Come take a ride in Tito´s time Machine 7

Come take a ride in Tito´s time Machine – Part 7 – Macedonia is for Republic

Risto Stefov

September 27, 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 was rudely awakened by a loud noise. Where am I, I wondered as I gazed directly into TrueMacedonian´s face, attempting to focus my eyes.

"What are you doing here so early in the morning?" True Macedonian demanded as he stood before me pounding his hands on the Delorean´s hood.

What if the car is still warm and he knows I have been using it for selfish reasons? I must tell him the truth, the whole truth or he will never trust me again.

I felt a terrible pain in my head as I attempted to stand up. The pain caused me discomfort which must have reflected on my face because TrueMacedonian asked me if I was okay. "I have a bit of a hangover," I said. "I must have been very thirsty when I stumbled across one of Tito´s half empty rakija bottles and drank it all down."

"That would explain your headache but hardly explain the hot engine under the Delorean´s hood," exclaimed TrueMacedonian.

"Well, I have been occasionally ´borrowing´ the time machine and doing solo missions of my own," I said.

TrueMacedonian did not take the news kindly. "Do you know how dangerous that is?" he asked loudly, with a sober face. "You could change the future if you are not careful, which would have devastating results for all of us you know!"

"But isn´t that what Tito and you guys are already doing?" I responded.

"You got me there!" he said as he pondered for a bit. "Okay you can use the time machine but I want to come with you," he said. "You know, to keep you company and more importantly, to keep you out of trouble," exclaimed TrueMacedonian.

"I would love nothing more than to have you by my side," I responded as I felt my spirits lift.

"It´s a deal then. After our last mission when Tito and the others leave this place you wait for me and I will return when the coast is clear," explained TrueMacedonian. "Now get into the trunk quickly because the others are coming!"

And with those words, ignoring the severe headache, I jumped into the Delorean´s trunk and made myself comfortable as TrueMacedonian waited for the others to arrive.

Tito seemed to be in a good mood this morning as he greeted TrueMacedonian with the usual "dobro utro". Without wasting any time he proceeded to set the time dials and pushed the time machine activation button. "We are going to Iowa, to August 23rd, 1945," he said and swish in seconds we were there. "Don´t forget to bring the box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers, I am going on a big date today," Tito exclaimed as the team departed for its first mission of the day.

Should I follow them, I wondered? No one will recognize me in 1945 if they saw me, except of course, TrueMacedonian. As I pondered my impulsive need to bolt out of the Delorean´s trunk, my rational side convinced me to reconsider. I didn´t want to further anger TrueMacedonian who so far has been more than kind to me and, as of this evening, will become my partner in ultimate mischief.

The next day I searched the papers frantically until I found the following;

"Macedonia Asks for Autonomy

One of Greatest Trouble Spots

SALONIKA, Greece, - Local patriots are reviving the old cry for autonomy for Macedonia, an ill defined area in the heart of the troubled Balkans.

Macedonia, which has not enjoyed a national sovereignty since the time of Alexander the Great, today is one of the greatest potential trouble spots in Europe.

The country is divided into three parts. It comprises a large part of Northern Greece and Southern Yugoslavia and a small section of Bulgaria. Gathered here are representatives of all the races and most of the hatreds and tensions which have kept the Balkan Peninsula upset for 50 years.

Greek-Yugoslav relations are strained along the common frontier which cuts through the wild mountains of Macedonia as a result of the depredation of political and bandit bands. Greeks say there is evidence of recruiting by irregular Macedonian forces. The autonomy campaign is in the open in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria and is underground in Greece.

Yugoslav Macedonia, formerly known as South Serbia, has been given a type of autonomy under Marshal Tito´s framework of federated Yugoslavia. This is a step in the direction the autonomists want, and agitation for union of all parts under a single government follows almost automatically.

Will be approved by Greece.

In the early days of liberation, the Yugoslav Macedonians attempted to name a foreign minister of their own. There was quick reaction from Belgrade, and Skopje, their capital was given a new set of government officials with strict instructions that foreign policy was the province of the central government.

Greeks look on any effort towards an autonomous Macedonia as a threat to take from them the rich farmlands of the north upon which the whole national economy depends.

Far from listening to the demands, Greece will probably seek at the peace conferences to extend her frontier northward.

