September 5, 1913
Dimitrija Chupovski: What did Bulgaria represent for Macedonia
The Bucharest Conference of the Balkan states completely destroyed Article 23 of the Berlin Congress which stipulated the introduction of reforms in Macedonia as a self-governing province of Turkey. At the time this stipulation gave wings to the hopes of the Macedonians for the possibility of creating an autonomous Macedonia and proved to be a counter-balance to the stipulations of the Treaty of San Stefano, which defaced Macedonia by its inclusion within the boundaries of Greater Bulgaria. However, regardless of the stipulations of the Berlin Congress, the Treaty of San Stefano constantly instigated the Bulgarians to actions for creating a Greater Bulgaria at the expanse of Macedonia and they continually spent millions of rubles for agitation in Macedonia by opening their own, purely Bulgarian, schools and churches. As a result of this, Bulgaria began regarding itself as the only future liberator of Macedonia, comparing its role in the cause of the liberation of Macedonia with the role of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turkish War. We, however, cannot agree at all with such a comparison….Russia was Bulgaria’s liberator, and accordingly, to compare its role with the role of Bulgaria in the present war is, at the very least, absurd and ridiculous for our contemporaries, before whose eyes this tragicomedy was being acted. The role of Bulgaria as regards to Macedonia was from the very beginning criminal; it was first to violate…the article of the Berlin Treaty which bound Turkey to introduce reforms in Macedonia. Moreover, carrying out unbearable, extremely chauvinist, propaganda among the Macedonians through its Constantinople Patriarchate, Bulgaria was the first to cause rivalry and the introduction of similar propaganda by the Greeks and the Serbs, thus instilling discord among the Macedonians. During the whole 30 years of its existence as a state, Bulgaria has carried out anti-Macedonian policy. Flattering and attracting the Macedonians to its side. at the same time it persecuted them with ferocity and hatred and strove to destroy in them any idea of an autonomous Macedonia; while doing so, the Bulgarians did not shrink from using any means. Thus, in 1888, the Bulgarian Government destroyed the ‘Macedonian Literary Society’ under the presidency of Georgi Pulevski….Two years later, in that same Sofia, the Bulgarian Government closed the evening schools, specially opened for the emigrant Macedonian craftsman, and the heads of those schools. Macedonian patriots – Damjan Gruev, Delchev, Petre Pop Arsov and many others – were expelled from Bulgaria. In addition, let us consider just those persecution to which the so-called Internal Macedonian Organization was exposed, working on the spiritual revival of Macedonia and its political liberation. Its members were persecuted both by the Bulgarian government and the Exarchate, the local instrument of those governments. In order to paralyze the successes resulting from the activity of the Internal Macedonian Organization, the Bulgarian government formed with Macedonian emigrant a requisite counter-Macedonian organization (made of the dregs(?) of society), known under the name of the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee, the task of which was to trumpet to the whole world that Macedonia is a purely Bulgarian country. Who does not know the shameful role of this Committee shown through its activity on the partition of Macedonia as a whole and of the Macedonian intelligentsia in particular? Guided by the Bulgarian government through its teachers and generals of the type of Mihajlovski and Conchev, this Committee acted against the Macedonian liberation movement and worked with all means on the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria. Still more criminal was the role of Bulgaria in this shameful ‘liberation’ war. Did not Bulgaria hold long negotiations concerning the division of Macedonia with its present occupiers? Did it not, according to the treaty of 29th February 1912 with the Serbs, give to them the whole western section of Macedonia and thus violate its integrity? Did not Bulgaria, which attracted Greece, too, to the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance, start to divide Macedonia? Could it not know that the Greeks might join the alliance only because they had in mind the acquisition of the southern section of Macedonia? Is not Bulgaria to be blamed for the partition of Macedonia, hiding the real aim of the war from the representatives of the Macedonian people, which it had to reckon with. On the contrary, starting the war, it declared to the Macedonians that it was fighting against Turkey alongside the allies for their liberation. Allowing the Macedonians to organize themselves into military units, Bulgaria committed a hunderdfold crime, because it did not allow them to fight against Turkey in their native land, but directed them to Thrace, towards the shore of the Sea of Marmara, under the walls of Adrianople and the trenches of Chataldzha, which weren’t needed, except for a bunch of Bulgarian glory-hunters; and the happened at the same time when the allied Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks were conquering Macedonia. How can we explain this criminal act of the Bulgarians towards the Macedonians, if not by the fear that those same Macedonians with arms in their hands would defend their homeland equally from any encroachments upon its independence? But in fact Bulgaria thus ruined not only Macedonia but also all its future. Shedding now crocodile tears for the lost Macedonia, did Bulgaria at the proper time make any attempt to preserve the indivisibility of Macedonia, which it likes to call its younger sister? How can some Bulgarian patriots claim that Bulgaria was in respect to Macedonia that biblical mother which appeared before Solomon’s court? Would not a mother worthy of setting an example rather prefer to renounce her own son in only he could thus remain intact? However, as we all know, Bulgaria was the first to agree to the partition of Macedonia. Why has not Bulgaria up to this moment acted like a real “native mother” with her unselfishness, with motherly generosity towards Macedonia, with a project for its autonomy? This is exactly the attitude of Bulgaria which could have ensured the integrity and indivisibility of Macedonia, peace among the Balkan peoples and would have preserved the dignity of the “native mother” herself – Bulgaria. What hindered it, having included the item about the autonomy of Macedonia in the treaty, from raising at the proper time the question about the realization of that item? Nobody hinder it at all, but it did not make any attempts itself to raise this question. It did not make this attempt after the end of the first half of the war, when it realized that its allies of yesterday, the Serbs and the Greeks, having occupied Macedonia, would not like to leave it. And instead of submitting a project for autonomy, it decided to go to war, in order to gain as great as possible a section of Macedonia for itself. Even following the defeat, when the question was posed not for Macedonia but for Bulgaria itself – I am referring here to the Conference of Bucharest, where Bulgaria was “generously” offered an eighth or tenth part of Macedonia – here, too, it preferred to take that part, and did not follow the example of the biblical mother, renouncing its share of the child. I repeat, the following of this, there are some people again who compare the present position of Bulgaria to the position of Russia in the liberating Russo-Turksih War, with a desire in this way to represent it in the role of the same unselfish liberator as Russia was with regard to Bulgaria itself, refusing to see that the main reason for the misfortunes of Macedonia were precisely the Bulgaria aspiration towards this long tortured land.
Taken from Dimitrija Chupovski, Makednoskii Golos, pages 130-133.