The aim of the present volume is to acquaint the reader in a scholarly manner, as revealed in documents and other material of Bulgarian and foreign origin, including books and chronicles, newspapers and literature, with the historical fate and development of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia. The volume covers the period from the arrival of the Slavs and Proto-Bulgars in the Balkan Peninsula, leading to the formation of the Slav-Bulgarian state in 681, and of the Bulgarian nationality (Slav in essence and Bulgarian in name), towards the end of the 9th century, up to 1940, i.e. until the beginning of the Se­cond World War in the Balkans.
During this immense period, the Bulgarian people, which came into being and consolidated itself during the Middle Ages on its ethnic territory - Danubian Bulgaria with Dobroudja (Moesia), Thrace, the Sofia region and Macedonia, passed through two economic and social systems - feudalism and capitalism - and through two foreign conquests - one the Byzantine conquest (11th-12th c.) and the Ottoman Turkish conquest (15th-19th c.). Despite its stormy history, despite the destruction, constant violence and oppression that resulted from these conquests, the Bulgarian people has survived and preserved itself as a people, because it has had its own history, language and literature and - most important - its own sense of nationhood. It is significant that it was precisely on the territory where the Bulgarian nationality came into being during the First Bulgarian State, when it identified itself spiritually with the cultural activity of the Bulgarian and Slav enlighteners, Cyril and Methodius, and their disciples, with the literary and educational activities of the Preslav and Ohrid schools, headed by Clement of Ohrid, the first teacher and bishop of the Bulgarian people - it was precisely here that the new Bulgarian nation came into being and was established during the period of the National Revival (18th and 19th c.).

 This historical continuity is borne out by the documents contained in this volume.

The documents in this volume demonstrate not only the inseparable ties of the population in Macedonia with the population in the rest of Bulgaria's territory, but also its direct participation in the all-Bulgarian historical process and in the entire political and cultural history of the Bulgarian people. Therefore, the periodization in this volume coincides with that of Bulgarian history. For this reason, as well as for reasons of scholarship, this documentary work has been divided into four parts.

Part I
covers the Middle Ages and the Ottoman Turkish period up to the beginning of the Bulgarian National Revival. It contains 70 documents, mainly from Bulgarian, Byzantine, West European and Turkish sources.

The Bulgarian material is taken from books, and from documents, etc., issued by Bulgarian rulers. The excerpts from the lives of Cyril, Methodius and their disciples are taken from Byzantine hagiographers who lived in Macedonia and who were well acquainted with its Bulgarian population and language. The material includes the Bitola inscription of Ivan Vladislav, the last Tsar of the First Bulgarian State (R. 1015-1018), which was discovered some 20 years ago and published for the first time in Bulgaria. The inscription on a stone slab refers to Ivan Vladislav as “a Bulgarian by birth” and as “a Bulgarian autocrat.”

Fortresses and beautiful monasteries and churches, with their exquisite painting and their literary traditions, have been preserved, and, in addition, Bulgarian culture has developed and has never ceased to exist in Macedonia, because it is the creation of the local population - of the Macedonian Bulgarians.

The documents of Byzantine origin are chiefly excerpts from the books of eminent chroniclers such as Cedrin Scylitzes, Cecaumenus, loannis Zonara, Michel Psellos and others who are the main sources for the history of Samuil's Bulgaria, its heroic resistance that lasted over 40 years and its conquest by Byzantium, and also for the popular uprisings led by Peter Delyan (1040) and Georgi Voiteh (1072) against Byzantine domination. These uprisings broke out in the western Bulgarian lands and mainly in Macedonia, which, at that time, the Byzantines called Bulgaria, and Skopje, which they referred to as “Bulgaria's capital city.” Byzantine authors usually refer to Samuil as the “leader of the Bulgarians,” and the “independent ruler of all Bulgaria,” and it is precisely they who have left descriptions of the ugliest crime in military history, the evil deed of Emperor Basil II, who after the Battle of Belasitsa (1014) “blinded the captured Bulgarians - about 15,000 men, and, having ordered every one hundred of those blinded to be led by one one-eyed man, sent them back to Samuil.”

Western sources are represented by excerpts from the chronicles of Fulcherius, the historian of the First Crusade, which passed through Macedonia, of Wilhelm of Tyr, and others, as well as by Ragusan and Italian data testifying to the Bulgarian character of the towns and settlements in that region.

