"Macedonia: Its Races and their Future" (GB 1906)
Erstellt von Schiptar, 26.03.2006, 16:41 Uhr · 8 Antworten · 1.965 Aufrufe
"Macedonia: Its Races and their Future" (GB 1906)
H. N. Brailsford: "MACEDONIA: ITS RACES AND THEIR FUTURE" (Methuen & Co., London, 1906)
"It is notorious, for example, that most if not all of the Bulgarian bishops and their lay secretaries are involved more or less directly, and more or less voluntarily, in the rebellious activities of the Macedonian Committee. The Turks know this very well, but they never dare do more than place a Bishop under a sort of courteous and temporary arrest within his own palace. In one Macedonian town I was on good terms with the Bishop, his secretary, and the Turkish prefect. The prefect one day explained to me in great detail the exact shades of revolutionary opinion which the Bishop and his secretary affected. The cleric was a Russophil and a Panslavist. The layman was an ardent Macedonian nationalist, rather distrustful of Bulgaria, and profoundly hostile to Russia. The description was good and accurate."
Der englische Beobachter zeigt mit diesem Beispiel recht deutlich, daß die südslawischsprachigen Mazedonier sich bereits zu osmanischen Zeiten nicht alle als Bulgaren sahen, wie gerne behauptet wird.
"VII. The Greeks
3. "Bulgarophone Greeks"
The ecclesiastical pretensions of the Greeks are ludicrous enough, but they are not to be dismissed with a laugh. They have introduced a savagery into the relations of official "Hellenism" and the Bulgarian peasantry, which makes for something more than comedy. [...] The answer was so frank, so primitive, that I found myself asking him whether his hospital was a Christian or a pagan institution, when a gentleman who was sitting in the circle turned the uncomfortable subject by enunciating the startling proposition that there are no Bulgarians. There are only "Bulgarophone Greeks." [Anm. Schiptar: Kommt mir nur zu bekannt vor... Siehe jeden x-beliebigen Post von Matzedöner, der weiß ja auch immer besser als andere Völker, wer oder was diese eigentlich "wirklich" sind.] I inquired how it happened that they came to speak Bulgarian. And then, more or less in chorus, the Bishop and the laymen proceeded to develop a theory which is to be found even in the works of some Greek apologists, who profess to write as scholars and historians. Originally, so runs this theory, the population of Macedonia was Hellenic, but it won so many victories over the Slavs, and took so many prisoners of war, that linguistic difficulties arose. The Slavs being then, as now, notoriously stupid, would not learn Greek, so the Greeks were forced to learn Slav in order to have a means of giving orders to their servants. Little by little they forgot their own language, and the "Bulgarophone Greek" of modern Macedonia is the result."
"10. Are the Macedonians Serbs or Bulgars ?
Are the Macedonians Serbs or Bulgars ? The question is constantly asked and dogmatically answered in Belgrade and Sofia. But the lesson of history obviously is that there is no answer at all. They are not Serbs, for their blood can hardly be purely Slavonic. There must be in it some admixture of Bulgarian and other non-Aryan stock (Kuman Tartars, Pechenegs, &c.). On the other hand, they can hardly be Bulgarians, for quite clearly the Servian immigrations and conquests must have left much Servian blood in their veins, and the admixture of non-Aryan blood can scarcely be so considerable as it is in Bulgaria. They are probably very much what they were before either a Bulgarian or a Servian Empire existed — a Slav people derived from rather various stocks, who invaded the peninsula at different periods. But they had originally no clear consciousness of race, and any strong Slavonic Power was able to impose itself upon them. One may say safely that for historical reasons the people of Kossovo and the North West are definitely Serbs, while the people of Ochrida are clearly Bulgarians. The affinities of the rest of Macedonia are decided on purely political grounds. Language teaches us very little. The differences between literary Servian and Bulgarian are not considerable, but they are very definite. The Macedonian dialect is neither one nor the other, but in certain structural features it agrees rather with Bulgarian than with Servian."
