In 1912, on the Balkans conditions are definitely formed for the well known Balkan War. Its aim is the liberation of the territories and the population of those parts of Southeast Europe, still enslaved in the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. United States's gestures of sympathy towards the Macedonian Bulgarians begin early in the spring of 1912, when it becomes clear that "the war of the cross against the crescent" is already inevitable. On May 21st ,1912, the American Congress drafts a law by the force of which the Treasury provides the sum of 66000 dollars, for reimbursement of the money donated by hundreds of Americans in 1901-1902, for the ransom paid for Miss Elena Stone and Katerina Stefanova - Tsilka./33/ Translated in underderstandable political language, this act is open moral support for the cause of the Bulgarians in Macedonia. The American state has it to be accepted as a fact, that it has provided the biggest single amount of money given to the leadership of IMARO for purchase of arms, used in the fight for freedom!
American correspondents and observers arrive in Bulgaria with the beginning of the military activities in the Thracian war theater. The course of the military operations is reflected objectively in the pages of the most influential American editions in 1912-1913. Major A. Frayd visits Bulgaria in order to study and describe the development of the military campaign for the needs of the Defence Department in Washington. In 1913 in New York, he publishes a book entitled "Some lessons learned in the Balkan War"./34/ There, as well as in all other publications on the subject, the successes realized by the Bulgarians in the Thracian war theater, are judged as decisive for the out come of the war for liberation of Macedonia
The USA government gives unlimited freedom to the 60000 Bulgarian emigration, to organize tens of public demonstrations and meetings in New York, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago and other towns. The Coastguard authorities provide with priority tickets to those emigrants - Bulgarians - returning to participate as volunteers in the war, as members of Macedono- Adrianople Popular detachment. It is known as an independent military unit , part of the Bulgarian army. Money, collected by the emigration in support of the Bulgarian Red Cross, is quickly remitted by the postal services. In the winter of 1912-1913, for several months in Sofia from the USA arrive more than 100000 dollars./35/ When the Bulgarian armies defeat the Eastern Turkish Army on the Constantinople direction, the President of the United States - Roosevelt - sends a message of congratulation to the Bulgarian government in Sofia. On this occasion, the eminent Bulgarian poet Ivan Vazov writes the poem "To Theodore Roosevelt", as sign of gratitude for the encouragement shown.
The unhidden sympathies, shown in USA, for the fourth attempt of the Bulgarian people of free Bulgaria and Macedonia to finish its national-liberative deed and unite its nation, is a natural result of the decade-long understanding in the American public opinion, that Macedonia is unjustly and forcefully separated from Bulgaria by the 1878 Berlin Treaty. Thus, the actions of the governments of Serbia and Greece, which taking advantage of the engagement of the Bulgarian army around Constantinople occupy in the winter of 1912-1913 Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, and provoke the outbreak of the Second Balkan War, known as the "Allies War", meet the open disapprovement of the American politicians and observers.
In all publications of the American missionaries in the United States, on the events between Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece in the summer of 1913, it is underlined that: "Big part of Macedonia is Bulgarian and it is this part that has now been given to Greece and Serbia."./37/
The forced upon Bulgaria, by Serbia and Greece, signing of the Bucharest Peace Treaty on July 28th, 1913, on the division of Macedonia in three parts, the Plenipotentiary Minister of USA for Bulgaria, and Romania - Charles Vopika, strongly protests against the unjust diplomatic dictate over the Bulgarians. He is the only representative of the Great Powers in the Romanian capital, who refuses to put his signature under the document./38/ This step, undertaken not without the knowledge and approval of the State Department in Washington can mean only one thing : In 1913, USA is the only Great Power categorically condemning and openly disapproving the forceful tearing apart of Macedonia by the means of the military dictate of the governments of Serbia and Greece. In fact, this means disagreement with idea the Bulgarian population in Vardar Macedonia to be compulsory put under a new yoke - this time Christian!
The most valuable step undertaken by the Americans after the partitioning of Macedonia in 1913, is the organization upon the initiative and with the funds of Andrew Carnegie, of an international inquiry commission on the consequences of the Balkan Wars for the population of Macedonia. Thus, a voluminous book appears in the international humanistic literature : " The Report of the International Commission for Investigation of the causes and the development of the Balkan Wars"/39/ This document is known as the " Report of the Carnegie's Commission".
