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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



BULGARIA 

PROBLEMS y POLITICS 



BULGARIA 

PROBLEMS ^ POLITICS 



BY 



GEORGE CLENTON LOGIC 

LECTURER IN BULGARIAN, KING'S COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON 




LONDON 
WILLIAM HEINEMANN 



London t William Heinemmvn, 1919 



/ ' 



^ir^^- 



PREFACE 

The following pages were in process of printing 
when it was announced that Bulgaria was pro- 
claimed a repubHc. 

It is known that as soon as the Allied offensive 
in Macedonia began, two Bulgarian brigades 
mutinied and marched on Sofia. They sum- 
moned the Government to depose Ferdinand, 
conclude an immediate peace, execute Rado- 
slavov, and liberate the incarcerated Agrarian 
deputies. 

The Government attempted to oppose them by- 
means of the Cadets and German troops quartered 
in Sofia. For a few days the mutineers were 
held in check on the outskirts of the Bulgarian 
capital, but finally they obtained the upper 
hand, and Malinov submitted to their demands. 

It may be assumed that the Agrarian leader 
Stamboliski, on recovering his liberty, considered 
that the change of rulers was merely a case of 
substituting King Stork for King Log. Seeing 



1346223 



vi PREFACE 

that British and French troops were policing the 
Balkans and that there was no risk of inter- 
ference on the part of Bulgaria's neighbours, he, 
like the practical man he is, seized the oppor- 
tunity of making a clean sweep of the old 
system. 

All friends of the Balkan peoples should rejoice 
at this consummation, for the application of the 
Agrarian programme is the best guarantee for 
the pacification of the Balkans. The views of 
the Agrarians are the very antithesis of those 
held by the miHtarists, chauvinists, and the 
reptilian personalities about Ferdinand, who for 
the past twenty years have battened on the toil of 
the peasantry. In order that these incendiaries 
may be prevented from lifting their heads again, 
it is necessary that the large number of Mace- 
donian immigrants in Bulgaria, whose longing 
for freedom the former so adroitly exploited for 
their own ends, should be reinstated in their 
homes. The Allies ought to hold a plebiscite in 
Macedonia and the Dobrudja, and this would 
clear Bulgaria of all the disaffected elements, for 
both Macedonians and Dobrudjans would hasten 
to make their voices heard in the shaping of their 
countries' destinies. 



PREFACE vii 

The danger of leaving the Macedonians in 
Bulgaria will be better realized if it be remem- 
bered that in September 191 5 the Agrarians and 
Socialists failed to thwart the Bulgarian mobiliza- 
tion mainly because Ferdinand had previously 
mobihzed 40,000 Macedonians, whom he used 
as a bludgeon to overawe the Bulgarians into 
accepting his policy. The Bulgarian peasantry 
once freed from these restive elements will work 
out the salvation of their country in their own 
manner, and no one acquainted with their sterling 
qualities can doubt of their ultimate success. 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. PLAIN WORDS ON THE BALKAN QUES- 
TION I 

II. POLITICAL PARTIES 49 

III. IN THE WAKE OF THE BALKAN WARS 93 

IV. THE UNEDIFYING STORY OF THE NEGO- 

TIATIONS 1 16 

v. INTERVENTION AND AFTER 151 

VI. ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 195 

VII. BULGARIAN CLAIMS TO THE MORAVA 

AND MACEDONIA 231 

INDEX 277 



Ix 



1 



BULGARIA: PROBLEMS 
AND POLITICS 

CHAPTER I 

PLAIN WORDS ON THE BALKAN 
QUESTION 

Bulgaria's unexpected capitulation was the 
result, not only of the military defeat inflicted on 
her army, but also of the growing conviction of 
her people that they had little to fear from the 
triumph of the Allied cause. Nevertheless, but 
for the brilliant success of the Salonica army and 
the inability of Germany to lend any effective 
aid to her Balkan ally, it may be safely assumed 
that the feeling of the people would never have 
been able to exercise a decisive influence in the 
shaping of Bulgaria's policy. The peace party 
in Bulgaria had been steadily growing in strength 
as may be gathered from the attitude of the 
Agrarians, Social Democrats, and Radicals — the 
three parties which are undoubtedly backed by 
the bulk of the Bulgarian people — but unfor- 
tunately they were not in a position to impose 
their views on the Government, which was 
entirely controlled by the pro-German elements. 



2 BULGARIA 

The majority in the Sobranje was composed of 
three so-called " Liberal " parties, which are pro- 
German, and therefore any Government in power 
was bound to take their views into consideration, 
unless it could reckon on the support of the 
Crown. However, on this matter of policy 
Crown and Parliamentary majority were at one. 
That the nation was resolutely in favour of peace 
may be inferred from the fact that, when the 
mandate of the present Chamber expired a few 
months ago and the question of its renewal was 
discussed, the Socialists, Agrarians, and Radicals 
expressed themselves in favour of holding fresh 
elections immediately, while all the other parties, 
including that of Malinov, steadfastly opposed 
this view, and put forward as their strongest 
argument against consulting the electorate, that 
the " plank " on which the election would be 
decided would be : peace or the prolongation of 
the war. As it was feared that the people would 
vote in favour of peace, it was decided that a 
consultation of the people's will should be de- 
ferred until a time when its expression could 
not traverse the policy hitherto followed ; and 
eventually the Sobranje voted for the prolonga- 
tion of the mandate until six months after the 
demobilization of the army. When, last June, 
Malinov was called upon to form a new Cabinet, 
he was confronted with the dilemma of either' 
pursuing the poHcy of his predecessors in office, 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 3 

and thereby alienating the Left parties from 
which he derived his main support both within 
and without the Chamber, or of heeding the 
voice of the nation and coming into conflict with 
both Crown and Parhament. Malinov was not 
the man to grapple with such a difficult problem, 
and to assume the role of champion and spokes- 
man of the nation's wishes. He followed a 
middle course, which was the easiest thing for 
him to do, and his line of conduct might have been 
traced beforehand with almost mathematical pre- 
cision. It was merely a question of estimating 
aright the powers of the two opposing forces, 
and of solving a very simple algebraic equation. 
We thus see Malinov on his assumption of office, 
and when German influence was still in the 
ascendant, making the most fervid declarations 
as to his intention of pursuing a pro-German 
policy. A little later, when war-weariness began 
to manifest itself in an alarming manner in 
Bulgaria, and the Left parties were wildly 
clamouring for a democratic peace and the 
renunciation of Bulgarian claims to the Morava 
district and Northern Dobrudja, we find him 
attempting to preach unity and compromise, 
and expounding the axiom " neither to the Left 
nor to the Right." Finally, when the Allies 
began thundering at Bulgaria's door, and it 
became threateningly clear that it might yield, 
the Bulgarian Prime Minister falls further into 



4 BULGARIA 

line with his supporters of the Left, and declares 
in his mouthpiece, the Preporets (September i8, 
1918) : 

The enemy is furiously attacking our lines at a moment 
when much is being said about a just peace based on the 
principle of self-determination. 

