National Liberation Front (Macedonia)

The National Liberation Front (Macedonian: Народноослободителен фронт (НОФ), Narodnoosloboditelen front (NOF)), also known as the People's Liberation Front, was a communist political and military organization created by the Slavic Macedonian minority in Greece. The organization operated from 1945–1949, most prominently in the Greek Civil War. As far as its ruling cadres were concerned its participation in the Greek Civil War was nationalist rather than communist, with the goal of secession from Greece.[1]

National Liberation Front
Народноослободителен фронт
Dates of operation1945–1949
Active regionsMacedonia (Greece)
IdeologyMacedonian nationalism
Allies Democratic Army of Greece
Opponents Hellenic Army
Battles and warsGreek Civil War


Historical overviewEdit

Late Ottoman eraEdit

The 'Macedonian Question' surfaced in 1878, after the Treaty of Berlin had revised the short-lived 'Greater Bulgaria' established by the Treaty of San Stefano and turned back Macedonia under Ottoman control. During rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, the Slavic speakers in Ottoman Macedonia were under the influence of the Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian religious, educational and military propaganda. Even the Macedonian nationalist movement hardly started its activity in the late 19th century.[1] However at that time and beyond, the majority of the Macedonian Slavs who had clear ethnic consciousness, believed they were Bulgarians.[2][3]

Interwar GreeceEdit

The Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918) left the area divided mainly between Greece and Serbia (later Yugoslavia), which resulted in significant changes in its ethnic composition. The formerly leading Bulgarian community was reduced either by population exchanges or by change of communities' ethnic identity.[4] Part of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1919 was a population exchange Convention, signed between Bulgaria and Greece. In 1924 upon the League of Nations' demand, a Bulgarian-Greek agreement was signed, known as the Politis–Kalfov Protocol, which recognized the "Greek Slavophones" as Bulgarians and guaranteed their protection.[5] Belgrade was suspicious of Greece's recognition of a Bulgarian minority and was annoyed this would hinder its policy of “Serbianisation” in Vardar Macedonia.[6] On February 2, 1925, the Greek parliament, claiming pressure from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which threatened to renounce the Greek–Serbian Alliance of 1913, refused to ratify the agreement, that lasted until June 10, 1925. In 1927, Mollov–Kafantaris Agreement was signed that dealt with the financial issues related to the liquidation of the Bulgarians' properties in Greece and the Greeks' in Bulgaria.

During the Metaxas regime the Greek government began promulgating a policy of persecution of the use of Slavic dialects both in public and in private, as well of expressions of any cultural or ethnic distinctiveness. At that time a new consciousness arrived among the Slavic-speaking population – an ethnic Macedonian one.[2][page needed] The first organization that promoted in 1932 the existence of a separate ethnic Macedonian nation was IMRO (United),[3] composed of former left-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) members. This idea was backed by the Comintern, which issued a resolution in 1934, supporting the development of Macedonia as a separate entity and recognizing a Macedonian nationality.[7][4] This action was attacked by the IMRO, but was supported by the Balkan communists, including the Greek Communist Party. It created a Macedonian section within the party, headed by Andreas Tsipas and maintained the national consolidation of the Slav Macedonian minority within Greece.

Axis occupationEdit

Nevertheless, most of the Macedonian Slavs in all parts of divided Macedonia, still had strong pro-Bulgarian sentiments at the beginning of the Occupation.[8][9] Tsipas himself declared Bulgarian ethnicity during the Second World War,[10] sought refuge in Sofia,[11] and became an agent of the Bulgarian secret service.[12] More, until the end of the Second World War, the Macedonian peasants, being neither communists nor members of IMRO (United), were not affected by the Macedonian national identity.[13] Bulgarian withdrawal from Northern Greece after the pro-Communist coup in the country on 9 September 1944 led to that, ca. 90,000 Bulgarians left the area, nearly the half of them locals.

