By NIKOS MARTIS, Former Gov. Minister
The gravestone of the dreams of the Skopjans that they are Macedonians, descendants of Alexander the Great, is made of two books and a documentary.
The renaming of the Yugoslavian area of Vardaska to Macedonia by Tito and Stalin in August 1944, led today’ s inhabitants of FYROM into fantasising that they are the Macedonians and, particularly, that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great. The way Hitler, in order to establish the Nazi regime, kept declaring that the Germans belonged to the Arian race, the same way Tito, in order to take control of the Aegean and support the expansionist plans of the Soviet Union, renamed Vardaska to Macedonia, aiming at the extraction of Macedonia from Greece.
The English magazine THE ECONOMIST in its issue of the 28th August 2010 has a picture, which is a provocation not only for the Greeks, but also for any serious person. It depicts a statue of Alexander the Great that has the grotesque height of an 8-storey building, which is to be installed at the central Square of Skopje; its base being already under construction. It is mentioned in the article that many Skopjans wonder and rather scoff the grand plans of their Prime Minister!
The two books in which Skopjan dignitaries declare that the inhabitants of FYROM are not Macedonians nor descendants of Alexander the Great, but Slavs, are: a) The Book RECOLLECTIONS by the first President of FYROM, Mr Kiro Gligorov, b) The book THE SEVEN-YEAR CO-EXISTENCE by the honourable Mr E. Kofos and Professor Vlassidi. To these is added the recent documentary MACEDONIA, THE HELLENISTIC CIVILISATION AS FAR AS ASIA by Mr. Photis Constantinidis, which proves indisputably the Hellenic identity of the Macedonians. In this documentary, historians and archaeologists of international repute who carried out excavations in countries conquered by Alexander the Great, talk about and demonstrate the countless Greek monuments, inscriptions and coins.
Mr Kiro Gligorov who had often stated, «We don’ t claim Alexander the Great», mentions in his book RECOLLECTIONS (page 259) that at the reception, which took place in New York on the day following the recognition of FYROM as an independent State, a group of young people from Australia said to him: « You spoke, but you did n’ t mention the most important detail. You did n’ t say that we are descendants of Alexander the Great. This may be interpreted that you renounced our origin, our ancestors». « I found it difficult to think of an immediate answer – Mr Gligorov goes on to say in his book- and finally I replied to them: You know I respect your thoughts and your convictions. You are of course entitled to your opinion. But, according to historiography, the conviction that prevails among us is that we are Slavs. We came to the Balkans in the 6th and 7th century A.D. and we settled on territories that are called Macedonia. I don’ t know to what extent some blood of ancient Macedonians may be still running in our veins!». Mr Kiro Gligorov commented to a journalist from Thessaloniki during an interview:
« Serious historians laugh at the things that are happening in my country. I wonder what the historians of the future will be saying about the inhabitants of FYROM who came to the Balkans as Slavs in the 6th century A,D. Will they be saying that they are Macedonians, descendants of Alexander the Great?».
In the book «THE SEVEN-YEAR CO-EXISTENCE» by the honourable Mr. E. Kofos and Professor Vlassidi (page 300, note 201) reference is made to the former Mayor of Skopje, the Minister of Education of FYROM Mr. Alizani (and not Foreign Minister as it was wrongly quoted) and to the Chief Editor of a Skopjan newspaper who declared: « We make every possible effort to persuade our children that they are not at all related to the ancient Macedonians, but they don’ t believe us because this is what they have been taught».
There are two maps in the school books of FYROM a) a map of «Macedonia» with subtitle «There have never been any Greeks in Macedonia», something which is belied by Apostle Paul who encountered in Thessaloniki and Veria many Greek men and women who were converted to Christianity and b) a map that shows the mount Olympus as the Greek frontier, which is belied by the fact that the Holy Mount in Chalkidiki , the beacon of Hellenism and Orthodoxy for over one thousand years, belongs to Greece. With the help of these two maps and with the long propaganda of a single political party (the Communist), many generations of Skopjans have been misled to believe that they were Macedonians, descendants of Alexander the Great.
Also, important international personalities, like I explain analytically in many of my writings, recognised Macedonia as Greek and the Macedonians as Greek. Among them,
– Stettinius, Secretary of State in the Roosvelt government administration.
– Kissinger, Secretary of State of the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford governments.
– The American President Truman
– The well-known American journalist Schultsberger
– The French President Francois Mitterand
– The Institute of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Lund University with the signature of the distinguished writer Staffan Stolpe.
– The Ministers of Culture of Canada and Australia.
Zelev, during an official visit to Sweden, as President of the Democracy of Bulgaria, replied to a question made by a journalist about the so called «Macedonian nation»: «It is a post-war fabrication by Comitern and a political crime committed by Titoism and Salinism».
In 1980, 5 Unesco Ambassadors came from a Belgrade convention in order to visit Vergina. After the visit, the delegate of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace hosted them to lunch in Veria. During the meal, four of the Ambassadors kept referring to the gold they saw in Vergina, when the Dutch Ambassador, who had been in Unesco for 15 years, remarked: « That’s all very good, but I saw inscriptions in Greek and so the matter of Macedonia is now very clear to me».
Macedonia as Greek and the Macedonians as Greek exist historically since the 8th century B.C. Hence, when Macedonia gained its freedom in 1912 after 5 centuries of Turkish domination, the «General Administration of Macedonia» was set up, without any objection from anywhere. FYROM representatives may argue that the Serbian Army occupied part of Northern Macedonia. However, there is no precedent whereby when an army occupied part of another country it took the name of that country. For example, when the Turks occupied Ionia in 1922, they did not name their state Ionia, nor the Turks Ionians.
The late President of the Hellenic Republic, the Macedonian Constantine Karamanlis, mentioned in one of his letters: «Neither historically not ethnologically has Skopje the right to be called Macedonia». Taking therefore into account that the Macedonians were Greek and the inhabitants of FYROM are Slavs, it is inconceivable that the word «Macedonia» could be contained in any appellation of that State.
Let those governments that recognised FYROM as Macedonia and their inhabitants as Macedonians consult the historians so that they may be informed that:
– The famous Geographer of Antiquity, Strabo, writes: « Part of Greece is also Macedonia».
– The old Testament mentions that: « The Greek king will defeat the Persian king».
– The Maccabeans begin: « Alexander the Macedonian, son of Philip, defeated Darius»
– Apostle Paul visited the cities of Macedonia, Philippus, Thessaloniki and Veria that had the same Greek names before Christ. He spoke in Greek and wrote to people in Thessaloniki and Philippus in Greek.
– 340 Professors of American and other Universities have sent a letter to the USA President Obama and ask him to recall the resolution of former President Bush, who called FYROM «Macedonia», ignoring the firm policy of the USA and the historical facts regarding this issue. Unfortunately, those who ignore history, who are naive and suspicious advisors carried him away and thus they expose the American people.
All the above prove in an irrefutable way the Hellenic identity of Macedonia and the Macedonians and make any attempt for historical distortion futile, if not ludicrous.