Forcible Relocation from Greek Macedonia during the First World War

Loukianos I. Hassiotis

The forced relocation of population groups during war operations has been a familiar phenomenon throughout human history, ever since the time of the Roman Empire. Usually, the government in question would (and indeed, in some cases, still does) decide to deport or forcibly relocate population groups or individuals either as a punishment for disobeying the authorities or to maintain order or to protect the country’s borders. When the nation-states were taking shape and nationalism held sway, forced relocation was still a widely implemented political and military practice, though it assumed new aspects: population groups or individuals were deemed hostile to the state because their ethnicity or their linguistic identity differed from that of the dominant ethnic group, and they were displaced within or beyond the national borders in order to safeguard an area’s military security or to ensure political dominion through ‘ethnic cleansing’. Two different kinds of forcible relocation appeared in this period: i) the forced migration of ethnically alien elements, usually to neighbouring countries; and ii) their internal deportation, usually to remote areas, where they were kept under a kind of surveillance or, one might say, held hostage, permanently or temporarily, depending on the progress of the war, political events, and national expediency. Both kinds were widely practised during the First World War, owing to the special military needs, the growing tide of nationalism, and the opportunity which the war operations offered to the various governments to immediately resolve ‘national problems’ in ways that could not have been justified in peacetime.

Internal deportation was practised mainly in the multi-ethnic Russian and Ottoman Empires, which, from the nineteenth century onwards, faced the strong challenge of ethnic and social groups demanding national or political emancipation. They also had extremely autocratic regimes that were well able to inflict such humanitarian disasters without much of a domestic backlash.[1] Similar actions took place in the nations that were formed out of the multi-ethnic empires, especially in south-eastern Europe, where local nationalism and the wars it provoked led to dramatic changes in the ethnographical map of the region. From the moment when the Ottomans’ European territories were seized, during the Balkan Wars, the Balkan nations treated the ethnically ‘alien’ population groups in their ‘new territories’ with great hostility, and did not hesitate to resort to brutal force.[2]

However, in this case, the enemy population groups tended to be directly or indirectly expelled from the national territory, rather than relocated within it. After all, ethnic homogeneity was the overriding concern of the nation-states that did not resort to internal deportation.[3] However, here too efforts were made to relocate ‘enemy’ population groups or individuals within the national borders, for the professed purpose of facilitating military activity, but often with the ulterior motive of ‘ethnically cleansing’ specific areas and applying pressure to the ‘alien’ or ‘heteroglot’ native inhabitants by exiling and detaining their family members. We shall now look at the phenomenon of forced relocation and deportation from Greek Macedonia during the First World War and try to analyse the reasons for it. Our data come mainly from an investigation of the relevant documents in the Historical Archive of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, the General State Archives of the Florina prefecture, the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle in Thessaloniki, the Service Historique des Armées du Tierre in Paris, and the Archive of Serbia in Belgrade, as also from the available literature.

Immediately after the end of the Balkan Wars and the final consolidation of Macedonian territory in Greece, the Greek authorities were confronted with a very serious, and for them unprecedented, problem. The ‘new territories’ in the Greek kingdom were inhabited by solid Slavonic, Moslem, Jewish, and other population groups that in some areas were in the majority and often ill-disposed towards Greek administration. A considerable number of Slavs and Moslems in Greek Macedonia chose to emigrate to Bulgaria and Turkey respectively. According to Greek estimates, between 1912 and 1915 some 130,000 Moslems left Greece for Ottoman territory, while some 60,000 Slavo-Macedonians[4] emigrated to the kingdom of Bulgaria.[5] Those who remained were frequently regarded with suspicion by the Greek authorities, a suspicion that was fuelled by the propaganda being spread by the Bulgarian and Ottoman states.[6] The Greek–Turkish crisis over the Aegean islands in 1913–14, coupled with fears that Bulgaria and Turkey would join forces against Greece, prompted the Greek authorities to institute police measures against ‘suspect elements’ and to selectively relocate individuals, who were regarded as public security risks, to remote parts of the country (mainly southern Greece and islands in the Aegean). In the same period, the Young Turks initiated similar measures, though on a larger scale, against the Greek element in eastern Thrace and along the Asia Minor seaboard.[7] The Greek government, however, despite the apprehensions of its neighbours, did not resort to mass relocations. Thus, the information received by the Serbian consulate in Thessaloniki about a plan to move the Slavo-Macedonian population living along the Greek–Serbian border to the south of the country and replace them with ‘pure’ Greeks from Crete was not borne out by subsequent developments.[8]