If the Entente's declarations were sincere, would this 
fresh sacrifice of lives be necessary in order that a just 
peace should be arrived at in the Balkans ? The flag under 
which the Entente is fighting is also Bulgaria's flag. A 
small people like ours could only ensure its security, liberty, 
and national unity under the aegis of justice. Bulgaria 
would willingly accept the just verdict of an impartial 
international tribunal, which certainly would not fail to 
acknowledge her rights. Why, then, all these fresh sacri- 
fices ? Has the Entente become a plaything in the hands 
of the Serbians and the Greeks ? Is it not fighting to 
secure their domination in the Balkans ? What, then, 
becomes of the self-determination of peoples ? Is it a mere 
empty word ? 

This sudden blustering of the Government 
organ evoked the following just remark from the 
Zemledelsko Zname, of the Agrarian party : 

This is all very well, and we congratulate the Government 
organ on what it says, although this is rather late. At the 
same time, however, we ask what has it done so far to bring 
Bulgaria near to such an international tribunal ? 

It may be stated without exaggeration that 
the vast majority of the Bulgarian people never 
approved of the pro-German policy which was 
foisted on them by their rulers, and only accepted 
it because they were given to understand — and 
the attitude of the Entente gave colour to the 
belief— that Bulgaria's ethnical unification could 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 5 

not be achieved in co-operation with the Allies. 
Tsar Ferdinand's responsibility in involving his 
country in the war was so patent that when it 
became evident that his personal policy had 
failed, he, like a criminal fearful of being brought 
to justice, made haste to escape from the country 
and sought refuge among his confederates. 
There are scarcely any circumstances that can 
be adduced in extenuation of his guilt, for he 
dehberately tricked his people and involved 
them in the war by false pretences, as we see if 
we read the text of the Bulgarian declaration of 
war against Serbia. 

Prior to October 191 5, no one acquainted with 
the Bulgarian people would have admitted that 
they in any way approved of the Germanophil 
policy of their rulers, and there are plenty of 
indications that even their prolonged mihtary 
co-operation with the Germans has done nothing 
to allay that inveterate hatred of the " Schwaba " 
which the Bulgarians share with all Slav peoples. 
Not only were political relations between Bul- 
garia and her alHes strained almost to breaking- 
point long before she capitulated, but what is 
even more significant is, that notwithstanding 
the most assiduous attempts at a German cul- 
tural penetration of Bulgaria — a movement which 
was fostered and upheld alike by Ferdinand and 
by his Ministers — the Bulgarian people showed 
themselves hostile to this propaganda, and had 



6 BULGARIA 

even organized themselves to oppose it by- 
forming the league of Bulgarian Authors and 
Professors. Even Germans, and here we have 
the testimony of Von den Steinen, deplored that 
their propaganda in Bulgaria had failed. More 
remarkable still, they attributed this failure to 
the hatred and contempt with which those cor- 
rupt Bulgarian politicians, to whose subservience 
they owed Bulgaria's adherence to the Central 
Alliance, were regarded ! And what was the fate 
foreshadowed for these pro-German politicians ? 
In the words of Von den Steinen : " At the next 
Parliamentary elections these parties (the Rado- 
slavov coalition) will simply be extirpated, and 
then our situation will indeed be difficult if we 
have not succeeded in forming other ties with 
the Bulgarian people." 

And does not the following statement made by 
Madjarov, the Minister of Agriculture, and 
probably the most Germanophil member of the 
present Malinov Cabinet, corroborate to some 
extent the views of Von den Steinen ? " Ger- 
many," he says, " should get more into touch 
than she has done hitherto with the intellectual 
classes of Bulgaria, and should not regard the 
alliance as a purely party matter. The mistakes 
committed by the last Bulgarian Government are 
connected in the popular mind with Germany, 
because the people are convinced that Germany 
encouraged them." 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 7 

Indeed no better proof could be furnished of 
the Bulgarians' disavowal of the policy of Rado- 
slavov than the pronouncement in the organ of 
the Agrarian party.^ Commenting on his fall it 
said : " The Bulgarian people feel as if they had 
been freed from a huge millstone hanging round 
their neck." 

The resolutions passed by the Social Democrats 
at the meeting of the party in Sofia on September 
I and 2, 191 8, are tantamount to a downright 
denunciation of the policy hitherto followed.^ 

* Zemledelsko Zname, June 26, 1918. 

* The following were some of the resolutions adopted : 
I. Against Imperialism and for a Lasting Peace. 

(i) The meeting considers that the principal duty of the 
Social-Democratic party in the present circumstances is to 
facilitate the conclusion of a democratic peace, based on 
the principle of the self-determination of peoples. 

Consequently, Bulgarian policy should restrict its pre- 
tensions by openly declaring itself against the annihilation 
of States which are awaiting their restoration and by 
renouncing the conquest of territories which form an integral 
part of neighbouring States, for this would infringe the 
vital interests of these States and would hinder a common 
understanding among the Balkan peoples. This understand- 
ing is indispensable for the independence of the Balkans 
and the peaceful development of the peoples inhabiting 
them. 

The party has been, and remains, the resolute opponent of 
all Imperialism, which aims at imposing itself for its interests 
and for the purpose of maintaining perpetual discords 
among the Balkan peoples. For this reason a policy of 
understanding, aiming at solving the territorial questions 
which separate us from Serbia, Greece, and Rumania, 
imposes itself on all. 

{2) The meeting emphasizes the necessity of creating a 
League of Nations as a condition of a permanent peace, 



8 BULGARIA 

The Press organ of the party characterized 
Radoslavov's policy as a " churHsh provocation 
of our neighbours." The Narod, in fact, had 
always combated the immoderate demands of 
the Bulgarian Jingoes, as may be seen from an 
article it published on March 1 8, 191 8, in which 
it counselled moderation and leniency towards 
Rumania.^ 

and expresses itself in favour of the treaties so far con- 
cluded in order that the establishment of an international 
regime, based on the liberty of the peoples and the right 
of self-determination, be arrived at. 

(3) Social Democracy is the resolute opponent of all wars 
of conquest, and recommends an early peace, but as long 
as the enemy is at our frontiers, lying in wait to invade 
our territories (which could only result in the destruction 
and subjugation of the country), it proclaims that it is the 
supreme duty of the army and of the population to defend 
the independence of Bulgaria. 

^ " Hardly any other nation has had such a lesson as the 
Bulgarians. The year 1913 should be remembered, when 
some of us believed that Bulgaria could not do without 
Rodosto, and claimed Salonica, because its Hinterland 
would have been ours. Bulgaria must not show herself 
revengeful in Bucarest. The questions it would take cen- 
turies to solve cannot be settled at one stroke. In short, 
Bulgaria must come to an understanding with Rumania, 
and not behave towards her as a dictator or a conqueror. 
Every word, every action of our delegation which may be 
interpreted as a sign of sympathy and friendship towards 
Rumania, will have greater importance than the obtaining 
of the most strategical frontier. This attitude should not 
be dictated by regard for the corrupt Rumanian landlords, 
who, had the military situation been different, would not 
have scrupled to appropriate Varna, Shumla, and Rust- 
chuk, but by respect for the Rumanian nation, for 
whose sake every care should be taken to avoid injury to 
its aspirations for independence, union, and cultural pro- 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 9 

It is indeed highly regrettable that Entente 
diplomacy in the course of the last three years 
has done so little to exploit that profound dislike 
and latent hostility which the majority of the 
Bulgarian nation had always felt for its late 
ruler and the views he professed. It may even 
be said that the policy pursued in leading 
Entente .quarters — namely, that of embracing 
in one sweeping condemnation everything Bul- 
garian, directly contributed to the strengthening 
of the ties between the Bulgarian monarch and 
his people, and to it should be ascribed the fact 
of the nation having been turned unwillingly 
and unwittingly into a weapon of reaction. 

