An attempted interview with Hans Lothar Schteppan
Erstellt von Bugarche, 24.11.2006, 16:31 Uhr · 12 Antworten · 712 Aufrufe
An attempted interview with Hans Lothar Schteppan
An attempted interview with Hans Lothar Schteppan
Walked around Macedonia as if a polar bear, continually surrounded by academicians and other domestic intellectual grand figures, a guest at many banquets and crowned with all possible awards, Hans Lothar Schteppan, the former German ambassador to Macedonia and the author of the book “The Macedonian knot” in a tense atmosphere, nervously terminated the interview for “Tribune”. In this text you shall see for yourself what is Mr. Schteppan's knowledge of the notorious dates, events and circumstances in our history, and how much he answered the three questions, and how much actually he repeats the statements from his interviews given in Macedonia and from his book (in which there are no original documents or facsimiles with quotes of the prominent Macedonian historical figures
Tribune: You claim that the Berlin Agreement didn’t allow the free affirmation of the separate Macedonian ethno-national identity, but the initiatives in Macedonia that stem from this Agreement do not present witness for the formation of ethno-national self-consciousness at all?
Schteppan: Ethnic self-consciousness could have been developed and existed already since long. But, the Berlin Congress destroyed the hope to become autonomous in a way of a state development, because every people likes and has to be organized in a state to be accepted by the others. And this is a point Greeks and maybe the other two, I don’t know, I don’t think that the Serbs and Bulgarians were so far developed, but the Greeks tried to avoid you to become a state. Autonomy would have been a step towards statehood. Identity existed already, but the statehood status you would not get it, because the Berlin Congress prevented you from becoming autonomous like Bulgaria, for instance, or independent like Montenegro, Serbia and Romania, which means that I have the impression, although I started with my research only 1878, but I think if somebody from here would start earlier, he would find out that the Greeks earlier started to influence the Macedonian future, the Macedonian people by preventing them to become autonomous.
Tribune: Why then after the San Stefano Peace Agreement there were no reactions in Macedonia, as was the case (reactions and even uprising) after its annulment in Berlin, and doesn’t it mean that the Macedonian population considered the San Stefano Agreement the realization of its ideals for national freedom.
Schteppan: Look, if I understand correctly, you seem to tell me that the Macedonians easily would have agreed to become a member of Bulgaria. Maybe the Macedonians would have been happy to become Bulgarians, or would have been happy to become Greeks. This is not my problem. I try to investigate history, and history documents showed me that the Macedonians tried to become independent as well, or at least autonomous, like the Bulgarians, Serbians and Greeks. If you are confused because you think: “Oh, why do I say the Macedonians were obliged for independence although they would have liked to become Bulgarians, this is not my business.” In the documents, this doesn’t show. So, you may sympathize with the Greeks or the Bulgarians, that’s your opinion. I can only judge the documents.
Tribune: Though, I could not see any reprints of original documents in your book, neither a reprint of the appeal of the Kresna Uprising! In “History of the Macedonian People”, which was published in former Yugoslavia, I read that the headquarters of the Kresna insurgents issued an appeal in the name of the “temporary Bulgarian administration in Macedonia”. In this appeal it says “…the flow of the blood of Krum and Simeon has not stopped in our veins. The time has come to show Europe that dividing a whole nation with ink is something that could not be taken lightly”. Also, in school I was taught that one of the leaders of the Kresna Uprising - Dimitar Pop Georgiev Berovski, had had distinct ethnic Macedonian self-consciousness.
Schteppan: When were you told that in school?
Tribune: In primary, in secondary school... One can still read those theses in the newspapers.
Schteppan: You spoke about the Yugoslav interpretation. The Yugoslav history was like Bulgarian history, Soviet history, East German history, and Polish history. Only history through ideological specters. No truth, no facts, just intention, wishful thinking. Ideas, ideology, no facts. So, I don’t deny if you prefer ideology, please go ahead, don’t listen to my book, don’t read my book, don’t accept what I say.
Tribune: But in the books published during the time of former Yugoslavia there are original documents, facsimiles of the original documents of the Kresna Uprising headquarters...