The relevant documents of the Governorate General of Macedonia indicate that deportations were indeed carried out, but they usually involved individuals and not families or entire communities. The displaced persons are usually named, and so their cases can sometimes be correlated with documents of other agencies. The individuals in question were usually from ‘hot spots’ in Greek Macedonia, areas, that is, with large ‘heteroglot’ populations (such as Florina, Edessa, and Thessaloniki), and were usually members of the local Slavo-Macedonian or Moslem communities. They were usually arrested on the recommendation of the local police, but sometimes they were denounced by local Greeks ― which, of course, raises questions about the validity of the denunciations. Displaced and deported individuals were usually charged with spying for Bulgaria or Turkey, spreading pro-Bulgarian or pro-Turkish propaganda, and endangering public security, the latter a very vague and general charge encompassing just about anything that any representative of the Greek state in Greek Macedonia at that time might regard as suspect. The displaced persons were usually taken to islands in the south Aegean or, more rarely, to ‘Old’ Greece (that is the Greek territory before 1912).[9]

The dramatic developments in the region after the outbreak of the Great War also influenced the regional nations’ treatment of their ethnic minorities, because the latter either had the same ethnic identity as their neighbours or were liable to be exploited by them, and also because the minorities themselves were usually established near the national borders in areas that were for that reason politically and militarily ‘sensitive’. The fact that the same nations were soon on different sides further exacerbated the plight of the minorities and their treatment by the authorities. The forced relocations organised by the Turkish authorities were undoubtedly the most massive of all and led to humanitarian disaster on a huge scale. The displacement of the Armenians (who were regarded as Russian collaborators) to the interior of Anatolia and the Syrian deserts was undoubtedly the most tragic case, for it led to the genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population.[10] The Turkish authorities meted out the same treatment to the Greek populations in eastern Thrace and along the Asia Minor seaboard, despite Greece’s neutrality, probably with the ultimate aim of forcing Greece into the War and then resolving the Greek problem in the same way as the Armenian problem. Persecution and displacement of the Greeks did indeed intensify after Greece officially joined the War on the side of the Entente, though without attaining the magnitude of the Armenian genocide.[11]

Displacement was not practised nearly as widely in the Balkans as it was by the Young Turks. However, it was implemented on the most massive scale of all by the Bulgarians against the Greek and Serbian populations in the territories seized by the Central Powers, probably because the political and military circumstances favoured such tactics: the front was not moving and the Bulgarian authorities could easily carry out forced deportations without provoking the opposition of their German and Austrian allies. According to the available data, between 1915 and 1918, some 36,000 Greeks from Central and Eastern Macedonia and a further 10,000 or so from what was then Serbian Macedonia were moved to labour camps in the interior of Bulgaria. Half of them died from the rigours inflicted during their detention.[12] However, Bulgaria’s local adversaries, Serbia and Greece, were in no position to carry out such measures: the former was occupied by enemy troops at a very early date, while in the latter the Entente forces assumed genuine military and political control over Macedonian territory, where the population groups that were mistrustful of Greek administration lived.

We are not certain whether the Greek authorities continued freely to send undesirables into internal exile in the interval between the end of the Balkan Wars and the outbreak of the First World War; nor is it possible to state the exact number of displaced persons. The available Greek sources are not very enlightening on this point. We do know, however, that at the beginning of 1916 there were already displaced Slavo-Macedonians, accused or suspected of spreading pro-Bulgarian propaganda, on islands in the south Aegean, on Zakynthos, and in the Peloponnese.[13] The deportations remained selective, however, and did not involve mass movements of population groups. Undoubtedly, an important part was played in this by the lack of political will to make such a decision: mass displacement would have provoked an outcry from Greece’s neighbours, especially Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, at a time when the Greek state was still undecided about what stance to take over the War. For the same reason, there would have been an outcry from the Entente powers too, for until the autumn of 1915 they were trying to win Bulgaria over their side. Furthermore, the mass relocation of Macedonian population groups would have left the region deserted and badly affected the national economy.