Had the Entente leaders ofHcially announced 
their determination to apply without discrimina- 
tion the principle of nationaHty in the Balkans, 
it would have been materially impossible for the 
Bulgarian Government to prolong the war for 
the attainment of any object which the nation 
did not approve. And the Bulgarian people's 
demands were modest and equitable, and could 
have certainly been satisfied by the integral 
carrying out of the principle suum cuique. That 
these Bulgarian claims were on the whole 
moderate and logical will be realized if we 
remember that in 1876 the European Powers, 

gress. Bulgaria has lived through a great tragedy, and she 
should be careful. No considerations whatever should make 
her pitiless. Good-neighbourly relations between the small 
Balkan countries must be the chief aim of their statesmen." 



10 BULGARIA 

through their delegates in Constantinople, con- 
ceded of their own free will to Bulgaria almost 
all she is claiming to-day as her patrimony. It 
would certainly have been useless to have 
attempted the detachment of ofhcial Bulgaria 
from the Central Powers as long as the latter 
were unbeaten, but much could have been done 
in the way of undermining the position of 
Bulgaria's rulers, and the strengthening of the 
pacifist and pro-Entente elements in the country. 
It would only have been necessary to adjust our 
programme to that of America to have compelled 
Tsar Ferdinand to come to terms with the Allies, 
or to avow openly that he was fighting for the 
Teutons.^ And though Ferdinand would have 

1 Had such a line of conduct been adopted, nothing 
would have been easier than to create a Bulgarian national 
movement similar to the Greek national movement initiated 
by M. Venizelos. There is no reason to suppose that 
General Radko Dimitriev, the idol of the Bulgarian army, 
who was fighting in Russia, and the score of Bulgarian 
officers who were with him, would have refused to head 
such a movement, if guarantees had been forthcoming 
that the AlUes would do justice to Bulgarian claims. There 
were plenty of Bulgarian deserters who would have readily 
volunteered to join, and several thousand Bulgarians would 
certainly have flocked from the United States. That 
there were sufficient elements to form a nucleus is shown in 
the following quotation from the Reviie des Deux Mondes 
(July 15, 1917, p. 297) : " En tout cas on remarque toujours 
parmi ces troupeaux d'Asie et d'Afrique, des Europeens 
tr^s bruns, I'air vigoureux et intelligent, qui portent I'uni- 
forme fran9ais avec un leger signe distinctif : ce sont des 
d^serteurs bulgares. On les emploie, au dehors, k des 
travaux dont il vaut mieux ne rien dire et dont ils s'ac- 



THE BALKAN QUESTION n 

favoured the latter policy, we may be certain 
that his people would not have followed his lead, 
and thereby forfeited every claim to American 
sympathy. How highly the latter was valued is 
obvious from the following remarks of a Bulgarian 
ex-Minister ^ : " America will be the arbiter at the 
future peace conference. The Americans sym- 
pathize with us because our cause is just, we 
only wish to safeguard our independence and 
liberty, and to realize our national unification. 
The Americans cannot but support us." It is 
mainly owing to the justice of the Bulgarian 
national claims that the United States, in spite 
of all the pressure brought to bear, refused to 
declare war on Bulgaria. Mr. Flood, the chair- 
man of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 
House of Representatives in Washington, stated 
in December 1917 : " Bulgarian interest in the 
war is purely local. The Bulgarians not only have 
no interests in German plans for world conquest, 
but are already beginning to appreciate the 
dangers of German domination." 

This was a correct appreciation of Bulgarian 

quittent k la grande satisfaction de leurs chefs." It may 
also be noted that there were several Bulgarians serving in 
the French L6gion Etrangere, among them the son of General 
Ivanov, of Adrianople fame. This scheme was mooted 
and it was even proposed that the Allies should offer a new 
ruler to the Bulgarians, who would have strongly appealed 
to them owing to his family name. Nothing, however, 
came of this proposition. 
1 T. Todorov. 



12 BULGARIA 

aims. Even Tsar Ferdinand had not dared to 
place his army at the complete disposal of 
the Germans, and it will be found that in the 
Bulgaro-German treaty there is a stipulation by 
which Bulgarian troops were to be employed 
only in regions to which the Bulgarians laid 
claim. Thus quite a storm of protests arose in 
the Sobranje when Bulgarian troops were sent 
north of the Danube to operate against Rumania, 
because Bulgarian claims were confined to the 
south of the river, and Radoslavov was at pains 
to find a justification for this apparent breach of 
the allied agreement. 

The Bulgarian Government also had judiciously 
abstained from declaring war against us, in order 
to justify itself in the eyes of its people by taking 
up the posture of a victim, and it inculcated 
hatred of us among them by disseminating the 
beHef that we were bent on Bulgaria's dismember- 
ment. 

The Americans are at a distance which permits 
them to judge dispassionately, and we may 
assume that it was their knowledge of the justice 
of some of the Bulgarian national claims that 
prevented them from severing diplomatic rela- 
tions with Bulgaria. The case of Turkey is 
quite different. America has undoubtedly been 
influenced in her attitude towards her by the 
extensive missionary interests she possesses in 
the Ottoman Empire, which would be gravely 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 13 

compromised by her declaring war against it. 
There is valuable American property in Turkey 
which would be put in jeopardy, and the magnifi- 
cent educational and missionary work accom- 
pHshed during the last fifty years would run the 
risk of being undone. The magnitude of the 
educational work accomplished by America in 
the Near East has not been properly appreciated 
in this country. Not only Robert College, 
rightly considered as a model establishment of 
its kind, is an American institution, but there are 
American colleges in Kharput, Aintab, Marsovan, 
Beirut, Tarsus, and Marash, and a girls' college 
in Arnaoutkcuy, Constantinople ; besides innu- 
merable schools opened by American missionaries 
and maintained by funds generously contributed 
by the American pubHc for the diffusion of 
knowledge among the races downtrodden by the 
Turks. 

There is Httle doubt that certain secret agree- 
ments precluded us from countenancing the just 
aspirations of the Balkan nations and from 
adopting a policy that might have facilitated an 
early disruption of the Central AlHance. For 
Entente diplomacy, in spite of all its numerous 
professions of faith, does not in the least appear 
to have aimed in the early period of the present 
conflict at upholding the principles it advocated. 
Instead of standing firmly by the principle of 
nationality, the application of which has been 



14 BULGARIA 

universally admitted as essential for a rational 
settlement of the Balkan question, it rather 
seemed to favour the " compensation " theory. 
On September 29, 191 5, Lord Crewe said: 
" From our point of view it is immaterial by 
whom a particular district is occupied so far as 
our national interests are concerned." This was 
the spirit that made it possible for us to promise 
Constantinople to Russia, the Serbian Banat to 
Rumania, and Jugo-Slav and Greek districts to 
Italy. Can we then wonder if this attitude of 
the AlHed Powers estranged both Greeks and 
Bulgarians, and turned these potential alHes into 
covert or open adversaries of the Entente ? 

