The Serbs were trying to steal Greek Macedonia from the Greeks and to make Macedonia a Greek province and the Greek town Thessalonica a Serbian city in the start of the previous century. Serbs expelled the Greeks from Monastiri (North Macedonia), making this Greek land non Greek. Serbs committed wild genocides against Albanians in 1913. Serbs now pretend the friends of the Greeks, because they want Greece to support them against Albania. Serbs are Slavic-Orthodox people without any racial or ethnological affinity with the Greeks.
A week ago (20 April 2013)I was in Tirana and I received a question from a friend of mine, an Albanian woman, while we were eating: "Marios, why do you dislike Serbs, since most of your compatriots like them?" The rough answer was that I dislike the Serbs because they pretend the friends of the Greeks, in order to have them as allies against Albanians. I also mentioned that Greeks consider the Serbs as their brothers, because they are Orthodox. But this is nonsense, because even Slavs of Skopje (Slavomacedonians or Bulgarians are Orthodox as well. I did not mention anything else to her. Returning to Greece, I thought due to her question to write an article about the Serbs, in order to uncover their mask and show who they really were and they are. Serbs are nothing else than crude, uncivilized, having as their only tradition, the Byzantine-Orthodox culture, a tribe of saints and miracle workers, of criminals who make genocides. As for the Greeks, Serbs’ role was anti-Greek. They tried to steal our Macedonia, as Bulgarians had tried to steal it. Therefore reading this article the Greeks will see that the Serbs are not our brothers (what common we have with them, with Slavic-Orthodox people?). The Albanians will also see that the Serbs allied with the Greeks, in order to destroy Albania in 1912 and after, but in fact the Serbs attempted to destroy Albania and steal the lands of north Greece.
With the Serbian issue I dealt in 1999, when the Kosovo issue was in topicality. Then I wrote an article in the journal “Davlos” entitled “Yugoslavia. The other side.” Let's look at some of what I wrote then:
“The Greeks once again called the Serbs as our brothers, and the slogan ‘Greece-Serbia: Orthodoxy’ became very popular. The Serbs are our friends because we same-faith folks. The Greeks forget or ignore that the Serbs had always turned their looks to the Aegean. Their dream is ‘Greater Serbia’. The massacres of Greeks from the Serbia leader Stephen Dushan were wild. Dushan had reached the Serbian state to Farsala. Symeon Uros (1357) with massacres, imprisonment and persecution sought to make the Greeks to become Slavs. The Greeks should either to leave their homes or become Serbs. During the last two centuries Serbs wanted to occupy our Macedonia, hence the very popular song Nas Selaniki (Our Thessalonica). The Serbs also who were the creators of the state of Skopje (Fyrom), recognized first of all the countries Fyrom with the name Macedonia. The Greek media have adopted the argument of Serbs nationalists that Kosovo is the cradle of the Serbian people – which is reminiscent of the propaganda of Turkish nationalism that Greek coast of Asia Minor is Turkish. We will just recall that the Serbs appear only in the 7th century AD, finalized their state only in the 12th century, having deposited in a Greek-Pelasgian native substrate, and the Albanians of Kosovo are mostly descendants of Dardanians, one of the most important Greek-Pelasgian tribes. The great Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis five years ago (1994) criticized the pro-Serbian Greek politics and had denounced the myth of “good” Serbs. He stated: ‘From 1918 to 1998 the Serbs in Yugoslavia were playing the role that the Russians in the Soviet Union played. It was therefore not surprising that as soon as conditions allowed, the various ethnicities of the former Yugoslavia would seek independence. But that would result in minority issues. It was difficult to predict the provocative barbarity and brutality of the Serb minority in Croatia. There the Serbian minority armed by the Serbian army devastated Vukovar, destroyed by bombing the historical city of Dubrovnik (a little Venice) and more. And when Bosnia declared its independence with referendum, the fanatical nationalist section of the Serb minority there, driven and aided by Milosevic served in cruelties and atrocities far greater scale and very high quality, if I may say: murder and torture of civilians , gang rape of Muslim women, concentration camps etc. All these are declared, being assured continuously from the international press ... Indeed, from what I understand, all these are hidden almost entirely in Greece by a cheeky, continuous mendacity and propaganda, presenting ‘our brothers Serbs’ as victims of intrigues of Vatican, Germans etc. In my eyes the Greek politicians, journalists, media people and other responsible people for this misinformation are moral accomplices of Serbian crimes in Croatia and Bosnia.’ They are moral accomplices of Serb crimes in Kosovo, we would add to what was said by Castoriadis.”
These and many others were what I had written in 1999 in the issue 211 of the magazine Davlos.