"5. Ideal of a neutral Autonomy
It is true that without the friendly refuge of Bulgaria the Macedonian patriots could have achieved little. But the fact that their bands are often equipped in Bulgaria, and sometimes led by Macedonians long resident in Bulgaria, in no way robs the Committee of its local character. The Greek and Servian movements in Macedonia are, on the other hand, the creation of the Greek and Servian Governments, and they are directed, with very little disguise, from the Greek and Servian consulates. The unique feature of the Bulgarian Committee is that it is a democratic organisation, whose policy and programme are dictated by Macedonian opinion.
In its original idea I am ready to believe that the Macedonian Committee had no exclusive racial ambition. Its leaders were Bulgarians by race and language, but their programme has never been the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria, and I see no reason to doubt their sincerity when they say that their aim was to create a free neutral State under the suzerainty of the Sultan, in which all the races of their distracted country might meet on a footing of equality, and conduct their common affairs without regard to national ambitions. They were not at first on the best of terms with the hierarchy of the Bulgarian Church, nor did they entirely trust the Bulgaria across the border. The Slavs of European Turkey have even yet no highly-developed consciousness of race, and what little they possess is of recent growth. Their passion is not for their race but for their country. They are a people of the soil fixed in their immemorial villages, with a limited range of sentiments which play piously around their mountains, their rivers and their ancient churches. A nation of peasants which starts with these conservative qualities will readily develop a genuine local patriotism. And this indeed has happened despite adverse circumstances. Their ballads of revolt, in which the word "Macedonia" recurs in every chorus, prove that they have already a fatherland. If the other races of Macedonia had started with the same spiritual equipment a joint movement of revolt would have been feasible, and from this cooperation a genuine Macedonian Commonwealth would have evolved quite naturally. Macedonia is little more chaotic in its races and languages than Switzerland. But the other Macedonian stocks are not peoples of the soil. The Albanians are recent invaders. The Vlachs are nomad herdsmen, wandering carriers and cosmopolitan merchants, whose families are scattered all over the Levant. The Greeks are townsmen, reared on abstractions, who care nothing for the soil of Macedonia, and very much indeed for "Hellenism." They are, moreover, an aristocracy of talent, whose chief interest is the Church they govern, and they have ingrained an Imperial tradition which knows nothing of local patriotism. To the Slav, Macedonia is simply so much land which his ancestors have tilled for twelve centuries. To the Greek it means the country of Alexander and the hearth of a great Empire. Their "Great Idea" demands the extension of the little modern kingdom of Greece to Constantinople and the Straits, and Macedonia is essential to that ambition, because through it lies the road to the sentimental capital of Hellenism, which is not the Athens of Pericles but the Byzantium of Constantine. In the Macedonian insurgents they refuse to see peasants fighting for a minimum of liberty. To their romantic imagination these simple rebels of the villages are the vanguard of the Slav hosts, the hired agents of Russia and Panslavism, an army which is already attempting to occupy the road to Constantinople and to bar the advance of Hellenism. That is, of course, the extreme Athenian view. But Athens dominates the Greeks of Macedonia, and they follow their Bishops and their consuls with a docility which is destructive of any local opinion. Left to themselves, the Macedonian Greeks would probably have come to terms with their Slav neighbours long ago. But just because they are the weaker element in Macedonia they do not wish to be left to themselves. It would have needed much grace to forget the secular feud, to renounce the inborn contempt of the barbarian, and to pardon the crime of the Exarchist schism. This grace the Greeks do not possess, and the Bulgarians were not sufficiently patient and tactful in their efforts at conciliation. Certainly the two peoples have never found common ground. To the Greeks who have the consciousness of race in an extravagant form, and to whom their language and their culture is dearer even than liberty, the ideal of a neutral Macedonian commonwealth presented no attractions. As little was it possible to come to terms with a view to a partition of the country, and a delimitation of spheres of influence. The inevitable result of the hostility of the Greeks was that the Macedonian movement became more and more definitely nationalist, until to-day it is as decidedly anti-Greek as it is anti-Turk. All attempts at cooperation and conciliation have long since been abandoned.