The turning point for the Macedonian ethnogenesis became the creation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following World War II.[14][15] Then the idea of an ethnic Macedonian conscience and identity gained momentum and ethnic Macedonian institutions were created in the three parts of Macedonia.[5] The new People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began a policy of making the region of Macedonia a connecting link for the establishment of new Balkan Communist Federation and also supported the development of a distinct ethnic Macedonian consciousness in the area.[16] The Greek communists as well, were then the only political party in Greece to recognize Macedonian national identity.[17]

World War IIEdit

Occupation of Greece in World War IIEdit

While most of Greece was occupied by Axis Powers in World War II, resistance movements were created by Greeks while the collaborationist Ohrana battalions were constituted from among the Slavophone population. After Greece was occupied by Italy, Germany and Bulgaria, different guerrilla bands and movements were formed across all of northern Greece,. Some of them fought against the occupation, like Napoleon Zervas and his National Republican Greek League (EDES), while others were collaborationists, like the Ohrana, many of whom later joined the Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front (SNOF).[18][6]There was also the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), a partisan army headed by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Although ELAS in some cases relied on forced mobilization, the ethnic Macedonians sympathized with ELAS and the KKE because of their friendly position towards the ethnic minorities of Greece and the fact they had acquiesced to Soviet demands for an independent Macedonian state that would contain most of Northern Greece.[7]

In the book After The war Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation, and State in Greece, 1943–1960 edited by Mark Mazower and published by Princeton University Press, it is remarked that:

The testimonies started to grow more complicated and to reveal the true nature of the problem when the witnesses recounted the activities of an accused prisoner during the occupation who, having been a loyal friend of the Bulgarians in the early years of the occupation, would suddenly appear as a member of Slovenomakedonski Narodno Oslobodaekn Front (Slav Macedonian National Liberation Front). These were the Okhranists, armed members of Bulgarian-sponsored units, who were quick to join the Slavic-speaking units officially under the jurisdiction of EAM in order to avoid punishment after the occupation. Some of them even chose to espouse the SNOF manifesto regarding the autonomy of Macedonia. Others seem to have moved on to SNOF after active service with EAM.

Many of the accused had absconded and were tried in absentia. They tended to be either fanatical supporters of the Bulgarian cause who had accompanied the departing Bulgarian troops in October 1944, or autonomists who had managed to flee to Yugoslavia.[18]


Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front
CountryGreece (Greek Macedonia)
AllegianceNational People's Liberation Army
EngagementsGreek Resistance

The Slavomacedonian National Liberation Front (Macedonian: Славјаномакедонски народноослободителен фронт (СНОФ), Slavjanomakedonski narodnoosloboditelen front (SNOF)), was the first paramilitary organization established by ethnic Macedonian members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in 1943. Before the creation of SNOF, ethnic Macedonian military detachments in Greek Macedonia participated in the National People's Liberation Army.[8]

The main aim of the SNOF was to obtain the support of the local population and to mobilize it, through SNOF, to help the National Liberation Front of Greece (EAM) liberate the country from Axis occupation. As they increased in numbers, the military detachments of the SNOF fought the occupation in Northern Greece and collaborated with units of the KKE.[9] Another tactic of SNOF was to struggle against the Ohrana activity in western Greek Macedonia,[10] and to persuade the Ohrana members to desert their ranks and join the SNOF and support ELAS. SNOF started publishing newspapers and booklets on ethnic Macedonian history and engaged a massive propaganda war against the Ohrana. Just before the liberation of Greece, SNOF operatives managed to convince many former Ohranists to enter the ranks of the SNOF. Some of them later took part in the Greek Civil War on the side of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) and gave their lives in the struggle.[11] By 1944 the Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front had begun to publish a regular newspaper known as Slavjano-Makedonski Glas (Macedonian: Славјано-Македонски Глас).[19]

During this time, the ethnic Macedonians in Greece were permitted to publish newspapers in Macedonian and run schools.[12] After the end of the Greek Resistance against the Axis occupation, the SNOF was dissolved in 1944 on the orders of the KKE Central Committee and through British intervention. Headed by Vangel Ajanovski - Oche, some SNOF commanders, dissatisfied with the KKE decision, crossed into Vardar Macedonia and participated in the National Liberation War of Macedonia.[13]


The Ohrana (Bulgarian: Охрана, Protection or Guards) were armed collaborationist detachments organized by the Bulgarian army, composed of Slavophone pro-Bulgarian people in occupied Greek Macedonia during World War II and led by Bulgarian officers.[20][21] Bulgaria was interested in acquiring Thessalonica and Western Macedonia under Axis occupation and hoped to sway the allegiance of the 80,000 Slavs who lived there at the time.[21] The appearance of Greek partisans in those areas persuaded the Italians to allow the formation of these collaborationst detachments.[21]

Following the defeat of the Axis powers and the evacuation of the Nazi occupation forces many members of the Ohrana joined the SNOF where they could still pursue their goal of secession. According to Jane Cowan there was a rapprochement between the Greek Communist Party and the Ohrana collaborationist units.[22] According to Fritz Voigt further collaboration between the Bulgarian-controlled Ohrana and the EAM-controlled SNOF followed when it was agreed that Greek Macedonia would be allowed to secede.[23][24] It is estimated that entire Ohrana units had joined the SNOF which began to press the ELAS leadership to allow it autonomous action in Greek Macedonia.[25]