Let's see based on historical data that Serbs are not brothers and friends of Greeks. The Greek General George A. Leventis in his book "The threat against Macedonia", writes the following about the Serbs, the supposedly friends of the Greeks, the Serbs and their anti-Greek role in the Macedonian issue:
“Despite its politic defeat (by the Treaty of Berlin after 1878), Russia does not renounce its intentions and begins a rousing effort to make the south region of the Balkan as Slavic. Since then the torment of Hellenism in Macedonia and Eastern Rumelia begins (Note of Marios Dimopoulos: Despite this fact the ignorant of history modern Greeks say that the Russians are our brothers, because they are Orthodox!!!)”
The Greek General continues:
“In 1912, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro were allied each other and they declared war against Turkey. The Greek army occupied Servia, Kozani, Thessalonica and reaches the estuaries of Strymon. The Greek commander in chief is forced to give almost all of his forces to Thessalonica. So in the absence of forces, the Greek army could not proceed to the Greek region of Monastir-Kruševo, which the Serbs first occupied, despite the fact in this territory no one Serb lived. The Bulgarians who have the strongest army in the Balkans after the occupation of Serres, Drama, Kavala and Andrianoupolis (note of Marios Dimopoulos: that area was Greek) surrender with the Turks and turns against their former allies, in order to realize the dream of Great Bulgaria of San Stefano. Greece and Serbia react against the Bulgarians and in 18 June 1913 the Greek army counterattacks ... But Serbia at this critical moment surrender prematurely with the Bulgarians.”
So as you see, our “friends” Serbs acted against us deceitfully. Let’s see what else General Leventis writes:
“The Serbs after the end of the war, when they settled in Monastir, they forced with organized powers most of the Greek population of the area to abandon their homes and take refuge to Greece.”
So our “friends” Serbs are the main responsible for the fact that Northern Macedonia ceased to be Greek.
General Leventis writes:
“The Serbian proselytizing work among the mainly Slavic-speaking inhabitants of Macedonia was started only after 1887. Initially, this action was limited the Vilaet (province) of Kosovo north of the line Prilep-Kruševo-Ohrid and in the Vilaet (province) of Thessalonica, in the valley of Stromnitsa. Later however the proselytizing efforts of the Serbs was extended to Monastiri, Thessalonica, Serres and in Greek-speaking people of Halkidiki.
The Greek government then protested against Serbian government which in response asserted the Greek government that it cares only for the northern regions of the Vilaetia (provinces) of Kosovo and Thessalonica. Conversely to these assurances in a relative discussion at Serbian parliament in 1889 the Serbian Prime minister Charachivine said:
Our fatherland (Serbia) must prepare them (proselytism) with this determination either live there only Serbs or only pure Bulgarians or Mongols or Chinese. And our fatherland wants to do so because it is its debt.’
The National Association of Saint Sava that was located in Belgrade has undertaken the direction of the Serbian struggle to Macedonia. The propaganda of Slavic speaking Hellenism of Serbia in Macedonia is mainly carried by the appointment of Slavic speaking teachers and priests and with encouragement of the perpetration by the Slavic speaking people of their religion service in Slavic, whereas the Greek clergy even in the Slavic speaking villages made the religion service in Greek
Indicative of the magnitude of the Serbian effort to make Macedonia as Serbian is that only in 1887 the amount of 4,000,000 gold francs was registered in The state Serbian budget for expenses of the Serbian Komitat of Macedonia. Serbs reap the goods of the Turkish indignation against Greece after the war in 1897, so after the pressure of Russia the Sultan made concessions to the Serbs in the territory of Ohrid-Monastir as well as in Thessalonica. It is regrettable that the Patriarch of Constantinople Anthimos Z in 1895 was influenced in favor of the Serbs and he allowed the Serbian language to be taught in Greek schools of the Slavic speaking Greek communities of Macedonia. The attempts of Serbs with approval of the Patriarch Anthimos in order the religion service to be in Serbian in the churches of Thessalonica-Edessa-Verroia-Pelagonia failed due to reaction of the residents. But in the territory of Polyana-Stromnitsa the Serbian propaganda had success. Many pupils gathered to study at the newly founded Serbian School of Thessalonica.
In 1896, with tolerance of the Patriarchate and despite the reaction of the Greek community, the Serbs captured the Great Greek Orthodox temple of Skopje. During the same period the Serbian Government denied to recognize the newly elected Greek bishop of Skopje Ambrose.
After the 1897 increasing pressure of Bulgarian Komitata against both the Greeks and the Serbs, negotiations between Greek and Serbian Government for a common confront of the Bulgarians start to run in March 1899 in Athens.
