Department 11

Macedonia in the period between the two world wars 1918 – 1941


After the Versailles Peace Conference the Macedonians remained divided, not recognized, assimilated and alienated. The former Macedonian revolutionaries were ideologically divided, subjected to pressures from the Balkan states structures, although without certain and extremely unfavorable life conditions they continued to fight determined to finally resolve the Macedonian issue. This was an opportunity for reunification of the Macedonian people and establishment of a Macedonian state. In these new historical settings acted several Macedonian organizations, associations, fraternities, groups and individuals in Macedonia and the diaspora, with different perspectives, programs, methods and modes of action and fight. Some of these political and revolutionary forces adhered to the ideology and the political origin of the first Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, while some of them surrendered to foreign influences. Of these: IMRO, IMRO (United), the Ilinden organization, the Union of Macedonian charitable fraternities, the Federal Organization of Macedonian Immigrants, the Macedonian political organizations in America, the Macedonian Associations in Switzerland participated in the struggle to resolve the Macedonian issue, and emphasized the same worldwide. Within the entire activity of these organizations a special mark left Dimo ​​Hadzi Dimov, Gjorche Petrov, and Vladislav Kovachev, Arsenij Jovkov, Dimitar Vlahov, Pavel Shatev, Todor Aleksandrov and others.

In the same period, intensely arose the presentation and emphasis on the strong Macedonian national awareness and recognition of the Macedonian national identity by several political forces and international factors.




He was a revolutionary and one of the founders of the IMRO after World War I, a teacher and district commander of the Skopje revolutionary region. Aleksandrov favored the idea of a rebellious and revolutionary actions and a supporter of the centralized form of organizing the IMRO. Shortly before the beginning of the Balkan wars he appeared as an organizer of the so-called “Donkey attacks” in Shtip and Kochani, which were one of the triggers for the start of the Balkan wars. During the Balkan wars, together with Alexander Protogerov, he commanded the Headquarters of the Macedonian people’s militia on the side of the Bulgarian army. After World War he was an opponent of the government of Alexander Stamboliski and of the federal power which advocated for a separate and united Macedonian state within a Balkan federation. In 1924 he offered proxy for his signature for signing the May Manifesto which foresaw unification of the Macedonian revolutionary forces and the ideologically opposite Macedonian organizations established for the joint action for a unified and independent Macedonian state, but then he quickly withdrew his signature. In 1924 he was victim to an assassination.
ЃОРЧЕ ПЕТРОВ (1864/5-1921)

GJORCHE PETROV (1864/5-1921)

He was an ideologist and theoretician, a teacher and a foreign representative (FR) of the SMRO, a journalist, editor, memoirist and the author of numerous articles and discussions on Macedonia. He was involved in the revolutionary activities before the establishment of the MRO and in 1895 he was elected to the Central Committee of SMRO. In 1896, alongside Gotse Delchev they prepared the first Constitution and Statute of TMRO. As a foreign representative, and together with Gotse Delchev, they battled against the “Vrhovist” idea (ideological stream operating to annex Macedonia to Bulgaria) in Macedonia. Shortly before raising the Ilinden Uprising, right after the decision for rebellion, he leaned to the idea for a permanent or a strategic uprising against a nationwide uprising. After the Uprising he encouraged the idea of ​​decentralization and democratization of the MRO, preserving the unity of SMRO and removing the embedded “vrhovist” elements within the organization. At the Rila Congress he was elected agent to the foreign office of IMRO in Sofia, and during the Young Turk revolution and his entire activity he adhered to the motto “Macedonia for the Macedonians” advocating for Macedonia to remain a close, and a single geographical and economic entity which needed political independence. During the Balkan Wars he took part as a volunteer in the Macedonian armed troops on the side of the Allies, and in the period from 1916 to 1918 he was President of the standing Bitola District Committee and serf of the city of Drama. After the First World War he among the organizers of the temporary office of the former IMRO united. During the reign of Alexander Stamboliski he was appointed President of the Commission in charge for the Macedonian refugees in Bulgaria and one of the organizers and supporters of the federal power that advocated for a single and united Macedonian state within a Balkan federation. Due to ideological oppositions he was killed in 1921 by order of the IMRO of Todor Aleksandrov.

DIMO HADZI DIMOV (1875-1924)

He was a revolutionary, theorist, socialist, publicist, editor and a teacher. He was a prominent ideological and media opponent to the “Vrhovist” idea and supporter of a determined fight for an independent Macedonia whose liberation should be accomplished by using its own forces. During the Ilinden Uprising, where he took part, he was fully involved in reestablishing the ruined organizational network. As a participant of the Rila Congress in 1905 he supported the idea of ​​decentralization and democratization of the revolutionary action. During the Young Turk revolution he was part of the team that compiled the Draft-Program which also determined the basis of the future NFP Program that envisaged creation of a Balkan federation comprised of Macedonia to be formed as a separate self-governing state and judicial unit. After World War I he was elected a permanent member of the temporary office of the former united IMRO and he appeared as supporter of the Appeal of the residents of Ser requiring a referendum in Macedonia upon removal of the foreign troops and administration. In 1924 as a result of ideological disagreements with the activists of the IMRO he was killed in an assassination perpetrated by Vlado Chernozemski.