The Committee still uses in its official documents language which implies that the basis of its propaganda is not racial, and that it does not aim at a Bulgarian ascendancy. But these, I am afraid, are no more than pious memories of a better state of mind. The atmosphere of Macedonia is so poisoned with nationalism that the most enlightened patriot becomes corrupted against his will. And yet, with all these reservations, it remains true that the Committee does not desire the annexation of Macedonia to Bulgaria, that its ideal, in form at least, is still an international commonwealth, and that it gives proof of its sincerity by asking Europe for a European Governor. This seems to me an important point, for if the secret intention of the Macedonian Bulgars was to obtain autonomy as Eastern Roumelia did, merely as a preliminary to a coup d'état and a sudden annexation to Bulgaria, they would ask not for a European Governor, but for some native Christian, who could easily be removed. Indeed, I believe that so far as the Bulgarians, whether in Macedonia or in Bulgaria, speculate about the remote future at all, their dream is that Macedonia should be certainly a Slav, but not definitely a Bulgarian, country, and that it should eventually form the central state in a Balkan federation which might unite all the Southern Slavs.  A big Bulgaria which included Macedonia would be so overwhelmingly powerful that Servia and Montenegro would shrink from joining her. A neutral Macedonia, on the other hand, would be a point of union which might conciliate the jarring interests of Servia and Bulgaria, since to both it would offer access to the Aegean, a new commercial outlet, and a fresh window to the world."
 "The Committee, or some sections of it, even contemplates (1905) the policy of imposing the Macedonian Slav dialect in place of literary Bulgarian as the language of all the Exarchist schools in Macedonia. Grammars are said to have been printed for this purpose. This seems to me to prove the sincerity of the local autonomist patriotism."
VIII. The Albanians
2. Language and History. Scänderbeg. Ali Pasha
"IV. The Races of Macedonia
Zitat von Gentleman
7. Albanian Immigration into Macedonia
[...]It is probable that in the earlier centuries, before the Turkish conquest, the Pindus and Schar did divide the Albanians from the Slavs. Indeed, such encroachment as there was was rather in an opposite sense. It was the Slavs who invaded Albania. Since the Turkish conquest, however, the Albanian race has more than recovered its own. There has been, particularly in the last two centuries, a steady movement of the Moslem Albanians eastward. Under the Crescent they are winning back more than all that they lost under the Cross. It is difficult to obtain statistics, and the country-folk will not generalise on the subject, but they will tell you that such an Albanian village settlement was made some eighty years ago, or that a village which used to own its own land, and was inhabited only by Bulgarians, came under the yoke of an Albanian chief a matter of fifty years back. This sort of thing has been going on steadily throughout the western half of Macedonia for two or three centuries at least, and the process is not yet complete. It is most noticeable in the north, and the country which was once the headquarters of the Servian race, and still bears the name of Old Servia [Anm. Schiptar: Er redet wohl vom Kosovo in diese Fall.], has now a population that is two-thirds Albanian. Elsewhere the emigration has been much less considerable, but it is still noteworthy. The whole province (Vilayet) of Monastir is studded with Albanian settlements. One finds them in enviable positions surrounded by three or four Bulgarian villages, over which the Albanians exercise a sort of semi-feudal terrorism. But the Albanian colonies are not mainly village communities. More often a chief (perhaps an ex-brigand who bought his peace with the Turks) has settled down in a big, rambling farm, with a fortified keep and a few retainers, and gradually acquired the position of landlord and the title of bey, with all that these things imply in economic servitude to the Slav peasantry. It is naturally in the more desirable districts, and, above all, in the fertile plains, that this has taken place. The odd result follows that the wealthier Bulgarian villages are those on the lower slopes of the mountains, or even in rugged and isolated glens, since these have often been left more or less unmolested. The villages on the plains are mere collections of huts and cabins inhabited by serfs who work for an Albanian master. This movement of population was naturally welcomed and encouraged by the Turks. It tended to enslave and weaken their Slavonic subjects, and it helped to base their own political ascendancy on a "garrison," as an Irishman would call it, consisting of men whose material prosperity was involved in the continuance of Mohamedan rule. The Albanians have now become so much a Macedonian race that their shepherds regularly invade even the Central Vardar valley in winter. There are also Albanian villages deliberately planted by the Turks for obvious strategic regions along the frontiers of free Bulgaria. Indeed, there was even some talk of planting Albanian colonies in the Adrianople region after the late insurrection."