Of extreme importance in the report is the following fact : the ethnic picture of Macedonia in 1913, the situation of the population and the politics of the Greek and Serb governments are ascertained by unbiased foreign observers in person and at location, as the Commission itself travels throughout Macedonia. Thus, the facts published in this document in May 1914 in New York /40/, are unquestionable source of historic truth concerning the treated subject.
The first facts given in the report of Carnegie's Commission are the findings in the Aegean part of Macedonia. On the town of Koukoush the following is mentioned: " At the entrance of the Greek army in Koukoush, the town was almost untouched. Now it is in ruins - is reported by a member of our commission, after visiting Koukoush", a visit which the Greek authorities tried to prevent as mentioned further in the report. "Koukoush is a rich town with 13000 population, center of purely Bulgarian region with several beautiful schools"./41/
Following the movement of the Greek army to the north of Koukoush, towards the border with Bulgaria, the commission found the traces of genocide of the Bulgarian population in this part of Macedonia. On this occasion in the Bulgarian translation of the Report on p.94, we read: "The Koukoush precedent is repeated in the villages. In the former Turkish kaaza with Koukoush as center more than 40 villages have been burned by the Greek army on its way north. The cavalry units attacked village after village, with the work of the regular army being completed by the Bashibouzouks. Part of the Greek plan was the utilization of the local Turkish population for effectuation of planned devastation. In some cases the Bashibouzouks were armed and even provided with uniforms."/42/
As indisputable documents, proving the planned genocide of the Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia in the summer of 1913, the Carnegie's Commission presents texts of original letters, written by Greek soldiers to their families. These documents were captured with the arrierguard of 19th Greek Infantry Regiment in the region of Dobrinishte village during the Allies War in 1913. In these letters, written by the executors of the Bulgarian population in Aegean Macedonia, cynically is admitted "Here we burn villages and kill Bulgarians - both women and children."
In another letter is added :" We kill all Bulgarians that fall in our hands and burn the villages. " The author of a third letter is even more frank:" The Greek army burns all villages in which there are Bulgarians and kills every thing in the way." In one of the letters the author, obviously partly ashamed of what he and his comrades are doing, openly admits:" What we are doing to the Bulgarians is unexplainable. Also to the Bulgarian peasants. This is a massacre. There is not a single Bulgarian town or village that is not burned down."/43/
The authenticity of the last documents is verified in 1913 by the Carnegie's Commission. This fact is declared officially in the text of its report, as the members of the commission have held in their own hands the original letters of those, who in the summer of 1913 made unseen efforts to debulgarise Aegean Macedonia./44/
The picture, seen by the Carnegie Inquiry Commission in Vardar Macedonia, goverened since the summer 1913 by Serb administration, is similar. Here are the findings of the foreign observers in the village of Vinitsa: " The Serb soldiers, after entering the village, started asking the peasants whether they were Serbs or Bulgarians. Everyone who said he was Bulgarian was beaten. Afterwards, the commander of the military unit rounded 70 peasants and ordered them to be shot."/45/ The commission finds out, that the Serb authorities deliberately chase away from Vardar Macedonia the Bulgarian orthodox clergy, in order to lay a blow on the Bulgarian cultural life of the population in the region. It is mentioned in the report that:" The departure of the priests is the end of the Exarchist Church in Macedonia, the end of the official and acknowledged existence of the Bulgarian nationality. The occupational authorities immediately take decisions according to their wishes. We know that, in fact, they have not even waited for the departure of the priests, in order to start the full destruction of everything Bulgarian in Macedonia."/46/
The scale of the antibulgarian genocide and the methods used for the debulgarisation of Macedonia in 1913, impress the Carnegie Commission to such an extent, that its members state that from now on a new experiment in modern history can be spoken of: the forceful change of the nationality of a newly conquered population - in this case the bulgarian.The report states on p. 155 :"The Serb government and the military circles, charged with overcoming of this difficulty/ author's note- the reluctance of the Bulgarians in Vardar Macedonia to submit to their new conquerors/went directly for their aim. They created an imposingly big malevolent sociological experiment, which could not have been carried out even by governments and nations with better possibilities, than the Serb Kingdom. We witnessed the beginning of this assimilation done in terror. The beginning of the Second Balkan War gave the signal for the melting of everything still carrying a Bulgarian name. Then efforts were made at achieving this aim, which surpass everything seen until present."/47/
