1901.04.12_The Times, London – The Macedonian agitation, Boris Sarafov

1901.04.12_The Times, London - The Macedonian agitation, Boris Sarafov

„… Македонците се сметаат себе си за целосно одвоен национален елемент.. ..Македонија мора да има припадне на Македонците …“

It is a grievous error to suppose that we seek to acquire
Macedonia on behalf of Bulgaria. We Macedonians consider
ourselves to be an entirely separate national element, and we are
not in the least disposed to allow our country to be seized by
Bulgaria, Servia, or Greece. We will, in fact, oppose any such
incorporation with all our might. Macedonia must belong to the
Macedonians.

 

M. Sarafof continued thus :—
** In 1893 wo young men wcro sent to Mace
donia to prepare an insurrection, or, at alt events, to try and start au outbreak ofsotno kind, if only to show Europe that Prince Ferdinand constituted a powerful (actor in tbo
Balkan Peninsula and that his deposition would bo a great danger for tho peace of tho Continent. It was only after these disturbances that the Powers, ono after thé other, recognized Prince Ferdinand as chief of tbo sew Bulgarian dynasty. This first phase of the Macedonian movement. owing to tbo fact that it was subordinated to different party interests, acquired no hold on the bulk of tho population in Macedonia. We young people have therefore been endɑtveuringfor soma years past to separate tho Macedonian cause from Bulgarian domestic politics. If tho rulers of thɑ Principality now declare that they cannot tolerate us as a Suto within tbo State, it shows that wɑ
have at last succeeded ш emancipating ourselves from tho pernicious influence of tbo Bulgarian1 Government, It is only because wo are no longer disposed to sacrifice ourselves for this or that party, and regard tho liberation of Macedonia as a question of honour for tho entire people, that» tho Bulgarian Government is persecuting us, ■ .
” it us grievous error to suppoeetnat wo sees: to acquire Macedonia on behalf of Bulgaria. Wq Macedonians consider ourselves to bo an entirely
separate national element, and wo uro pot in tbɑ least disposed to allow our cotmtry to bo seixej
^Through Benter’S Agency« iThn?acb_jMi«’«_Ascncy. /
fry Bulgaria, Sorvia, or Grccco.

THE MACEDONIAN AGITATION.
(from oub own correspondent.)
VIENNA, Агпп. II. ‘
A correspondent of the nows sheet Information! lias had an interview with M. Sarafof, tho president of tho Bulgarian Macedonian Committee, who was arrested a few days ago nt Sofia. M. Sarafof made an instructive statement. Ho said that tho whole movement had been misunderstood. It must be divided into two periods-During tbo first period it was under tho leadership of men who wero in close connexion with tho Bulgarian Court itself and had been employed by several successive Ministries. Tho latter used tho committee and tho influence which it had in the country in order to fortify their owa position, and to carry out tho programmes ot their parties. M. Sarafof continued thus :— |
“ In 1895 we young men were sent to Macedonia to prepare an insurrection, or, at all events, to try and start an outbreak of soɑo kind, if only to show Europe that Prince Ferdinand constituted » powerful factor in tho Balkan Peninsula and that his deposition would bo a great danger for tho peace of thô Continent. It was only after these disturbances that tho Powers, one after tbo other, recognized Prince Ferdinand as chief of tho new Bulgarian dynasty. This first phase of tho Macedonian movement, owing to tbo fact that it was subordinated to different party interests, acquired no hold on the bulk of tho population in Macedonia. We young people have therefore been endeavouring for some years past to separate tho Macedonian cause from Bulgarian domestic politics. If tho rulers of tho Principality now declare that they cannot tolerate us as a State within tho State, it shows that wo have at last succeeded in emancipating ourselves from tho pernicious influence of tho Bulgarian Government. It is only because wo are do longer • disposed to sacrifice ourselves for this or that I party, and regard tho liberation of Macedonia as a question of honour for the entire people, that tho Bulgarian Government is persecuting us… •
“ It is a grievous error to supposothat wo seek to acquire Macedonia on behalf of Bulgaria. We Macedonians consider ourselves to bo an entirely separate national element, and wo are Dot in thɑ least disposed to allow our country to bo seized
•hy Bulgaria, ɛorvɪɑ, or Greece. Wo will, in fact, oppose any such incorporation with all our might. Macedonia must belong to tho Macedonians. Tho misunderstanding has arisen through our residing in Bulgaria. Tho circumstance of our having prepared a Macedonian insurrection while living in this country Jed to tho conclusion that wo wore aiming at a union between tho two Slav provinces. That is, however, perfectly absurd. If wo were to bo expelled from Bulgaria and wero to settle in Switzerland nobody would suppose that wo intended to liberate Macedonia on behalf of Switzerland; wo merely go where wo And tbo most favourable opportunities for our revolutionary work. . . . But, wherever wo may ho, wo wish to keep our movement distinct from tho national aspirations of tho independent Balkan States. Wo shall energetically resist any attempt on tho part of those States to secure Macedonia for themsolves. Wo have been reproached with wanting to disturb tho peace of Europe. That leaves us indifferent. What do wo unfortunate Slavs care for tho peaeo of Europe 1 Russia has frequently promised us that sho will soon take our cause in band. Only a short limo .ago a Russian statesman told mo that wo should bo patient, as whenever Russia was no longer occupied in East Asia she would come forward in favour of tho autonomy of Macedonia. My own conviction is, however, that Russian diplomacy will first begin to think of us when it decides to realize its old ideal of tho conquest of Constantinople. Its object will then bo not tbo emancipation of Macedonia, but its subjugation. Consequently, my friends and myself are resolved to separate entirely tho movement we arc promoting from Russia’s Balkan policy. Without in any way wishing to identify our efforts with tho policy of Vienna, I am nevertheless of opinion that Austro-Hungarian aspirations aro infinitely less dangerous for tho autonomy of Macedonia than aro thoso of Russia. Tho conquest of Macedonia by Austria-Hungary is impossible, owing to tho composition of that Monarchy and to tbo resistance which such a plan would find on tho part of all tho Balkan peoples
“ ɪ must, at tho samo time, clearly state that wo neither ask for, nor would wo accept, any official support of onr movement from Austria-Hungary. Wo will have nothing to do cither with official Bulgaria or with official Sorvia, nor yot with official Austria-Hungary. Wo arc revolutionists, and count only upon one-half o tho peoples of Europe. In order to put an end to tho misunderstandings among tho Slav States of tho Balkans concerning tho movement in which wo aro engaged, two of onr friends will shortly go to Servia and then proceed further in order to deliver lectures. Macedonia must no longer bo a source of dissension among tho Balkan countries. Emancipation must form tho basis upon which tho federation of those countries can bo founded.**
PHILIPPOPOLIS, Aran. 11 .•
Tho local branch of tho Macedonian Committee has posted placards protesting against tho recent rigorous action of tho Bulgarian Government in arresting tho leaders of tho committee in Sofia, and appealing to all patriots to support tho eaɑso. At a crowded meeting held hero this afternoon resolutions to the samo effect were adopted.