In their book Greece:The Modern Sequel, published by New York University Press Thanos Veremis and John S. Koliopoulos note:

In Western Macedonia the German and Italian Occupation authorities gave the exponents of the Bulgarian cause a free hand in their policy of intimidating the local population. Greek resistance forces were faced with the double task of facing both the occupying army and the Bulgarian fascist Ohrana paramilitary forces. In 1943 at a meeting between Yugoslav and Greek partisans Tito's representative used the term "Macedonian nationals" for the first time and asked for the cooperation of EAM-ELAS to win Bulgarian collaborators back to the Macedonian ideological camp. Throughout the war period ELAS resisted Yugoslav pressure to allow the "Slav Macedonian National Liberation Front" to form separate ranks and pursue its own policy in Greek Macedonia.[26]

Greek Civil WarEdit

Foundation of NOF and first actionsEdit

After the liberation of Greece and the signing of the Treaty of Varkiza in February 1945, there was no sign of possible political stabilization of the country. The Communist-led forces become isolated from the process, and British intervention backed the right-wing government formed in Athens. After the ELAS was partly disarmed, the KKE and its forces concentrated on political struggle.[14] But while the KKE was negotiating and fighting within the political framework, in northern Greece bands of the former Security Battalions (wartime collaborators) and government forces harassed the ethnic Macedonians, accusing them of autonomist activities.[citation needed]

A number of ethnic Macedonians in Edessa, Kastoria and Florina, Paskal Mitrevski, Mihail Keramidzhiev, Georgi Urdov, Atanas Koroveshov, Pavle Rakovski and Mincho Fotev, formed the National Liberation Front on 23 April 1945. According to its statute, their objectives were: to resist the "Monarchist-Fascist aggressors", to fight for democracy and a Greek Republic; and the physical preservation of the ethnic Macedonian population.[15]

The NOF organised meetings, street and factory protests, and published illegal papers. The ethnic Macedonian KKE members who escaped Greece when the country was liberated started coming back to their homes, and many entered the ranks of NOF. Soon the group began forming partisan detachments.[citation needed]

Nepokoren was one of the newspapers published by NOF.

Even before the KKE declared the beginning of the armed struggle of the Democratic Army of Greece in 1946, the NOF was acting independently from the KKE, and engaged in several battles with government forces, who had British support. Thus, the NOF stimulated the beginning of an armed insurrection of the communist forces against the government.[16] The NOF and also created regional committees in all areas with compact ethnic Macedonian populations (Florina, Eddesa, Giannitsa and Kastoria).[citation needed]

The merger of the NOF with the Democratic ArmyEdit

KKE was trying to avoid the Civil War until after the elections of 1946. Up to this time more than 100,000 fighters of ELAS and EAM members had been imprisoned with accusations of treason and brutalities against civilians during the fascist occupation. Many ELAS and NOF members created small armed groups based in their former hideouts. Among the areas populated with Slavic speaking population in western Greek Macedonia the NOF became a powerful factor, and the KKE opened negotiations with it. The negotiations were conducted by Mihail Keramitčiev and Paskal Mitrevski on behalf of the NOF, and Markos Vafiadis, on behalf of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE). After nearly seven months of negotiations, they reached an agreement to merge. In October 1946, KKE founded DSE High Command in Middle Greece. The Capetanios (Military and Political Leader) of DSE was Markos Vafeiadis.

The KKE and the NOF maintained a position on the minorities question in Greece (the equality of all ethnic groups within the borders of Greece), and NOF was against every form of autonomy. Owing to the KKE's equal treatment of ethnic Macedonians and Greeks, many ethnic Macedonians enlisted as volunteers in the DSE. Αccording to Macedonian sources, 60 per cent of the DSE was composed of ethnic Macedonians. This fact is backed by Alexandros Zaouses in his research book Η Τραγική αναμέτρηση, 1945–1949 – Ο μύθος και η αλήθεια, where he states that out of 22,000 fighters, 14,000 were Slavic-Macedonians.[17] This number is confirmed by C. M. Woodhouse in his book "The Struggle for Greece, 1941–1949".[18] Nevertheless, considerable debate continues to exist over the numbers, particularly as Woodhouse relied extensively on Greek and British documents for his numbers. Ethnic Macedonian partisans were not fighting only in the territory of Greek Macedonia, but also in Thessaly, Roumelia, and in the battles north of Athens.[19]