In the report of the Commission there is information that the policy of the Serb conquerors in Vardar Macedonia in 1913, caused immediately wide and strong resistance among the Bulgarians. On the pages of the report, p. 169-170 of the Bulgarian edition, the resistance of the Bulgarian population of the western part of Aegean Macedonia- in Ohrid - is described. Following are the findings of the international observers in this part of the province in the autumn of 1913:" Even bigger resistance was given during the assimilation of the populated places on the western border of Macedonia - in Ohrid and Debar, on the Albanian border.... The Bulgarians are heavily affected. All the notable people were either thrown in jail or shot. Several mixed Bulgarian-albanian villages in the regions of Dolna Reka, Gorna Reka and Golo Burdo were set to fire, after what the official statute of Macedonia was considered arranged."/48/
This is the truth, presented to the public opinion in the United States, by the Carnegie Commission's report, published in New York in the spring of 1914. The fact that, this historical document is prepared by a group of impartial international observers/ Prof. Samuel T. Daton- Columbia university, USA; baron D' Estournel de Constant- French senator; Profs. H.N. Brailesford and Francis U. Hurst- England; Prof. Pavel Miliukov - Russia and Prof. Josef Redlich- Vienna University/, makes the presented facts unquestionable basis for the understanding of a new political problem in Europe: When, who and how started the process of violent denationalization and debulgarisation of Vardar and Aegean Macedonia. This begins in the summer of 1913, with theirs forced partition by Greece and Serbia. The knowledge of all the circumstances on the Macedonian problem, permit the important factors in Washington, and especially the newly elected president - Woodrow Wilson, to develop and follow a balanced and reasonable course of Bulgarian- American relations, during the First World War, as well. This, inspite the fact, that at a certain moment the two countries find themselves on the opposite sides of the river.
It is important to stress, that after the forced implementation of the Bucharest Peace Treaty of July 28, 1913, the Americans try to help official Sofia to come out of the diplomatic isolation. Thus, in November in Washington, a Bulgarian diplomatic mission is opened. On November 27th the same year, the first Plenipotentiary Minister of Bulgaria in USA- Prof. Stefan Panaretov, presents his credentials to President Wilson at a ceremony in the Oval Office./49/ In the eve and during the First World War, the American diplomacy proposes to the Bulgarian government to follow the line of
neutrality. The argument is for Bulgaria to come out of the war with preserved military and economic resources. Thus, with the support of the sympathizing neutral Great Powers as USA, she could enforce a peaceful revision of the 1913 Bucharest Peace Treaty, having torn to three pieces Macedonia. When, however, all efforts of the government in Sofia to peacefully solve the Macedonian problem fail, and the circumstances impose the entrance of the country in the war as Germany's ally / at the time only Berlin, of all Great Powers, promises cooperation for the liberation of the Bulgarians in Macedonia/, Woodrow Wilson shows complete understanding of the reason for Bulgaria's behavior.
During the whole First World War, Washington knows that the Bulgarians do not pursue conqueror's imperialistic aims, but are searching for resolution of the injustice suffered in 1913 by their neighbors. For this reason, even after the entrance of the United States in the war in the summer of 1917 as partners of the forces of the Entente, Wilson does not break the official diplomatic relations between Sofia and Washington. Till the end of the war, both Stefan Panaretov and Dominique Murphy, the General Consul of USA in Sofia, send regularly reports to their governments and enjoy the support of the authorities of both countries. More so that, since the summer of 1918, Stefan Panaretov remains the only official diplomatic representative of a country, member of the Axis forces, that continues his work in the capital of the United States. The American General Consul, Dominique Murphy, is even included in the Bulgarian delegation, sent to Salonica in September 1918 to sign the cease-fire treaty between Bulgaria, on one side, and the forces of the Entante, on the other.