Starting in October 1915, Greek Macedonia gradually came under the control of the Allied powers that had landed in Thessaloniki to reinforce the Serbian front. In the circumstances, the Greek state would have had minimal opportunity to carry out mass deportations. Most probably, the Greek authorities were not in any position to continue even selective deportations, at least as long as relations between Athens and the Allies remained strained ― i.e. until King Constantine was deposed and Venizelos returned to power in June 1917. But nor does the Venizelos’ Provisional Government in Thessaloniki (1916-1917) seem to have launched any such campaign in areas where it had some influence, at least according to the information in the official documents of the time.[14]

However, the real authorities in Greek Macedonia at that time, the Allied powers, did continue with the relocations. In fact, the available data indicate that most of the forced deportations during the War were carried out on the initiative of the French authorities between 1915 and 1917, namely from when the Allies established themselves in Greece until Venizelos returned to power and Greek government control in Macedonia was at least partially re-established.[15] Most of the displaced persons were deported to labour camps, mainly in France. In the same period, we still find small numbers of displaced persons on islands in the south Aegean (Crete, Ikaria, and Milos) or in southern Greece (Lamia and Pylos). These were individuals who had either been internally exiled earlier on by the Greek authorities or handed over to the Greek authorities by the French. For this reason, the question of where they would be settled soon became an issue, with the French intervening to indicate their own preferences.[16]

But who were the displaced, and why were they forced to leave Macedonia? The vast majority were Slavo-Macedonians or Moslems accused of collaborating with the enemy. More specifically, the data in the relevant documents indicate that they fell into the following categories: i) threats to national security; ii) suspected or accused spies; iii) Bulgarian comitadjis or their collaborators; iv) Young Turks, members of the Party of Unity and Progress; v) accused weapons smugglers. Some were considered undesirable simply because they were Bulgarians or Turks, or because their pro-Bulgarian sentiments made them suspect. The displaced persons also included, however, a (comparatively) large number of Greeks, who were considered a threat because they were opposed to Venizelos or the Alliance. Monarchists and anti-Venizelists in Greek Macedonia started to be arrested and deported after French Field Marshal Maurice Sarrail declared martial law in Thessaloniki on 3 June 1916. This was preceded by the bloodless surrender of the Rupel fort to the Bulgarians, following orders issued by the government in Athens to the local Greek military units. The persecution of anti-Venizelists intensified after Constantine was deposed, Venizelos returned to Athens, and monarchist guerrilla bands became active in Western Macedonia.[17]

All the same, most of them were Slavo-Macedonians, and came from the prefectures of Florina, Kozani, and Pella in Western Macedonia. These were areas with a strong Slavonic element, one segment of which had in the past openly favoured Bulgaria. Not only were the areas interesting from an ethnographical point of view, they were also of considerable military importance, since they constituted the western extremity of the Allied front. Significantly, during the Bulgarian assault on the Florina sector in August 1916, a number of locals collaborated with the Bulgarian army and did not hesitate to attack the retreating Serbian units.[18] This undoubtedly encouraged the Allied authorities to take steps against the pro-Bulgarian elements in the area, using the gravity of the situation at the front to justify their arrest and deportation. All the same, a certain amount of arbitrary treatment was meted out, as one can infer from the accusations levelled against the displaced persons, which are frequently couched in the vaguest of terms and reminiscent of the way the Greek authorities had deported and persecuted the Slavo-Macedonian population before the War: ‘suspected of collaborating with the enemy’, ‘pro-Bulgarian sentiments’, ‘Bulgarian or Turkish ethnicity’, ‘anti-Venizelist attitude’.

Another interesting consideration arising out of the French sources relates to the nationality or the ethnic origin of the displaced persons. The French term nationalité is used to denote both nationality/citizenship and ethnic origin, which can lead to serious misconstructions, especially when it is translated into Greek.[19] However, the misconstructions are repeated in the available French sources from the period. More specifically, a French document from the Allied Military Command in Macedonia to the Greek Governorate General of Macedonia mentions 27 displaced persons of Greek nationality, 51 of Macedonian nationality, and 6 of Ottoman nationality.[20] Now nationalité in this case cannot refer to the citizenship of the detainees, because, of course, at that time there was no ‘Macedonian’ state. Equally problematic is the hypothesis that the term refers to the ethnic origin or preference of the interrogated suspects. Certain French officials did indeed refer to the Slavs of Macedonia as ‘Macedonians’ at that time, in an attempt to pave the way for granting the area autonomy after the War under French ‘protection’.[21] However, the displaced ‘Macedonians’ have not only Slavonic names, but Turkish and Greek names too. Likewise, those who claim Greek or Ottoman nationality are also presented as having Slavonic, Turkish, and Greek names. Now if the French author of the document were seeking to support the notion that Macedonian ethnicity existed, he could have taken the differences in the names into account, so that those with Slavonic names were presented as ‘Macedonians’, those with Greek names as ‘Greeks’, and those with Moslem names as ‘Ottomans’. My own conclusion is that either this is yet another vague attempt to characterise and divide the native inhabitants of Greek Macedonia along ethnic lines, a common phenomenon in the European sources of that period; or this question of nationalité relates more to where the individuals questioned came from or resided and it took this specific form owing to problems of interpretation or misinterpretation.