"The system of centralisation as it exists in Macedonia has been cunningly devised in order to prevent the growth of any local opinion and to check the development of racial self-consciousness. The term Macedonia is itself seditious, and there is no administrative area which corresponds either to the modern Macedonia of the Bulgarian insurgents or to the ancient Macedonia of the Greeks. Macedonia lies confounded within three vilayets  (i.e., provinces), which correspond to no natural division either racial or geographical. The Bulgarians [Anm. Schiptar: Er meint offensichtlich die Mazedonier (also das einheimische südslawische Volk), obwohl er ja an anderer Stelle erklärt, warum man die Mazedonier weder als Serben noch als Bulgaren einordnen kann.] are strong in all three of the Macedonian vilayets, but in each of them a makeweight is skilfully provided. The Serbs and Albanians are numerous in the northeast (Uskub). The Greeks are well represented in the vilayet of Salonica. Greeks and Albanians balance Bulgarians in the vilayet of Monastir. The result is that no race attains a predominance, and no province acquires a national character. The natural arrangement would have been to place Greeks, Servians, and Albanians in compartments of their own, leaving the Bulgarians to occupy the centre and the east; but that would have been a violation of one of the guiding principles of Turkish statecraft, Divide et Impera. The same plan is even more effectually carried out in the Armenian districts of Asiatic Turkey. It has its counterpart in the system by which any display of vigour on the part of one or other of these races becomes at once the signal for the bestowal of favours upon its rivals. When Greece made war upon Turkey in 1897, the Bulgarians were suddenly permitted to create a number of new bishoprics. When the Bulgarians rose in 1903 the Serbs, the Vlachs, and to a certain extent the Greeks, were overwhelmed with official favours."
 The term " vilayet" may be translated province. Its Governor is termed a Vali, and has the rank of a Pasha (equal to a military General). There are six vilayets in European Turkey—two to the west are Albanian, Jannina (Epirus) and Scutari. Three in the centre are partially Macedonian—Salonica, Monastir, and Uskub. To the east lies Adrianople. Constantinople forms a division apart. A large vilayet is subdivided into two or three sandjaks, the Governor of which is termed a Mutessarif, who also ranks as a Pasha. Next comes the Caza(department), governed by a Caimakam (prefect), who ranks as a Bey, and is equal to a military colonel. The smallest division is the Nahie (district), governed by a Muclir (sub-prefect).
"IV. The Races of Macedonia
11. National Propagandas
Reasons for Servian Failure — Weakness of Greek Claims
Reasons for Servian Failure
But undoubtedly any Slav race which belonged to the Orthodox faith might have won Macedonia, given the necessary tact and the necessary funds. Servia or Montenegro, or even Russia, might have done it. In point of fact it is Bulgaria which has succeeded. History and ethnology and comparative philology may take what side in the controversy they please. The Macedonians are Bulgars to-day because a free and progressive Bulgaria has known how to attract them. [Anm. Schiptar: Da sieht man, wie kurz die Liaison der Mazedonier mit dem Bulgarentum letztendlich war, und worauf es beruhte...] Servia did not exercise an influence so compelling, and the Servian cause in Macedonia proper is in consequence a negligible and artificial movement. It exists only in so far as it pays its way, and in so far as the Turks encourage it as a counterpoise to the menacing Bulgarian agitation. The very fact that the Turks smile upon it is a proof that it is innocuous and doomed to futility. As things are to-day the Servian consuls are about as likely to win the Macedonians for Servia as the American missionaries are to convert them to Protestantism.
