- Published on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 21:41
- Written by BC-Stuff
The Macedonian people, the Macedonian nation and the Macedonian language have never demanded from anyone, and there have been no reasons to demand it, any official recognition of their existence. Recognition can be demanded for a state or an institution, but not for a nation or a language. The Macedonian people has waged a continuous struggle for the affirmation of its national entity for a century and a half, and within this framework, for its own language and its own culture. In the process of this struggle for affirmation there have been various acts by different individuals, institutions, organizations and states that have significantly helped the Macedonian cultural and national development and its affirmation at national, Slavic, Balkan or international level. The resolution of the Comintern, although published as a resolution of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United), was undoubtedly the most significant international ac- knowledgement of the Macedonian national individuality, which had very favour- able consequences for its development and affirmation. It was not a founding act by some international arbiter, albeit within the framework of the communist movement. It sanctioned the historical development of the Macedonian people, which itself imposed that acknowledgement.
The Comintern decision of January 11, 1934, did not come suddenly and unexpectedly. Immediately after the First World War, the Communist movement started making efforts to resolve the 'Macedonian question' in its entirety and in its historical context. Of special significance was the year 1923, when great efforts were made to look at this question as a national one as well. The Balkan Communist Federation, as early as its Fifth Conference in Moscow (December 8-
12, 1922) expressed its dissatisfaction with the treatment of Macedonia by the Balkan communist parties, and soon afterwards decided to separate the party organization in Macedonia from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) and to connect it directly to the Balkan Communist Federation (BCF).  That Mace donia did not receive the appropriate aid from either the CPY or the Bulgarian Communist Party, nor from the BCF, was confirmed by the Macedonian delegate at the CPY Second Conference (May 9-12, 1923), Stefan Popivanov.  Its reso- lution, among other things, stated that the population in Macedonia wanted its own "autonomous and independent state", in the spirit of the principle of "the
full acknowledgement of the slogan on the right to self-determination of nations, including secession". 
The subsequent plenum of the CPY Central Party Council (May 13-16, 1923) went even further than that, and, accepting that "the Macedo- nian question can be decided only in a Balkan federation", concluded that "the Macedonians are an ethnographic transition between the Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks".  This view was also accepted by the Comintern, and it was no chance that K. Radek's report at the Third Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern (June 12-23,
1923) criticized the Bulgarian Communist Party, under- lining that "Macedonia, populated by peasants, of whom it is difficult to say whether they are Serbs or Bulgarians, has long ago served as an object of dispute between Serbia and
It was in that same year, 1923, that a group of Macedonian intellectuals made an unsuccessful attempt at organizing a legal Macedonian party around which a legal Macedonian movement would develop in Yugoslavia.  At approximately the same time, several numbers of the illegal newspaper Iskra were printed in Veles.  Of special importance was CPY's appeal for a public discussion of the national question in Yugoslavia through the pages of the newspaper Radnik–De- lavec (May 31, 1923). Very significant views were published in the Zagreb party newspaper Borba. The articles of the Croatian communist Ante Ciliga were highly illustrative; he had the opportunity of being directly acquainted with the true aspirations of the Macedonians, as his wife, Dr Ljuba Volčeva, came from Prilep; together they had stayed for some time in the Soviet Union. In his extensive article 'The Self-determination of the Peoples of Yugoslavia', Ciliga writes:
Of the Slavic peoples that live in Yugoslavia there are also the Macedonians. Throughout the 19th century they developed as an independent people. All the efforts of the Serbian bourgeoisie to make them Serbian have so far failed. They are a separate national entity and they should be granted all the rights deriving from it. Our movement made a mistake when it did not as early as 1919 start issuing publications in the Macedonian language for the Macedonian population. Opening schools in the Macedonian language should also be insisted on. The population itself will then decide whether they want to send their children to schools with instruction in Serbian or Macedonian. 
Accordingly, there were no dilemmas as to whether or not there was a separate Macedonian nation;  the important thing was to accept it as a reality and enable its free development. Even though Ciliga was in favour of an independent Mace- donia, at that moment he supported Macedonia's autonomy within the borders of Yugoslavia, as "we see in its autonomy the first step towards independence".  At the Sixth Conference of the BCF (December 1923) the Bulgarian communist activist, Vasil Kolarov, said that the Macedonians "want to be united into a Macedonian nation",  and the resolution adopted at the Vitoša Conference of the BCP (May 1924) expressed concepts which are not far away from this tendency.  Although not sufficiently clearly, the ethnic individuality of the Macedonian people was also reflected in the pamphlet printed (in cooperation with Stefan Popivanov) and signed by Kosta Novakovič, entitled Macedonia to the Macedo- nians! The Land to the Farmers! (1924) as a publication of the Independent Workers' Party of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. It was also no coincidence that the resolution of the Fifth Congress of the Comintern (1924) recommended the CPY to fight for self-determination of the peoples of Yugoslavia with a demand "for the secession of Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia from the body of the Yugoslav state and for the establishment of independent republics of these regions". 
In the Platform of the CPY Central Committee for the municipal elections (1926), the communists were advised to point to "the concrete facts of national oppression: the ban on the Macedonian language and schools, the ban on Macedonian names under the State Protection Law", etc. 
The official party documents stated that in the Vardar section of Macedonia there lived "630,000 Macedonians",  and on August 23, 1926, the secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Macedonia insisted on including a special item about the national question in Macedonia on the agenda for the forthcoming plenum of the CPY Central Committee, where the
reporter would be the Central Committee member from Macedonia. 
The resolution concerning the activities on the renewal of the Macedonian national revo- lutionary movement, adopted by the Regional Conference of the Communist Party in Macedonia (1926), called for a struggle "for the most basic cultural and political rights of the Macedonian people, such as the right to the Macedonian language in schools, in books, in names, and the right to a name and an organization of the Macedonian people in Yugoslavia".  All this was a
reflection of internal devel- opments and of the aspirations of the Macedonian people, which at that moment were favourably received only by the avant-garde of the workers' movement. These facts were undoubtedly well known to the Sixth Congress of the Comintern (July 1928) and to the Eighth Conference of the BCF, held shortly afterwards. All this found concrete expression in the formulations of the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in Dresden (October-November 1928), where the delegate from Macedonia, Kočo Racin, took an active part.  The foundation of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) in 1925 marked a new stage in the Macedonian liberation movement.  Even though in the beginning it could not openly and clearly proclaim its national programme, with its consolidation, the national component became more and more emphatic. Starting from 1928 the Macedonian national entity was also accepted by the CPY and some other parties in the Balkans. This was increasingly reflected in the pages of the journal Makedonsko Delo. 