Bulgaria gave lip service to the autonomy principle during the war years when her troops occupied much of Greek and Yugoslav Macedonia. But the real intention of the occupation troops, it became evident, was to Bulgarize the whole area. Many autonomists then joined the partisan resistance forces." (Council Bluffs Iowa, Nonpareil, Friday, August 24th, 1945, page 9)

Bravo Tito, you even managed to get your name in the paper. It must have been some date you had!

It was nice to see a happy Tito for a change as I heard his laughter from the distance while the team was returning from its first mission of the day.

"We are going to Sofia, Bulgaria, to November 7th, 1940," I overheard Tito say as the time machine swished its way to the next destination.

I had a hell of a time the next day locating the story, that is, until I ran into the following article in the Globe and Mail;

"Defenders Hold Balance, Metaxas Tells People

Sofia, Bulgaria, Nov 8 (BUP). – Primier Metaxas of Greece broadcast over the radio in Athens tonight that after ten days of Italo-Greek warfare the balance was in Greece´s favour.

The Greek radio said that British aid is flowing to Greece ´regularly and according to plan.´

Metaxas, addressing his remarks to the town of Volos after it had been bombed from the air, asserted that ´Italian methods will stir our people to fight even with greater recklessness and courage until the last battle is won.´

He declared Italy had resorted to ´mean, base methods´ by attacking civilian populations of open towns.

Metaxas said proof that the balance lay with Greece could be seen in the number of prisoners taken and the penetration of Albania. The Athens radio ´regretted´ that the Italians found Greek roads very bad and the weather inferior, asserting, however, that the Greeks have found them both good enough to advance as far as the heights above Koritza.

The broadcast denied vigorously Italian allegations that Macedonians had revolted against Greek rule, and rumors that prince Paul had been mistreated for supposed pro-German sympathies and had fled to Canada." (Globe and Mail, November 8th, 1940)

That clever Tito, he even had Metaxas, the biggest Macedonian hater, say the "M" word on the radio! How much more clever can you get than that?

The team was back and as quickly as it returned it was off again, this time to Callbran, Messa County, to Thursday, September 4th, 1924.

It took me forever to find the article the next day but here it is in full. It is pro-Bulgarian, if I may add, but nonetheless, covers the main points of the Macedonian message to the world;

"Macedonia is for Republic

Story of Conditions There Told by Emissary From the People.

New York. – A story of conditions in Macedonia, which he ascribes to Serb and Greek domination, has been brought to this country by J. Chkatroff, representative of the Union of the Macedonian Organizations of Bulgaria for the United States and Canada, who arrived here from Sofia recently. The Macedonians, he said, want complete independence and hope that ultimately there will be a Balkan republic, with all Balkan countries federated states.

Mr. Chkatroff said he represented approximately 450,000 Macedonians in Bulgaria, who are members of 94 fraternal organizations, 34 societies of youths, a score of benevolent associations and others. He expects to bring his message of Macedonian hopes to the 60,000 natives of that country in the United States.

´In order to understand the causes of the unruly situation in the Balkans and especially in Macedonia, the country which has always been the apple of discord among the Balkan neighbors, one must not forget her struggle for liberty and political independence during the period of the Turkish domination, and the present-day policy of her new conquerors, Serbs and Greeks,´ he said.

Many years ago the Macedonian people began a bloody revolutionary war, which has lasted already more than a quarter of a century, and this caused on several occasions the European chancelleries to move, and finally in 1912 the Balkan alliance was formed against the Turkish empire. Unfortunately, the first Balkan war, and the following fratricide among the Balkan allies culminating in the Treaty of Bucharest of 1913, instead of creating an independent Macedonia in accordance with the wishes of her people, and thus to establish a permanent peace in the Balkans, divided the country between the three belligerents, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. This actually made the Macedonian crisis worse.

Errors Are Kept Up.

The last European war which radically changed the map of Europe and which gave us the great principles of self-determination of Woodrow Wilson, did not bring to the Macedonian question its deserved political solution. Macedonia, at that time, was waiting day and night to see those principles applied to her people, so that the latter may be able to freely determine their wishes as to the future of their country. But the Treaty of Peace of Neuilly (1919) seconded the grave errors committed by the Treaty of Bucharest.