Macedonians and the Greek Civil WarEdit

The Macedonians of Greek Macedonia made a critical contribution to the communist side during the Greek Civil War.[20] Soon after the first free territories were created, Keramitčiev met with KKE officials, and it was decided that Macedonian schools would open in the area controlled by the DSE.[21] Books written in Macedonian were published, while Macedonians theatres and cultural organizations operated. Under the auspices of the NOF, a women's organization, the Antifascist Women's Front (AFZH), and a youth organization, the National Liberation Front of Youth (ONOM), were formed.[22]

In Democratic Army of Greece held territory, newspapers and books were published by NOF, public speeches made and the schools opened, helping the consolidation of Macedonian conscience and identity among the population. According to information announced by Paskal Mitrevski on the I plenum of NOF in August 1948, about 85% of the Macedonian-speaking population in Aegean Macedonia identified themselves as ethnic Macedonian. The language that was taught in the schools was the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. About 20,000 young ethnic Macedonians learned to read and write using that language, and learned their own history.

Ethnic Macedonians fought in the Greek Civil War and made a significant contribution to the initial victories of the DSE.[23] Their significance, however, rose as the conflict progressed due to their increased numbers within the DSE. However, when the Tito–Stalin split arose, Yugoslavia (and the Socialist Republic of Macedonia) closed its border to the DSE, as both the NOF and the DSE supported the Soviet line.[24] At the beginning of the war Markos Vafiadis had an efficient guerilla strategy, and controlled territories from Florina to Attica, and for a short period there were DSE-controlled territories in the Peloponnese.

The Provisional Government, founded in 1947, was in political and military control of 70% of the mainland (from Evros to Peloponnese) and partial control of the mountainous areas and most of the islands. During 1947 and until the spring of 1948, the National Army was mainly barricaded in Athens and other major Greek cities, and held the plains (Thessaly and Thessaloniki). DSE was then an army of nearly 40,000 fighters and benefited from a strong network of sympathizers in all rural villages – especially the mountainous areas. Its HQ was in Mount Vitsi, near the border with Yugoslavia.Two more Area HQs were stationed in Middle Greece (Mount Pindos) and Peloponnese (Mount Taiget).[27][28][29][30]

At the end of the war, nearly 20,000 fighters have been either killed or captured by the National Army after the fighting in Peloponnese. Same situation was encountered in nearly all the islands, and in Thrace. By the beginning of 1949, in the last stage of the war, the Provisional Government was confined to the mountains of Pindos, Grammos, and Vitsi. The DSE was numbered at 22,000 fighters, out of which 14,000 were ethnic Macedonians.[25]

The DSE came under pressure after the British intervened, sending tanks, airplanes and ammunition to the government forces, which were mainly stationed in cities.[26]

The defeat of the Democratic ArmyEdit

The DSE, whose soldiers were armed mainly with light arms and had little heavy weaponry, started losing ground as a result of the heavy aerial bombardment, artillery barrages and tank attacks. In August 1948, Vafiadis was removed from the position of DSE commander-in-chief and was replaced by Nikos Zachariadis, who changed the whole command cadre to party members with no combat experience. This decision accelerated the decline of the DSE.[27]

From the merger in 1946 until the end of the Civil War, the NOF was loyal to the idea of a unified Greece and was fighting for human rights for all groups within the borders of the Greek republic. But Zachariadis, in order to mobilize more ethnic Macedonians into the DSE, declared on 31 January 1949 at the 5th Meeting of the KKE Central Committee:

In Northern Greece the people of Macedonia gave its best for the struggle and fights on an integration of heroism and self-sacrifice that is admirable. There must be no doubt that as a result of the victory of DSE and of the peoples' revolution, the Macedonian people will find its full national restoration as they want it, offering its blood today to conquer it. The Macedonian communists are always in the front line of the struggle of their people. At the same time, the Macedonian Communists must be careful of disjunctive actions by foreign controlled chauvinists that want to dissolve the unity between the Macedonian and the Greek people. This actions will help only our common enemy, the monarch-fascism and English imperialism. At the same time, CPG must lift all the obstacles all the chauvinist actions that cause bad sentiments to the Macedonian people and therefore they help the chauvinists and in their actions of betrayal. The Greek and Macedonian people can win only united. If they are divided they can only be defeated. That's why unity of the two people must be kept as a precious element and must be strengthened constantly and at any time.[28]

This new line of the KKE increased the mobilization rate of ethnic Macedonians (which even earlier was considerably high), but did not manage, ultimately, to change the course of the war. At the battles of Vitsi and Grammos, in which the government forces deployed napalm bombs and artillery barrages, the DSE was expelled from Greece. As Yugoslavia had closed its borders to Greece, the evacuation was conducted through Albania.