An organization within the Macedonian progressive movement which came to particular prominence was the Goce Delčev Macedonian Popular Student Group (1930), active in the Pirin section of Macedonia and among the Macedonian
émigrés (mostly in Bulgaria). In the period 1931-1934, it continually published several printed mouthpieces (Makedonski Studentski List, Makedonska Studentska Tribuna and Makedonska Mladež), and the newspaper Makedonsko Zname (1932-1934) became the unoffi- cial legal mouthpiece of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United).  As far as the Aegean section of Macedonia was concerned, it was difficult for any Macedonian group to establish itself more firmly, but IMRO (United), sup- ported by the Communist Party of Greece, in the period 1913-1935, through the newspaper Rizospastis, strongly and clearly expressed the historical ideals of the Macedonian people.  As for the Vardar part of Macedonia, which was also harshly oppressed in ethnic terms, except in the early period, IMRO (United) could not establish itself, as it had no support from anyone. The great legal proceedings against the leaders and adherents of this organization in 1929 showed its genuine national concepts for the future development of the Macedonian people and the Balkans in general.  The year 1932 saw the start of activity in Skopje and the whole of the Vardar section of Macedonia by the Macedonian Youth Revolution- ary Organization (MORO), which attracted virtually all the more
prominent young activists, who were later to stand at the head of the national liberation movement.  The Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in Macedonia, led by Kočo Racin, was founded in 1933 in Skopje. 
This was a new step forward towards the affirmation of Macedonian national thought and action, while the foundation of the Vardar Macedonian Cultural- Educational Society in Zagreb (1934) represented probably the most important and most enduring Macedonian association which fought for the affirmation of Macedonian national individuality and of the Macedonian language as a literary standard in Vardar Macedonia.
All this indicated that Macedonian national consciousness was already a consciousness of the masses of the Macedonian people in all the sections of divided Macedonia, and that all the actors fighting for territory in this part of the world had to reckon with this fact. Even the Vrhovist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, from 1932 onwards, started to give way before this option and in the Pirin region had to conduct a policy of Macedonian ethnic individuality, and even introduced a special subject in the schools (Macedonian history) and envisaged the introduction of instruction in the Macedonian language. 
In 1933, however, there was a split in Sofia within the Regional Committee of IMRO (United) for Macedonia under Bulgaria, when Vasil Hadžikimov was revealed as a provocateur, planted by the police, and refused to agree with the rest of the members "that the Macedonians are a separate people and that the Macedo- nian people from Pirin Macedonia is under national oppression". 
At the same time the newspaper Makedonsko Zname took an even firmer position and openly declared: "The Macedonian progressive movement is a national one, as its goal is the national liberation of Macedonia. It is not a party movement, nor a movement of a particular group or class, but according to its character it is broadly popular and democratic, as its very goal (the national liberation of Macedonia) is a broadly popular and democratic task. The progressive Macedonian movement supports a united front consisting, in addition to the other subjugated peoples, of the oppressed classes of the ruling nations, but this by no means indicates that it gives priority to social rather than national questions." 
On January 15, 1934, there was a 'session' of the secessionist and fictive 'Action Committee of the Macedonian Progressive Movement', headed by Vasil Hadžikimov, which "expelled" the five most active leaders of IMRO (United) among the Macedonian émigrés in Bulgaria and in the Pirin region. 
On February 5, 1934, it started printing its own mouthpiece, Makedonska Borba, where it defined its counter-position very clearly: "There is no Macedonian nation, as there is no national oppression in the Petrič region. There is only a Macedonian people as a political whole consisting of the national groups: Bulgarians, Turks, Aroma- nians, Greeks and Serbs." Hadžikimov designated the activity of the Regional Committee of IMRO (United) as "red Vrhovism" and publicly denounced its members, as a result of which "many went underground and the police started pursuing some of them".  There was a sharp polemic between Makedonska Borba, on the one hand, and Makedonsko Zname and Makedonska Mladež, on the other, which lasted until the coup of the Zveno Group in Bulgaria. Shortly thereafter, all progressive publications, including Makedonsko Zname and Make- donska Mladež, were banned.  In those circumstances and confrontations, the Comintern was impelled to declare its position. In 1932, the Macedonian Dino Ќosev gave a lecture in Moscow on the distinct Macedonian national consciousness.  The question was also studied in the highest institutions of the Comintern. In the autumn of 1933, Dimitar Vlahov and Georgi Karadžov arrived in Moscow and took part in a number of meetings and conferences, after which, on January 11, 1934, the Political Secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Comintern adopted its final and historic decision on the Macedonian nation. 
This was indeed an inevitable acknowledgement of the actual situation, im- posed by the development of the Macedonian people itself, but at the same time it was the first official recognition of the Macedonian national entity on the international scene, which had an exceptionally beneficial influence on the subsequent development of the Macedonian national liberation struggle and affirmation. The Macedonians thus not only secured support from the Comintern as a leading institution, but also from the individual communist and workers' parties in the world, and, most importantly, from the parties within the states that controlled Macedonia.
The text of this historic document was prepared in the period December 20,
1933 – January 7, 1934, by the Balkan Secretariat of the Comintern. It was
accepted by the Political Secretariat in Moscow on January 11, 1934, and approved by the Executive Committee of the Comintern. It was published for the first time in the April issue of Makedonsko Delo under the title 'The Situation in Macedonia and the Tasks of IMRO (United)'.  After replying to those who, even within the progressive movement, denied the existence of a separate Macedonian nation, the Resolution, among other things, stated:
The bourgeoisie of the ruling nations in the three imperialist states among which Macedonia is partitioned, tries to camouflage its national oppression, denying the national features of the Macedonian people and the existence of the Macedonian nation.
