Friday, March 09, 2007
REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION
To Inquire into the causes and Conduct OF THE BALKAN WARS, PUBLISHED BY THE ENDOWMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. 1914 Contents Members
Why this inquiry? - The objections - Constitution and character of the Commission - Departure—Inquiry—Return of the commission - The report - The lesson of the two wars
CHAPTER I The Origin of the Two Balkan Wars
The ethnography and national aspirations of the Balkans - The struggle for autonomy - The alliance and the treaties - The conflict between the allies
CHAPTER II The War and the Noncombatant Population
The plight of the Macedonian Moslems during the First war - The conduct of the Bulgarians in the Second war - The Bulgarian peasant and the Greek army
CHAPTER III Bulgarians, Turks and Servians
Adrianople - Thrace - The theater of the Servian-Bulgarian war
CHAPTER IV The War and the Nationalities
Extermination, emigration, assimilation - Servian Macedonia (a) - Servian Macedonia (b) - 3. Greek Macedonia
CHAPTER V The War and International Law
CHAPTER VI Economic Results of the Balkan Wars
CHAPTER VII The Moral and Social Consequences of the Wars and the Outlook for the Future of Macedonia
Appendix A—The Plight of the Macedonian Moslems during the First War
Appendix B—The Conduct of the Bulgarians in the Second War
Appendix C—The Bulgarian Peasant and the Greek Army. Extracts from Letters of Greek Soldiers
Appendix D—The Servians in the Second War
Appendix E—The Accusation
Appendix F—The Defense
The New Frontiers according to the Treaties of London, Constantinople, & Bukharest Macedonia from the Bulgarian Point of View. After Vasil Kantchev Macedonia from the Servian Point of View. After Dr. Tsviyits
Carnegie Endowment for International peace Report ... to inquire into the causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars
Preface. By Nicholas Murray Butler...................................................... iii Members of the Balkan Commission of Inquiry...................................... iv
Introduction. By Baron d'Estournelles de Constant.................................. 1 Why this Inquiry? .................................................................................. 1 The Objections ...................................................................................... 3 Constitution and Character of the Commission......................................... 5 Departure—Inquiry—Return of the Commission...................................... 9 The Report ........................................................................................... 11 The Lesson of the Two Wars................................................................. 15
Chapter I—The Origin of the T'wo Balkan Wars.................................... 21 1. The Ethnography and National Aspirations of the Balkans.................. 21 2. The Struggle for Autonomy................................................................ 31 3. The Alliance and the Treaties............................................................. 38 4. The Conflict between the Allies.......................................................... 49
Chapter II—The War and the Noncombatant Population....................... 71 1. The Plight of the Macedonian Moslems during the First War............... 71 2. The Conduct of the Bulgarians in the Second War.............................. 78 The Massacre at Doxato ...................................................................... 79 The Massacre and Conflagration of Serres............................................. 83 Events at Demir-Hissar ......................................................................... 92 3. The Bulgarian Peasant and the Greek Army....................................... 95 The Final Exodus ................................................................................. 106
Chapter III—Bulgarians, Turks, and Servians........................................ 109 1. Adrianople ....................................................................................... 109 The Capture of the Town...................................................................... 110 The Bulgarian Administration ................................................................ 117 The Last Days of the Occupation........................................................... 119 2. Thrace ............................................................................................. 123 3. The Theater of the Servian-Bulgarian War.......................................... 135
Chapter IV—The War and the Nationalities........................................... 148 1. Extermination, Emigration, Assimilation .............................................. 148 2. Servian Macedonia ........................................................................... 158 3. Greek Macedonia ............................................................................. 186
Chapter V—The War and International Law.......................................... 208
Chapter VI—Economic Results of the Wars........................................... 235
Chapter VII—The Moral and Social Consequences of the Wars and the Outlook for the Future of Macedonia ................................................ 265
Appendices Chapter II Appendix A—The Plight of the Macedonian Moslems during the First War..... 277 Appendix B—The Conduct of the Bulgarians in the Second War..................... 285 Appendix C—The Bulgarian Peasant and the Greek Army.............................. 300 Extracts from Letters of Greek Soldiers........................................................... 307 Appendix D—The Servians in the Second War............................................... 317
Chapter III Appendix E—The Accusation ........................................................................ 326 Report by a Russian Officer in the London Daily Telegraph............................. 326 Appendix F—The Defense ............................................................................. 331 Report to the Commander of the Kehlibarov Reserve....................................... 331 The Miletits Papers ......................................................................................... 333 Appendix G—Depositions .............................................................................. 338 Letter of Baroness Varvara Yxcoull to Mr. Maxime Kovalevsky ..................... 338 Evidence of Turkish Officers Captured at Adrianople....................................... 341 Depositions of Bulgarian Officials .................................................................... 344 Reports of the Delegation of the Armenian Patriarchate: The Disaster of Malgara .... 347 Thrace ............................................................................................................ 350 Adrianople ...................................................................................................... 353 Statement of the Bulgarian Committee at Adrianople......................................... 354 Appendix H—Theater of the Servian-Bulgarian War......................................... 356 Servian Documents .......................................................................................... 356 The Medical Reports ....................................................................................... 361 Destruction of Towns and Villages..................................................................... 364 Bulgarian Documents ....................................................................................... 368
Chapter VI Appendix I—Bulgaria—Statistics .................................................................... 378 Greece—Statistics .......................................................................................... 385 Montenegro—.Statistics ................................................................................. 394 Servia—Statistics ........................................................................................... 395 Analysis of the Report ..................................................................................... 399
Maps Dialects of Macedonia. After A. Belits. From the Servian Point of View.................. 29 Boundaries of the Balkan States under the Treaty of St. Stefano. Conference of Constantinople, 1876-77 ................................................................................... 32 Map Showing the National Aspirations of the Balkan People before the War. After Paul Dehn .................................................................................................... 38 Contested Regions According to the Map Annexed to the Treaty of Alliance........... 45 Regions Occupied by the Belligerents. End of April, 1913. After Balcanicus............ 55 Territorial Modifications in the Balkans................................................................... 70 (1) Conference of London. (2) Treaty of Bucharest. Macedonia from the Bulgarian Point of View. Map in Colors. After Vasil Kantchev ......................................................................................... 418 Macedonia from the Servian Point of View. Map in Colors. After Dr. Tsviyits........ 419
Illustrations 1. Ruins of Doxato ................................................................................................ 79 2. Finding the Bodies of Victims at Doxato.............................................................. 80 3. Gathering the Bodies of Victims........................................................................... 81 4. Bodies of Slain Peasants ..................................................................................... 82 5. Victims Who Escaped the Serres Slaughter.......................................................... 84 6. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................... 85 7. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................... 86 8. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................... 86 9. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................... 87 10. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................. 88 11. Ruins of Serres.................................................................................................. 88 12. A Popular Greek Poster.................................................................................... 96 13. A Popular Greek Poster.................................................................................... 98 14. Isle of Toundja—Trees Stripped of Bark Which the Prisoners Ate.................... 112 15. Mosque of Sultan Selim—A Cupola of the Dome Rent by an Explosive Shell.... 116 16. Victims Thrown into the Arda and Drowned..................................................... 122 17. Fragments of the Gospel in Greek Letters found in the Ruins of the Osmanly Church ................................................................................................... 125 18. Bodies of Five Murdered Bulgarian Officers..................................................... 144 19. Refugees Encamped Outside Salonica ............................................................. 152 20. Refugees Encamped Outside Salonica ............................................................. 152 21. Refugees Encamped Outside Salonica ............................................................. 152 22. The Commission Listening to Refugees in the Samakov Square......................... 153 23. A Bulgarian Red Cross Convoy........................................................................ 217 24. Roumanian Ravages at Petrohan ...................................................................... 217 25. Shortened Greek Cartridges ............................................................................ 224 26. In the Trenches ............................................................................................... 237 27. The Dead Sharp-shooter.................................................................................. 237 28. The Assault Upon Aivas Baba.......................................................................... 238 29. A Funeral Scene ............................................................................................. 238 30. In Barb-Wire Defences of Adrianople.............................................................. 238 31. Scene from the Koumanovo Battle................................................................... 238 32. Service Burial ................................................................................................. 239 33. A Battlefield ................................................................................................... 240 34. Forgotten in the Depths of a Ravine................................................................. 241 35. Piece of Ordnance and Gunners ..................................................................... 242 35. Ruins of Voinitsa............................................................................................. 245 37. Ruins of Voinitsa............................................................................................. 245 38. Ravages of the War ....................................................................................... 248 39. Ravages of the War ....................................................................................... 248 40. Ravages of the War ....................................................................................... 249 41. Ravages of the War ....................................................................................... 249 42. Refugees . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................... 253 43. Refugees . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................... 253 44. Refugees . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................... 254 45. Refugees . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................... 254 46. Refugees ....................................................................................................... 255 47. Refugees . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................... 255 48. Refugees . . . . . . . . . .................................................................................... 256 49. Refugees . . . . . . . . . .................................................................................... 256 50. Facsimile of a Letter Written by a Greek Soldier About the War.................... 416 51. Envelope of the Letter Opposite....................................................................
Carnegie Endowment for International peace Report ... to inquire into the causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars
The circumstances which attended the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 were of such character as to fix upon them the attention of the civilized world. The conflicting reports as to what actually occurred before and during these wars, together with the persistent rumors often supported by specific and detailed statements as to violations of the laws of war by the several combatants, made it important that an impartial and exhaustive examination should be made of this entire episode in contemporary history. The purpose of such an impartial examination by an independent authority was to inform public opinion and to make plain just what is or may be involved in an international war carried on under modern conditions. If the minds of men can be turned even for a short time away from passion, from race antagonism and from national aggrandizement to a contemplation of the individual and national losses due to war and to the shocking horrors which modern warfare entails, a step and by no means a short one, will have been taken toward the substitution of justice for force in the settlement of international differences.
It was with this motive and for this purpose that the Division of Intercourse and Education of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace constituted in July, 1913, an International Commission of Inquiry to study the recent Balkan wars and to visit the actual scenes where fighting had taken place and the territory which had been devastated. The presidency of this International Commission of Inquiry was entrusted to Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, Senator of France, who had represented his country at the First and Second Hague Conferences of 1899 and of 1907, and who as President Fondateur of the Conciliation Internationale, has labored so long and so effectively to bring the various nations of the world into closer and more sympathetic relations. With Baron d'Estournelles de Constant there were associated men of the highest standing, representing different nationalities, who were able to bring to this important task large experience and broad sympathy.
The result of the work of the International Commission of Inquiry is contained in the following report. This report, which has been written without prejudice and without partisanship, is respectfully commended to the attention of the governments, the people and the press of the civilized world. To those who so generously participated in its preparation as members of the International Commission of Inquiry, the Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offer an expression of grateful thanks.
nicholas murray butler,
Carnegie Endowment for International peace Report ... to inquire into the causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars
MEMBERS OF THE BALKAN COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
Dr. Joseph Redlich, Professor of Public Law in the University of Vienna
Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, Senator.
M. Justin Godart, lawyer and Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Dr. Walter Schuecking, Professor of Law at the University of Marburg.
Francis W. Hirst, Esq., Editor of The Economist
Dr. H. N. Brailsford, journalist.
Professor Paul Milioukov, Member of the Douma
Dr. Samuel T. Dutton, Professor in Teacher's College, Columbia University
Carnegie Endowment for International peace
Report ... to inquire into the causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars
Why this inquiry?
Why this report, this inquiry? Is it necessary after so many other reports and investigations, after so many eloquent appeals made in vain, - appeals to pity, indignation and revolt, ringing at one and the same time from all countries,. and from all parties, uttered by the voices of Gladstone, of Bryce, of Pressense, of Jaures, of Victor Berard, of Pierre Quillard, of Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, of Denys Cochin, and how many more great hearted men of world wide authority? It seems as if all this had gone for nothing. The facts that face us today are a tragic and derisive denial that any good has come of all this eloquence and feeling. Would it not be better for us to remain silent, and let things go?
We have been silent, we have let things go long enough. From the beginning of the first war, and in the terrible uncertainties of the following days, I denounced that one amongst the Balkan rulers, who took upon himself,-he being the only one who had nothing to lose by it,-except the lives of his subjects!-to precipitate the war. But that being done, we could only wish for the triumph of four young allied peoples in shaking off the domination of the Sultans of Constantinople, in the interest of the Turks and perhaps of Europe herself.
Let us repeat, for the benefit of those who accuse us of "bleating for peace at any price," what we have always maintained:
War rather than slavery;
Arbitration rather than war;
Conciliation rather than arbitration.
I hoped that this collective victory, heretofore considered impossible, of the allies over Turkey,-which had just concluded peace with Italy and which we still believed formidable,-would free Europe from the nightmare of the Eastern question and give her the unhoped for example of the union and coordination which she lacks.
We know how this first war, after having exhausted, as it seemed, all that the belligerents could lavish, in one way or another, of heroism and blood, was only the prelude to a second fratricidal war between the allies of the previous day, and how this second war was the more atrocious of the two.
Many of our friends urged us from that time to organize a mission, charged either to intervene or to become a witness in the tragedy. We refused to authorize any such premature manifestation, which could only be unavailing. As a matter of fact, none of the interested governments could admit, in the train of their armies, spectators who were independent judges. But peace at last
accomplished, our caution had no further excuse. Our American friends understood this when they asked us to act, and we have not hesitated to respond to their insistence. The Americans, unlike Europe, do not approve of resignation, silence, withdrawal. They are young, and they can not endure an evil which is not proved to them to be absolutely incurable. Not the slightest doubt can be cast upon their impartiality in regard to the belligerents, the United States being the adopted country of important rival colonies, notably of an admirable Greek colony. For my part, I should not have accepted the responsibility of organizing a mission of whose disinterestedness and justice I had not been fully assured.
I love Greece. The breath of her war of independence inspired my youth, I am steeped in the heroic memories that live in the hearts of her children, in her folk songs, in her language, which I used to speak, in the divine air of her plains and mountains. Along her coasts every port, every olive wood or group of laurels, evokes the sacred origin of our civilization. Greece was the starting point of my active life and labor. [See footnote, page 3] She is for the European and the American more than a cradle, a temple or a hearth, which each of us dreams of visiting one day in pilgrimage. I do not confine myself to respecting and cherishing her past. I believe in her future, in her eager, almost excessive, intelligence. But the more I love Greece, the more do I feel it my duty in the crisis of militarism which is menacing her now in her turn, to tell the truth and to serve her by this, as I serve my own country, while so many others injure her by flattery.
I presided over the famous Chateau d'Eau meeting on February 13, 1903, and came forward as a politician for Bulgaria and all the oppressed populations of the Balkan peninsula.That was a splendid year of agitation for great causes, for justice, liberty and peace; it was the unofficial but popular beginning of the Anglo-French entente cordiale.Generous year of 1903!My friends and I responded without any hesitation to the noble effort of growth and progress, of the material, intellectual and moral culture of Bulgaria.
As for Servia, whom we have never held responsible for the sufferings she has undergone, I count among her diplomats, more than colleagues, friends, men of the finest character who have impressed themselves upon the esteem of the political personnel (staff) of all Europe.
In Montenegro, where my duty as a Member of the International Commission appointed after the Berlin Treaty (1879-80), took me formerly to settle the boundaries of its rugged frontier, I knew some excellent men. I refrain from naming them, if they still live, for fear of compromising them, and I may say that I pitied them from the bottom of my heart, less for the heap of stones out of which fate made their country, than for the government that rules the stones. When European disagreements suspended our
labors, I profited by them to travel in solitude through High Albania.I crossed the sad and fertile country from Scutari to Uskub, allaying the suspicions of Ypek, of Djyakoo and of Prisrend, then in full anarchy. I shall never forget the impression of sadness and astonishment that I carried away from this adventurous expedition. All these countries, not far from us, were then, and are still, unlike Europe, more widely separated from her than Europe from America; no one knew anything of them, no one said anything about them. I scarcely dared at this epoch, to publish, unsigned as a matter of professional discretion, a sketch of the ineffaceable impressions produced on me. [Mach. Recit de moeurs de la Haute Albanie par P. H. Constant. Revue des Deux Mondes, 1 mars 1881. See in the same Revue several studies on Provincial Life in Greece, and under this same title a volume in 8°, Hachette 1878, id. Dionitza 1878; Galathee, Ernest Leroux, 1 vol. in 18 Paris 1878; Pygmalion, 1 vol. in 18; A. Lemerre, Paris, Les Trois Soeurs, text from a popular Greek tale, published in the Annual of the Association for Greek Studies; id. L'lle de Chypre; Lettres inedites de Coray; Superstitions of Modern Greece, Nineteenth Century, 1880, London.] And nevertheless, all this horror will not cease to exist as long as Europe continues to ignore it. These peoples, mingled in an inextricable confusion of languages and religions, of antagonistic race and nationality, Turks, Bulgarians, Servians, Serbo-Croatians, Servians speaking Albanian, Koutzo-Valacks, Greeks, Albanians, Tziganes, Jews, Roumanians, Hungarians, Italians, are not less good or less gifted than other people in Europe and America. Those who seem the worst among them have simply lived longer in slavery or destitution.They are martyrs rather than culprits. The spectacle of destitute childhood in a civilized country is beginning to rouse the hardest hearts. What shall be said of the destitution of a whole people, of several nations, in Europe, in the Twentieth Century?
This is the state of things which the Americans wish to help in ending. Let them be thanked and honored for their generous initiative. I have been appealing to it for a long time, since my first visit to the United States in 1902. We are only too happy today to combine our strength, too willing to raise with them a cry of protestation against the contempt of the sceptics and ill-wishers who will try to suppress it.
We have noted the objections that have been presented to us, and the principal ones are as follows:
How is the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace going to make an investigation into the atrocities committed in the Balkans? Why should a Commission interfere? If it discover that the atrocities were inevitable, inseparable from the condition of war, what an exposure of the powerlessness of civilization! If it find, as certain newspapers proclaim, that the evils are to be imputed to some and not to others, what hatred and bitterness will be
re-awakened between the scarcely pacified belligerents! We have heard this argument for thirty years. It has helped the evil to live and grow. We know what we must think about the results of European abstention. It is the fear of compromise, the fear of displeasing one or another of the nations, the terror, in short, of intervening reasonably and in time, which has brought about a crisis, the gravity of which is not only of yesterday and of today, but also of tomorrow. It is to the interest of all the governments, as well as of the peoples, that the light of truth should at last illuminate and regenerate these unhappy countries. The duty and the purpose of the Carnegie Endowment was to contribute in dissipating the shadows and dangers of a night indefinitely prolonged.
It has been further asked: What are you going to do in the Balkans, you French, you Americans, you English, you Russians, you Germans? Have you not enough to do with Morocco to look after, with Mexico, with South Africa, India, Persia? Yes, we have plenty to do at home, but let us give up all exterior action if we pretend to wait until everything in our own house or conduct is reformed, before we can attempt to help others. I do not consider the French State more perfect than any other human organization, but nevertheless my own imperfection need not prevent me from doing my utmost to be useful.
Other objections are of a less elevated order, but not less insistent. This for example: that everyone does not lose by war. Without speaking of the patriotism kept alive by war, the Great Powers lend their money to the belligerents and sell them the materials of war. This is good for trade and enriches both bankers and contractors. War is exhibited as an operation of twofold patriotism, of moral benefit, because it exalts heroism, and of material profit because it increases several important industries. A little more, and we shall be told that it nourishes the population!
We have replied to these sophisms over and over again. Once more we shall set aside the war that is defensive and in the cause of independence. Such a war is not to be confounded with any other, because it is the resistance to war, to conquest, to oppression. It is the supreme protest against violence, and generally the protest of the weak against the strong. Such was the first Balkan war,-and for this reason it was glorious and popular throughout the civilized world. We are only speaking of real war, such as a State undertakes in order to extend its possessions, or to assert its strength to the detriment of another country;-this was the case in the second Balkan war. Today no one gains in this sort of warfare. Both victor and vanquished lose morally and materially. It is false that peace encourages slothfulness. To speak only of France living under a rule of peace that has lasted for forty-three years, never has youth been more enterprising, more daring, more patriotic than in our day. In default of a war, courage applies itself to fertile invention, towards
exploration, to dangerous scientific experiments, to aerial and submarine navigation. Is this a sign of decadence?
And as for trade, which certainly gains by selling a battleship at nearly a hundred million francs, is it possible not to foresee the terrible stoppage of work and the consequent crisis, that must ensue when the peoples, tired of the ruinous competition, will claim a juster balance between the expenditure really necessary for national defense, and that wanted for developing the resources of each country and its useful activity? Nobody will contest the fact that one or several industries do certainly profit by war. It will even be read in this report that a new and flourishing kind of business has been created since the two Balkan wars, that of artificial legs! But the main body of trade? The main body of the people? There is the whole question. On the one hand the increase of armaments leading inevitably to catastrophe, on the other emulation, economic competition leading to progress, always insufficient indeed, but better assured each day by general cooperation, and finally, to security.
Must we allow these two Balkan wars to pass, without at least trying to draw some lesson from them, without knowing whether they have been a benefit or an evil, if they should begin again tomorrow and go on for ever extending?
We have made up our mind. The objections that we have summarized are always the same, not one of them holds against the fact that the two Balkan wars, different as each was from the other, finally sacrificed treasures of riches, lives, and heroism. We can not authenticate these sacrifices without protesting, without denouncing their cost and their danger for the future. For this reason, I constituted our Commission, and today I am presenting the report which it has drawn up in truth, independence and complete disinterestedness.
Constitution and character of the Commission
These words, truth, independence and disinterestedness, are not vain words, Men of great worth and of the sincerest good will, have been ready to suspend the occupations of their ordinary life, in order to respond to our appeal, and have made their investigations in exceptional conditions of impartiality and authority, and with untiring courage. They did not allow themselves to be baffled by fatigue or difficulties of any kind, numerous as these were; not even by cholera, nor were they led astray by the least illusion. Before leaving Paris, each one of them knew that owing obedience to no one, to no word of command, to no party or government, to no journal, to no representation, Balkan or European; expecting no decoration, no reward of any sort, neither thanks nor compliments; coming after the brilliant scouts of the great press of all the great countries, after the prejudiced or sensational information seekers; serving, in a word, no particular interest, but a very general interest; that they would give full satisfaction to none, and would displease everybody more or less.Each one of them deliberately placed himself above suspicion, above
criticism, truly even above inevitable attack. It would be impossible to question the disinterestedness of the Commission, no member of it being remunerated, and the expenses of travel,-very modest indeed,-being publicly administered. But the Commission had to expect that objections would be made in refusing to acknowledge or in disqualifying some of its members. We knew all that. We took our precautions, not to avoid attacks, merely that they might be proved unjustifiable, and this is how I came to constitute our Commission. An ungrateful task, for which I have felt well rewarded, when I saw our work, in spite of troublesome presages and natural enough anxieties, coming none the less to a successful issue.
First, I consulted the men in Paris whom I consider to be masters of the question, Victor Berard to begin with, whose experience and knowledge are equal to his devotion; and that is no small thing to say. I should have liked him to be one of us, and I have in any case to thank him for much advice of which we took advantage. I would also have liked to be able to add to our number our admirable and regretted F. de Pressense and those of our valiant comrades of the struggle of 1903, of whom I have spoken. On his side, our friend President Nicholas Murray Butler is surrounded by men of generous sympathy, who form a phalanx, in the United States, of combatants always ready for the crusades of our own day, and he keeps us in constant touch with their views, aspirations and opinions.President Butler's collaborator, appointed to go to the Balkans, was Mr. Samuel T. Button, Professor at Columbia University, to whose impartiality and high moral integrity, I can pay no better tribute than by saying that he was not only a valiant fellow worker but an arbiter as well.I could say the same of Mr. Justin Godart, Deputy of Lyons, a politician of energy, accuracy and determination, whose rectitude can never be called in question even by his adversaries. The services rendered us by Mr. Godart were innumerable. Aside from the valuable part he took, like Mr. Dutton, in drawing up the report, he consented during the long journey through the Balkans to fulfil many other functions equivalent to those of president of the itinerary,-because the admirably united Commission over which I presided from Paris, had not thought it necessary to designate a vice president during its journey,-secretary general, treasurer, and reporter. Mr. Godart was all this and more, the trusted friend in whom every one could place reliance.
Two of our friends in Germany responded to our invitation, Professor Paszkowski of Berlin University, and Professor Schuecking of Marburg, both proved and excellent men, as impartial as they are enlightened. The former, just at the moment of his departure, was unfortunately refused the necessary permission by the University authorities. The latter was stopped at Belgrade, and was, I am bound to say, totally misled, owing to circumstances of which I will add a word or two later.
Austria contributed in default of Professor H. Lammasch, our great and generous friend, whose health kept him at home, Professor Redlich, whose cooperation both in Vienna and Paris, has been invaluable.
Mr. Francis W. Hirst of England, editor of the Economist, well known fo his noble campaigns for international conciliation, and the high integrity o his character, together with his distinguished colleague, Mr. H. N. Brailsford was constantly present at our preparatory meetings in Paris. Mr. Brailsford was appointed with Messrs. Dutton, Schuecking and Godart, to make one of the subcommittee which we decided to send to the scene of war.
From Russia, our friend Professor Maxime Kovalevsky and others were unsparing in their assistance. They were, in Europe, as Messrs. Root and Butler in the United States, the guarantors of the independence of the Commission. All our Russian friends were of the same opinion as ourselves in considering that the man best able to represent them, was Professor Paul Milioukov, member of the Douma, who gladly responded to their pressing invitation, as he did to ours. Professor Milioukov adds to his political authority the distinction of being a scholar who not only knows the Balkan nations thoroughly, but their languages as well. He has been reproached for this, and so has Mr. Brailsford. Professor Milioukov was at once denounced as being violently hostile to the Servians, Brailsford as not less hostile to the Greeks, It is true that by way of balance I was represented as an impenitent Philhellene, Hirst as a Sectarian, and Kovalevsky as something still worse. Godart and Dutton alone escaped all criticism.
I am aware of course from experience that in the Balkans as in some other countries, that I know of, it is impossible to avoid the reproach of a party, if one does not take sides with it against the others, and conversely. Milioukov was perfectly just to the Bulgarians when we in Europe were all unanimous in praising and upholding them. Later on he blamed them, as we all did. He censured the fault of the Servians when censure was unanimous, as he denounced the offenses of the Turks and of the Greeks. But he also paid sincere tribute, to their merits, as he did to the merits of the Greeks and the Turks. His only sin, in the eyes of each, was his perfect impartiality. He was nobody's man, precisely what we were looking for. Brailsford, on the other hand, had been frankly partisan, but for whom? For the Greeks. He took up arms for them and fought in their ranks, the true disciple of Lord Byron and of Gladstone; and in spite of this fact, today Brailsford is held to be an enemy of Greece. Why? Because, passionately loving and admiring the Greeks, he has denounced the errors that bid fair to injure them, with all the heat and vigor of a friend and of a companion in arms. This did not seem to be a sufficient motive for demanding his resignation. As we could not condemn Brailsford for being at one and the same time, both the friend and the enemy of Greece, we kept him, and have been very fortunate in so doing.
At last our Commission was constituted, advised on all points, and ready to start on its journey. Before its departure, I notified the Turkish Ambassador of its existence and of its purpose, and also the three ministers in Paris of Bulgaria, Greece and Servia, formerly among my most distinguished colleagues. Only the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the beginning, made some reservations to which I replied, concerning the choice of Brailsford, accused of being a Bulgarophile.
Thus prepared, we were assured that our inquiry, even if it did not please everyone, could not be regarded with suspicion, nor, in any case, stopped by anyone. The instructions accepted both by the sedentary members of the Commission and those delegated to go to the Balkans, are summarized in the following extract of the letter I wrote August 21, to Mr. Justin Godart and his companions:
CREANS, August 21, 1913.
MY DEAR COLLEAGUES,
* * * Sceptics will ask you what you expect to do? You can reply that you intend to obtain some light,-a little light,-and this will be much. A little light means appeasement and progress.
Your mission has as much economic as moral significance. When you return and publish your opinions, which I hope will be unanimous and which will certainly have the greater authority in that they are exceptionally disinterested, you will contribute to the better understanding in both hemispheres, of a very simple truth. That is, that these unhappy Balkan States have been up to the present, the victims of European division much more than of their own faults. If Europe had sincerely wished to help them in the past thirty years, she would have given them what makes the life in a country, that is, railways, tramways, roads, telegraphs and telephones, and in addition, schools. Once these fertile countries were linked to the rest of Europe, and connected like the rest of Europe, they would of themselves become peaceful by means of commerce and trade and industry, enriching themselves in spite of their inextricable divisions.
Europe has chosen to make them ruined belligerents, rather than young clients of civilization, but it is not yet too late to repair this long error. You are the precursors of a new economic order, exceedingly important for each one of the governments; you will be, because you claim no such distinction and because of your disinterestedness, the auxiliaries of their salvation. After having verified the evil which is only too evident, you will assist each government in repairing it, by making known by your report the real aims and resources of the country. And thus you will reassure the public which never likes to despond, and which will not admit that even a small part of Europe must lie fallow, when it can share the general progress which is going on feverishly everywhere else.
I hope that you will be able to suggest these views when you are conversing with such personages as you have occasion to meet. It is to the interest of each government that prejudicial legends should not be spread abroad. You will be able to confer a great benefit upon each of them.
Our Commission will upon its return, publish both in Europe and in America, a report which will be translated, widely circulated and commented upon. This report will contain, not the recital, but the confirmation and correction of facts already published. We are inclined to add to this a brief statement of the situation, drawn up by those specially interested in regard to the past, the present, and the future.
The impartial juxtaposition of these diverse statements in the same international document, will be a powerful means of serving the truth and of disproving the accusation of injustice on our part.
Our conclusions will then follow, and these conclusions can not be anything but one more effort to reduce the disorders from which all the world suffers, and to establish confidence where at present there is only discouragement and anxiety.
Departure - Inquiry - Return of the commission
The Commission left Paris on August 2, stopped at Vienna, where Professor Paszkowski of Berlin and Professor Redlich were waiting for them, and then continued on to Belgrade. There began difficulties which need not be exaggerated. The Servian government could have taken either of two extreme courses. The first, which it did not adopt, consisted in itself supplying the Commission, as we asked it to do, with its own version of the events, and at the same time with a statement of the economic resources of its country. It knew that these statements would be published fully and impartially in our report. It had an excellent opportunity by so doing, of confounding its enemies and of instructing its friends, and what is more, of making Servia known to the world at large. I must confess that I could not understand its rather ungracious refusal, which we may call diplomatic, in order to offend no one. I know very well the reproaches directed against Mr. Milioukov; but Mr. Milioukov was not the whole Commission. They had the right to decline his testimony. That of the other members of the Commission then became of more value; it constituted a recourse. To speak quite fairly, the Commission came at the wrong moment to Belgrade; but I wonder if, in analogous circumstances, the governments of the great countries would not be more summary and intolerant than the Servian government. The matter stood thus: The Commission arrived at Belgrade just at the moment of the triumphant return of the army, a triumph both sad and glorious, when the sight of the line of victors woke in the silent crowds as much sorrow as pride. Servia's great losses in the two wars must be taken into consideration, all the splendid youth and strength she sacrificed with unheard-of courage, the blood spilt not only to secure independence, but in a struggle of brother against brother, a struggle where victory itself means mourning. We must take into consideration too, there as elsewhere, the excitement of frenzied jingoist journals.
The second course consisted simply in stopping our Commission. There were both pretexts and means: transports requisitioned by the army, interminable
delays, the uncertainty of communication, the bad state of sanitation, fear of cholera. * * * In the interests of the Commission itself, a government, without being- entirely hostile or insincere, could have obliged it to retrace its steps. The ministry at Belgrade did nothing of the kind; it refused to communicate with the Commission and entirely ignored it, although its arrival had been announced both from Paris and upon reaching Belgrade, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. An official communication of September 7, explains the government's attitude, [The press is authorized to announce that the Servian government declares categorically pat it has never been hostile to an investigation, but that, on the contrary, it desires the iquiry of an impartial commission into the Bulgarian cruelties from which the Servians nd the Greeks have so greatly suffered. It is entirely to the interest of both Greece and ervia that the civilized world should know of the Bulgarian atrocities. If therefore, the ork of the Commission has miscarried, the cause must be sought for in one of its members, the declared enemy not only of Servia but of Greece, well known for what he has lid against her, not only in speech but in writing. Moreover, the Commission has never ade itself known until it presented itself here. No country could tolerate as a member a Commission a man whose partiality and animosity are only too well known.] but as a matter of fact it did not prevent the Commission from remaining, in spite of a slight animosity provoked by some of the newspapers against Mr. Milioukov, nor of continuing on its way. The Commission was provided by the government with every facility for reaching the frontier and Salonica. This was a good deal and I will do it so much justice. I do lot consider either that the Servian government was responsible for the attempts which were made to prevent our German colleague. Professor Schuecking, from rejoining the Commission. In this connection, some strange maneuvers took place. Professor Paszkowski, being, as I said, detained at the last moment, Professor Schuecking was named hurriedly to take his place. He was then at Ostend, from whence he set out with praiseworthy dispatch and devotion, but he could not reach Belgrade until some time after the Commission had already left for Salonica. What happened then? Who is to be blamed ? One fact emerges: Professor Schuecking was persuaded that there was nothing for him to do but go home; that the Commission had disbanded and had given up its work. Naturally enough Professor Schuecking returned home, and only heard the truth from me when he was back in his own country.
The government of Greece was anxious above all things to base its attitude on that of its ally in Belgrade. The Commission was therefore welcomed under the strictest reservations. At first, Mr. Dragoumis, the Governor of Salonica, informed the Commission that, following the example of Servia, his government declined to acknowledge Mr. Milioukov, but that all the members of the Commission should have entire liberty of action.Then Mr. Brailsford in his turn and even more directly, was refused; his liberty was restricted to the point of twice trying to prevent him from going to Kilkich, which efforts of the authorities met with the congratulations of the press.
In the face of so many difficulties from the very beginning, the Commission
asked itself if it should continue its work? It decided, strong in its independence and good faith, with the entire approbation of its President, not to discontinue, but to pursue its inquiry by all its means, where official aid failed it. The Commission has never ceased to protest, always with dignity, against the accusations of partisanship made against two of its members, and has never been divided for a single moment. The strength of its unity, so often and so roughly tested, will suffice to do away with any suspicion against its impartiality. Never for an instant were any of its members animated by the least desire to gather facts for prosecution against any particular people or State. On the contrary, they all desired to report nothing but the truth.They tried for instance, to get the replies of the Greeks and Servians to the accusations of the Bulgarians.
It must be recalled that the Greeks welcomed with courtesy and kindness, the member of the Commission who was sent to Athens, while the others remained in and about Salonica. Indeed all these things must be taken into serious consideration, when one thinks of the previous passions ruling in the unhappy country; of the daily violence exchanged morning and night between the papers; of the towns reduced to ruins; of the thousands of human beings wandering without refuge or aim; of the death, blood and crime crying everywhere for vengeance; of the Te Deums rising from churches whose very possession was disputed by rival fanaticisms.
In spite of all, the Commission did not abandon its voluntary task, impeded or not. It was not stopped, and one by one accomplished the different steps of the journey, from Belgrade to Salonica, to Athens, to Constantinople, to Sofia, from Servia to Greece, to Macedonia, to Turkey, to Thrace, to Bulgaria. The investigation required five weeks.On September 28, it returned to Paris, where it was joined by the other members who had given their authorization, and here they planned together the broad lines of the report which has required nearly a year to draw up, translate and publish.
The preparation and publication of the report has cost more time and trouble than we expected, but happily what might have been a difficulty, complete harmony between all the members of the Commission proved to be a simple matter. The plan of the work once set on foot,-the historical chapter taking the place of a general introduction,-each of the members who had personally taken part in the journey, was entrusted according to his special ability with one or two chapters, under the collective responsibility of the Commission. This explains why no chapter is signed by its author, the Commission continuing up to the end to be animated by the same spirit of unity and the same ambition for truth. Each of the authors and the office of the Commission revised the proofs sent across continents at the cost of a good many complications. The
commission meeting in Paris has acted as a reading committee, and chosen the pictures, few in number, to be published, avoiding as much as possible,-though it was no easy matter,-a vulgar collection of horrors. It was not desirable, however, to eliminate these completely, and they appear in the report as specimens, often incomplete, of the illustrations published wholesale by the newspapers. The report is followed by an appendix which the Commission would gladly have made more complete. There we had hoped to publish the official communications and protestations of the Greek and Servian governments, as well as their statistics giving the numbers of the killed, wounded and lost, and the estimate of material losses. It is not our fault, if these documents do not terminate our report, but in default of governmental information, veracious and verified information has not been wanting, as will be seen. The execution of the maps both in the text and apart from it, without which many pages of our report would be difficult to read, was carried out under the direction of e geographers, Messrs. Schrader and Aitoff. The editing of the index and the typographical correction of the proofs were entrusted to the personnel of our Paris office. The main divisions of the report forced themselves on our plan: first the causes of the two wars; then the theater of operation; the actors in the drama; the medley of nationalities engaged; the inevitable violation, or rather the non-existence of an international law in the anarchy of men and of things; finally the economic and moral consequences of the two wars, and the possible prospects for the future.
Nothing could be more necessary than the first chapter on the causes of the two wars. It was the prelude and the indispensable statement of affairs, not only for those who do not know but for those who know more or less but who forget. If our report contained nothing but this full and serious expose, at once scholarly and equitable, its publication would be amply justified. We recommend those of our readers who assert that some of our members are actuated by pro-Bulgar sympathies, to read the pages in which is unfolded, from the conquest of the Turks and their taking of Constantinople, the fatality of the acts which led to the two last wars, among these acts, the outburst of folly, the unbridled militarism against the popular will. We draw attention to the aberration of the Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgar army, General Savov, who became the leader of a military party, and his monstrous outrage which calls everything into question, makes a holy war into a butchery, turns the heroes into brutes, who in short, by himself and in spite of Europe, precipitates the second war and its unknown tomorrows. This chapter seemed to me like a mirror faithfully reflecting a mass of complications, sometimes discouraging for the historian and still more so for the diplomat, but edifying for whoever attempts to protect his country from adventurers. One sees clearly in it the fundamental distinction which we never cease making, between the war of ration and the war of conquest, between patriotism and crime.
The second chapter is both painful and absorbing. Here we shall be reproached for not taking sides. Here we ought to have said to each of the belligerents following the example of their press: "All the wrong is on the other side. The glory is entirely yours, the shame belongs only to the others."
There is to be seen what must be thought of these official classifications which pretend, in this horrible confusion where "God himself would not recognize his own," to assemble all the good under the same flag and all the bad under another. There is to be seen how the war kindled by intrigue, begins with the generosity of youth, to terminate without distinction of race, in the unloosing of the human beast. It is useless to dwell upon these massacres which we can not pass over in silence. I do not know whether an ideal war has ever existed, but it is time that the world should know what war really means. All the poet-laureates, the ephemeral glorifiers of these infamies whose authors we are commanded not only to absolve but to admire, and to hold up as examples to our children, all the crowd of officious writers are there to counterbalance our report, and to praise what we are determined to denounce in the interests of nations which require to be enlightened in regard to themselves.
Chapter III is not less lamentable, less harrowing, or less necessary, just because it will be more disagreeable to those who do not wish the truth to be known. Here the Greeks and the Bulgarians are no longer alone on the scene, the Turks and the Servians show what they can do. Here again, the Bulgarians are not spared more than the others; but the others have their share too. They will protest, they will reflect, and their reflections will do them more good than lying eulogy.
Chapter IV again holds up the mirror to an inextricable situation which must nevertheless be understood. Under the title "The War and the Nationalities," it discloses an excess of horrors that we can scarcely realize in our systematized countries, war carried on not only by armies but by mobilized gangs, and in reality by the medley of nations; local populations being "divided into as many fragments as there are nations fighting each other and wanting to substitute one for another. * * * This is the reason why so much blood was spilt in these wars. The worst atrocities were not due to the regular soldiers. * * * The populations themselves killed each other." Whoever wishes to judge of the evil and to look for more than the appearance of a remedy should meditate over this fourth chapter, and study the maps before forming too severe a judgment upon these competitions of horrors, and condemning as culprits peoples who turn and turn about, for centuries past have been crushed down.
Chapter V, "The War and International Law," is not less impartial than the preceding. Its conclusion is this: Every clause in international law relative to war on land and to the treatment of the wounded, has been violated by all the belligerents, including the Roumanian army, which was not properly speak-
ing belligerent. Public opinion has made great progress on this question of late years. I confess that in my ardent participation in the two Hague Conferences, the conventions fixing the laws and customs of war, interested me infinitely less than those organizing arbitration, mediation and good will, which tended in fact to prevent war, and not to humanize it. To humanize war seemed to me then a hypocrisy and a satire, leading to its being too easily accepted, but since then I have recognized my error. War is not declared by those who carry it on. The armies are only instruments in the hands of the governments; and these armies are recruited among the youth of each country. We at least owe to them to spare them sufferings which they have not brought upon themselves. To refuse to humanize war for fear of making it too frequent, is to let the weight of the governments' fault fall upon the soldier. In short, whatever amelioration diplomatic conferences can bring about in the horrors of war, it could never be enough. The torture of criminals is now suppressed. Should it exist-and what torture!-for soldiers and for hostile populations?The Commission has done its duty in contending that in spite of the Hague Conventions, the cruelty and ferocity and the worst outrages remained in the Balkans, the direct heritage of slavery and war.
