The new national-liberation struggle in Vardar Macedonia, 1944-1991, Dimitar G. Gotsev


The first serious resistance against the return of Vardar Macedonia to Yugoslavia, is the armed mutiny of the "macedonian army" in Scopije in December 1944. Receiving an order to dislocate to the "Srem's front" in Serbia, several thousand soldiers and officers from all regions of Vardar Macedonia, most of them just demissioned from the bulgarian army, organise armed mutiny. On December 16, 1944, they head for the Headquarters of the National Liberation Struggle (NLS), located in the Officers House in Scopije, with the slogans:" We don't want Srem! We want Salonica", "We don't want new Yugoslavia! We want free and independent Macedonia". These slogans frighten to death the High Command in Scopije. Seeing a sea of armed soldiers surrounding the Officers' Houise and hearing them, Sv. Voukmanovitch-Tempo declares to the officers around him, most of them serbs that, these are "bugarashi", "IMRO-ists", "vantchomichailovists", "fascists". They have to be stopped, and their leaders shot. Such instruction Tempo receives from Belgrade, too. All local soldiers and officers, who disobey the Supreme Command of NLS and voice the slogan for "independent Macedonia" are to be immediately shot, is said in the order of the Supreme Comand of the Yugoslavian Army in Belgrade. Tempo, then, sends the Shtip-born General Michail Apostolski, who, "most politely", invites all officers disagreeing with the order of the Headquarters for translocation for Srem, to gather in the Hall of the Officers' House and discuss together the situation, while the soldiers are to return to the barracks.

The officers leading the mutiny acept the invitation, with no thought of possible treason.

 All, after entering the Officers' House, are disarmed in a most violent way and with hands bound are taken to the cellars. There, Tempo in person, carries out the short interrogation and the executions with the words: "Hotchesh Solun, eve ti ga!" (you want Salonica, here it is). In this way, on December 16, 1944, for several hours only, according to still not fully verified information, are killed around 70 officers, young macedonian patriots, who have the consciousness to fight not only for the liberation of Macedonia from the german fascists, but also not to permit its new enslavement by Serbia and Greece. Almost thousand soldiers, understanding that something is happening to their commanders, head once again for the center of Scopije. They, however, are met by serbian partizans and tchetniks, who commence violent machine -gun fire on them. Several dozens of them fall dead, others are wounded and die without any help having been offered. About 900 are disarmed, arrested and imprisoned in the old turkish fortress "Kaleto". Left and "forgotten" there for more than a month without food, water, covers and etc., almost all of them die from cold and hunger in the dark dungeons.

This historical event, of great historical and national importance in the newest history of the bulgarians in Macedonia, is still to be examined and evaluated in the future.The evidence, which appears now on it, the stories of witnesses, including those of Gen. Apostolski given to scientific researchers in Scopije, are categorical that this mutiny is a deed of the officers and soldiers, members or supporters of IMRO's ideas, who as macedonan patriots are the first to show resistance and become victims of the struggle against the return of the serbian yoke in Macedonia, this time done by YKP under the mask of the macedonism.

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