Commenting on the situation of the Macedonian people in Macedonia's three parts and the position of those states towards the national ideals of the Macedo- nians, the text emphasized:
Bulgarian chauvinists, exploiting the kinship between the Macedonian and Bulgarian languages, claim that the Macedonians are Bulgarians, and in this way try to justify their control of the Petrič region and their policy of annexation extending to the whole of Macedonia.
Stating the aims and tasks of IMRO (United), the Resolution made it clear:
In waging its struggle against the dismemberment and subjugation of the Macedonian people and against all forms of cultural, social and economic oppres- sion, and for national liberation and unification of all the parts of Macedonia, IMRO (United) should reveal the true purpose of all speculations aiming to deny the Macedonians their character of a nation and prevent them from pervading their own environment.
The extensive text of this Resolution continued by unmasking the role of "the Mihajlovists as faithful agents of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie and of Italian fascism" and pointed to "the revolutionary struggle of the Macedonian labouring masses for their own liberation" from the ruling states, concluding that "the struggle for a united and independent republic of the Macedonian labouring masses is not only the work of the latter but also of the working class and the peasants of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece, fighting under the leadership of the class organizations of the revolutionary proletariat." Enumerating the weaknesses of IMRO (United) itself in the three parts of Macedonia, the Resolution issued the following directives:
IMRO (United) should become a mass organization of workers from the whole of Macedonia, guiding them in the struggle against their subjugation by the Bulgarian, Serbian and Greek bourgeoisie and landowners and their fascist govern- ments, and for their national liberation and unification. IMRO (United) should organize and direct the struggle against any manifestation of national oppression, against any exclusive law affecting the right of the Macedo- nian masses to use their own mother tongue in all the institutions of government and the society, and for their freedom to study in it and publish books.
After emphasizing the relevant economic factors, the text pointed out:
In this struggle the main slogan of IMRO (United) should be the right of the Macedonian people to self-determination, including the right to secession from the subjugator states and the winning of a united and independent republic of the Macedonian labouring masses.
Despite the fact that this was formally a Resolution of IMRO (United), it was a document adopted by the Comintern, which was immediately published in all the mouthpieces of this international communist centre. It was printed in different languages and was understood as a right of the Macedonian people, but also as an obligation of the communist parties and organizations in neighbouring Balkan countries to help the justified struggle of the Macedonians for liberation and unification. This was at the same time the first truly effective support for the centuries-old struggle of the Macedonian people; as a result, they oriented them- selves towards the international workers' movement which inspired them with faith in a righteous victory.
Furthermore, it was the External Bureau of the Bulgarian Communist Party that tried "to urge Slavic scholars from Moscow and Kiev to work out a plan for the creation of a Macedonian literary language". 
In June 1935, Aleksandar S. Veličkov in Kiev wrote a letter to Petar Iskrov, member of the Executive Commit- tee of the Comintern in Moscow and a Macedonian, in which, among other things, he wrote:
Bulakhovsky and Drinov are also well-known abroad. I talked to these Slavic scholars and they promised to write a number of scholarly studies on various questions concerning different Slavonic dialects on the Balkan Peninsula. There are several professors working in the field of Slavonic linguistics here: Bulakhovsky, Grunsky, Drinov and others
Then Veličkov passed on to the concrete problem:
We have focussed on the scholarly analysis of the following subject: 'Is the Macedonian language an individual Slavonic language or is it only a variation (speech form) of the Bulgarian language?' All the Slavic scholars in Ukraine agree that the Macedonians are an individual Slavic people, but as far as the language is concerned, there are differences of opinion. Some believe that there is no specific Macedonian literary language, others think that the Macedonian language is an individual Slavonic language with its own characteristics distinguishing it from all other languages. There were attempts at the establishment of an individual Macedonian literary language, particularly in the first half of the nineteenth century (for example, Grigor Prličev's Autobiography, the works of Kiril Pejčinović and Joakim Krčovski), but as a result of the strengthening of nationalistic propaganda in Macedonia (Bulgarian, Serbian), the Macedonian intelligentsia started using Bulgarian and Serbian, and also the Greek literary language.
Further on Veličkov (himself insufficiently informed on the historical develop- ment of the Macedonian written language) wrote:
I do not know whether our party and the Comintern have a precisely and fully defined position on the language of the Macedonians; if there is such a position, if the BCP and the Comintern consider that the Macedonian language is an individual language, will you let us know immediately so that we can direct research work on the correct track. The study of the question of the language is of considerable political significance, especially now, bearing in mind the fascist theories on race and ethnicity, etc., and also the strengthening of nationalistic preaching by Bulgarian and Serbian bourgeois scholars. 
On June 25, 1935, Vladimir Poptomov (V. Gromov) replied to the External Bureau of the BCP in connection with Veličkov's letter and the enclosed note from Bogdanov:
The readiness that some distinguished Soviet Slavic scholars in Kiev have expressed to Comrade Veličkov for the start of special research into the character of the Macedonian language is of great significance and should be encouraged and used to the greatest possible extent.
Then the Macedonian Popotomov added:
The question of the character of the Macedonian people as an individual national and historical entity and also the question of the individual character of the Macedonian language are questions which have long been waiting for their scientific Marxist clarification and are of great current political and revolutionary significance to the people of the Balkans. The affirmative verification of that question represents the objective basis for the thesis of the Comintern and the communist parties of the people of the Balkans concerning the self-determination of the Macedonian people. That position of the Comintern found its concrete formulation at the Fifth Congress in Lausanne, supporting a united and independent Macedonia. And the Resolution on the Macedonian Question of the B[alkan] L[ender] S[ecretariat], of February 1934, points to the principal direction concerning the question of the Macedonian nation and language.