Schteppan: Did they? And you wouldn’t expect them to have falsified the documents. All these people from Stalin to Hitler to Tito to Dimitrov, all have falsified documents and they pretended to the people this is real document of history and everything was wrong!
Tribune: But isn't it strange that during Yugoslavia we were thought to hate the Bulgarians, and this quote was not in tune with the Yugoslav propaganda. In Yugoslav books there were “explanations” in the prefaces and the epilogues for the cases when Macedonian people declared themselves Bulgarian. There were always some metaphysical explanations…
Schteppan: Metaphysical… If I hear metaphysical, I can imagine…
Tribune: I’m joking, I’m joking... In Yugoslavia we were taught that the Bulgarians want to assimilate us. That is why the Yugoslav propaganda could not have produced forgeries that confirm the Bulgarian statements. But that is why there were "interpretations" in the introductions and epilogues in books about the ethnic identification of our tribunes, and the "interpretations" were presented as authentic facts in the history textbooks, in the newspapers, on radio and televisions. It is still happening.
Schteppan: What you have been told at school, I am very sorry, I just personally would not believe. Especially if it is based on Yugoslav books. Yugoslavia has published books only after ideological history, it has nothing to do with facts. We have enough discussions with the East Germans, who created their own history of the first workers and farmers state on German ground and started a new history and interpretation until the old Fritz, you remember old Fritz, Frederick II, the Prussian king, the famous Prussian king. They interpreted his life and rule to their need and wish, because they lived in that area where he was buried. So, please, you may believe whatever you like, just let me quote my documents and I do believe the reports of the German ambassadors from the 19-th and the beginning of the 20-th century from Constantinople, Sofia, Belgrade, Vienna, London, St. Petersburg, more than the Yugoslav interpretation of history, I am sorry to say.
At that point, Mr. Schteppan's friend, the painter Ilija Penushliski (the husband of the Macedonian Foreign Minister Ms. Ilinka Mitreva), who has been present during this interview, interrupted the conversation and said that the academician Tome Serafimovski came to say goodbye to the former German ambassador to Macedonia.
During this interlude, when Serafimovski and Schteppan were a few meters away from the table, Mr. Penushliski treated us to a lecture about the kind of questions we should or should not ask our interlocutor.
"You should not put questions about the ethnic self-consciousness of the people in Macedonia. From the beginning of the 19th century, there is a separate ethnic Macedonian consciousness. In certain periods, our people were inclined towards the neighboring states, because the greatest danger was the Hellenization. The Greek Phanariots were on the offensive and then, to protect themselves, our people went over to the Bulgarian stream, as closer and Slavic. You should read what Panayot Ginovski says. I know that in the title of the “Zbornik” (Anthology) by the Miladinov brothers it stands: ‘Bulgarian folk songs from Macedonia’, but they were driven to this because of Strossmeier and because of the relations between Croatia and Bulgaria. In the end of the “Zbornik” there are songs from Bulgaria, not from Macedonia, and they are grouped separately”, said Penushliski.
When we asked what kind of connections could exist between Bulgaria and Croatia in 1861, the year when the “Zbornik” was published, when Bulgaria hasn’t even existed as a state, when there was no Bulgarian Church, and Croatia did not have any kind of autonomy as well, Penushliski showed that he did not know the dates of the formation of the Bulgarian Church (1871) and the vassal Bulgarian Principality (1878).
After that, in the moment when we wanted to continue the interview, Mr. Schteppan, who was obviously tense, nervous and angry, said:
“If the interview continues in this direction, then it’s better to stop now. I will not convince you, if you defend the Greek and the Bulgarian side. It is better to stop here.”
We responded that he has full right to stop or continue the interview, and then we reminded him that in his book he wrongly stated the IMRO called itself with that very name -"Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization" - in 1896. His reply was: “I don’t know about that, maybe I made some mistake. I haven’t investigated the IMRO”. Although he admitted we had not investigated the IMRO, Mr. Schteppan continued: “But, the Supreme Committee which was founded in Sofia handed over members of IMRO to the Turks which were later executed”.