Chapter V suggests as a subject worthy of the deliberations of the Third Hague Conference, the constitution of a permanent international commission, named in advance, and empowered in case of war to go and observe the application of its resolutions which the belligerents themselves have signed. This innovation, precisely because it would have too much reason for existence, will run a great risk of being considered indiscreet. It deserves more than to be passed over from prejudice.
We shall make a pause at Chapter VI. In an atmosphere of high and serene impartiality, the author contemplates the economic consequences of the war, and he concludes that in spite of appearances, it has been, apart from evil actions, because he does not desire to injure anyone, a bad and evil thing for every one, with the exception of course of the contractors who supplied the arms and ammunition, and the makers of wooden legs. Greece herself who is said to have made the maximum of possible gains, with the minimum of losses, because she was relatively far from the theater of war, even Greece has seen her national debt doubled. It is true that she will be able to retrieve her sacrifices by the new resources which she will draw from the islands and territories that are now part of her domain, but this is just where the question arises for her, as well as for all conquerors, even the happiest: Will the resources of which she assures herself, suffice to meet not only the expenses of the land improvement which her statesmen are unquestionably able to undertake, but also the military expenditure corresponding to her new ambitions? Here is Greece involved more deeply than she expected in the construction of armaments, competing with Italy, exposed in her turn to the temptation, to the
fascination of dreadnoughts. For this hundreds of millions of capital will have to be borrowed, taxes imposed to pay the contributors, to say nothing of the always increasing cost of maintenance and consequent temptations, because a young nation whatever the wisdom of its rulers may be, will not easily resign itself to let its armaments, on land and sea become, as they do, old fashioned in a very few years, without having made use of them; it will not let its men of war lie at anchor and its soldiers remain idle in barracks. What will happen then? Greece, the beautiful, will in her turn, be torn between the militarists on the one side who proclaim their patriotism at every opportunity by means of their journals and the voices of their impatient orators, and, on the other side by the party in favor of industry, of progress, seeing itself discredited while the sources of national riches are drained, and social revolt is engendered. * * * Greece is now going to discover how much it costs to abandon herself to the luxury of dreadnoughts. She is as yet only at the beginning. As to the other allies, and the Turks, we shall refrain from insisting upon their losses, which were very much greater, than those of Greece, or upon the dangers that threaten their future. These are only too apparent.
The moral consequences of the Balkan wars are briefly indicated in the chapter which completes the report. In it may be found the long reverberation of the many crimes as disastrous for their authors as for their victims and their respective countries. We are shown millions of human beings systematically degraded by their own doing, corrupted by their own violence. It gives us a good example of the evil which elsewhere we strive to denounce and to combat, by showing us how the generations of tomorrow are corrupted by the heritage of their forefathers, and the young men taken from the necessary and urgent work of the farm and the workshop to be placed in the comparative idleness of barracks, to wait for the next war. All these apprehensions for the future are expressed without the slightest trace of animosity against one or other of these unhappy and misguided nations, but rather with a feeling of profound sympathy for them and for humanity. The conclusion of the chapter evolves itself definitely: violence carries its own punishment with it and something very different from armed force will be needed to establish order and peace in the Balkans.
The lesson of the two wars
Never was a lesson clearer and more brutal. United, the peoples of the Balkan peninsula, oppressed for so long, worked miracles that a mighty but divided Europe could not even conceive. Crete, Salonica, Uskub, even Scutari and Adrianople they took, and after a few months they almost entered Constantinople. It was the end, the Gordian knot was cut. Disunited, they were forced to come to a standstill and to exhaust themselves further in their effort to begin again, an effort indefinitely prolonged. For, far from being a solution,
the second war was only the beginning of other wars, or rather of a continuous war, the worst of all, a war of religion, of reprisals, of race, a war of one people against another, of man against man and brother against brother. It has become a competition, as to who can best dispossess and "denationalize" his neighbor. The Turks in any case remain in Europe. The hecatombs of the siege of Adrianople have been in vain; Macedonia, no longer a tomb, has become a hell. Thrace is torn in pieces. Albania erected into a principality, remains the most unhappy and the wildest object of the eager watching of Austria, Servia, Montenegro, Greece and Italy. The churches and the Christian schools are fighting among themselves, enjoying less liberty than under Ottoman rule. Constantinople, more than ever, will be the eternal apple of discord under the surveillance of the Russians, who are themselves under the surveillance of Germany, Austria Hungary and Roumania, in fact of all the Powers, friends, allies and enemies. Greater Greece, Greater Bulgaria, and Greater Servia, the children of contemporary megalomania, will in their turn keep a close watch over the Bosphorus. The islands bring on a contest between Turkey and Asia on one hand, and Italy, Greece, England and all the great European Powers on the other. The Mediterranean open to new rivalries, becomes again the battlefield which she had ceased to be.
A dark prospect, which however, might become brighter if Europe and the great military Powers so wished. They could, in spite of everything, solve the problem if they were not determined to remain blind.
The real struggle in the Balkans, as in Europe and America, is not between oppressors and oppressed. It is between two policies, the policy of armaments and that of progress. One day the force of progress triumphs, but the next the policy of rousing the passions and jealousies that lead to armaments and to war, gets the upper hand.
With the second Balkan war, the policy of armaments spreads more strongly than ever. After having been the resource of European governments, it is about to become their punishment.
A paradoxical situation! The competition of armaments could not go on indefinitely, at this time of open economic competition between all the peoples of the Old World and the New. Already by reason of the increase of our budgets, and in spite of desperate efforts, it is losing prestige in popular opinion. It is being questioned, and consequently condemned.The extravagance of armaments appears like the development of a monstrous business, incompatible with national work. In spite of all the workmen that it employs, the salaries it pays, the auxiliary activities it supports, the war trade only flourishes by universal insecurity, lives only upon the increase of public expense, by all of which the normal business of all countries suffers. Under this regime of armed peace, only the little countries or the new countries are favored, those which have no debts, no immense war budgets.
What finally succeeds in bringing armed peace into disrepute, is that today the Great Powers are manifestly unwilling to make war. Each one of them,. Germany, England, France and the United States, to name a few, has discovered the obvious truth that the richest country has the most to lose by war,. and each country wishes for peace above all things. This is so true that these two Balkan wars have wrought us a new miracle,-we must not forget it,- namely, the active and sincere agreement of the Great Powers who, changing their tactics, have done everything to localize the hostilities in the Balkans and have become the defenders of the peace that they themselves threatened thirty-five years ago, at the time of the Berlin Congress. We might be tempted to attribute this evolution of public opinion and that of the governments in part to the new education which we are striving to spread, but let us stick to facts:
The exigencies of the universal competition, the increased means of communication, the protest of tax payers, and the dread of socialism and of the unknown, have been more efficacious in forcing the governments to think than any exhortations.
If this is so, why not end it? That is the dream, but how to realize it? Every one ignores it. A large body of persons, possessing immense capital, is engaged in the manufacture of armaments; more still, a formidable plant which must be sunk has been created and continues to be created every day. Is there anyone who will ignore this accumulation of strength and of riches? Who will be able to stop short this impulse? True, the home market is overstocked in every country with orders for armaments. Neither the jingo papers nor those in the hands of the federation of military contractors, who are so admirably organized into national and international syndicates, can urge indefinitely for a national consummation. There comes a time when public opinion refuses to submit any longer to this so-called patriotic regime; and the war trade, inspired with new ambition, turns its attention towards exportation. As the home market is not sufficient, a foreign market is created. The war trade believes that the foreign policy of a great nation is first and foremost the policy of armaments. The main duty of diplomacy according to it, is the struggle as to who shall carry off from a great rival nation, such and such a contract for guns, cannon or ironclads, and who shall subordinate political interventions or loans of money to army contracts.
The struggles become Homeric conflicts of influence and intrigue. Ambassadors can not disregard them without a kind of abdication. Has not even the Emperor of a great neighboring country made it a point of honor to militarize Turkey?-without any great success it is true. But what of Turkey or the colonies or the small states of few resources? An effort has been made to militarize North and South America, and Australia as well. Canada, whose future lies precisely in her exemption from all military burdens, has been forced to order a fleet from England, and to extract from a population still insufficient,
the elements of a navy which they have done very well without for a hundred years! Australia has not hesitated. Brazil, the Argentine, Chile and the other republics of South America did resist, thus giving Europe an example of peaceful cooperation; but now their former good sense has been overcome by attempts of all sorts continually repeated.Commercial travelers in patriotism have hurried from every corner of Europe to demonstrate the necessity for ordering the biggest battleships possible. We may recall the extraordinary experience of Brazil, the first dupe of these campaigns, when her great "Armada" arrived from the English ship yards and she saw it make its first attempt to cannonade Rio de Janeiro! It was the beginning of disillusion, the mastodon killed by ridicule. Since then, the propaganda of armaments has declined, even in the United States, where, however, the yellow press, typical of its kind, has given its proofs and is agitating the matter again, thanks to the providential events in Mexico. In the last few years, the House of Representatives at Washington has refused to vote more than one ironclad against two. In Germany, the Krupp case, the Saverne events, and many other incidents, without speaking of the Berne Conference, have been the answer to the furious excitement of the pan-Germanic press. In Japan itself there has just burst the unprecedented scandal of the naval contracts.
Russia nevertheless, happily for the great war trade, forgets how much the disasters of her navy have cost, and once more has allowed herself to be imposed upon. Austria has capitulated too, even Spain asks nothing better than to be persuaded, inasmuch as she can afford it. But on the whole the enthusiasm was cooling when the practice of the new Balkan States came to renew it. The acclamations of the jingo press of all countries greeted these fortunate countries, new centers for imports.
Even the battleships with which Brazil and the Argentine are disgusted, are being handed over to Turkey and Greece. Constantinople will become a vast arsenal and a naval port, worthy of her name and her past. The Greek fleet will oblige Italy, whose ardor was declining, to increase her navy as well; and following this example, the great countries of Europe and America will not remain unaffected. The naval leagues will agitate, the embassies will report these imposing manifestations, by sending confidential despatches, communicated as soon as received to the leading papers. Patriotic speakers, in print and on the platform, will inveigh against the "lie of pacifism," and so the prediction of the Americans that "the next war will be declared by the press," will be realized.
Then the Greeks, the Turks, the Servians, the Bulgarians, the Montenegrins and the Albanians, armed to the teeth, provided with all the guns and all the dreadnoughts for which we have no further use, can kill each other once more, and even drag into their quarrel the European governments, who will be as they themselves are, victims of the press and commercial patriotism, or in other words, of the policy of armaments.
Confronted by these follies or these crimes,-the word matters little,-our
sole resource while waiting for the day when we shall see the rise of an independent press, is our duty of speaking the truth which even the most sensible people hesitate to admit, for fear of compromising themselves.
In one of the speeches that I made in the Senate to free my conscience, before an audience sympathetic at heart, but fully determined not to support me, I calculated that France has imposed upon herself more than a hundred billion francs in unproductive expenditure during the last forty-three years, an average of more than two billion francs a year. This is the minimum price of armed peace for one country only. Several hundreds of billions in a half century for the Great Powers together!!
Think what United Europe might have done with these millions, had she consecrated even half to the service of progress! Imagine Europe herself, not to speak of Africa and Asia, penetrated and regenerated by the pure air, in its most distant parts, of free intercourse, of education and security. Can we picture what might have been the position today of these unfortunate Balkan peoples, if their patrons, the Great Powers of Europe, had competed with each other in aiding them, in giving them roads, and railways, and waterways, schools, laboratories, museums, hospitals and public works!
The most suitable title for this report would have been, "Europe Divided and her Demoralizing Action in the Balkans," but taking it all round this might have been unjust.
The real culprits in this long list of executions, assassinations, drownings, burnings, massacres and atrocities furnished by our report, are not, we repeat, the Balkan peoples. Here pity must conquer indignation. Do not let us condemn the victims. Nor are the European governments the real culprits. They at least tried to amend things and certainly they wished for peace without knowing how to establish it. The true culprits are those who mislead public opinion and take advantage of the people's ignorance to raise disquieting rumors and sound the alarm bell, inciting their country and consequently other countries into enmity. The real culprits are those who by interest or inclination, declaring constantly that war is inevitable, end by making it so, asserting that they are powerless to prevent it. The real culprits are those who sacrifice the general interest to their own personal interest which they so little understand, and who hold up to their country a sterile policy of conflict and reprisals. In reality there is no salvation, no way out either for small states or for great countries except by union and conciliation.
D'ESTOURNELLES DE CONSTANT
The Origin of the Two Balkan Wars
1. The ethnography and national aspirations of the Balkans
It is not proposed in this chapter to enter exhaustively into a question on which there is a highly abundant literature already in existence, both in the various European and Balkan languages. The intention is simply to furnish the data indispensable to the reader who is interested in the work done by the Commission, though unfamiliar with the details of the questions at issue in the Balkan peninsula. Every page of the Report handles such a mass of ideas, facts and dates, which, though supposed to be generally known, are in fact not so, that it seemed impossible to plunge the reader at once in medias res. Those more familiar with things in the East may begin the Report at the next Chapter.
The actual course of events in the Balkans is a very close reproduction of the conditions existing previous to the arrival of the Turks in Europe. Then, as now, the Christian States were engaged in constant internecine strife for hegemony in the peninsula. Victory both in the tenth and again in the thirteenth century was with the Bulgarian State, which though still primitive in organization owed its temporary ascendancy to the conquests of a military chief.
Then in the twelfth and fourteenth centuries came the turn of the conquering Servians. Intermittently, the Byzantine Emperors recovered their preponderance in the peninsula. The various peoples who had occupied the different regions from the third to the sixth century, A. D. (the indigenous population, Greek Albanian, or Roumanian having been either driven out or assimilated) served only to swell the armies or figure in the imposing titles assumed by the autocrats of all these, Servians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, conjoined in a sort of Imperial organization, a "Great Servia" or "Great Bulgaria." The collapse of these ephemeral "Great" States produced no change in the ethnographic composition of the peninsula. Political structures fell and rose again without any attempt being made to fuse the populations into any sort of national whole. At that stage indeed the national idea was not as now closely connected with the State idea. The Bulgar, the Servian, the Wallachian, the Albanian remained Bulgarian, Servian, Wallachian or Albanian, throughout all the successive regimes; and thus the ancient ethnographic composition remained unaltered until the Turkish conquest came, leveling all the nationalities and preserving them all alike in a condition of torpor, in a manner comparable to the action of a vast refrigerator.
Even if the political constructions which followed one another and which were actually in conflict with one another at the advent of the Turks, had con-
tained in them the germs of nationalities, the Turkish regime would have ruthlessly stamped them out. The Turks unconsciously worked for their destruction in the most effective possible way. They banished or assimilated the ruling class, that is to say the warrior class, in the conquered countries. In the communes there remained no one but the village agriculturists, whose only ethical bond was that of religion. Here again the Turkish regime did much to reduce the ethnic and national significance of the religious element to its lowest terms. The religion of all the conquered nationalities being the same, i. e., Oriental orthodoxy, the Turks ended by recognizing only one clergy as representative of the rayas (creeds), the one chosen being the Greek clergy, the most cultivated and in the capital (Constantinople) the most prominent. The Phanar (the Greek quarter of Constantinople in which the Greek patriarchate is situated), finally became the sole orthodox church in Turkey; the last remains of the national autonomous churches which still existed at Okhrida (for the Bulgarians) and at Ipek (for the Servians) being abolished by the decrees of the Greek patriarchate of 1765 and 1767 respectively. Consequently, a common race name was given to the orthodox populations in the official language of the Turkish bureaucracy: they were all "Roimi-mileti," from the name, Romaics, of the Greek people. (This is the name the modern Greeks gave themselves down to recent times.)
Nevertheless, although the people were thus merged and submerged, national consciousness was not completely obliterated. There was always a certain discontent between the pastors and their flocks. The latter could not forget that they had formerly heard mass celebrated in their national language by a priest whom they chose themselves and whose interests were not limited to taxes and state service. The Greek priest, on his side, was expatriated in the midst of a Slav population; it was humiliating for a lover of the muses to dwell in a barbarian world, in the midst of "wearers of sheep skins." The conditions being so, any favorable circumstance, any spark from outside, would be enough to re-light 'the flame of nationality.
It is impossible in this too brief sketch to follow in detail the course of the reawakening of the national idea in the Balkans. It goes back to the earliest days of the Turkish conquest. The Servians and Roumanians, the last to be subdued by the Turks, were the first to claim their autonomy. What especially favored the development of national consciousness among the Servians was the large proportion of their race which had remained outside the Ottoman conquest. Even apart from the Servians on the Adriatic, who had been open to the influences of Italian literature since the sixteenth century, those in Austria Hungary had tasted European civilization long before the Servians in Turkey. Ragusa first, and afterwards Agram (in Slav "Zagreb") were intellectual centers of the Servian nation before Belgrade.
In Servia proper the struggle for independence preceded the intellectual development of the nation. While our Commission was in Belgrade a monument
was erected, in honor of the first liberator of Servia, the founder of the present dynasty, Kara-Georges, who more than a century ago (1804) organized the first resistance offered by the people to its Turkish masters. In the year 1813 the first insurrection was defeated; Kara-Georges fled to Austria, and was killed in 1817. But a new leader had already appeared in the person of the founder of the second Servian dynasty,-recently extinguished with Alexander and Draga, namely Michel Obrenovits, the son of a peasant, like Kara-Georges. The second insurrection, with Michel at its head, was more successful than the first. The convention of Akkerman (1826) secured Servia a sort of autonomy under Russian protectorate, and the Hatticherif of 1829 confirmed and completed the act by making Servia a hereditary principality under the Sultan's suzerainty. A year later another Hatticherif gave the Servians the right to establish primary schools; and by 1836 there were seventy-two of these in the principality.
Greece, at the other extremity of the peninsula, had closely followed Servia's example. There, too, effort at national revival outside the country went on contemporaneously with the endeavors at revolt on which the wild mountaineers ventured from time to time. These mountaineers are known by the picturesque appellation of "thieves" (Klephtai, patriotic thieves, in distinction to lestai, brigands pure and simple).
The liberty of Greece proclaimed by the national assembly at Epidaurus was not recognized until the Act of February 3, 1830. Then the bases of national civilization asserted since 1814 by members of the Philiki Heteria were formally laid down. We have already seen that thanks to the energy of the Phanar clergy, the Greek schools had maintained not existence merely but vitality, despite the Turkish rule, and sent out generations of educated Greeks.
This was not the fate of the countries in the interior - Bulgaria and Macedonia. It is true that the first indications of national consciousness appeared early, in the course of the eighteenth century. Down to 1840 they went on spreading in proportion to the increasing influence of foreign civilization (in the present case, of Russian civilization). It was not until 1852, however, that the first national Bulgarian school appeared, at Tirnovo. At the close of this period a movement in the direction of religious independence made itself felt. From 1860 on, a most bitter conflict broke out between the heads of the Bulgarian community at Constantinople and the Greek patriarchate, religion and nationality being identified on either side. Since Greek nationalism constituted a political danger for Turkey, while the Bulgarians had as yet formulated no political claim, their chiefs rather piquing themselves on their loyalty towards the Sultan, the Turkish authorities began to take sides against the Greeks in this national strife, and finally conceded to the Bulgarians the establishment of a national church subject to purely formal recognition of the patriarchal supremacy. This was the beginning of the Bulgarian exarchy, officially recognized by the Firman of 1870.
The Greeks, however, would not admit their defeat. The patriarch refused
to accept the firman. The Bulgarians, supported by the Turks, retorted by electing their first exarch and making formal proclamation (May 11, 1872) of the independence of their church. Thereupon the patriarch, four months later, excommunicated the new church and declared it schismatic. This too hasty step served only to assist the Bulgarian cause. The Bulgarians having now secured what they desired, i. e; a church wholly independent of the Greeks and thoroughly national, both in its head and its members, proceeded to fix the dioceses of the new church. Some of these dioceses were actually enumerated in the firman: the exarchies of Bulgaria today; others, which were also to form part of the national church, were in accordance with Article 10 of the firman to be fixed by a vote of the population. [article X of the Firman of March 11, 1870. * * * "If the whole orthodox population or at least two-thirds thereof, desire to establish an exarchy for the control of their spiritual affairs in localities other than those indicated above, and this desire be clearly established, they may be permitted to do as they wish. Such permission, however, may only be accorded with the consent or upon the request of the whole population, or at least two-thirds thereof.] Accordingly the exarchate took a plebiscite, as laid down in Article 11, beginning with the provinces of Uskub and Okhrida. Since a more than two-thirds majority there declared against the Patriarch the Porte gave its berat (investiture) to the Bulgarian Bishops of Uskub and Okhrida.
But Okhrida and Uskub are Macedonian. The question of Macedonia had thus definitely arisen. It is true that before 1873 the Greeks had already contended for this region with the Slavs. But it had not yet occurred to the Slavs (Servians and Bulgarians) to dispute about it among themselves. The young radicals in Servia and Bulgaria who between 1860 and 1870 disseminated the notion of a Southern Slav Federation, accepted the proposition that the populations of Thrace and Macedonia were as Bulgarian as those of Bulgaria, as a settled fact, traditionally established. The Bulgarian publicist, Liouben Karavelov, wrote the following in 1869-70:
The Greeks show no interest in knowing what kind of people live in such a country as Macedonia. It is true that they say that the country formerly belonged to the Greeks and therefore ought to belong to them again * * * But we are in the nineteenth century and historical and canonical rights have lost all significance. Every people, like every individual, ought to be free and every nation has the right to live for itself. Thrace and Macedonia ought then to be Bulgarian since the people who live there are Bulgarians.
And his friend the Servian Vladimir Yovanovits on his side, regarded Bosnia, Herzegovina and Metchia as the only Servian lands in Turkey, that is Old Servia in the most limited sense of the term, which shows that he accepted the view of Macedonia as Bulgarian.
Yet there existed in Servia at this epoch a section of nationalist opinion which declared that Old Servia included the whole of Macedonia and claimed it as having
formed part of the "Great" Servia of the time of Douchan the Strong. These Servian nationalists did not confine themselves to polemics in the press: they began to organize schools in Macedonia, where the Servian masters were instructed to teach in literary Servian and employ text books written in Belgrade. Mr. Miloyevits, one of the leaders of this movement, tells us that in 1865 there was only one school in Macedonia proper founded by the Servians; in 1866 there were already as many as six; in 1867, 32; in 1868, 42. From that time on the Servian government became interested in these schools and began subsidizing them. The Macedonian population on the other hand received the schools willingly. Were not the schoolmasters Slavs who had come to Macedonia to fight the Greek influence? Soon, however, it appeared that the Servian teachers were there to carry on propaganda for their nationality. The Bulgarian press was roused, and from 1869 on a lively dispute followed.
The partisans of the "Yougo-Slav Federation" consoled themselves with the reflection that this Servian nationalist doctrine only represented the views of a small group of journalists and dilettante historians and ethnographers. But as we have seen, it had already secured the support of the State. Two circumstances contributed to accentuate this tendency: one, the organization of the new national Bulgarian church,-the exarchy; the other, the diplomatic check to Servia's hopes of an outlet on the Adriatic.
Mention has already been made of an early success of the exarchist church in Macedonia-the two berats sanctioning the bishoprics of Okhrida and Uskub. Other victories were to follow. The Greeks, who had considered Macedonia as their patrimony, naturally viewed them with disfavor. It occurred to them, as a means of withdrawing the attention of the Bulgarians from Macedonia, to suggest the extension of the Bulgarian ecclesiastical organization to the Servian countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The suggestion pleased the Bulgarians, but although they accepted the Greek proposition, they did not renounce their Macedonian pretensions. The list of the exarchist dioceses to be created became a long one, embracing as it soon did the whole of Macedonia, Old Servia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Servian government could not regard such claims with indifference, since it was fully aware of the inseparability of the ideas of nationality and a national church. The Servian Ministry therefore pointed out that while the ethnographic nature of the Macedonian dioceses formed subject of discussion, those of Old Servia were indisputably Servian. If the Bulgarian dioceses wished to form an exarchist church, the dioceses of the ancient Servian provinces must, in their turn, recognize the head of the church of the Servian principality as their spiritual head. Here was the whole Macedonian conflict in germ. Even the tactics employed foreshadow the course of recent events.
Servia joined Greece against the Bulgarian exarchy. The Servians, fighting against the national Bulgarian church, chose to remain subject to the Greek pa-
triarch. He profited by this to impose Greek bishops upon them and persisted in giving a Greek denomination to their religious communities. Thus did the Servians in Turkey deprive themselves of their own free will of the most effective weapon in the national conflict. From this time on the "exarchist" was exclusively Bulgarian and the Macedonian population, called Boulgari from time immemorial, began to feel itself at once Bulgarian and Slav. Outside the national Bulgarian church, which thus remained the Slav church in Macedonia, there were only "patriarchists" of every kind-Greek, Wallachian or Servian united under one Greek ecclesiastical authority, that of Constantinople.
The second circumstance driving Servia to accentuate its Macedonian pretensions was the "occupation" of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria Hungary. It is now known that at the interview between Emperor Alexander II and Emperor Francis Joseph at Reichstadt on July 8, 1876, it was agreed that in the event of Servia or Montenegro winning independence, Austria Hungary should have the right to "occupy and administer" these provinces. The same terms were repeated in the Berlin treaty. At the same time Austria Hungary emphasized her assertion that she regarded Servia as within her sphere of influence.
At Reichstadt, Russia agreed not to make war on Servian territory, and when General Ignatiev suggested the annexation of Bosnia to the Austrian diplomats as the condition of recognition of the treaty of San Stefano, Count Andrassy replied by a counter proposition, that of leaving Russia full freedom of action in Bulgaria on condition of the proclamation of Macedonia's autonomy under Austro-Hungarian protection.
After the Berlin Congress, Austria Hungary entered into closer relations with King Milan of Servia. He signed the secret treaty of 1881, in which (§7) Austria Hungary formally declared that she "would not oppose, would even support Servia against other powers in the event of the latter's finding a way of extending its southern boundary, exception being made in the case of the Sandjak of Novi Bazar." In 1889, when this treaty was renewed, Austria ^Hungary promised in even clearer terms "to aid in the extension of Servia in the direction of the Vardar valley." Thus at the very moment when Austria Hungary was depriving Servia of any possibility of westward extension, by joining the section of the Servian population inhabiting- Bosnia and Herzegovina to herself, Austrian diplomacy was holding out by way of compensation, the hope of an extension towards the south, in those territories whose population had, up to 1860-1870, been universally recognized as Bulgarian, even by the Servians.
From this time on nationalism distinctly gained ground in Servia. The whole of Macedonia was identified with "Old Servia" and "Young Servia," m its map, claimed the entire territory occupied under the rule of Stephen Douchan, in the fourteenth century. At this period the net work of Servian schools spread specially fast, thanks to the aid of the Turks, who here as elsewhere followed their habitual policy of playing- off the Servian and Greek
minorities against the stronger and more dangerous majority of the Bulgarian exarchists. In 1889 the Servian school manuals were for the first time published at Constantinople with ministerial sanction and the Servian school soon ceased to be secret and persecuted. In 1895-96 according to official Servian statistics there were 157 schools with 6,831 scholars and 238 male and female teachers. It is, however, noteworthy that eighty of these schools, comprising 3,958 scholars and 120 male and female teachers were situated in Old Servia properly so-called, that is to say, that more than half of them belonged to countries which were undoubtedly Servian.
Here are the statistics for the Bulgarian-exarchist schools for the same period: there were in Macedonia 1896-97, 843 such schools (against 77 Servian schools), 1,306 teachers (Servian, 118) ; 31,719 scholars (Servian, 2,873); children in the kindergarten, 14,713.
These figures show that at the close of the nineteenth century the overwhelming majority of the Slav population of Macedonia was sending its children to the exarchist Bulgarian school. The school became henceforth an auxiliary of the national movement, and independent of the church. The movement changed both its character and its object. Side by side with the ecclesiastical movement led by priests and assisted by the religious council of the community, there arose about 1895 a revolutionary movement, directed against the Turkish regime, whose object was political autonomy and whose leaders were recruited from the school teachers. On the other hand the resistance of the minorities, supported by the Turks, grew more pronounced. "Patriarchism" and "exarchism" became the rallying cries of the two conflicting nations. From this time on the ethnographic composition of Macedonia was only to be elucidated by an enumeration of "exarchist" and "patriarchist" households-a most uncertain and fluctuating method since the strife grew more complicated, so that one and the same family would sometimes be divided into "Bulgarians," "Greeks," "Wallachians" and "Servians," according to the church attended by this or that member.
The new generation in Servia therefore - now sought a more reliable and scientific means of determining nationality, and found it in language. Youthful scholars devoted themselves to the study of Macedonian dialects and sought for phonetic and morphological traces of Servian influence which might enable them to be classified among Servian dialects. Bulgarian linguists, on their side did the same, and insisted on an essentially Bulgarian basis in the Macedonian dialects.
The rival claims to Macedonia might be summed up under the following main heads:-
(1) "Historical rights" to the possession of Macedonia, acquired by Simeon the Bulgarian or Douchan
the Servian. (Tenth or fourteenth century.)
(2) Resemblance in customs (above all those pertaining to the Fete of
New Year's Day-the Slava, claimed by the Servians as the sign of their nationality).
(3) Religion-exarchist or patriarchist.
(4) The spoken language.
Official Turkish statistics admitted only one principle of discrimination between the ethnic groups dwelling in Macedonia, namely religion. Thus all the Mahomrnedans formed a single group although there might be among them Turks, Albanians, Bulgarian "pomaks," etc.: all the patriarchists in the same way were grouped together as "Greeks," although there might be among them Servians, Wallachians, Bulgarians, etc. Only in the "exarchist" group, did religion coincide, more or less, with Bulgarian nationality. The Turkish official registers included men only; women were not mentioned, since the registers served only for the purposes of military service and taxation. Often nothing was set down but the number of "households." This explains the lack of anything approaching exact statistics of the Macedonian populations. Owing to the different principles and methods of calculation employed, national propagandists arrived at wholly discrepant results, generally exaggerated in the interest of their own nationality. The table subjoined shows how great is this divergence in estimate and calculation:
BULGARIAN STATISTICS (Mr. Kantchev, 1900) Turks 499,204
SERVIAN STATISTICS (Mr. Gopcevic, 1889) [Recent Servian authorities avoid giving general figures or else, like Mr. Guersine, suggest a total for the Macedonian Slav population which approximates more closely to Mr. Kantchev's figures.] Turks 231,400
GREEK STATISTICS (Mr. Delyani, 1904)
(Kosovo vilayet omitted) Turks 634,017
The Bulgarian statistics alone take into account the national consciousness of the people themselves. The Servian calculations are generally based on the results of the study of dialect and on the identity of customs: they are therefore largely theoretic and abstract in character. The Greek calculations are even more artificial, since their ethnic standard is the influence exercised by Greek civilization on the urban populations, and even the recollections and traces of classical antiquity.
The same difficulties meet us when we leave population statistics and turn to geographical distribution. From an ethnographical point of view the population of Macedonia is extremely mixed. The old maps, from that of Ami Bone (1847) down, follow tradition in regarding the Slav population of Macedonia as Bulgarian. Later local charts make the whole country either Servian, or Greek. Any attempt at more exact delineation, based on topical study, is of recent date. There are, for example, Mr. Kantchev's maps, representing Bulgarian opinion, and the better known one of Mr. Tsviyits representing Servian. But Mr. Tsviyits' ethnographic ideas vary also with the development of Servia's political pretensions. In 1909 he gave "Old Servia" a different outline from that he gave in 1911 (see his map published in the "Petermann" series) ; and in the hour of Servian victory on the eve of the second Balkan war, another professor at Belgrade University, Mr. Belits, published his map, based on a study of dialects, a
map which satisfied the most recent and immoderate pretensions. The Servo-Bulgarian frontier recognized by the treaty of March 13 is plainly inspired by the ideas of Mr. Tsviyits, while the line drawn by Mr. Belits reveals and explains the causes of the breaking of the treaty and the war between the allies.
But we are anticipating. We must now return to the close of the nineteenth century to see two parallel and rival ideas ripening-the ideas of the autonomy and of the partition of Macedonia.
2. The struggle for autonomy
The part played by Russia in the liberation of Bulgaria is sufficiently well known. It is much less well known that this liberation was preceded in 1878 by a national movement on the spot. Of this we have spoken already in connection with the peaceful struggle carried on by the exarchate against the Phanariot Greeks. It was accompanied by a revolutionary movement whose aim was the independence of Bulgaria. As in Servia and in Greece at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the movement found allies among the semi-brigand, semi-revolutionary mountain chiefs, known as haidouks. The principal leaders, the "apostles" of the movement, however, were revolutionaries of a more modern type, intellectuals whose education had frequently been acquired in foreign schools and universities. The generation of the "apostles" declared against the older methods of conflict, the ecclesiastical methods adopted by the tchobadjis, or nabobs of the Bulgarian colony at Constantinople. The people were with the apostles, and the era of insurrections began, bringing in its train the Turkish atrocities which Gladstone revealed to the civilized world. The Macedonian Bulgarians shared in this movement as well as the Bulgarians of Bulgaria proper. It was quite natural that the close of the Russo-Turkish war should see arising the idea of an "undivided Bulgaria," conceived within the limits of the treaty of San Stefano and including all the populations in Turkey regarded by themselves as Bulgarian. The protestations of Servian nationalism were stifled by the Servians themselves, for they, like Mr. Verkovits, had recognized all the countries enclosed within the boundaries of the Bulgaria of the future, imagined by Count Ignatiev, as traditionally Bulgarian. [It should be added that the ethnographic boundaries of Bulgaria, including therein Macedonia, were, previous to the treaty of San Stefano, indicated in the Minutes of the Conference at Constantinople in 1876. (See the debates of December 11/23.) The treaty of San Stefano as agreed upon between Russia and Turkey was, as is known, modified in essential respects and remade by the Berlin agreement, which divided this ethnographic Bulgaria in three parts: (i) The principality of Bulgaria; (ii) The vassal province of Eastern Roumelia; (iii) The Turkish province of Macedonia.]
The fate of the treaty of San Stefano is familiar. The principality of Bulgaria was dismembered, and Macedonia remained in the hands of the Turks. This was the origin and cause of all subsequent conflicts. "Undivided Bulgaria," tsielo coupna Boulgaria, became in future the goal and the ideal of Bulgarian na-
tional policy. Turkey replied by favoring minorities. An internal conflict followed by the use of means of which the late war has given an appalling example. From this time on there was no more security in Macedonia. Each of the rival nations,-Bulgarian, Greek, Servian, counted its heroes and its victims, its captains and its recruits, in this national guerrilla warfare and the result for each was a long martyrology. By the beginning of 1904 the number of political assassinations in Macedonia had, according to the English Blue Book, reached an average of one hundred per month. The Bulgarians naturally were the strongest, their bands the most numerous, their whole militant organization possessing the most extensive roots in the population of the country. The government of
the Bulgarian principality had presided at the origination of the Macedonian movement in the time of Stefane Stamboulov (about 1895). There was, however, always a divergence between the views of official Bulgaria which sought to e the movement as an instrument in its foreign policy, and those of the revolutionaries proper, most of them young people enamored of independence and filled with a kind of cosmopolitan idealism.
The revolutionary movement in Macedonia has frequently been represented a product of Bulgarian ambition and the Bulgarian government held directly responsible for it. As a matter of fact, however, the hands of the government re always forced by the Macedonians, who relied on public opinion, violently
excited by the press, and the direct propaganda of the leaders. There certainly was a "Central Committee" at Sofia, whose president was generally someone who enjoyed the confidence of the prince. This committee, however, served chiefly as the representative of the movement in the eyes of the foreigner; in the eyes of the real leaders it was always suspected of too great eagerness to serve the dynastic ambitions of King Ferdinand. It was in Macedonia that the real revolutionary organization, uncompromising and jealous of its independence, was to be found. For the origins of this internal organization we must go back to 1893 when, in the little village of Resna, a small group of young Bulgarian intellectuals founded a secret society with the clearly expressed intention of "preparing the Christian population for armed struggle against the Turkish regime in order to win personal security and guarantees for order and justice in the administration," which may be translated as the political autonomy of Macedonia. The "internal organization" did not aim at the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria ; it called all nationalities dwelling in the three vilayets to join its ranks. No confidence was felt in Europe; hope was set on energetic action by the people. To procure arms, distribute them to the young people in the villages, and drill the latter in musketry and military evolutions-such were the first endeavors of the conspirators. All this was not long in coming to the notice of the Turks, who came by accident upon a depot of arms and bombs at Vinitsa. This discovery gave the signal for Turkish acts of repression and atrocities which counted more than two hundred victims. From that time on, there was no further halt in the struggle in Macedonia. The people, far from being discouraged by torture and massacre, became more and more keenly interested in the organization. In a few years the country was ready for the struggle. The whole country had been divided into military districts, each with its captain and militia staff. The central "organization," gathering force "everywhere and nowhere" had all the regular machinery of a revolutionary organization; an "executive police," a postal service and even an espionage service to meet the blows of the enemy and punish "traitors and spies." Throughout this period of full expansion, the people turned voluntarily to the leaders, even in the settlement of their private affairs, instead of going before the Ottoman officials and judges, and gladly paid their contributions to the revolutionary body. Self-confidence grew to such a point that offensive action began to be taken. The agricultural laborers tried striking against their Turkish masters for a rise in wages, to bring them up to the minimum laid down by the leaders of the "organization." They grew bolder in risking open skirmishes with the Turkish troops; and the official report of the "organization" records that as many as 132 conflicts (512 victims) took place in the period 1898-1902. At last European diplomacy stirs. The first scheme of reforms appeared, formulated by Russia and Austria in virtue of their entente of 1897. The Austro-Russian note of February, 1903, formulates demands too modest to be capable of solving the problem. The result was as usual; the Porte hastens to prevent European action
by promising in January to inaugurate reforms. The Macedonian revolutionaries are in despair. A little group of extremists detaches itself from the Committee to attempt violent measures such as might stir Europe; in June bombs were thrown at Salonica. On July 20 (old style) the day of St. Elie (Iline-den) a formal insurrection breaks out: the rayas see that they are strong enough to measure themselves against their old oppressors.
It is the climax of the "internal organization" and that of its fall. The heroism of the rebels breaks itself against the superior force of the regular army. The fighting ratio is one to thirteen, 26,000 to 351,000; there are a thousand deaths and, in the final result, 200 villages ruined by Turkish vengeance, 12,000 houses burned, 3,000 women outraged, 4,700 inhabitants slain and 71,000 without a roof. [We quote throughout from the official report of the "organization."]
The decadence of the "internal organization" begins here, with the usual consequences-demoralization and Jacobinism. Traitors are searched out, and to an increasing extent discovered and executed; funds are extorted and employed on private purposes instead of on the national conflict; forced idleness condemns men to a life of disorder and coarse pleasure. The first period of the struggle is at an end (1897-1904).
Now, however, the whole of Europe begins to interest itself in the affairs of Macedonia.The second period opens; it is marked by attempts to organize European control over the Turkish regime (1905-1907). Macedonian autonomy becomes the distant goal of diplomatic efforts. Gradually an understanding begins to be reached, as questions are taken one by one, and the attempt is made to reform Turkish administration, police, finance and justice in Macedonia.We need not linger over the details of this portion of Balkan history, for it is but too familiar. Generally speaking, it is the repetition, on a larger scale, of what had been going on for half a century. First, unreal concessions, then, as soon as they begin to become onerous, general reform on paper which sweeps away and slurs over all practical details; and finally, the moment of tension once over, and the attention of Europe averted, the old order once again-with the single difference that the concessions agreed upon this time were more important. The loss of a whole province seemed threatened. So the reaction was all the greater. Instead of the Hamidian constitution of 1876, here was a new one, imposed this time on the sovereign by the Young Turk Revolution. Reforms were imposed fin the name of the people]. The Great Powers had nothing more to do in Macedonia. They departed amid the joyous cries of the multitude, while the leaders of the different nationalities, only yesterday on terms of irreconcilable hostility, embraced one another. The last attempt at the reconstruction of the Ottoman State was about to begin; the third and last period of our history (1908-12).
Its opening was of very happy augury. Proclaimed to the strains of the Marseillaise, the young Turkish revolution promised to solve all difficulties
and pacify all hatreds by substituting justice for arbitrary rule, and freedom for despots. First and foremost it proclaimed complete equality as between the diverse nationalities inhabiting Turkey, in reliance on their Ottoman patriotism, their attachment to the vatan, to their fatherland one and indivisible. The partisans of Macedonian autonomy take up once more their hopes of reaching their end without alarming the susceptibilities of the dominant race. The revolutionaries and comitadjis of yesterday lay down their arms and go down from their mountains to the big towns; neither arms nor secret relations with the neighboring Balkan governments are any longer needed. Bulgarian Macedonians above all dream that they can now become good Ottoman patriots, while still faithful to their national ambitions.
It is a dream of but a moment's duration. The Young Turkish revolution proves itself from the very first narrow and nationalist. Far from satisfying the tendencies of re-awakening nationalism, it sets itself a task to which the absolutism of the Sultan had never ventured; to reconstruct the Turkey of the Caliphate and transform it into a modern state, beginning by the complete abolition of the rights and privileges of the different ethnic groups. These rights and privileges, confirmed by firmans and guaranteed by European diplomacy, were the sole means by which the Christian nationalities could safeguard their language, their beliefs, their ancient civilizations. These barriers once down, they felt themselves threatened by Ottoman assimilation in a way that had never been threatened before in the course of the ages since the capture of Constantinople by Mahomet II. This assimilation, this "Ottomanization," was the avowed aim of the victor, the committee of "Union and Progress."