After describing the oppression of the Macedonian people by "the ruling nations in the three imperial states among which Macedonia is divided", Poptomov pointed out:
...] with regard to any exclusive law affecting the right of the Macedonian masses to the use of their mother tongue in all the institutions of the state and society, for the freedom to study in it and publish books. IMRO (United) should organize and direct the daily struggle against any manifestations of national oppression inside IMRO (United), waging a struggle against the dismemberment and subjugation of the Macedonian people and against all forms of cultural, social and economic oppression, and for the national liberation and unification of all the parts of Macedonia; it should expose the true meaning of all speculations aiming to deny the Macedonians their character of a nation
Explaining the historical reasons why it had been impossible in the past "to form a literary language" of the Macedonian dialects, Poptomov concluded that "the lack of such a language cannot serve as a basis for denying in general the individual character of the Macedonian language spoken by millions of the masses of the Macedonian people". Therefore he insisted on "the necessity of a prompt start on a scholarly elaboration of these questions," because they were posed from within, by the Macedonians themselves. He continued:
How pressing these questions are can be seen from the vivid interest shown both in the party and in Macedonian and national-patriotic circles in Macedonia and among the émigré community. And the leadership circles of IMRO (United)
have long persistently proposed this, trying to get Soviet scholars interested in the Macedonian question, and have even made concrete proposals to ask Professor Derzhavin to write a pamphlet on the question of the Macedonian nation. As far as the Petrič region is concerned, these questions are of even greater significance, because there is not only the Bulgarian bourgeoisie, but also its agents in the form of the Macedonian Vrhovists, who are conducting widespread propaganda about the purported Bulgarian national character of Macedonia. I believe that the elaboration of the Macedonian question should move along the following lines: (1) Elaboration of the question of the Macedonian nation; (2) Elaboration of the question of the Macedonian language, and (3) Critique of bourgeois theories on these questions.
Poptomov also made a practical proposal:
[F]or the organization of this work the most appropriate solution will be if the E[xternal] B[ureau] appoints a special brigade which will work under its control. The task of the brigade will be to gather not only the Soviet scholars in Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad and other places in the Soviet Union, where they deal with the Macedonian issues, [but also] to make it easier for them and help them in their work, to report on the results obtained and their use by the EB, etc. That brigade should consist of: Comrade Veličkov, who, it seems, can be useful in this area, Comrade Gachev (in Moscow) and two other academicians — historians and philosophers — if there are such. Comrade Dino Ќosev (Moscow), who has certain qualifications in these questions and can be useful, could also be co- opted in the group.
As far as Veličkov was concerned,
in reply to his letter, he should be notified of the position of the Comintern on the question of the Macedonian nation and language, so that the start of the work in Kiev would not be delayed.
At that same period the young Soviet philologist, Samuil B. Bernstein, while searching through the Odessa State Archives, found the proof sheets of the first
issue of Misirkov's Vardar (1905), 
and later wrote the first contribution on the Macedonian language in the first
Soviet encyclopaedia. 
There are documents confirming that there were official proposals that the periodicals of IMRO (United) be printed in "a popular Macedonian dialect", instead of Bulgarian.  In the "secret" report of V. Gromov (Vladimir Poptomov) of September 11, 1935, entitled Konkretnite v'prosi na nacional-revoljucionnoto dviženie na Balkanite sled VII kongres na Kominterna (Concrete questions of the national-revolutionary movement in the Balkans after the Seventh Congress of the Comintern), the section dealing with Macedonia (in Yugoslavia) demanded "pub- lication in Macedonia of a popular people's newspaper in the Macedonian lan- guage" and "the writing of a popular pamphlet about the Macedonian question and the tasks of IMRO (United) in the Macedonian language for widespread distribu- tion in Macedonia". In the section dealing with Macedonia under Greece, Gromov defined the following task as the second: "Publication of a Macedonian newspaper and two popular pamphlets in the Macedonian language: the first should treat the past of the Macedonian national and revolutionary movement, and the second — the present situation in Macedonia and the tasks of IMRO (United)." In all probability, after the abolition of the External Bureau of the Central Committee of IMRO (United) in Paris and "after the reorganization of the publication of Makedonsko Delo", it was suggested that its editor, Vlahov, came "for a vacation and medical treatment in the USSR". It is significant that Gromov specified another very important idea which was unfortunately not put into practice: "Setting up regular links with Salonika, where it is presumed that the Unifying political centre of IMRO (United) should be and where the newspaper Makedonsko Delo should be published. It is necessary to coordinate this with our Greek comrades at this very moment." So Makedonsko Delo was to become a "central newspaper", printed in Salonika and distributed also to the Macedonians in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
The Resolution of the Comintern on the Macedonian question immediately reinvigorated the Macedonian press in the Balkans and in émigré circles across the ocean. No legal periodicals in the Macedonian language were allowed to be published, but exceptionally important mouthpieces appeared using the official languages of the countries where the Macedonians or Macedonian émigrés lived. Some of them printed texts in Macedonian as well.
In a period of only two years, until the 'abolition' of the External Bureau of the Central Committee of IMRO (United), a large number of legal and illegal news- papers and journals were published in Bulgaria. In addition to Makedonsko
Zname and Makedonska Mladež, whose last issues appeared on July 1 and May
6, 1934, respectively, when all progressive periodicals were banned in Bulgaria, in the years 1935-1936 the two most important Macedonian publications, Makedonski Vesti (January 24, 1935 – October 16, 1936)  and, for a brief period, Makedonska Zemja (January 23 – March 18, 1936) were legally printed. Besides them, the following illegal publications also appeared: Obedinist (February 1 – July 1935), Nožot (? – May 5, 1935), Makedonska Revoljucija (May–June 1935), Hristo Trajkov (January 1936), Bjuletin na V'trešnata Makedonska Revoljucionna Or- ganizacija (Obedinena) (July 1936) and Makedonsko Edinstvo (October 1936). 
The people from the Pirin part of Macedonia and the émigrés in Bulgaria accepted the programme of IMRO (United) as representing their own ideals, and this organization started playing the role of a sole Macedonian communist party over the entire ethnic territory of the divided land.
Yet, taking into account the interests and integrity of the states that controlled Macedonia and due to the fact that IMRO (United) envisaged first Macedonia's unification and only later its incorporation as a whole within a possible Balkan federation, on the insistence of the parties coming from these states and as part of the concept of a united anti-fascist front, following the Seventh Congress of the Comintern in Moscow a decision was passed on the silent 'abolition' of IMRO (United) and the incorporation of its members within the parties of the correspond- ing countries.
