What Europe Has Forgotten: The Struggle Of the Aegean Macedonians
A Report by the Association of Macedonians in Poland
What Europe Has Forgotten: The Struggle Of The Aegean Macedonians is
a book which investigates official discrimination in Aegean Macedonia
(northern Greece) and the ongoing struggle of the 28,000 Macedonian
child refugees who were evacuated in 1948 during the Greek Civil War.
The author of the report, Mito Aleksovski, is president of the Association
of Macedonians in Poland and one of the child refugees himself. In the
introduction, Mr Aleksovski says "The Association of Macedonians
in Poland has prepared this report to acquaint international organizations
dealing with human rights and national minorities, and also governments
of states and international public opinion, with the tragic situation
of the Macedonian nation."
The book outlines the obligations assumed by Greece in the 1920 international
agreement "On the Protection of Non-Greek Nations" in which
Greece pledged to fully protect its Macedonian national minority. This
was to include full civic and political rights irrespective of nationality;
freedom to use any language in personal, trade and religious contacts
and in print and publications; the establishment of schools for Macedonians
to learn their own language; and the treatment of Macedonians on a par
However, instead of fulfilling these promises, the Greek authorities
instigated policies aimed at assimilation and displacement and the report
identifies and summarizes a number of anti-Macedonian laws introduced
by successive Greek governments since the takeover of Aegean Macedonia.
These laws particularly affected refugees from the Greek Civil War
including the 28,000 Macedonian child refugees. Many thousands of these
child refugees have not been allowed to return to Greece and have not
been reunited with their families, an act of discrimination which defies
international human rights agreements signed by Greece.
Although the report paints a tragic picture that will move all Macedonians,
it also has many positive elements. It discusses the forms of self defence
adopted by Macedonians and the rebirth of Macedonian national consciousness
around the world.
Nor is the report critical of the Greek people. Mr Aleksovski believes
that Greek society's consciousness about the Macedonian issue needs
to be raised and he gives examples of where this is happening.
The report ends with an articulate appeal to world public opinion for
the provision of full human rights, including political, linguistic,
religious and cultural rights, to the Macedonian minority.
The 68 page report contains over 20 pages of letters, certificates
and other historical documents and 28 photographs to support its claims.
What Europe has Forgotten: The Struggle of the Aegean Macedonians is
a lively and challenging report. It was one of the very first texts
on Aegean Macedonia to be available in English and written from the
Macedonian point of view.
The book is available in Australia for $18, which includes postage
and GST. Overseas airmail is A$22.
What Europe Has Forgotten: The Struggle Of the Aegean Macedonians,
Paperback, 68 pages, 250 x 175mm, Celloglazed cover, 28 photographs
and 20 documents, Published by Pollitecon Publications 1992, Reprinted
1995, ISBN 978-0-646-12211-3
A trailer for the documentary Makedonec, made by Mito's son Petro about
Mito, is here.
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