Worse still: the assimilation of heterogeneous populations could only be effected slowly, however violent might be the measures threatening the future existence of the separate nationalities. The men of the Committee had not even confidence in the action of time. They wished to destroy their enemies forthwith, while they were still in power. Since national rivalries in Macedonia offered an ever-ready pretext for the intervention of the Powers, they decided to make an end of the question with all possible celerity. They were sure-and frequently stated their assurance in the Chamber-that the ancien regime was to blame for the powerlessness it had shown in Macedonia. They, on the other hand, with their new methods, would have made an end of it in a few months, or at most a few years.
Nevertheless it was the old methods that were employed. A beginning was made in 1909 by violating the article of the constitution which proclaimed the liberty of associations. The various ethnic groups, and especially the Bulgarians, had taken advantage of this article to found national clubs in Macedonia. As the pre-1908 revolutionary organizations had been dissolved by their heads, in their capacity of loyal Ottoman citizens, they had been replaced by clubs which had served as the nucleus of an open national organization. Their objective was now
electoral instead of armed conflict; and while secretly arming there was nevertheless a readiness to trust the Ottoman Parliament, to leave it to time to accomplish the task of regeneration and actual realization of constitutional principles. The Bulgarian revolutionaries had even concluded a formal agreement with the revolutionaries of the Committee of Union and Progress, according to which the return home of th2 insurgents was regarded as conditional only, and the internal organization only to be disbanded on condition that the constitution was really put in force.
The Committee once in power saw the danger of these national political organizations and entered on a systematic conflict with its allies of yesterday. From the spring of 1909 onwards, the partisans of the Committee caused the assassination one after another of all those who had been at the head of revolutionary bands or committees under the previous regime. In the autumn of 1909 the final blow was aimed at the open organizations. (The Union of Bulgarian constitutional clubs included at that moment sixty-seven branches in Macedonia.) In November, the Chamber passed an Association law which forbade "any organization based upon national denomination." An end was thus successfully put to the legal existence of the clubs, but not to the clubs themselves. Revolutionary activity began again from the moment when open legal conflict became impossible.
The Christian populations had good reasons for revolting against the new Turkish regime. Articles 11 and 16 of the revised constitution infringed the rights and privileges of the religious communities and national schools. The Ottoman State claimed to extend the limits of its action under the pretext of "protecting the exercise of all forms of worship" and "watching over all public schools." The principles might appear modern but in practice they were but new means for arriving at the same end-the "Ottomanization" of the Empire. This policy aimed at both Greeks and Bulgarians. For the Greeks, the violent enemies of the Young Turkish Movement from its beginning, it was the economic boycott declared by the Committee against all the Greeks of the Empire in retaliation for the attempts of the Cretans to reunite themselves with the mother country. It was forbidden for months that the good Ottomans should frequent shops or cafes kept by Greeks. Greek ships stopped coming into Ottoman ports, unable to find any laborers to handle their cargo.
Even more dangerous was the policy of Turkizing Macedonia by means of systematic colonization, carried out by the mohadjirs-emigrants, Moslems from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This measure caused discontent with the new regime to penetrate down to the agricultural classes. They were almost universally Bulgarian tenant farmers who had cultivated the tchifliks (farms) of the Turkish beys from time immemorial. In the course of the last few years they had begun to buy back the lands of their overlords, mainly with the money many of them brought home from America. All this was now at an end. Not only had the purchase of their holdings become impossible; the Turks began turning the ten-
ants out of their farms. The government bought up all the land for sale to establish mohadjirs (Moslem refugees from Bosnia) upon it.
This was the final stroke. The leaders of the disarmed bands could now return to their mountains where they rejoined old companions in arms. The "internal organization" again took up the direction of the revolutionary movement. On October 31, 1911, it "declared publicly that it assumed responsibility for all the attacks on and encounters with the Turkish army by the insurgents in this and the previous year, and for all other revolutionary manifestations." The Young Turkish Government had not waited for this declaration to gain cognizance of revolutionary activity and take action upon it. So early as November, 1909, it had replied by an iniquitous "band" law, making the regular authorities of the villages, all the families where any member disappeared from his home, the whole population of any village harboring a comitadji, responsible for all the deeds and words of the voluntary, irregular associations. In the summer of 1910 a systematic perquisition was instituted in Macedonia with the object of discovering arms hidden in the villagers' houses. The vexations, the tortures to which peaceful populations were thus subjected can not possibly be enumerated here. In November, 1910, Mr. Pavlov, Bulgarian deputy, laid the facts before the Ottoman Parliament. He had counted as many as 1,853 persons individually subjected to assault and ill treatment in the three Macedonian vilayets, leaving out of account the cases of persons executed en masse, arrested and assaulted, among whom were dozens killed or mutilated. Adding them in, Mr. Pavlov, brought his total up to 4,913. To this number were still to be added 4,060 who had taken refuge in Bulgaria or fled among the mountains to escape from the Turkish authorities.
The year 1910 was decisive in the sense of affording definite proof that the regime established in 1908 was not tolerable. The regime had its chance of justifying itself in the eyes of Europe and strengthening its position in relation to its own subjects and to the neighboring Balkan States; it let the chance go. From that time the fate of Turkey in Europe was decided, beyond appeal.
This was also the end of the attempts at autonomy in Macedonia. To realize this autonomy two principal conditions were required: the indivisibility of Turkey and a sincere desire on the part of the Turkish government to introduce radical reforms based on decentralization. No idea was less acceptable to the "Committee of Union and Progress" than this of decentralization, since it was the watchword of the rival political organization. Thenceforward any hope of improving the condition of the Christian populations within the limits of the status quo became illusory. Those limits had to be transcended. Autonomy was no longer possible. Dismemberment and partition had to be faced.
3. The alliance and the treaties
The most natural solution of the Balkan imbroglio appeared to be the creation in Macedonia of a new autonomy or independent unity, side by side with the other unities realized in Bulgaria, Greece, Servia and Montenegro, all of which countries had previously been liberated, thanks to Russian or European intervention. But this solution had become impossible, owing first to the incapacity of the Turkish government, and then to the rival pretensions of the three neigh-wring States to this or that part of the Macedonian inheritance. Mr. Dehn has tried to show on a map the result of this confusion of rival claims (see his sche-
matic map). [This schematic map is borrowed from the little book by Mr. Paul Dehn, Die Voelker Suedeuropas und ihre politischen Probleme. Halle, 1909; in the Anqewandte Geographie Series.] There was hardly any part of the territory of Turkey in Europe (which was not claimed by at least two competitors. These views on the inheritance of the "Sick Man" and for the realization of "great national ideas" in the shape of a "Great" Servia, a "Great" Greece, or a "Great" Bulgaria, made any united action on the part of these little States for their common ends impossible. In theory every one accepted the opinion that they must act together, that the Balkans ought to belong to the Balkan peoples, and that the great neighboring
Powers who might weaken or enslave the little Balkan States, must be kept off In practice, however, the opposite course was adopted. Each courted Russia or Austria, in turn, sometimes even both at the same time, first one and then the other, with a view to opposing his neighbors and securing the prospect of his own country's hegemony.
Russia and Austria for their part naturally pursued their own interests in the Balkans,-Interests that were by no means identical. Geography and ethnography have divided the Balkans into two spheres of influence, the Eastern and the Western, the Servian and the Bulgarian spheres. Diplomatic history has made them into the Austrian and the Russian spheres of influence, hence two opposing pulls-the "German pull" from North to South, and the "Slav pull" from East to West. The plain of the Vardar, which divides Macedonia into two parts, was destined to be the arena where the two influences met and battled. Russia traced the limits of its zone of influence in the treaty of San Stefano in 1878-the whole of Macedonia forming part of Bulgaria indivisible-the tsielo coupna Boulgaria. Austrian policy has also had its treaties, concluded to countervail the Russian pull in the shape of the secret treaties of 1881 and 1889, made with King Milan-the Servian King-who for his part was promised the plain of the Vardar, and the Western half of Macedonia, on condition of Servia's renouncing its intentions upon the Adriatic, its "Pan-Servian" tendencies, that is, of consenting to the annexation of the Sandjak of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and finally all the Servian-speaking countries, as far as Zagreb.
Looked at from this general point of view, the idea of a Balkan alliance was contrary to the idea of partition, since alliance was the instrument of independence, the means to the realization of the idea of "the Balkans for the Balkan peoples," while partition subserved the ambitions of the great neighboring powers. As a matter of fact those who first conceived the idea of alliance were as far as possible remote from that of partition. They were the idealistic youth of 1870, of whom we have spoken above, and in their minds a "Yougo-Slav Federation" was a veritable union of the free and independent Slav democracies. Nor was the idea of partition clearly present to the mind of the first great politician who tried to realize a Yougo-Slav Federation under Servian hegemony, Prince Michel Obrenovits. On the eve of his violent death he was in treaty with Greece, Roumania, Montenegro and the revolutionary "apostles" of still subject Bulgaria, for the preparation of common strife against Turkey. What was the use of partition since there was the absolute property of each to be taken? It is true that with the Slav family itself there was by no means complete unanimity in the idea of alliance without partition. There were some Bulgarians, and those the most far sighted, who protested. Why ally against Turkey when whatever was taken from the Ottoman Empire was at the same time taken from-the Bulgarian people as a whole? But for these latter the reply was taken from Turkey, which was trying the patience of the giaours even when they desired to be
loyal; second from the young Bulgarian revolutionaries, crying, with the voice of their best representative, Liouben Karavelov, the doyen of Bulgarian literature-"First of all we must have union, union, union-and when we are free each shall have what belongs to him."
A remarkable light is thrown by recent events upon these disputes at the end of the sixties. Neither the idea of alliance nor the conflicting claims which appeared at the same time disappeared in the fifty years that lie between us and Prince Michel's first attempts.He was slain in 1868 by assassins."Thy thought shall not perish"-so it runs on his tombstone. It has, in truth, not perished; but it has become more complex. Mutual rivalries became more acute as the area to be partitioned became more confined while still leaving something to partition.
"England's responsibility" in these new complications and difficulties has been set forth by the Duke of Argyll : [See his book Our Responsibility for Turkey.] we, therefore, need not linger over the blow struck at the idea of a federation of the Balkan nationalities when Bulgaria-one and indivisible-according to the treaty of San Stefano,-was divided into three by the Treaty of Berlin. The whole course of succeeding events was the result of this grave error. The most recent events lie there in germ.
The reunion to free Bulgaria of the still vassal Oriental Roumelia, and as the immediate consequence thereof, the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885, the growing rivalries between the nationalities in a still subject Macedonia, the new propaganda of the secondary nationalities, the isolation of Greece in its 1897 attempt, the fetishism of the status quo, mitigated and corrected as it was by the intrigues of the Powers, the miscarriage of the hypocritical plan of reforms in Macedonia in 1907-1908, the intermezzo of the Turkish revolution with its failure to solve an insoluble problem, then the greatness and decline of the Balkan "alliance"-all were the natural results of the mistake of Berlin,-a mistake which now everybody sees without the power to correct.
This same series of events has put obstacles in the way of the normal development of the highly national conception of an alliance between the Balkan peoples, has turned it aside from its true aim, that of preparing the way for federation; and by informing it with an alien egoism and mania have delayed its development and brought it prematurely to an end. Any judgment of men and events as they are today must take into account all this past, and not lay to the charge of the present the results of a negligence which goes back for decades.
The idea of Balkan alliance has come into life in our time with a significance quite different from that which it possessed thirty or forty years ago. It is no longer the young Slav enthusiasts' dream of a free federation of Balkan democracies. It is no longer the nationalists and Pan-Slav philosphers' notion of a Russian moral hegemony with Constantinople as its political center. The first
of these dreams was slain by the rivalry of the Balkan States; the second by their love of independence. The Balkan alliance in its later phase was but a tool employed by local policy encouraged by Russia, and directed, under the inspiration of Russian diplomacy, against Germanic pretensions, or in so far as advantage was taken of the device by Balkan statesmen against the invasions of Turkish "Ottomanism" and Athenian ambition towards autonomy. Alliance in this latest phase inevitably implied partition as an essential condition; the means being war with Turkey, the final end the conquest of Turkey in Europe.
The modern history of the alliance might start at the point where Mr. Bourchier [The Balkan League-The London Times, June 4, 5, 6, 11, 13. Use has been made of these articles but the brief historical account which follows has been based on the Commission's own information.] begins in his excellent articles on the Balkan League, that is to say, with the attempt of the Greek Minister, Mr. Tricoupis, in 1891, who openly proposed to Belgrade and Sofia the partition of Turkey in Europe on the basis of a treaty in which the future frontiers of the Balkan States were to be exactly determined in advance. To speak of such a plan to King Milan and to Stamboulov, was to communicate it to the Ballplatz at Vienna and to the Sublime Porte. The pourparlers did not get beyond a mere exchange of amiable courtesies. Austria Hungary had just renewed the treaty with King Milan which led to the fratricidal Serbo-Bulgarian war (1889 to 1895). Some years later she was to sign a secret convention with Roumania. In the event of a common war with Bulgaria, Rou-mania was to receive a portion of Bulgarian territory. It is the very territory, promised by Austria, which Roumania has just been given without war. In 1897, during the Graeco-Turkish war, Mr. Deliannis renewed the proposals of Tricoupis. But his partition formula, repeated so often since, and not even now wholly renounced by the Greeks, was not to the Bulgarians' taste. They preferred negotiating with the Porte for new concessions for their churches and schools in Macedonia, to risking taking part in an ill-prepared and ill-conducted war. Soon after (1901) Austria Hungary brought about the Grseco-Roumanian rapprochement which, together with the Austro-Servian treaty and the Austro-Roumanian convention, finally "enclosed" Bulgaria and threatened to paralyze its action in Macedonia. A Balkan alliance seemed as far remote as possible.
All the same the web spun with such pains was quickly to be broken. The revolution of 1904 in Macedonia made the question an international one. Wallachian propagandism and Greek "conversions" in Macedonia led to a diplomatic rupture between Greece and Roumania (1903). The murder of King Alexandra Obrenovits and the return of the Karageorgevits dynasty to Belgrade (1903) emancipated Servia from Austrian influence. The natural alternatives were either a rapprochement with Russia or the renaissance of the Yougo-Slav alliance. The young generation in Servia and Bulgaria went further and became once more enthusiastic for the federation idea. Writers, artists, students in Bel-
grade and Sofia exchanged visits. Diplomatists followed suit. By 1904 people in Belgrade were discussing a scheme for an offensive and defensive alliance as a means of securing the autonomy of Old Servia and of Macedonia as far as possible by peaceful means, but in case of extremity, by force of arms. The names of those who took part in these pourparlers will reappear in 1911. They were Mr. Pachitch, at whose house secret conversations went on; Milovane Milovanovits, late minister of Foreign Affairs; Dimitri Risov, a Macedonian revolutionary who had become a diplomatist without losing his ardent devotion to the cause; Mr. Kessaptchiev at that time specially sent to discuss the alliance. But difficulties arose as soon as the frontiers began to be spoken of. The Servians gave their adhesion in principle only, to propose the very next day a geographical interpretation of the term "Old Servia," which extended it to cover the whole of the Sandjak. The Bulgarians regarded these claims as exorbitant; and finally after vain disputes lasting three days, the idea of an offensive alliance was given up. On April 12/25, 1904, a defensive alliance was however concluded. But this treaty, far too vague and general in its terms, had no practical result, thanks to the indiscretion of a Servian official who was also the correspondent of the Neue Freie Presse. The treaty was immediately divulged and seeds of distrust consequently implanted in the minds of the allies. The Servians regarded the treaty as annulled after the Bulgarian declaration of independence was made in 1908 without consulting Servia, and greatly to the detriment of Servian national policy, which was then passing through a critical phase, owing to the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria Hungary. The Servians accused the Bulgarians of profiting by their losses to improve their own international position instead of coming to their assistance. Old distrust was thus about to revive when Russian diplomacy took up the alliance idea again. The Russian diplomatists took the promises of a Young Turkish regeneration seriously, and proposed a universal Balkan alliance with a free and constitutionally governed Turkey as a member. They wanted an alliance facing towards the Danube rather than the Bosphorus. Balkan diplomacy knew well enough that the "Sick Man" was incurable; but the chance was seized. It is true that here again the old difficulties about partition rose. In 1909 Mr. Milovanovits vainly proposed the cession of Uskub and Koumanovo to Servia. In 1910 conferences were held at St. Petersburg with Mr. Milovanovits and Mr. Malinov, which, however, did not succeed in arriving at any result. Bulgaria was by no means disposed to sanction the Servian tendencies favored by Russian diplomacy, even in the highly general form of a possible extension of Old Servia, properly so-called, towards the south.
All the same in 1910, as we know, it became clear to all the world that the Young Turk policy of "Ottomanizing" the nationalities by assimilation was going to lead to catastrophe. Growing pressure on Bulgarians and Greeks in Turkey finally brought these enemies together. Mr. Venizelos, since 1910 head of the Athenian cabinet, as early as October proposed an agreement to
Sofia. Once more no agreement could be reached on the delimitation of spheres of influence. The Bulgarians were unwilling to hand over Kavala, Serres, Vodena, Castoria, Florina to the Greeks, in accordance with the old "Deliannis formula." But the condition of things in Macedonia made an understanding a matter of necessity. The only thing to do was to conclude an agreement. The heads of the Christian churches in Constantinople had to make similar representations to the Ottoman government, without waiting for any understanding. At Sofia discussions began as to how an understanding was to be arrived at, and a joint systematic protest was made in defence of the religious and educational privileges granted in common to the Christian communities by the ancient firmans of the sultans and by international treaties.
At Sofia the pourparlers dragged on throughout the Malinov administration. When Mr. Guechov, in March, 1910, succeeded Mr. Malinov as head of the Cabinet, he stopped them. Then Mr. Venizelos proposed to Mr. Guechov, under the seal of secrecy, in March, 1911, not merely an agreement to defend the privileges of the Christians in Turkey, but a defensive alliance, "envisaging the case of an attack" on one of the contracting parties. No reply was made to this proposition, which was kept strictly secret, since the Cretan difficulties might provoke a war in which Bulgaria had no desire to take part. The event which led Bulgaria to consider the necessity of a Balkan alliance in a yet more serious light was the beginning of the Turco-Italian war at the end of September, 1911. When the Italian ultimatum was issued, Bulgarian statesmen were on holiday; Czar Ferdinand and his first Minister were at Vichy. Milovanovits was watching at his post. B. Risov, Th. Theodorov and he discussed the project of an alliance at Belgrade, Vienna and Sofia. Mr. Guechov hastened to return. Mr. Milovanovits met him at the station at Belgrade, got into his carriage and between Belgrade and the little station of Liapovo, the bases of an alliance were laid down in the course of a two hours' conversation. For the first time a Bulgarian minister recognized the necessity and possibility of territorial concession in Macedonia-Uskub and Koumanovo.
It might have been foreseen that public opinion in Bulgaria would, as invariably, be against any such transaction. Rather Macedonia autonomous as a whole under Turkish suzerainty than independent on condition of partition,-such had always been the Bulgarian point of view. Even in 1910, Mr. Malinov, as we have pointed out, prepared to wait rather than make concessions. So now Guechov, once returned to Sofia, again decided to temporize. In December, Milovanovits renewed the alliance proposal; but after ten days without a reply he had to modify his proposition. Then and not until then did the Bulgarian government decide to treat. The pourparlers lasted all winter, and the treaty was concluded between February 29 and March 13, 1912.
In this treaty, which was kept secret, and of which the text was published later by Le Matin, [Monday, November 24, 1913.] the fundamental point was the delimitation of the line of par-
tition "beyond which" Servia agreed "to formulate no territorial claim." A highly detailed map of this frontier was annexed to the treaty. [It is reproduced here from a reduced and simplified copy published in the Echo de Bulgarie of June 7/20, 1913.] Bulgarian diplomatists still wished to keep an open door for themselves. That is why they left the responsibility for the concessions demanded to the Czar of Russia. "Bulgaria agrees to accept this frontier," they added, "if the Emperor of Russia, who shall be requested to act as final arbiter in this question, pronounces in favor of the line." Their idea was that the Emperor might still adjudge to them the "disputed zone" they were in the act of ceding, between the frontier marked on the map and Old Servia, properly so-called, "to the north and west of Char-Planina." "It goes without saying," the treaty added, "that the two contracting parties undertake to accept as definitive the frontier line which the Emperor of Russia may have found, within the limits indicated below, most consonant with the rights and interests of the two parties." Evidently "within the limits indicated below" meant between Char-Planina and the line marked on the map, "beyond which Servia agreed to formulate no territorial claim." That was the straightforward meaning of the treaty, afterwards contested by the Servians. The line of partition of which the treaty spoke corresponded fully with the ethnographic conclusions of the learned geographer, Mr. Tsviyits; conclusions which made a profound impression on the Czar Ferdinand at the time of his interview with Mr. Tsviyits. It was these conclusions probably which made the Czar decide to accept the compromise. [See Mr. Tsviyits' ethnographic map, published in his pamphlet The Annexation of Bosnia and the Servian Question, 1909. The map annexed to the treaty of Feb. 29 (March 13), 1912, differs from it to the advantage of Servia in the western region, but corresponds generally with it in the eastern part of the frontier agreed upon.] Mr. Tsviyits was also the first to communicate to the world, in his article of November, 1912, in the Review of Reviews, the frontier established by the treaty. [Mr, Tsviyits' article has appeared in a Servian translation, but at that time Servian claims had already increased and the pamphlet was banned. In a second edition, adopted by the "Information Bureau," the passage describing the frontiers was simply omitted. The omitted passage runs as follows: "The Southern frontier of Old Servia, or the line dividing the Bulgarian and Servian spheres of interest (starts from the Bulgarian frontier, near Kustendil, by the line of partition between the rivers Ptchinia and Kriva-Reka, leaving Kriva-Palnika and Kratovo in the Bulgarian sphere and Uskub and Koumanovo in the Servian. The frontier then crosses the Ovtche-Pole, by the line of division between Bregalnitsa and Ptchinia, and passes the Vardar, to the north of Veles. Thence it goes over the slopes of the Yagoupitsa mountains, and along the ulterior line of division, reaches the Baba mountain as far as Lake Okhrida, so that Prilepe, Krouchevo and the town of Okhrida are in the Bulgarian sphere and Strouga, Debar and Tetovo in the Servian.)Old Servia issues, through a narrow belt, on the Adriatic near Scutari, Alessio and (perhaps) Durazzo. [Passages within parentheses omitted.]] The reason why Bulgarian diplomatists decided on making a concession so little acceptable to public opinion is now clear. They did more. After deciding on eventual partition they reverted to the idea of autonomy and laid it down that partition was only to take place in case the organization of the conquered countries "as a distinct autonomous province," should be found "impossible" in the "established conviction" of both parties. Up to the "liquida-
tion," the occupied countries were to be regarded as "falling under common dominion-condominium." Finally the treaty was to remain defensive purely, until the two parties "find themselves in agreement" on "undertaking common military action." This "action" was to "be undertaken solely in the event of Russia's not opposing it," and the consent of Russia was to be obligatory. Turkey had been expressly designated as the objective of "action" in the cases forecast, but included was "any one among the Great Powers which should attempt to annex any portion whatsoever of the territories of the peninsula." Such were the precautions and provisions designed to guarantee Bulgarian diplomatists against abuse. All, however, were to fall away at the first breath of reality.
Sofia has been credited with a secondary interest in the Graeco-Bulgarian agreement proffered by Venizelos in April, 1911. Since 1897 the Greek army had been considered almost a negligible quantity, and the advance made under French instruction was hardly known. But the Greek navy was needed to cut Turkey's communication with Anatolia via the Aegean Sea, and thus prevent the transport of troops to Macedonia. Thus as soon as the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance had been concluded in February, conferences with Greece were entered upon. The Greeks proposed to the Bulgarians to discuss the question of future frontiers. Since Greek aid was not rated high at Sofia, the Bulgarians were not inclined to make sacrifices, the more because of designs on Salonica. On this point previous negotiations had made it abundantly clear that the Greeks, so far from yielding would again propose their unacceptable frontier. It was therefore unhappily decided to leave the war to settle the question, with a secret intention of being the first to reach the desired spot. As for the alliance, it was concluded on a "purely defensive" basis with the promise "of lending the agreement no kind of aggressive tendency." [The text of the Graeco-Bulgarian treaty was published by Le Matin November 26, 1913.] The principal object appeared to be the "peaceful co-existence of the different nationalities in Turkey, on the basis of real and actual political equality and respect of rights accruing from treaties or otherwise conceded to the Christian nationalities of the Empire." But it was foreseen that a "systematic attempt" on these rights on the part of Turkey might ;as readily be the casus foederis as a direct attack on the territories of the contracting parties. It should be added that the expression "rights accruing from treaties" was inserted in the text on the insistence of the Bulgarian diplomats, who intended by this reference to treaties, Article 23 of the Treaty of Berlin, i. e., Macedonian autonomy. Clearly in the hour of the conclusion of this treaty, May 16/29, 1912, complete vagueness prevailed as to eventual "action." The only thing which was clear was that Bulgaria was not going to make war on Turkey about Crete. To this end a declaration had been added to the treaty 'which merely bound Bulgaria to "benevolent neutrality" in the event of war breaking out "because of the admission of Cretan deputies to the Greek parliament."
The Serbo-Bulgarian and Graeco-Bulgarian treaties concluded, the King of Montenegro came on the scene in his turn. Nicholas was always ready to take part in any combination of the Balkan States against Turkey. He had spoken of it to Russia in 1888; he renewed his proposition at the Russian Embassy in Constantinople in July, 1911. When the Turco-Italian war began, in September, he was the first to propose common military action on the part of Servia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro. An agreement was made with Bulgaria in April, 1912, and with Greece somewhat later. Belgrade remained. It was not on good terms with Cettigne, partly because of the patriotic rivalry between the two Servian States (each of which aspired to the role of "Piemont") ; partly because of anti-dynastic intrigues supposed to be going on either side and partly because of the reactionary regime of Nicholas, which drove all the educated youth of the country to emigration and conspiracy abroad. Bulgarian diplomats acted as intermediaries. Mr. Danev communicated to the Vienna Zeit an amusing account of the way in which the last stone of the Balkan alliance (which Russia wanted to build up against Austria Hungary) was placed at the end of May in the Hofburg at Vienna. None of these treaties however became effective until the end of September, after a series of events in Turkey which ended by seriously threatening the very existence of the nationalities in Macedonia. These events opened in the spring of 1912 with a revolt in Albania, a revolt which had been foreseen and taken into consideration by the enemies of Turkey. In summer the revolt bore fruit which exceeded all expectation. The cabinet resigned, the chamber was dissolved, the executive committee of the party of "Union and Progress," threatened with complete defeat, was compelled to grant the Albanians all they asked in order to stop the movement in Constantinople, a movement which the discontented army refused to prevent. This demonstration of Turkish weakness encouraged the new allies, the more so that the promises of Albanian autonomy, covering the four vilayets of Macedonia and Old Servia, directly threatened the Christian nationalities with extermination. The Servians hastened to oppose the plan of a "greater Albania" by their plan for the partition of Turkey in Europe among the Balkan States into four spheres of influence. Counting on the possibility of European intervention the organization of the autonomous provinces based on the ethnographic principle was undertaken with a minimum of success. But Europe did not "find itself."
The proposal made on August 14 by Mr. Berchtold, to assist Turkey in extending "decentralization" to the Christian nationalities was no more than a trial move, adroitly designed as a means of feeling the ground. Russia replied by an exhortation to the allies to abstain from aggressive action of any kind, and the endeavor to detach Bulgaria from Servia and Servia from Bulgaria. The reply of the allies, prepared with the utmost secrecy, was to conclude a series of military conventions, complementary to the alliances, which did this time anticipate and prepare for war.
The Bulgarian military convention, foreshadowed by the treaty, was signed as early as April 29/May 12. Bulgaria undertook in case of war to mobilize 200000 men; Servia 150,000-minimum figures, since there could be no thought of conquering Turkey with an army of 350,000 men. Of these 200,000 men, Bulgaria was to dispatch half to Macedonia, and half to Thrace. At the same time the convention took into account the possibility of Austria Hungary's marching upon Servia. In that case Bulgaria undertook to send 200,000 men to Servia's assistance.
The basis of the Graeco-Bulgarian military convention was different; it was concluded almost on the eve of general mobilization, September 13/26. Bulgaria promised, in case of war, an effective army 300,000 strong; Greece, 120,000. Bulgaria undertook to take the offensive "with an important part of its army" in the three Macedonian vilayets; but in case Servia should take part in the war with at least 120,000 men, "Bulgaria might employ the whole of its military forces in Thrace." Now that real war was about to begin and the main Turkish force was directed hither, it was high time to contemplate war in Thrace which had been left, in the hypothetical agreements, to Russia's charge, as Mr. Bourchier assumes. This made it necessary to change, .define and complete the military agreement with Servia of April 29/May 12. The document was now more than once remodeled in consonance with new agreements arrived at between the heads if the General Staff of the two armies-such agreements having been fore-shadowed in Articles 4 and 13. The special arrangement of June 19/July 2 provides that the necessary number of troops agreed upon might be transported from the Vardar to the Maritza and vice versa, "if the situation demands it." On August 23/September 5, the Bulgarians demand to have all their forces for disposition in Thrace, the Servians make objections and no agreement is reached. At last, three days after the Greek military convention (September 5/28), an understanding was arrived at. "The whole of the Bulgarian army will operate in the valley of the Maritza, leaving one division only in the first days on the Kustendil-Doupnitsa line." But if the Servian army repulsed the Turks on the Uskub-Veles-Chtipe line-and advanced southward, the Bulgarians might recall their division to the theater of the Maritza to reinforce their armies, saving only the battalions of the territorial army in Macedonia." Later, as is known, it was the Servians who sent two divisions with siege artillery to Adrianople. The Servians were later to declare the arrangements made by the two General Staffs forced and not binding, and to use this as an argument for treaty revision.
While making their final dispositions, the allies still awaited European intervention in Turkey. In vain. Friends only gave them counsels of prudence. Enemies were not sorry to see the allies given a drubbing by the Turks, whom everybody in Europe regarded as infinitely their superiors. During the two weeks in which final decisions were being made in Bulgaria, Mr. Sazonov traveled
about in England and talked about Persia. When it appeared at the last moment that the Balkan States were going to act, thanks to Mr. Poincare and with the conditional assent of Mr. Berchtold, it was thought advisable to issue, September 25/October 8, an Austro-Russian proclamation to the effect that if the Powers disapproved energetically of measures contrary to peace, they would take the execution of reforms in hand, subject to the suzerainty of the Sultan and the territorial integrity of Turkey; if war broke out, whatever were the issue, they would not permit any change in the territorial status quo of Turkey in Europe. Alas! while the reply to be sent to this note was under discussion, King Nicholas of Montenegro declared war on Turkey (October 9) ; on September 30/October 13 the allies formally demanded Turkey's consent to the autonomy of the European vilayets, redivided according to nationality. On October 4/17, Turkey declared war.
If it be now asked what were the causes of the first Balkan war, three principal ones may be found. First, the weakness and want of foresight of Turkey, on the verge of dissolution; second, the powerlessness of Europe to impose on a constitutional Turkey the reforms which she had succeeded in introducing into an absolute Turkey, and third, the consciousness of increased strength which alliance gave to the Balkan States, each with a national mission before it, namely, the protection of the men of its race and religion dwelling in Turkey, against the Ottomanization policy which threatened national existence. The first two reasons made the war possible and inevitable; the third guaranteed its success. In a few weeks the territories of Turkey in Europe were invaded by the allied armies and the whole country from the west of the fortified lines of Tchataldja and the Gallipoli peninsula, with the exception of Albania, in their hands as condominium. This was, at least, the principle acknowledged by the Serbo-Bulgarian treaty. This principle of the condominium had to be reconciled with the fact of the occupation and the new demands that rose up, the consequences of unexpected success. As might have been expected, partition was more difficult than conquest. Another war, the conflict for the "equilibrium," was to follow on the first, the conflict for freedom.
4. The conflict between the allies
There had long existed germs of discord among the Balkan nationalities which could not be stifled by the treaties of alliance of which we know. Rather the texts of these treaties created fresh misunderstandings and afforded formal pretexts to cover the real reasons of conflict. There was but one means which could have effectually prevented the development of the germs-to maintain the territorial status quo of Turkey and grant autonomy to the nationalities without a change of sovereignty. This could not have been, it is true, a definitive solution ; it could only be a delay, a stage, but a stage that would have bridged the transition. In default of an issue which Turkey .rendered impossible by its
errors, Europe by its too protracted patience and the allies by their success, the change was too abrupt. It produced the deplorable results we are to study under the aspect of the "excesses" committed by the different nationalities when reduced to an elementary struggle for existence carried out by the most primitive means.
We find this struggle in Macedonia from the first days of the Servian and Greek occupation onwards. At first there was general rejoicing and an outburst of popular gratitude towards the liberators. The Macedonian revolutionaries themselves had foreseen and encouraged this feeling. They said in their "proclamation to our brothers," published by the delegates of the twenty-five Macedonian confederacies on October 5/18, i. e., at the very beginning of the war:
"Brothers:-your sufferings and your pains have touched the heart of your kindred. Moved by the sacred duty of fraternal compassion, they come to your aid to free you from the Turkish yoke. In return for their sacrifice they desire nothing but to reestablish peace and order in the land of our birth. Come to meet these brave knights of freedom therefore with triumphal crowns. Cover the way before their feet with flowers and glory. And be magnanimous to those who yesterday were your masters. As true Christians, give them not evil for evil. Long live liberty! Long live the brave army of liberation!" In fact the Servian army entered the north and the Greek army the south of Macedonia, amid cries of joy from the population. But this enthusiasm for the liberators soon gave place to doubts, then to disenchantment, and finally was converted to hatred and despair. The Bulgarian journal published at Salonica, Bulgarine, first records some discouraging cases whose number was swollen by the presence 3f certain individuals, chauvinists of a peculiar turn, who gave offence to the national sentiment of the country by the risks they ran. "It is the imperative duty of the powers in occupation," said the journal, "to keep attentive watch over the behavior of irresponsible persons." Alas! five days later (November 20) the journal had to lay it down, as a general condition of the stability of the alliance, that the powers in occupation should show toleration to all nationalities and refrain from treating some of them as enemies. Four days later the journal, instead of attacking the persons responsible, was denouncing the powers who in their blind chauvinism take no account of the national sentiments of the people temporarily subject to them." They still, however, cherished the hope that the local authorities were acting without the knowledge of Belgrade. The next day the editor wrote his leader under a question addressed to the Allied Governments: "Is this a war of liberation or a war of conquest?" He knew the reply well enough; the Greek authorities forbade the existence of this Bulgarian paper in their town of Salonica.
The illusion of the inhabitants likewise disappeared before the touch of reality. The Servian soldier, like the Greek, was firmly persuaded that in Macedonia he would find compatriots, men who could speak his language and address him with jivio or zito. He found men speaking a language different
from his, who cried hourrah! He misunderstood or did not understand at all. The theory he had learned from youth of the existence of a Servian Macedonia and a Greek Macedonia naturally suffered; but his patriotic conviction that Macedonia must become Greek or Servian, if not so already, remained unaffected. Doubtless Macedonia had been what he wanted it to become in those times of Douchan the Strong or the Byzantine Emperors. It was only agitators and propagandist Bulgarians who instilled into the population the idea of being Bulgarian. The agitators must be driven out of the country, and it would again become what it had always been, Servian or Greek. Accordingly they acted on this basis.
Who were these agitators who had made the people forget the Greek and Servian tongues? First, they were the priests; then the schoolmasters; lastly the revolutionary elements who, under the ancient regime, had formed an "organization" ; heads of bands and their members, peasants who had supplied them with money or food,-in a word the whole of the male population, in so far as it was educated and informed. It was much easier for a Servian or a Greek to discover all these criminal patriots than it had been for the Turkish authorities, under the absolutist regime, to do so. The means of awakening the national conscience were much better known to Greeks and Servians, for one thing, since they were accustomed to use them for their own cause. Priests, schoolmasters, bands existed among the Greeks and Servians, as well as among the Bulgarians. In Macedonia the difference, as we know, lay in the fact that the schoolmaster or priest, the Servian voyevoda or Greek andarte, addressed himself to the minority, and had to recruit his own following instead of finding them ready made. Isolated in the midst of a Bulgarian population, he made terms with Turkish power while the national Bulgarian "organizations" fought against it. Since the representative of the national minority lived side by side with his Bulgarian neighbors, and knew them far better than did the Turkish official or policeman, he could supply the latter with the exact information. He learned still more during the last few years of general truce between the Christian nationalities and growing alliance against the Turk. Almost admitted to the plot, many secrets were known to him. It was but natural he should use this knowledge for the advantage of the compatriots who had appeared in the guise of liberators. On the arrival of his army, he was no longer solitary, isolated and despised; he became useful and necessary, and was proud of serving the national cause. With his aid, denunciation became an all powerful weapon; it penetrated to the recesses of local life and revived events of the past unknown to the Turkish authorities. These men, regarded by the population as leaders and venerated as heroes, were arrested and punished like mere vagabonds and brigands, while the dregs were raised to greatness.
This progressive disintegration of social and national life began in Macedonia with the entry of the armies of occupation, and did not cease during the eight months which lie between the beginning of the first war and the beginning
of the second. It could not fail to produce the most profound changes. The Bulgarian nation was decapitated. A beginning was made when it was easiest. he openly revolutionary elements were gotten rid of,-the comitadjis and all lose who had been connected with the movement of insurrection against the Turkish rule or the conflict with the national minorities. This was the easier because in the chaos of Macedonian law there was no clearly drawn line of demarcation between political and ordinary crime.
To combat the Bulgarian schools was more difficult. The time was already long past when the schoolmaster was necessarily a member of the "interior organization." The purely professional element had steadily displaced the apostles and martyrs of preceding generations. But the conquerors saw things as they had been decades ago. For them the schoolmaster was always the conspirator, the dangerous man who must be gotten rid of, and the school, however strictly “professional,” was a center from which Bulgarian civilization emanated. This why the school became the object of systematic attack on the part of Servians and Greeks. Their first act on arriving in any place whatsoever was to close the schools and use them as quarters for the soldiery. Then the teachers of the village were collected together and told that their services were no longer retired if they refused to teach in Greek or Servian. Those who continued to declare themselves Bulgarians were exposed to a persecution whose severity varied with the length of their resistance. Even the most intransigeant had to avow themselves beaten in the end; if not, they were sometimes allowed to depart for Bulgaria, but more usually sent to prison in Salonica or Uskub.
The most difficult people to subdue were the priests, and above all the bishops. They were first asked to change the language of divine service. Endeavors were made to subject them to the Servian or Greek ecclesiastical authorities, and they were compelled to mention their names in the liturgy. If the priest showed the smallest inclination to resist, his exarchist church was taken from him and handed over to the patriarchists; he was forbidden to hold any communication with his flock, and on the smallest disobedience was accused of political propagandism and treason. At first an open attack on the bishops was not ventured on. When Neophite, bishop of Veles, refused to separate the name of King Peter from the names of the other kings of the allies in his prayers, and used colors in his services which were suspected of being the Bulgarian national colors, Mr. Pachitch advised the military powers at Uskub (January 4/17) to treat him as equal to the Servian bishop and with correctitude. This ministerial order, however, did not prevent the local administrator of Veles, some weeks later (January 24/February 6 and February 4/17), from forbidding Neophite to hold services and assemblies in his bishopric, to see priests outside of the church or to hold communication with the villages. As the bishop refused to take the veiled hints given to him to depart for Bulgaria, an officer was finally sent to his house accompanied by soldiers, who took his abode for the army, after having beaten his secretary. In the same way Cosmas, bishop of Debra,
was forced to abandon his seat and leave his town. It was even worse at Uskub, where the holder of the bishopric, the Archimandrite Methodius, was first driven out of his house, taken by force, shut up in a room and belabored by four soldiers until he lost consciousness (April 8/21). Cast out into the street, Methodius escaped into a neighboring house, in which a Frenchman dwelt who told the story to Mr. Carlier, French consul at Uskub. Under his protection, Methodius left for Salonica on April 13/26, whence he was sent to Sofia. The Commission has in its possession a deposition signed by the foreign doctors of Salonica who saw and examined Methodius on April 15/28, and found his story "entirely probable." [See the Appendix.]
The leaders, intellectual and religious, of the revolutionary movement, having been removed, the population of the villages were directly approached and urged to change their nationality and proclaim themselves Servian or Greek. The ecclesiastic Bulgarian reports written from every part of Macedonia are unanimous on this head. "You know," Bishop Neophite of Veles said to his persecutor, "in your capacity as sub-prefect, what the Servian priests and schoolmasters are doing in the villages. They are visiting the Bulgarian villages with soldiers and forcing the people to write themselves down as Servians, drive out their Bulgarian priest and ask to have a Servian priest given them. Those who refuse to proclaim themselves Servians are beaten and tortured." We are in possession of the Servian formula of renunciation of Bulgarian nationality. This is the formula which the priests of these villages and their flocks had to address to Mr. Vincentius, the Servian metropolitan at Uskub:
I and the flock confided to my charge by God were formerly Servian, but the terrors with which the Bulgarian comitadjis representing the revolutionary organization inspired us, and the violence they used towards us, compelled us and our fathers before us to turn from the patriarchate to the exarchate, thus making Bulgarians of the pure Servians we were. Thus we called ourselves Bulgars under fear of death until the arrival of our Servian army, until the moment of our liberation from the Turks. Now that we are no longer in fear of bombs, stones, and bullets, we beg your Holiness, on our own behalf and on behalf of our flocks, to deign to restore us to our Holy Church of Uskub, to restore us to the faith which we have for a time betrayed through fear of death. Kissing your holy right hand, we ask you to pray to God to pardon our sin. Signed at Sopot, March 28, 1913.