At the time Russia was the main hope and 
stay of the Allies, and there was some excuse for 
Western acquiescence in the Russian demands, 
although these constituted a violation of the 
principles championed by the Coalition. But 
can it be said in defence of the policy pursued by 
the Entente that the removal of this incubus, 
which the Russian revolution so auspiciously 
effected, was taken advantage of to allay the 
just apprehensions the Russian designs on Con- 
stantinople had raised both in Bulgaria and 
Greece ? The moment was extremely propitious 
for influencing the Russophil elements in Bulgaria, 
but unfortunately nothing seems to have been 
done. Bulgaria, it may be said, was a closed 
book for the Allies, and very few persons of 



THE BAI.KAN QUESTION 15 

authority in our midst possessed sufficient know- 
ledge of its people to enlighten our leaders as to 
the necessity for a new orientation of our policy. 
But if ignorance of Bulgaria may be pleaded in 
justification of our abstinence from all diplomatic 
offensives against the Bulgarian Government, it 
is impossible to put forward any excuse for the 
way we handled the situation in Greece. With 
the tragi-comedy played by the late King Con- 
stantine we need not concern ourselves here, but 
as to the causes of the highly dangerous atmos- 
phere pervading Greece throughout this summer 
it would be well to enlighten pubHc opinion, so 
that the danger with which every deviation from 
the accepted principle of nationality is fraught 
in the Balkans should be properly realized. It 
would be no exaggeration to say that we were 
probably heading for a fresh Balkan disaster, 
when Marshal Foch dispelled by his victories 
the legend of German invincibility which had 
hitherto had such a wide currency in the Near 
East. 

The disquieting symptoms which manifested 
themselves in Greece were neither few nor 
isolated. It is doubtful, however, whether they 
attracted the attention of those in charge of our 
foreign policy. At any rate no steps appear to 
have been taken to remedy the evil, and things 
were left to take their course. 

Mutinies broke out in the Greek army in 



i6 BULGARIA 

Lamia, Thebes, Nauplia, Corinth, and Serfidje. 
The revolt in this last locality seems to have 
been of a serious character, for over 1200 officers 
and soldiers were subsequently court-martialled, 
including a colonel who was reported to have 
counselled his men to husband their ammunition, 
" as they would very soon need it for use against 
the British and French." Throughout Greece 
there was a barely disguised feeling of dissatis- 
faction with the policy pursued by M. Venizelos, 
and many people in Greece began to manifest 
regret for the departure of their late " martyr " 
king. Greek officers were caught singing the ode 
to King Constantine and were punished, while 
hundreds of others were dismissed from the army 
for their avowed pro-Constantinian sympathies. 
We hear of a general and a bishop condemned to 
four and five years' imprisonment respectively, 
because they did not sufficiently conceal their 
hostility to the present regime} serious misgiv- 
ings as to the loyalty of the officers and of the 
higher officials to M. Venizelos' Government were 
expressed in the Press,^ and even when an appeal 

^ Nea Hellas, June 16, and Proodos, July 11, 1918. 

2 The following leader in the Hestia (June 23, 1918), under 
the heading " Unfortunately such is the Truth," provides 
sufficient insight into the morale of the country : 

" We do not wish to pretend that all our Deputies are 
innocent, that none fails to forget the advancement of his 
private interests in view of the critical state of the situa- 
tion. Fortunately the exceptions are few, as also are those 
who imagine that by personal and provincial acts of corrup- 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 17 

was made to Greek ladies for Red Cross work 
they ostentatiously refused to co-operate, al- 
though they served most devotedly during the 
Balkan Wars. 

We need not go far to seek the causes which 
gave rise to these most disappointing manifesta- 
tion they will be able to survive in case the policy which 
they make apretence of following proves unsuccessful [sic]. 
And we say pretend, because the depravity of the former 
and the stupidity of the latter are such that it is not possible 
to consider them as real liberals [sic]. [This paragraph is 
very obscure in the original.] But this attitude of certain 
deputies pales before a systematic opposition with which the 
Government meets in every undertaking from prominent 
civil servants in the various administrations. We do not 
understand how it comes about that in almost all the civil 
services the principal people, newly nominated or remaining 
from before [the change of Government], are reactionaries. 
This is a fact which nobody can deny and for which the 
Government is entirely responsible. 

" This is a serious matter for all the services, but it is 
particularly critical for the military administration and 
those connected with it. 

" No one is in ignorance of the fact that the trustworthy 
officers, to whom was confided the task of requisitioning 
beasts of burden, not only appropriated the public money, 
but placed themselves at the head of the Thebes mutineers. 
Can the Government assure us that the officers employed 
since on this and similar missions are devoted to the present 
regime ? We have received a definite accusation about the 
wife of such an officer, who is said to visit the houses of 
the peasants of a certain province and harangue them against 
the war. 

" The Government had obtained powers to degrade reserve 
officers to the rank of privates for having participated in 
the anti-Venizelist riots of December 1916, or for having 
taken an active part in the ' Reservist ' movement. Has 
the Government made use of this prerogative in a manner 
enabling it to declare with authority that among the 



I 8 BULGARIA 

tions. It would be a grave mistake to attribute 

them to an alleged lack of martial spirit among 

the Greeks, as there is a tendency to do, for the 

Greeks have given the lie to this theory on more 

than one occasion, indeed whenever they have 

known what they were fighting for. The real 

cause of the lack of enthusiasm among some, and 

of the passive opposition to M. Venizelos' policy 

on the part of others, was that the mass of the 

Greek people saw no valid reason why they 

should fight at all. The German propaganda 

had assiduously fostered the belief that Germany 

would keep her promise to King Constantine and 

restore to Greece what King Constantine volun- 

mobilized officers of the reserve no vile adherents of King 
Constantine have been included ? Has any control been 
exercised ? 

" Our private information leads us to believe that the 
reactionaries already occupying posts and even important 
posts [literally ' central '] are so many that they cannot be 
counted on one's fingers. We may point out that one was 
nominated to a post in Athens just after he had been 
released on bail by the Court. We need hardly say that 
the main object of such men is to find soft jobs for those 
who share their opinions. In spite of the risk of being mis- 
represented, we consider it our duty to lay stress on these 
matters in order to draw to them the attention of the Prime 
Minister, who is also Minister for War. 

" There is plenty of time for the purification of the other 
services. But for the complete purification of the military 
service and a minute examination of the officers, whom the 
nation entrusts with the task of washing off the stain upon 
its honour, immediate and energetic action is absolutely neces- 
sary. It is a thousand times better that a few persons should 
be wronged than that persons unworthy of being officers 
and Greeks should remain within the ranks of the cirmy." 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 19 

tarily allowed the Bulgarians to occupy. Ger- 
many, declared her agents in Greece, and they 
were legion, is holding Northern Dobrudja as a 
pledge until Bulgaria evacuates all Greek terri- 
tory, and as a proof of Germany's goodwill 
towards the Greek nation the fact that the 
Central Empires had not declared war against 
Greece was pertinently evoked. And the Greek 
people, who still suffered from the after-effects of 
the insidious German propaganda carried on for 
some three years in their midst, asked them- 
selves : Why should we fight when we can get 
back our territory without waging war ? — while 
many came to the conclusion that by fighting 
they would only provoke Germany's wrath and 
make her withdraw her promises. The logical 
inference drawn by all was : boycott the war, 
give as little provocation as possible to Germany, 
and show that Greece has fallen a victim to 
violence and so will have a right to appeal to 
Germany's clemency. 