Even after the Ottoman conquest, despite the ensuing vicissitudes of history, the Bulgarian population continued to be the main national element in Macedonia. This is confirmed by Turkish geographers and travelers of the 17th c., including Hadji Calfa and Eviiya Chelebi.

The population's sense of belonging to the Bulgarian people and the Bulgarian land is reflected in the Third Zograf Beadroll (1527-1728), which, under the heading “Bulgarian lands,” includes donations to the monastery from a number of towns and settlements in Zagore (Northern Bulgaria), the Sredets (Sofia) region, the Plovdiv Plain, the Pirin area, and the Bitola region, which incorporates practically the whole of Vardar Macedonia. One of the reports sent to the Pope by Peter Bogdan, an ardent Bulgarian patriot of the 17th c., contains a description of Bulgaria in which Macedonia is included within its ethnic borders.

Part II is devoted to the National Revival period, chronologically covering the period from the writing of the Slav-Bulgarian History by Paissi of Hilendar, born in the town of Bansko, in the beautiful Razlog Valley, to the end of the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation in 1878. Because of the importance of this period, when, despite the obstacles created by alien domination and feudal oppression, the Bulgarian bourgeois nation came into being and appeared on the European scene both culturally and politically, more documents have been included in this section. Nearly two-thirds of these documents are the work of the local population itself, organized in the Bulgarian church communes, or of its eminent representatives, the ardent Bulgarian patriots Dimiter and Konstantin Miladinov, Raiko Zhinzifov, Grigor Purlichev, Yordan Konstantinov Dzhinot, Kouzman Shapkarev, Georgi Dinkov and others, who spared neither their energy, nor their lives to awaken the Bulgarian population in Macedonia so that it could participate in the all-national struggle for a Bulgarian Church, for Bulgarian schools and for political freedom. The National Revival period was the time when the foundations of Turkish feudalism were crumbling, and capitalist social and economic relations were developing. It was then that the Bulgarian national liberation movement gathered momentum and spread throughout Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia.

Part II also includes 26 documents from Russian archives and publications. These are mainly reports and dispatches from the Russian consuls in Bitola in the 'sixties and 'seventies of the 19th c. - M.D. Hitrovo, a protector and patron of the Bulgarians, Nikolai Yakubovski and V. Maximov. These reports are particularly valuable for the figures they quote as to the size of the Bulgarian population and for the information about the Bulgarian population's struggles for churches and schools, and for emancipation from the Constantino­ple Greek Patriarchate and from Hellenism. There are also 22 documents from Serbo-Croatian sources: an excerpt from a work by Vuk Karadjic on the Bulgarian language in the Razlog region, letters written by the eminent Serbian scholar Stefan Verkovic - the author of a book entitled Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarians (1860), who devoted his life to the Bulgarian Revival in Macedonia, and reports in the Serbian press on the successes scored in the struggle for Bulgarian churches and schools in Macedonia. Also included here are facsimiles and excerpts from books by two Bulgarian writers from Macedonia, Yoakim Kurchovski and Kiril Peichinovich, written in 'the simplest Bulgarian language' and printed in Budapest (1814-1816), from Yuri Venelin's book The Ancient Bulgarians and the Bulgarians of Today (1833), including data about the Bulgarian lands and the size of the Bulgarian population; letters written by Bulgarian notables and enlighteners from Veles and the Veles region, from Skopje and elsewhere about the opening and maintenance of Bulgarian schools; letters by Dimiter Miladinov about the search for Bulgarian folk songs and antiquities in Macedonia, about the need to teach Bulgarian children in their mother tongue, and other material.

The growth of productive forces and the introduction of modern Bulgarian education in the 'thirties of the 19th century brought about an upsurge in the Bulgarian National Revival. The national-liberation movement developed particularly rapidly after the Crimean War (1853-1856), when the necessary social and economic conditions were created, when the Bulgarian nation consolidated itself and the bourgeoisie began to play the leading role in it. It was then that the “bourgeois peaceful revolution” developed in the Bulgarian lands, as was noted by Dimiter Blagoev, the founder of the party of Bulgaria's Marxists. Blagoev was born in the village of Zagorichane, Kostour district, where Georgi Dinkov, a teacher of the National Revival period, taught him to read and write in Bulgarian. This bourgeois revolution began with the opening of schools and library clubs, and with an expansion of the publication of books and periodicals. The struggle against the Phanariots, which spread through all Bulgarian lands, Macedonia included, grew into a nation-wide struggle for an independent Bulgarian Church, and for the recognition of the Bulgarians as a separate nation within the Ottoman state.1

This rapid development of the Revival movement, during the period following the Crimean War (1856-1878) is amply illustrated here in all its aspects. Some of the documents throw light on the contacts between leaders of the Bulgarian Revival in Macedonia and G.S. Rakovski (1821-1867), one of the most prominent figures of the National Revolution. They considered him the recognized leader of the Bulgarian people and the personification of its national virtues.