Emigration of ethnic Macedonians from GreeceEdit

Whether as a result of force or of their own accord in order to escape repression and retaliation, some 50,000 civilians left Greece with the retreating DSE forces. All of them went to Eastern Bloc countries.[29][30] It was not until the 1970s that some of them were allowed to return to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. In the 1980s, the Greek parliament adopted a law of national reconciliation which allowed DSE members "of Greek origin" to repatriate to Greece, where they were given land. Ethnic Macedonian DSE members remained excluded from the terms of this legislation.[31]

On August 20, 2003, the Rainbow Party hosted a reception for the "child refugees". Ethnic Macedonian children who fled their homes during the Greek Civil War were permitted to enter Greece for a maximum of 20 days. Now elderly, this was the first time many of them had seen their birthplaces and families in some 55 years. The reception included relatives of the refugees who were living in Greece and were members of Rainbow Party.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2006). The logic of violence in civil war. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 312. ISBN 0-521-85409-1. After the end of the occupation and the demobilization of the Communist partisans (1945—4S), the reconstructed Greek state persecuted leftists and Slav Macedonians alike. Trials of collaborators were used as an opportunity for ethnically motivated persecution as well as the pursuit of all kinds of local feuds. As a result, many Slav Macedonians, both those who had participated in EAM but also many who saw action in the various collaborationist militias, fled across the border into the Republic of Macedonia, newly formed as part of socialist Yugoslavia. Whereas during the occupation many Slav Macedonians had claimed a Bulgarian identity and collaborated with the Bulgarian troops, many now claimed a Macedonian identity and looked up to Tito's Yugoslavia; many among them joined an independence movement (NOF) and a unit known as the First Aegean Brigade. Both organizations were closely allied with Yugoslavia's Communist authorities, who themselves maintained complex ties with the Greek Communists. At the mass level, there was a growing overlap between the Slavophone linguistic identity the Slav Macedonian (or Macedonian) ethnic identity, and the propensity to side with the Communist Left in 1946–49. Although the overlap was nor complete, with a significant minority of Slav Macedonians siding with the Greek government it is clear nonetheless that most Slav Macedonians either collaborated with or openly fought with the Greek Communist rebels between 1946 and 1949 — 85 percent according to one estimate (Rossos 1997:63). Conversely, many Greek settlers, especially in mixed villages, supported the Greek Right. even though they hail been ardent supporters of the Liberal Party during the interwar period (Marantzidis 2001) In short, although the Greek Civil War in Macedonia was by no means an ethnic war, it took on a pronounced ethnic character. The Slav Macedonians made a significant. indeed a critical contribution to the communist side during the Civil War in Greece; they bore the brunt of the war, since they inhabited the regions of Macedonia where the heaviest fighting took place. Their participation in the ranks of the rebel army was very high, "far out of proportion to their relatively low numbers in the total population of Greece at the time. Their estimated representation in the DSE (the Democratic Army of Greece) as the Communist rebel army was known ranged from more than a quarter in April 1947 to more than two-thirds in mnid-I949. By 1944 the Communist Party "had become almost totally dependent on the relatively small, mainly .Macedonian— populated areas it held in central and western Macedonia." Importantly, however, the nature of the Slav Macedonians' participation in the Greek Civil War (at least at the elite level) was nationalist rather than Communist. The Communists were convenient allies in a struggle that was supposed to lead to secession from Greece and a merger with the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. For the NOF "it was primarily a national struggle, a battle for the national liberation of the Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia. (Rossos 1997:42,43-4,64,42).