The political decision on the 'abolition' of IMRO (United) itself remains still insufficiently studied. It can be inferred from the general platform concerning "the popular front" and the protection of the countries between which Macedonia was partitioned. The first to raise the question of the abolition of IMRO (United) was the Communist Party of Yugoslavia at its Plenum in Split, in June 1935, even before the Seventh Congress of the Comintern, even though different views were ex- pressed during the discussion.  It is important, however, that the Comintern itself maintained a much more careful approach concerning the question of the Macedonian national liberation struggle. Shortly after the Seventh Congress, there was a special meeting of the Balkan section of the Comintern in Moscow, where the activity of IMRO (United) was analysed. At that time this organization had stepped up even more its activity in the Aegean and, in particular, the Pirin part of Macedonia as well as among the émigrés in Europe
and overseas countries. This was indeed the most fruitful period bringing the strongest affirmation of the Macedonian nation in the period between the two world wars. This activity was also developed among the Macedonians in Yugoslavia, but only through the Vardar Cultural and Educational Society in Zagreb (later in Belgrade and Skopje), and also in particular through MANAPO (the Macedonian National Movement), but with a concept of struggle extending no further than the borders of Yugoslavia, without the vision of a single Macedo- nian national liberation front in all the parts of the dismembered land, and without even mentioning the prospects of unification.
Even though in the autumn of 1936 IMRO (United) was severely persecuted in Bulgaria and almost ceased its public activity, we should bear in mind that it was as late as March 20, 1937, that the Executive Committee of the Comintern worked out "a new Project-directive for the tasks of the Macedonian movement". It was clear that the Executive Committee of the Comintern assessed that IMRO (United) was still carrying out certain activities among the Macedonians in Bulgaria and Greece, but it also explained that this organization had already been "rendered obsolete": "The experience of the past years," says this Project- directive, "has shown that the existence of a single Macedonian national- revolutionary organizations for the three parts of Macedonia is not expedient", because "the concrete national demands and organizational forms of struggle of the Macedonian masses in the three parts of Macedonia are beginning to become increasingly diverse". Therefore,
A single and independent Macedonia is the political ideal of the entire Macedo- nian people, towards which it has always aspired and which derives from its right to national self-determination, including secession. But to speak and write today, in the present internal and international situation, of an 'independent Macedonia' as a pressing task of the Macedonian nat[ional] lib[eration] movement is not expedient. It alienates not a small number of democratic and progressive forces in the Balkan and non-Balkan countries from the Macedonian national liberation movement, which could otherwise be sympathetic, or even act as allies, to the Macedonian masses in the struggle for the enlargement of their rights and freedoms along the road of democratization of states.
The directive applied to all the parts of Macedonia and was addressed to the three communist parties, demanding from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia that it fight "for the elementary national-cultural, educational and linguistic rights
and freedoms, for national equality", but that at that stage "the slogan of political autonomy for Macedonia within the framework of the federal democratic state can be used only for the purpose of propaganda"; yet the CPY should "refrain from open interference in the Macedonian movement, from giving orders or imposing political or tactical platforms incompatible with the broad national character of this movement".  It was obvious that the Balkan communist parties had succeeded in persuading the Comintern that it should avoid the "parallelism" in order to strengthen "the popular front" of these countries. IMRO (United) had to disappear formally from the Macedonian political scene. It endangered the integrity of these Balkan states. As a result, the Comintern frequently oscillated in its practical policy on this question. For example, the secretary-general of the Comintern, Georgi Dimitrov, first ordered Dimitar Vlahov not to print the already typeset material for the last issue (200) of Makedonsko Delo, the mouthpiece of IMRO (United),  but later, immediately after the Seventh Congress of the Comintern, a Project-directive on the work of the communist parties in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece concerning the Macedonian national-revolutionary movement was issued, in which IMRO (United) was strongly supported and the appropriate communist parties were obliged to offer it assistance "in the building of a general Macedonian national revolutionary front, for the struggle against national oppression and for the self- determination of Macedonia", recommending even the establishment of a political and organizational centre inside the land and, what was particularly significant, the publication of a central newspaper "in the Macedonian lan- guage". 
Altogether, it seemed that the Comintern "oriented itself towards a painless, slow and unforced dissolution of IMRO (United) in all three parts of Macedonia, depriving it of its functions in the class movement". 
The Macedonians in Bulgaria long opposed this abolition and continued to print their mouthpieces, but towards the end of 1936, when left without adequate support and after the great legal proceedings of its members and leaders, their organization had to cease its activity.
This, however, did not mean discontinuation of the struggle of the Macedonians for the achievement of their final objectives. If it was impossible for the half-un- derground Macedonian Literary Circle (MLK), set up as part of the editorial board of Makedonski Vesti (1936),  to work, two years later it continued its activity
as an underground Macedonian Literary Circle, under the leadership of Nikola Jonkov Vapcarov (1938-1941). Numerous Macedonian literary works were produced under its aegis — in both Macedonian and Bulgarian — and some of its members were later to become the founders of the Writers' Association of Macedonia (active up to the present day) as well as founders of other scholarly and cultural institutions and associations in the liberated part of Macedonia. It must be emphasized that the Macedonians in Bulgaria in this period made attempts at publishing a printed mouthpiece on a regular basis. They first tried to reorganize the newspaper Globus (1934-1937), but it was banned; the newspaper Goce (1938) was ready for print, but it, too, was not allowed to leave the printing shop. In 1939 there finally appeared the first (and only) number of the miscellany entitled Ilinden 1903: it, too, could not continue its existence. 