On such a background, several other important events become possible, illustrating the important positive sides of the Bulgarian-american relations, connected with the Macedonian problem. On January 6th, 1918, the Protestant missionaries Dr. Edward Haskel and Rouvim Markum, accompanied by their wives and ten small children, venture voluntarily on a long and perilous journey from Sofia to New York. They cross the front lines in order to prove to President Wilson, that he has to back up the cause of the Bulgarians in Macedonia during the forthcoming peace conference. In America they meet the president's aide Col. Hause and other responsible officials in the diplomatic circles and the media./50/
After the end of the war, the benevolent attitude of the Americans permits the Macedono-Bulgarian emigration to organize a grandiose congress in Chicago in December 1st -6th, 1918. Two hundred and three delegates and many guests participate in it. Completely freely, in a faraway country, without any possibility of Bulgarian governmental influence, this part of the people of Macedonia loudly declares. "Macedonia is populated with Bulgarians and as such, until the desire of this Bulgarians is not fulfilled and full freedom for unification with Mother Bulgaria, on the basis of President Wilson's peace program, is not given, the peace on the Balkans will not be established."/51/
Clear and categorical support to this principal statement, freely spoken by the Macedonian Bulgarian emigration the United States at their December 1914 Congress in Chicago, is given by all American guests, well knowing the history and essence of the Macedonian problem. In his speech in front of the delegates, the missionary Dr. Elliar Count points out: " Bulgaria, as a country of culture and progress, and the justice being on her side, should be given the chance to unite the Bulgarians of Macedonia with those in Bulgaria. No union with Greece, Serbia or Romania, as these countries are not for the progress and democracy."/52/ In his multiple statements in front of the Congress, the head of the American Protestant Mission in Bulgaria, Dr. Edward Haskel, clearly states:" enslaved Macedonia is Bulgarian" and supports the demands of the emigration for unification with Bulgaria.
The big expert on Macedonia, Albert Soniksen, sends a similar statement to President Wilson in the eve of Paris' Peace Conference./53/ In the spring and summer of 1918, clear voices in defence of the Macedonian Bulgarians are raised by the former American general consul in Sofia - Dominique Murphy, Miss Elena Stone, popular American journalists like E.H.Youlsary and others. Even the wife of President Wilson admits openly in a special public letter addressed to the chairwoman of the women's association " The Bulgarian Woman in America", that" the demands of their / Bulgarian -a.n./ people for sympathy must find place in the hearts of all of us"/54/, those who decide the world's fate. During the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, however, this idea is followed only by her husband- the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
The American delegation, headed by the President himself, is the only one, supporting the cause of the Bulgarian people. Due to the American position, Serbia does not succeed in moving farther to the East its eastern border and occupying new Bulgarian territories. Western Thrace is not immediately handed over to Greece. The anglo-french diplomacy, in silent agreement succeeds, during the Conference's course, to isolate Wilson from the decisions on the borderline problems. Taking advantage of the moral and material help of the USA for winning the war against the forces of the Triple Axis, Lloyd George and Clemanceaux take for themselves the role of main arbiters in the European affairs and do not permit the American ideas, formulated by Wilson, to become the foundations of the solution of the Balkan problems.
With the enforcement of the Neuilly Peace Treaty on November 27th, 1919, the victorious forces in Europe impose the definite partition of Macedonia. The Vardar part of the region is left in the domain of the artificially enlarged Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians/ later Yugoslavia/, Aegean Macedonia enters the borders of Greece and the Pirin part of the region is left to Bulgaria. A new dramatic epoch begins for the predominant Bulgarian population. Violating the principles of humanism and historical justice, the European Great Powers- victors in the First World War, ignore completely the truth on the national image of the Macedonian Slavs. In this way, they show disrespect for the opinions of scientists and diplomats of their own countries, as well as ignore the eighty year- long impartial efforts of the American missionaries, scientists, travelers and journalists, who prove continuously, since the 30ies of 19th century until 1919, one and the same thing : the predominant Slavonic population in Macedonia is of Bulgarian nationality and for this reason, during the whole period examined, the Americans sympathize with its struggles for liberation and unification with Bulgaria.
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