This formula was sent, in Servia, by a Servian official, Daniel Tsakits, secretary to the Malinska community at Koumanovo, to the Bulgarian priest, Nicolas Ivanov, with the following letter:
Father Nicolas, thou shalt sign this letter that I send thee, and after thee all the villagers of Sopot are to sign likewise the Trstenitchani, the
Piestchani, the Stanevchani, and the Alakintchani, who are thy parishioners. The whole to be ready by Saturday. Greeting from Daniel Tsakits, 27, III, 1913, Malino.
On the margin, Mr. Tsakits added that there must be twenty signatures per village and, to be the more sure of his man, gave him on the other side indications ad oculos: e. g.:
Danil Naoumov . . . . . . . . . . .
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"Take care that those who have signed do not make off."
The precaution was not superfluous, for priest Nicolas replied to this invitation by himself making off to Chtipe, to the protection of the Bulgarian authorities. This is what he wrote to the sub-prefect at Chtipe:
I did not desire to lead my parishioners to the Servian church. Since I could not renounce my Bulgarian nationality, I have emigrated. I should add that my family is exposed to the revenge of the Servian authorities and that my children, remaining in their birthplace, will be condemned to imprisonment at Belgrade if I do not immediately return.
The Servians have attempted to deny the authenticity of the secret Bulgarian documents cited above, and a small collection of secret Servian documents, likewise authentic, has actually been published to refute them. We shall return thereto; but upon the point that interests us it must be said that these documents only confirm what we have already said. "Anyone calling himself Bulgarian," writes a certain Peter Kotsov, a Macedonian Bulgar, in a letter of January 11/24, 1913, "risks being killed. The Servians have introduced their communal administration throughout the villages, and installed a Servian schoolmaster for every ten villages. We can not act and we are in a difficult position because the Servians have taken all the Bulgarians' arms. We do what we can, we call to the people; but we are all waiting for the Bulgarian army. Make it come as soon as possible, or we shall all be subjected by the Servians. Even the staunchest Bulgarians are ready to become Servians. The secret police has
numerous agents. Anyone who ventures to speak ill of the Servians exposes himself to much suffering. [The documents are published in an appendix to Balcanicus' book, The Servians and Buigarians in the Balkan War. Our quotation is taken from the German translation Serbien und Bulgarien im Balkankriege, 1912-13, ins Deutsche uebertragen von Dr. jur. L. Markowitsch, Wigand, Leipzig, 1913." The French translation of the original perverts the meaning of the published documents. For example, in our quotation the first phrase (German "Wer sich als Bulgare bekennf, dem droht die Lebensgefahr") is translated as "It is impossible for us to raise the people." The last phrase "Wer was Schlechtes hier von Serben sagt, dem wird es nicht wohlergehen," is simply omitted.] In the South of Macedonia, in the Greek occupation zone [See the zones of occupation on the map (page 55) taken without alteration from Balcanicus’ book to show the Servian point of view the more clearly. We have merely made the stippling rather more distinct and completed the Albanian frontier to the South, as projected at the London Conference (Balcanicus shows an Albania of which more than half is in Servian occupation), adding the line of the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier as agreed by the treaty of February 29/ March 13, 1912. Balcanicus is the pseudonym of a well-known Servian statesman.] the same endeavors are being made to make the population Greek."
Here are some examples, from among thousands. A letter from the village of Dembesi (Castoria) on December 11/24, 1912, runs:
The first care of the Greek officers and soldiers arriving here is to discover if the population of the said village and its environs is Bulgarian or Greek. If the population is pure Bulgarian, the officers order the peasants to "become Greeks again, that being the condition of a peaceful life."
Evidently here again the underlying assumption made is that the whole population was Greek in the past. "How long have you been Bulgarian?" the Greek officer asked at Khroupichta, for example. "For years," was the reply. “Return to old times then; become Greeks again," was the order thereupon. And he showed remarkable clemency.In the village of Gorno-Nestrame, when the population replied in Bulgarian to questions put in Greek, the Greek Beer cried out angrily: "Mi fonasete vourgarika"-[Don't speak Bulgarian] : we are in Greece and anyone who speaks Bulgarian shall be off to Bulgaria. In ?me villages the question was put in this form: "Are you Christians or Bulgarians?" In several villages the inhabitants were made to sign petitions whose contents, unknown to them, were a demand for reunion with Greece. "What a shame," said the Greek gendarmes at Gorno-Koufalovo (March 12/25), We have freed you. The voice of Alexander the Great calls to you from the tomb; do you not hear it?You sleep on and go on calling yourselves Bulgarians!"
Where then was the Bulgarian army for which people were crying in Macedonia and begging it to come soon, if Bulgarian Macedonia were to be saved? In the eve of the war, as we have seen, the Bulgarian General Staff insisted on having 100,000 men left free, according to the terms of the treaty, to fight back to back with the Servians in Macedonia, and thus effect a real condominium after the conquest. To defeat the Turks in the principal theater of war was first and foremost a matter of imperious strategic necessity. After the first
victories, however, and the repulsion of the Turks at Kirk Kilisse, Lule Bourgas, Tchorlou, and Tchataldja, a new reason for continuing the war appeared. After the end of November the question might be put, as by the editor of the Bulgarian paper at Salonica, whether this was a war of liberation or of conquest. The war of liberation has in fact gained its end at Lule Bourgas (October 31), Salonica (October 27), Monastir (October 28). Why go on pouring out the blood of hundreds of thousands of men and expending great sums of money down to the capture of Adrianople (March 13), of Yanina (February 24), Durazzo and Scutari (April 9) ? The question was debated at length in all its details at Belgrade during the debates on the address at the beginning of November (new style), and at Sofia above all, in the three weeks of the election campaign (November 17-December 7). For divers reasons the two parties agreed to end the war in November, 1912, and the Servian opposition, as well as the Bulgarian opposition, tried to prove that statesmen and parties had committed a grave error in letting- it drag on longer (down to May, 1913). In the first place, what had the Servians to gain by it? A discussion between the opposition orator, Mr. Drachkovits, and the deputies composing the majority in the Skupshtina (October 23/Nov. 5, 1913) will show:
Mr. Milorad Drachkovits: For Bulgaria the breaking of the armistice and the new war spelt Adrianople, the most important fortress in the Balkans after Constantinople. For Bulgaria that meant the addition to the one sea she possessed of two others, and the permanent isolation of Constantinople. But what does that mean for us ? What are we going to gain in compensation for the acquisition of Adrianople, of Thrace and of three seas, the desires of the Bulgarians?
A Voice from the Right: We buy back Macedonia.
Mr. Drachkovits: But gentlemen of the majority, we have already bought it back. We have acquired it.
Anastasius Petrovits: And the treaty?
Mr. Drachkovits: If you want Servia to put the treaty in force, first make Bulgaria do so. But you are freeing Bulgaria from an engagement which it contracted while making Servia responsible for an engagement into which it never entered.
Anastasius Petrovits: It is that fact which, as the world recognizes, has given the government its most real rights over Macedonia.
Mr. Drachkovits: We have not assisted all those who have recognized the fact; but we have assisted Bulgaria, which does not recognize it.
We shall see that it is in truth the eight months' delay which allows Servia to annul the treaty and keep the whole of Macedonia. But how do the Bulgarians come to allow the war to be thus prolonged? How did they, or rather how did their government fail to see that the occupation of Macedonia for eight months by the Servians and Greeks was going to prevent the attainment of the real end of the war,-the unification of Bulgarian nationality?
Here the case is more complex. The replies made to the attacks of Mr.
Ghenadiev by his predecessors, and especially by Mr. Theodore Theodorov, were plausible enough. Yet, it is true that Grand Vizier Kiamil asked for peace on October 29/Nov. 11, 1902. But the General Staff, among them General Savov, insisted that war should be recommenced without dragging on the pourparlers. You say that Turkey was ready at that time to hand over Adrianople? The case never arose. You cite as proof the mysterious mission to Constantinople of the Bulgarian banker, Mr. Kaltchev (December 10-13/23-26) ? Without insisting on the fact that the government had no information about a mission that was entirely confidential (Mr. Guechov's first act when hearing of it was to offer his resignation), Mr. Kaltchev himself and his interlocutor, Mr. Noradounghian, Foreign Minister in the Kiamil cabinet, made it known through the press that the questions at issue were the autonomy of Macedonia and Thrace and the condominium at Dede-Agatch, and that there was no question of the cession of Adrianople. [Kiamil asked that the garrison in Adrianople might be allowed to depart and passage be left free as far as Tchataldia.] Mr. Ghenadiev continued to talk of a third opportunity for negotiations: the interview between General Savov and Nazim Pasha and Noradounghian, at Tchataldja on December 26/January 8, which the Turkish ministry resigned themselves to the abandonment of the beleaguered fortress in return for certain concessions in favor of Moslem religious establishments and subject to the undertaking that Greek pretensions to the islands were not upheld-but, Mr. Theodorov asserts, all that is false; if it were true the acceptance of conditions so equivocal would have been tantamount to a breach of alliance and would have stopped the regular negotiations going on in London.
In all these questions of fact, the last word has probably not yet been said. What is clear so far, is that in so far as Mr. Theodorov succeeded in exonerating himself, and the Danev Cabinet found excuses for missing all these happy opportunities for negotiations, it was only by means of casting the responsibility on others in higher places.
It will be seen from the preceding that by the end of 1912 there were two policies in Bulgaria: the policy of the cabinet and that of those in direct contact with the army. Ministers might be anxious to be faithful to the terms of the alliance; that consideration hardly troubled General Savov's entourage. The press has said a great deal about the romanticism of the latter, of Czar Ferdinand's desire to make a triumphal entry into Constantinople, of the white horses and precious Venetian saddle kept ready for the attack on Tchataldja. This followed immediately upon Kiamil's peace proposal of October 29/November 11, the prospects of which were notoriously weakened by its failure. After demanding Adrianople, a new frontier was proposed, Rodosto-Malatra, instead Midia-Enos already adopted by international diplomacy. Such an extension of ambitions could not but hide from sight the principal object of the war. To desire to take Adrianople at whatever cost was to risk the loss of Macedonia.
To demand an outlet on the sea of Marmora was to have lost all feeling of the international position. Was it a pure chance that Macedonia was forgotten amid the secretive but remote ambitions which appeared thus unexpectedly on the horizon ? A recollection of what was said in the second part of this chapter on the relations between the Bulgarian government and the revolutionary movement in Macedonia, will show that there was nothing accidental in this neglect. Distrust was ever active between the Bulgarian government and the Macedonian movement. The former was perpetually apprehensive that the comitadjis would involve them in internal or international complications. Now that Macedonia was on the point of being freed, everything was done to prevent the Macedonians themselves from having any direct share in the work of liberation. The reason may have lain partly in that notion of partition in Macedonia, admitted in the treaties, but unknown to the public at large, which had yet to become accustomed to it. In any case the 15,000 Macedonian volunteers who might have been left to fight in Macedonia itself, near their homes, were compelled to dwell throughout the war, far away from their villages, at Tchataldja and Boulair. The number of inconvenient witnesses of the work of denationalization in Macedonia was as far as possible reduced, and the taking possession of the conquered country by the Servian and Greek armies as far as possible facilitated. If the aim of these tactics was to facilitate partition, the result went beyond it. What was precipitated was the loss of Macedonia to the profit of the allies. Fear of a real liberation of the Macedonian nation brought about its conquest by the competitors. In January, the Macedonian legionaries of General Ghenev began accusing the Bulgarian government of having deceived the people in order to "sell Macedonia." In fact the government deceived only itself.
True, the Bulgarian government had no notion of making any sacrifice in turning its attention from Veles, Monastir, Okhrida, Castoria and Florina, to which it should have been directed, to Salonica and Rodosto. They thought they could chew all they had bitten off. The members of the Russophil Guechov-Danev cabinet believed it because they were sure of the sacredness of treaty obligations and believed that the existence of the arbitration was a sort of guarantee. The military party and public opinion were sure of the excellence of natural rights which they are ready to defend with the sword.
Were there not, nevertheless, certain premonitory signs which should have proved to the blindest the lack of prudence in combining such complete mistrust of others with such entire self confidence?
First there was the state of things in Macedonia above described. The denationalization process had gone much further there than diplomatists were willing to admit. The partition treaty had long been violated when Mr. Pachitch was still talking of introducing modifications into the treaty to save it from complete annihilation.
On September 15, 1912, that is to say, six and a half months after the conclusion of the treaty, and twenty days before the beginning of the war abroad,
Servia's representative received a secret circular demanding the incorporation in "Old Servia," beyond the agreed frontier, of the towns of Prilepe, Kritchevo and Okhrida. With the victories of the Servian army, the list of concessions demanded rapidly lengthened. Mr. Pachitch was still only talking of Prilepe, the town of the legendary hero, Marko Kralivits, when the army was asking for Monastir. When he asked for Monastir, the army insisted on a frontier co-terminous with Greece. The government ended by accepting all the conditions laid down by the country, conditions that grew more and more exacting. The military party was powerful; it was led by the hereditary prince; and it invariably succeeded in overriding the first minister, always undecided, always temporizing and anxious to arrange everything pleasantly. The demands presented to the Bulgarians by Mr. Pachitch were as vague and indecisive as his home policy. He began in the autumn of 1912, by offering a revision of the treaty in the official organ. Then in December, in a private letter to his ambassador at Sofia, he informed Mr. Guechov, the head of the Bulgarian cabinet, that revision was necessary. In January his ideas as to the limits within which the said revision should take place, were still undecided. In February he submitted written proposals to the Bulgarian government, and suggested that revision might be undertaken "without rousing public opinion or allowing the Great Powers to mix themselves up with the question of partition." At this moment Mr. Pachitch could still fancy that he had the solution of the conflict in his hand. He was to lose this illusion. His colleague was already writing his "Balcanicus" pamphlet in which he took his stand on the clause pacta servanda simt, with the reservation rebus sic stantibus, and pointing to the changes in the disposition of the allied armies between the two theaters of war (see above), as infractions of the treaty which must lead to revision. In his speech of May 29, Mr. Pachitch ended by accepting this reasoning. At the same time the military authorities in Macedonia had decided to hold on. On February 27/ March 12, they told the population of Veles that the town would remain in Servia. On April 3/16, Major Razsoukanov, Bulgarian attache with the General Staff of the Servian army at Uskub, told his government that his demands were not even answered with conditional phrases. "This is provisional, until it has been decided to whom such and such a village belongs" (in the Chtip or Doiran areas). Major Razsoukanov learned that at the instance of the General Staff the Belgrade government had decided on the rivers Zletovska, Bregalnitsa and Lakavitsa, as the definite eastern limit of the occupation territory. The interesting correspondence published by Balcanicus in his pamphlet (see above) refers to the forced execution of this resolution in the disputed territories during the month of March. We have here, on the one hand, the Bulgarian comitadjis begging, according to the advice of the above letter, for the arrival of the Bulgarian force and trying, in its absence, to do its work, well or ill; on the other, the Servian army, setting up Servian administration in the villages, closing the Bulgarian schools, driving out the comitadjis and "reestablishing order."
Between the two parties, contending in a time of peace, stood the population,. forced to side with one or the other and naturally inclining to the stronger. Mr. Razsoukanov (who gives us confirmation of the methods employed by the Servian administration to "round off" the frontiers of the occupied territory) notes also the predominant state of mind of the army of occupation. According to him "the military party in Servia, with the heir apparent as its head," did not stop here. It "dreams of and works for a 'Great Servia' with the river Strouma at least as its frontier." "To insure possession of the occupied territories the Servians had to discover some compromise with the Greeks, and one was found." Mr. Razsoukanov was the first to make us acquainted with facts now confirmed by the Roumanian "Green Book." He states that-"I am inclined to believe that there was, over and above the treaty concluded between the 'military leagues' of the two countries, a similar agreement between the governments and the armies. That was why General Poutnik went, on March 9/22, to 'inspect' the garrison at Monastir, where there was barely a regiment, and the heir apparent had also gone on two occasions, likewise for 'inspection.' I rather think that in the special train, with which General Poutnik was provided by the Greeks, 'something' was decided between the two allies, to the disadvantage of the absent third: and that it was this special train, Salonica to Monastir, which the General went to 'inspect.' It is a fact that the Servian ambassador at Bucharest did on March 24/April 6, propose to Roumania a treaty of alliance against Bulgaria, and that on April 19/May 2, the Greek ambassador made the same proposition. Mr. Venizelos, on his part, confessed to the Chamber that Prince Nicholas-one of the interlocutors on board the 'special trains,'-as military governor of Salonica, largely contributed in the preparations of the Greek-Servian convention. This convention was concluded on May 16/29."
Evidently war was preparing. The Servian General Staff employed the time in fortifying the central position at Ovtche-Pole. The Greeks, after increasing their Macedonian army by the addition of the regiments released by the capture of Yanina, also tried to take up advanced positions in the area of Bulgarian occupation, at Pravishta and Nigrita. Tile pourparlers with Turkey, which had been resumed in London, were dragged on to give time to complete these preparations. On May 6, the Servian General Staff laid down the preliminary dispositions for concentrating to the east of Uskub. From May 15, a military convention and plan of concerted operations with Greece were under discussion. The Bulgarians, on the other hand, hastened to make peace with the Turks; this agreed, they diverted their armies from Adrianople and Tchataldja towards Macedonia and the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier. On either side preparations were made when a final diplomatic duel took place. Throughout, the opening of hostilities was never lost to sight. On May 12/25, Mr. Pachitch finally despatched to Sofia propositions relative to the revision of the treaty. He justified the new Servian demands by two classes of reasons. First, the clauses of the treaty had been modified in application; secondly, external circumstances not foreseen by the
treaty had profoundly changed its tenor. The clauses of the treaty had been violated by the fact that the Bulgarians had not given the Servians military assistance, while the Servians for their part had aided the Bulgarians. The refusal to leave the Adriatic on the part of the Servians, and the occupations of Adrianople and Thrace by the Bulgarians, constituted two new violations of the treaty. Servia then was entitled to territorial compensation; first, because the Bulgarians had not rendered the promised aid; second, because Servia had assisted the Bulgarians; third, because Servia had lost the Adriatic littoral while Bulgaria had acquired Thrace. This time Mr. Pachitch was in accord with public opinion. This same public opinion had its influence on the Bulgarian government. Since the treaty of February 29/March 13 remained secret, the public could not follow the juridical casuistry based on a commentary on this or that ambiguous phrase in the text. The public renounced the treaty en bloc and would have nothing to do with the "contested zone." If the Servians transgressed the terms of the treaty in their demands Bulgarian diplomatists greatly inclined to act in the same way.If the Servians demanded an outlet on the Aegean as a necessary condition of existence after the loss of their outlet on the Adriatic, and insisted on a coterminous frontier with Greece to secure it, Mr. Danev left the allies and contravened the terms of the treaty when he laid before the Powers in London a demand for a frontier coterminous with Albania in the Debra region. At the same time Mr. Danev went against his ministerial colleagues and followed the military authorities in refusing to hand over Salonica. Austria appeared to have promised it him, after promising the Vardar plain to Servia. Thus on the one hand complications and broils were being introduced by the perversion to megalomania of the National Ideal: on the other (this was the standpoint of Guechov and Theodorov), there was the endeavor to safeguard the alliance. With Servia drawing near to Greece, Bulgaria had to join hands with Roumania if it were not to find itself isolated in the peninsula. This was what Austria Hungary wanted, and it favored the policy. Roumania accepted, but on condition of receiving the recompense assured it by a secret convention with Austria in the event of war with Bulgaria: annexation of the Tourtoukai-Baltchik line. On these conditions Roumania would remain neutral; it even promised military assistance against Turkey! But Turkey was defeated and the Ministry pretended not to want to war with the allies. Why then sacrifice the richest bit of Bulgarian territory? Austria's effort broke against these hypocritical and formal-or too simple-arguments. At bottom war was believed to be inevitable and Russia, it was thought, would do the rest. Russia threatened Bulgaria with Roumanian invasion, if it came to war. By the end of May, 'Russian 'diplomacy made a final effort to avoid conflict. While agreeing to play the part of arbiter within the limits of the alliance, Russia gave counsels of prudence. Go beyond the Servian demands for compensation, they said: despite the implicit promise the Servians made you of demanding nothing 'beyond what
the treaty gave them, agree to cede some towns outside the "contested zone," "beyond" the frontier which they had promised not to "violate."
This Russian solution, which could not satisfy the Servians, had not much chance of being accepted by the Bulgarians. The attitude taken by Russia filled the opposing parties with some doubts as to the impartiality of its arbitration. The Servians were sure that Russia had not forgotten the Bulgaria of San Stefano and the Bulgarians could not use Macedonia as a medium of exchange on the international market. On both sides the conviction was reached that the issue must be sought in armed conflict.
There was. however, one last attempt at avoiding open strife: the two initiators of the treaty of alliance, Pachitch and Guechov, arranged a meeting at Tsaribrod on the frontier. They wanted to try to reach a friendly solution of the difficulties, without any "public" or "Powers." Alas, what was possible in the month of February was no longer so in May. In the first place the "public" of the political parties was there, in Belgrade, and they did not want to leave Pachitch tete-d-tete with the Bulgarian Premier. Before starting for Tsaribrod he had to read to the Skupshtina a summary of his reasons for a revision of the treaty; they were the same he had addressed to Sofia three days earlier (see above). But thus to divulge the secrets of diplomatic correspondence was to cut off the retreat. In such circumstances the speech of May 15/28 was the death-blow to the pacifist hopes of Mr. Guechov on the eve of departure for Tsaribrod. The words attributed to Mr. Pachitch in an interview in an Agram paper are not at all improbable. "I was certain," he is reported to have said, "that the Bulgarians would reply by a declaration of war." Mr. Guechov's situation was hardly more brilliant. He, too, had to fight at Sofia against a war party; but he was not going to make concessions. When he learned on May 17/30 that the Czar Ferdinand had received the leaders of the opposition on the previous evening and received their counsels of war with approval, Mr. Guechov handed in his resignation. Mr. Pachitch did not know that on May 20/June 2, at Tsaribrod, he was speaking to an ex-Minister. Yet another issue or rather a means of delaying events was discovered: to hold a conference of the prime ministers of the allied States. On May 22/June 4, Mr. Guechov's resignation was known to all. With him the last hope of escaping war disappeared.
At this moment the Czar of Russia made a final effort. On May 26/June 8, he sent a telegram to the Kings of Servia and Bulgaria in which, while noting the suggested meeting at Salonica and its eventual continuation at St. Petersburg, he reminded them that they were bound to submit their findings to his arbitrament. He stated solemnly that "the State which begins the war will answer for its conduct to Slavdom." He reserved to himself entire freedom to decide what attitude Russia would take up in view of the "possible consequences of this criminal strife." The secret diplomatic correspondence explains this threat. If Servia will not submit to Russian arbitration "it will risk its existence." If
it is Bulgaria that resists, "it will be attacked, in the war with the allies, by Roumania and Turkey."
The threat was understood at Belgrade but merely created irritation. "Russia holds over us," it was said there, "the ever threatening danger of Austria's neighborhood, and because she knows that if she abandons us, our enemies across the Danube will hasten to exercise the severest pressure upon us, she thinks she can neglect us. * * * All favors go to the Bulgarians. We can not go any further in this direction. We have given way on the Albanian question, we can not give way in Macedonia. We can not condemn ourselves to national suicide because at St. Petersburg or at Tsarskoie-Selo it has been so decided." [These characteristic terms were recorded, some weeks later, at Belgrade by Mr. de Penennrun. See his book, Quamnfe jours de guerre dans les Balkans. Chapelot, Paris, 1914.]
In view of the tendencies of the militarist party, Mr. Pachitch sent in his resignation in his turn, on June 2/15. But the Russian Ambassador, Mr. Hartwig, was there to show the gravity of the situation and persuade the King, the members of the cabinet, the deputies, to yield to Russia's demands and unreservedly accept arbitration. Mr. Pachitch remained, and on June 8/21, Belgrade declared its willingness to accept arbitration; "without inwardly believing in it," as the Agram interviewer adds. And Mr. de Penennrun said "Mr. Pachitch had no more desire than Mr. Danev to betake himself to St. Petersburg. As a matter of fact although he endeavored to put himself in agreement with the critics and opponents in the Skupshtina, at the close of the eventful session of June 17/30, Mr. Pachitch declared that he in no way abandoned the point of view set out in his summary of May 15/28, and had accepted arbitration only because he had become convinced first, that it would proceed on an extended basis rather than within the limits laid down in Art. 4 of the secret annex to the treaty; and second, on condition that the "spheres of direction in Russia" agreed to consider the Greek-Bulgarian conflict at the same time as the Serbo-Bulgarian.
On this point the new allies had agreed; and Mr. Venizelos confirmed it in a paragraph communicated on the same day to the Temps. After Mr. Pachitch's explanations and the subsequent discussion in which the demand voiced was for the annexation of Macedonia rather than for arbitration (Mr. Ribaratz) ; and after it had been stated (Mr. Paul Marinkovits) that "the Servian people would rather trust to its victorious army than to the well known tactlessness of Mr. Pachitch," the Skupshtina reverted to the order of the day of a month previous. It renewed its decision "not to allow the vital interests of Servia to be abused." Mr. Drachkovits explained this condition which he laid down as follows: "The valley of the Vardar is a vital interest for Servia, and any arbitrament which leaves this vital need out of account could not be accepted." Some minutes before. Pachitch received in the chamber the telegram informing him of the
outbreak of hostilities. Turning pale, he withdrew. Arbitration then would not take place; and it would not be Servia's fault.
At Sofia, in fact, for military reasons to be explained, the final agony had been reached more quickly than at Belgrade. Here events were precipitated by conflict between the cabinet and the military party. As to the aim to be attained there was unanimity. The Servians must be forced to carry out the treaty and evacuate Macedonia to the south of the frontier agreed upon. But no agreement could be reached as to the means. Mr. Guechov's favorite tactics were to temporize. We have seen how under the circumstances of debate precious time had been lost both by Guechov and Pachitch. If concessions to Servia were to be made, they ought to have been made in January or at latest in February, when Mr. Pachitch proposed to act apart from the "public and the Powers," and while negotiations would still be undertaken under the most favorable conditions. If no concession was to be made, means should have been devised for resolving by force what it had been determined to regard as a question of force-"eine Macht-frage." It was then time to think of alliances and neutralities and pay for them with temporary concessions. It was necessary to know how not to yield to certain ambitions. Neither one nor the other was done. When Mr. Danev became Prime Minister, he took up with his portfolio an ambiguous position which Mr. Guechov had rightly refused: that of working for war while remaining a partisan of peace. This internal contradiction was bound to act fatally and to paralyze those who believed in action and those who opposed it alike. Mr. Danev, and, to an even greater extent, his colleague, Mr. Theodorov, continued to the end convinced that they could keep all they had acquired. Mr. Danev even wanted to get more-without risking war. The militarists knew better.
A telegram of June 8/21 from General Savov to the commander of the fourth army, describes the state of things as follows:
I. There is an alliance between the Servians and the Greeks whose object is to hold and divide the whole territory of Macedonia on the right bank of the Vardar with the addition of Uskub, Koumanova, Kratovo and Kriva Palonka for the Servians; Salonica and the regions of Pravishta and Nigrita for the Greeks. II. The Servians do not recognize the treaty and do not admit arbitration within the limits of the treaty. III. We insist that the arbitrators start from the basis laid down in the treaty, i. e; concern themselves solely with the contested zone. Since the non-contested territory belongs to us according- to the treaty, we desire that it should be evacuated by the Servians or, at least, occupied by mixed armies for such time as the pourparlers are going on. We make the same proposition to the Greeks. IV. These questions must be settled within ten days and in our sense, or war is inevitable. Thus within ten days we shall have either war or demobilization, according- as the government's demands are accepted or refused. V. If we demobilize now the territories mentioned will remain in the hands of the Greeks and the Servians, since it is difficult to suppose
that they will be peacefully handed over to us. VI. The discontent which has recently manifested itself in certain parts of the army gives ground for supposing that there is a serious agitation against war. The attention of intelligent soldiers must be directed to the fact that should the army become disorganized and incapable of action, the result will be as described in paragraph v. Reply with the least possible delay whether the state of the army is such that it can be counted on for successful operations.
The point of particular interest in this document is the indication afforded of the state of mind of the Bulgarian army, which explains why the commander was particularly anxious to have the question settled. Harvest time approached and the Bulgarian soldier who, after what he had suffered and endured during the long months of winter and spring at Tchataldja and Boulair, had then, instead of returning home, been compelled to join the army on the western frontier, had had enough. One thing or the other: it was war or demobilization: but in any case there must be an immediate decision, for uncertainty had become intolerable. This state of mind was general and several officers told Mr. Bourchier what he repeated in the Times, "If the question is not decided in a week, General Savov will no longer have an army."
It was under these circumstances that Mr. Danev summoned the Council of Ministers on the morning of June 9/22. He told his colleagues that after a sleepless night he had come to the conclusion that since, even after arbitration, it was more than likely that Servia would make war on them, it was better to carry it on now. Were the army once demobilized it would be difficult to bring it together again in the autumn. In such conditions whatever was done must be done at once. Clearly Mr. Danev was expressing the ideas of Savov. Mr. Theodorov's reply was to the point. War between Christians would be shameful after the war of liberation. They ought to go to St. Petersburg: they would get all they wanted there. If, afterwards, the Servians refused to conform to the decision of the arbiter, all Europe would be on Bulgaria's side. All the other ministers plead for peace with one exception,-Mr. Khritov, who represented the war party in the Council and who was not allowed to speak by Mr. Danev, who knew him. Mr. Danev then betook himself to the Czar's summer palace at Vrana, near Sofia, to make his report. General Savov was also present. At three o'clock in the afternoon Mr. Theodorov was summoned to explain the reasons of the "populist" party against war. Mr. Theodorov emphasized the reasons for going to St. Petersburg. Mr. Danev and General Savov gave their consent thereto. They returned to Sofia; the Council was resumed; the Russian Ambassador was summoned and the Council's decision communicated to him. A demand was added, the significance of which is comprehensible enough after what had been said, but which appeared to St. Petersburg in the guise of an ultimatum. The demand was that the arbiter should publish his opinion within sight days. It was added that Mr. Danev would start in three days. This was nearly the "ten days" of Mr. Savov's telegram. Mr. Necloudov then communi-
cated the agreeable news that Servia accepted arbitration unreservedly. The Russian government gave the Servian and Bulgarian governments four days in which to prepare their memoranda for the arbiter. On June 11/24, Mr. Theodorov received a fresh letter from the Bulgarian Embassy at St. Petersburg which strengthened his view and which he read to the Council of Ministers on the same day. It was stated there: "War will be our loss." "The Emperor and the Russian government have decided to arbitrate in conformity with and within the limits of the treaty. It was desirable to come at once since 'the absent are always in the wrong.' Otherwise Russia will not protect you in any way, France will give you no money, England and Germany will abandon you to your own resources. Since in this case Germany stands with the Triple Alliance no one can checkmate Russia's policy; Austria Hungary will not go beyond Platonic promises and Roumania finally will certainly occupy your territories while Russia can not defend you." (This letter referred to a report addressed to Mr. Danev a week previous.)
All this was opportunely said. These prognostics were later confirmed by facts. But those at Sofia who desired war drew one conclusion only,-Russia did not desire a strong Bulgaria; Bulgaria fara da se. The peace party was terrorized by the Macedonian patriots, who threatened to kill Danev at the station when he started for St. Petersburg, and to march the army on Sofia. Public opinion with few exceptions was for war. Under these circumstances the heads of the war party were ready for any risk. The timid and half initiated were told that half measures only were in contemplation, which would lead to skir-mishings such as had frequently occurred with Servians and Greeks on the disputed frontiers. If anyone thought thus, he reckoned without his host.
On June 15/28, General Savov sent the following telegram to the commander of the fourth army:
In order that our silence under Servian attacks may not produce a bad effect on the state of mind of the army, and on the other hand to avoid encouraging the enemy, I order you to attack the enemy all along the line as energetically as possible, without deploying all your forces or producing a prolonged engagement. Try to establish a firm footing on Krivolak on the right bank of the Bregalnitsa. It is preferable that you undertake a fusillade in the evening and make an impetuous attack on the whole line during the night and at daybreak. The operation to be undertaken tomorrow, 16th, in the evening.
The order to the second army is mentioned by General Savov in another telegram sent on the following day, the 16th, and even more interesting as it displays the motives which led the war party to risk action or supplied them with justifications. "In direction 24, I ordered the fourth army to pursue offensive operations and the second army as soon as it had completed its operations on Tchayasa, to begin immediately concentrating on the line marked out in order to attack Salonica. Messieurs the Generals are to bear in mind that our opera-
tions against the Servians and Greeks are undertaken without a formal declaration of war, mainly for the following reasons: (I) to bring the state of mind of the army up to a certain point and put them in a position (literal translation) to regard our allies up to today as enemies; (II) to accelerate the decisions of Russian policy by the fear of war between the allies; (III) to inflict heavy blows upon our adversaries in order to compel them to treat the more readily and make concessions; (IV) since our enemies are in occupation of territories which belong to us let us try by our arms to seize new territory until the European powers intervene to stop our military action. Since early intervention can be foreseen, it is necessary to act quickly and energetically. The fourth army must do all in its power to take Veles at any cost, because of the great political significance of such a conquest. If the operations of the fourth army permit the second will receive the order to attack Salonica."
Re-reading this, the confused and childish reasoning of a general wishing to play the politician, it is now difficult to believe that the questions of war and peace were thus decided. General Savov said later that he merely followed an order-then he was silent. A story was told in his name that the order was given by King Ferdinand, and that he was threatened with a court-martial if he disobeyed it. During the election campaign at the end of 1913 public attention was almost exclusively occupied with the question of responsibility for June 16/29 and people were at great pains to discover the culprit. The investigation is not yet complete, and we need not linger over the more or less probable rumors current. To seek for a single culprit, however, is a mistaken method, inadequate to throw light on the deeper causes of the Bulgarian national catastrophe. Not one day in June alone, but the whole course of the two wars must be surveyed in the search for the culprit. As has been said a war of liberation became a war of conquest for the satisfaction of personal ambition: but its causes, too, lay in strategic necessities; in legitimate tendencies implicit in the traditional national policy; in the auto-hypnosis of a people which had never experienced a reverse and was intoxicated by successes, justly recognized by all the world for their military glory; in a misjudgment of their opponents based on well known facts in the past and ignorance of the present; in a word in that profound belief in their cause and their star which is a part of the national character.
The events which followed on the fatal 16 and 17/29 and 30 June, may be recalled in a few words. On the evening of the 17th the pacificist ministers learned with astonishment that while Mr. Danev was preparing to start for St. Petersburg and a Russian gunboat was waiting at Varna to convey him to Odessa, war had broken out on the frontier. On the morning of the 18th, the Council of Ministers met and after a very lively discussion in the course of which the cabinet threatened to resign, General Savov was forced to give an order stopping the offensive. The General himself was retired for having given the order. At the same time the Russian government tried to stop the move-
ments of the Greek and Servian armies by the exercise of diplomatic pressure at Athens and Belgrade. There being no sanction behind the action, it was ineffectual. Two days before the outbreak of hostilities, Roumania, encouraged by Russia, declared to Bulgaria that she reserved for herself entire liberty of action in the event of war. Full advantage was taken of this, and it soon proved much more difficult to stop Roumania once in action, than to induce her to act. Next, Turkey showed itself more and more aggressive and intransigeant. A veritable avalanche of misfortunes indeed descended upon Bulgaria. A few more dates must be added. On July 1 the Greeks fell upon the Bulgarian garrison at Salonica, massacred several soldiers and took the rest prisoner. The Bulgarians could not hold the positions behind the rivers Zletovska, Bregalnitsa, Kriva Lakavitsa; they were stopped and driven back after several days' assault. On July 7 and 8, the Servian army took the offensive. On July 9, the Servians took Radovitch, the Greeks Strumnitsa. On July 11, the Roumanian army completed its mobilization and crossed the Bulgarian frontier without encountering any opposition. On July 12, the Turkish army of Tchataldja began re-conquering- Thrace. On July 21, it was at Lule Bourgas and Kirk Kilisse; on the 22d, it recaptured Adrianople, which had been hastily evacuated by the Bulgarians. On July 14, the Servians took Kriva Palanka. On July 11, Bulgaria made its first appeal for help to Europe. On the 23d of July, Ferdinand appealed to the Czar to mediate. Without waiting for the results of this last proposal Mr. Danev resigned in despair. On the 15th during the five days of the crisis the enemies' armies continued their march and the Roumanians advanced on Sofia. A telegram from King Ferdinand to Francis Joseph demanded mediation for Roumania: on his advice, Ferdinand sent a telegram directly to King Carol. He demanded the cession of the triangle Danube-Tourtoukai-Baltchik as the condition of peace. His proposition was accepted on July 21, but the Bulgarians had still to fight the Greeks who had reached the frontiers of the Kingdom at Djoumaya (25-30), while the Servians were besieging Vidine. Negotiations were at last opened at Bucharest on July 30, and a five days' armistice signed at mid-day on July 31. On August 4 it was extended for four days. The Peace of Bucharest was signed on August 10, and peace with Turkey concluded September 29, 1913. The reader may compare the boundaries established by these treaties (see the map) with the areas of occupation three months before the war. The extent of Bulgaria's losses is clear. Those who won claimed that "balance in the Balkans" had been secured, an end made of pretensions to hegemony, and peace thus secured for the future. Unhappily a nearer examination leads rather to the conclusion that the treaty of Bucharest has created a condition of things that is far from being durable. If the Bulgarian "conquest" is almost annulled by it, the Greek and Servian "conquests" are not well established. A later chapter (The War and the Nationalities) will afford abundant proof of this, and to it we refer the reader for conclusions.
The War and the Noncombatant Population
1. The plight of the Macedonian Moslems during the First war
The first of the Balkan campaigns was accepted by European opinion as a War of Liberation. It meant the downfall on one continent of the Turkish Empire; it was easy, as victory succeeded victory, to believe that it meant also the end of all the oppressions of race by race which for five centuries had made the history of the Balkans a record of rebellion, repression, and massacre. On a close view of what happened in Macedonia, as the Balkan armies marched southward, this War of Liberation assumes a more sordid and familiar aspect. It unleashed the accumulated hatreds, the inherited revenges of centuries. It made the oppressed Christians for several months the masters and judges of their Moslem overlords. It gave the opportunity of vengeance to every peasant who cherished a grudge against a harsh landlord or a brutal neighbor. Every Bulgarian village in northern Macedonia had its memory of sufferings and wrongs. For a generation the insurgent organization had been busy, and the normal condition of these villages had been one of intermittent revolt. The inevitable Turkish reprisals had fallen now on one village and now on another. Searches for arms, heatings, tortures, wholesale arrests, and occasional massacres, were the price which these peasants paid for their incessant struggle toward self-government. In all these incidents of repression, the local Moslems had played their part, marching behind the Turkish troops as bashi-bazouks and joining in the work of pillage and slaughter. Their record was not forgotten when the Bulgarian victories brought the chance of revenge. To the hatred of races there was added the resentment of the peasantry against the landlords (beys), who for generations had levied a heavy tribute on their labor and their harvests. The defeat of the Turkish armies meant something more than a political change. It reversed the relations of conqueror and serf; it promised a social revolution.
Only the utmost vigilance exercised by a disciplined army and a resolute police could have checked the natural impulse toward vengeance among the liberated Macedonians. In point of fact, the measures adopted by the Bulgarian government to protect the local Moslem population in northern and central Macedonia were inadequate and belated. The regular army was not numerous, and it marched rapidly southwards toward Salonica, leaving no sufficient garrisons behind it. No attempt had been made to embody the insurgent bands in
regular corps, and they were left free over a broad and populous area to deal with the local Turks as their own instincts dictated. Civil officials arrived to organize a regular administration in some cases a full six weeks after the Turkish authority had disappeared. It is not surprising in these conditions, that the Moslem population endured during the early weeks of the war a period of lawless vengeance and unmeasured suffering. In many districts the Moslem villages were systematically burned by their Christian neighbors. Nor was it only the regions occupied by the Bulgarians which suffered. In the province of Monastir, occupied by the Serbs and Greeks, the agents of the (British) Macedonian Relief Fund calculated that eighty per cent of Moslem villages were burned. Salonica, Monastir, and Uskub were thronged with thousands of homeless and starving Moslem refugees, many of whom emigrated to Asia. The Moslem quarter of the town of Jenidje Vardar was almost totally burned down, in spite of the fact that this town was occupied by the main Greek army. Even in the immediate neighborhood of Salonica, Moslem villages were burned by the Greek troops. (See Appendix A, No. 12.) The Greek population of the Drama district indulged in robbery, murder and violation at the expense of the Moslem inhabitants, until order was restored by an energetic Bulgarian prefect. (See Appendix B, No. 16.)