"It is true that the great victorious powers imposed upon the governments of Serbia and Greece a treaty for the protection of minorities, which was supposed to guarantee the minimum of political, civil and national rights of the Macedonians. This treaty has now become as valueless as a scrap of paper. The Serbian and Greek governments instead of creating a normal regime in Macedonia as soon as they reoccupied the country after the great war closed by force more than 1,400 Bulgaro-Macedonian schools with 80,000 pupils and more than 4,000 teachers, which were devotedly supported and financed by the local population; seized the Macedonian churches. Libraries and cultural institutions; burned all Bulgarian books and killed or banished from the country all of the Macedonian intelligentsia. Nor was the fate of our other compatriots, Turks and Rumanians, in Macedonia a better one. The heavy fetters of the Serbian and Greek tyranny are to be found today on the doors of the closed Rumanian and Turkish schools and public libraries in Macedonia.

In addition to this policy of the Serbian and Greek governments, which is directed against the moral and intellectual institutions of the Macedonian people, following the practice of former Turkish governments, they began to use new means and methods in order to artificially change the ethnographic character of the country; they resorted to a policy of colonization. Today Serbian and Greek authorities deport the native Macedonian population, plunder their property and distribute same among colonists brought from Banat and Asia Minor. To have an idea of the terrible picture one must visit the thousands of recently arrived refugees, flying from Macedonia into Bulgaria, a country economically poor, and see their tortured bodies burned with hot irons or boiling oil.

There are two further reasons which aggravate the situation in Macedonia. First, there is a Serbian and Greek administration, whose officers are alien to the people; notorious corruption and sheer force are the only rules in the country, and it seems that the whip is their constitution. One could find out proofs of this by reading Serbian and Greek newspapers. Secondly, the newly created political frontiers tore away the economic bonds between Macedonian cities and districts. Serbian Macedonia has no sea outlet and is gradually dying. Greek Macedonia has no "hinterland," while the remaining part of Macedonia – under Bulgarian authority – has neither sea nor any convenient land communications with the interior of that country, and for this reason, is in a worse condition. The principle economical and political center in Macedonia is Saloniki, which has all the advantages of prosperity, yet at present the city gradually, but certainly, is dying. Her people do not see any more the steaming boats, the commerce is dead and the merchants are leaving the town. Pathras and Pereas are rising on her ruins. Bitola, Prilep, Ochrid and many other towns are sharing the same fate.

Under such heavy conditions could the Macedonian people remain quiet? With their country torn into pieces could they forget the thousands of lives sacrificed for the liberty and independence of Macedonia, ever since the days of the Turkish regime? Who could deny the right of the Macedonian to struggle for existence? Who could forbid the Macedonians the fruit of their labors so that the latter may not be plundered by Serbian and Greek authorities and the Macedonian girls and brides may not be insulted by the same?

And the Macedonian did exactly as an American, Frenchman or an Englishman would have done. The whole people were frightened by the terror of the new tyranny and rose up to protest.

Banished from their own country, the Macedonians found refuge in Bulgaria, America, Turkey and Rumania, where they formed strong organizations whose aim is by legal means to obtain liberty for their country. The Macedonian emigrants in all lands, who number more than half a million souls, proclaimed their faith in the traditions of past generations and now appeal continuously to the human conscience of the civilized people in the world for the creation of Macedonia into a free country.

Old Revolutionary System.

Meanwhile in Macedonia proper, after denying the people all rights of carrying a legal political struggle or forming a national political group in the parliament of Belgrade and Athens, they resorted to the only possible action by creating anew the old secret revolutionary organization with its own postal service, courts, militia and efficiently armed military forces, with its own educational and economic policy – in other words, representing a true state organization, mysterious, yet powerful and democratic in spirit, whose ideals are the creation of an independent Macedonia with equal rights for all of her different nationalities, with Saloniki as her capital.

The Macedonians are neither brigands nor breakers of the laws governing public order and safety, when they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the triumph of their ideals, when they gladly go to die in order to defend their wives and children, when they calmly meet death in order to save Macedonia. And in their struggle for right and freedom the Macedonians hope that they may receive the support of all civilized nations and all liberty-loving people." (The Plateau Voice, Callbran, Messa County, Friday, September 5th, 1924, page 3)

No sooner was the team back than they left for the day without saying a word. I waited until it was quiet and then came out of the Delorean´s trunk. On the ground behind me I saw a piece of folded paper. It must be a message from TrueMacedonian. It read, "Urgent matter to attend to! Do nothing without me!"

The pro-Bulgarian article must have infuriated Tito, that´s why the team had to leave so early in the day. What other possible "urgent matter" could there be? I guess we won´t know until tomorrow!

Having nothing more to do there, I left for the night. There will be plenty more days for adventure.

To be continued.

Other articles by Risto Stefov:

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

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