It is studied in these pattern for the distribution of the spheres of influence of Greece and Serbia in Macedonia. Talks start based on the Greek drawing, so the Greek influence will extend to the north till Nevrokopi, Meleniki, Prilep, Kruševo, Struga and the Serbian influence to the south till the line Rodovitsa, Velessa, Divri.
The Greek government undertakes the duty to intervene in the Patriarchate of Constantinople for the appointment of Serbian bishops in Skopje, Prisreni, Velessa and Divrin. In return the Serbian government would end the consulates in Meridian Macedonia and especially Serres, Thessalonica and Monastiri. Respectively, they would not cease the Greek schools to be operated in the influence zone of Serbia and Serbian schools in the Greek influence zone.
The above deals are very indicative of the perceptions which were prevailed at that time to the northern limits of Hellenism of Macedonia.
But while the negotiations went well and the signature of agreements were imminent, in the summer of 1899 Serbia without the mediation of Greece achieves the replacement of the Greek bishop of Skopje by a Serbian.
During the same period with the Russia's intervention it occurs approach between Serbia and Bulgaria toward a common attempt Macedonia to become Slavic.”
As you see, the Serbs similar to the Bulgarians were trying to steal the so-called “Aegean” Macedonia from Greece. For this reason they presented false statistics to argue that the majority of the inhabitants of Macedonia were Serbs. The Greek General Leventis presents statistic of 1900 of the Serbian ethnologist Coptchevitch about the three Vilaets (provinces) of Thessalonica, Monastiri and Kosovo, according to which the majority of the inhabitants were Serbs!!! Let's see the statistic:
He also presents statistic of 1900 of the Bulgarian ethnologist V. Kantchoff about these three Vilaets, according to which the majority of residents were Bulgarians!!! Let's see the statistics:
The General Leventis writes: “In the above two statistics of Slavs ethnologists is clearly seen the lies of the Slavs against Hellenism, as well as the rivalry between the Serbs and the Bulgarians in Macedonia.”
From all that it seems that Serbia and Bulgaria tried to annex Macedonia. The difference between the Bulgarians and the Serbs was that the first one used violence, while the second one used diplomacy. So Serbs were anything else but friends of the Greeks.
The Greek General D. Zanglis reveals similar information about the anti-Greek action of Serbs reveals Major in his book “The Aegean Macedonia and the Yugoslavs” (ed. 1975). Let's see what he writes:
“The behavior of Serbia was incredibly anti-politic and anti-Greek after the defeat of Greek army in Minor Asia, writes historian K. Amantos (K.I. Amantos, Historical relations between the Greeks, the Serbs and the Bulgarians, Athens 1949, p.81) of 1922. Serbia denounced the ten year Greek-Serbian alliance of 1913 (in the 10th article that it can not be terminated before the expiry of ten years etc.), it requested Greek refugees from Asia Minor not to be settled into the periphery of Florina, where many Slavic speaking people live, and it requested realization of the promises about the Serbian free Zone in Thessalonica. The last demands became unreasonable because the Serbs have requested that have independent Serbian zone in Thessalonica. The Greek government of Pangalos in an effort to ensure the Serbian friendship or neutrality, just in case of adventures with the Turks and the Bulgarians, since then the polical condition was extremely unstable and our relations with Turkey and Bulgaria were in anomalous point, finally the conflict with Bulgaria did not avoided, even local (invasion of VI Division in the teritory Petritsiou), accepted in 1926 the Serbian demands, although the Serbian zone of Thessalonica serves only 3% of the Serbian trade and only the periphery of Axios and not Morava. The agreement of Pangalos caused such a reaction that it was not approved in Greece. After the rise of the Greek minister E. Venizelos in 1928, he went to Serbia and during his meeting with the king Alexander in Bled he achieved the agreements of the General Pangalos to be canceled. After the reaction in Greece due to the agreements the Pangalos’ government, and therefore the attempts of Serbs to annex Thessalonica were failing, the Serbian propaganda were intensified against us. Thus, the journal of the Yugoslav national organization ‘Noronha Ontmprana’, whose honorary president was the king Alexander, wrote in 1926 that: ‘The ethnographic boundary of our national element to the south is the Aegean Sea from the mouth of the river Aliakmon west of Thessalonica and along this, and the right line of the separation of the waters till the Albanian borders and Epirus. In all this territory of Greek Macedonia till the Balkan wars not even one thousand Greeks in nationality reside, but 310,000 Serbs resided there as prevailing element between Turks, Jews, Gypsies etc.’ Greeks in order to make as easy as possible the Hellenization of Macedonia, they brought there 700.-800.000 people, the refugees from Asia Minor, in the midst of our population.’”