A curious document (Appendix A, No. 13a) drawn up by the officials of the Moslem community of Pravishta and sealed with its seal, gives a vivid impression of a kind of persecution which we believe to have been normal in the early months of the first war. The district of Pravishta lies along the coast to the west of Kavala and is inhabited by about 20,000 Moslems and about 7,000 Greeks. It was occupied at first by Bulgarian bands under a voyevoda (chief) named Baptchev, and afterwards in part by Bulgarian and in part by Greek troops. Such civil administration as there was in the early stages of the conquest was conducted by the Greek Bishop, whom Baptchev obeyed, though with some measure of independence. This document gives particulars, village by village, of the Moslems who were killed and robbed. The lists are detailed, and give the names not only of the victims but of the assassins. Some of the particulars of the robberies are also given in great detail, and in one village even the color of the stolen cows is stated. Our experience shows that lists of this kind in the Balkans are usually accurate. Exaggeration begins only when peasants attempt to give estimates in round numbers. The number of Moslems killed in each village varied from one to twenty-five, and the damage done by robbery and looting from hundreds to thousands of pounds.
In the villages all these excesses seem to have been the work of local Greek bands. The most active of these bands was led by a priest and a warlike grocer who was a member of the Bishop's council. The Turks indeed accuse the Bishop of directing all these atrocities. The total number of Moslems killed is 195. Baptchev, in contrast to some other Bulgarian leaders of bands,
appears to have behaved relatively well. His exactions or robberies amounted to about ЈT6,000, but he killed only in ten cases after the Bishop and his Council had passed sentence, and it is said of him and his men that they did no violence to women, and even rescued two from the Greeks. It is also said that Moslem women fled to escape violation from villages held by Greek troops to villages held by Bulgarian soldiers. While we think it probable that this document is accurate and truthful, it must be remembered that it is an ex parte statement. The Turks imply that the motive for the slaughter was simply a desire to intimidate their community by striking at its heads. But it is likely that the local Greeks had long standing grievances against many of these Turks. Vengeance and cupidity had probably as much to do with these excesses as policy. No villages appear to have been burned in this district, but enough was done to make the local Moslems feel that their lot was unendurable.
The burning of villages and the exodus of the defeated population is a normal and traditional incident of all Balkan wars and insurrections. It is the habit of all these peoples. What they have suffered themselves, they inflict in turn upon others. It could have been avoided only by imperative orders from Athens, Belgrade, and Sofia, and only then if the church and the insurgent organization had seconded the resolve of the governments. A general appeal for humanity was in fact published by the Macedonian insurgent "Internal Organization," but it appears to have produced little effect.
Devastation, unfortunately, was not the worst of the incidents which stained the War of Liberation. More particularly in northeastern Macedonia the victorious population undertook a systematic proscription of the Moslems. The Commission has before it full evidence of one of these campaigns of murder at Strumnitsa. It was probably the worst incident of its kind, but it is typical of much that happened elsewhere on a smaller scale. Our information comes (1) from the surviving Moslem notables of the town, who gave us their evidence personally (see Appendix A, Nos. 1 and 2); (2) from an American gentleman who visited the town shortly afterwards; and (3) from a Bulgarian official. Strumnitsa in the autumn of 1912 was under a mixed control; the garrison was Servian; there was a junior Bulgarian civil official; and Bulgarian insurgents were present in large numbers. A commission was formed under the presidency of the Servian commander, Major Grbits, and with him there sat two junior Servian officers, the Bulgarian sub-prefect Lieutenant Nicholas Voultchev, the leader of the Bulgarian bands, voyevoda Tchekov (or Jekov), and some of the leading inhabitants. The local Moslems of the town were disarmed by a house to house search. Some indiscriminate killing of Moslems took place in the streets, and thereafter an order was issued forbidding any Moslem to leave his house, under pain of death. A local gendarmerie was meanwhile organized, and while the Moslems passively awaited their fate, a gendarme and a Servian soldier went from house to house summoning them one by one before the commis-
sion. As each victim came before the judges, Major Grbits inquired, "Is he good, or is he bad?"There was no discussion and no defense. Each member had his personal enemies, and no one ventured to interfere with his neighbor's resentments. One voice sufficed to condemn. Hardly one in ten of those who were summoned escaped the death sentence. The victims were roughly stripped of their outer clothing and bound in the presence of the commission, while the money found on them was taken by Major Grbits. The condemned Moslems were bound in threes, taken to the slaughter house and there killed, in some cases after torture and mutilation. The fortunate minority received a certificate which permitted them to live, and in many cases there is reason to believe that as much as ЈT100 was paid for it. The motive behind these atrocities was clearly as much cupidity as race hatred. The victims included not only the citizens of Strumnitsa, but also a large number of fugitives and prisoners from the surrounding villages. Our Turkish witnesses place the total of killed at the improbable figure of 3,000 to 4,000-a guesswork estimate. Our American and Bulgarian informants, who were both in a position to make a careful calculation, placed the total of those killed in this proscription at from seven to eight hundred. It is fair to add that steps were afterwards taken by the Bulgarian courts-martial to prosecute the guilty Bulgarian official, Voultchev, and the Bulgarian chief of bands, Tchekov, and a third person named Manov. All three have been sentenced to fifteen years' hard labor. The Servian government, on the other hand, has inflicted no punishment on Major Grbits, who was the senior officer and the person ultimately responsible for these atrocities.
The result of leaving Bulgarian bands at large with no adequate control was, if possible, still worse in the Kukush (Kilkish) region. Only a few Bulgarian regulars were left to garrison the town during the early weeks of the war, and the only authority which could make itself obeyed was that which the chief of bands, Toma of Istip, exercised with the aid of a commission of local Bulgarian notables. It drew up lists for the whole district, in which each of the Moslem inhabitants was rated at a certain figure, which might be represented as a poll-tax, but was in effect a ransom. To pay this ransom the Turks were often obliged to sell everything they possessed. Later, a band arrived under a certain Donchev, a notoriously cruel guerrilla chief, who acted on his own responsibility and has been disavowed and sentenced to death by the Macedonian revolutionary "internal organization." He is said to have burned 345 Turkish houses in one day in the villages of Raionovo, Planitsa, and Kukurtevo, shut up the men in the mosques and burned them alive or shot them down as they attempted to escape. It is said that Donchev's band massacred women and children; and this statement also is credited by Europeans who have ample local sources of information. An account of these events by Pere Michel, the head of the French Catholic mission at Kukush, has been published. (See Appendix A, No. 6.) It was misused and distorted in some Greek and French newspapers,
as though it referred to the doings of the Bulgarian regular army shortly before the second war. It was undoubtedly a truthful account of the excesses of the Bulgarian bands during the autumn of 1912.
A statement from a local Turk, who was recommended to us as an honest witness by a European resident, will be found in Appendix A (No. 7). Pere Michel's statements, it should be added, were generally corroborated by the Protestant missionaries who worked in the same district. The Bulgarian bands in the Kukush region were left for some weeks unmolested in this work of extortion and extermination. There is ample proof that they slaughtered many hundreds of disarmed and disbanded Turkish soldiers, who had surrendered to the Greeks at Salonica, and were traveling through Kukush on their way to their homes in northern Macedonia.
The responsibility of the regular Bulgarian authorities is more directly indicated in the massacre of Turks which took place in the town of Serres shortly after its capture. Here there was an adequate Bulgarian garrison, and a regular administration. We have before us a full statement from the President of the Turkish community of Serres, which is confirmed by the Austrian vice-consul (a Greek), and other Greek residents. Their evidence is inevitably biased and exaggerated, but it was unfortunately confirmed in its main outlines by a confidential statement made to us by an American gentleman, who was active after the massacre in relieving the distress among the Moslems. The events which preceded the massacre are very obscure. Mysterious shots were fired, and a large number of Turkish soldiers were supposed (we do not know with what truth) to be in hiding in the town. On a charitable reading of the facts it is fair to suppose that the Bulgarian authorities feared a revolt. This may explain but can not excuse the slaughter which followed. The Turkish version of this affair will be found in Appendix A (No. 8). The estimates given by Turks and Greeks, which range from 600 to 5,000 killed, are certainly exaggerated. Our American informant, a cautious and fair-minded man, with a long and intimate experience of Macedonia, believed that the number of killed in the town was, at most two hundred. He insisted, however, that the massacre was deliberate and unprovoked, and that it was accompanied by pillage on a large scale and by the violation of many Turkish women and children. Similar excesses were perpetrated in the villages. The instruments of this atrocity were chiefly Macedonian insurgents (comitadjis), but they acted under the eyes of the Bulgarian military authorities, who had in Serres a regular force sufficient to control them.
These instances should suffice to give some idea of the sufferings of the Moslem population during the early weeks of the occupation. It would unfortunately be easy to multiply them. Details will be found in the Appendices of a minor massacre, much exaggerated in the press, carried out at Dedeagatch by the dregs of the local Christian population (Greeks and Armenians) with
the aid of some Bulgarian privates of the Macedonian legion, who were accidentally left in the town without an officer (Appendix A, Nos. 9 and 10). A Bulgarian eye witness described to us the killing of a large number of local Turks at Uskub by Servians in the early days of the occupation (Appendix A, No. 11).
Incidents also occurred while Bulgarian regiments were on the march which led to savage reprisals. A volunteer of the Macedonian legion (Opolchenie), who was previously known to a member of the Commission as an honorable and truthful man, recounted the following incident as the one example of brutality which had come within his own experience. While marching through Gumurjina, the legion saw the dead bodies of about fifty murdered Bulgarian peasants. The dead body of a woman was hanging from a tree, and another with a young baby lay dead on the ground with their eyes gouged out. The men of the legion retaliated by shooting all the Turkish villagers or disbanded soldiers whom they met next day on their march, and killed in this way probably some fifty men and two or three women. The officers of the legion endeavored afterwards to discover the culprits, but were baffled by the solidarity of the men, who considered this butchery a legitimate reprisal. The Turks with whom we talked were on the whole agreed that the period of extreme brutality was confined to the early weeks of the first war. Many of them praised the justice of the regular Bulgarian administration which was afterwards established. From several of the Bulgarian officials who had to govern turbulent districts (e. g., Istip and Drama) infested by bands with an inadequate military force to back them, we have heard in detail of the steps which they took to regain the confidence of the Moslems. Many of them were successful.
A real effort was undoubtedly made to check the lawlessness of the bands and to deal with marauding on the part of the troops. The records of the courts-martial which we have before us, show that it was in January, 1913, that the Bulgarian headquarters became alarmed at the frequency and gravity of the excesses reported from the occupied territories. A circular telegram (see Appendix A, No. 13) sent to commanders and governors in Macedonia and Thrace enjoined them to institute inquiries into all excesses committed against the inhabitants of the occupied territories, and reminded them that the honor of the army was at stake, and that an attitude of indifference on their part toward the crimes of individuals would lead the world to suppose that Bulgarian civilization was not superior to that of the enemy. In two later telegrams the courts-martial were instructed to deal promptly with such charges and to give precedence to such cases over all others, more especially where the complaints came from Turks. The tone of these instructions is all that could be desired. It is disappointing to learn that up to February 15, 1913, the courts-martial in Macedonia had passed sentence on only ten persons for murder, eight for robbery or pillage, and two for rape. A large number of cases was in the stage of inquiry ("instruction"), and these included seventy-eight cases of murder, sixty-nine of pillage, seven of
rape, seven of robbery, disguised as taxation, fourteen of arson, and eighty-one of various kinds of robbery and dishonesty. Of the culprits thirty-seven were Macedonian insurgents, including six chiefs of bands (voyevodas). How many of these cases were completed and how many of the culprits were actually sentenced we do not precisely know, since the archives of the chief Macedonian court-martial were lost at the evacuation of Serres. But we are informed that more than 200 prisoners belonging to the Bulgarian army and to the irregular bands were in Serres gaol under sentence when the town was evacuated. There is reason to believe that they were then released, an unfortunate irregularity which may possibly have been unavoidable. These facts show that an effort was made upon a considerable scale in Macedonia to deal with the excesses committed against the Turkish population. It was somewhat tardy, and manifestly the prompt execution in the early weeks of the war of some of the more notable criminals would have produced a more salutary effect. Public opinion in the Balkans does not condemn excesses committed by Christians against Moslems as severely as neutral onlookers do. That is inevitable, given the historical conditions. But undoubtedly the chiefs of the Bulgarian army did make an attempt to clear its honor, and the attempt was successful in bringing about a great improvement in the conduct of the troops and their irregular allies. It is, moreover, creditable to the Bulgarian government that in order to check the spoliation of the Moslems, an edict was issued which made all transfers of land during the period of the war illegal and invalid.
It remains to mention the practice followed by the Bulgarians, over a wide area, of reconverting the pomaks by force to Christianity. The pomaks are Bulgarians by race and language, who at some period of the Turkish conquest were converted by force to Islam. They speak no Turkish, and retain some traditional memory of their Christian past; but circumstances have usually made them fanatical Mohammedans. They number in the newly conquered territories at least 80,000 persons, and are chiefly concentrated to the north and east of Nevrocop. The Bulgarian Holy Synod conceived the design of converting them en masse, and it was frequently able to reckon on the support of the military and civil authorities, not to mention the insurgent bands. It was not usually necessary to employ actual violence; threats, backed by the manifest power to enforce them, commonly sufficed to induce whole villages to submit to the ceremony of baptism. The policy was carried out systematically, and long before the outbreak of the second war, the pomaks in most districts conformed outwardly to the Bulgarian church, and listened with a show of docility to the ministrations of the priests and nuns sent by the Holy Synod to instruct them in the tenets of Christianity. This aberration, in sharp contrast to the toleration which the Bulgarian Kingdom has usually shown to the Moslems within its frontiers, must rank among the least excusable brutalities of the war. The Holy Synod argued that since force had been used to convert the pomaks to
Islam, force might fairly be used to reverse the process. The argument is one proof the more that races whose minds have been molded for centuries by the law of reprisal and the practice of vengeance, tend to a common level of degradation.
2. The conduct of the Bulgarians in the Second war
The charges brought by the Greeks against the Bulgarians are already painfully familiar to every newspaper reader. Unlike the Bulgarians, the Greeks welcomed war correspondents, and every resource of publicity was at their disposal, while Bulgaria itself was isolated and its telegraphic communications cut. That some of these accusations were grossly exaggerated is now apparent. Le Temps, for example, reported the murder of the Greek Bishop of Doiran. We saw him vigorous and apparently alive two months afterwards. A requiem mass was sung for the Bishop of Kavala; his flock welcomed him back to them while we were in Salonica. The correspondent of the same newspaper stated that he personally assisted at the burial of the Archbishop of Serres, who was savagely mutilated before he was killed. (Letter, dated Livonovo, July 23.) This distressing experience in no way caused this prelate to interrupt his duties, which he still performs.
There none the less remains, when these manifest travesties of fact are brushed aside, a heavy indictment which rests upon uncontrovertible evidence. It is true that the little town of Doxato was burned and a massacre carried out there during and after a Bulgarian attack. It is true that the town of Serres was burned during a Bulgarian attack. It is also true that a large number of civilians, including the Bishop of Melnik and Demir-Hissar, were slaughtered or executed by the Bulgarians in the latter town. The task of the Commission has been to compare the evidence from both sides regarding these events, and to form a judgment on the circumstances which in some degree explain them. The Greek charges are in each case substantially true, but in no case do they state the whole truth.
In forming an opinion upon the series of excesses which marked the Bulgarian withdrawal from southeastern Macedonia, it is necessary to recall the fact that the Bulgarians were here occupying a country whose population is mainly Greek and Turkish. The Bulgarian garrisons were small, and they found themselves on the outbreak of the second war in a hostile country. The Greek population of these regions is wealthy and intensely patriotic. In several Greek centers insurgent organizations (andartes) existed. Arms had been collected, and some experienced guerrilla chiefs were believed to be in hiding, and ready to lead the local population. All of this in existing conditions was creditable to Greek patriotism; their race was at war with Bulgarians, and the more enterprising and courageous among them intended to take their share as auxiliaries Of the Greek army in driving the Bulgarians from their country. From a nation-
alist standpoint, this was morally their right and some might even say their duty. But it is equally clear that the Bulgarians, wherever they found themselves opposed by the armed civil population, had also a right to take steps to protect themselves. The steps which they elected to take in some places grossly exceeded the limits of legitimate defense or allowable reprisal.
THE MASSACRE AT DOXATO
Doxato was a thriving country town, situated between Drama and Kavala in the center of a rich tobacco growing district. It had a large school, and counted several wealthy and educated families among its 2,700 Greek inhabitants. It was proud of its Hellenic character, and formed with two neighboring villages a compact Greek island in a rural population which was almost exclusively Turkish. A member of the Commission has visited its ruins. Only thirty homes are left intact among its 270 Greek houses. Enough remains of the walls to show that the little town was well built and prosperous, and to suggest that the conflagration must have caused grievous material loss to the inhabitants. The estimate of killed (at first said to number over 2,000) which is now generally accepted by the Greeks, is 600. We have had communicated to us an extract from an official Greek report in which 500 is given as an outside figure.
A large proportion, probably one-half, of this total consisted of civilians who had taken up arms. Women and children to the number of over a hundred were massacred in a single house, and the slaughter was carried out with every
Fig. 1.-Ruins of Doxato
Fig. 2.-Finding the bodies of victims at Doxato
conceivable circumstance of barbarity. We print in Appendix B (No. 14) a letter in which Commander Cardale, a British naval officer in the Greek service, describes the condition of the village when he visited it shortly after the massacre.
We print in Appendix B, Bulgarian accounts of the Doxato affair. Mr. Dobrev, who was the prefect of Drama and earned the good opinion of the Greeks by his conduct there (see the Greek pamphlet Atrocites Bulgares, p. 49), has told the whole story with evident frankness. (Appendix B, No. 16.)Captain Sofroniev of the Royal Guard, who commanded the two squadrons of cavalry which operated against Doxato, relates his own part in the affair clearly, and has shown us the reports of his scouts penciled on official paper. (See Appendix B, No. 15.) Lieutenant Milev in a communicated deposition describes his experiences with the infantry, and Lieutenant Colonel Barnev explains his military dispositions. (See Appendix B, Nos. 16a and 16b.) These four depositions leave no doubt in the mind of the Commission that the Greeks had organized a formidable military movement among the local population; that Doxato was one of its centers; and that several hundreds of armed men were concentrated there. Provocation had been given not only by the wanton and barbarous slaughter by Greeks of Moslem noncombatants, but also by a successful attack at Doxato upon a Bulgarian convoy. There was, therefore, justification for the order given From the Bulgarian headquarters to attack the Greek insurgents concentrated in Doxato.
It appears from Captain Sofroniev's report that his men met with an obstinate resistance from these Greek andartes and that one of his two squadrons lost seventeen killed and twenty-four wounded in the attack. In the charge b\ which he finally dispersed them, he believes that his men killed at least 150 Greeks, and perhaps double this number. These were, he assures us, all armed men and combatants.
We find it hard to believe that an irregular and inexperienced force can have resisted cavalry with an obstinacy that would justify so large a slaughter as this. A woman, moreover, was wounded in this charge. (See Appendix B, No. 16.) Captain Sofroniev states that his men took prisoners. He consigned these prisoners to the charge of the Turkish peasants who had come up from neighboring villages, full of resentment for Greek excesses against their neighbors. He allowed these Turks to arm themselves with the weapons of the defeated Greek insurgents. He might as well have ordered the massacre of his prisoners. These Turks had recent grievances against the Greeks, and they had come to Doxato in the rear of the Bulgarian force for pillage and revenge.
The cavalry operated outside the village. The force which entered it was an infantry detachment comprised in great part of Bulgarian Moslems (pomaks). According to Mr. Dobrev, who is clearly the franker witness, it became excited when a magazine of cartridges exploded in the village, and began to kill indiscriminately all the inhabitants whom it met in the streets, including some children. It remained, however, only a short while in Doxato.
Fig. 3.-Gathering the bodies of victims
Fig. 4.-Bodies of slain peasants
Lieutenant Milev's account attributes this slaughter to the local Turks, and states that two of them were executed for their crimes. He represents the inhabitants whom his men killed as insurgents.
We can not explain this discrepancy. It is, however, clear that the systematic massacre was carried out by the local Turks who were left in possession of the place for the better part of two days.They pillaged, burned, and slaughtered at their leisure, nor did they spare even the women who had taken refuge in the houses of friendly Turks. So far there is little difference between Commander Cardale's version of events, based on local Greek sources, and the statements of our Bulgarian witnesses. What we heard ourselves in the village some weeks later agreed with what Commander Car-dale has reported. The Bulgarian troops, after a sharp engagement, began the killing of the inhabitants, but presently desisted. "The greater part of the massacre," as Commander Cardale puts it, "was done by the Turks." He quotes, without endorsing it, the statement of the survivors that the Turks acted under the "direction" or "incitement" of Bulgarian officers. We gather that he heard no convincing evidence on this head, nor did we meet with anyone who had personally heard or seen Bulgarian officers giving directions to massacre. That charge may be dismissed as baseless. But some part of the responsibility for ;he slaughter falls, none the less, upon the Bulgarian officers. They armed the 1'urks and left them in control of the village. They must have known what would follow. The employment of Turkish bashi-bazouks as allies against de-
fenseless Christian villagers was an offense of which Greeks, Servians, and Bulgarians were all guilty upon occasion. No officer in the Balkans could take this step without foreseeing that massacre must result from it.
It is fair none the less to note that the Bulgarians were in a difficult position. They could not occupy the village permanently, for they were threatened by Greek columns marching from several quarters. To leave the Turks unarmed was to expose them to Greek excesses. To arm the Turks was, on the other hand, to condemn the Greek inhabitants to massacre. A culpable error of judgment was committed in circumstances which admitted only of a choice of evils. While emphasizing the heavy responsibility which falls on the Bulgarian officers for this catastrophe, we do not hesitate to conclude that the massacre at Doxato was a Turkish and not a Bulgarian atrocity.
THE MASSACRE AND CONFLAGRATION OF SERRES
Serres is the largest town of the interior of eastern Macedonia. The tobacco trade had brought considerable wealth to its 30,000 inhabitants; and it possessed in its churches, schools and hospitals the outward signs of the public spirit of its Greek community. The villages around it are Bulgarian to the north and west, but a rural Greek population approaches it from the south and east. The town itself is predominantly Greek, with the usual Jewish and Turkish admixture. The Bulgarians formed but a small minority. From October to June the town was under a Bulgarian occupation, and as the second war drew near, the relations of the garrison and the citizens became increasingly hostile. The Bulgarian authorities believed that the Greeks were arming secretly, that andartes (Greek insurgents) were concealed in the town, and that a revolt was in preparation. Five notables of the town were arrested on July 1 with the idea of intimidating the population. On Friday, July 4, the defeat of the Bulgarian forces to the south of Serres rendered the position untenable, and arrangements were made for the evacuation of the town. General Voulkov, the Governor of Macedonia, and his staff left on the evening of Saturday, July 5. The retirement was hastily planned and ill executed. There is evidence from Greeks and Turks, and from one of the American residents, Mr. Moore, that some of the troops found time to pillage before withdrawing. On the other hand, stores of Bulgarian munitions, including rifles, were abandoned in the town, and some of the archives were also left behind. We gather that there was some conflict of authority among the superior Bulgarian officers. (See evidence of Commandant Moustakov, Appendix B, No. 26.)
The plain fact is that at this central point the organization and discipline of the Bulgarian troops broke down. Some excesses, as one would expect, undoubtedly occurred, but the Greek evidence on this matter is untrustworthy. Commandant Moustakov believes that the notables who had been arrested were released. We find, on the other hand, in the semiofficial Greek pamphlet Atrocites
Fig. 5. - Victims who escaped the Serres slaughter
Fig. 6. - Ruins of Serres
Bulgares, the statement (p. 25) that the bodies of four Greek notables were found outside the town killed by bayonet thrusts; among them was the corpse of the director of the Orient bank. For this assertion the authority of the Italian and Austrian consuls general of Salonica is claimed. (See Appendix B, No. 17.) The member of our Commission who visited Serres had the pleasure of meeting this gentleman, Mr. Ghine, alive, well, and unharmed, and enjoyed his hospitality. Such discoveries as this are a warning that even official statements regarding these events must be subjected to careful scrutiny. On the other hand, there is no doubt that some of the prisoners who were in gaol when the Bulgarians left the town, were slaughtered. This was done presumably by their gaolers without orders. The imprisoned Bulgarians, including many comitadjis, were probably released; it is conceivable that they had a hand in these excesses. The fact of a butchery in the prison is placed beyond doubt by the evidence of Mr. Arrington, the manager of the American Tobacco Company's branch. His porter (cavass), a Greek, had been arrested some days before, apparently because a rumor had got abroad that the famous Greek guerrilla chief. Captain Doukas, was in the town disguised as the cavass of a tobacco warehouse. Mr. Arrington demanded the release of his employee without result. After the departure of the last of the Bulgarian troops, Mr. Arrington visited the prison and found there a heap of thirteen corpses, among which was his man, severely wounded. He died shortly afterwards in hospital, but was able to tell his story. His Bulgarian gaoler had demanded a ransom of ,?10 for his release and would allow him
Fig. 7. - Ruins of Serres
Fig. 8. - Ruins of Serres
no facilities to procure it from outside. "We do things methodically here said the gaoler. "You have four hours to live. Every half hour you will b beaten, and at the end you will be killed." He was in fact made to lie on hi back and was pinned to the floor with a bayonet. Mr. Arrington stated that hi arms and back, where he had been beaten, were "as black as his boots." The other twelve prisoners had evidently been treated with equal barbarity.
The main body of the Bulgarian garrison, with the headquarters, withdrew from Serres on Saturday, July 5. A panic followed, and a squadron of dismounted Bulgarian cavalry paraded the town to maintain order. The Greek irregulars and armed citizens were already under arms, and fired from some
Fig. 9. - Ruins of Serre
of the houses at this squadron. It camped that night outside the town, and entered it again on Sunday, but apparently without attempting to maintain complete control. On Monday, July 7 (if not on Sunday), the effective authority passed into the hands of the local Greeks. The Archbishop was recognized as governor of the town, and at his palace there sat in permanence a commission of the local inhabitants. Thirty armed Greeks wearing the evzone (highlander) uniform, who were, however, probably irregulars (andartes), had arrived in Serres, and one witness states that they were under the command of Captain Doukas. A Russian doctor in the Bulgarian sanitary service (Dr. Klugmann, see Appendix B, No. 22), who was left in the town, heard on Monday a Greek priest summoning the inhabitants to the Bishop's palace, where arms were
Fig. 10. - Ruins of Serres
distributed, first to the Greeks, and later to the Turks. From Monday morning to Thursday evening these Greek irregulars and the citizen militia which they organized were in possession of the town. Thrice they were threatened by small Bulgarian detachments, which returned and skirmished on the hills outside the town and at the distant railway station. But these Bulgarian scouts were not a sufficient force to enter the town. A telegram dispatched on Thursday by :he Archbishop to King Constantine (see Le Temps, July 13), begs him to hasten ;o occupy the town, which is, he says, defending itself successfully against the
Fig. 11. - Ruins of Serres
attacks of the Bulgarians. He mentions that he is governing the town and states that it has been abandoned for a week by the Bulgarian authorities. He fears, however, that the citizens' power of resistance may soon be exhausted. These rather aimless Bulgarian attacks must have contributed to excite the local Greeks, and to inflame a spirit of vengeance.
The main concern of the Archbishop's Greek militia during this week was apparently to hunt down the Bulgarian population within the town and in some of the neighboring villages. It is conceivable that this measure may have been dictated in the first instance by the fear that the small Bulgarian minority inside Serres would cooperate with the enemy who attacked it from without. An armed Greek mob followed a few uniformed men from house to house, threatening the Bulgarians and all who should assist them to hide. Their houses were pillaged and their wives ill treated, while the men were arrested and taken singly or in batches to the Bishop's palace; there they were brought before a commission of laymen over whom a priest presided. Whatever money they possessed was taken from them by this priest, and the only question asked about them was, whether they were or were not Bulgarians. This process was witnessed by Dr. Klugmann, and the testimony of this Russian doctor entirely confirms that of our Bulgarian peasant witnesses. From the bishopric the prisoners were taken to the neighboring Greek girls' high school. In the school they were closely confined in several rooms by fifties and sixties. Fresh batches arrived continuously from the town and from the villages, until the total number of imprisoned Bulgarians reached 200 or 250. The gaolers were in part citizens of Serres, some of whom can be named, and in part uniformed irregulars. From the first they behaved with gross cruelty. The prisoners were tightly bound and beaten with the butt ends of rifles. The plan of the gaolers was apparently to slaughter their prisoners in batches, and they were led two by two to an upper room, where they were killed, usually by repeated wounds in the head and neck inflicted with a butcher's knife or a Martini bayonet. Each of the butchers aimed at accounting for fourteen men, which was apparently the number which each could bury during the night. The massacre went on in this leisurely way until Friday, the 11th. The prisoners included a few captured Bulgarian soldiers, a few peasants taken with arms in their hands (see evidence of the villager Lazarov, Appendix B, No. 20), and at least one local Bulgarian, Christo Dimitrov (Appendix B, No. 19), who was known to be an active associate of the Bulgarian bands. The immense majority were, however, inoffensive tradesmen or. peasants whose only offense was that they were Bulgarians. Among them were four women, who were killed with the rest. The only mitigating circumstance is that five lads were released in pity for their youth, after seeing their fathers killed before their eyes. (See Blagoi Petrov, Appendix B, No. 21.) We are unwilling to dwell on the detailed barbarities of this butchery, of which more than enough is recorded in the appendices.
We must here anticipate a part of the narrative to explain that in the early morning of Friday, July 11, a Bulgarian regular force with cavalry and light artillery reached Serres, engaged the militia outside the town, defeated it, and began toward noon to penetrate into the town itself. There were still sixty or seventy of the Bulgarian prisoners alive, and their gaolers, alarmed by the sound of cannon in the distance, resolved to finish their work rapidly. Two at least of the prisoners (Angelov and Limonov) contrived to overpower the sentinels and escaped. Some of them, however, were bound and others were too enfeebled or too terrified to save themselves. They were led to the slaughter by fours and fives, but the killing this day was inefficient, and at least ten of the prisoners fell among the heaps of corpses, severely wounded indeed, but still alive. They recovered consciousness in the early afternoon, to realize that their gaolers had fled, that the town was on fire, and that the Bulgarian troops were not far distant. Ten of them struggled out of the school, and eight had strength enough to reach safety and their countrymen.
The Commission saw three of these fugitives from the Serres massacre, (Karanfilov, Dimitrov, and Lazarov, Appendix B, Nos. 18, 19, 20), who all bore the fresh scars of their wounds. These wounds, chiefly in the head and neck, could have been received only at close quarters. They were such wounds as a I butcher would inflict, who was attempting to slaughter men as he would slaughter sheep. The evidence of these three, given separately, was mutually consistent, We questioned a fourth witness, the lad Blagoi Petrov, who was released. We were also supplied with the written depositions, backed by photographs showing their injuries, of three other wounded survivors of the massacre, who had found refuge in distant parts of Bulgaria which we were unable to visit. (See Appendix D, Nos. 56, 57, 58.) Among these was George Belev, a Protestant, to whose honesty and high character the American missionaries of Samakov paid a high tribute. The written depositions of the two men who escaped by rushing the sentinels, afforded another element of confirmation. Dr. Klugmann's evidence, given to us in person, is valuable as a description of the way in which the Bulgarian civilians of Serres were hunted down and arrested. The Commission finds this evidence irresistible, and is forced to conclude that a massacre of Bulgarians to the number of about two hundred, most of them inoffensive and noncombatant civilians, was carried out in Serres by the Greek militia with revolting cruelty. The victims were arrested and imprisoned under the authority of the Archbishop. It is possible that he may have been misled by his subordinates, and that they may have disobeyed his orders. But the fact that when he visited the prison on Thursday, he assured the survivors that their lives would be spared, suggests that he knew that they were in danger.
The last stage of the episode of Serres began on Friday, the 11th. Partly because they had left large stores of munitions in the town, partly because rumors of the schoolhouse massacre had reached them, the Bulgarians were anx-
ious to reoccupy the town. Their small detachments had been repulsed and it was with a battalion and a half of 'infantry, a squadron of horse and four guns, that Commandant Kirpikov marched against Serres from Zernovo and at dawn approached the hills which command it. His clear account of his military dispositions will be found in Appendix B (No. 23). He overcame the resistance of the Greek militia posted to the number of about 1,000 men on the hills, without much difficulty. In attempting toward noon to penetrate into the town, his troops met with a heavy fire from several large houses held by the Greeks. Against these he finally used his guns. From noon onward the town was in flames at several points. The commandant does not admit that his shells caused the conflagration, but in this matter probability is against him. One witness, George Belev, states that the schoolhouse was set on fire by a shell. The commandant states further that the Greeks themselves, who were as reckless as the Bulgarians, fired certain houses which contained their own stores of munitions. It is probable that the Bulgarians also set on fire the buildings in which their own stores were housed. Both Greeks and Bulgarians state that a high wind was blowing during the afternoon. Serres was a crowded town, closely built in the oriental fashion, with houses constructed mainly of wood. The summer had been hot and dry. It is not surprising that the town blazed. We must give due weight to the belief universally held by the Greek inhabitants that the town was deliberately set on fire by the Bulgarian troops. The inhabitants for the most part had fled, and few of them saw what happened; but one eye witness states that the soldiers used petroleum and acted on a systematic plan. This witness (quoted in Appendix B, No. 17) is a local Turk who had taken service under the Bulgarians as a police officer while they were still at war with his country. That is not a record which inspires confidence. On the other hand, Dr. Yankov, a legal official who accompanied the Bulgarian troops, states that he personally made efforts to check the flames.
The general impression conveyed by all the evidence before us, and especially that of the Russian Dr. Laznev (see Appendix D, No. 57), is that the Bulgarian troops were hotly engaged throughout the afternoon, first with the Greek militia and then with the main Greek army. The Greek forces advanced in large numbers and with artillery from two directions to relieve the town, and compelled the Bulgarians to retreat before sundown. Their shells also fell in the town. The Bulgarians were not in undisturbed possession for so much as an hour, and it is difficult to believe that they can have had leisure for much systematic incendiarism. On the other hand, it is indisputable that some Bulgarian villagers who followed the troops did deliberately burn houses (see evidence of Lazar Tomov, Appendix B, No. 25), and that a mob comprised partly of Bulgarians and partly of Turks pillaged and burned while the troops were fighting. It is probable that some of the Bulgarian troops, who seem to have been, as at Doxato, a very mixed force which included some pomak (Moslem) levies, joined in this work.
The Bulgarians knew that the Greeks were burning their villages, and some of them had heard of the schoolhouse massacre. Any soldiers in the world would think of vengeance under these conditions. In two notorious instances leading residents were blackmailed. The experiences of Mr. Zlatkos, the Greek gentleman who acts as Austro-Hungarian consul, are related in Appendix B (No. 17a). His own account must be compared with the Bulgarian version, which suggests that some of his fears were baseless. The action of the Bulgarian commander in shelling the masses of armed peasants outside the town appears to us to have been questionable. Among them there must have been many non-combatant fugitives. His use of artillery against an unfortified town was a still graver abuse of the laws of civilized warfare.
To sum up, we must conclude that the Greek quarter of Serres was burned by the Bulgarians in the course of their attack on the town, but the evidence before us does not suffice to establish the Greek accusation, that the burning was a part of the plan conceived by the Bulgarian headquarters. But unquestionably the whole conduct both of the attack and of the defense contributed to bring about the conflagration, and some of the attacking force did undoubtedly burn houses. There is, in short, no trustworthy evidence of premeditated or official incendiarism, but the responsibility for the burning of Serres none the less falls mainly upon the Bulgarian army. The result was the destruction of 4,000 out of 6,000 houses, the impoverishment of a large population, and in all likelihood the painful death of many of the aged and infirm, who could not make good their escape. The episode of Serres is deeply discreditable alike to Greeks and Bulgarians.
EVENTS AT DEMIR-HISSAR
The events which took place at Demir-Hissar between the 5th and 10th of July possess a certain importance, because they were used as a pretext for the "reprisals" of the Greek army at the expense of the Bulgarian population. (See King Constantine's telegram. Appendix C, No. 29.) We shall have occasion to point out that the Greek excesses began in and around Kukush some days before the Bulgarian provocation at Demir-Hissar.
That Demir-Hissar was the center of excesses committed on both sides is indisputable. The facts are confused, and the evidence before us more than usually contradictory. This is not surprising in the circumstances. The Bulgarian army, beaten in the south, was fleeing in some disorder through Demir-Hissar to the narrow defile of the Struma above this little town. The Greeks of the town, seeing their confusion, determined to profit by it, took up arms and fell upon the Bulgarian wounded, the baggage trains, and the fugitive peasants. They rose too soon and exposed themselves to Bulgarian reprisals. When the Greek army at length marched in, it found a scene of carnage and horror. The Greek inhabitants had slaughtered defenseless Bulgarians, and the Bulgarian rear guard had exacted vengeance.
We print in Appendix B (Nos. 27, 27a, 28, 28a) both the Greek and the Bulgarian narratives of this affair. The Greeks as usual suppress all mention of the provocation which the inhabitants had given. The Bulgarian account is silent as to the manner in which their reprisals were carried out. Both narratives contain inaccuracies, and neither of them tells more than a part of the truth. Nor are we satisfied that the whole truth can be reached by the simple method of completing one story by means of the other. The Greek account is the more detailed and definite of the two for the simple reason that the Greeks remained in possession of the town, and were able to count and identify their dead. The Bulgarians believe that about 250 of their countrymen, wounded soldiers, military bakers, and peasant fugitives, were slaughtered there. It may be so, but the total is conjectural, and no list can possibly be furnished. The Greeks, on the other hand, have compiled a list of seventy-one inhabitants of Demir-Hissar who were killed by the Bulgarians. We do not question the accuracy of this list. But there is no means of ascertaining how many of these dead Greeks were killed during the fighting in the streets; how many were taken with arms in their hands and shot; and how many were summarily executed on suspicion of being the instigators of the rising. Two women and two babies are among the dead. If they were killed in cold blood an "atrocity" was perpetrated, but during a confused day of street fighting they may possibly have been killed by accident.
The case of the Bishop has naturally attracted attention. Of the four Greek Bishops who were said to have been killed in Macedonia, he alone was in fact killed. There is nothing improbable in the Bulgarian statement that he was the leader of the Greek insurgents, nor even in the further allegation that he fired the first shot. The Bishops of Macedonia, whether Greeks or Bulgarians, are always the recognized political heads of-their community; they are often in close touch with the rebel bands, and a young and energetic man will sometimes place himself openly at their head. The Bulgarians allege that the Bishop, a man of forty years of age, fired from his window at their troops. The Greeks admit that he "resisted" arrest. If it is true that he was found with a revolver, from which some cartridges had been fired, there was technical justification for regarding him as a combatant. The hard law of war sanctions the execution of civilians taken with arms in their hands. There is no reason to reject the Greek statement that his body was mutilated, dead or alive. But the Greek assertion that this was done by a certain Captain Bostanov is adequately met by the Bulgarian denial that any such officer exists.
Some of the men in the Greek list of dead were presumably armed inhabitants who engaged in the street fighting. Nine are young men of twenty and thereabouts and some are manual laborers. Clearly these are not "notables" collected for a deliberate massacre. On the other hand, six are men of sixty years and upwards, who are not likely to have been combatants. These leaders of the Greek community were evidently arrested on suspicion of fomenting the out-
break and summarily "executed." It was a lawless proceeding without form of trial, and the killing was evidently done in the most brutal way. We are far from feeling any certainty regarding the course of events at Demir-Hissar. There was clearly not an unprovoked massacre as the Greeks allege. But there did follow on the cowardly excesses of the Greek inhabitants against the Bulgarian wounded and fugitives, indefensible acts of reprisal, and a lawless and brutal slaughter of men who may have deserved some more regular punishment.
The events at Doxato and Demir-Hissar, with the burning of Serres, form the chief counts in the Greek indictment of the Bulgarians. The other items refer mainly to single acts of violence charged against individuals in many places over a great range of territory. These minor charges we have not investigated, since they rarely involved an accusation against the army as a whole or its superior officers. We regret that we were unable to visit Nigrita, a large village, which was burned during the fighting which raged around it. Many of the inhabitants are said to have perished in the flames. We think it proper to place on record, without any expression of opinion, the Greek belief that this place was deliberately burned by the Bulgarians. We note also the statement made by a Greek soldier in a captured letter (see Appendix C, No. 51) that more than a thousand Bulgarian prisoners were slaughtered there by the Greek army. We have also before us the signed statement of a leading Moslem of the Nigrita district to the effect that after the second war the Greeks drove the Moslems from the surrounding villages with gross violence, because they had been neutral in the conflict, and took possession of their lands and houses.
It remains to mention the charge repeatedly made by some of the diplomatic representatives of Greece in European capitals, that the fingers and ears of women were found in the pockets of captured Bulgarian soldiers. We need hardly insist on the inherent improbability of this vague story. Such relics would soon become a nauseous possession, and a soldier about to surrender would, one supposes, endeavor to throw away such damning evidence of his guilt. The only authority quoted for this accusation is a correspondent of the Times. We saw the gentleman in question at Salonica, a Greek journalist, who was acting as deputy for the Times correspondent. He had the story from Greek soldiers, and did not himself see the fingers and ears. The headquarters of the Greek army, which lost no opportunity of publishing facts likely to damage the Bulgarians, would presumably have published this accusation also, with the necessary details, had it been capable of verification. Until it is backed by further evidence, the story is unworthy of belief.