At that time progressive Macedonians abundantly used the pages of the Bulgarian progressive press, even taking over some of the periodicals (such as Literaturen Kritik). Of special significance was the publication of individual items. Some ten collections of poetry by members of the Macedonian Literary Circle appeared, and also important studies and national-political tracts were printed, such as Makedonskitja slavjani (The Macedonian Slavs) by Angel Dinev (1938) and Makedonskijat v'pros i balkanskoto edinstvo (The Macedonian Question and Balkan Unity) by Kosta Lambrev (1938). Of particular importance were the publications Nacionalno-porobeni narodi i nacionalni malcinstva (Nationally- Subjugated Peoples and National Minorities, 1938), V'zraždaneto na Makedonija i Ilindenskoto v'zstanie (The Rebirth of Macedonia and the Ilinden Uprising, 1939) and Borci za nacionalna svoboda (Fighters for National Freedom, 1940) by Kosta Veselinov [as part of the K'lbo ('Circle') National Scientific Library], which served as genuine textbooks for the national education of the younger Macedonian generation, and it was no chance that immediately after the Liberation (1944) some of these pamphlets became the first textbooks of national history in the newly-es- tablished Macedonian schools.
And while after the establishment of Metaxas's military-fascist dictatorship in Greece the Macedonians were unable to boast of any public accomplishments in this area, in the Vardar part of Macedonia it was in the years 1936-1941 that the major achievements were made in the affirmation of the Macedonian national literature and culture and of the Macedonian language as a literary standard. The Vardar Macedonian Society in Zagreb printed the first issue of Naš Vesnik (March
31, 1937),  which, among other things, printed poetry in the mother tongue, but it was banned from the very outset. Shortly thereafter, the journal Luč (1937- 1938)  began to be printed in Skopje, publishing a large number of poems in Macedonian, the play Pečalbari (Migrant Workers) by Anton Panov and other materials of major significance to Macedonian literary and cultural history. When this periodical, too, was suppressed, in Maribor there appeared the first and only number of the newspaper Južna Stvarnost (1939).  The unofficial mouthpiece of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party in Macedonia, Naša Reč (1939- 1941), started appearing somewhat earlier. 
Despite its being frequently banned and persecuted, this periodical played an important role in the preparation of Macedonian young people from this part of Macedonia for the approaching fateful events.
In addition to these legal publications, this was the period which saw the publication of the first underground periodicals in the Macedonian language: Bilten, mouthpiece of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party in Mace- donia (July 20 – October 30, 1940)  and Iskra, mouthpiece of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party in Macedonia (January 1941).  Following Misirkov's Vardar (1905) and the Veles newspaper Iskra (1922),  these periodicals continued the tendency towards the establishment of a Macedonian press in the Macedonian language. Their significance was even greater as they man- aged to maintain that tradition in the period of the National Liberation War and maintain the continuity of ideology and practice in the building of the modern printed word.
This was also a time when the Macedonian language in the Vardar section of Macedonia was in widespread literary use. This tendency was best reflected in drama (Vasil Iljoski, Anton Panov, Risto Krle, Radoslav Petkovski, etc.), and the Skopje State Theatre staged several plays in the native tongue. 
Poetry was also an important medium: a pleiad of mostly young writers started publishing poems in progressive Yugoslav periodicals,  and the first collections of poetry appeared: Idi prolet (The Spring is Coming) by Volče Naumčeski (1939)  and Beli mugri (White Dawns) by Kočo Racin (1939). 
This was a period when the Macedonian literary word established itself with its artistic achievements, experiencing a great affirmation and merging into the
currents of the National Liberation War, when the first books in the history of free Macedonian literature were printed.
The Macedonian émigré community always played an important part in the liberation struggle of the Macedonian people. In the 1930s, Macedonian émigrés in North and South America played a particularly significant role. Such a journal- istic activity developed there that it occupies a special place in the history of the Macedonian press. 
Of all émigré publications, the journal Makedonsko Delo (1925-1935), the official mouthpiece of IMRO (United) printed in Europe, had the greatest significance and impact. Of the periodicals published across the Ocean, we should mention Makedonski Bjuletin (1930-1931), the first mouthpiece of the Macedonian progressive movement in America. After the founding congress of the Macedonian People's League of America, the monthly Balkansko Sdruženie (1931-1934) started its publication. Precisely at the moment when the newspaper Makedonsko Zname was banned in Sofia, after the crucial fourth congress of the Macedonian People's League in Chicago, starting from July 1,
1934, there ap- peared probably the most important mouthpiece of Macedonian
émigrés in Amer- ica, Trudova Makedonija (1934-1938), which, in addition to Makedonsko Delo, was the only Macedonian periodical at that time which openly and freely propa- gated the Macedonian nation and national culture, including the Macedonian language. It continued to appear even after IMRO (United) was
'abolished' and its mouthpieces banned, and became the sole banner under which Macedonians from all parts of the divided fatherland gathered, where activists from the Balkans cooperated and where the most important documents of the Macedonian progres- sive movement of the period were published, including the article 'Why We Macedonians are a Separate Nation', under the
pseudonym Bistriški (Vasil Ivanovski). 
Trudova Makedonija became a transmitter of the authentic ideology of the Macedonian people for a free and united Macedonian republic. Yet at that time the platform of Trudova Makedonija was not acceptable to the Comintern, and at the conference of the Bulgarian-Macedonian Workers' Educational Clubs in the USA, in Detroit, on January 30, 1938, the Macedonian newspaper Trudova Makedonija and the Bulgarian S'znanie were united into a single and joint "newspaper of the Bulgarians and Macedonians in America" under the new name Narodna Volja (February 11, 1938 – 1978). This mouthpiece continued to unite
journalists and associates from all three parts of Macedonia and to cultivate the ideology of the previous newspaper. It continued to publish highly important documents of the Macedonian liberation movement which could not be printed in the Balkans, making it possible for them to reach the international public. 
The impact of these periodicals was even greater considering the fact that some articles were published in both English and Macedonian.
There were also other Macedonian periodicals published by the Macedonian
émigré community, such as Proletersko Delo (Toronto, 1934-1935), Edinstvo (Toronto, 1936-1940) and Narodna Tribuna (Buenos Aires, 1936-1939), but the most important seems to have been "the mouthpiece of the Macedonian progres- sive group in Buenos Aires, Argentina", Makedonski Glas (1935-1939), which in South America was what Trudova Makedonija was in the northern part of the continent.
Besides these periodicals, we should also mention the annual collections published after each congress of the Macedonian People's League, bringing articles of major historical significance for the affirmation of Macedonian national and cultural thinking and action. We should also point out that the Macedonian People's League issued other publications, some of them in English.