Those displaced from Greek Macedonia, regardless of their nationality or citizenship, were detained by the Allied or Greek authorities at least until the War ended, in November 1918. Most of them remained displaced, however, for some considerable time thereafter. Two years later, in December 1920, the Greek embassy in Paris informed the Prime Minister’s office that, according to the French Foreign Ministry, there are no Greek political prisoners in France. Of those arrested in 1915–17, the ones who are still here are not designated as political prisoners, because they were condemned by the French courts-martial, any approach to which, at least for the time being, would be unavailing.[22] Most of those recorded as having been deported to France supposedly returned home; but there are reports of missing persons and of those who died in exile.[23]

From early 1919 onwards, the Greek authorities started receiving information about the fate of those deported to France and requesting their repatriation, under pressure, of course, from their families and the local communities to which they belonged. For the deportees to be released, the local communities had to provide a written guarantee that they posed no threat, signed by the community council and the priest of the parish concerned. However, the repatriates’ problems did not end there, for they now embarked on a long period of probation under the local police, to whom they had to report at regular intervals. Furthermore, a number of those who eventually returned home but were still deemed a threat to national security were again displaced by the Greek authorities, to islands in the Aegean. For this reason, quite a number of those deported to France opted not to return to Greece, but to stay permanently abroad.[24]

The Greek government maintained an ambiguous and certainly inconsistent attitude to the displacement of ‘hostile’ or ‘suspect’ elements from Greek Macedonia and northern Greece in general. In and of itself, as an administrative measure, displacement contravened the guaranteed liberties enshrined in the constitution of 1864/1911, which theoretically remained in force throughout the period under discussion. But this did not prevent the measure from being implemented against those whom the administrative or military authorities regarded as threats to public security.[25] After the end of the War, it was considered necessary to continue selectively deportating individuals, mainly from the border areas, though there was considerable disagreement over the scope of the measure and how it should be carried out. Officials like Ioannis Iliakis, the Governor General of Western –Greek- Macedonia in 1920, preferred to adopt a policy of Hellenising the pro-Bulgarian elements at school level; while others, like the army officer Alexandros Mazarakis, proposed ‘expelling the Bulgarians on the recommendation of the local Greeks’.[26] The latter solution could not be widely implemented, both because of the international outcry that would probably ensue, and because of the risk of bringing the region to economic ruin. The relocations continued to a limited extent, and in 1923 the British embassy in Athens put the number of displaced Slavo-Macedonians in Thistle at about 2,950.[27]

The most massive bid to forcibly relocate Slavs in Greece was carried out in western Thrace after the end of the Asia Minor Campaign, prompted by the fear that Bulgarian and Turkish guerrilla organisations active in the area would undermine Greek dominion there, and by the pressure of the thousands of refugees who were pouring in from eastern Thrace and western Asia Minor. Some 5,500 people were relocated in all, representing almost a quarter of the Slavonic population of western Thrace. It was a temporary measure, and most of the displaced persons returned home in 1923. However, the situation now prevailing in the area, especially with the settling of the Greek refugees, and the harassment which the displaced persons endured from the Greek authorities eventually forced them to emigrate to Bulgaria, along with most of the Slavonic population of western Thrace.[28] By contrast, in Greek Macedonia (notably in the west), the Slavonic element maintained its numerical strength even after the voluntary Greek–Bulgarian exchange of populations imposed by the Treaty of Neuilly.[29]

To sum up, the practice of relocation from Greek Macedonia during the First World War never became a kind of generalised ‘ethnic cleansing’. It was always selective, the stated fundamental aim being to maintain ‘national security’ in the area and to protect the Allied forces fighting on the Macedonian front. All the same, the process was marked by high-handedness and prejudice against those who were displaced and also by exploitation of the war situation to intimidate and coerce those who were regarded as enemies of the Entente. In this respect, the expulsions carried out by the Allied authorities in Greek Macedonia had much in common with the corresponding measures taken by the Greek government before and after the War. And ultimately the experience of relocation was a determining factor in the decision of a large segment of the Slavonic population to leave Greece for good.