Are we to blame the Greek people for this 
deplorable situation ? The guilt is largely ours, 
for from the very first we cold-shouldered M. 
Venizelos. The way the Greek national move- 
ment in Salonica was treated by the Entente 
forms one of the least inspiring chapters of the 
history of the war.^ Even after M. Venizelos' 

1 It is intelligible that even the pro-German Greek 
General Dusmanis, now interned by the French, should in 



20 BULGARIA 

return to Athens we did nothing to help him 
arouse in the Greek nation that enthusiasm 
without which no people can be expected to 
fight. To the thousands who had flocked to his 
standard in Salonica, his appeal was to wash off 
the stain cast on Greek honour, and to drive out 
the Germans and Bulgarians from Greek terri- 
tory. Such promptings may have proved suffi- 
cient to the brave and warlike Cretans, or to the 
unredeemed Greeks, who burned to avenge them- 
selves on the prime instigators of the wholesale 
extermination of which their kinsmen were the 
victims in Turkey. But they could not possibly 
be expected to kindle enthusiasm within the 
precincts of the Hellenic kingdom. First, because 
the view that Greece was not bound by her 
treaty to succour Serbia had been instilled into 
the public by the previous rulers of Greece, and 
secondly, because for reasons already adduced, it 
was generally held that a struggle against the 
Central Powers could only yield negative results. 
As a consequence M. Venizelos' warlike shout 
" To Sofia ! " failed to stir the Greek people 

an interview have expressed his commiseration for M. 
Venizelos in the following terms : " Venizelos never saw 
the game of the European Powers. They played with him 
and they broke him. Even when he split Greece in two 
with his revolution, and went with them, they never meant 
to give him a chance. He could have raised an army of 
150,000 sturdy fighters, but his Western friends hindered 
him in every possible way by restricting the zone of his 
operations." 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 21 

sufficiently, and the bright hopes nurtured by 
the Philhellenes began to vanish into thin air. 

Many admirers of M. Venizelos hold that his 
powers border on the miraculous, and such an 
opinion is justifiable when we come to consider 
that it was he who in 1909 helped Greece out of 
the Serbonian bog in which she had hitherto 
floundered. His only shortcoming is his extreme 
modesty, and this at a period when ImperiaHsm 
is rampant is bound to prove an impediment. 
All are acquainted with the aspirations of the 
Hellenic race. The chief object is the liberation 
of some 5,000,000 Greeks throughout the Otto- 
man Empire. The emancipation of these unre- 
deemed fellow-countrymen is all the more 
ardently desired to-day, because they have been 
subjected to the most brutal persecution by the 
Young Turks. 

Inspired by the Germans, who saw in the 
Greek element the only obstacle to their pacific 
penetration of Turkey, the Turks began to apply 
a systematic policy of annihilation to the Greek 
race throughout their empire. The persecutions 
began in 191 3, and resulted at first in the forcible 
expatriation of some 400,000 Greeks, mostly 
from European Turkey. As these Ottoman 
Greeks, however, sought refuge in the Hellenic 
Kingdom, and thereby tended to increase its 
strength, the Turks changed their system, and 
instead of expelling their Greek subjects pro- 



22 BULGARIA 

ceeded to banish them into the interior of Asia 
Minor, where they let them die of starvation. 
Thus all the flourishing Greek settlements along 
the coast of Asia Minor, from Trebizond to the 
Bosphorus, along the entire coast of the Sea of 
Marmora, and from the Dardanelles as far south 
as Mersina, have ceased to exist. In the homes 
vacated by the Greek settlers, Moslems were 
installed, or, when this could not be accomplished, 
houses were set on fire so that every vestige of 
these communities should be destroyed. The 
policy of ruthless extermination which had been 
applied to the hapless Armenians has since been 
applied to the Greeks, and they, who for five 
centuries were able to maintain their supremacy 
in the Ottoman Empire in spite of all the persecu- 
tion to which they had been subjected, ran the 
risk of being completely wiped out. In the past 
the Turks were only actuated by their barbarous 
instincts, and these proved unavailing against 
the deep national consciousness of the Greeks. 
Of late, however, when the murderous activities 
of the Turks were guided by German intelligence, 
this Turkish poHcy of wholesale murder and 
rapine caused consternation throughout the 
Hellenic world. It is the untold suffering to 
which these unfortunate Ottoman Greek popula- 
tions have been subjected that enabled M. 
Venizelos to muster round him in Salonica the 
Army of National Defence, According to a 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 23 

Greek paper,^ 45,000 men of the lately styled 
Venizelist army were refugees from Turkey. We 
can easily imagine, therefore, what are the senti- 
ments cherished by these troops. The Greek 
nation had little cause for enmity against the 
Bulgarians, for the most savage Bulgarian ex- 
cesses pale and sink into insignificance before the 
holocaust- in which more than 500,000 Greeks 
have perished in Turkey.^ 

The unanimous desire by which the Greek 
nation was, and is, animated, is a deep yearning 
for revenge against the Turkish oppressor, and 
as regards the Bulgarians they would willingly 
accept the principle of " live and let live." This 
may seem to some a rather bold assertion to 
make, nevertheless it is a fact. German propa- 
ganda in Greece may be credited with having 
effected that which Entente politicians had in 
vain striven to attain — namely, to appease the 
unreasonable hatred with which the Greeks 
viewed everything Bulgarian. In corroboration 
of this assertion we need only recall how a 
Greek Prime Minister, the late M. Theotokis, 
asserted that Germany stopped the pursuit of 
the Salonica army in 191 5, because Greece had 
intimated that she could not countenance the 
invasion of Greek territory by Bulgarians. By 

* HelHn, February 25, 1918. 

* See articles in Revista d'ltalia, New York Times, and 
National Zeitiing of Basle, which cannot be accused of 
partiality for the Greeks, 



24 BULGARIA 

May 1 91 6, however, owing to the soporific 
effects of German propaganda in Greece, Greek 
suspicion and hatred of the Bulgarians had 
vanished as if by miracle, and the whole of 
Greek Eastern Macedonia was handed over to 
the Bulgarians. I could not see the slightest 
signs of dissatisfaction in Athens at the time, 
and this transfer evoked no protest from any 
quarter save an impotent outcry in the Venizelist 
Press ! 

The Bulgarians were then alluded to as " 01 
(pi\oi flag 01 8ov\yapoi" and M. Passarov, the 
Bulgarian Ambassador in Athens, was the lion of 
Athenian society — to use a French expression, 
"on se I'arrachait." He was daily entertained 
by the leading families of Kifissia, the aristocratic 
suburb of Athens. 