The case against the Bulgarians which remains after a critical examination of the evidence relating to Doxato, Serres, and Demir-Hissar is sufficiently grave. In each case the Bulgarians acted under provocation, and in each case the accusation is grossly exaggerated, but their reprisals were none the less lawless and unmeasured. It is fair, however, to point out that these three cases,
even on the worst view which may be taken of them, are far from supporting the general statements of some Greek writers, that the Bulgarians in their withdrawal from southern Macedonia and western Thrace, followed a general policy of devastation and massacre. They held five considerable Graeco-Turkish towns in this area and many smaller places-Drama, Kavala, Xanthi, Gumurjina, and Dedeagatch. In none of these did the Bulgarians burn and massacre, though some acts of violence occurred. The wrong they did leaves a sinister blot upon their record, but it must be viewed in its just proportions.
3. The Bulgarian peasant and the Greek army
It required no artificial incitement to produce the race hatred which explains the excesses of the Christian Allies, and more especially of the Bulgarians toward the Turks. Race, language, history, and religion have made a barrier which only the more tolerant minds of either creed are able wholly to surmount. It is less easy to explain the excesses of which Greeks and Bulgarians were guilty toward each other. The two races are sharply distinguished by temperament. A traditional enmity has divided them from the dawn of history, and this is aggravated in Macedonia by a certain social cleavage. But for a year the two races had been allies, united against a common enemy. When policy dictated a breach, it was necessary to prepare public opinion; and the Greek press, as if by a common impulse, devoted itself to this work. To the rank and file of all three Balkan armies, the idea of a fratricidal war was at first repugnant and inexplicable.The passions of the Greek army were roused by a daily diet of violent articles.The Greek press had had little to say regarding the Bulgarian excesses against the Turks while the facts were still fresh, and indeed none of the allies had the right to be censorious, for none of their records were clean. Now everything was dragged into the light, and the record of the Bulgarian bands, deplorable in itself, lost nothing in the telling. Day after day the Bulgarians were represented as a race of monsters, and public feeling was roused to a pitch of chauvinism which made it inevitable that war, when it came, should be ruthless. In talk and in print one phrase summed up the general feeling of the Greeks toward the Bulgarians, "Dhen einai anthropoi!" (They are not human beings). In their excitement and indignation the Greeks came to think of themselves as the appointed avengers of civilization against a race which stood outside the pale of humanity.
When an excitable southern race, which has been schooled in Balkan conceptions of vengeance, begins to reason in this way, it is easy to predict the consequences. Deny that your enemies are men, and presently you will treat them as vermin. Only half realizing the full meaning of what he said, a Greek officer remarked to the writer, "When you have to deal with barbarians, you must behave like a barbarian yourself. It is the only thing they understand." The Greek army went into the war, its mind inflamed with anger and contempt. A
Fig. 12.-A popular Greek poster
gaudily colored print, which we saw in the streets of Salonica and the Pireau eagerly bought by the Greek soldiers returning to their homes, reveals the dent of the brutality to which this race hatred had sunk them. It shows a Greek evzone (highlander) holding a living Bulgarian soldier with both hands, which he gnaws the face of his victim with his teeth, like some beast of prey. It is entitled the Bulgarophagos (Bulgar-eater), and is adorned with the following verses:
The sea of fire which boils in my breast
And calls for vengeance with the savage waves of my soul,
Will be quenched when the monsters of Sofia are still,
And thy life blood extinguishes my hate.
Another popular battle picture shows a Greek soldier gouging out the eyes of a living Bulgarian. A third shows as an episode of a battle scene the exploit of the Bulgar-eater.
As an evidence of the feeling which animated the Greek army these things have their importance. They mean, in plain words, that Greek soldiers wished to believe that they and their comrades perpetrated bestial cruelties. A print seller who issued such pictures in a western country would be held guilty of a gross libel on its army.
The excesses of the Greek army began on July 4 with the first conflict at Kukush (Kilkish). A few days later the excesses of the Bulgarians at Doxato (July 13), Serres (July 11), and Demir-Hissar (July 7) were known and still further inflamed the anger of the Greeks. On July 12 King Constantine announced in a dispatch which reported the slaughter at Demir-Hissar that he "found himself obliged with profound regret to proceed to reprisals." A comparison of dates will show that the Greek "reprisals" had begun some days before the Bulgarian "provocation."
It was with the defeat of the little Bulgarian army at Kukush (Kilkish) after a stubborn three days' defense against a superior Greek force, that the Greek campaign assumed the character of a war of devastation. The Greek army entered the town of Kukush on July 4. We do not propose to lay stress on the evidence of Bulgarian witnesses regarding certain events which preceded their entry. Shells fell outside the town among groups of fugitive peasants from the villages, while within the town shells fell in the orphanage and hospital conducted by the French Catholic sisters under the protection of the French flag. (See Appendix C, Nos. 30 and 31.) It is possible and charitable to explain such incidents as the effect of an unlucky chance. The evidence of European eye witnesses confirms the statements of the Bulgarian refugees on one crucial point. These shells caused no general conflagration, and it is doubtful whether more than three or four houses were set on fire by them. When the Greek army entered Kukush it was still intact. It is today a heap of ruins-as a member of the Commission reports, after a visit to which the Greek authorities opposed several
Fig. 13.-A popular Greek poster
obstacles. It was a prosperous town of 13,000 inhabitants, the center of a purely Bulgarian district and the seat of several flourishing schools. The bent standards of its electric lamps still testify to the efforts which it had made to attain a level of material progress unusual in Turkey. That its destruction was deliberate admits of no doubt. The great majority of the inhabitants fled before the arrival of the Greeks. About four hundred, chiefly old people and children, had found shelter in the Catholic orphanage, and were not molested. European eye witnesses describe the systematic entry of the Greek soldiers into house after house. Any of the inhabitants who were found inside were first evicted, pillage followed, and then, usually after a slight explosion, the house burst into flames. Fugitives continued to arrive in the orphanage while the town was burning, and several women stated that they had been violated by Greek soldiers. In one case a soldier, more chivalrous than his comrades, brought a woman to the orphanage whom he had saved from violation. Some civilians were killed by the Greek cavalry as they rode in, and many lives were lost in the course of the sacking and burning of Kukush. We have received a detailed list from a Bulgarian source of seventy-four inhabitants who are believed to have been killed. Most of them are old women, and eleven are babies.
The main fact on which we must insist is that the Greek army inaugurated the second war by the deliberate burning of a Bulgarian town. A singular fact which has some bearing on Greek policy is that the refugees who took shelter in the French orphanage were still, on September 6, long after the conclusion of peace, closely confined as prisoners within it, though hardly a man among them is capable of bearing arms. A notice in Greek on its outer door states that they are forbidden to leave its precincts. Meanwhile, Greek (or rather "Grecoman") refugees from Strumnitsa were being installed on the sites of the houses which once belonged to Bulgarians, and in the few buildings (perhaps a dozen in number) which escaped the flames. The inference is irresistible. In conquering the Kukush district, the Greeks were resolved to have no Bulgarian subjects.
The precedent of Kukush was only too faithfully followed in the villages. In the Caza (county) of Kukush alone no less than forty Bulgarian villages were burned by the Greek army in its northward march. (See Appendix C, No. 52.) Detachments of cavalry went from village to village, and the work of the regulars was completed by bashi-basouks. It was a part of the Greek plan of campaign to use the local Turkish population as an instrument in the work of devastation. In some cases they were armed and even provided with uniforms. (See Appendix C, No. 43.) In no instance, however, of which we have a record were the Turks solely responsible for the burning of a village. They followed the Greek troops and acted under their protection. We have no means of ascertaining whether any general order was given which regulated the burning of the Bulgarian villages. A Greek sergeant among the prisoners of war in Sofia, stated in reply to a question which a member of the Commission put to him, that he and his comrades burned the villages around Kukush because the inhabitants had fled.
It is a fact that one mainly Catholic village (Todoraki) in which most of the inhabitants remained, was not burned, though it was thoroughly pillaged. (See Appendix C, No. 32.) But the fate of other villages, notably Akangeli, in which the inhabitants not only remained, but even welcomed the Greek troops, disposes of this explanation. Whatever may have been the terms of the orders under which the Greek troops acted, the effect was that the Bulgarian villages were burned with few exceptions.
Refugees have described how, on the night of the fall of Kukush, the whole sky seemed to be aflame. It was a signal which the peasants understood. Few of them hesitated, and the general flight began which ended in massing the Bulgarian population of the districts through which the Greeks marched within the former frontiers of Bulgaria. We need not insist on the hardships of the flight. Old and young, women and children, walked sometimes for two consecutive weeks by devious mountain paths. The weak fell by the wayside from hunger and exhaustion. Families were divided, and among the hundred thousand refugees scattered throughout Bulgaria, husbands are still looking for wives, and parents for children. Sometimes the stream of refugees crossed the path of the contending armies, and the clatter of cavalry behind them would produce a panic, and a sauve qui peut in which mothers lost their children, and even abandoned one in the hope of saving another. (See Appendix C, Nos. 33, 34, 35.) They arrived at the end of their flight with the knowledge that their flocks had been siezed, their crops abandoned, and their homes destroyed. In all this misery and loss there is more than the normal and inevitable wastage of war. The peasants abandoned everything and fled, because they would not trust the Greek army with their lives. It remains to inquire whether this was an unreasonable fear.
The immense majority of the Macedonian refugees in Bulgaria were never in contact with the Greek army and know nothing of it at first hand. They heard rumors of excesses in other villages; they knew that other villages had been burned; they fled because everyone was fleeing; at the worst they can say that from a distance they saw their own village in flames. It would be easy to ascribe their fears to prejudice or panic, were it not for the testimony of the few who were in direct touch with the Greek troops. In the appendices will be found a number of depositions which the Commission took from refugees. It was impossible to doubt that these peasants were telling the truth. Most of them were villagers, simple, uneducated, and stunned by their sufferings, and quite incapable of invention. They told their tales with a dull, literal directness. In two of the more striking stories, we obtained ample corroboration in circumstances which admitted of no collusion. Thus a refugee from Akangeli, who had fled to Salonica, told us there a story of butchery and outrage (see Appendix C, No. 39) which tallied in almost every detail with the story afterwards told by another fugitive from the same village who had fled to Sofia (Appendix C, No. 41). While passing through Dubnitsa we inquired from a group of refugees
whether any one present came from Akangeli. A youth stepped forward, who once more told a story which agreed with the two others (Appendix C, No. 42) The story of the boy Mito Kolev (Appendix C, No. 36) told in Sofia was similarly corroborated in an equally accidental way by two witnesses at Samakov (Appendix C, Nos. 37 and 38), who stepped out of a crowd of refugees in response to our inquiry whether anyone present came from the village in question (Gavaliantsi). We can feel no doubt about the truth of a story which reached us in this way from wholly independent eye witnesses. These two incidents are typical, and must be briefly summarized here.
Mito Kolev is an intelligent boy of fourteen, who comes from the Bulgarian village Gavaliantsi, in the Kukush district. He fled with most of his neighbors in the first alarm after the Bulgarian, defeat at Kukush, but returned next day to fetch his mother, who had remained behind. Outside the village a Greek trooper fired at him but missed him. The lad had the wit to feign death. As he lay on the ground, his mother was shot and killed by the same cavalryman. He saw another lad killed, and the same trooper then went in pursuit of a crippled girl. Of her fate Mito, who clearly distinguished between what he saw and what he suspected, knew nothing, but another witness (Lazar Tomov) chanced to see the corpse of this girl (Appendix B, No. 25). Mito's subsequent adventures were told very clearly and in great detail. The essential points are (1) that he saw his village burned, and (2) that another Greek cavalryman whom he met later in the day all but killed him with a revolver shot and a saber cut at close quarters, while he spared a by-stander who was able by his command of the language to pass himself off as a Greek. The material corroboration of this story is, that Mito still bore the marks of his wounds. A shot wound may be accidental, but a saber wound can only be given deliberately and at close quarters. A trooper who wounds a boy with his sword can not plead error. He must have been engaged in indiscriminate butchery. Of this particular squad of Greek cavalry, it is not too much to say that they were slaughtering Bulgarian peasants at sight, and that they spared neither women nor children.
The evidence regarding Akangeli (Appendix C, Nos. 39-42, and Appendix D, No. 63, paragraph b) points to the same conclusion. In this Bulgarian village near the Lake of Doiran, refugees from many of the neighboring villages, who are said to have numbered 4,000 persons, had halted in their flight. A squadron of Greek cavalry, numbering about 300 men, with officers at its head, arrived between 3 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 6. The villagers with their priest went out to meet them with a white flag and the Greek colors. The officer, in conversation with the mayor, accepted their surrender and ordered them to give up any arms they possessed. The peasants brought bread and cheese, and thirty sheep were requisitioned and roasted for the troops. Some sixty of the men of the place were separated from the others and sent away to a wood. Of their fate nothing is known. The villagers be-
lieve that they were slaughtered, but we have reason to hope that they may have been sent as prisoners to Salonica. While the rifles were being collected the troopers began to demand money from both men and women. The women were searched with every circumstance of indignity and indecency. One witness, a well to do inhabitant of Kukush, was bound together with a refugee whose name he did not know. He gave up his watch and five piastres and his life was spared. His companion, who had no money, was killed at his side. While the arms were being collected, one which was loaded went off accidentally and wounded an officer, who was engaged in breaking the rifles. Two youths who were standing near were then killed by the soldiers, presumably to avenge the officer's mishap. Toward evening the soldiers forced their way into the houses and began to violate the women.
Another witness, the butcher who roasted the sheep for the troops, saw two young women, whom he named, violated by three soldiers beside his oven. Infantry arrived on Monday, and shortly afterwards the village was set on fire. During Sunday night and on Monday morning many of the villagers were slaughtered. It is impossible to form an estimate of the number, for our witnesses were in hiding and each saw only a small part of what occurred. One of them estimated the number at fifty, but this was clearly only a guess. We have before us a list from a Bulgarian source of 356 persons from seven villages who have disappeared and are believed to have been killed at Akangeli. Turks from neighboring villages joined in the pillage under the eyes of the Greek soldiers and their officers. The facts which emerge clearly from our depositions are (1) that the village submitted from the first; (2) that it was sacked and burned; (3) that the Greek troops gave themselves up openly and generally to a debauch of lust; (4) that many of the peasants were killed wantonly and without provocation.
It would serve no purpose to encumber this account of the Greek march with further narratives. Many further depositions will be found in the appendices. They all convey the same impression. Wherever the peasants ventured to await the arrival of the Greek troops in their villages, they had the same experience. The village was sacked and the women were violated before it was burned, and noncombatants were wantonly butchered, sometimes in twos or threes, sometimes in larger numbers. We would call attention particularly to two of these narratives-that of Anastasia Pavlova, an elderly women of the middle class, who told her painful and dramatic story with more intelligence and feeling than most of the peasant witnesses. (Appendix C, No. 43.) Like them, she suffered violation; she was robbed, and beaten, and witnessed the dishonor of other women and the slaughter of noncombatant men. Her evidence relates in part to the taking of the town of Ghevgheli. Ghevgheli, which is a mixed town, was not burned, but a reliable European, well acquainted with the town, and known to one member of the Commission as a man of honor and ability,
stated that fully two hundred Bulgarian civilians were killed there on the entry of the Greek army.
Another deposition to which we would particularly call attention is that of Athanas Ivanov, who was an eye witness of the violation of six women and the murder of nine men in the village of Kirtchevo. (Appendix C, No. 44.) His story is interesting because he states that one Greek soldier who protested against the brutality of his comrades was overruled by his sergeant, and further that the order to kill the men was given by officers. It is probable that some hundreds of peasants were killed at Kirtchevo and German in a deliberate massacre, carried out with gross treachery and cruelty. (See also Appendix D, Nos. 59-62.) For these depositions the Commission assumes responsibility, in the sense that it believes that the witnesses told the truth; and, further, that it took every care to ascertain by questioning them whether any obvious excuse, such as a disorderly resistance by irregulars in the neighborhood, could be adduced. These depositions relate to the conduct of the Greek troops in ten villages. We should hesitate to generalize from this basis (save as to the fact that villages were almost everywhere burned), but we are able to add in the appendix a summary of a large number of depositions taken from refugees by Professor Miletits of Sofia University. (See Appendix D, No. 63.) While it can not assume personal responsibility for this evidence, the Commission has every confidence in the thoroughness with which Professor Miletits performed his task.
This great mass of evidence goes to show that there was nothing singular in the cases which the Commission itself investigated. In one instance a number of Europeans witnessed the brutal conduct of a detachment of Greek regulars under three officers. Fifteen wounded Bulgarian soldiers took refuge in the Catholic convent of Paliortsi, near Ghevgheli, and were nursed by the sisters. Father Alloati reported this fact to the Greek commandant, whereupon a detachment was sent to search the convent for a certain Bulgarian voyevoda (chief of bands) named Arghyr, who was not there. In the course of the search a Bulgarian Catholic priest. Father Treptche, and the Armenian doctor of the convent were severely flogged in the presence of the Greek officers. A Greek soldier attempted to violate a nun, and during the search a sum of ?T300 was stolen. Five Bulgarian women and a young girl were put to the torture, and a large number of peasants carried off to prison for no good reason. The officer in command threatened to kill Father Alloati on the spot and to burn down the convent. If such things could be done to Europeans in a building under the protection of the French flag, it is not difficult to believe that Bulgarian peasants fared incomparably worse.
The Commission regrets that the attitude of the Greek government toward its work has prevented it from obtaining any official answer to the charges which emerge from this evidence. The broad fact that the whole of this Bulgarian region, for a distance of about one hundred miles, was devastated and nearly
every village burned, admits of no denial. Nor do we think that military necessity could be pleaded with any plausibility. The Greeks were numerically greatly superior to their enemy, and so far as we are aware, their flanks were not harassed, nor their communications threatened by guerrillas, who might have found shelter in the villages. The Greeks did not wait for any provocation of this kind, but everywhere burned the villages, step by step with their advance. The slaughter of peasant men could be defended only if they had been taken in the act of resistance with arms in their hands. No such explanation will fit the cases on which we have particularly laid stress, nor have any of the war correspondents who followed the Greek army reported conflicts along the main line of the Greek march with armed villagers. The violation of women admits of no excuse; it can only be denied.
Denial unfortunately is impossible. No verdict which could be based on the evidence collected by the Commission could be more severe than that which Greek-soldiers have pronounced upon themselves. It happened that on the eve of the armistice (July 27) the Bulgarians captured the baggage of the Nineteenth Greek infantry regiment at Dobrinichte (Razlog). It included its post-bags, together with the file of its telegraphic orders, and some of its accounts. We were permitted to examine these documents at our leisure in the Foreign Office at- Sofia. The file of telegrams and accounts presented no feature of interest. The soldiers' letters were written often in pencil on scraps of paper of every sort and size. Some were neatly folded without envelopes. Some were written on souvenir paper commemorating the war, and others on official sheets. Most of them bore the regimental postal stamp. Four or five were on stamped business paper belonging to a Turkish firm in Serres, which some Greek soldier had presumably taken while looting the shop. The greater number of the letters were of no public interest, and simply informed the family at home that the writer was well, and that his friends were well or ill or wounded as the case might be. Many of these letters still await examination. We studied with particular care a series of twenty-five letters, which contained definite avowals by these Greek soldiers of the brutalities which they had practiced. Two members of the Commission have some knowledge of modern Greek. We satisfied ourselves (1) that the letters (mostly illiterate and ill written'> had been carefully deciphered and honestly translated; (2) that the interesting portions of the letters were in the same handwriting as the addresses on the envelopes (which bore the official stamp) and the portions which related only personal news; (3) that no tampering with the manuscripts had been practiced. Some minor errors and inaccuracies are interesting, as an evidence of authenticity. Another letter is dated by error July 15 (old style), though the post-bags were captured on the 14th (27th). We noted, moreover, that more than one slip (including an error of grammar) had been made by the Bulgarian secretary in transcribing the addresses of the letters from Greek into Latin script -a proof that he did not know enough
Greek to invent them. But it is unnecessary to dwell on these minor evidences of authenticity. The letters have been published in fac simile. The addresses and the signatures are those of real people. If they had been wronged by some incredibly ingenious forger, the Greek government would long ago have brought these soldiers before some impartial tribunal to prove by specimens of their genuine handwriting that they did not write these letters. The Commission, in short is satisfied that the letters are genuine.
The letters require no commentary. Some of the writers boast of the cruelties practiced by the Greek army. Others deplore them. The statements of fact (see Appendix C, No. 51) are simple, brutal, and direct, and always to the same effect. These soldiers all state that they everywhere burned the Bulgarian villages. Two boast of the massacre of prisoners of war. One remarks that all the girls they met with were violated. Most of the letters dwell on the slaughter of noncombatants, including women and children. These few extracts, each from a separate letter, may suffice to convey their general tenor:
By order of the King we are setting fire to all the Bulgarian villages, because the Bulgarians burned the beautiful town of Serres, Nigrita, and several Greek villages. We have shown ourselves far more cruel than the Bulgarians. * * *
Here we are burning the villages and killing the Bulgarians, both women and children. * * *
We took only a few [prisoners], and these we killed, for such are the orders we have received.
We have to burn the villages-such is the order-slaughter the young people and spare only the old people and the children. * * *
What is done to the Bulgarians is indescribable; also to the Bulgarian peasants. It was a butchery. There is not a Bulgarian town or village but is burned.
We massacre all the Bulgarians who fall into our hands and burn the villages.
Of the 1,200 prisoners we took at Nigrita, only forty-one remain in the prisons, and everywhere we have been we have not left a single root of this race.
We picked out their eyes [five Bulgarian prisoners] while they were still alive.
The Greek army sets fire to all the villages where there are Bulgarians and massacres all it meets. * * * God knows where this will end.
These letters relieve us of the task of summing up the evidence. From Kukush to the Bulgarian frontier the Greek army devastated the villages, violated the women, and slaughtered the noncombatant men. The order to carry out reprisals was evidently obeyed. We repeat, however, that these reprisals began before the Bulgarian provocation. A list of Bulgarian villages burned by the Greek army which will be found in Appendix C (No. 52) conveys some measure of this ruthless devastation. At Serres the Bulgarians destroyed 4,000
houses in the conflagration which followed the fighting in the streets. The ruin of this considerable town has impressed the imagination of the civilized world. Systematically and in cold blood the Greeks burned one hundred and sixty Bulgarian villages and destroyed at least 16,000 Bulgarian homes. The figures need no commentary.
THE FINAL EXODUS
No account of the sufferings of the noncombatant population in Macedonia would be complete which failed to describe the final exodus of Moslems and Greeks from the territory assigned to Bulgaria. Vast numbers of Moslems arrived on the outskirts of Salonica during our stay there. We saw them camped to the number, it is said, of 8,000, in the fields and by the roadside. They had come with their bullock carts, and whole families found their only shelter in these primitive vehicles. They had left their villages and their fields, and to all of them the future was a blank. They did not wish to go to Asia, nor did they wish to settle, they knew not how nor where, in Greek territory. They regretted their homes, and spoke with a certain passive fatalism of the events which had made them wanderers. They were, when we visited them, without rations, but we heard that the Greek authorities afterwards made some effort to supply them with bread.
The history of this exodus is somewhat complicated. It was part of the Greek case to assert that no minority, whether Greek or Moslem, can safely live under Bulgarian rule. The fact is, that of all the Balkan countries, Bulgaria alone has retained a large proportion of the original Moslem inhabitants. Official Greek statements predicted, before peace was concluded, that the Moslem and Greek minorities would emigrate from the new Bulgarian territories in a body. The popular press went further, and announced that with their own hands they would bum down their own houses. When the time arrived, steps were taken to realize these prophecies, more particularly at Strumnitsa and in the neighboring villages.
We questioned several groups of these Moslem peasants on the roadside near Salonica. (Appendix A, No. 4.) We took the deposition of a leading Turkish notable of Strumnitsa, Hadji Suleiman Effendi.(See Appendix A, No. 3.) We questioned the Greek refugees from the same town who were at Kukush.We obtained Bulgarian evidence at Sofia. (See Appendix D, No. 65.) Finally, we have before us the confidential evidence of an authoritative witness, a subject of a neutral power, who visited the town before the exodus was complete. From all these sources we heard the same story. The Greek military authorities in Strumnitsa gave the explicit order that all the Moslem and Greek inhabitants of the town and villages must abandon their homes and emigrate to Greek territory. The order was backed by the warning that their houses would be burned. Persuasion was used and was,
in the case of the Greeks, partially successful. They were told that the Bulgarians would massacre them if they remained. They were also assured that a new Strumnitsa would be built for them at Kukush on a splendid scale and they were promised houses and lands. Some of the leaders of the Greek community eagerly embraced this policy and used their influence to enforce it. The Greek exodus was far from being spontaneous, but it was on the whole voluntary. Our conviction is that the Moslems yielded to force. It is true that they had had a terrible experience under the mixed Serbo-Bulgarian rule in the early weeks of the first war. But this they had survived, and most of them stated that Bulgarian rule, after this first excess, had been at least tolerable. Most of them departed in obedience to the order. Some vainly attempted to bribe the Greek soldiers. A few obstinately remained and were evicted by force. The same procedure was followed in the villages.
The emigration began about August 10. On the evening of Wednesday, August 21, parties of Greek soldiers began to burn the empty houses of the Moslem and Greek quarters on a systematic plan, and continued their work on the following nights up to August 23. The Greeks evacuated what was left of the town on August 27, and handed it over to the Bulgarian troops. The Bulgarian quarter was not burned, since the object of the Greeks was to circulate the legend that the non-Bulgarian inhabitants had themselves burned their own houses. To estimate the full significance of this extraordinary outrage, it must be remembered that it was perpetrated in time of peace, after the signature of the Peace of Bucharest.
A similar emigration of the Greek inhabitants of Melnik also took place under pressure. Their houses, however, were not burned, and there are indications that some of them will endeavor to return when the pressure is relaxed.
We found some hundreds of the Greek fugitives from Strumnitsa. at Kukush. They are not, in point of fact, Greeks at all, but Slavs, bi-lingual for the most part, who belong to the Greek party and the Patriarchist Church. One woman had a husband still serving in the Bulgarian army; she at least was not a voluntary fugitive from Bulgarian rule. These people were camped amid the ruins of Kukush, some in the few houses which escaped the conflagration, and others in improvised shelters. They received rations, and hoped to see the "New Strumnitsa" arise on the ashes of what was once a Bulgarian town. From the windows of the Catholic orphanage the remnant of the genuine population of Kukush, closely imprisoned, watched the newcomers establishing themselves on sites which were once their own. The Greek authorities are apparently determined to dispose of the lands of the fugitive Bulgarian villagers as though conquest had wiped out all private rights of property. The fugitives from Strumnitsa are simple people. One man spoke rather naively of his first horror at the idea of leaving his native place. Later, he said, he had acquiesced; he supposed the authorities knew best. Another fugitive, a village priest, regretted
his home, which had, he said, the best water in all Macedonia. But he was sure that flight was wise. He had reason to fear the Bulgarians. A comitadji, early in the first war, pointed a rifle at his breast, and said: "Become a Bulgarian, or I'll kill you." He forthwith became a Bulgarian for several months and conformed to the exarchist church. These "Greeks" will probably be well cared for, and may have a prosperous future. The Moslem fugitives furnish the tragic element of this enforced exodus. It creates three problems: What will become of these uprooted Turkish families? Who will acquire the lands they have left behind? By what right can the Greeks dispose of the Bulgarian lands in the Kukush region? The problem may solve itself by some rough exchange, but not without endless private misery and immense injustice.
In bringing this painful chapter to a conclusion, we desire to remind the reader that it presents only a partial and abstract picture of the war. It brings together in a continuous perspective the sufferings of the noncombatant populations of Macedonia and Thrace at the hands of armies flushed with victory or embittered by defeat. To base upon it any moral judgment would be to show an uncritical and unhistorical spirit. An estimate of the moral qualities of the Balkan peoples under the strain of war must also take account of their courage, endurance, and devotion. If a heightened national sentiment helps to explain these excesses, it also inspired the bravery that won victory and the steadiness that sustained defeat. The moralist who seeks to understand the brutality to which these pages bear witness, must reflect that all the Balkan races have grown up amid Turkish models of warfare. Folk-songs, history and oral tradition in the Balkans uniformly speak of war as a process which includes rape and pillage, devastation and massacre. In Macedonia all this was not a distant memory but a recent experience. The new and modern feature of these wars was that for the first time in Balkan annals an effort, however imperfect, was made by some of the combatants and by some of the civil officials, to respect an European ideal of humanity. The only moral which we should care to draw from these events is that war under exceptional conditions produced something worse than its normal results. The extreme barbarity of some episodes was a local circumstance which has its root in Balkan history. But the main fact is that war suspended the restraints of civil life, inflamed the passions that slumber in time of peace, destroyed the natural kindliness between neighbors, and set in, its place the will to injure. That is everywhere the essence of war.
Bulgarians, Turks and Servians
The Commission was afforded a perfectly natural opportunity of investigating the atrocities attributed to the Bulgarians after they had taken Adrianople. On August 20, 1913, the Dally Telegraph published a very solid body of material sent to the paper by Mr. Ashmead Bartlett, and printed under the suggestive heading "Terrible Reports by a Russian Official." On August 26 and 27, this same report appeared in Constantinople in the official organ of the Committee of Union and Progress, Le Jeune Turc. Since, however, the latter contained details omitted by the Daily Telegraph, the information published in Le Jeune Turc was evidently first hand. On August 28 Le Jeune Turc revealed the source of its information as the result of an unofficial Russian contradiction inserted in La Turquie of August 27. "We are authorized," declared the unofficial organ of the Russian Embassy at Constantinople, "to give a categorical denial of the information of the Daily Telegraph reproduced in Le Jeune Turc and attributed to a Russian official. No Russian official has been commissioned to make inquiries in Thrace and at Adrianople, or to obtain any kind of information : none is therefore in a position to supply such a report. Nor have the Russian consuls recorded the facts mentioned in the Telegraph." Replying to this denial, which certainly emanated from the Russian Embassy, Le Jeune Turc stated that "the document in question was not the work of a Russian official in active service, but of an ex-official, the Consul-General Machkov, who was in fact the correspondent of the Noroie Vremya." It should be added that Mr. Machkov's telegraphic "report" was rejected by his paper, and that, according to the statement of Mr. Machkov's colleagues of the Constantinople press, the expense of his telegram amounting to ?T150, was repaid him by the Committee. Le Jeune Turc itself said: "Fearing, no doubt, lest the paper (the Novoie Vremya) being excessively Bulgarophil [This is not at all the case.] might not publish the results of his eight days' inquiry in Adrianople, Mr. Machkov sent copies of it to the President of the Council of Ministers and the Foreign Minister."
The veracity of the document, which made a profound impression in Europe, is naturally in no way prejudiced by its origin and history, which do however assist an understanding of the spirit in which it is conceived. One of the members of the Balkan Commission came to Adrianople to follow up Mr. Machkov's information. He succeeded in getting in touch with the sources from
which it was largely derived, and had repeated to him verbally practically the whole of the facts and sayings contained in Mr. Machkov's account. The truth seems to be that while Mr. Machkov invented nothing and added practically nothing to the information he was able to collect in Adrianople, he did rely upon distinctly partisan sources, in so far as the medium through which his information came was Greek. The member of the Commission was at pains not to confine his inquiry to this medium. In addition to obtaining from the persons responsible for the administration of the city in occupation, a long series of official Bulgarian depositions (see Appendix G, 3), he succeeded in pushing his inquiries in Adrianople itself, in other than purely Greek areas, and in utilizing the depositions of Turkish prisoners at Sofia, collected by another member of the Commission (see Appendix G, 2). Thus without any intention of rehabilitating the Bulgarians, he succeeded in establishing the facts in a more impartial manner than could be done by Mr. Machkov, who had been known as a very pronounced Bulgarphobe since his tenure of the Russian consulate at Uskub, fifteen years previously.
The account of affairs in Adrianople falls into three sections: first, the capture of the town and the days immediately following,—March 26-30, 1913; secondly, the Bulgarian administration of the town during the occupation, and thirdly, the last days and the evacuation,—July 19-22, 1913.
THE CAPTURE OF THE TOWN
The particular charge made against the Bulgarians during this short period is that they were guilty of acts of cruelty against the Turkish prisoners and of pillaging the inhabitants of the town. Any clear establishment of their responsibility depends on a knowledge of the situation existing prior to the occupation. To throw light on this point we will refer to a document entitled Journal of the Siege of Adrianople, published in Adrianople itself over the initials "P. C.," belonging to a person well known in the locality and worthy of every confidence. So early as January 31 (new style), P. C. remarks that "the famine has become more atrocious: there is nothing to be heard in some of the poor quarters of the town but the cries of the little children asking for bread and the wailing of the mothers who have none to give them. From the Hildyrym quarter it is reported that a man has committed suicide after killing his wife and three children. A Turkish woman, a widow, is said to have cast her little ones into the Toundja. * * *" And so on. On February 12, P. C. speaks of the "famished soldiers," forbidden to receive alms, and who "beg you to cast your money on the ground, whence they may pick it up an instant after." On March 2, revolt broke out among the Hildyrym populace and the writer forecasts what was to follow in these words: "A day of vengeance and reprisals will come when the besiegers enter." The soldiery stole bread in broad daylight and refused to give it up when taken in the act. P. C. describes, two days
after, how "groups of people pass you who can hardly hold each other up; most of their faces are emaciated, their skin looks earthy and corpse-like; others with swollen limbs and puffy countenances seem hardly able to stumble along. You see them chewing at lumps of snow to cheat their hunger." And nearly two weeks were still to pass before the surrender! On March 12 the following scene took place: "A soldier crossing the Maritza bridge suddenly stopped, beat the air two or three times with his hands and fell down dead." He was thought to be wounded but "it was only starvation." "Stretchers bearing dead or diseased persons pass in constant succession; the doctors predict an appalling mortality as soon as the mild weather comes." On March 19, "In the hospitals one death follows another; yesterday two new cases of cholera were reported." * * * "This morning a poor trooper was brought in, poisoned from browsing on grass. Since the spring the cases have been multiplied." On March 22, "We have had five deaths last night; at the moment the mortality is from 50 to 60 a day, the result not of any epidemic, but of pneumonia affections and physiological starvation. Many have eaten unwholesome or poisonous bodies." Finally, there is the extract referring to the "last day of Adrianople," i. e., Wednesday, March 26, the day on which the town fell. It runs as follows:
The streets and squares are gradually filling with emaciated and ragged soldiers, who march gloomily to the rendezvous or sit down with an air of resignation at the corners and along the walls. There is no disorder among them: on the contrary they present a picture of utter prostration and sadness. * * *In contrast to the calm dignity of the Turks, the Greek mob showed an ever increasing meanness. They did not yet dare to insult their disarmed masters, but began to pillage like madmen, to an accompaniment of yells, blows and blasphemies. The Turks let them carry off everything without saying a word. [These somewhat long quotations from P. C.'s book have been made because it is now a bibliographical rarity. P. C.'s impressions are confirmed by another Journal of the Siege of Adrianople, by Gustave Cirilli (Paris: Chapelot, 1913), see pp. 129-151, etc.]
It only remains now to place the picture thus given in juxtaposition with Mr. Machkov's report and the commentary by the Bulgarian authorities on the events at the moment of the entry of their troops, to see how the different accounts complete and confirm one another.
Take, to begin with, the truly awful fate of the prisoners incarcerated in the island of Toundja, Sarai Eski. A member of the Commission visited the island. He saw how the bark had been torn off the trees, as high as a man could reach, by the starving prisoners. He even met on the spot an aged Turk who had spent a week there, and said he had himself eaten the bark. A little Turkish boy who looked after the cattle on the island, said that from across the river he had seen the prisoners eating the grass and made a gesture to show the inquirer how they did it. General Vasov stated in his deposition (see Ap-
Fig. 14.—Isle of Toundja
Trees stripped of bark which the prisoners ate
pendix G, 3) that he gave the prisoners permission to strip the bark off the trees for fuel, a fact confirmed by other trustworthy witnesses. The same general, from the second day on, ordered a quarter loaf to be distributed to the prisoners, which he took from the rations of the Bulgarian soldiery. This was confirmed by Major Mitov, who was entrusted with carrying out the order, which is moreover inscribed in the War Minister's archives (see Appendix G, 5). On the first day the victorious soldiery shared their bread with the prisoners and the starving populace. But touching incidents like this could not, any more than the general's order, supply the mass of the people with the food for lack of which they perished, and there are good grounds for believing that these poor wretches went on consuming the "unwholesome or poisonous" stuffs of which P. C. speaks.The mortality among the prisoners must have been severe, especially in the island, where cholera broke out again on the third or fourth day of the siege. There is evidence of a want of tents, which was indeed true of the whole army. The further fact that these unfortunate creatures passed the night exposed to all the rigors of rain and freezing mud, would in itself explain the increasing mortality. It is hardly possible to believe, after reading the descriptions published in the European press, for example Barzini's article in the Corriere delle Sera, that the isolation of the sick really had the good effects alleged by General Vasov.
The number of deaths has been variously estimated. Major Mitov speaks of thirty after the first morning. Major Choukri-bey, a captive officer, puts the number in a single day at a hundred; General Vasov estimated the total number of deaths at 100 or 200. The real figures must be higher. The Turk interrogated by the member of the Commission told him that the group in which he was consisted of some 1,800 persons confined in a narrow space indicated by
a gesture. On the night of March 15, 187 of them, he said, died of cold and hunger. The witnesses, it may be noted, put disease second or third among the causes of death. The main cause was still, as during the siege, weakness and exhaustion resulting from starvation, the agonizing effects of which lasted not only during the five days of the final struggle of which Mr. Vasov speaks, but for months. It must certainly not be forgotten that the explosion of the bridge over the Arda, and the destruction of the Turkish depots, made it difficult to provide food for 55,000 prisoners and inhabitants. But when all these admissions have been made, there remains as a fact not to be denied, the cruel indifference in general to the lot of the prisoners. This fact is fully confirmed by the depositions of the captive Turkish officers at Sofia. One is therefore bound to admit that the conduct of the victors towards their captive foes left much to be desired. Some of the rigorous measures reported by Turkish officers might be given as a reason against the attempts to escape made by certain prisoners. But that can not explain everything: what about the vanquished who were bayoneted at night and their corpses left exposed in the streets till noon? The case reported by Mr. Machkov, of the Turkish captive officer who, being too weak to march, was slain by the Bulgarian soldiers in charge, as well as a Jew who had tried to defend him, is fully confirmed by a reserve officer, Hadji Ali, himself a prisoner at Sofia. Mr. Machkov gives the name of the compassionate Jew, Salomon Behmi; and at Constantinople the very words uttered, in Turkish, by this Jew, "Yazyk, wourma" ("It is a sin: do not kill,") were reported to the member of the Commission. Hadji Ali knew the name of the slain Turk, Captain Ismail-Youzbachi, and saw him fall with his own eyes. The explanation given by General Vasov and the Baroness Yxcoull proves that the death of the thirteen Turks slain in the mosque at Miri-Miran can not be laid at the Bulgarians' door; but the depositions of the Turkish soldiers concerning the murder of the sick and diseased prisoners on the Mustapha Pasha route are more than probably true. We shall return to this question of the treatment of prisoners in the chapter dealing with international law.
A Greek version of the pillage of Adrianople reproduced by Mr. Machkov is unkind to a degree calculated to prejudice public opinion. Apart from Mr. Machkov and Mr. Pierre Loti, who merely repeats the Turkish version prevailing at the moment without verifying it, almost all the authorities agree in recognizing- that the pillaging during the days that followed the fall of the town was due to the Greeks themselves—to some extent also to the Jews, and Armenians; but mainly to the Greeks,—who simply fell upon the undefended property of the Turks. The quotations made above from P. C.'s journal foreshadow this truth, which is fully corroborated and removed from the region of doubt by the body of evidence collected by the Commission.
Pillage had begun in Adrianople before the Bulgarian troops entered the town, and continued until the occupation and the installation of the army was an
accomplished fact. Innumerable scenes have been described by eye witnesses. A considerable number,—which could be indefinitely increased,—will be found in the Appendix.
Even during the entry by the Bulgarian soldiers the streets were occupied by the indigenous mob, which pillaged all the Turkish public buildings, beginning with the military clubs, and attacked private houses, beginning with the vacant abodes of the Turkish officers. Patrols were hastily sent out, who lost themselves in the labyrinth of streets, and the people were instructed to whistle for their aid. However, the mass of the Turks feared reprisals on the part of the Greeks. The patrols wandered hither and thither punishing a few malefactors to the cries of "Aferim" (Bravo!) from the Turks. But the Turks themselves told Mr. Mitov, who described the scenes to us, "you can not be everywhere at once." And so the pillaging went on.
An official (whose name we are not permitted to disclose) went through the streets on the second day of the occupation. Djouma-bey, the Secretary of the Vali, pointed out crowds of men and women on every side, carrying off the goods they had stolen. Going into the Hotel de Ville, he asked for a patrol and went out with Major Mitov. Everywhere the same sight met their eyes. A perpetual stream of women, making off with their plunder. He threatened them with his stick. Mr. Mitov pointed his revolver. The women made off, dropping their bundles; then, as the authorities passed on they saw the same women coming back and picking up their booty. They arrived at the mosque, where the populace had stored its household goods. Standing at the door the Bulgarian officer ordered the pillage to stop and the pillagers to go out one by one. As they passed out they were hit with the stick and the butt end of the revolver. The women, however, would not let go; in spite of the bastinado to which they were treated they stuck to their thefts. There were too many of them, both men and women, to be taken up and punished, and they took advantage of this accident of superior strength.