This paper does not consider one very important aspect of the question: what happened to the displaced persons in their place of exile. In France especially, where most of them were sent, they found themselves in labour camps, taking the place of French labourers and farmers who were at the front. Their mode of transportation, their living conditions, their relations with the local people and with their guards, and their fate after the War are very interesting questions, as regards not only the history of the people concerned and the ethnic communities they came from, but also the way a west European nation like France treated its Balkan captives. This is a little known chapter of European history which requires special study.


[1] On the russification policy in the Russian Empire and the pogroms against its subjugated ethnicities see H. Seton-Watson, “Russian Nationalism in Historical Perspective”, in Robert Conquest (edit.) The Last Empire. Nationality and the Soviet Future, Stanford California 1986, 19 f.f.; cf. Αlan W. Fisher, “Emigration of Muslims from the Russian Empire in the Years After the Crimean War”, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 35 (1987), 356-371. The literature on the later massive in scale and forced movements inside Soviet Union is vast. Inter alia see R. Conquest, The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities, London 1970, and Αl. M. Nekrich, The Punished Peoples. The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities at the End of the Second World War, New York 1978. The best account of the persecutions of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, until World War I is perhaps V. N. Dadrian’s, The History of the Armenian Genocide. Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus, Providence - Oxford 1995, 70-76, 151-157.

[2] The crimes commited by the Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian armies against the non-combatant populations during the Balkan Wars are recorded in G. F. Kennan (edit.), The Other Balkan Wars. A Carnegie Endowment Inquiry in Retrospect with a New Introduction and Reflections on the Present Conflict (original title: Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, Washington, D.C. 1914), Washington D.C. 1993, 78-108, 148-207.

[3] For remarks concerning the policy of the Balkan states towards their ethnic minorities after the conclusion of the Treaties of Bucharest (1913) and Neuilly (1919) see I. S. Koliopoulos, Leilasia Fronimaton. A. To Makedoniko Zitima stin katehomeni Dytiki Makedonia, 1941-1944 (Pillage of Beliefs. I. The Macedonian Question in Occupied Western Macedonia, 1941-1944), Thessaloniki 1995, 17, and E. Voutira, “Population Transfers and Ressettlement Policies in Inter-War Europe: The Case of Asia Minor Refugees in Macedonia from an International and National Perspective”, in Peter Mackridge and Eleni Yannakakis (edit.) Ourselves and Others: The Development of a Greek Macedonian Cultural Identity, London 1997, 113.

[4] The term “Slavo-Macedonians” is used to convey the possible ethnic origin as well as the regional one of the slavophone inhabitants of Greek Macedonia. Altough many, perhaps the majority, of the Slavo-Macedonians had or acquired the Bulgarian national conscience after their emigration to Bulgaria, and, also, despite the fact that many were persecuted as Bulgarians by the Greek or Allied authorities, the use of the term “Bulgarians” should be considered as inadequate for those who chose a different national identity, not only at that time but later as well. In fact Slavo-Macedonians themselves were and continue to be divided over the issue and the definition of their national conscience. Inter alia see, J. S. Koliopoulos, “The War over the Identity and Numbers of Greece’s Slav Macedonians”, in Ourselves and Others, 40-41.

[5] See Α. Α. Pallis, Statistiki meleti peri ton phyletikon metanastevseon Makedonias kai Thrakis kata tin Periodo 1912-1924 (Statistics on the Racial Migrations in Macedonia and Thrace during 1912-1914), Athens 1925, 5-7; cf. St. P. Ladas, The Exchange of Minorities; Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, New York 1932, 121. A few Slavo-Macedonians moved to Serbia: Arhive Srbije (from now on Α.S.)/MID-PP/31 G, r. 474 - 1914: Ministry of War to Ministry of Foreign Affaires, Belgrade, 13-6-1914.