The old anti-Bulgarian passions had burned 
out so completely that M. Venizelos found it 
necessary, in order to persuade his troops to fight 
the Bulgarians, to preach the gospel of hate 
against the latter, and he undertook a tour of 
inspection on the Macedonian front, in which he 
endeavoured by his harangues to revive the old 
feud between the two nations. We see this from 
the following passage of one of his speeches 
delivered on the Struma front, and reported 
by the Emhros (August 20, 191 8) : "Do you 
know for how long we have been fighting 
against the Bulgarians ? It is neither five. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 25 

ten, twenty, but 1350 years. And this be- 
cause the Bulgarians are covetous and seek to 
subjugate their neighbours. We do not seek to 
conquer Bulgarian territories. We wish to live 
at ease within our entirely Greek frontiers. Of 
course war is not pleasant, but we have to accept 
it because we do not wish to become enslaved by 
the Bulgarians." 

One is inclined to think that at a time when 
both Greeks and Bulgarians were burning to 
attack the Turks, it would have been more 
judicious to fan the flame of their common 
hostihty to Turkey than to attempt to rekindle 
their old mutual hatred. Much could have been 
done in that direction, for anti-Turkish feeling 
was running so high at the time in Bulgaria that 
the Bulgarians would certainly have connived at 
a Greek attack on Turkey. A Bulgarian paper, 
in fact, went so far as to hint that the Greeks 
should attack the Turks, and even instructed 
them how they could best achieve success.^ 

1 " The final aim of the Greeks, their secret ambition, is 
Constantinople. The Dardanelles block the way by sea, 
and the overcoming of this obstacle is beyond the forces 
of the Greeks. Therefore the Greeks must advance by 
land. A glance at the map will show that the distance by 
way of Asia Minor is much shorter than by way of the 
Balkan peninsula. Besides, if the Greeks proceed through 
Macedonia and Thrace they will encounter Bulgarian resis- 
tance. Even if we should assume that they will be more 
fortunate than the British and French, and that they will 
manage to pierce our positions, they will be unable to 
advance on Constantinople, because their rear will be con- 



26 BULGARIA 

The Allies, however, have not only abstained 
from encouraging the legitimate and natural 
desire of the Greeks to throw themselves whole- 
heartedly into a struggle against their secular 
oppressors, but have done everything to dis- 
illusion them and to damp their ardour. M. 
Venizelos could hold out no better inducement 
to the Greeks to fight than the fear of a hypo- 
thetical future Bulgarian hegemony in the Bal- 
kans, nor could he offer any more solid comfort 
to them than that conveyed in his Kifissia 
speech of June 27, 1918, namely: "Even 
beaten with the Entente, Greece would be in 
a better position as regards her national future 
than she would be if victorious with the other 
group." 

Greek patriots were dismayed by the coolness 
manifested by the Entente for their cause, and 
by the disdain with which Greek aspirations 
were regarded. It is true we heard little owing 
to the draconian Greek censorship and to the 
complete muzzling of the Greek Press. But the 
manifestations which have been referred to were 
portents which it was senseless to disregard. To 
what extremes the Greek Government had 

tinually threatened by the forces of the Central Alliance. 
Moreover, the Greeks will be forced to overcome our 
organized defences and then attack the Turks, while owing, 
to the great length of the Asia Minor coast they will only 
need to wage a war of movement in that country." — Voenni 
Jsvestia, April 19, 1918, 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 27 

thought fit to go in order to stifle the voice of 
the nation may be seen by its prohibiting the 
meeting of a Pan-Hellenic Congress which was 
convoked in Athens last March. Not less symp- 
tomatic was the recent dismissal from his post 
of the able editor of the Jllytrotos, who ventured 
to champion rather too openly the cause of the 
unredeemed Greeks. According to an Athens 
daily,! ^j^e Government forbade the various 
irredentist associations, such as those of the 
refugees from Thrace, Asia Minor, Epirus, etc., 
to have programmes 'deviating in the slightest 
degree from the official policy of the Govern- 
ment. 

Disapproval of the policy pursued could only 
find free expression in the Chamber. Stratos, an 
ex-Minister, speaking on April 9, 191 8, asked 
what compensations the Allies were offering to 
Greece in exchange for the blood she was asked 
to shed, and for the economic servitude she was 
being forced into, and pertinently remarked that 
if the Entente thought fit to erect a Jewish 
State in Palestine, the Greeks had a right to 
demand of the AlHes that they should at least 
grant autonomy to their co-nationals in Thrace 
and Asia Minor. No reference to these remarks 
of Stratos appear in the Parliamentary reports 
published in the Athenian Press, and the reason 
is obvious. Such criticism would be heartily 
* Nea Hellas, August 23, 191 8. 



28 BULGARIA 

approved by the Greek public, which was at a 
loss to understand why it should fight if it were 
not to liberate its enslaved kinsmen in Turkey. 
The quarrel of the Great Powers was on a level 
too high for the Greek people to comprehend, 
and such explanations as were furnished by 
M. Venizelos were not of a nature to fire their 
imagination. Undoubtedly the Greek Prime 
Minister must have enlightened the Entente's 
leaders as to the psychological state of his people, 
and in his conversations with them must have 
emphasized the necessity of offering some tangible 
inducement to the Greeks. Our leaders ought 
to have realized that however great M. Venizelos' 
talents as a statesman, and however great his 
popularity in Greece, there is a limit to what he 
could have accomplished if left morally unsup- 
ported. If we wished (and who among us 
did not ?) that M. Venizelos should work 
wonders in Greece, we ought to have lent him 
our unstinted support, the necessity for which 
we shall grasp if we ponder over the truism 
contained in Archimedes' words : " ^09 fioi Trd 
a-TU) Kat TOLv yav /cti^jjcrco." Unfortunately it does 
not appear that the Entente statesmen mani- 
fested any great concern for the state of mind of 
the Greek people. It is said that M. Clemenceau, 
in the course of a conversation he had with M. 
Venizelos on the subject, exclaimed to the latter : 
" My dear friend, don't forget after all that you 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 29 

[Greeks] were assassinating us last year in 
Athens." The statesmen of the Entente have 
thought fit to declare their resolution to erect 
an independent Poland, a free or autonomous 
Armenia, Jugo-Slavia, Bohemia, etc., but they 
have failed to make a similar statement concern- 
ing the Ottoman Greeks. Not only have they 
ignored these Hellenic populations, but what is 
truly amazing is that Mr. Lloyd George, speaking 
on January 5, 191 8, should have stated that 
" we are not fighting to deprive Turkey of its 
capital or of the rich and renowned lands of 
Asia Minor and Thrace, which are predominantly 
Turkish in race." Such an utterance could not 
fail to produce the most appalHng effects on 
Greek public opinion. The veracity of Mr. 
Lloyd George's statement cannot be contested. 
Constantinople, Thrace, and the entire coast of 
Asia Minor are now predominantly Turkish in 
race, for the compact Greek populations which 
dwelt there until 191 3-1 914 and gave a purely 
Greek character to these districts have been 
either massacred or forcibly deported. It is 
intelHgible, therefore, that the Greeks should 
have felt dismayed at the unwitting irony 
contained in the Prime Minister's words, for 
they implied that the Turks would be par- 
doned for all those crimes by the committal of 
which they succeeded in estabHshing priority 
rights over what had always been regarded 



30 BULGARIA 

as the indisputable inheritance of the Greek 
race.i 

^ As an example of the methods adopted for rendering 
Thrace predominantly Turkish in race, the following pas- 
sage from the Constantinople Sabah of March 1918 may 
be cited : 

" The Vali of Adrianople, Zakeria Bey, gave the following 
details as regards the settlement of immigrants in the 
Adrianople vilayet during the four years following the 
Balkan Wars. Thirty thousand Mussulmans from Bulgaria 
were settled in eighty Bulgarian villages, whose inhabitants 
emigrated to Bulgaria. [The Sofia Preporeis, March 30, 
1918, affirms that these Bulgarians were driven away at 
the point of the bayonet.] Some 213 villages containing 
35,000 houses were built, in which another 150,000 Moslems 
were settled, while other refugees were lodged in 15,000 
houses whose Greek owners had quitted the Ottoman 
Empire. 

