Come take a ride in Tito´s time Machine 6

Come take a ride in Tito´s time Machine – Part 6 – In the Balkans

Risto Stefov

September 24, 2009

If we "must" believe that Josip Broz Tito (May 7, 1892 - May 4, 1980), the Yugoslav dictator, along with the Communists, "invented" the Macedonians then we must also believe that Tito possessed a "Time Machine" because in this series of articles we will show you that the Macedonians existed way before Tito´s time.

The next morning I again showed up an hour earlier in hopes of seeing TrueMacedonian before the others arrived. The Delorean´s hood was cold as it had cooled off from my previous day´s adventure.

As usual TrueMacedonian was the first to arrive but followed closely by Tito, Doc and Marty so we had very little time for discussion. After saying "dobro utro", TrueMacedonian advised me to quickly get into the trunk because the others were not far behind. I had one request for TrueMacedonian. I asked him to do me a favour and make sure Tito disclosed the time and location of his missions so that I would be able to follow their progress. Without proper information I found it difficult to follow their progress in the newspapers. Yesterday for example, I had to look all through the west coast newspapers to find out what they had done.

But before TrueMacedonian had a chance to reply I heard him tap twice on the Delorean´s hood, letting me know that the others were there and that I should keep quiet.

Tito was not in a very good mood this morning. I could tell this by his abrupt entry into the Delorean, without greeting TrueMacedonian as he proceeded to fiddle with the time knobs setting the next destination. What a grouch I thought. No that´s too nice for him, he is more like an ogre, no wonder he has earned the title dictator!

"We are going to Iowa, to January 25, 1911," I overheard him say in a stern and brutish voice. Okay we are going to Iowa, to January 25, 1911. But where in Iowa?

The next day I was lucky to run into this article on only my fourth try;



As I skimmed through the article my eye caught the following paragraph;

"Rev. Zilka stated that the future immigrants to the United States will be coming from Russia and the Balkan states. They will be mostly Russians, Servians, Kroatians, Macedonians, Slovaks and Greeks." (The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Thursday, January 26, 1911, page 12)

What a clever move on Tito´s part, placing the word "Macedonians" in the same line as "Greeks". I began to think of Tito as less of an ogre and more of a grouch. Bravo Tito and the team.

No sooner had the team returned, with a happier Tito I may add, than they were off again this time to Winnipeg, to Sunday, February 9, 1913.

The next day I found a story in the Winnipeg Free press which in part read;

"Turkish Navy Seen in Severe Action"

Further down the article I found the following;

"The government has decided to expel all Greek journalists and is also causing the arrests of all Greeks, Bulgarians and Macedonians, who will probably be sent out of the country." (Winnipeg Free Press, Monday, February 10, 1913)

This was the time of the 2nd Balkan War just before Macedonia was partitioned by Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria. Not much of a story but the important thing is Tito managed to stick the word "Macedonians" among the words "Greeks" and "Bulgarians" to distinguish them as different ethnicities. Again bravo to Tito and the team.

"It´s time for a new mission," I heard Tito say in the distance as the team was approaching the Delorean. "We are going to Chillicoth, Missouri, April 24, 1925," I heard Tito say as the time machine swished its way to the next destination. Where is Chillicoth, I wondered, and why 1925? I got my answer the next day when I skimmed through the following article which in part read;


"To the Southeast, in the Balkans, the familiar signs of unrest are not lacking. Belgrade, has resorted to dictatorship. Jugoslavia and Bulgaria watch one other across their frontiers, wondering which will leave the first brick. The Macedonians continue their policy of provoking first the Serbs and then the Bulgarians in the hope that some day, while the two are quarreling, Macedonia will run off with the coveted bone of independence." (The Daily Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, Wednesday, April 25th, 1925)

I noticed the word "Yugoslavia" was intentionally misspelled as "Jugoslavia". I assumed it must have been TrueMacedonian´s doing.

Sure enough my assumption was correct as I overhead TrueMacedonian say "Jugoslavia" a few times when the team returned to the Delorean.

"I know it´s late but I want to do one more mission today," I heard Tito exclaim. "We are going to Salt Lake City, Utah, to February 5th, 1903 and after that we are all going home."

That was good enough for me. I was able to locate their activity the next day when I read the following article;


It looks stormy in the direction of the Balkan states. Both Turkey and Roumania are purchasing large quantities of arms and ammunition, and Turkish troops are being massed along the Macedonian frontier. Austria-Hungary is said to have arranged for the mobilization of an eastern army corps, and the explanation that this is done in the interest of army maneuvers is not believed to be correct.