It is easy to indicate some of the many reasons for Servia's failure.  In the first place, it is only recently that Servia has taken much interest in Macedonia. Up till the Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Servia's ambitions were directed rather to these genuinely Servian lands than to Macedonia. Even after the Treaty of Berlin it was long before she realised that the northern and western part of her natural heritage was irreparably lost. Then, however much she might have wished to repair her error, it was too late. The Bulgarians had already created their national Church; the majority of the Macedonian Slavs had already adhered to it, and its schools were firmly established and thoroughly popular. Servia could not bring herself to break with the "Greek" Orthodox Church, and accordingly she had no fold into which the Macedonians might be shepherded. Thirdly, her internal weakness tied her hands. She had suffered a disastrous military defeat at Slivnitza at the hands of the Bulgarians, and from this her prestige in the Balkans has never recovered. Her finances were and still are in the utmost disorder; and while King Milan squandered money on his pleasures and sold the country to foreign speculators, there was no surplus to spare for propaganda. Under Milan and Alexander Servia passed through one long and shameful crisis, and her domestic revolutions and reigns of terror were preoccupation enough. Lastly, one must recognise that, despite their kinship and their very similar history, there is a profound difference between the Bulgarian and the Servian national characters — a difference which has its counterpart in two physical types.  The Servians are a pleasure-loving people, with more aesthetic sense and a more excitable disposition than the Bulgarians. They have not the same power of continuous work, the same indifference to pain, the same resolute stolidity, or the same habit of mental application. During eighty years of freedom they have made less progress morally and materially than the Bulgarians in twenty-five years. One consequence of the rapid economic development of Bulgaria has been that her steady demand for labour has encouraged a ceaseless flow of Macedonian immigrants, who spend a few months or a few years in the principality and then return to their villages with their savings. These men become missionaries of the Bulgarian idea. They spread the fame of her liberty, her wealth, and her rapid progress. The number who go to Servia, on the other hand, is relatively inconsiderable, and their reports can hardly be entirely favourable — though for all her political instability Servia still presents a sufficiently striking contrast to Turkey. When, in addition to these advantages, the Bulgarophil Macedonians started their marvellously-organised revolutionary committee in 1893, the Servian cause received its death-blow. By way of emphasising her antagonism to Bulgaria, official Servia now adopted an openly Turcophil policy, and nothing could be more fatal to the prospects of any Christian race in Turkey. The Macedonian peasantry will bestow their allegiance only on a propaganda which promises them some speedy prospect of release from the Ottoman yoke. Finally, there is this great difference between the rival propagandas, that while the Bulgarians are working for the autonomy of Macedonia, the Servians and the Greeks aim only at its annexation to their own country. The result is that their activities seem to be for the profit of their own land, whereas the Bulgarians are undoubtedly creating a spirit of local Macedonian patriotism. The Servian movement is a purely official agitation, guided and financed in Belgrade; whereas, despite the sympathy of Sofia, the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee is a genuine Macedonian organisation.