" The owners of these Greek houses are in Greece, and 
can state the reasons which compelled them to abandon, 
their property. To what extent the southern portion of 
the Adrianople vilayet was Greek in character may be seen 
from the figures adduced by the Bulgarian author Karaiovev, 
who can hardly be reproached with pro-Greek leanings. 
According to him the sanjaks of Rodosto and Gallipoli had 
in 1900 a population of 105,607 Greeks, 74,761 Turks, 
I7<353 Bulgarians, and 8000 Pomaks. 

" As to Constantinople, the only claim the Turks have to 
that city is possession. Out of a total population of 
1,200,000 there is a compact mass of 400,000 Greeks, of 
whom 70,000 were Hellenic subjects. The bulk of the 
Turkish population is composed of State functionaries who 
are not permanent residents. If their number be, therefore, 
deducted from the autochthonous Turkish population, it 
will be found that the Greek element is by far the most 
numerous. This is apparent to all who have visited Con- 
stantinople. Greek is the dominant language, and European 
residents find it is indispensable to learn it, while on the 
other hand very few among them take the trouble to learn 
Turkish. Even the better-class Turks, those who do not 
ve in the seclusion of the Moslem quarters of the city. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 31 

Sympathy for the common Turk is compre- 
hensible. Every European resident in Turkey 
find it necessary to acquire a smattering of Greek, because 
they cannot get on without it. 

" Many Europeans are well acquainted with Western Asia 
Minor, and can bear witness to the indisputably Greek 
character of those regions. Even the Corriere d'ltalia has 
recently acknowledged that Asia Minor is as Greek as 
Athens or Constantinople, and suggests that Italy should 
restrict her. claims to Adalia, Adana, and the Taurus, and 
not oppose the Greek claim to Smyrna in the event of a 
partition of Turkey. It is to the interest of Italy, says the 
Corriere, to support all the Greek claims, including that to 
Constantinople. 

" The northern part of Asia Jklinor is not so well known, 
and a few figures concerning the region between Batum 
and Sampsun are necessary to prevent the repetition of 
regrettable statements. 

"This district roughly comprises 170,000 sq. km., and 
had a population of 3,500,000, of whom 1,500,000 were 
Greeks professing the Orthodox faith. There were another 
500,000 Greeks converted to Islam, but still retaining their 
mother tongue, while yet another 250,000 professed Moham- 
medanism, but secretly held the Christian faith. These 
were locally known as Stavriots. The remaining popula- 
tion was composed of Turks, Armenians, Circassians, Kurds, 
and Georgians. There were some iioo flourishing Greek 
communities possessing and maintaining 2000 churches, 
1400 schools, 2000 priests, and 2000 teachers. The Greek 
pupils attending these schools numbered approximately 
90,000. 

" These facts should not cause surprise, because long before 
the overtlirow of the Byzantine Empire there existed a 
strong and flourishing Greek kingdom in this district, which 
in 1457 finally came under the sway of the Turks. 

" These are figures relative to the period prior to the war. 
Since then the whole district has been ravaged, and the 
Greeks have been forced to embrace Mohammedanism, 
massacred, or deported. The Young Turks may now look 
on it with equanimity, for the region is incontestably 
predominantly Turkish in race.' " 



32 BULGARIA 

has been favourably impressed by the Turkish 
peasant's kindliness, simplicity, and courage. 
But to see such sympathy extended to those who 
have proved the executioners of the Turkish 
peasantry is really bewildering. We could indeed 
do no greater injustice to the Turkish people 
than to allow them to remain under that Camorra 
which has brought destruction and ruin upon 
them. And for this reason it is really unthink- 
able that some British papers should have lent 
the hospitahty of their columns to the emissaries 
of that set of assassins, the so-styled Young 
Turks, who thought it prudent to drape them- 
selves in the cloak of Socialism and Freemasonry 
in order to win the support of our gullible 
pacifists in view of future contingencies. Readers 
may judge of the deplorable effect this Young 
Turk propaganda has had among our Greek 
Allies by the protest which the articles in the 
Herald evoked in the Greek Press : 

A Socialist organization of 2,000,000 is non-existent in 
Turkey, where there is not a single Socialist. Such an 
organization is impossible owing to the theocratic principles 
prevailing in Turkey and the primitive state of Turkish 
mentality. The so-called Young Turk Committee is a 
criminal organization which, under the guise of a political 
party, has committed unheard-of atrocities against the 
Christian races in Turkey, and specially against the Greeks 
and Armenians, having exterminated those races by 
massacres, forcible conversions to Mohammedanism, famine, 
torture, and banishment into the interior of Asia Minor. 
In this manner one and a half million of Greeks and one 
milUon of Armenians have been exterminated, and this 
systematic annihilation continues. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 33 

It is a deliberate lie that agents were sent from Greece in 
order to rouse the Ottoman Greeks against Turkey, for 
such an act on the part of the Greeks would have been the 
height of folly. No one could contemplate provoking revolt 
among a pacific and unarmed population surrounded by 
Turks on all sides, for such an act would have been tanta- 
mount to exposing the Greeks to massacre. 

The self-styled Turkish Socialists must consider the 
British public exceedingly credulous when they have 
recourse to such lies in defence of the indescribable excesses 
they have committed against the unfortunate Christians. 
That this bloodthirsty Young Turk Committee should 
attempt such a distortion of facts constitutes an indirect 
acknowledgment of the crimes they have committed against 
thousands of innocent women and children. These crimes, 
before the monstrosity of which the whole world shudders, 
are in the knowledge of all Governments. — Allytrotos, June 
23, 1918. 