So the Serbs claimed that in Greek Macedonia the Greeks were few and the majority of the inhabitants were Serbs, and that we made the territory of Macedonia Greek transferring refugees from Asia Minor!!! These were the Serbs, the supposedly friends of the Greeks!!! The fact that in Macedonia the majority of residents were Greeks is confirmed by two statistics, a Turkish statistic of 1905 and a European statistic of 1904. According to the Turkish statistic of 1905 in the three Vilaets (provinces) of Thessalonica, Monastiri and Kosovo 647,000 Greeks, 527,000 Bulgarians and 167,000 Serbs inhabited. And the most Bulgarians lived in the Vilaet (province) of Kosovo, which means that in the Vilaets (provinces) of Thessalonica and Monastiri the majority element was Greek. The same is confirmed by the statistic of the European Police of 1904. In the Vilaets (provinces) of Thessalonica and Monastiri the exception of the Albanian provinces Dibris and Elbasan 652,000 Greeks and only 355,000 Bulgarians inhabited.
Let's see what other the Greek General Zanglis writes for the anti-Greek action Serbs:
“The year1926 was fruitful in Serbian chauvinist events, but even in political pressure against Greece. It was the last year of political anomalies in Greece since 1922 and our friends and allies Serbs should benefit. Along with the various publications, even the agents of the intellectual leadership of the Serbs took with lectures to make clear the imperialist aspirations of the Serbs. Thus the Serbian professor of the University of Belgrade Milojevitch did a lecture at the University of Belgrade, a summary of which was published by the newspaper ‘Politika’ of Belgrade in 5th January 1926. But let’s see what the Greek historian K. Amantos writes in his book with the title ‘Historical relations of the Greeks, the
Serbs and the Bulgarians’ (ed. 1949, p.83): ‘Lately a summary of a lecture of the professor Milojevitch has come to my attention ‘About the Serbs in Macedonia’. Mr. Milojevitch wants to support the Serbian claims in anthropo-geographical words and for that reason he sees that the valleys of Morava and Axios are a geographical unity. The conclusion of this theory would be that the two valleys should belong to the same state, in other words in Serbia. The unity of Morava-Axios was supported firstly by the famous Serbian geographer Gvijitch with details in his book La Peninsule Balkanique in 1918, when the Serbs started thinking about the annexation of Thessalonica. The propaganda in favor of this theory seeks to annex Macedonia, to turn the Bulgarians to the Thracian coast. If the Bulgarians accept this theory, the Serbian-Bulgarian approach will be accomplished.”
The General Zanglis writes then:
“Milojevitch managed to convince the Council ‘Omlantina’, i.e. the national organization of young people, in order in its conference the council to declare Macedonia and North Albania as Serbian provinces. See in what original way the first movements of the Serbs were created for expansion of Serbia on the territories of Greek Macedonia and Albania. Really original, genuine Slavic way!!! In 1873 Milojevitch publishes a map, under which he extends Serbia to the west till the Adriatic Sea, to the south along the Drin and the lakes of Macedonia till to Olympus, and to the east till to the Tower on the Euxinous Pontus. In this way 3/4 of the Balkan Peninsula.becomes Serbian. Politically and historically this map has the same historical value as the Bulgarian ones, notably the Rozof’s map, which similarly identify 3/4 of the Balkan Peninsula as Bulgarian.”
Similarly, the Serbs tried to steal the lands of the Albanians. And while in Greece they did not do atrocities against the Greeks but smart diplomatic movements, in Kosovo they made genocide against Albanians in 1913. Let's see what the Greek General Zanglis writes:
“The Albanians who were annexed in Serbia in 1913 amounted to 500,000 of the Raska region, i.e. Prishtina-Prizren-Urosevac-Kosovo. There were also the Albanians who lived in the northwest of Macedonia (Kalkandelen etc.), who were more than 100,000. The issue, as you see, is simple. Through a statistical table the Turks of Yugoslavia turned from one moment into each other into Serbs. The 700,000 Albanians then become 441,740, but except of that, there is the sword, the spear, the machine gun and the fire. And if you want an example, here is this: The Serbian socialist member of parliament Kaskerovitch writes in September 1913, after the suppression in blood of the revolution of the Albanians who became annexed in Serbia: ‘The Serbian army by order of its administration, burned 35 Albanian villages without allowing the residents to abandon their homes (i.e. they burnt them alive). I do not want to speak for the brutalities during the prior conflicts with the Albanians. The Serbian army by order of its administration of the massacred 120,000 Albanians'. Another Serb military and correspondent of the newspaper ‘Radnitchke Novice’ describes his impressions of the suppression of the revolution in paper of 9/22 October1913as follows: ‘I have no time to write to you at length. But I can tell youthat horrible things happen here. I am terrified and I always wonder how people can be so brutal that they commit such cruelty. It is terrible. I don’t dare not - moreover I don’t have time - to talk to you more, but I can tell that Lumia (Albanian region along the river Lumia) no longer exists. Everything is nothing but corpses, ash and dust. There are 50 villages, 100, 200 homes that no longer exist or a man, but literally not one. They grouped them in teams of 40 to 50, and then we pierce with the spearsuntil the last. Everywhere they steal. The officers oblige the soldiers to go to the Prizren to sale of stolen goods.’ The newspaper accompanies the letter with the following note: ‘Our friend tells things even more terrible. But they are so terrible and so heartbreaking that we prefer not to publish them.’ In 1920 on the occasion of a new revolution of Albanians on the periphery Dibris, Serbs destroyed 30 more Albanian villages.”