Weakness of Greek Claims
The Servians have a respectable historical and ethnographical claim to be reckoned a Macedonian race, however weak their political position may be. With the Greeks matters are reversed. The legend that Macedonia is a Greek province like Crete and Cyprus, a true limb of Hellas Irredempta, is firmly planted in the European, and especially in the English, mind. Lord Salisbury advanced this curious argument in the crudest form against the Treaty of San Stefano. It keeps its hold in the West no doubt because the Greeks are well known through their commercial colonies and their romantic history, while the Bulgarians are a purely local race which has no roots beyond the East. And yet it is a sheer fiction and a trifling with words. The Greeks are not a Macedonian race, though they have a powerful Church and a considerable party in Macedonia. If one takes the linguistic test there are practically no villages in European Turkey whose mother-tongue is Greek, save along the coasts of the Aegean and the Black Sea, in the peninsulas of Chalcidice, and the Thracian Chersonnese, and in the extreme south of Macedonia near the Thessalian frontier.  They have a large population in Salonica and Constantinople, but Salonica is nevertheless predominantly a Jewish town, while Constantinople is hopelessly cosmopolitan. Historically their claims are no better. The Byzantine Empire had no footing in the interior of Macedonia after it had ceased to be Roman and international, and had become patriotic and Greek. The Greek claim rests mainly upon this, that there is still a large faction of the Macedonian population which, either from fear, from superstition, or from preference, remains within the "Greek" Orthodox (i.e., the Patriarchist) Church. These people are Vlachs, Albanians, Serbs, or other Slavs of uncertain origin, but they are no more Greeks than the Orthodox Russians are. But the growth of Greek influence is none the less a curious study. It depended almost entirely upon the Church, and it must have been immeasurably stronger in the Balkan peninsula after the coming of the Turks than it ever was before. It embraced not merely Macedonia, but Roumania, Bulgaria, and even Servia as well. The few Slavs in the interior who were educated at all were taught to regard themselves as Greeks, and the very tradition of their origin was in danger of dying out. Two fatal errors alone wrecked what was nothing less than a scheme for Hellenising the Balkan peninsula. The women were not educated, and for all the Greek schools might do every Slav child learned his own despised tongue at his mother's knee. The peasants also were neglected. The Greeks regarded them with the unmeasured and stupid contempt which a quick town-bred people instinctively feels for a race of cultivators. They were barbarians, beasts of burden, men only "in the catalogue." The Greeks denied the rights of men to the Slav peasants and refused to accept them as brethren. The consequence was that the peasants never quite lost their sense of separation, and a certain dim consciousness of nationality remained, rooted in injuries and hatred. The nemesis came at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Greeks, rising at last to the height of their national idea, struck their great blow for freedom. The flag of Greek independence was first unfurled, not in Greece, but in Roumania, which had long been ruled by Greek Governors appointed by the Turks, and the Greek army found itself to its amazement confronted not merely by Turkish hordes, but by native Wallachian bands inspired by a national patriotism of their own.
There is no region of the earth where the national idea has wrought such havoc or rioted in such wantonness of power as in Macedonia. It poisons and secularises religion. It sanctions murder, excuses violence, and leaves more kindliness between man and beast than between the adherents of rival races. In its name peoples have done great deeds which liberty should have inspired, and perpetrated oppressions of an iniquity so colossal that only an idea could have prompted them. The miseries of ten centuries have been its work, and the face of the Balkans to-day, furrowed with hatreds, callous from long cruelty, dull with perpetual suffering, is its image and memorial. One turns from a survey of these races and their rivalries, asking what future of peace and common work there can be while the curse of this national idea still teaches men that the vital fact in their lives is the tradition, or the memory, or the habit of speech which divides them from one another."
 These were the only districts of Macedonia which joined the Greeks in the War of Independence - a very significant fact.
"IV. The Races of Macedonia
9. Eclipse of the Slav Races after the Turkish Conquest
It is small wonder that a history so troubled and so uncertain has borne its fruit in endless political controversies. One hundred years ago it would have been hard to find a central Macedonian who could have answered with any intelligence the question whether he were Servian or Bulgarian by race. The memory of the past had vanished utterly and nothing remained save a vague tradition among the peasants that their forefathers had once been free. I questioned some boys from a remote mountain village near Ochrida which had neither teacher nor resident priest, and where not a single inhabitant was able to read, in order to discover what amount of traditional knowledge they possessed. I took them up to the ruins of the Bulgarian Tsar's fortress which dominates the lake and the plain from the summit of an abrupt and curiously rounded hill. "Who built this place ?" I asked them. The answer was significant — "The Free Men." "And who were they?" "Our grandfathers." "Yes, but were they Serbs or Bulgarians or Greeks or Turks ?" "They weren't Turks, they were Christians." And this seemed to be about the measure of their knowledge."
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