Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedonian autonomy, 1919!


January 4, 1919

Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedonian autonomy

St. Paul’s Hospital, Salonika Dear Sir, Please excuse the liberty I take in writing you, it is because the final settlement in the Balkans is of vital interest to the Catholics in these countries. – I have been 33 years in this Mission, the Uniate Catholic Mission, which at the beginning of the Second Balkan War counted about 10,000 Catholics. The Treaty of Bucharest, which divided Macedonia without any regard to justice, was the cause of these poor people being dispersed on account of their Slav language, which was forbidden in Churches and schools. – The Bishop had his residence in Salonika, he has now been in exile more then 3 years, his priests are dispersed, his flock is indeed without pastors, nor do we have any hope of his return to any place under Greek or Serbian rule. – The Greeks will not admit the Slav language in Churches or schools; the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; they call themselves Macedonians, and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control. – I whatever way Macedonia might be divided, the people would be always discontented, and would fight again as soon as possible. The only hope I can foresee is in strong autonomy, which neither Greeks nor Bulgars nor Serbs would dare attack; then the Macedonians, who are really intelligent and docile when they are well treated. would peacefully develop this beautiful fertile country… Surely Europe will not leave Macedonia under people whom the Macedonians hate, and whom they will continually fight…

Taken from Public Record Office (London) – FO 608/44. Peace Conference (British delegation), 1919.

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