In conclusion, we can say that the Macedonian national development was able to maintain a line of full continuity. In their authentic struggle for national affirmation the Macedonians found individuals and organizations that offered them precious support, but the Resolution of the Comintern in early 1934 was undoubtedly the most important act contributing to the international affirmation of the Macedonian national identity. It gave the Macedonian national liberation movement a new dimension, which led to the full establishment of Macedonian as a literary standard, of Macedonian literature in the native tongue and of the Macedonian nation and culture in all its aspects. The Resolution was a document that sanctioned the reality of the Macedonian national consciousness and helped its affirmation in an effective way. From this point to the Second Ilinden there was no other road for the Macedonians. The task was to be completed, although with some compromises, at the First Session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia on August 2, 1944.
- Vrčinac, ,,Prva, Druga i Treča konferencija KPJ (prema zapisnicima, rezolucijama i drugim materijalima sa svih konferencija)", in: Istorija XX vijeka, knj. 1, Beograd, 1959, 250.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, jugoslavskat a komuni st i česka par t i я i makedonski яt vъ pros 1919-1945, S of i я, 1985, 89.
- Ibid., 91.
- Dušan Lukač, Radnički pokret u Jugoslaviji i nacionalno pitanje 1918-1941, Beograd, 1972, 107.
- Rasš i r ennì à pl enum I spol ni t el Ånogo komi t et a Kommuni st i českogo i nt er naci onal a (12-23 i ю nя 1923 goda), Moskva, 1923, 257.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 104.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Koč o Rac i n. I st or i sk o-l i t er at ur ni i st r až uvawa. P r i l ozi za r azvi t okot na makedonskat a kul t ur no-naci onal na mi sl a, S kopje, 1983, 47-48.
- Mbt [Ante Ciliga' pseudonym], ,,Samoodreğenje naroda u Jugoslaviji", Borba, II, 30, Zagreb, 16.VIII.1923.
- This was also confirmed by the Veles party activist hiding behind the initial Z in his article,,Nac i o- nal ne bor be u Makedoni ji ", Radni k–Delavec, II, 57, Beogr ad, 1.oe II.1923. Another important contribution in this respect was the article written by an unsigned author from Veles,,,Naci onal no pi t awe u Makedoni ji ", Radni k–Delavec, II, 76, Beogr ad, 5.IH.1923.
- , ,,Za jasnoču i odlučnost u nacionalnom pitanju", Borba, II, 38, 18.H.1923. See also the previous issue of this newspaper (October 11, 1923).
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 119.
- Geor gi V. Di mi t r ov, S t anovi ë e i pol i t i ka na BKP po makedonski я vъ pros, Bl agoevgr ad, 1971, 31-32.
- I st or i jsk i ar hi v Komuni st i č k e par t i je Jugosl avi je, 2, Beogr ad, 1949, 421.
- I zvori za i st or i ju r adni čkog pokr et a i r evol uci je u Cr noj Gor i (1918-1945), S er i ja I, kw. 1 (1918-1929). Odabr ao i pr i r edi o dr Jovan R. Bojovi č, Ti t ogr ad, 1971, 496-497. The same views were expressed by the Macedonian communists themselves in a 1927 leaflet published by Makedonsko del o and Bal kanska f eder aci я, and reprinted in Zagreb Borba of January 1, 1928. Here is an extract from this document: "The Macedonians have been deprived of all basic civil and political rights, and they have been most terribly oppressed nationally by the hegemonistic regime. In the courts, in the schools and in the administrative authorities they have no right to their own language. Their children cannot even pray to God in their own language" [Dr. Ivan Kat ar xi ev, Vr eme na zr eewe. Makedonskot o naci onal no praš awe meGju dvet e vojni (1919-1930), I, Skopje, 1977, 422]. In 1928 the newspaper Makedonsko del o published an article entitled 'For the Freedom of Macedonia and Montenegro", also reprinted in Borba, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, where, among other things, a specific demand was put forward for "the introduction of the language the Macedonian people speak in all the schools and institutions of the society" (Ibid., 425).
- Kost a Novakovi č, Makedoni ja Makedonci ma! Zemq a zemq oradni ci ma!, Čačak, 1966, 52.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 179.
- Mar i ja Mi l oš evska, ,,Značaen dokument vo zaost avni nat a na Kočo Raci n", Del o 74, HIII, 1-2, Š t i p, 1986, 63.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Kočo Raci n ..., 17-20.
- Ivan Kat ar xi ev, ,,VMRO (Obedi net a), pojava, r azvoj i dejnost ", in: CK na VMRO(Ob), Pr edavni ci t e na makedonskot o del o, Redakci ja i koment ar Ivan Kat ar xi ev, Kul t ur a, Skopje, 1983, 5-56.
- Dr. Ivan Katarxiev, Vr eme na zr eewe. Makedonskot o naci onal no praš awe meGju dvet e vojni (1919-1930), I-II, Kul t ur a, S kopje, 1977.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot nar od i makedonskat a naci ja ..., II, 481-560; Dr. Bl až e Ri s t ovs ki , Por t r et i i procesi od makedonskat a l i t er at ur na i naci onal na i st or i ja, III, Kul t ur a, S kopje, 1990, 293-318.
- Makedonskot o praš awe na st r ani ci t e od ,,Ri zospast i s" meGju dvet e vojni . I zbor i r edakci ja Josi f P opovski , Kul t ur a, Skopje, 1982.
- Todor G. Zogr af ski i Di mče A. Zogr af ski , KPJ i VMRO (Obedi net a) vo Var dar ska Makedoni ja vo per i odot 1920-1930, I NI , Skopje, 1974; Dr. Ivan Kat ar xi ev, Vr eme na zr eewe ..., I; Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Koč o Rac i n. I st or i sk o-l i t er at ur ni i st r až uvawa. Pr i l ozi za r azvi t okot na makedonskat a kul t ur no-naci onal na mi sl a, Makedonska kni ga, Skopje, 1983, 32-33.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Kočo Raci n ..., 59-176.