By the third day the patrols were regularly established; order began to be restored. Nevertheless pillage and robbery went on, though under new forms suited to the new conditions. Sometimes the thieves dressed themselves up as soldiers and having obtained entrance to a house in the guise of a patrol, plundered at their ease. It was at this point that the Bulgarian soldiers in their turn began to follow suit, or rather to cooperate with the rest in a new kind of division of labor. There is evidence to show that the patrols worked to protect— the thieves, on condition that they might share in their booty. Major Mitov himself admitted that the soldiers had, to his knowledge, often been induced by their Greek hosts to take part in pillage, every possible means of persuasion being tried as inducement.
Here again the authorities have simply had to admit their powerlessness. The member of the Commission responsible for the inquiry was told that a
captive soldier "pomak" (i. e., a Bulgarian Mussulman), well known in one of the consulates, was given a written permit to go about as a "free prisoner"; but on attempting to make use of his permit, he was robbed in the streets by the regulars, who stripped him of everything down to his boots. He returned to the consulate barefoot and a complaint was sent in to Commander Grantcharov. All he could do however was to renew the poor devil's permit and give him a medjide (4 1/2 francs) out of his own pocket, to buy shoes.
Pillage even went on at the Bulgarian consulate in Adrianople. The consul, Mr. Kojoukharov, on returning thither from Kirk Kilisse, whence he had been transferred, found his trunks had been emptied. Mr. Chopov, chief of police in Adrianople, told us that he was unwilling to make inquiry into Mr. Kojoukharov’s case, because he was a Bulgarian. On the other hand, Mr. Vasov told us that he refused to make domiciliary investigations, "to avoid disturbing the people," and perhaps also to avoid creating new opportunities for pillage. Such investigations were made, however,—and Mr. Vasov mentioned them himself,—in search of soldiers in hiding and disguise.
Moreover, complaints and requests for inquiries poured in from the pillaged people, especially from the Turks, to the number of two or three hundred a day, according to Mr. Mitov. Thereupon domiciliary investigations were instituted, with excellent results in many cases. A quantity of goods stolen from the Turks were discovered in the houses of the Greeks and handed back to their owners. The chief of police opened a depot in the Hotel de Ville for goods of doubtful origin and unknown ownership; and Mr. Chopov told the Commission that the stolen goods were brought in by the cart load. Certificates were then issued bythe municipality stating that ownership of the goods had been acquired not by theft but by purchase. Mr. Mitov explained to the Commission that this became an ingenious and novel method of claiming ownership of certain goods which had in fact been bought, but at a very low price, by Jews and Greeks.
Domiciliary investigations of course furnished their own crop of abuses. Here again, however, Greek complaints can not always be taken as expressing the truth, and nothing but the truth, as is suggested by one case cited by Mr. Machkov. In his report he says: "Soldiers, armed with muskets, carried off a quantity of jewelry and precious antiques from two Greeks, the brothers Alexandre and Jean Thalassinos; they wrenched rings and bracelets from the hands of their sister."
A great deal has been said about the pillage of the carpets and library of the celebrated mosque of Sultan Selim. The evidence collected by the Commission enables us to settle this point. That the Bulgarian authorities, as soon as circumstances permitted, took every reasonable precaution for safeguarding the mosque is clear. It is however not true, nor did the interested parties ever try to spread the belief, that the mosque was not pillaged at all. In the first confusion the fine building served as a place of refuge and was filled by the
wretched furniture of the poor Mussulman families who sought an asylum there. Mr. Mitov told us how these Mussulmen took their domestic utensils and their rags with them when they left. Mr. Chopov added that the carpets of the mosque were not injured and the representative of the military governor of Adrianople who was attached to the member of the Commission responsible for the inquiry certainly made no complaints on the score of this alleged vandalism.
Fig. 15.—Mosque of sultan Selim
A cupola of the dome rent by an explosive shell
The case of the library is different. During an entire day it was at the mercy of the populace, thanks to the existence of a private entry overlooked by Mr. Mitov at his first visit. On returning to the mosque in the course of the next day he perceived clear traces of pillage. Books were lying on the floor; some had been torn from their bindings; everything believed to have been of value had evidently been removed. In Adrianople and in Sofia it is said that foreign orientalists, enlightened connoisseurs, were happily inspired to save precious manuscripts and rare volumes by buying them at their own expense. If the happy possessors, now that all danger of destruction is over, restore its property to the mosque, this action will have been admirable. The evidence of Baroness Yxcoull shows that order was restored in the mosque, as in the town of Adrianople, from the third day of the occupation.
THE BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATION
Let us now, leaving on one side other characteristic incidents, which could be multiplied ad infinitum, consider the general criticism passed on the Bulgarian administration, during the four months of the occupation,—March 13/26 to July 9/22. That the general impression on the part of the inhabitants of Adrianople today is decidedly unfavorable to the subjects of King Ferdinand is undeniable. Those representing Bulgarian authority have thus ample opportunity of estimating at their true value the official expressions of gratitude which were extended to them on behalf of the heterogeneous population of the town. The Turks are only too glad to pass once more under the sway of their national government. Both interest and patriotism have always made the Greeks hostile to the Bulgarians.
The testimony of foreigners is mixed. Mr. Klimenko, head of the Russian consulate during the siege, authorizes us to state in his name that up to his departure from Adrianople on April 7, he had no complaint to make of the Bulgarian regime. The judgment of the brothers of the Assumption, and to some extent of the Armenians, is equally favorable. The documents annexed to this volume contain a list, supplied by the authorities themselves, of the measures taken by the Bulgarian authorities to restore order and satisfy the various nationalities concerned. On the other hand, Mr. Gustave Cirilli, in his Diary of the Siege, speaks of the Bulgarian administration as creating "an irresistible tide of distrust or aversion"; due, according to him, "not so much to vexatious exactions which alienated the sympathies of the inhabitants," as to the extravagant nationalism of the Bulgarians, their efforts to impose their religious observances and language. At the same time Mr. Cirilli does justice to the administration of the last commander, Mr. Veltchev, of whom Mr. Machkov speaks so ill, describing his system as "the hand of iron in the velvet glove."
The Commission's competence was, of course, limited to a record of the externals of the regime. It is well known that the municipality retained its powers under the Bulgarian domination and that a majority on the council belonged to the nationalities (three Bulgarians, three Greeks, three Turks, two Jews, one Armenian). The Turks were better disposed than the other nationalities to a Bulgarian administration which saved them from pillage, and frequently passed official votes of approval upon it. The Greeks, on the other hand, did not conceal their hostility. Amusing stories are told of meetings between Mr. Polycarpe, the Greek Metropolitan, and representatives of the Bulgarian power, the former being visibly torn between deference due to constituted authority and inward revolt. The most exaggerated statements about the misconduct of the Bulgarians emanate from Greek sources. The measures taken by General Veltchev are the natural result of the temper of bold bravado which again took possession of the conquered or hostile peoples at the close of the occupation period. Mr. Bogoyev indeed told us (see Appendix G, 5)
that Mr. Veltchev called the Turkish and Greek notables together and stated that he should hold the Greek Metropolitan specifically responsible in the event of any rebellion of the "Young" Greeks. The events described above on the Aegean coasts justified only too fully the Bulgarians' suspicions of the Bishop of Adrianople as the center of the patriotic Hellenic agitation directed to the recovery of Thracian autonomy.
In the irritation produced by national conflict, reinforced by the "vexatious exactions" to which the natives were subjected, lies the explanation of their verdict on the Bulgarian regime in Adrianople. Wholesale and retail merchants were thoroughly displeased with the new organization of the wagons employed for importing goods as well as with the maximum prices of commodities fixed by the Bulgarian authorities. The highly interesting explanations of Mr. Lambrev, apropos of Greek accusations on this head, will be found in the Appendix. They describe a most interesting social experiment whose aim was to harmonize middlemen's profits with the legitimate needs of the population.
Complaints also came from the owners of houses occupied by Bulgarian officers. Comparisons between Bulgarian and Servian officers are generally disadvantageous to the former. Even friends of the Bulgars admit that, as far as externals go, the Servians had "a more distinguished appearance" and that their bearing made a favorable impression, in contrast to Bulgarian "arrogance." Obviously, therefore, the Servian officer was, generally speaking, preferred as an inmate to his colleague. All the same it is also probable that, in the troublous days, many people were glad enough to have a Bulgarian officer in the house to keep off the blows of the mob and the dubious protection of the patrols. To this the Greek notables apparently afforded an exception, however; in certain cases they met the demands of the billeting committee with a blank refusal ; [The members of the Committee were Fouad-bey, the Mayor (a Greek doctor named Courtidis), an Armenian and a Jew.]and it was sometimes necessary to use compulsion against them. For example, no suitable lodging being forthcoming for General Kessaptchiev, he was obliged, on his return from Salonica, to put up at the Hotel du Commerce.
It can hardly be denied that there were cases when departing officers,—and not only Bulgarian officers,—did take with them certain "souvenirs" of the houses in which they had dwelt. It is, however, a gross exaggeration to speak of "train loads of pseudo war booty" being sent to Sofia. Mr. Chopov himself has explained the "Chopov case" (see Appendix G, 6) and his explanation could be confirmed, if needful, by the evidence from Turkish merchants. There has been a certain amount of talk about the story of Rodrigues, an Austrian subject, and it is said that the Bulgarian authorities have promised the Inquiry Commission to assign responsibility, and refund the loss. Laces, ribbons and even ladies' dancing slippers are said to have been carried off from a house in Adrianople, the residence of Nissim-Ben-Sousam.
A Sofia paper, the Dnevnik, reported the naive admissions of Mr. Nikov, a Bulgarian officer and another devotee of oriental knick-knacks. In the early days of the occupation, he saw an old Greek woman carrying a seat of exquisite workmanship, adorned with carvings in oriental taste. All the trouble and privation he had had to undergo in the long months of the siege, in the muddy trenches, came to his mind and strengthened his conviction that he had a right to the precious piece of furniture. So, instead of conveying it to the depot opened by Mr. Chopov, he took it from the old woman, whose right to it was the same as his own. These officers came and gave evidence before the Commission or made public confession. There must, however, be others who refrained from appearing or saying anything. The carpets of the mosque of Sultan Selim were not touched and Mr. Chopov bought his fairly and squarely. But a member of the Commission was told that there was a time when the price of carpets fell markedly low, and admirable "windfalls" were secured in Sofia.
Again, sums of money are said to have been extorted for the liberation of captured individuals. Mr. Chopov, for instance, speaks of the case of the Vali Habil, whose freedom is said to have been obtained by these means. The Greeks in Adrianople say that he paid the huge ransom of ?T40,000. Such a scandalous transaction, had it really taken place, could not have passed unnoted; the story must be added to the legends circulated by the Greeks. At the same time the Commission would not venture to affirm that there were no abuses of this character, on a more modest scale. Tales are told in Adrianople of one Hadji-Selim, tobacco merchant and leader of a band, who was finally executed but whom, previous to his execution, they tried to compel to sign a cheque for ?T1,000 to his credit as a deposit in the National Bank of Bulgaria. Hadji-Selim is said to have signed but to have repudiated his signature in prison on the eve of execution, in the presence of the public prosecutor, the director of the Ottoman Bank who had had the cheque presented to him, his assistant and some officers.
These incidents, of interest to the moralist in the tangle they present of human weakness and honest effort, conscientious performance of duty and the crimes that follow in the conqueror's train, may be left to the judgment of the reader: a judgment that must allow for the exceptional circumstances of a great city in a state of siege. There could be no question, at this stage, of the normal administration established later on when the Turks returned as a "tertius gau-dens," when war broke out again after the disagreement between the allies and the violation of the first conventions. We have only now to report the events of the last period of Bulgarian occupation.
THE LAST DAYS OF THE OCCUPATION
On July 6/19, the administrative officials in Adrianople received orders to return to Bulgaria. The telegram arrived at 11.30 at night; the public knew
nothing of it. At midnight the Rechadie Gardens were still full of people, the inevitable cinematograph films passing before the idlers' eyes. The departure of the Bulgarians was sudden. That is why they left their cannon, their store of ammunition and their supplies behind them; why also the accusations of pillage and outrage made against them fall away, since the very conditions of their departure made them impossible. In their haste they even forgot to remove the sentinels stationed at the doors of some protected houses. Bulgarian merchants complained bitterly of the secrecy with which the move was carried out by the authorities. It did indeed take everybody by surprise.
The authorities left Adrianople on the night of July 6-7 (19-20). The Turks however did not arrive. In the city itself Major Morfov, with his seventy gendarmes, and Commandant Manov, represented law and order, but there were no regular authorities at the station or in the Karagatch quarter, and here deplorable incidents took place. On July 7, some eight military trains left the Karagatch station; by the time the last train but one departed the marauders were already at work and had to be fired at from the carriage roofs. A fire broke out in the depots, started, say the Greek witnesses, by a detachment of Bulgarian infantry on its way from the south towards Mustapha Pasha. Some of these same soldiers told the brothers of the Assumption that the depots had been fired by peasants, the Bulgarian army being beyond the station and the depots at that time. According to their statement the soldiers only set fire to the barracks, which was also used as an arsenal. Anyhow, there is no doubt that pillaging began under the eyes of the Bulgarians as they got on board the trains ; that the pillagers were peasants from Karagatch and the adjoining districts, Tcheurek-Keui and Dolou-djaros; that the soldiers tried to fire on them but the departure of the trains left them free to continue their pillaging. The peasants then armed the Turkish prisoners working on the railway—the same, evidently, of whom Mr. Bogoyev speaks. During the evening of July 7/20, the inhabitants of Karagatch laid in stores of petrol, meal, etc., taken from the depots.
Time went on and the Turks did not appear. The Bulgarians accordingly returned on the morning of Monday, July 8/21. They began by disarming the Turkish prisoners. The scene described by Mr. Bogoyev, when the Bulgarians fired on the prisoners and slew at least ten of them, must have occurred at this stage. According to the explanation given at the time by the Bulgarian officer holding the station, the prisoners tried to take flight in the belief that the Turkish army was already in Adrianople. When the Bulgarians asked where the Turkish prisoners could have got arms, they were informed that these were supplied by the population. From that time on the Bulgarians watched the inhabitants of Karagatch vigilantly. Their houses were visited and they were ordered to hand over whatever had been taken by anybody from the depots within a certain time ("up to 3 o'clock in the afternoon), after which requisition •would be made by force and punishment made.
Towards evening domiciliary visitations were in fact instituted. It is not quite clear how the forty-five persons arrested were selected. One of them, the sole survivor, Pandeli (Panteleimon), declared that it was his twelve-year-old son who had taken some meal from the depot; he, the father, had restored the booty, as was ordered, the original order having been that the goods restored should be deposited in the streets, but after that he and his comrades in misfortune had been detained to carry the sacks to the station. Pandeli described what followed in detail and his story, tested by the Commissioner making the report by comparison with two other witnesses, one grecophil, the other bulgarophil, is here reproduced. He said:
In the evening (July 8/21) the wretched creatures were bound together in fours by their belts and conducted along the Marache road by an escort of sixty soldiers. Their money and watches were taken from them before they were bound. They were told that they were being taken to Bulgaria, but when the soldiers got near the bridge across the Arda, someone shouted, "Run quickly, the train is coming!" They crossed the bridge and reached the opposite bank. There they were placed in line, their faces to the river, and pushed into the water. A horrible scene followed. While the poor devils floundered about the soldiers fired on any whose heads appeared above the water. Pandeli owed his life to a desperate movement. As he fell into the water he broke with an effort the belt fastening him to his companions. In the water, alone and free, he began to swim, raising his head from time to time. The shots directed at him luckily did not hit him. He then pretended to be dead, and lying on his back, allowed the current to carry him along. For some time he lost consciousness, then found himself stopped by a tree. He crawled up the wooded bank on all fours. A coachman seeing him fled, terrified by his looks. During the night he made his way back to the Hildyrym quarter and went to the house of his apprentice. (Pandeli is a carpenter in the Karagatch steam mills.)
The photograph (p. 122) shows the corpses of some of the forty-four victims who were fished out of the river some days later. The miserable episode did not come under the cognizance of the responsible Bulgarian authorities, but there can be no doubt of its truth. The panic and excitement of the final moments of departure can not be held to exonerate those guilty of it. The member of the Commission who made inquiry on the spot, learned from the brothers of the Assumption that other persons were arrested for acts of pillage, but they were left as they arrived at the station, people shouting to the escorting soldiers from the carriages of the last train: "Hurry up, the train is going." This happened at three o'clock in the morning on July 9.
The departure of the Bulgarians was then a hurried one. It follows that it is false to urge that "the Bulgarians, knowing that the Turks were going to return, had made every preparation for the final massacre"; that "they were going to massacre the Mussulmen, while the Armenians, whom they had carefully armed, were to be compelled to exterminate the Greeks." The Bulgarians
Fig. 16.—Victims thrown into the Arda and drowned
made no preparations for their own departure, and the "nightmares" spoken of in the quotation from Mr. Pierre Loti's article in L'Illustration, never had any existence save in the lively imagination of the Greek population which had been heated by agitators. The dramatic picture of the "last night," as described by the eminent French author, thus betrays but too distinctly the sources from which it was drawn. Take one more detail in the same article. Mr. Loti speaks of a young Turkish officer, Rechid-bey, son of Fouad, "captured" by the Bulgarians in a final skirmish on the retreat. "They (the Bulgarians) tore out his two eyeballs," says our author, "cut off his two arms and then disappeared. This was their last crime." Assuredly Rechid's death did produce a profound impression in the Turkish army, where he had many friends. The Commission's investigator was shown the monument set up to his memory and recently consecrated on the Mustapha Pasha road. But as a matter of fact the Turk showed more equity than their admirer. When the investigator went to the office of the Tanine at Constantinople to verify the facts, he was told by the paper's special correspondent in Adrianople that in the affray Rechid had received a mortal wound from which death followed instantaneously. The mutilation was but too real; the torture, however, an absolute invention. Even at Adrianople people talked of Rechid's dismembered ears and hands—his hands being beautiful—but no one ever spoke of his eyes being put out.
The account given above of affairs in Adrianople is far from exhausting the evidence collected by the Commission. The curious reader may find fuller particulars in the Appendix, where he can read the documents in proof of what we say. Unfortunately the major portion of the depositions taken at Adrianople itself can not be published or reported in detail since they were given confidentially. But the reader will readily understand that it is those very depositions, collected on the spot, which corroborate and support those used by the Commission in this report.
In order to gain a personal idea of events in Thrace in the course of the two wars, a member of the Commission went to see the villages situated to the east of Adrianople. He visited the villages of Havsa, Osmanly, Has-Keui, Souyoutli and Iskender-Keui. The first of these had been visited by Mr. Pierre Loti, who gave a description of it in L'Illustration. Unfortunately while describing the Bulgarian atrocities in this mixed village, Mr. Loti has not been informed that two steps off, at Osmanly, there was a Bulgarian village where the Turks had taken their revenge.
Havsa is composed of two quarters, the Mussulman and the Christian. The Christians here call themselves "Greeks" but they are Bulgarian patriarchists. Their quarter was not burned. The whole population remained there. The Turkish quarter, on the other hand, was almost entirely burned. The Turkish population fled the village on the Bulgarians’ approach, that is to say
at the beginning of the first war. These Turks took refuge in Constantinople and in Asia Minor. They are now beginning to come back; fifty or sixty families have arrived from Brousse, the Dardanelles and Akcheir. One might have thought that everyone had gone; there could have been no one left to suffer atrocities. Unhappily there were some exceptions. Rachid, an aged inhabitant of the village, told what follows to a member of the Commission. Four Turkish families had been unwilling to take flight. They remained. The names of the heads of these families were Moustafa, Sadyk, Achmed Kodja, and a fourth whose name has escaped 'us. These families were slain by the Bulgarians, who also put to death Basile Papasoglou, Avdji, Christo, Lember-Oghlu and Anastasius. All the women were outraged, but it is not true, as Mr. Loti asserts, that they were killed. Only one woman, Aicha, was killed; and the wife of Sadyk, who was among the slain, went out of her mind.
In the village there were two mosques. One of the mosques was turned into an ammunition depot. Another, described by Mr. Loti, was really seriously damaged. The member of the Commission found traces of blood on the floor. The rubrics from the Koran in the interior were in part spoiled, the Moaphil place destroyed, the marble member half broken, the pillars smashed. The dung seen by Mr. Loti in the minaret had gone, but some traces of it remained. A hole made in the cupola enabled one to get above the higher portion of the ceiling; a hole had been made in the middle of the ceiling and Rachid stated to the member of the Commission that from here, too, dung was spread on the floor below. The sacrilegious intention was even more clearly visible in the way in which the cemetery was treated. "All" the headstones were not broken, as Mr. Loti states, but some of them were. It is likewise true that one of the graves is open. In the bottom of the trench the member of the Commission found the remains of a brandy bottle; relic of a joyous revel! Justice compels the further remark, that the authors of this infamous deed are unknown, and that there are grounds for attributing it to the people of the locality, rather than to the regulars. It was noted that the miscreants confined their attentions to recent headstones and graves, leaving the older ones.
As has already been said, at a short distance from Havsa is Osmanly, a Bulgarian village, and there the Turks took their revenge, when they returned after the retreat of the Bulgarians. There were 114 Christian Bulgarian houses in the village. Not a single one was spared. The churches in the villages were burned and razed to the ground. The member of the Commission could see nothing but the outline of the precincts and the remains of the walls. Research in the interior recovered nothing but the debris of two chandeliers. The member of the Commission, investigating among the cinders, discovered some bits of half burned paper; they were fragments of the Gospel and the Sunday office, in Greek characters (see p. 125). The population had fled to Adrianople and from the Bulgarian frontier, i. e., towards Our Pasha. The whole of the cattle had been lost. Some dozen villagers were, however, working at the harvest in the village. They
Fig. 17.—Fragments of the Gospel in Greek letters found in the ruins of the Osmanli church
explained to the member of the Commission that the oxen they were using belonged to Turks from other villages whose farmers they themselves were.
The next village is Has-Keui, a repetition of Havsa. The Bulgarian quarter (here they are called "Greeks," and they sing in Greek at church) remained intact, but the cattle were carried off together with the produce of the harvest. Our traveling companion, a Turk, ventured the hypothesis that this might have been the work of bashi-bazouks. But a peasant who was present and spoke in Bulgarian to the member of the Commission, said distinctly that it was "askers," the regulars who had pillaged and taken everything without payment. Going on to the Mussulman quarter, we found it still in a state of devastation. Of fifty-five houses only twenty-five remained. This portion of the village was empty, and it was explained to the Commission that the men of the village had gone to Adrianople in search of their families. The refugees who had returned (some twenty-five or thirty families) had gone to dwell in the Christian quarter.
Of the two mosques in the village, one had been entirely destroyed and razed level with the ground, and the school adjoining treated in the same way. The other mosque, which was converted into an ammunition depot, was also damaged, especially inside; several headstones in the cemetery have been broken down.
The two Mussulman villages situated between Has-Keui and Adrianople,— Souyoutli-dere and Iskender-Keui,—underwent the same fate as the preceding ones. Of the eighty-seven houses in Souyoutli only eight or ten, with forty or fifty inhabitants, remain. The population had gone to Anatolia. Those who return dwell among the ruins, which they arrange as best they can to shelter them from sun and rain. They call these wretched habitations "colibi" (huts).
Iskender-Keui suffered even more severely. Out of eighty houses but four or five remain. The population fled to Adrianople; all have now returned. The few houses still standing owe their preservation to the fact that they were occupied by Bulgarians. The mosque and school of the village were razed level with the ground.
The conclusion to be drawn from this description is, that as a matter of fact, at the outbreak of the first war the Bulgarians destroyed the Mussulman villages, that the population fled almost to a man, and that the national Mussulman institutions, mosques and schools, suffered specially. Evidently these are not isolated or fortuitous events. They represent national tactics. Bulgarian officers have endeavored to explain this conduct to the Commission, pleading that the material of the houses was used to make winter cantonments for the army. Apart from the fact that such an explanation is equivalent to an avowal, it is inadequate to the extent of the devastation, and fails to meet the destruction of places of worship and schools.
Coming now to July, the Bulgarians began to retreat while the Turks assumed the offensive. Thrace again became the theater of war. Enver-bey is
accused with considerable unanimity of having sent Arabian and Kurdish cavalry ahead of his regular troops. These "Arabs" are often indicated, in the victim's stories, as being the authors of crimes. The Commission has collected a body of evidence to the effect that Turkish officers themselves sometimes warned those whom they were protecting of the approach of the "Arabs," and told them to be on their guard. An "Arab" soldier, a Catholic, actually admitted to one of his friends that the express orders of their captains were first to burn and ravage, then to kill all the males, next the women (here again all took flight) ; and that he had personally carried out the orders given him. We should not mention this story were it not that it comes from an excellent source, the name of the soldier being known to us, though we naturally refrain from giving it here.
These remarks made and conclusions established, we may pass to another part of Thrace, in order to follow the advance of the Turkish offensive, in relation to alleged excesses.
The member of the Commission had opportunity of free conversation with the Bulgarian refugees in Constantinople itself. They passed through Constantinople in groups. The Commission's member did not encounter the group of ninety persons from the villages of Tchanaktche, Tarf, Yeni-Tchiflik, Seimen and Sinekeli; nor the group of 190 from Baba-Eski and Lule-Bourgas. But the third group of sixty-two persons was still there. There were hardly any but old people, women and children. Most of them Were refugees from the villages of Karagatch (130 houses), Koum-seid (twenty-eight houses), and Meselim (ten houses), peopled by Bulgarians whom the Turks had brought from the village of Bourgas.
The following is the somewhat rambling story told to the Commission by an inhabitant of Koum-seid, who had reached Constantinople on the previous night, still haunted by recollected horrors:
It was Wednesday the 3d (16th). It was night and the village slept. All at once the Turks arrived. * * * The women and children were in a frenzy. * * * They asked for money. They killed many people. Nicolas the shopkeeper (bakal) was killed, Stoyan Kantchev was killed and also his son, fifteen years old. Next came the turn of Demetrius Stoyanov, Saranda Medeltchev, Demetrius Gheorgiev, Petro Stoyanov, Heli Athanasov and his brother. Cone Athanasov (these are his children); next Nicolas Gheorghiev, his wife and his twelve year old son; Demetrius Daoudjiski. Demetrius Christov, Christo Dimitrov—120 persons were gathered together in a single house; the Arabs arrived and asked them "Who are you ?" and they replied "We are Greeks." Thereupon they were asked for money. Everything was taken. Their pockets were searched. On the cries of the victims the cavalry came up. They did not touch the people; it was the "Arabs" who attacked them. The attack on the village did not last more than fifteen minutes. Then the Turks went away in the direction of Lule-Bourgas. * * * However, the next day more "Arabs" arrived. * * *
As the Commission left Constantinople, they met everywhere in Thrace the traces of this Arab cavalry, following on local reprisals and hatreds, and the excesses of the bashi-bazouks who took advantage of the anarchy inevitable in transition from one regime to another.
Unhappily time did not allow the Commission to visit the places which bore the first brunt of the rage of the Turkish army when it resumed the offensive; but the evidence collected by them at Constantinople and in Bulgaria, when collated with the reports of special Armenian delegations and some well authenticated documents emanating from a fresh official source, may supply the defect of personal observation. It seems that at the moment of crossing the frontier, which had appeared for some months so definitively established by the Bulgarian conquest, two sentiments ruled in the Turkish army and population. There was vengeance on those of their Christian subjects who had joined friendship with the Bulgarian invaders in the first instance, and then with the Armenians. The Greeks, although they too had suffered at the hands of the Turks, were rather on their side. They too profited by Turkey's recovery to wipe out the traces of Bulgarian domination and reestablish their own national pretensions. They therefore hailed the Turks' return and often served them as guides and spies. The second feeling, natural enough in the Moslem population returning with the army to deserted villages, was to recover their goods and take them away from their new owners.
At Rodosto, retaken July 1/14, by 200 volunteers who arrived on board an Ottoman gunboat, the first act of the reestablished Ottoman power was the following proclamation to the Christian and Jewish population of the Sandjak:
Anyone in possession of goods or arms belonging to the government or cattle or goods belonging to emigres in the local population, which have been appropriated during the Bulgarian occupation, is invited to come and restore them to the Special Commission sitting at Rodosto. Two days' delay are allowed, starting from today (July 5/18) for those who are in Rodosto, three days for those dwelling in the villages. After the lapse of this delay any one found with appropriated goods in his possession will be treated with all the rigor of the laws.
But the volunteers and emigres returning home did not wait for the end of this nominal delay. The moment of their arrival they began pillaging and massacring the indigenous population. The volunteers had but just disembarked at Rodosto when they slew the Bulgarian commissary who handed the town over to them; they divided themselves into groups, with four or five bashi-bazouks at the head of each, and hastily organized pillage and massacre. They slew the Armenians whom they met in the market place, then the people being once shut up in their houses, ransacked the houses under pretext of searching for Bulgarian soldiers and officers there. The foreign consuls intervened; then the assailants turned their activities to the country outside the town, where no
control could be exercised. The results were nineteen corpses buried in Rodosto and eighty-one victims disappeared and evidently slain in the fields. This last figure should be higher,—some put it at 300. The more well-to-do had to pay for their safety between twenty and sixty Turkish pounds a head. Money, jewels and watches disappeared. Even so they were well off, for at eight hours’ distance from Rodosto, in Malgara, the catastrophe assumed much larger proportions. There the population was taken by surprise; there were no consuls. The heads of the Armenian community were arrested by the Governor at Rodosto, The Bulgarian police had just quitted the town, which for a day remained without any authorities or public force (July 1 and 2, old style). We can not here transcribe the eloquent story told by the Armenian delegation of what happened at Malgara in this state of anarchy.The reader will find it in the Appendix. But some points, common to the whole of this work of destruction, may be mentioned. Here again the motive is the same as at Rodosto and everywhere else; the military commander of the place addresses the Armenian notables summoned before him, in these terms:—-"Armenian traitors, you have in your possession arms and other objects stolen from the Moslems." A sub-lieutenant uses the other argument referred to:—"You other Armenians, you have largely assisted the Bulgarians, but today you shall have your reward.” Such terms encouraged the population not to wait until legal measures were taken. On the second and third days of the occupation public criers in the Armenian quarters order "those who have stolen goods belonging to Moslems or who are in possession of arms, to give them up." On the fourth day an opportunity for beginning the attack presents itself. Two terrified Armenians, on being called on by the soldiers to show them the Ouzoun-Keupru road, run away instead of answering. The signal is given; the soldiers, the crowd, put lighted torches soaked in petrol to the houses of the culprits; and the burning of the Armenian quarter begins. At the same time pillage and massacre are going on in the market. Some Armenian soldiers stop the fire, but it breaks out again in the market and thanks to the strong wind assumes terrifying proportions. Explosions of barrels of benzine, alcohol, etc., are heard; the crowd takes them for hidden bombs. Finally the Kaimakam, the representative of civil authority, arrives at Malgara, accompanied by the captain of police and a policeman. Even by standing surety for their lives, he hardly succeeds in persuading-the frantic Armenians to come out of their hiding places and organize a little band of some fifty to sixty young people who get the fire under. Results, in the town itself, to say nothing of the environs: twelve Armenians killed, ten wounded, eight disappeared, seven imprisoned, eighty-seven houses and 218 shops burned; a material loss amounting to ?T80,000. [Le Jeune Turc of August 12 actually admits that 139 houses and 300 shops were burned at Malgara. It adds: "with the exception of two houses the entire village of Galliopa, consisting of 280 houses, was destroyed by fire; 299 houses were the prey of flames in eleven Christian villages, thirty-five persons were killed and nine wounded.] This time there was also an epilogue.
An Ottoman commission of inquiry tries to cast the responsibility of the pillage and assassinations * * * on the Armenians themselves.
The real massacre begins however when the Turkish army meets Bulgarians on its route, and the events described at Rodosto and Malgara fade before those which took place at Boulgar-Keui, "a Bulgarian village," as its name shows. Boulgar-Keui is, or rather was, a village of 420 houses some miles from the town of Kechane and not far from another village of 400 houses, Pichman-Keui, whose fate was similar. The information collected by the Commission as to these atrocious events comes from different sources and the evidence agrees in the smallest details. The refugees, women for the most part, scattered in all directions. They were found at Haskovo and Varna in Bulgaria, where two agents of the Balkan Relief Society questioned them and transmitted their depositions to a member of the Commission,—depositions that though coming from places very far distant from each other are identical in terms. Another member of the Commission was able to meet in Constantinople a male survivor of the horrors of Boulgar-Keui and thus obtained possession of some unpublished Greek official documents which confirm and complete the oral depositions. From all these sources an absolute certainty emerges that the purpose was the complete extermination of the Bulgarian population by the military authorities in execution of a systematic plan.
These events recall those at Rodosto and Malgara, but the end is different. The Bulgarian peasants, like the populations of the towns referred to, had as a matter of fact appropriated the goods of the Turkish emigres, their coats, domestic utensils, cash, etc. The Turkish soldiers in their turn lay hands on what they can find; they demand money, they carry off clothes, they lead off the big cattle over the frontier to the village of Mavro. Thus a whole week passes, July 2-7. Soon, however, everything changes. The order is given to collect the whole male population at the bottom of the village to receive instructions. The witness spoken of above believed the order to be a lie and preferred remaining at home, thereby saving his life. Nearly 300 men appeared. They were all killed on the spot by a fusillade. Only three men escaped, one of them being wounded (John K. Kazakov). The depositions of the women complete the picture. At Haskovo they told the agents of the English Relief Committee that the Turks went from house to house seeking for male inhabitants over sixteen years of age. Two shepherds, Dimtre Todorov and George Matov, added that the Greeks helped the Turks to tie the Bulgarians' hands with cords. A young woman refugee at Varna described how her husband, father and two of her brothers were shot in front of their house. Another stated that at Haskovo she had seen the Greeks sprinkle her husband and some other men with petrol and then burn them. Other women at Varna confirmed this horrible story and added that the number of victims who perished in this way was twenty-three. A shepherd saw the same scene, hidden in a neighboring place of refuge. The
women put the total number of men killed at Boulgar-Keui at 450 (out of 700). The Constantinople witness adds that all this was going on up to July 29 (old style) when he left the village. At the end of this period the Turks began sticking notices on the walls that there was to be no more killing. A portion of the population believed it and returned. But as the male population returned killing began again by twos, threes and fives. The people were led into a gorge and there shot down. The witness saw that at Pitch-Bonnar and at Sivri-Tepe: in the first place he saw as many as six corpses and recognized one of the six as the "deaf" Ghirdjik-Tliya.
The methods employed with the women were different. They were outraged, and Greeks, clad, according to the witnesses, in a sort of uniform, did the same as the Turks. In the villages of Pichman, Ouroun-Begle and Mavro, the Greeks were indeed the sole culprits, and they outraged more than 400 women, going from one to another. Young men who tried to defend their betrothed were taken and shot. A woman of Haskovo described how her little child was thrown up into the air by a Turkish soldier who caught it on the point of his bayonet. Other women told how three young girls threw themselves into a well after their fiances were shot. At Varna about twenty women living together confirmed this story, and added that the Turkish soldiers went down into the well and dragged the girls out. Two of them were dead; the third had a broken leg; despite her agony she was outraged by two Turks. Other women of Varna saw the soldier who had transfixed the baby on his bayonet carrying it in triumph across the village.
The outraged women felt shame at telling their misfortunes. But finally some of them gave evidence before the English agents. They said that the Greeks and Turks spared none from little girls of twelve up to an old woman of ninety. The young woman who saw her father, husband and brothers perish before their house was afterwards separated from her three children and outraged by three Greeks. She never saw her children again. Another, Marie Teodorova, also saw her husband killed before her eyes, and then, dragged by the hair to another house, she was outraged by thirty Turks. Two of her three children were seriously wounded and one of them died at Varna. Sultana Balacheva is the old woman of ninety with wrinkled face, from the village of Pichman, who was outraged by five Turks.
Here are some extracts from secret Greek reports not intended for publication which will serve to show that the same outrages repeated themselves in all the countries in which the Turks took the offensive: "Yesterday evening (July 4/17) from the first hour of the night (t. e., sunset, alia Turca) to six o'clock, the Turkish population has invested the Greek village of Sildsi-Keui (Souldja-Keui to the northeast of Rodosto), set fire to it and massacred the whole village, women and children included, 200 families in all. The catastrophe was wit-
nessed by so and so [Since all these places have remained in possession of the Turks the necessity of concealing the names of the authors of the documents will be understood.] * * * No one escaped." Isolated massacres of shepherds and workers in the fields, during the same day, by Turkish soldiers and inhabitants, are also mentioned in the villages of Simetli, Karasli (both southeast of Rodosto), Titidjik, Karadje-Mourate, Kayadjik, Akhmetikli, Omourdje and Mouratli. On the same day (July 4/17) Turkish soldiers killed at Kolibia near Malgara the hegoumenos (abbot) of the Monastery of Iveria, Eudocimus, the priest Panayote and some other persons.
This was but the beginning. Since the population of the neighboring villages fled to Kolibia the Turks "after killing in the interior of the church, burned all the families of the neighboring villages that had found refuge there" (report on July 9). In Has-Keui, another village near Malgara, the Turks burned "a considerable number of families." In the same village (report of July 12) the officer ordered the mouktar (head man of the village) to procure him three girls for the night, "otherwise you know what will happen to you," the officer added, showing his revolver. The mouktar refused and bade the officer kill him rather * * * Then "the men were shut up in the church * * * all the women were collected in a spacious barn and the soldiers banqueted for twenty-four hours, outraging all the women from eight to seventy-five years of age." The army took with it quantities of young girls from each village. At Kolibia a young girl, pursued by a soldier, fell from a window. While her body was still breathing the soldier assaulted her.
The Greek report is at pains to add: "The caimacams demand that a declaration be signed to the effect that all these infamies * * * were committed by the Bulgarian army." The words explain why in the declarations published in August, 1913, in Le Jeune. Turc, signed by Greeks and written in the name of the population, the accusations against the Bulgarians are so numerous. The object was in fact to clear the Ottoman troops of all the crimes committed. [For example, at Has-Keui where according to the authority cited there were "a considerable number of families" killed or burned by the Turks. The following is the declaration of the village notables presented to the caimacam of the Haivebolou casa: "We deny categorically the malicious insinuations made against the Ottoman army and in rebutting them protest against crimes such as incendiarism and assassination perpetrated by the Bulgarian army in our town at Has-Keui and at Aktchilar-Zatar at the time of the Bulgarian retreat from these places." Signed Triandaphilou and Yovanaki, members of the administrative council of the casa, Greek notables: Father Kiriaco, representing the metropolitan, Dimitri, vicar of Has-Keui: Father Kiriaki, priest of Has-Keui: Polioyos, Greek commercial notability." See the Union July 24 which published in the same number a supplement entitled "Acts of Bulgarian Savagery in Thrace." The member of the Commission who visited another village of the same name, Has-Keui, near Adrianople, asked to see Constantinos, the priest of the village, who also signed a list equally long, of Bulgarian misdeeds there. (See Le Jeune Turc, Sept. 2.) The priest did not appear.]
Let us add one more report of July 9 on the events at Ahir-Keui (Aior-Keui to the east of Visa) which proves that the same system was applied over the whole area of the territories again occupied by the Turkish army: "Yesterday evening, July 7, the police selected to guard the inhabitants of Ahir-Keui sepa
rated men, women and children. All the men they beat pitilessly and wounded many with oxgoads; outraged the young girls and women, giving themselves up to libertinism throughout the night."
In this way this portion of Thrace was absolutely devastated. The Greek report of July 9 states that the Ottoman army "massacred, outraged and burned all the villages of the casas of Malgara and Airobol. Nine hundred and seventy families from the casa Malgara and 690 from the casa Airobol, i. e., a population of 15,960 persons, have been either killed or burned in the houses or scattered among the mountains." If this be regarded as an example of the exaggeration not uncommon in Greek sources, confirmation may be adduced from a Catholic paper. [La Croix, August 24-25, 1913.] "A commissionaire who came from Malgara and arrived yesterday August 23, at Adrianople, assures us that the whole number of villages burned or wholly destroyed round Malgara is not less than forty-five. He stated that he smelt the intolerable stench of many corpses as he crossed the fields in the neighborhood of Kechane." A month after this deposition the member of the Commission who went to Constantinople heard there the story of a Greek, an English subject. About a thousand Bulgarians, men, women and children, were still wandering in the mountains, whither they had fled before the horrors described. But they were surrounded by Ottoman troops between Gallipoli and Kechane and exposed to every imaginable kind of suffering. The witness saw numbers of terrible scenes and took some photographs. Under his very eyes a Turk opened the stomach of a child of seven years and cut it to pieces. The witness is known in Constantinople, and it is extremely important that his photographs should not be mislaid. We might still be ignorant of facts that have come to our knowledge; the whole of this persecuted population might have remained there, wandering among the mountains, awaiting the last stroke from the soldiers who surrounded them. Very luckily the Greeks made the mistake of taking these peasants for compatriots; they received permission from the authorities (who shared the error), to lead them to Lampsacus, at the other side of Gallipoli. Here the missions concerned themselves with their lot, and the Greeks sent a special steamer to bring them to Prinkipo. Only then did they discover that they were not Greeks but Bulgarians. They were thereupon driven out into the streets. Thanks to the intervention of the Russian Embassy and the aid of the Bulgarian exarchate they were reembarked and sent back to Bulgaria. Chief among them were women from Boulgar-Keui, 412 of whom were seen by the English at Varna, as their fellow villager reported when questioned at Constantinople by a member of the Commission.