Then we asked Mr. Schteppan whether he is familiar with the first name of IMRO, and then we gave him as a present a copy of the first page of its constitution, written by Gotse Delchev and Gyorche Petrov, where the organization calls itself Bulgarian Macedonian Odrin Revolutionary Committees (BMORK) - a copy we have got from the Macedonian State Archives. In that moment, Mr. Penushliski interrupted the conversation with the words: "This is some Bulgarian mischief" and then stressed: Don't you think this is maybe a forgery? and afterwards he threw the sheet on the table nervously and roughly. Mr. Schteppan however took the paper, folded it, placed it in his pocket and they both left.
I hope Mr. Schteppan did not presume we would have asked questions like: "Why did you decide to write this book?" and that we will take part into the disgusting kissing-up provoked by "The Macedonian knot". This book does not present even one original document, but the author claims there was a separate Macedonian ethnic identity in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. No wonder the publisher - "Az Buki" publishing house from Skopje - announced that a Greek publisher is interested to publish it in Greece. Mr. Schteppan's voluntarism and the extent of his historical knowledge shall be welcomed by the Greek propaganda.
At the end, we list rest of the questions we intended to put to Mr. Schteppan:
4. Who of the Revivers, whom the official Macedonian historiography considers a spiritual cornerstone of the contemporary Macedonian identity, considered himself something else than Bulgarian?
5. For whom worked those teachers who were the founders and the most prominent members of IMRO? In which institutions, and which subjects, did they taught?
6. Only the officers born in Macedonia could become members of the Supreme Committee founded in Sofia, in contrast with IMRO, where the most prominent members were Exarchate teachers, who should not obligatorily have been born in Macedonia. You state in your book that the Supreme Committee is Bulgarian and IMRO is Macedonian, in the sense that they are ethnically different.
7. How do you interpret the fact that the initiative for formation of the Bulgarian Exarchate comes from within Macedonia, as well as the first impulse for a proclamation of a Bulgarian national and spiritual self-consciousness, which was first presented by father Paisiy of Hilendar, who was born in Bansko, Pirin Macedonia – in his book “History of Slav Bulgarians”, written in 1762?
8. The official documents of the 1903 Uprising state that it is “Ilinden – Preobrazhenie” Uprising, which was risen only in two of the ten designated areas of IMRO. Why you and the official Macedonian historiography do not mention the Preobrazhenie Uprising in Odrin (which is the Slavic name for Thrace) - area where Bulgarians live, in contrast to Macedonia, where, according to your statements that ethnic Macedonians live, who are separate from the Bulgarians?
9. The documents I am familiar with, concerning the leaders of IMRO that you list, always point to their ethnic Bulgarian identity?
10. Why did Bulgaria, after the Kresna, Ilinden etc., uprisings, and after the Balkan wars and the great world wars accepted great numbers of "ethnic Macedonians" on its territory and allowed its ethnic structure to change with the influx of a foreign population? That would make it a singular example in the world!? And why did the "ethnic Macedonians" fled to Bulgaria? It is widely accepted that today every fourth citizen in Bulgaria has Macedonian roots!
11. The pivot point of your book is the Macedonism as a phenomenon. What do you think about the former Serbian Education Minister Stoyan Novakovich's interpretation of the subject of Macedonism?
12. The renowned slavist, linguist and historian from the German language area – the Austrian Otto von Kronsteiner – would probably not agree with many of your statements. And, after all, he is a global scientific authority!?
man, in diesem forum gibt`s ja keinen einzigen Makedonen aus FYROM. hey wo seid ihr nur hin? hier habe ich euren liebling - Hans Lothar Schteppan gekreuzigt und bin grade dabei mit einem stock in der hand schlimme sachen mit seinem body anzufangen.
Ich glaube eher keine hat lust diesen ganzen text auf englisch zu lesen und dann noch zu übersetzen!
Zitat von Bugarche
ich glaube ihr sprecht auch englisch. da braucht man nichts zu uebersetzen. ausserdem ist ja das original in der quelle auf mazedonisch. (frag mich nicht woher ich mazedonisch kann ).