He was a teacher, a revolutionary and warlord, a theoretician and ideologist of the MRO. In 1895 Vladislav Kovachev joined the Macedonian revolutionary movement. From 1899 to 1901, he was the Secretary of the Supreme Macedonian-Adrianople Committee (SMAC), which then was led by Boris Sarafov. Vladislav was in charge of organizing the revolutionary committees in Macedonia and Adrianople. At the time of overtaking the SMAC by the Bulgarian General Ivan Tsonchev, he appeared as an ardent opponent of the “Vrhovist” idea and its representatives. During the Ilinden Uprising Kovachev took part with his regiment in Shtip, Kochani and Kratovo. After the failure of the Ilinden Uprising, for a short period he was a military leader in Skopje, and then he left Macedonia for a few years. From 1904 – 1909 he studied Law in Paris and in 1911 he acquired his PhD from the Faculty of Law in Brussels. During the Balkan wars he joined the Macedonian and Adrianople Militia. After the end of the Balkan wars and the First World War, Kovachev worked as a lawyer and then as a judge in Sofia; together with the activists of the federal stream, he was entirely involved in the political life of the Macedonian immigrants in Bulgaria. In 1919 he issued the brochure “Autonomous Macedonia”, which clearly backed the idea of ​​an autonomous Macedonian state. He showed great activity in coordinating and uniting the Macedonian refugee crowds and the Macedonian revolutionary forces in Bulgaria, especially in effecting the strong ideological and propaganda pressure by the Executive Committee of the Macedonian associations in Bulgaria. In 1921, under the ideological guidance of Kovachev the Federal Organization of Macedonian Immigrants (MEFO) was established. He was elected member of the political commission and became one of the leaders of MEFO. The main idea of ​​the Federalists was: “The creation of a Macedonian state within its geographical and economic boundaries, as an independent political unit, and as a stage in the realization of a Balkan Federation”. In developing the idea of ​​MEFO, Kovachev has established and defined the terms: Macedonian, Macedonian nation, Macedonian population, Macedonian soul, Macedonian struggle and so on. He was a sharp opponent of the fratricide among Macedonians because of their different ideological orientations. As an experienced revolutionary and theorist, Vladislav Kovachev accepted the political platform of Dimo ​​Hadzi Dimov, outlined in the May Manifesto of 1924, in which the main goal was “Uniting the Macedonian forces for a single revolutionary front for the liberation and unification of an independent Macedonia within its natural, ethnographic and geographic boundaries.” For his ideological disagreements with the IMRO of Protogerov and Mihajlov, he was killed in 1924.
DIMITAR VLAHOV (1878-1953)
He was a prominent activist, a chemistry professor, a journalist, a writer and the editor of several newspapers published in Thessaloniki and Vienna. During the Young Turk Revolution he was one of the founders of NFP and a member of the Young Turk Assembly. Later in the period between the two world wars he appeared as a supporter of the federal power within the Macedonian revolutionary movement and a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party from 1925 to 1944 when he returned to Yugoslavia, and he also appeared as an opponent to the great Russian imperialism that treated the Macedonian liberation movement with strong hostility. In the same period he followed the orders of the Balkan Communist Federation working on the unification of the revolutionary immigration in Austria, Switzerland and France, as well as on the preparation of the fight against the monarchic regimes in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece. In 1925 he distinguished himself as one of the founders of the IMRO (United) in Vienna, an organization that was following the federal principles; also, he was one of the drafters of the May Manifesto in 1924 and the motivator for its signing. In 1944 he returned to Yugoslavia where he continued his work within the communist movement, and later he participated in the establishment of the People's Republic of Macedonia.

In 1992 he joined the VMRO of Todor Aleksandrov, and since he was an outstanding shooter of extreme calmness and discipline, in 1924 he was called by Aleksandrov in Sofia, in order to perform special tasks for the Central Committee of VMRO. Later he appeared as a supporter of the terrorist tactics directed by Vancho Mihajlov within the IMRO. He was known for having committed numerous assassinations including those on Dimo ​​Hadzi Dimov and Naum Tomalevski. In 1934, in Marseille, Chernozemski had carried out the assassination of the Yugoslav King Alexander Karadjordjevic and the French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, whereby he lost got killed in a clash with the French police. The assassination was ordered by Ivan Mihajlov in cooperation with Ante Pavelic, leader of the Croatian pro-fascist (Ustasha) stream.


He was known as Alexander Karadjordjevic, King Alexander and Alexander “The Unifier”. He was the King of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians from 1921 to 1929, and from 1929 to October 9, 1934, he was King of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He was assassinated in Marseille on October 9, 1934, by Vlado Chernozemski and by the order of VMRO.

LOUIS BARTHOU (1862-1934)

He was the Prime Minister of France for 8 months in 1913, where he excelled with the introduction of three-year military service, and the development of military aviation. In 1934, as Minister of Foreign Affairs of France he worked on the reconciliation of France and the Soviet Union and joining the Soviet Union in the League of Nations. As a result of Hitler's threat to France he worked on the reconciliation with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. He was killed in Marseilles together with the Yugoslav King Alexander Karadjordjevic in the negotiations to attach Yugoslavia with the French system of security.