The Bulgarian national revolutionaries G.S. Rakovski, V. Levski, L. Karavelov and H. Botev were great patriots and internationalists. They passionately defended their enslaved motherland from all attacks and selfish intrigues on the part of chauvinistic and reactionary circles in certain neighbouring countries and elsewhere. At the same time, as revolutionary democrats, they sought the support and assistance of the neighbouring peoples for a joint struggle against the common enemy. This is borne out by Vassil Levski’s letter to the newspaper Svoboda (Liberty), printed on February 13, 1871, in which he writes about the liberation of the Bulgarian people, not forgetting its social liberation, and also speaks about the lands of the Bulgarians as one homeland. “We too are human beings,” he writes, “and we want to live as such: to be entirely free in our native land where Bulgarians live - in Bulgaria (Northern Bulgaria - Ed., V.B.), Thrace and Macedonia. Lyuben Karavelov discusses the Bulgarian people's national and church struggle against the Phanariots, in particular the aspects of that struggle in Macedonia, and declares himself to be entirely opposed to Milos Milojevic's chauvinistic propaganda in Macedonia, and states that this propaganda is also condemned by progressive Serbian public opinion. Hristo Botev also exposes the aims of the Serbian nationalists grouped around the newspaper Iztok (East).

A series of letters, reports, etc., to the Bulgarian newspapers in Constan­tinople and to the Bulgarian community there reflects the part played by the Macedonian Bulgarians in the nation-wide struggle for an independent Bulgarian Church. This struggle was crowned with success and the Sultan's Firman for the establishment of a Bulgarian Exarchate placed under the latter's jurisdiction one of the dioceses in Macedonia - the Veles diocese - as well as certain other regions in the province. Later, at the end of 1873, on the basis of Article 10 of the Firman, plebiscites were held among the Christian population of the Skopje and Ohrid dioceses, in which almost the entire population expressed their desire to join the Bulgarian Exarchate. A number of newspaper reports describe the ceremonious welcomes accorded to the Bulgarian bishops. This fact is of great importance, since through a voluntary plebiscite the areas and Western frontiers of the Bulgarian nation in Macedonia were recognized, and that, under foreign rule.

At the very beginning of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, the Macedonian Bulgarians sent letters expressing their fervent desire to welcome their Russian liberators at the earliest opportunity. Letters and petitions were addressed to Count N. P. Ignatiev, stressing the need for the unification of the Bulgarian people at the conclusion of military operations. Prince Nikolai Nikolayevich, Commander-in-Chief of the Danubian Russian Army, was also urged immediately to organize the advance of Russian troops into Macedonia.

Part II of this volume ends with the Macedonian Bulgarians' address to the Great Powers, with an insistent request not to be torn away from their com­mon homeland, Bulgaria, when peace was being negotiated. The address was drawn up in French in Salonica on May 20, 1878, and bore the seals of the Bulgarian Communes and signatures from various towns in Macedonia.

Part III covers the period from the Berlin Congress up to the end of the First World War (1878-1918). This period is packed with events from the liberation struggle, both peaceful and revolutionary, of the Bulgarians in Macedonia, who, as a result of the Berlin Treaty, remained under Turkish national and feudal rule. And for this reason, here, too, many documents are included. Once again, more than two-thirds of the documents come from the Bulgarian population in Macedonia, i.e., from its communes, cultural and educational organizations, and from the revolutionary organization and its members.

The thematic range of the documents is very wide. The profound despondency and the indignation felt by the Macedonian Bulgarians over the unjust decisions in Berlin and their struggle against them are reflected in many documents, the majority of which are connected with the Kresna-Razlog Uprising of the autumn of 1878 - the first armed protest by the Bulgarian peasants in the Pirin area against the injustice of Berlin.