So it is not only the genocide of Albanians by Milosevic. The poor Albanian people has suffered myriad from Serbs. And while we, Greeks, have experienced crimes and genocides against us by the Turks, we did not support our brothers Albanians in Kosovo butwe took the part of the devious and criminals Serbs.
But while the Serbs were trying to steal Greek territories of Macedonia, what did Albanians argue about Macedonia? Let's see what Ismail Qemal, who later became the first Prime Minister of Albania, writes in 1907 in his official newspaper “Sotiria-Albania” in fluent Greek: “It is not allowed to exist Macedonian issue. While there is Macedonia in the European Turkey, as there is in the Asian Turkey Caria, Paflagonia, as there is in Greece Lacedaemon and Boeotia, but there are no Macedonians. Macedonian issue does not exist. Whoever presents the Macedonian issue are intended in the formation of Great Bulgaria. The Greeks did not seek to violate the rights of other tribes, their position is defensive. But the Bulgarian element inspires by other moods, it tries by all means to spread in order to damage the Greek element. There is need either the Slavic element to be deprived of its foreign assistance that makes it aggressive or Greek element to be supported, in order Greeks to be enable to maintain what they want to steal from Greece. Such is the mutual attitude of Greeks and Bulgarians in Thrace and Macedonia. Whereas the Greeks want to have the pure Greek lands (of Macedonia), the Bulgarians do what is possible in order to occupy possessions of other nationalities and especially the Greek places. The Greeks wish only one, to guard themselves against any infringement of historical and ethnological rights.”
So Ismail Qemal argued the Greekness of Macedonia and he opposed to the Slavic expansionism against Greek Macedonia. Instead, the Serbs of that time were trying to make Greek Macedonia a Serbian province!
Closing this article, it is worth quoting an excerpt from the book “The Albanian Question” of Leontios K. Leontios, Dr. in Law. This book was written in 1897 and was dedicated to the king of the Greeks George I. Let's see what Leontius writes:
“The New Hellenism (Greece) without the help of Islamized Albanians will not be able to restrict sited within the logic and the law limits the absurd and arrogant claims of the Bulgarians, the Serbs and the Rumanians. The collaboration and political unity of the Greeks and the Albanians imposes the self-preservation of the both brother people and the history teaches.”
From this passage it appears that not only the Bulgarians, but even the Serbs had absurd claims that historically belonged to Hellenism (Greece). As a way to deal with these absurd claims Leontios suggests the collaboration between the Greeks and the Albanians.
The “friendship” of Serbs proved recently. Serbia along with Russia were the first countries that recognized the state of Skopje (Fyrom) as Macedonia. And as if that was not enough, the current president of Serbia Boris Tadic in an official statement in a TV channel reported that recognizes the existence of an independent Macedonian nation, something that it will create many troubles in the future of Balkan. So the Serbs, the supposedly “friends” of the Greeks, support Fyrom, the enemies of the Greeks!
The only solution against Slavic propaganda in Balkan is the alliance between Greece and Albania. The Greeks and Albanians politicians due to complete ignorance of history and foreign policy have made many mistakes in the last century. So it is time some Albanian nationalists to stop the ridiculous claims about Chameria and similarly some Greek North-Epirotic Associations to stop the anti-Albanian statements, and stop claiming southern Albania. Greece should recognize the state of Kosovo and Albania should withdraw the recognition of the state of Skopje (Fyrom) as Macedonia. This would be a good start.
Fellow of the American Council of Applied Clinical Nutrition
Author of several books and articles about history, linguistics, health and medicine
The Serbian president Boris Tadic supports Fyrom. Look at this video.