Hans Lothar Schteppan winner of “K. P. Misirkov” for his life’s work
By Goran Momirovski
Translated and edited by Risto Stefov
September 5th, 2008
The former German Ambassador to Macedonia Hans Lothar Schteppan at an interview for A1 says that Macedonia does not need to yield in the dispute with Greece and that it is a victim of the European conspiracies from the start of the 20th century.
Q. Your Excellency, for your investigative book “Macedonian Knot” this year you received the prestigious award “Krste Petkov Misirkov” from the “Ramkovski” Foundation. How much does this and other previous awards mean to you for all your effort that you have invested in the last fifteen years to investigate Macedonia’s past?
A. I have become a spiritual warrior of Macedonia. The “Kisela Voda” community granted me a plaque for high achievement. Last year MANU awarded me with the “Blazhe Koneski” award and now the “Krste Misirkov” award. All these are a great honour for me and understandably I am pleased.
There is an additional element to the “Misirkov” award. I believe it is a good gesture when a country nurtures noble-minded original thinking by creating a foundation such as the “Ramkovski” Foundation to award the deeds of those who work to satisfy the interests of their aims.
Q. Arguments which you exposed in your book “Macedonian Knot” had helped many people in Macedonia to better understand the history of their country.
A. I am convinced that all historians will agree that if you want to understand today’s political situation, you have to get into history. As I have discovered, history for example proves that Greece never possessed Macedonian territories before 1912-13. Not in ancient times, not in Roman times, not in Slav times, not even in Ottoman times. Only after breaking International law in 1912-13 during the Balkan Wars, together with Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro it occupied and annexed Macedonia, Thrace and Epirus. On that basis Greece stole Macedonian territories, because this was done against international law.
This historic connection is completely independent of Macedonia’s right to self-determination. All people in the world have the right to self-determination. Macedonia too has that right and should decide on its own about its identity and name. No one has the right to interfere.
Q. Frequently you openly speak about Macedonia and your position is definitely made clear in your book “Macedonian Knot” which is different from the official position of German politics.
A. When I returned home after being away in Macedonia for over three years, I held a few meetings in Germany regarding the Macedonian question and about Balkan, South-European and Yugoslav matters. In all of my understanding about the population in that region I was short on information about its descent. That is why I started searching the dossiers of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, first at Bonn for a few months, then afterwards in Berlin for some time. In my search there I found out that the neighbouring countries close to Macedonia are entirely newly-created.
Q. A while ago you sent letters to high representatives in the EU and NATO, to Mr. Baroso and Mr. Shefer. Can we soon expect a reply? Does it happen often that a German diplomat does not receive a response from the EU and NATO?
A. They know that Greece is skillful, that it lies and that it lies to Macedonia, they know it should not be like that. Especially from the cradle of Europe, from the cradle of democratic principles. Greece needs to be held responsible for the truth and for justice. The European Commission knows that. If it continues to support Greece with its false solidarity, then there must exist larger interests behind the scenes. I believe that in the background are the Balkan Wars and relations between the Balkan League and the Entente before World War I.