- Ibid., 62-127; I l egal ni ot pečat na KPJ vo Var dar ska Makedoni ja meGju dvet e svet ski vojni , t om II, kni ga 2. P odgot vi l Dr. Ivan Kat ar xi ev, Komuni st , S kopje, 1983, 39-55.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Projavi i prof i l i od makedonskat a l i t er at ur na i st or i ja ..., 2. 1982, 159-191.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot nar od i makedonskat a naci ja ..., II, 550-555.
- Angel Di nev, Bugar skat a r abot ni čka par t i ja (k) pr ed sudot na i st or i jat a ..., I, 38 – manuscript in the Archives of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Arhi v na MANU) and also in the Archives Section of the Institute of National History (Ar hi vno oddel eni e na I NI), Sl . Ioe . 32/ 1.
- Makedonsko zname, II, 17, S of i я, 14.HII.1933, 2.
- Rezol ю c i я" , Makedonska bor ba, I, 2, S of i я, 25.II.1934, 2.
- Angel Di nev, op. cit., 38.
- ,,,Makedonsko zname' ë e spr e", Makedonsko zname, III, 31.oe II.1934, 1.
- According to his own words, in Sofia, in May 1967.
- Di mi t ar Vl ahov, Memoari , S kopje, 1970, 356-358; M-r S pi r i don Bl agoev, ,,Š eeset godi ni od Rezol uci jat a za makedonskot o pr aš awe i VMRO(Ob) na Komuni st i čkat a i nt er naci onal a", Večer, 15-16.I.1994, 25.
- ,,P ol ož eni et o v Makedoni я i zadači t e na VMRO (Obedi nena). Edna r ezol ю ci я na CK na VMRO (Obed.)", Makedonsko del o, oe III, 185, [P ar i ž ], Apr i l 1934, 1-2.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 224, according to: C P A, f . 3, op. 4, ar h. ed. 446.
- Dr. Rast i sl av Ter zi oski , ,,Ruski dokument i za posebnost a na makedonski ot nar od", Nova Makedoni ja, ª , 16972, 22.Ioe .1994, 12 and 16973, 23.Ioe .1994, 8; Li na Ž i l a, ,,Komi nt er nat a i pr aš awet o na makedonski ot jazi k", Kul t ur en ž i vot , HHHIH, 6-7, 1994, 73.
- Dr. Rasti sl av Terzi oski , op. cit., 23.Ioe .1994, 8; Li na Ž i l a, op. cit., 74-75. There are considerable differences in the translations of both documents by these two authors.
- S.B. Ber nš t eàn, ,,I z i st or i i makedonskot o l i t er at ur nogo яzi ka. ,Var dar ' K.P . Mi si r ko- va", S l avяnskaя f i l ol ogi я. S borni k st at eà, vì pusk t r et i à. P od r edakci eà pr of . S.B. Ber nš t eàna, Moskva, 1960, 70-71.
- Bol Åš aя sovet skaя ænci kl opedi я, t . 37, Moskva, 1938, 743-744; Cvet an St anoevski , ,,Make- doni ja vo r uski t e i sovet ski t e enci kl opedi i ", Razgl edi , Hoe III, 4, S kopje, 1967, 473.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 224; C P A, f . 10, op. 1, ar h. ed. 75.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Projavi i prof i l i ..., I, 230-246; Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Por t r et i i procesi ..., III, 401-458.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot nar od i makedonskat a naci ja ..., II, 502-510; Dr. Blaž e Ristovski , ,,Nacional ni ot i zraz vo i l egal ni ot pečat na VMRO(Ob)", Razgl edi , HHHoe I, 9-10, 1993, 695-724.
- Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 236-238.
- According to Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 252-254.
- Di mi t ar Vl ahov, Memoari . P r edgovor i r edakci ja VanGja i Kol e Čaš ul e, Skopje, 1970, 364 and 366.
- According to Kostadi n Pal ešutski, op. cit., 246-248.
- Ibid., 248.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , ,,Nepr eki nat kont i nui t et meGju HIH i HH vek", Nova Makedoni ja, Hª , 13469, 21.oe II.1984, 6; Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski l et opi s. Raskopki na l i t er at ur ni i nacional ni t emi, II, Skopje, 1993, 23-46.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Projavi i prof i l i ..., I, 246-258 and 273-317; Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot nar od i makedonskat a naci ja ..., II, 561-634.
- For these events, see: Ibid., 504-505.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Projavi i prof i l i ..., I, 264-266 and II 168-170.
- Ibid., I, 70-77 and 266-271.
- Ivan Kat ar xi ev, Bor ba do pobeda, Ioe . S t udi i i st at i i , 537-559.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Projavi i prof i l i ..., I, 273-272; D. Al eksi ć, ,,Naš a r eč" 1939-1941 Od i st or i jat a na napredni ot pečat vo Makedoni ja, Kul t ur a, S kopje, 1960.
- I l egal ni ot pečat na KPJ vo Var dar ska Makedoni ja ..., 101-194.
- Ibid., 197-222.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Kočo Raci n ..., 47-48.
- eksandar Al eksi ev, Osnovopol ož ni ci na makedonskat a dramskat a l i t er at ur a, II dopol net o i zdani e, Kul t ur a, S kopje, 1976.
- Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot st i h 1900-1944. I st r až uvawa i mat er i jal i , I-II, Mi sl a, Skopje, 1980.
- Vol če Naumčeski , S t i hovi (1939-1941). Redakci ja, pr edgovor i zabel eš ki Dr. Blaže Ristovski , S t udent ski zbor , Skopje, 1979.
- Kočo Raci n, Bel i mugri. P r edgovor , i zbor , bel eš ki i r edakci ja Al eksandar S pasov, Misla, Skopje, 1981.
- For more details concerning this activity see: Dr. Blaže Ristovski , Makedonski ot nar od i makedonskat a naci ja ..., II, 511-522.
- Tr udova Makedoni я, I, 6, Det r oi t , Dekem. 1934, 4-5.
- Blaže Ristovski , ,,I l i nden vo pečat ot na makedonskat a emi gr aci ja", in: Pri l ozi za I l i n- den, oe , Bi t ol a–Kr uš evo, 1983, 230-235.