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Macedonia & Its Questions

Origins, Margins, Ruptures & Continuity

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Edited By Victor A Friedman, Goran Janev and George Vlahov

Macedonia and its Questions: Origins, Margins, Ruptures and Continuity is a multi-disciplinary book of 11 chapters, containing contributions that span the fields of linguistics, political science, sociology, history and law. The title of the book purposefully references but simultaneously interrogates and challenges the idea that certain nation-states and certain ethnicities can in some way constitute a "question" while others do not. The "Macedonian Question" generally has the status of a problem that involves questioning the very existence of Macedonians and one of the aims of this volume is to reframe the nature of the discussion.

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6. Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question: The Metodija Andonov-Čento Affair, 1946

6.Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question: The Metodija Andonov-Čento Affair, 1946

Extract

Andrew Rossos

University of Toronto

andrew.rossos@utoronto.ca

Metodija Andonov-Čento was the best known, most prominent, popular and charismatic Macedonian leader in the national liberation struggle in Yugoslavia in the Second World War. As the president of the presidium of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM), he was in fact the first head of both the first modern Macedonian state and government.

To the great surprise and bewilderment of his many followers and admirers, on 14 March 1946, he resigned as president of the presidium of the National Assembly (sobranie) of the People’s Republic of Macedonia (NRM) and from all other functions there and in the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FNRJ).1 Four months later, on 14 July 1946, Čento was arrested in his native Prilep by agents of the secret police, the UDBa (State Security Administration), and interned in the central prison in Skopje. And, on 21 November 1946, a relatively brief and furtive staged trial in the district court sentenced him to eleven years of hard labour. He left prison in September 1955, ill, a broken man, a shadow of the former vigorous, energetic and charismatic leader. He died in July 1957.

For over forty years the communist ruling elite in federal Yugoslavia and its Macedonian republic did all it could to erase the name and extirpate the memory of Čento. His name was not mentioned even in the extensive writings ←155 | 156...

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