Bulgarian media are resurrecting a nationalist myth by resurrecting the “Bloody Christmas” of 1945 in Macedonia

Skopje, 10 January, 2019 - 19:52 (META) 

On Monday, Christmas day in Macedonia, a large part of the Bulgarian media recalled the so-called “Bloody Christmas” of January 7, 1945, when “1200 Bulgarians” were killed in the present territory of the Republic of Macedonia or the then Federal Democratic Republic of Macedonia.

For instance, let’s take the article published by faktor.bg, where in addition to this claim they talk about a much larger number of Bulgarians killed in the period following:

On 7th of January, 1945, on the orders of the bloody dictator Tito, who was a Croat by origin, a list was composed by Lazar Kolishevski, 1200 Bulgarians were executed without a court order or convictions in Vardar Macedonia. The goal was to erase Bulgarian self-awareness and to speed up the Macedonianization process of the population. On the first day of Koleda – January 7 (in Macedonia, Christmas or Koleda is in accordance with the Julian calendar) 63 people were murdered in Skopje, 54 in Veles, 48 in Kumanovo , 36 in Bitola, 77 in Stip , 35 in Prilep, and 330 people near the village of Vladimirovo in Berovo. The bodies of those murdered in Veles were buried behind the church “St. Spas” and Pusta Kula.

In “Factor.bg” the article states that “entire families were murdered in Ohrid and Prespa in the following weeks and after, their bodies were thrown into the Ohrid Lake and Prespa Lake or along the slopes of Mount Galicica near the village Otesevo”:

The murder of over 23,000 self-proclaimed Bulgarians was confirmed, while another 130,000 Bulgarians were expelled, persecuted or sent to the “Goli Otok” concentration camp or Idrizovo Prison.

Although it is certain that some of those murdered, imprisoned or persecuted felt like Bulgarians, there is an absence of any documentation that can confirm such a large number of people killed in a period of only a few days or weeks (for example, in Vladimirovo, even until today, no-one recalls 30, let alone 300 murders in just one day). What is interesting in the figure published by the Bulgarian media, it includes officers and soldiers who refused to go to the Srem front, as they wanted to go and conquer Thessaloniki. Although almost all of them were sentenced to death, their sentences were later dismissed.

Additionally, from what has been determined by Macedonian historians, as well as media statements given after the introduction of pluralism to some of those imprisoned, many of those murdered and imprisoned were definite supporters of the idea of an independent and greater Macedonia, and many of them were collaborators of the partisan movement, as is the case of murdered doctor Bogdan Pop Gjorcev from Veles.

Undeniably, as Macedonian historians found after the collapse of socialism in 1991, many of those murdered and persecuted were ideological opponents of the new government, that is, they were just anti-Communists, and their properties and wealth were immediately awarded to the new leadership after the executions, which creates enough doubt that it was the worst abuse of power and murder by persuasion only because of the easy acquisition of someone else’s hard-earned property.

Furthermore, the president of both ASNOM sessions and the first president of the National Assembly of Macedonia, Metodija Andonov-Cento, was persecuted and imprisoned however; it was because of Macedonian nationalism and ideas for an independent Macedonia. This was something for which he was imprisoned in the Kingdom of SHS (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and during the Bulgarian occupation as well.

In addition, as undoubtedly confirmed by a large number of survivors from Idrizovo prison and “Goli Otok” from the mid 20th century, their “cellmates”, along with several Bulgarians by persuasion, were a large number of Communists by persuasion, but supporters of the Informbiro resolution in Yugoslavia in 1948, with which the then government mercilessly performed.

MEP from Bulgaria accuses Macedonian police of torturing Bulgarians

Strasbourg, 27 November, 2014 - 15:53 (META) 

MEP from Bulgaria, Angel Dzambaski, sent a letter to the European Commission regarding the interrogations of Bulgarian citizens from the security services of the Republic of Macedonia.
Namely, according to Dzambaski, on 25th of November 2014, President of the Bulgarian Cultural Club in Skopje reacted due to violation of the rights of the citizens in Strumica and Kochani done by the police in Macedonia.
Asked for comment on this issue, representatives of the Macedonian Ministry of Interior said for news agency META that they “work in accordance with legal regulations and behave equally to all citizens.”
As Dzambaski stated, reports Bulgarian online network “Kros”, they were interrogated about the activities of the Bulgarian Cultural Club and their links with Bulgarian MEPs.
This action of the Macedonian police can reflect on the course of this year’s negotiations between the Joint Parliamentary Committee of EU and Macedonia, which is held in Strasbourg yesterday and today. MEP Dzambaski, member of the Bulgarian VMRO, is also a part of this delegation.
During the negotiations, the MEP asked for a serious criticism to be directed towards the delegation from Skopje regarding this issue as well.
President of the Bulgarian club in Skopje, Lazar Mladenov, claims that its activists were invited to so-called “friendly conversation” by the security services. People were mainly interrogated about who enters their offices in Strumica and whether they intend to open other offices as well. The first “conversation” took place in Strumica, in the offices of the security services, while, in Kochani, one person was called to a restaurant in order for it to appear that it is matter of an informal meeting.
The Macedonian delegation is comprised of President of the Committee Kenan Hasipi and its members are MPs Artan Grubi, Antonio Miloshoski, Silvana Boneva, Vladimir Gjorchev and Bekim Fazli.