[6] For the pressures against the Slavic population in Greek Macedonia see, B. K. Gounaris, “I slavophoni tis ellinikis Makedonias” (The Slavphones of Hellenic Macedonia) in K. Tsitselikis – D. Christopoulos (edit.) To Mionotiko Fainomeno stin Ellada. Mia Symvoli ton Koinonikon Epistimon (The Minority Issue in Greece. A Contribution of the Social Sciences), Athens 1997, 88-93, and T. Kostopoulos, I apagorevmeni glossa. Kratiki katastoli ton slavikon dialekton stin elliniki Makedonia (Forbidden Language. State Repression of the Slavic Dialects in Greek Macedonia), Athens 2002, 69-71. Regarding the activities of the Bulgarian and Young Turkish “comitadjis” in Greek and Serbian Macedonia in 1913-1914 see L. Hassiotis, Diplomatika dilimmata mias pentaetias: Oi ellinoservikes scheseis, 1913-1918 (Five Years of Diplomatic Dilhemas: Greek-Serbian Relations, 1913-1918), PhD, Thessaloniki 1998, 125-132.

[7] The Greek-Turkish crisis of 1913-1914 can be followed in Β. Κοndis, “The Problem of the Aegean Islands on the Eve of World War I and Great Britain”, Greece and Great Britain during World War I, Thessaloniki 1985, 49-63. Especially for the persecutions against the Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire see Y. G. Mourelos, “The 1914 Persecutions and the First Attempt at an Exchange of Minorities between Greece and Turkey”, Balkan Studies, 26/2 (1985), 391-392.

[8] Α.S./MID-PP/4 G, r. 30 – 1914: Serbian General Consulate to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thessaloniki, 2-1-1914.

[9] Historical Archive of Macedonia/General Administration of Macedonia (from now on, Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac.)/file 79: Department of Special Security to Police Headcourters in Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 1-3-1914; ibid: Police Headcourters to Public Prosecutor’s Office of the first instance, Thessaloniki, 3-4-1914; ibid: Gen. Adm. Mac. to Police Headcourters in Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 25-4-1914; ibid: Gen. Adm. Mac. to Supreme Command of the Gendarmery of Macedonia , Thessaloniki, 30-4-1914.

[10] On the Armenian genocide Dadrian, op.cit., 219-247. The Turkish approach on the issue is given by E. Uras, Tarihte Ermeniler ve Ermeni Meselesi (The Armenians and the Armenian Question), Istanbul 1976, 620-621.

[11] According to the information of the Greek Ministry for Foreign Affaires, during WWI there were almost 212,000 deported Greeks inside the Ottonam Empire: See C. N. Brown - Th. P. Ion, Persecutions of the Greeks in Turkey since the Beginning of the European War, New York 1918, 64-67. Other information certify the massive character of the Greek deportations in the Empire at the same period. Inter alia see G. Horton, The Blight of Asia. An Account of the Systematic Extermination of Christian Populations by the Mohammedans and of the Culpability of Certain Great Powers; with the True Story of the Burning of Smyrna, New York 1953, 41-51; cf. H. Morgentau, Secrets of the Bosphorus: Constantinople 1913-1916, London 1919, 212-214, who estimates as moderate the number of 200,000 deportees. Contemporary sources on the issue are offered by Μ. Ll . Smith, Ionian Vision. Greece in Asia Minor, 1919-1922, London 1973, 32-34, where the estimation of Gounarakis, secretary-general of the Greek High Comission in Smyrna (1919-1922), is to be found: the Greek deportees of this specific area during WWI are estimated in circa 50,000 individuals.

[12] St. Nestor, “Greek Macedonia and the Convention of Neuilly, 1919”, Balkan Studies, 3/1 (1962), 173, and L. Divani. Ellada kai Mionotites. To systima diethnous prostasias tis Kinonias ton Ethnon (Greece and the Minorities. The System of International Protection of the League of Nations), Athens 1999, 55. Regarding the Greek deportation from the region of Bitola (Monastir) inside Bulgaria see R. A. Reiss, Les infractions aux lois et conventions de la Guerre (commises par les ennemis de la Serbie depuis la retraite serbe de 1915), Paris 1918, 247.

[13] Service Historique des Armées du Tierre (from now on SHAT)/16N 3162: Guillemin to Quai d’Orsay, Athens, 4-3-1916 and 8-3-1916.

[14] Interesting information on the difficulities of the Provisional Government of Thessaloniki to impose its authority over the population of Greek Macedonia can be traced in the Serbian sources of that time; see Hassiotis, op. cit., 203-206.

[15] Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac./file104/1920: Metaxas to the Prime Minister, Paris 17-12-1920.