There are also documents containing requests from the Bulgarians that the reforms envisaged in Article 23 of the Berlin Treaty be implemented, as well as protests against the arbitrary exclusion of representatives of the Bulgarian nationality from the provincial commissions set up to supervise the implemen­tation of the reforms.
The intensification of Serbian nationalist propaganda in Macedonia after the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885, and the promotion of the idea of Macedonism advanced by this propaganda as a transitional stage in the Ser-bianization of the population, forced the Macedonian Bulgarians to close their ranks in their church communes, to expand their education, to insist on the ap­pointment of Bulgarian bishops in Bitola, Debur and Veles and, finally, to resist this new enemy by setting up their own revolutionary organization.

Included here are important documents written by the founders and leaders of the revolutionary organization, as well as by its members who had been thrown into Turkish prisons or exiled to Asia Minor. Some of the documents are policy statements on the revolutionary struggle, issued by the central bodies of the Internal Revolutionary Organization or by the Supreme Committee of the legal organization of refugees from Macedonia and the Adrianople region in Bulgaria. Among them are: the Statute of the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees (1896); the Rules of the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Committees; the letter of the Supreme Macedonian Committee in Sofia to the Central Committee of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) in Salonica, containing a draft for reforms in Macedonia and Adrianople Thrace; the cir­cular letter written by Gyorche Petrov and Gotse Delchev to the district and village leaders and to the commanders of the chetas of the revolutionary organization (1901), in which they discuss the blows dealt by the Turkish authorities at the revolutionary movement and recommend how the attacks of the enemy should be repelled.

The national oppression, increasing exploitation and the extermination of the most revolutionary part of the Bulgarian intelligentsia after the Gorna Djoumaya Uprising in the autumn of 1902 and during 1903 up to the outbreak of the Ilinden (St. Elijah's Day) Uprising in 1903, are described very faithfully in the reports of the Russian consuls Girs (Salonica) and Mendelstamm (Skopje), of the French consul L. Steeg in Salonica, and others. ' "We shall not let the Turks butcher us as they did the Armenians," say the local leaders of the revolutionary movement,' writes the Russian Consul General Girs in his report,' "yet by postponing the uprising indefinitely, we may let the Macedo­nian issue drop out of sight, lose the firm positions which circumstances have enabled us to achieve, and thus miss a favourable moment to liberate the Macedonian Bulgarians completely from Turkish oppression." The most detailed description of the Salonica bomb explosions (April 28, 29 and 30, 1903) is offered by the French Consul General L. Steeg.

The heroic Ilinden Uprising was a mass uprising of the Bulgarian popula­tion, led by the only Bulgarian revolutionary organization in Macedonia and Adrianople Thrace. This is evident from the documents of the insurgents, of the enemy - i.e., the Turkish authorities, and of Europeans - consuls, diplomats and other persons. Some of the documents are of particular importance and are published here for the first time. Such is, for instance, the report sent on August 30, 1903 by the leaders of the uprising in the Kostour region - Lazar Poptraikov, Vassil Chekalarov, Pando Klyashev, Manol Rozov and Mihail Nikolov, and to the foreign consuls in Bitola. This report contains information about the insurgents' actions, about the burning of 23 Bulgarian villages, about old people, women and children being killed or captured by the Turkish regular soldiers and bashibozouks. Of particular value is the accompanying map of the settlements in the Kostour district, drawn by the insurgents' leaders themselves, which indicates that practically all the villages in the region are Bulgarian. Exceptionally important is the letter sent in early September 1903 by the General Staff of the Second Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary District, which consisted of Damyan Grouev, Boris Saratov and Anastas Lozanchev to the Bulgarian Government, urging Bulgaria to fulfill its duty towards its blood-brothers in Macedonia “in an impressive and active manner as the circumstances dictate.” The General Staff warns of the danger which threatens the Bulgarian population in Macedonia and, in expectation of Bulgarian intervention, states that it is holding in readiness the armed forces which it has so far spared.

The period between the Ilinden Uprising and the Young Turk Revolution (1903-1908), one of the most difficult in the life of the Bulgarian population, is also reflected in a number of documents. The question of what road to follow caused bitter controversy between the representatives of the cultural movement and those of the revolutionary movement. The revolutionary organization once again took up its militant and patriotic position. The years of the “Hurriyet” -Ottoman Turkey's constitutional period (1908-1911) - were a time both of great hope, and also of much disillusionment and new suffering for the Bulgarians in Macedonia. The first free meetings of Bulgarians in Stip and Veles were convened, at which resolutions were passed against the abuse of power and against Serbian propaganda. The publication started in Salonica of the Bulgarian newspapers Konstitutsionna Zarya (Constitutional Dawn) and Narodna Volya (People's Will) - organs of the People's Federal Party, Otechestvo (Homeland) - organ of the Alliance of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, a political party, Rabotnicheska Iskra (Workers' Spark) - organ of the revolutionary Marxists in Macedonia, etc. All these newspapers were published in the literary Bulgarian language.

