The most thorough operation of dismembering Serbs after the Second World War was carried out on the territory of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, historian Borisav Celikovic revealed, researching deliberately “lost” ethnological works in this area.
Getting to know them cannot correct the mistakes of the past, but it is a warning not to repeat the same mistakes.
– By reading the oldest writings on the settlements and the origin of the population of the Serbian people, written in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century and comparing them with those written after the Second World War, we can find out how the Serbian people were dismembered and created new national entities. in the Balkans – says Celiković, editor of the ethnographic edition “Roots” in the “Official Gazette”, which has so far published about 40,000 pages of unknown material about Serbs. – One of the Comintern tasks that was taken over by the communist government in Yugoslavia after the Second World War was the creation of the Macedonian entity.
The discoveries of censored ethnological works about Serbs in Macedonia and scientific manipulations that created public opinion in SFRY, as well as censorship methods and motives of Serbian intellectuals to participate in the dismemberment were the reason that the future 49th book of the “Roots” edition called “Podrimlje” 1,000 pages, be dedicated to the missing Serbs of this area.
– Around 1875, the Russian consul Ivan Stepanovich Jastrebov determined that Serbs, Muslims and Christians lived in that area, “who do not know any language other than Serbian”, which indicates that the Islamic population accepted this religion in a relatively short time – he states Čeliković.
– Only thirty years later, Jovan Cvijić noticed that this Islamic population was in the process of learning. Immediately after the First World War, the same area was anthropogeographically explored by the scholar Toma Smiljanić Bradina and fully confirmed the conclusions of his predecessors in the section “Mijaci, Gorna Reka and Mavrovsko polje”. In the study “Arnauts of our blood – Arnauts”, published in 1939, Jovan Hadži-Vasiljević cites many examples of arnautics. After the Second World War, a new process of disintegration followed under the auspices of Broz’s government.
In order to fulfill the request of the Comintern for the creation of a new nation, it was necessary to create its past by “Macedonianizing” the Serbian heritage, from medieval churches to folk songs.
– The creation of a new nation was difficult because it did not have a historical foundation, so it was worked on intensively in the next twenty years, by all means, from changing surnames to appropriating historical figures. The process ended with the creation of a new church that appropriated the Serbian spiritual heritage – says Celiković. – Since the sixties, all ethnological research in FR Macedonia has stopped, because it would inevitably reveal fragmentation. A part of Serbian intellectuals was involved in that process, and those who did not agree to that were proscribed.
As a typical victim of Comintern politics, the historian cites Tomo Smiljanić Bradina, a learned Serb born in Tresonča in the Debar area, ethnographer, philologist, writer, fighter in the Balkan wars, the Great and April Wars. In 1930, he defended his doctoral dissertation in France: “Our old tribes Mijaci and Brsjaci in Southern Serbia”. The Yugoslav communists tried to “Macedonianize” his research on Serbian heritage, leaving bizarre testimonies.
– During the publication of Tomo Smiljanić Bradina’s work, “Stare narodne mijačke pesme”, in the journal “Glasnik Etnografskog instituta SANU” (book IH-X, SANU, Belgrade, 1961), in the remark on the paper it was noted: “During the review of this paper, the clerk objected to the writer writing the poems in the new Macedonian language “- states Celiković. – Of course, Bradina refused, so in a remark with the work, the editor apologized that “the writer could not adopt this proposal, because he collected the material in the field before the war, so he is not able to adapt the text to the new Macedonian language.” This editorial office was conducted by academician Dušan Nedeljković, who, with negative reviews, among other things, made it impossible for SANU to publish the work of Cvijić’s interlocutor Radoslav LJ. Pavlović, and one of the objections was “that the author used church registers in his work”, and in the end the paper concluded with “Death to fascism – freedom to the people”.
The well-known geographer and anthropogeographer Jovan Trifunoski was also very engaged in the dismemberment of Vardar Macedonia.
– He was born as a Serb in Polog and until 1944 he signed himself as Trifunović, and then he changed his last name – reveals Čeliković. – He was extremely valuable, one of the last followers of Cvijić’s anthropogeographic school, who explored the areas that cover the areas of the South Morava, Vardar and Crni Drim basins. In the study on Skopje Montenegro, where the population persisted in Serbian origin and symbols, he never says that they are Serbs, but calls them the Orthodox population, while he presents the local Arnauts as a nation, without religious characteristics. In research on Debar and its surroundings, he says that Christians are Macedonians, although all previous researchers have shown that they are Serbs and have described their language and customs.
SCIENTIST AND WARRIOR
ETHNOGRAPHER Toma Smiljanić Bradina was born in 1888 in Tresonče in the Debar area, where he worked as a teacher from 1906 to 1911 and collected ethnographic material. When he enrolled at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, the First Balkan War broke out and he fought as a volunteer in the detachment of Duke Vuk, from Kumanovo to Elbasan. In the Great War, he took up arms again, survived the Albanian Golgotha and was sent from Corfu to France, where he completed his studies in history and geography. He also took part in the April War, and then retired to Serbia and worked as a teacher in Aleksinac until 1946, when he retired.
JOVAN Trifunoski, born Trifunovic, was the most important geographer in the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a professor at the Faculty in Skopje.
– However, due to his Serbian origin, he was not elected to the Macedonian Academy of Sciences, although he tried with all his might to affirm the Macedonian nation – says Borisav Čeliković.
– After retiring, he moved to Belgrade and wrote and in 1995 published the book “Macedonianization of Southern Serbia”, probably with the goal of “saving the soul”. He did not describe his great role in that process in the book, but it is noted in his works.
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