The space between the frontier ceded at London (Enos Midia), and the old Bulgarian frontier was traversed by the Turkish army in three weeks. The soldiers arrived with views deducible from the facts. An Arab Christian soldier of the Gallipoli army, of which we have spoken above, when asked why he had
taken part in these atrocities, forbidden by his religion, replied confidentially in Adrianople, "I did as the others did. It was dangerous to do otherwise. We had the order first to pillage and burn, then kill all the men." * * *
Exceptions and distinctions were made however. There was a Bulgarian village, Derviche-Tepe, situated near two Turkish villages, one of which is called Khodjatli. When the Bulgarian army approached, during the first war, sixty Turks sought refuge with their Christian neighbors. They were given protection and did not suffer from the passage of the Bulgarian soldiers. Among others there was a rich cattle merchant who related the following story at Constantinople: "When the Turks returned they had the order not to touch the village. They said to the peasants: Be not afraid of us, since you saved our people; we have a letter from Constantinople to leave you in peace." But the exception confirms the rule. There were also exceptions in the contrary sense, as the history of the village of Zaiouf proves. Zaiouf was peopled by Albanians, Greek in religion. The next village, Pavlo-Keui, was Bulgaro-Moslem (pomak). During the first war the Zaioufians pillaged Pavlo-Keui, and then thought of baptizing the Pavlo-Keuians. They called a Greek priest, Demetrius, and he converted the village. The Turks, on their return, not only killed Demetrius; they razed the village to the ground. At the same time Aslane, the neighboring Christian village, suffered comparatively little. At Zaiouf, 560 persons were killed. On taking the offensive, the Turks transported their habits of pillage across the frontier. Among the villages destroyed in Bulgarian territory the Commission heard of Soudjak, Kroumovo, Vakouj, Lioubimits, etc. When according to the conditions of the treaty of peace, Mustapha Pasha had to be handed back to the Bulgarians, the Turks destroyed it completely, as is shown by the report of Mr. Alexander Kirov of October 19 (November 1), which is in the hands of the Commission. Mr. Kirov recounts that here too the return of the Turks during the second war was signalized by the massacre of the whole male population (eighteen persons). The old woman, who survived this appalling day, described how they killed them one by one amid the laughter and approving cries of the Moslem crowd. The headsman, a certain Karaghioze Ali, varied the mode of execution to amuse the mob. When a young man named Chopov asked to be killed more quickly, that he might not see such appalling scenes, Karaghioze Ali, smoking his cigarette, replied: "Be patient, my child; your turn is coming," and he killed him last. The old schoolmaster, Vaglarov, seventy years of age, was killed in the street, and throughout the day his head was carried by the beard from quarter to quarter. The mother of the writer of the report was killed on July 13/26, and thrown down a well. In the courtyard a portion of her hair, torn off with the skin, and her bloodstained garments, were found.
In Western Thrace traveling was impossible during the Commission's stay. Those places assigned to Bulgaria by the treaty of Bucharest, were inhabited equally by Greeks and Turks. After the departure of the Bulgarian army on
July 9 and 10 (July 22 and 23), the country was occupied by the Greek army and the population little disturbed, "probably thanks to the nomination of a European Commission of Inquiry" (i. e., the Carnegie Commission), in the view of a Bulgarian journal, Izgreve. After its departure, however, September 6/19 up to the time of the definitive arrival of the Bulgarian army, the population was entirely in the power of the republican militia, i. e., of the Greek andartes am Moslem bashi-basouks, grouped by the priests, schoolmasters and secretaries of the Greek metropolitans (bishops). The Bulgarian population, expecting no good at the hands of this militia, was panic struck and threw themselves on all sides into Dede-Agatch, where there were still some Greek regulars. But the military authorities did not permit them to enter the town, and the crowd of 15,000 refugees were stationed a quarter of an hour's distance off, in the Bulgarian quarter and barracks. On September 19, the last Greek troops left Dede-Agatch with the steamer, and the Greek Metropolitan advised the Moslem volunteers of their departure. This is why the refugees, with the exception of about a hundred, had no time to seek shelter in the town. They were discovered by the bashi-basouks "of the militia, and led to Tere and Ipsala like flocks of sheep." They passed the night at Ouroumdjik, where their money was taken from them and the schoolmaster from Kaiviakov, with his wife from Baly-Keui, were massacred. On the morning of September 23, they met upon their way a company of Bulgarian volunteers, who delivered the larger part of the refugees from the bashi-basouks. But during the retreat, the bashi-bazouks succeeded in massacring about one hundred women and children who had remained behind with the baggage, and they took away 100-150 women and children. The rest took the road for Bulgaria with their liberators. But on the morrow, September 24, there was another encounter with the bashi-basouks, near the village of Pickman-Keui. In this encounter 500 were slain and 200 women and children made prisoners. Newcomers had raised the total to 8,000. At the river Arda new slaughter awaited them. After the crossing they counted again and were but 7,200.
The lot of those who remained at Dede-Agatch was no better. A public crier shouted on several successive days the orders for the Bulgarians to quit the town; recalcitrants and those harboring them, to be punished like dogs. The frightened Greeks filled several wagons with Bulgarians and sent them to Bulgaria. On their way they saw two wagons full of Bulgarian women and children at the station at Bitikili, and two other wagons at the station at Soffli. The number of Bulgarian villages burned in Western Thrace amounts to twenty-two and the massacred population to many thousands.
3. The theater of the Servian-Bulgarian war
In the Appendix will be found a selection of the documents on which this part of the report is based. In Servia, of course the Commission was not
accepted by the government and it was therefore compelled to rely on its own resources to prove the Servian thesis of the "Bulgarian atrocities." Nevertheless the documents contained in the English translation are official: the Commission obtained them by purchase from an intermediary. [We have not seen the book announced by the Serbische Correspondent of November 28/December 11, which appeared in Belgrade ("publication of the Servian Journalisten Verein) in English on the "Bulgarian atrocities," but the summary of the contents does not speak of official documents, which constitute the most important and only authentic source; and some of the photographs mentioned also appeared in a recent book by Mr. de Penennrun, "Quarante jours de guerre."] If the conclusion were allowable that, enough having been done to satisfy public opinion, the Servian Government was not displeased in at least allowing information to reach us, the Committee would rejoice thereat while regretting the attitude which Mr. Pachitch found it necessary to adopt in regard to the Commission. In the documents, we have kept whatever seemed to be first-hand information, what seemed to us trustworthy and contained no glaring exaggeration. It will be seen that the documents become the more convincing in consequence. They are, for the most part, official reports sent by the head of the General Staff of the different armies to the General Staff at Uskub, in response to an order from the latter dated June 20/July 3, No. 7669. ("In accordance with the order of the General Staff No. 7669 of the 20th inst," a phrase appearing at the head of many of the documents which we have omitted, in abridging them for publication.) Thus at the beginning of the war the Servian government took the steps necessary to secure that no single instance of "atrocities" committed by the Bulgarian soldiery should remain unknown to international public opinion. Unluckily for itself the Bulgarian government took no general step of an analogous kind, so that our data as to crimes of this order are necessarily incomplete.
By way of compensation we have, on the Bulgarian side, information of another kind presented spontaneously, so to speak, and recorded on his private initiative by Professor Miletits, in the depositions of eye witnesses of the destruction of Bulgarian villages during the Servian offensive. The refugees from the villages concerned were interrogated when they crossed the border, at Kustendil, on the state of things they had left behind them. We publish these among those depositions which refer to villages situated along the conventional boundary of the rivers Zletovska. Bregalnitsa and Lakavitsa, i. e., the boundary agreed upon by the two armies before the opening of hostilities. In the originals (transmitted to us in a French translation) the names of the witnesses,-eye witnesses in every case,-are given. Since the territories in question are actually Servian and the population has in part returned thither, we have thought it more prudent not to publish the names.
Concerning the regions round the old Serbo-Bulgarian frontier, the Commission has in its possession documents of two kinds. On the Servian side. since the Commission was unable to carry out their intention of going to Knjazevac
they had to be content with the receipt of the documents here published. On the Bulgarian side, the Commission actually visited the neighborhood of Vidine, which had suffered Servian invasion.
Examining first the country which ultimately became the theater of the war, the regions situated near the ancient Serbo-Bulgarian frontier, the Commission admits that the two reports published on the ravages produced by the Bulgarian invasion at Knjazevac,-the Servian official report and the Russian report are entirely convincing. In Mr. de Penennrun's book (p. 292) there is a photograph showing the room of a Servian doctor pillaged by the Bulgarians in the neighborhood of Knjazevac. Comparing this with the descriptions given by the prefect of the Timok department, Mr. Popovits (see Appendix H, 3), the accuracy of the latter is striking. Yet the first impression of the Russian witness, Mr. Kapoustine, on arriving at Knjazevac, was that of being in a town in its normal condition; and Mr. Popovits confirms this when he says that only isolated houses and shops were burned; twenty-six belonging to twenty owners. When however the houses and shops which appeared in a good state of preservation were entered, there is unanimous agreement (Mr. Popovits visited fifty and Mr. Kapoustine 100) in the sad admission of complete destruction. "It is not a case of mere pillage," says Mr. Kapoustine, "it is something worse; something stupefying." "One was absolutely dumbfounded," Mr. Popovits adds, "by the reflection that all that could have been done in so short a time, when there were, as the inhabitants assured me, only 10,000 soldiers." In fact, the pillagers were not content with carrying off the things of which they could make some use. What one might call a fury of gratuitous destruction seems to have led the destroyers on. They must have been drunk to behave as they did. Whatever could not be carried off was spoiled; the furniture was destroyed, Jam thrown into the water-closets, petrol poured upon the floor, etc.
In the environs it was still worse. The peasants told Mr. Kapoustine that the Bulgarian soldiers went through the villages in groups of fifteen or twenty, pillaging houses, stealing money and outraging women. Mr. Kapoustine did not succeed in tracing the outraged women. But as the Commission knows from personal experience, the difficulty of conducting an inquiry of this nature, especially when the women go on living in the villages, they could not feel Justified in rejecting the testimony of inhabitants who know that "in the village of Boulinovats seven women were outraged, two among them being sixteen years old; at Vina nine women, one of whom was pregnant; at Slatina, five, one of whom was only thirteen."
Turning from this to the impressions actually gained by the Commission in Bulgarian territory, it must be admitted that it is unfortunately true that the same methods were employed by the Servian invaders towards the Bulgarian population. Let us begin however by saying that we have seen homage rendered to the superiority of the Servian command in the Bulgarian press itself. A
correspondent of the Bulgarian paper Narodna Volia felt constrained to admit that "to the honor of the Servian military authorities," there were in the village of Belogradtchik, occupied by the Servians on July 9/22, "few excesses or thefts committed by the army. Such as there were took place in the course of the first day and remained secret. The houses and the shops, where there was nobody, were ravaged. But on complaints being made by the citizens, the guilty soldiers were punished. The commandant, Mr. T. Stankovits, from Niche, a deputy in the Skupshtina, showed himself resolute in preserving order and stopping any attempts at crime." The same can not be said of the Bulgarian military authorities in the Knjazevac affair, on the admission of Bulgarians themselves, collected by the Commission.
But with this single exception the procedure in the one case was the same as in the other; another Servian socialist paper, the Radnitchke Novine, admitted it frankly. It was in the villages that the population suffered most. "Quantities of people," the Narodna Volia continues, "were forced to hand over their money. In the villages of Kaloughere and Bela the gallows are still standing by which the Servian "committees" terrorized their victims. On the "committees" there was even a priest. Whole flocks of sheep, goats, pigs, oxen and horses were lifted. All the seeds that could be discerned were dug up. All the clothes and all the furniture were taken. The Bulgarian villages near the frontier naturally suffered most. Whole caravans came and went full of booty. The Radnitchke Novine speaks of "heaps of merchandise and booty taken to Zayechare and sold there. Also no small number of women were violated." The Commission can authenticate the truth of the statements in these papers by what was heard and seen at Vidia and in the neighborhood. Before leaving the Balkans a whole day was spent in visiting the village of Voinitsa, and taking photographs there.
This village, in the Koula canton, comprised sixty-three houses; thirty-two were totally burned and the rest plundered and ruined. The Commission summoned some of the old men who had remained in the village after the arrival of the Servian troops. One of these old men, "Uncle" Nicholas, aged eighty, was killed in his house and his corpse covered with stones; the Commission photographed his tomb, where a simple wooden cross is to be seen. Another old man, "Uncle" Dragane, aged seventy, was also killed. A third, Peter Jouliov, aged seventy-three, had the idea of going up to the Servians with bread and raki (brandy) in his hands. For only reply one soldier ran him through with his bayonet and two others fired on him. "You have killed me, brothers," he cried as he fell. When the soldiers went, he crawled on his stomach some yards, to the nearest shelter. There for two days and two nights he lay in hiding in the forest without eating. His wounded foot was swollen and he had found no means of dressing it in the village of Boukovtse. At last on the ninth day he reached the Servian ambulance. The doctor made a dressing for him
and the old man thanked him and gave him six apples. "You do not belong to this place, I see," said the doctor, "since no one but you has given me anything. You are a man of God; thank you." Peter Jouliov himself told the Commission this simple and touching story.
At Voinitsa there were also some old women who suffered. Three of them were killed: Yotova Mikova, aged seventy; Seba Cheorgova, seventy-five and Kamenka Djonova. A witness, repeatedly beaten by the Servians who asked him why the population had fled, saw them set fire to the houses; only one was saved, and on it some one had scrawled in chalk the word Magatsine, to show that it was a food depot. Other witnesses saw the soldiers carrying off stolen furniture, carpets, woolen stuff prepared for carpet making, etc. Some peasants who thought that we were a government commission, sent to inventory their losses, brought us long lists of them. Here are some of the papers which we kept for information, after explaining to the villagers the mistake they made:
HOUSE OF TANO STAMENOV
1. Woodwork 18 x 10 met. 19 windows, 14 doors................fr. 12,000
2. Light woodwork 16 x 8 .....................................2,000
3. A wine cask .........................................................200
4. Miscellaneous (3 badne) ......................................150
5. Four barrels ...........................................................50
6. A German plow ......................................................75
7. A caldron .............................................................400
8. A machine, called farabi ......................................500
9. A maize grinder ......................................................95
PROPERTY OF JOHN TANOV
1. Maize 300 crinas [About a bushel.]...................... fr.600
2. Two oxen, with cart ...............................................1,000
3. Grain, 30 crinas .......................................................80
4. A vat of 600 okas [Weight about 1,280 grams]..........80
5. A barn 6x2 met..........................................................50
6. A plow ......................................................................40
7. Four big baskets (kochia) .........................................50
8. Wool (45 okas) ......................................................100
9. Three stoves ............................................................100
10. Two beds ................................................................40
11. Six pigs and 3 porkers ...........................................200
12. Eighty hens ..............................................................80
13. Haricots-10 crinas ................................................60
14. Wine, 20 k. .............................................................50
15. Two hives ................................................................35
16. A kitchen garden 1% dec........................................100
17. Three tables .............................................................40
18. Other indecipherable household goods ....................448
The property of another son, Alexander Tanov, fr. 900.
From the losses here sustained by a single family,-father and two sons, amounting to fr. 19,500 (and the prices are not overstated, so we were assured by the inhabitants of Vidine), some idea may be formed of the enormous figures of the estimated cost of the Balkan War to the inhabitants. The loss caused the Servian peasants by the Bulgarian invasions at Knjazevac is rated in the document we publish at fr. 25,000,000 or 30,000,000. No one, as far as we are aware, has tried to estimate the loss caused the Bulgarian peasants at Belogradtchik and Vidine by the Servian invasion.
In the principal area of military operations, in the canton of Kratovo, Kotchani, Tikveche, Radovitch, excesses are naturally to be expected of a different order from those due to military incursions on the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier. Here were two armies face to face for months at a short distance from one another. Each accused the other of provocation and acts of bad faith. The Bulgarians thought they were sure to defeat the old ally and new enemy at the first encounter. The Servians rejoiced in advance in the opportunity of restoring Servia's military reputation and revenging the defeats of 1885. Each side saw in the issue of the conflict the solution of difficulties that were, from the national standpoint, questions of life and death. The conflict over, the one side said, "We are not vanquished," and the other, after securing the price of victory, declared, "For the first time we have really fought; here are adversaries worthy of us." "Yes," Mr. de Penennrun agrees after seeing the two armies, "From the beginning this great war was savage, passionate. Both sides are rude men and knowing them as I know them I have the right to say that they are adversaries worthy of one another." [Quarante jours de guerre dans les Balkans. Chapelot, Paris, 1913, pp. 39-40, 183.]
The "savage war" opened in a way that was savage in the highest degree. The first shock was peculiarly cruel and sanguinary; it was to decide the fate of the campaign. The general staff of the voyevoda (Poutnik) (commander-in-chief), puts the losses of the two Servian armies during the one night attack (June 16/29 to 17/30) at 3,200 men: almost all the men who fell were slain by bayonet or musket blows, even after surrender. Mr. de Penennrun, who makes this statement, goes so far as to suppose that this Bulgarian fury was intentional and decreed by the commandant, who saw in it a means of striking terror and so of victory. According to him, the "atrocities were almost always enjoined by the officers on their men, who, despite their native harshness, hesitated to strike other Slavs, but yesterday their brothers in arms." The spirit of Mr. Savov's telegram already known to us seems to confirm this supposition, since it enjoins the commandant to "stir up the morale of the army," and teach it to "look upon the allies of yesterday as enemies." However that may be, the Servian documents we publish bearing almost exclusively on these first days of the war, June 17-19 to 25, do prove abundantly that this end was attained and much exceeded.
The reader's attention is drawn in the first instance to documents 1, 3, 7 10 (Appendix H). Here we have soldiers miraculously surviving from fights in which they were wounded, after enduring the same sufferings as their comrades who lie dead on the field of battle. They can recount the treatment inflicted by the. Bulgarians on the wounded, and when they do so they speak as victims. The Bulgarian soldier's first movement was always the same,-to steal the money and valuables on the body which would soon be a corpse. After stripping the wounded man, the second movement,--the intoxication of combat being somewhat dissipated,-was not always the same. Should he be killed or no ? Captain Gyurits (Appendix H, 2) tells us that he heard the Bulgarian soldiers discussing the question among themselves, and that massacre was decided on by the officer. Lieutenant Stoyanovits tells us that the men, after pillaging him, prepared to go off; but one of them reminded the others that there was still something to do, and then two of the soldiers ran him through with their bayonets, and the third struck him with the butt end, but without killing him. Lieutenant Markovits survived, after being pillaged, because the Bulgarian sanitary staff who had stripped him of his valuables did not want the trouble either of killing him or conveying him to hospital, as he asked them to do; instead they left him lying in the forest for three days until, on June 19, he was found there. Prisoners who were not wounded were pillaged likewise, and then kept with a view to extracting information from them (case of Lioubomir Spasits, Appendix H, 3) or let go and then fired on (Miloshevits, Appendix H, 4 (c)). There were cases however in which those who had money to offer were set free while those who had none had their throats cut. Cases were also quoted of whole bodies of prisoners being shot after capture. On the other hand a case is mentioned in which some wounded prisoners not only were taken to the Bulgarian hospital but made their escape, after they were restored to health, through the complicity of a Bulgarian sergeant (Appendix I, 4 (c) ).
All this naturally refers only to cases in which the men were able to deliberate and choose. The horrors of battle itself, during which men were actuated and dominated solely by its fury, were appalling and almost incredible. The most ordinary case is that described in full detail in the two medical reports we publish. The profound impression produced by the death of Colonel Arandjelovits, who was killed during the retreat of July 8/21, and whose death is described in the first reports, is largely due to the personality of the victim, an officer known and loved by everyone, and decorated by King Ferdinand for his share in the siege of Adrianople. The scientific facts were that the colonel, grievously wounded but still alive, was finished by a discharge in the back of his neck and a bayonet thrust at his heart. [See photograph of Mr. Arandjelovits in Mr. de Penennrun's book, p. 292.] The nine soldiers killed during the engagement of July 9/22, perished in the same way, as the second report shows. They were wounded, more or less seriously, by bullets from a distance; then finished by
violent blows on the head delivered close at hand with the butt end or bayonet, or by a discharge. There are quantities of instances of wounded Servian soldiers being stabbed to make an end of them.
Worse still, killing did not content them. They sought to outrage the dead or even to torture the living. Here we have the really savage and barbarous side of the second war. Some of the cases may have been exaggerated or inexactly reported. But they are so numerous that the agreement of the witnesses alone proves their authenticity. We will set them down in the order in which they appear in the documents, as indicated:
1. In the fight that took place near Trogartsi, Servian corpses were found with mutilated parts stuck in their mouths.
2. In the fight of June 17 and 18, Andjeiko Yovits, still alive, had ears and nose cut (H, I, 2).
3. In the battle of Krivolak, June 21, a Servian volunteer had his eyes gouged out (H, I, 4 (b) ).
4. On June 21 Zivoin Miloshevits and Bozidar Savits had their tongues cut out and chopped in pieces because they had no money to buy back their freedom with (H, I, 4 (c)).
5. On June 19 L. Milosavlevits saw the corpse of a Servian soldier with his eyes gouged out (H, I, 4 (c)).
6. Near the village of Dragovo a Servian corpse was fastened to a pillar with iron bands and roasted-seen by Corporal Zivadits Milits (H, I, 4 (c) ).
7. On June 17 a Servian prisoner was thrown up in the air amid cries of hurrah! and caught on bayonets-seen by Arsenie Zivkovits (H, I, 4 (c) ). The same case is described elsewhere, near the Garvantoi position.
8. On June 18 a Servian soldier was put on a spit and grilled (H, I, 4 (c)).
9. On June 25 Captain Spira Tchakovski saw the roasted corpse of a Servian soldier to the north of the village of Kara Hazani (H, I, 5).
10. Captain Dimitriye Tchemirikits saw two roasted corpses, one near the Shobe Blockhouse, another near the village of Krivolak (H, I, 5).
11. Mutilated corpses, with hands and legs cut, have been seen by the patrol in various places (H, I, 5).
12. On the battlefield mutilated corpses are found. One corpse had the skin of the face taken off, another the eyes gouged out, a third had been roasted (H, I, 6).
13. At the positions between Shobe and Toplika, June 24-25, mutilated corpses are found, some with the eyes gouged out, others with ears and noses cut; the mouth torn from ear to ear; disemboweled, etc. (H, I, 6).
14. At the Tcheska positions the corpse of a Servian soldier-a marine from Raduivatz-was burned (H, I, 8).
15. At Nirasli-Tepe, a soldier had his eyes gouged out (H, I, 9).
16. A Bulgarian lieutenant broke hands and crushed fingers under stones; evidence of Kosta Petchanats (H, I, 9).
17. At Kalimanska Tchouka the wounded left at the village of Doulitsa had their noses and ears cut, eyes gouged out and hands cut off (H, III, 7).
The Commission can find no words strong enough to denounce such outrages to humanity, and feels that the widest measure of publicity should be given to all similar cases, indicating the names of the culprits wherever possible, in order to curb barbaric instincts which the world is unanimous in blaming.
The Commission is not so well provided with documentary evidence as to the excesses which may have taken place on the side of the Servian army during the combat. Isolated cases, however, confirmed by documents and by evidence, show that the Servians were no exception to the general rule. In the Appendix will be found a proces-verbal taken by the Bulgarian military commission, which proves that five Bulgarian officers, Colonel Yanev (at the head of the Sixth Cavalry), Lieutenants Stefanov and Minkov, veterinary sub-lieutenant Contev and Quartermaster Vladev, were massacred. After having been taken prisoner at Bossilegrade on June 28/July 11, Colonel Yanev was ordered, on pain of being shot, to send the Bulgarian squadrons the order to give themselves up to the Servians. He obeyed, but his orders were not followed. The five officers were then taken outside and entrusted to an escort of ten Servian soldiers, who then shot them all, stripped off their boots and plundered them. The sixth, Doctor Koussev, had been wounded by a Servian soldier immediately after yielding, and this saved his life. A Servian doctor, Mr. Mitrovits, came to see him; expressed his astonishment and regret at seeing him wounded and conducted him to the Servian ambulance, whence he was conveyed to the Mairie. The precipitate retreat of the Servians, who had to abandon their own wounded, saved him. We have seen his deposition, which confirms the proces-verbal.
The conduct of the Servians on the battlefield is characterized further by the deposition of a Bulgarian officer in the 26th, Mr. Demetrius Gheorghiev, wounded near the Zletovska river during these same days at the beginning of the war (June 21/July 4). His story is as follows:
Our people had beaten a retreat. I crawled into the thicket. Near-by, in a clearing, a petty officer of the 31st was lying groaning. I advised him not to groan for fear of being discovered. I should have been discovered likewise. I was right. A Servian patrol passed, saw him and killed him. I was not seen, however; I was hidden in a hollow. A little further away from me, at a distance of three or four hundred paces, a petty officer of the 13th lay, Georges Poroujanov. I saw the patrol discover and assassinate him also. Finally, on June 22, the Servian ambulances appeared. I saw and called to them. They asked me, "Have you any money?" I had 900 francs. I replied "Yes." Then the ambulance men came up to me. One of them took the money. They thereupon put me on a stretcher and carried me to the village of Lepopelti.
The rest of Mr. Gheorghiev's story is omitted.After many difficulties, upon the refusal of the Belgrade doctor, Mr. Vasits, to attend to him because
Fig. 18.-Bodies of five murdered Bulgarian officiers [See p. 143]
he regarded him "as an enemy," Mr. Gheorghiev was taken to the Russian mission and there attended. [For the treatment of the wounded by the Servians, see also Chapter V.]
If the information as to the conduct of the Servian soldier on the field of battle does not amount to much, our Bulgarian documents call up a sad enough picture of the treatment they meted out to the population in the conquered territory.
Here again the accusations are mutual. We publish a Servian document (Appendix H, III) which gives a general description of the ravages produced in the theater of war, along the left bank of the River Zletovska and the right bank of the Lakavitsa. The document attributes the ruin of these villages, the destruction of property and the violence endured by the population, to the Bulgarians. This may be admitted so far as it concerns the Moslem population, who, according to the document, fled before the Bulgarians and returned later with the Servian army. But the other portion of the population was Bulgarian and it evidently can not have suffered at the hands of the Bulgarian army, except in so far as the population inhabiting the theater of war must inevitably suffer. We know from the Bulgarian document we publish that the opposite is the case, at least in case of the villages whose names reappear in the Servian and in the Bulgarian list, and in that of quantities of others not mentioned by the Servians. What we see is the Bulgarian population fleeing before the Servian army to escape violence and vengeance at the hands of the returning Turks, or awaiting their hour on the spot. The evidence of the refugees is formal and decisive. They were perhaps not sufficiently removed from the events to judge them fairly; but their intimate and profound knowledge of local conditions compensates for this.
Let us stop and consider these depositions from peasants, priests and schoolmasters. whose names are known to the Commission. We see everywhere the reappearance of the Servian army, giving the signal for exodus. It is true that the Servians sometimes declare that they are bringing with them "order and security," and threaten the population with burning and pillage, only in cases where those who have taken flight will not return. Some of the more credulous do return. What awaits them?
It must be recalled that the Servian soldiers do not arrive alone. They are accompanied by people who know the village and their inhabitants better. And there is Rankovits, a Servian comitadji turned officer, who had been carrying on propaganda in favor of King Peter in these same villages since March. Then there are the vlachs (Wallachians, Aroumanians) put in charge of the administration, because they are ready to call themselves "brothers of the Servians," on condition of being allowed to enrich themselves at the expense of the population. Their formula for the Bulgarian population, the most numerous, is as follows: "Up to now you have been our masters and pil-
laged our goods; it is now our turn to pillage yours" (Appendix H, IV). But the most important point to notice is that the Turks appeared with the Servian army, called by them to their aid and free to pursue them when their turn should come (see Chapter IV). The Turks had vengeance to enact for probable spoliation committed by the Bulgarian army; and in addition for forced conversions (Chapter IV). This is what happens. Take the village of Vinitsa (given in the Servian document as having been burned and ravaged by the Bulgarians, "during their retreat"). The Servian soldiers, as soon as they entered, began asking the villagers, "one after another, are they Servians or Bulgarians?" Anyone replying "Bulgarian" is forcibly struck. Then the Commander of the troops chose seventy peasants and ordered them to be shot. In other villages, as we shall see, the order was executed; here it was recalled and the peasants taken to Kotchani. Three days after the Servian entry, the Bulgarian army returns (June 27) and then leaves the village again. It is only then, after having tried Servian "order and security," that the population "mad with terror at the prospect of new tortures," leaves the village. The old people, however, remain. They are witnesses of the pillage of all the shops and all the houses of the Servians. In the Appendix will be found the names of the persons killed and tortured for the sake of their money, and women outraged at Vinitsa.
At Blatets, the same story. The Turks denounce Bulgarian "suspects^" Another witness says, they point them out "as being rich." Some twenty are imprisoned; a boy's eyes gouged out to make him say where there is money. Another is thrown into the fire for the same reason; whole quarters are pillaged and burned. Then the suspects are led away from the village. The officer cries "Escape who can!" The soldiers fire on the fugitives and bring them all down. At Bezikovo some twenty dead are noted, a child a year and a half old burned alive, three women outraged, two of them dying. Sixty houses are burned and the harvest also, and the stock carried off. In the village of Gradets, where the Servian cavalry promises "order and security," only a few old men are left and go to meet the soldiery. On hearing the promises, fifty to sixty peasants, who believe in them, return. Then by express order the Turks throw themselves on the houses; between sixty and seventy men are seized, led outside the village and there stabbed amid the despairing cries of the women who followed their husbands. The Turks want their share; they take three picked young girls and carry them off to their village with songs and cries. The next day the village is in flames. A day later the chase of the fugitives begins.
Some 300 went forth; only nine families reach Kustendil. The others are killed or dispersed. "The Servian bullets rained down like hail;" men, women, children fell dead. In the village of Loubnitsa the Servian soldiers asked the wife of a certain Todor Kamtchev for money. As she had none, they stabbed a child of four years old in her arms.
At Radovitch, a town, pillage is the rule. Under pretext of gifts for the
Red Cross the peasants paid fifteen, thirty, forty-five Napoleons, to escape the tortures awaiting them. The guide who points out the "rich men" here is Captain Yaa, an Albanian, a former servant in the Servian agency at Veles, now head of a band protected by the military government. Our witness concludes: "At Radovitch the Servian officers collected a lot of money." In the surrounding villages too "a great deal of money was extorted." The Servians undressed and searched a woman for money; then outraged her at Chipkovitsa. At Novo-Selo the women fled into the forest; but the men who remained were plundered. At Orahovitsa, a Turkish local magnate from Radovitch wants to have his share. He arrives, accompanied by Servian soldiers, and once more money is extorted from the women by burning their fingers; and arms are carried off.
These are fragments of the dismal annals of these days at the end of June (old style) in a small territory which afterwards became the property of the invading state. "Order" of a kind is restored, the conquest once accomplished, and some of the refugees have returned to their villages. We shall have further opportunity of returning to the "order" similarly established in the annexed territories. For the moment we add one observation. The things we have described, horrible as they are, show in their very horror abnormal conditions which can not last. Fortunately for humanity, nature herself revolts against "excesses" such as we have observed in the conflict of two adversaries. In blackening the face of the other each has tarred his own. After judging them on their own evidence, we have to remember that in ordinary times they are better than the judgment each is inclined to pass on the other and to impose upon us.
The War and the Nationalities
1. Extermination, emigration, assimilation
The reader who has perused the preceding pages and followed the endless chain of deplorable events studied and described by the Commission, has doubtless discovered the common feature which unites the Balkan nations, though it is necessary to discover that war is waged not only by the armies but by the nations themselves. The local population is divided into as many fragmentary parts as it contains nationalities, and these fight together, each being desirous to substitute itself for the others. This is why these wars are so sanguinary, why they produce so great a loss in men, and end in the annihilation of the population and the ruin of whole regions. We have repeatedly been able to show that the worst atrocities were not due to the excesses of the regular soldiery, nor can they always be laid to the charge of the volunteers, the bashi-basoitk.[This term of dismal memory has taken on an altogether fresh significance during the latest wars. A bashi-basouk is no longer necessarily a Turk. He is the volunteer, the Freischarler of all the belligerent nations without distinction; the Bulgarian comitadji, the Greek andarte; generally speaking he is any combatant not wearing the uniform of the regular.] The populations mutually slaughtered and pursued with a ferocity heightened by mutual knowledge and the old hatreds and resentments they cherished.
The first consequence of this fact is, that the object of these armed conflicts, overt or covert, clearly conceived or vaguely felt, but always and everywhere the same, was the complete extermination of an alien population. In some cases this object expressed itself in the form of an implacable and categorical "order"— to kill the whole male population of the occupied regions. We are in possession of some letters from Greek soldiers, of unimpeachable authenticity. These documents, though written in our own day, throw back to the time of the Assyrian conquest. "We have taken a small number of prisoners and them we have killed, such being the orders received * * * in order that the dirty Bulgarian race may not spring up again" * * * "We are,"—such is the order,— “to burn the villages, massacre the young, and spare none but the old people, children and minors." Here the intention is clearly to spare none but those no longer capable of carrying on the race and those still young enough to lose their nationality by receiving a Greek education.
It was the same in Turkey, as we have seen in describing the events which took place in the environments of Malgara and in Thrace generally. Men, women and children were separated, and all killed without exception. Here the testimony of the Christian Arab soldier shows that, at least in certain por-
tions of the Turkish army, when the offensive was taken, the "order" was given to proceed systematically. It would be too much to assume that the outrages committed on women were the realization of an "order."
The orders given to the Slav armies were perhaps a trifle less barbarous. It does not, however, follow that there was no intention of conquering the territory without maintaining an alien population there. "Orders of extermination" were not given, orders to the contrary were indeed given [see below]. But in private conversations the same idea is constantly met. What proves that it was not a mere mode of speaking, Is the fact that the Turkish population suffered at the hands of the Bulgarians, and the Albanian population at the hands of the Servians as well. As regards the Bulgarians, this is proved by the villages in which all the Turkish quarters were burned, and which were visited by the member of the Commission in Thrace. As to the Servians, we possess authentic evidence in the shape of a letter from a member of the Servian army, published in the Servian Socialist paper Radnitchke Novine, of October 9/22. The contents of this letter resemble only too closely the letters of the Greek soldiers. True, the reference here is to an expedition made to repress a revolt. "My dear Friend," writes the soldier, "I have no time to write to you at length, but I can tell you that appalling things are going on here. I am terrified by them, and constantly ask myself how men can be so barbarous as to commit such cruelties. It is horrible. I dare not (even if I had time, which I have not) tell you more, but I may say that Liouma (an Albanian region along the river of the same name), no longer exists. There is nothing but corpses, dust and ashes. There are villages of 100, 150, 200 houses, where there is no longer a single man, literally not one. We collect them in bodies of forty to fifty, and then we pierce them with our bayonets to the last man. Pillage is going on everywhere. The officers told the soldiers to go to Prisrend and sell the things they had stolen." The paper which published this letter adds: "Our friend tells us of things even more appalling than this (!); but they are so horrible and so heartrending that we prefer not to publish them."
The object of the Albanian expedition, referred to by the correspondent of the Radnitchke Novine, is known to have been the repression of the plans of the Albanians who had at this period revolted against the Servians. The Albanian revolt was represented by the Servians as the result of the activities of the Albanians in autonomous Albania, and at the same time of Bulgarian conspiracies. These two reasons are probable enough, but they do not exclude a third,— the state of mind of the Albanian population in subjection to Servia. This population had its own reasons for complaining of the Servian administration. The event is explained in a letter from Elbassan, published by a Bulgarian paper, (L'Echo de Bulgarie, September 28/October 11), and alleged to come "from a very reliable source." The Commission was not able to verify these statements, but there are no reasons for doubting them, in view of all that has been seen and heard:
On September 20 last (new style), the Servian army carried off all the cattle of the Malesia of Dibra. The herdsmen were compelled to defend themselves, and to struggle, but they were all killed. The Servians also killed the two chieftains of the Liouma clan, Mehmed Edem and Djafer Eleuz, and then began pillaging and burning all the villages on their way: Pechkapia, Pletza and Dochichti, in lower Dibra; Alai, Beg, Machi, Para, Oboku, Klobotchichta, and Solokitzi, in upper Dibra. In all these villages the Servians committed acts of horrible massacre and outrage on women, children and old people. In the town of Dibra itself the authorities published an order to the effect that the bazaar was not to be opened on Sunday or the inhabitants to come out of their houses on that day. Forty-eight notables were arrested. When the Servians saw that the inhabitants of the pillaged villages, of which a list has been given above, had come to reclaim their cattle and were surrounding the town, they had the notables brought out of prison and killed them in the most shameless way. Henceforth terror and despair reigned among the Albanians of Dibra and the neighborhood, and they rose in revolt. They attacked the Servians with arms, or with hatchets, stones and sticks; they killed some of them and drove the rest out of the town. Nearly all of the men who were killed were Servian officials; the soldiers who remained alive fled to the other side of the Radika river.
After this story, the truth of the general description published by the same paper on October 3/16 need not be doubted: [See also the Reichspost of September 29, and the enumeration of massacres committed in the first fortnight of September, 1913, as set forth in the petition of the meeting of Albanian representatives at Scutari on September 21, quoted above.]
The following villages, with a mixed Albanian and Bulgarian population, were pillaged and burnt—Lochnani, Lissitchani, Gitoche, Dibrichta, Harlichte, Dessovo, Gradechnitsa, Ptchelopek. Many Moslem families from these villages, including women and children, were pitilessly massacred. On entering the village of Portchassie, the regular Servian army led all the husbands outside the village, and then brought the wives thither to exact money from them in the shape of ransom, if they wanted their husbands set at liberty. After the ransom had been paid, however, the wretched men were shut up in the mosque, which was then blown up with four shells. In the village of Sulp, seventy-three Albanians suffered a horrible death, and forty-seven others from the village of Ptchelopek were basely assassinated. Was it not the Prefect of Krouchevo, when the Servian army returned from the Albanian frontier, who openly told them to burn all the villages situated between Krouchevo and Okhrida ?
Thus the Albanian petitioners, who on September 21 addressed themselves to the Great Powers in the name of the populations of Djakova, Ipek, Plava, Goussinie and the ex-vilayet of Kossovo, did not exaggerate when they stated, as regards this other theater of the revolt, that "the Servian and Montenegrin regular troops undertook and did everything, from the first day on which they
invaded the Albanian territory, either to compel the inhabitants to lose their nationality, or brutally to suppress the Shkiptar race."
Houses and whole villages reduced to ashes, unarmed and innocent populations massacred en masse, incredible acts of violence, pillage and brutality of every kind—such were the means which were employed and are still being employed by the Serbo-Montenegrin soldiery, with a view to the entire transformation of the ethnic character of regions inhabited exclusively by Albanians.
We thus arrive at the second characteristic feature of the Balkan wars, a feature which is a necessary correlative of the first. Since the population of the countries about to be occupied knew, by tradition, instinct and experience, what they had to expect from the armies of the enemy and from the neighboring countries to which these armies belonged, they did not await their arrival, but fled. Thus, generally speaking, the army of the enemy found on its way nothing but villages which were either half deserted or entirely abandoned. To execute the orders for extermination, it was only necessary to set fire to them. The population, warned by the glow from these fires, fled in all haste. There followed a veritable migration of peoples, for in Macedonia, as in Thrace, there was hardly a spot which was not, at a given moment, on the line of march of some army or other. The Commission everywhere encountered this second fact. All along the railways interminable trains of carts drawn by oxen followed one another; behind them came emigrant families and, in the neighborhood of the big towns, bodies of refugees were found encamped.
At Salonica the Commission visited one of these camps, and made inquiries of the Islamic Committee, whose business it was to transport the refugees to Anatolia. They were Turkish emigrants. Some of them had left their villages several weeks ago; they came from all parts of Macedonia, from Soundja, Djoumaya-Bala, Nevrocope, Petritche, Razlogue, Tchakova, Demir-Hissar, Osmanie, Berovo, Radovitch. At the beginning of September, when the Commission made its inquiry, about 135,000 emigrants had passed through Salonica since the beginning of the second war. Each steamer starting for Anatolia carried some 2,500 bound for Mersina, Adalia or Iskenderoum. Why were they quitting their villages ? The Commission wished to learn the reason from their own lips. Some of its members went to the camp, without taking the official guide, and entered into conversation with isolated groups of emigrants:— "Who are you, whence do you come, wherefore have you departed?"—"We have come"—the old man waved his hand to indicate the plain dotted with carts— "from twenty-six different villages. It has taken us twenty-five days to get here, and we have been here for ten. We were afraid of the Bulgarians."—"Why?" Thereupon we heard the story which the reader knows from the chapter on Thrace. "But this happened during the first war, and now?"—"Now * * * the Greeks have given us the order to go." "Whither are you going? Who is feeding you?" Silence. Nobody knows.