The Macedonians claim that they have influential friends in Europe, who would come out for their cause if they had gained a victory or two over the Turks, and hence their plans for an early rising.

It is also claimed that Russia and Austria have agreed on a scheme for the amelioration of the condition of the oppressed people of Macedonia, Albania and Armenia. But as this plan involves practically autonomy, at least for the Macedonians and Albanians, it is believed that the Sultan will refuse to accede to any proposition of that kind.

Those who have studied the situation believe that if the diplomats are unable to coerce Turkey and to prevent the contemplated rising in Macedonia, a great storm is likely to break out before long. The situation is interesting enough, for few doubt that such a storm must come before the millennial peace and calm can rest upon the surface of the earth." (Deseret Evening News, Great Salt Lake City, Utah, February 6th, 1903, Last Edition)

The team was back in no time, returned to the usual place and time and departed for a well deserved rest. I was alone again and happened to stumble onto a half empty bottle of rakija, as I was making my way out of the Delorean´s trunk. Should I take a gulp or not, I asked myself? Unaware of my actions my fingers automatically removed the cap from the bottle and I began to gulp the liquid down. I must have been very thirsty from the long trek cooped up in the trunk. It felt good to drink it down except for the burning sensation I felt afterwards, bringing me to the reality that I had just polished half a Mickey of rakija. Oh well, it´s time for mischief again.

I got back into the Delorean and spun the time dial wildly. Let the time machine take me wherever it wants, I thought to myself. Swish I was there wherever "there" was. I was too "tipsy" to remember so I will not try. I do remember however that I met a nice fellow by the name of Ioannis Kouvourlis and said a lot of things to him about how the modern Greeks were created.

As a result of my doing, he wrote the following article which in part read;

"From precocious essayist to national historiographer

The context of the ´1846 Lecture´ can help us to understand the problems regarding the writing of an all-encompassing Greek national history that Paparrigopoulos would not overcome until at least 1853, the year of the publication of his first, one volume ´History of the Hellenic Nation´. For in his earlier works Paparrigopoulos had essentially distinguished between the history of the Byzantine state and the history of medieval Greece; he has then considered ancient Macedonians as a more or less distinct nation – because as he wrote in his ´Textbook of General History´ in 1849, ´the Macedonian nation accomplished in the general history [of civilization] a different mission from that of the Hellenic nation´ (Paparrigopoulos 1849-53, 1.193); and, inevitably, he had tended to focus on the history of the ancient and modern Greeks.

So, a somewhat ´teleological´, yet quite understandable, question here would be: what was still needed for the formation of a general explanatory scheme that holds together the edifice of Paparrigopoulos´s all-encompassing five-volume ´History of the Hellenic Nation´? In my opinion the answer is: two main sources of inspiration, Droysen and Zambelios, as well as a more refined understanding and use of the theoretical principles of German historicism by Paparrigopoulos himself.

Johann Gustav Droysen (1808 – 1884), to whom Paparrigopoulos (1849 – 53, 1.206) referred for the first time in his ´Textbook´ of 1849 but without being able to take advantage of the contribution of the great German historicist, offered him weighty arguments regarding the Greek identity of the ancient Macedonians and the spread of Hellenic civilization eastwards. He also offered him one of the key concepts of the newly born national historical school: the concept of ´Hellenism´. Although Droysen himself restricted its use to the Hellenistic world, he and his disciples, such as Otto Abel (1824 – 1854), understood ´Hellenism´ in then sense of a ´Hellenic genius´, which had a historical trajectory of its own. In fact, what Paparrigopoulos and other Greek national historians such as Zambelios had to do after having read Droysen is to generalize the use of the concept so as to apply to the whole of Greek history and, at another level, to identify it with the concept of a ´Greek nation´. The final result of this double intellectual process was the production of a series of terms and concepts well known to all contemporary Hellenists: ´Ancient Hellenism´, ´Macedonian Hellenism´, ´Byzantine Hellenism´, ´Modern Hellenism´ and so forth." ("The Making of Modern Greece", edited by Roderic Beaton and David Ricks, Center for Hellenic Studies, King´s College, London, pages 59 and 60)

I don´t remember how I got back that night but early the next morning I was awakened by TrueMacedonian while I sat sleeping in front of the Delorean´s controls.

To be continued.

Other articles by Risto Stefov:

Many thanks to TrueMacedonian from for his contribution to this article.

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