An editorial in Rabotnicheska Iskra entitled “The Parties and the Workers,” written by Vassil Glavinov, an associate of Dimiter Blagoev, provides an accurate class analysis of the two parties of the Bulgarian popula­tion in Macedonia: the Party of the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs as a bourgeois one, and the Bulgarian Federal Party as a petty-bourgeois one. Both parties, however, are also described as nationalist: “The only difference,” says the editorial, “is that the former wants to achieve the reunification of the Bulgarians with Bulgaria under any conditions, while the latter wants it only on condition there is no monarchism, etc., in Bulgaria.”

During the two Balkan Wars and the First World War, which brought disaster upon the Bulgarian people, disaster for which the bourgeoisie and the monarchy in Bulgaria were to blame, the Bulgarians in Macedonia were entire­ly on the side of Bulgaria both physically and morally. During the First Balkan War only with the Bulgarian army and nowhere else was there a Macedonian-Adrianople Volunteer Corps, a first-class combat unit which threw some 14,500 men into battle. Having fallen under foreign military occupation and rule as a result of the wars, Macedonia was split up under various oppressive treaties, and was again left under foreign domination. Only the Bulgarians in the Pirin area achieved national freedom.

Part IV contains documents on Macedonia relating to the period between the two world wars. This was the era of post-war European peace imposed by the victors in Paris. But it was also the era of the powerful influence of the ideas of the Great October Socialist Revolution, of the principles which it laid down for the establishment of world peace, namely, a peace without annexations and reparations, of the principle of national self-determination, as opposed to any form of national or social oppression of the peoples or over sections of them, which remained under foreign occupation. But at that time international relations were dominated by the Entente Powers. The Paris treaties confirmed the division of Macedonia, within the borders laid down by the Bucharest Ar­mistice of 1913, and even the Stroumitsa district was torn from its free part in Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia) and was given to Serbia.

In the newly-formed state, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, entirely dominated by the Serbian bourgeoisie, the name of Macedonia, connected with the recent and remote past of the Bulgarians, and with their revolutionary organization and struggles, was banned and Vardar Macedonia under Serbian rule was renamed “South Serbia.” Under Serbian and Greek bourgeois rule, the Bulgarians in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, were divested of all national, political and cultural rights, all their churches and schools gained after decades of struggle under Turkish domination, were closed, and all things Bulgarian were persecuted.

The cruel national oppression and the discrimination suffered by the Macedonian Bulgarians are faithfully reflected in the documents contained in Part IV. The greater part come from the population itself, from its national, political and cultural organizations, from the “brotherhoods” of the large-scale Macedonian emigration in Bulgaria and its press, as well as from the USA, Canada, and elsewhere. The rest of the documents are of West European, and some are of Serbian and Greek origin.

These documents reflect the diverse ideological and political views of the organizations and movements from which they come, and yet on the main issue, on the issue of the unjust clauses of the Neuilly Treaty and of the new national oppression of the Bulgarians in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, the documents reflect the national struggle against oppression, struggle for national liberation and for the defense of the rights of the Bulgarians who remained un­der foreign bourgeois rule.

Thus, the Memorandum of the Macedonian Brotherhoods, sent to the Chairman of the Paris Peace Conference, demands a solution of the Macedonian issue based on the principle of nationality. The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization requested that its own delegation be also admitted to the Peace Conference so that it might voice the aspirations of the Macedo­nian Bulgarian population.

The Bulgarian National Assembly heard a declaration from the founder and leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party (Left-wing Socialists), Dimiter Blagoev, who stated: “On behalf of the working classes in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Communist Party protests against the oppressive Paris Peace, which has dismembered the Bulgarian nation, throwing no small portion of it under foreign domination, subjecting its wealth and land to systematic plunder, murdering its economic and cultural development, infringing on its in­dependence and preparing the ground for its final economic and political enslavement ...”

Referring to the post-war peace treaties, the Manifesto of the Balkan Communist Federation states: "The Bulgarian nation has been mercilessly dis­membered. Compact parts of it, in Macedonia, Thrace and the Dobroudja are under foreign domination ..."

