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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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8. Persecution of the “Non-Existent”: Repression of Macedonians in Bulgaria during the Communist Period (1944–1989)

8.Persecution of the “Non-Existent”: Repression of Macedonians in Bulgaria during the Communist Period (1944–1989)*

Extract

Stojko Stojkov

University "Gotse Delchev" Shtip

stojko.stojkov@ugd.edu.mk

While the matter of the repression of Macedonians1 in Bulgaria during the period of communist rule has not escaped the attention of academic scholarship, it has nevertheless not been sufficiently researched.2 Research of this issue was made especially difficult by the fact that Bulgarian archives on the Macedonian question, were closed to outsiders for many years, the strained relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria and the Bulgarian policy of discrimination against and denial of the existence of the Macedonian minority to the present day.3 The number of historians in the Republic of Macedonia who are today dealing with this issue has been reduced to zero, while in Bulgarian historiography this matter is still treated within the confines of the national myth, whereby Macedonians do not exist.4 From the time when Macedonian identity in Bulgaria was declared to ←205 | 206→be non-existent (1963), this question has been transformed into an ideological one and the topic of the repression of people with a Macedonian ethnic-identity treated as taboo.5 The partial opening up of the archives of the Bulgarian State Security Services in the last decade, together with the publication of a series of documents and memoirs, however, created the possibility for a more detailed examination of this issue.6

This work will focus on the repression of people with a Macedonian ethnic-identity during the period of Communist rule in Bulgaria. The situation of the minority and state policy...

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