[16] SHAT/16N 3162: Guillemin to Quaid’Orsay, Athens 8-3-1916.

[17] SHAT/20 N 193: Report of the Deuxième Bureau of the French Armée d’Orient.

[18] On the Bulgarian offensive C. Falls, Military Operations. Macedonia. From the Outbreak of War to the Spring of 1917, London 1933, 157, 161. The attitude of the local population during the offensive was discussed in the Greek press, with the anti-Venizelist newspapers simply noting the cooperation of a part of the locals with the Bulgarians, and the pro-Venizelist ones openly accusing them as anti-Greeks and pro-Bulgarians. See e.g. “Is to metopon Florinis-Ostrovou. I tychi enos servikou syntagmatos”, nsp, Embros (n. 7126, Athens, 17-8-1916): “Parts of the Serbian regiment of Armenochori that escaped southwards of Florina, through Bulgarian villages, were massacred mainly by the villagers”; “Ta Korestia”, nsp, Patris, (n. 8159, Athens Aθήνα, 13-9-1916): «... From Florina to Klisoura and Kastoria the Greek soul is drawning by the comitadjees... Almost nothing has changed since the establishement of the Hellenic state... The small Greek population left towards [river] Aliakmon... Wherever Ferdinand’s army is going, it is welcomed with flowers... A Serbian colonel named Popovic said that [the village of] Sorovic has killed two hundred of his soldiers”.

[19] The legal aspect of the issue is discussed by Zoi Papasiopi-Pasia, Dikaio Ithagenias (Citizenship Law), Thessaloniki 2000, 6-9.

[20] Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac./file 104, Thessaloniki, 8-3-1920.

[21] For the French propaganda in Greek Macedonia during WWI: Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (from now on AMAE)/G 1914-18/Balkans, Grèce/289, Robert de Billy to Aristide Briand, Thessaloniki, 5-2-1917; AMAE/Papiers d’Agents-arch. privèes/029-Bourgeois/ 8 Question Macedonienne, Societè de Propagande National, Secretariat General; AMAE/G 1914-18/Balkans, Serbie/ 386, Sarrail to the French Ministry of War, Thessaloniki, 24-6-1917. Cf. Α.S./MID-PO/1918, f. II, d. 7, Jovan Xadji Vasiljević to I Serbian Army Command, Thessaloniki, 28-7-1918. For the initiatives of the French senator Léon Bourgeois see Miranda Stavrinos, “Les buts de la propagande française en Grèce en 1917 et 1918”, Revue des Études sud-est européenes, XXXI/1-2 (Bucarest 1993), 89-90.

[22] Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac./file 104/1920: Metaxas to Prime Minister, Paris, 17-12-1920.

[23] See General State Archives in Florina/ABE 77/AEE: Kozani, 28-11-1918; ibid, K. D. Raktivan to Gen. Adm. of Kozani-Florina, Athens 16-9-1919; Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac./file 104/1920: Police Headcourters of Thessaloniki to the Gen. Adm. Mac., Thessaloniki, 13-10-1920; ibid: Goumenissa’s Subcommand to Gen. Adm. Mac., Goumenissa, 4-5-1920.

[24] Historical Archive of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle (from now on Hist. Arch. Mus. Mac. Str.)/Archeio Kalliga/General Administration of Western Macedonia: T. Tzortzis to Command of Gendarmery, Kozani, 14-8-1919; Hist. Arch. Mac./Gen. Adm. Mac./file 104/1920: Police Directory to Gen. Adm. Mac., Thessaloniki, 13-10-1920.

[25] N. Alivizatos, I politiki thesmoi se krisi, 1922-1974. Opseis tis ellinikis empeirias (Political Institutions in crisis, 1922-1974. Aspects of the Greek Experience), Athens 1986, 340-344.

[26] Hist. Arch. Mus. Mac. Str./Archeio Kalliga/General Administration of Western Macedonia: Commander-general of Kozani-Florina to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Kozani, 22-1-1920.

[27] See Gounaris, “I slavophoni”, 92, note 46.

[28] I. D. Michailidis, Slavophoni metanastes kai prosphyges apo ti Makedonia kai ti Dytiki Thraki, 1912-1930 (Slavophone Migrants from Macedonia and Western Thrace, 1912-1930), PhD, Thessaloniki 1996, 58-62, 70.

[29] Koliopoulos, Leilasia., 11-15; cf. Gounaris, “I slavophoni”, 94-99.

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