  2. ^ "Until the late 19th century both outside observers and those Bulgaro-Macedonians who had an ethnic consciousness believed that their group, which is now two separate nationalities, comprised a single people, the Bulgarians. Thus the reader should ignore references to ethnic Macedonians in the Middle ages which appear in some modern works. In the Middle ages and into the 19th century, the term ‘Macedonian’ was used entirely in reference to a geographical region. Anyone who lived within its confines, regardless of nationality could be called a Macedonian...Nevertheless, the absence of a national consciousness in the past is no grounds to reject the Macedonians as a nationality today." "The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century," John Van Antwerp Fine, University of Michigan Press, 1991, ISBN 0472081497, pp. 36–37.
  3. ^ "At the end of the World War I there were very few historians or ethnographers, who claimed that a separate Macedonian nation existed... Of those Macedonian Slavs who had developed then some sense of national identity, the majority probably considered themselves to be Bulgarians, although they were aware of differences between themselves and the inhabitants of Bulgaria... The question as of whether a Macedonian nation actually existed in the 1940s when a Communist Yugoslavia decided to recognize one is difficult to answer. Some observers argue that even at this time it was doubtful whether the Slavs from Macedonia considered themselves to be a nationality separate from the Bulgarians." The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world, Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65–66.
  4. ^ Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics, Cornell University Press, 1988, ISBN 0801494931, p. 33.
  5. ^ Iakovos D. Michailidis, Minority Rights and Educational Problems in Greek Interwar Macedonia: The Case of the Primer “Abecedar”, Journal of Modern Greek Studies Vol. 1, (1996), p. 329.
  6. ^ Jakovos D. Michaüidls Traditional Friends and Occasional Claimants: Serbian Claims in Macedonia between the Wars; Balkan Studies 36, p. 112.
  7. ^ Victor Roudometof; Roland Robertson (2001). Nationalism, Globalization, and Orthodoxy: The Social Origins of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 187. ISBN 0-313-31949-9. In the following years the Communists attempted to enlist the pro-IMRO sympathies of the population in their cause, In the context of this attempt, in 1934 the Comintern recognized a separate Macedonian nationality. Still, the Comintern's Suggestion that all Balkan Communist parties adopt a platform of a "united Macedonia' was rejected by the Bulgarian and Greek Communist parties (Papapanagiotou 1992). Despite this rejection, their conservative opponents within the two states accused the two parties of plotting against the nation this led to the prosecution of the two Communist panics in
  8. ^ "Most of the Slavophone inhabitants in all parts of divided Macedonia, perhaps a million and a half in all – had a Bulgarian national consciousness at the beginning of the Occupation; and most Bulgarians, whether they supported the Communists, VMRO, or the collaborating government, assumed that all Macedonia would fall to Bulgaria after the WWII. Tito was determined that this should not happen. The first Congress of AVNOJ in November 1942 had parented equal rights to all the 'peoples of Yugoslavia', and specified the Macedonians among them."The struggle for Greece, 1941–1949, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1-85065-492-1, p. 67.
  9. ^ "Yugoslav Communists recognized the existence of a Macedonian nationality during WWII to quiet fears of the Macedonian population that a communist Yugoslavia would continue to follow the former Yugoslav policy of forced Serbianization. Hence, for them to recognize the inhabitants of Macedonia as Bulgarians would be tantamount to admitting that they should be part of the Bulgarian state. For that the Yugoslav Communists were most anxious to mold Macedonian history to fit their conception of Macedonian consciousness. The treatment of Macedonian history in Communist Yugoslavia had the same primary goal as the creation of the Macedonian language: to de-Bulgarize the Macedonian Slavs and to create a separate national consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia." For more see: Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King, Yugoslav communism and the Macedonian question, Archon Books, 1971, ISBN 0208008217, Chapter 9: The encouragement of Macedonian culture.
  10. ^ Giannēs S Koliopoulos.Plundered loyalties: Axis occupation and civil strife in Greek West Macedonia, 1941–1949, London, Hurst & Co.,1999, ISBN 978-1-85065-381-3, p. 53.
  11. ^ Bŭlgarsko istorichesko druzhestvo, Institut za istoria (Bŭlgarska akademia na naukite) Издател, 2000, str. 156.
  12. ^ André Gerolymatos. Guerrilla warfare and espionage in Greece, 1940–1944, Pella Pub. Co, 1992; ISBN 0-918618-50-9, pp. 181–82.