Zitat von SAmo_JoSip
ich erzaehle worum`s geht. der typ - Hans Lothar Schteppan war deutscher botschafter in Skopie. ich hatte vom geld der makedonisten erwaehnt, dass all den prominenten angeboten wird, sowie sogar villas an dem Ohrid See. man braucht nur sich als Mazedone auszugaeben (besonders wenn man aus dem bulgarischen Pirin teil ist) oder wenn man ein nichtbalkanese ist - ein buechlein schreiben - wo man gutes ueber die mazedonische nation berichtet, ueber deren existenz und deren erzfeinde - die Bulgaren, Griechen und Serben schreibt. so wie der "Mazedonische Knoten" von Hans Lothar Schteppan.
in der gezeigten von mir quelle wird der Herr Schteppan von einem bulgarisch - bewussten Journalisten einer mazedonischen Media in geschichte abgefragt. ihm(Herrn Schteppan) laeuft nicht nur der schweiss vom stirn. es wird allen lesern klar, dass er ueberhaupt keine ahnung von makedonischer geschichte hat. besonders gut finde ich die am ende beigelegte liste mit fragen, die man Herrn Schteppan gerne gestellt haette.
Schon ziemlich peinlich für den Botschafter.
ja, aber er hat ja die unterstuetzung und freundschaft namhafter fyromesischer "wissenschaftler".
Zitat von Schreiber
Lass es mich mal so sagen: Obwohl heute jeder weiß, dass die ganzen Theorien vom ersten Opfer blödsinnig sind, hat sich bei uns die Idee der österreichischen Nation bei der Mehrzahl der Bevölkerung durchgesetzt. Also wird wahrscheinlich auch die Idee von der mazedonischen Nation nicht verschwinden, selbst wenn du manche Behauptungen widerlegen kannst.
Zitat von Bugarche
ja klar. oesterreichische nation, schweizer nation, amerikanische nation, bulgarische nation, mazedonische nation. ich bin ja einverstanden damit. aber niemand spricht von einem oesterreichischen, schweizerisches oder amerikanisches volk. wenn man amerikanisches volk erwaehnt meint man immer die amerikanische nation, denn wie koennen denn ein schwarzer und ein asiate von einem volk sein, obwohl sie von einer amerikanischen nation sein koennen. genauso gibt es kein mazedonisches volk. es gibt keine quelle in der zeitspanne zwischen 8. jahrhundert und 1945, die von einem mazedonischen volk oder andere mazedonische ethnische formation berichtet.
Zitat von Schreiber
die quellen vor dem 8. jahrhundert sind auf die antiken Makedonen und deren ueberreste bezogen.
das erwaehnen ethnischer Mazedonen ab 1945 kann man ruhig zusammen mit dem Chalokoast zu den verbrechen gegen die menschheit rechnen.
denn jemanden so das gehirn zu waschen, dass er sich fuer etwas neues und separates haelt ist schlimm.
aber ihn so hirnzuwaschen, dass er seine echten wurzeln hasst und verneint ist schon ein verbrechen, meiner meinung nach.
wie mal ein Makedone zu mir sagte, in einem chat im internet: "Bulgare sein ist das dreckigste und peinlichste ding auf der welt. Ich wuerde niemals zugeben, dass ich Bulgare bin, selbst wenn ich einer waere."
Hat er das auch irgendwie begründet?
nee, es war doch kein chat, sondern ein bulgarisches forum, wie dieses. aber wie soll er sich den begruenden. wahrscheinlch wird er wieder etwas von den bulgarischen nazis sagen, wie sie 1945 von den makedonischen partizanen aus Mazedonien rausgejagt worden sind. das sagen alle. immer. das ist ihnen beigebracht worden.
Zitat von Schreiber
die wahrheit ist natuerlich, dass die bulgarische armee am ende des krieges Deutschland den krieg erklaert und die Deutschen durch Mazedonien und Serbien bis nach Ungarn und Oesterreich jagt, aber wen kuemmerts.
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