorities leave Macedonia in 1992
" voluntarily and without victims". In fact the hundred-thousands serbian army forced to leave, pillages arms and other materials worth more than 10 billion dollars, which belong to the people of Macedonia.
Additionally the military and civil authorities, through their supporters in Scopije, take off from power in 1992, the democratically elected government of VMRO- DPMNE, headed by Prof. N. Klioussev, by putting its own people, supporters of Belgrade and UDB's activists, in leading positions in R. Macedonia. The murder of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Yordan Mialkov, and that of tens of other intellectuals, supporters of VMRO-DPMNE, is their deed. According to local politicians and intellectuals, the serbian agents there, even today are the biggest obstacle for the democratisation of the society of R. Macedonia, as well as for the not too good relations between Scopije and Sofia.Besides, they do not permit the local scientists and patriots to say the truth on the past, the national roots, fights, language and consciousness to the population of Macedonia, as well as about the most notorious revival figures, revolutionaries, apostles and other eminent bulgarians, having fought and having given their lives for the freedom of Macedonia. Not one of them has been rehabilitated in civil or political way.
Without the resolution of these basic problems, there could not exist a really free and democratic Republic of Macedonia. .
The reestablishment and activity of IMRO in 1945 and the additional number of national liberation organisations, acting against the new serbian occupation, the rejection and persecution of the bulgarian nationality, when the idea of "macedonian nation" is enforced with fire and sword, not only in Vardar Macedonia, but also by the Patriotic Front government in Bulgaria, is not only heroism, but also an exceptional feeling for historical and national responsability of the intelligentsia and the young people in Macedonia in front of the bulgarian tribe. The self-sacrifice shown, for the sake of preservation of the bulgarian nationality in Macedonia, the categorical demands in the memorandums of IMRO, the Democratic Front "Ilinden1903", the Prime- Minister Metodi Andonov- Tchento to the Paris Peace Conference, the multiple demands of the students' organisations of IMRO to the Great Powers and the UN for resolution of the macedonian question outside the borders of Yugoslavia, is a great historical deed of the macedonian bulgarians since 1944 till nowadays.
The period after 1944 is the third, the longest and most complicated stage of the development of the national liberation movement of the bulgarians in Macedonia.For the time since 1944 till 1980, acccording to Vassil Hadjikimov of Shtip, one of the principal activists of the resistance against the theory of the "macedonian nation", having spent 10 years in the prison of Idrizovo, more than 700 legal processes have been held in Vardar Macedonia against intellectuals, young people and open minded bulgarians, ending with hundreds of death sentences. During the same priod, there have been killed or are missing without trace 23 000 people and more than 120 000 have passed through the prisons and camps of Tito's Yugoslavia. More than 180 000 have been chased away to Bulgaria and throughout the world.
Just as the liberation struggle against the turks, the serbian and greek royal slavery between the two world wars, in same way the fight against the serbian communist oppression in Vardar Macedonia, has its apostles, ideologists, organizers and leaders. Amongs them, it is impossible not to mention the first ideologists, creators and activists of the new IMRO after 1945 Dr. Vassil Ivanov, Dr. Konstantin Trentchev, Dr. Kosta Terziev, Angel Dimov, Metodi Andonov-Tchento, Dimitar Giuzelev, Spiro Kitintchev, Dimitar Tchkatrov, Venko Markovski, Pavel Shatev, Todor Manasiev, Georgi Gotsev, Traiko Popov, Kosta Hrissimov, Georgi Yaramov, Georgi Kostourkov, Stefan Toptchev, Branko Dimtchev, Pande Evtimov, Kiril Siveski, Savo Kotsarev, Dr. K. Robev, Dr. T. Gitchev, Dr. Tsipoushev, Yordan Mialkov and many other unmentioned activists and leaders of the new national-liberation struggle in Vardar Macedonia for the period 1941 - 1991.
With their self-sacrifice in the fight for preservation of the bulgarian nation and the liberation of Vardar Macedonia from the serbo-communist slavery, these people wrote the new history of the bulgarians in Macedonia and now give living example to the intellectuals and politicians in Sofia and Scopije, as well as to the international scientific and political thought how the question of Macedonia can be resolved in our days.
NOTES AND REMINISCENCES
1. Dr. Vassil Ivanov. Documental notes on the reestablishment and activity of IMRO in Vardar Macedonia 1944-1969. 2. Notes of Vassil Hadjikimov on the resistance of the bulgarians in Macedonia against the macedonism 1944 -1980. 3. Memoires of Georgi Gotsev. 4. Memoires of Angel Dimov. 5. Memorandum. The world must know this truth. (VMRO SMD). S., 1991.
1. "Macedonian Tribune" (USA). 1944 1997. 2. "Macedonia". 1989 1997. 3. "Macedonian Deed" ( Sofia). 1946 1947. 4. "Pirin's Deed". 1948 1997. 5. "New Macedonia". 1944 1997. 6. "Borba". 1944 1956. 7. "Politica" 1944 1956.
1. Mitchev, D. The macedonian question and the bulgarian-yugoslavian relations 1944-1949. S., 1994. 2. Gotsev, D. The creation and activity of IMRO 1945 1947. in col. 100 years IMARO/IMRO. S., 1994. 3. Markovski, v. Blood does not turn to water (my answer to the falsifiers of the truth on Bulgaria). s., 1981. 4. Tsarnoushanov, K. The macedonism and the resistance of Macedonia to it. S., 1992. 5. Tsarnoushanov, K. Multiple expressions of the national selfdetermination of the macedonian bulgarians. S., 1992. 6. Ristevski, S. Sentenced for Macedonia. Scopije, 1993. 7. Gashev, Ev. Our cause. Scopije, 1994. 8. The Macedonian Question (historical political reference) S., 1968. 9. Bozhinova, V. Generation of victims. S., 1996. 10. Dragnev, Dr. The Scopije icon Blazhe Koneski. S., 1998.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction 3 The soldiers' mutiny 4 The first political trials 6 The trial against the Democratic front “Ilinden 1903” 11 Reestablishment of IMRO in Vardar Macedonia 13 The legal process against the Central leadership of IMRO 26 Other organisations and trials 37 Notes and reminiscences 47 Periodical press 47 Literature 48