  13. ^ "Nodoubt, the vast majority of the Macedonian peasants, being neither communists nor members of IMRO (United), had not been previously affected by Macedonian national ideology. The British officials who attempted to tackle this issue in the (late) 1940s noted the pro-Bulgarian sentiment of many peasants and pointed out that Macedonian nationhood rested ‘on rather shaky historical and philological foundations’ and, therefore, had to be constructed by the Macedonian leadership." Livanios, D. (2008), The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939–1949. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0191528722, p. 206.
  14. ^ "The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world", Loring M. Danforth, Princeton University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-691-04356-6, pp. 65–66.
  15. ^ Modern hatreds: the symbolic politics of ethnic war. New York: Cornell University Press. Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001), p. 193, ISBN 0-8014-8736-6.
  16. ^ Bernard Anthony Cook (2001). Europe since 1945. p. 808. ISBN 0-8153-4058-3.
  17. ^ Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949, Andrew Rossos – The Journal of Modern History 69 (March 1997): 42
  18. ^ a b Mazower, Mark (2000). After the war was over: reconstructing the family, nation, and state in Greece, 1943–1960. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. pp. 49–50. ISBN 0-691-05842-3.
  19. ^ Autonomist Movements of the Slavophones in 1944: The Attitude of the Communist Party of Greece and the Protection of the Greek-Yugoslav Border by Spyridon Stefas
  20. ^ ""The Second World War and the Triple Occupation"". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  21. ^ a b c Miller, Marshall Lee (1975). Bulgaria During the Second World War. Stanford University Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-8047-0870-3. In Greece the Bulgarians reacquired their former territory, extending along the Aegean coast from the Struma (Strymon) River east of Salonika to Dedeagach (Alexandroupolis) on the Turkish border. Bulgaria looked longingly toward Salonika and western Macedonia, which were under German and Italian control, and established propaganda centres to secure the allegiance of the approximately 80,000 Slavs in these regions. The Bulgarian plan was to organize these Slavs militarily in the hope that Bulgaria would eventually assume the administration there. The appearance of Greek partisans in western Macedonia persuaded the Italian and German au authorities to allow the formation of Slav security battalions (Ohrana) led by Bulgarian officers.
  22. ^ Cowan, Jane K. (2000). Macedonia: the politics of identity and difference. Sydney: Pluto Press. pp. 73. ISBN 0-7453-1589-5. He also played a leading part in effecting a rapprochement between the GCP (Greek Communist Party) and Ohrana
  23. ^ Fritz August Voigt (1949). Pax Britannica. Constable. p. 94. Collaboration between the Ohrana, under Bulgarian control, and SNOF, under the control of EAM, and, therefore, of the Greek ommunist Party
  24. ^ The Twentieth Century. Vol. 139–140. Nineteenth Century and After: A. D. Caratzas. 1946. p. 12. Collaboration between the Bulgarian-controlled Ohrana and the EAM -controlled SNOF followed upon an agreement that Macedonia should become autonomous
  25. ^ Kophos, Euangelos; Kōphos, Euangelos (1993). Nationalism and communism in Macedonia: civil conflict, politics of mutation, national identity. New Rochelle, N.Y: A. D. Caratzas. p. 125. ISBN 0-89241-540-1. By September, entire Ohrana units had joined the SNOF which, in turn, began to press the ELAS leadership to allow it to raise the SNOF battalion to division
  26. ^ Greece: the modern sequel, from 1831 to the present. New York: New York University Press. 2002. pp. 292. ISBN 0-8147-4767-1. In Western Macedonia the German and Italian Occupation authorities gave the exponents of the Bulgarian cause a free hand in their policy of intimidating the local population. Greek resistance forces were faced with the double task of facing both the occupying army and the Bulgarian fascist Ohrana paramilitary forces. In 1943 at a meeting between Yugoslav and Greek partisans Tito's representative used the term "Macedonian nationals" for the first time and asked for the cooperation of EAM-ELAS to win Bulgarian collaborators back to the Macedonian ideological camp. Throughout the war period ELAS resisted Yugoslav pressure to allow the "Slav Macedonian National Liberation Front" to form separate ranks and pursue its own policy in Greek Macedonia.
  27. ^ Εμπειρίες ενόπλων αγώνων 1940–1949 – Experiences of Armed Struggles 1940–1949, Papageorgiou 2001
  28. ^ Ο Εμφύλιος Πόλεμος στην Πελοπόνησσο, Α. Καμαρινός – The Civil War in Peloponnese
  29. ^ Η Νεκρή Μεραρχία, Παπακωνσταντίνου- The dead Division, Papakonstantinou
  30. ^ Χαρίλαος Φλωράκης και λαϊκό κίνημα, βιογραφία – Charilaos Florakis and People's movement, biography


