THE MACEDONIANISATION OF THE PIRIN REGION (1946-1947)
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The authoress discusses in greater detail the arduous and relatively ineffective implementation of the national-cultural autonomy granted to the inhabitants of the Pirin Region. The population in question, whose overwhelming majority regarded itself as Bulgarians, opposed the administrative steps taken by the party authorities and FO, aimed at a radical and rapid transformation of Bulgarian national identity to Macedonian ethnic identification. It also remained well aware of the fact that the Macedonianisation of the Gornodzhumayski District was the onset of incorporating this territory into the People's Republic of Macedonia, within the Yugoslav federation. This fact was considered by the Pirin Macedonians to be tantamount to subjection to Serbian hegemony, which they ardently wished to avoid. She tries to prove that despite the multi-sided and intensified efforts supported by Belgrade and Skopje, and pursued by the central and local authorities of the Bulgarian Workers' Party (Communist) and FO, the Macedonianisation of the Region did not bring the anticipated outcome. The only tangible achievement was, in the eyes of the Yugoslav and Bulgarian pro-Macedonians, the result of a universal poll carried out in Pirin Macedonia. True, its reliability was tainted by the manipulations and large-scale forgeries performed during the poll campaign. Nonetheless, numerical data indicated the predominance of the Macedonian element in the Bulgarian part of divided Macedonia. Up to this day, this circumstance has been exploited by the supporters of the Macedonianism doctrine in their controversies with historians recognising the Bulgarian nature of the inhabitants of the Pirin Region.
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