Another document, a Memorandum of the National Executive of Britain’s Labour Party, makes it clear that that major socialist party too, denounces the Neuilly Treaty as oppressive and running counter to the principle of national self-determination.

A number of documents of the central leading bodies of the organizations within the Macedonian liberation movement, including the Internal Revolutionary Organization (IMRO),2 which had always been a champion of the Bulgarian cause in Macedonia, bear witness to the powerful influence of the ideas of the October Revolution regarding the unification of all revolutionary forces in Macedonia and the Balkans with a view to setting up a federation of all Balkan countries within their ethnic borders. Todor Alexandrov drew up a draft-agreement between IMRO and the Soviet Government (Dec. 30, 1923), as he relied on the Russian Socialist Republic for material, diplomatic and moral support in the liberation of enslaved Macedonia. Although in the declara­tion of August 1, 1924 Todor Alexandrov and Alexander Protogerov dis­sociated themselves from the May (1924) Manifesto, which also sought IMRO's re-orientation towards the Soviet Union, this fact and this new development in the liberation struggle are of exceptional importance. Only a month later, at the end of August 1924, Todor Alexandrov was murdered by assassins in the pay of the Palace and the fascist government.

Part IV also includes articles, letters and reports written by eminent Bulgarians, writers and public figures, who were born in Macedonia. These in­clude: Dimiter Blagoev's description of his native Zagorichane, and the Bulgarian school there; Arseni Yovkov's brilliant article entitled 'Bulgarians in Macedonia' and the review by Krustyo Missirkov - regarded as one of the most prominent representatives of “Macedonism” - who concludes: “Whether we call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians, we always feel ourselves to be a separate, integral nationality, totally different from the Serbs and having a Bulgarian national consciousness.” Also of interest is the letter from the Com­munist Kosta Yankov to Todor Alexandrov discussing the need for united ac­tion on the part of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the IMRO in their struggle against the forces of reaction.

Many reports, resolutions, bulletins, etc., describe the terror, murders, the appalling national oppression and discrimination to which the Bulgarians in Macedonia were subjected by the Serbian and Greek authorities (especially during the 'twenties). Also included are several memoirs, petitions and memoranda: to the 3rd Congress of National Minorities in Geneva (1927), to the League of Nations on the non-observance of the Treaty for the protection of minorities by the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, from the Macedonian National Committee to the League of Nations concerning the plight of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia under Serbian and Greek rule, the petition to the League of Nations, signed in the name of the Macedonian Bulgarians by the former mayor of Skopje Dimiter Shalev and by D. Iliev, asking for 'permission to re-open the Bulgarian churches and schools, which had been acquired through so much sacrifice on the part of the population prior to Serbian rule in Macedonia,' etc. All these documents show that the Macedonian Bulgarians, both in Serbia and in Greece, fought and sought protection of their violated national rights even from the League of Nations.

The documents from the 'thirties most convincingly indicate that the Bulgarians in Macedonia under Serbian and Greek rule remained the basic in­digenous population up to the Second World War, with unaltered Bulgarian national consciousness and aspirations, which, in spite of suppression and terror they always demonstrated on every possible occasion. This, however was not the result of any propaganda or influence from outside, but was the logical result of a centuries-long historical development.
A survey of some of the key issues examined in this volume of documents about Macedonia convincingly shows that the Slav population in this region is Bulgarian, that the Bulgarians in Macedonia constituted an integral part of the Bulgarian nationality during the Middle Ages and of the Bulgarian nation in modern times, that they felt themselves to be Bulgarians, and fought for freedom and independence, as Bulgarians, and spoke the Bulgarian language.

This is the historical truth, reflected in a multitude of documents, some of which appear in the present volume. The documents come from various coun­tries, and were written by various organizations and persons and, therefore, reflect diverse views and ideas on the Macedonian issue. Irrespective of ideological differences and of the approach to the solution of the Macedonian issue, however, all the documents stress that up to the Second World War the majority of the Slav population there was Bulgarian.

The editors of the volume, having expended great effort in its preparation, are convinced that it will be met with interest by every Bulgarian citizen who loves his people and history, as well as by the scholarly public in Bulgaria and abroad.

Sofia, June 1978

1 Blagoev, A Contribution to the History of Socialism in Bulgaria, Sofia, 1949, pp.47-51
2 After the First World War IMARO was renamed Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organiza­tion (IMRO)

[Index]  [Next]