  1. ^ "History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century", Barbara Jelavich, 1983.
  2. ^ "Кон македонската преродба" Блаже Конески, Скопје, 1959. – The ethnic Macedonian renaissances started with Georgi Pulevski, going through the teachings of Misirkov to Dimitrija Čupovski.
  3. ^ "History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century", Barbara Jelavich, 1983.
  4. ^ "The Situation in Macedonia and the Tasks of IMRO (United)" – published in the official newspaper of IMRO (United), "Македонско дело", N.185, April 1934
  5. ^ "Резолюция о македонской нации (принятой Балканском секретариате Коминтерна") – Февраль 1934 г, Москва
  6. ^ "Σαραντα χρονια του ΚΚΕ 1918–1958", Athens, 1958, p. 549.
  7. ^ "Rizospastis", no. 89 (7026), 10 June 1934, p. 3.
  8. ^ "Σαραντα χρονια του ΚΚΕ 1918–1958", Athens, 1958, p. 562.
  9. ^ "Les Archives de la Macedonine" – (Letter from Fotis Papadimitriou to the CC of the KKE), 28 March 1943.
  10. ^ "Народно Ослободителниот Фронт и други организации на Македонците од Егејскиот дел на Македонија. (Ристо Кирјазовски)", Skopje, 1985.
  11. ^ "Славјано Македонски Глас", 15 Јануари 1944 с.1
  12. ^ "АМ, Збирка: Егејска Македонија во НОБ 1941–1945 – (Повик на СНОФ до Македонците од Костурско 16 Мај 1944)"
  13. ^ "Идеолошкиот активизам над Македонците под Грција", Стојан Кочов, Скопје, 2000
  14. ^ "Народно Ослободителниот Фронт и други организации на Македонците од Егејскиот дел на Македонија. (Ристо Кирјазовски)", Скопје, 1985.
  15. ^ "Егеjски бури – Револуционерното движење во Воденско и НОФ во Егеjска Македоница. (Вангел Аjановски Оче)", Скопје, 1975.
  16. ^ "To ΚΚΕ, Episama kimena", t. V, 1940–1945, 1973.
  17. ^ "Les Archives de la Macedonine" – (The Constitution of NOF).
  18. ^ "Les Archives de la Macedonine, Fond: Aegean Macedonia in NLW" – (Field report of Mihail Keramidzhiev to the Main Command of NOF), 8 July 1945
  19. ^ "Les Archives de la Macedonine, Fond: Aegean Macedonia in NLW" – (Report of Elefterios Imsiridis to the CC of KKE about the activity of NOF), 6 September 1945
  20. ^ "Егејскиот дел на Македонија (1913–1989). Стојан Киселиновски", Скопје, 1990.
  21. ^ "КПГ и Македонското национално прашање (1918–1940). Ристо Кирјазовски", Скопје, 1985.
  22. ^ "Народно Ослободителниот Фронт и други организации на Македонците од Егејскиот дел на Македонија. (Ристо Кирјазовски)", Скопје, 1985.
  23. ^ "Η Τραγική αναμέτρηση, 1945–1949 – Ο μύθος και η αλήθεια. Ζαούσης Αλέξανδρος" (ISBN 9607213432). [32]
  24. ^ "The Struggle for Greece, 1941–1949". C. M. Woodhouse, London, 1976. p. 262.
  25. ^ "Memoirs of the Gapkovski brothers – veteran fighters of the Greek Civil War" [33]
  26. ^ "Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943–1949. Andrew Rossos", The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Mar., 1997) [34]
  27. ^ "Prokiriksi, Praksis kai apofasis tou Genikou Arhigiou tou Dimokratikou Stratou tis Elados", 1947.
  28. ^ "Македонски национални институции во Егејскиот дел на Македонија (Ристо Кирјазовски)", Скопје, 1987.
  29. ^ "Σαραντα χρονια του ΚΚΕ 1918–1958", Αθηνα, 1958, σ.575.
  30. ^ "Македонците и односите на КПЈ и КПГ (1945–1949). Ристо Кирјазовски", Скопје, 1995.
  31. ^ "ΠΡΕΣΠΑ η Ελληνική", Δημήτρις Πένης. 1993. (p. 77)
  32. ^ "General Markos: Zašto me Staljin nije streljao. Jovan Popovski", Ljubljana, 1982.
  33. ^ "General Markos: Zašto me Staljin nije streljao. Jovan Popovski", Ljubljana, 1982.
  34. ^ "Resolution of the 5th Plenary Session of the Communist Party of Greece", 31 January 1949. [35]
  35. ^ "Македонската политичка емиграција од Егејскиот дел на Македонија во Источна Европа. Ристо Кирјазовски", Скопје, 1989.
  36. ^ "From Gramos Mountain towards Lower Schleszia: Refugees from the Greek Civil War in Eastern Europe and Central Asia", Stefan Troebst. [36]
  37. ^ "Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) – Minority rights Report on Greece to the 1998 OSCE Implementation Meeting", 28 October 1998.

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