But enough has already been said concerning 

the martyrdom of the Ottoman Greeks. What 

their kinsmen in the Hellenic kingdom desired 

and still desire of us is that we should permit 

and assist them to liberate these long-suffering 

populations. Before Russia's collapse we were 

debarred from countenancing Greek claims, but 

now there can be no valid arguments against 

these. M. PoHtis, the Greek Foreign Minister, 

has formulated the aspirations of the Hellenic 

nation,^ and it must be acknowledged that they 

* " We should certainly be greatly disappointed if the 
coming Peace Congress did not sanction our aspirations, 
and if important portions of Hellas actually under foreign 
domination were not to be freed. Heavy responsibilities 
weighed on Greece at her birth : all the questions which 
European diplomacy did not wish to settle, questions that 
imperatively demand solution as a matter of national 
honour, and of the responsibilities we have assumed towards 

c 



34 BULGARIA 

are studiously moderate. It would indeed be an 
act of great injustice if we did not countenance 
their complete realization, and tantamount to 
repeating what an ItaHan Minister of Foreign 
Affairs (San Giuliano) once declared to a represen- 
tative of Greece : " The liberty of the small does 
not count when confronted with the interests of 
the great." Some people may object that the 
services rendered by Greece would be rewarded 
too highly. But it should be remembered that 
this is not a question of recompense, but of 
justice. Moreover, we must admit that we are 
entirely to blame if by restricting the zone of 
M. Venizelos' operations we failed to turn the 
Greek factor to account and bring Turkey to her 
knees. ^ Indeed, it would have sufficed had the 

our oppressed brothers, questions that dominate our national 
hfe. We shall therefore at the Peace Congress ask that 
these mortgages be paid off in order that Epirus, Macedonia, 
Thrace, the islands and the countries of Hellenic influence 
in Asia Minor may develop freely in full communion of 
thought with the Mother Country, securing the unity of 
political regime towards which for so many centuries the 
efforts of the unredeemed Greeks have tended. / conceive 
Pan-Hellenism, not in the form of absolute annexations, but 
of intermediary solutions, such as autonomy for certain 
districts and a regime of guarantees for others. The minimum 
of our claims will be the final release from the disgraceful 
yoke of the barbarous conquerors of people of Hellenic 
origin and descent." — Morning Post, October i6, 1918. 

^ How largely responsible the Entente is for the gradual 
cooling of Greek enthusiasm for the Allied cause will be 
realized if it be remembered that even when Greek help 
was being solicited for the Dardanelles expedition, Russia 
did her utmost to discourage the Greeks by formally 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 35 

Entente Powers permitted M. Venizelos to add 
one word to his battle-cry, making it " To Saint 
Sofia ! " instead of " To Sofia ! '•' He could then 
have worked wonders with his Greeks. 

But even to those who look askance at Greek 
aggrandizement we would point out that not 
even the award of Constantinople to Greece 
could be- adequate to express the gratitude we 
owe to the Greek Premier for the inestimable 
services he has rendered to the Allied cause. In 
fact any person endowed with average intelli- 
gence must reaHze that it was through M. 
Venizelos' unswerving loyalty and boundless 
devotion to our cause that our Salonica army 
was spared a Sedan, and that our interests in the 
Near East did not suffer irreparable disaster. 

Our Balkan policy, however, if poHcy it can be 
termed, was from the beginning incoherent and 
aimless. 

The taunt Baron Schenck, the organizer of the 
German propaganda in Greece, uttered when 
constrained to quit that country is certainly not 
devoid of truth. " I depart," he said, " with a 
mind at ease, for I leave the Entente and its 
representatives to complete my task." And 
subsequent events have fully confirmed the 
Teuton's prognostication. Could there be, for 
instance, a more senseless act than the forcing of 

announcing that no Greek troops would be allowed to enter 
Constantinople. 



36 BULGARIA 

another king on the Greek people ? We talk of 
the desirability of a Balkan League or of the 
federation of the Balkan peoples, and yet put 
fresh obstacles in the way as soon as one impedi- 
ment is removed by the inexorable march of 
events. It cannot be gainsaid that the various 
Balkan dynasties form the main stumbling-block 
in the way of this desideratum. It is the rival 
ambitions of the various Balkan kinglets, nur- 
tured and fostered by unscrupulous courtiers and 
politicians, which have hitherto baulked the aims 
of these peoples. And the Greek nation, which 
had had the opportunity of realizing at such 
terrible cost to themselves the wickedness and 
folly of kings, and were bent upon eradicating 
root and branch that foul growth which had 
poisoned their national life and stifled the nation's 
consciousness, failed once more of their object, 
thanks to the untoward action of the Protecting 
Powers. Had the Greek people been allowed to 
remove, using the expression of a distinguished 
Greek politician, ^ " its hereditary rulers, whose 
nefarious influence on the people's rights had 
been so well comprehended by its ancestors 2000 
years ago," the danger that Greece would slide 
back once more into that state of disorganization 
and semi-anarchy so dear to the Greek politicians 
of the pre-VenizeHst period would have been 
averted, or at least greatly reduced. While now 
1 M, Thalis Coutoupis. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 37 

we may fear that with the passing away of the 
great statesman who guides the destinies of 
Greece, the country may lapse into its old 
vicious habits. 

The Crown, in order to regain its lost power, 
will find it expedient to revive the Spoils System, 
which rendered the monarch the supreme dis- 
penser of all favours ; and the opponents of M. 
Venizelos, whose enmity is due solely to his 
drastic measures against the disorganization and 
corruption on which they throve, will be only 
too anxious to further its nefarious designs. 

It is, indeed, most regrettable that the leaders 
of the Entente should not yet have grasped 
the incontrovertible truth contained in Alfieri's 
famous epigram : 

Che cosa e r6 ? 
Di reo due terzi egli ^ ; 
Anzi per dire il vero, 
La differenza h zero. 

which is nowhere so applicable as in the Balkans. 

We crave our readers' forbearance for this 
long digression from our original subject, but 
Balkan questions are so closely intertwined that 
it is impossible to treat of one without raising 
points affecting the whole issue. 

Now that the last scene in the bloody tragedy 
is being enacted in the Near East, the question 
of effecting an equitable and lasting settlement 
should be dominant in the minds of all thoughtful 



38 BULGARIA 

persons. Such a settlement can only be enduring 

if it is just to all parties. As President Wilson 

stated on September 27, 191 8 : "The price to 

achieve a secure and lasting peace was impartial 

justice in every item of the settlement, no 

matter whose interests are crossed ; and not 

only impartial justice, but also the satisfaction 

of the several peoples whose fortunes are dealt 

with." The AlHes have it in their power to 

satisfy to the full all equitable demands of the 

nationalities dwelling in Central and Eastern 

Europe, and it is incumbent upon them to do so. 

As Mr. Roosevelt so forcibly declared : ^ 

The task of merely giving autonomy to the subject races 
of Austria amounts to a betrayal of the Czecho-Slovaks, 
Jugo-Slavs, Italians, and Rumanians. The first should be 
given their independence, and the other three united to 
the nations to which they really belong. Moreover, it would 
be a betrayal of civilization to leave the Turk in Europe, 
and to fail to free the Armenians and other subject races 
in Turkey. 

It may be appropriate to cite here the following 

words of Mazzini published in the Roma del 

Popolo shortly before his death in 1872 : 

The Turkish Empire is doomed to break up, perhaps 
before the Austrian, but the fall of the one will follow close 
upon that of the other. The populations which revolted 
in order to become nations are almost all distributed between 
the two empires, and cannot come together without emanci- 
pating themselves from the one as well as from the other. 
. . . What is necessary that the insurrection should be 
speedily converted into victory ? Harmony between the 
Slav, Hellenic, and Rumanian elements, which are to-day 

^ Kansas City Star, October 13, 19 18. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 39 

jealous of each other owing to old recollections of war and 
of mutual oppression. It is the mission of Italy to propose 
the basis of this accord and to make it prevail. 

These words of Mazzini are prophetic. It is 
in the hands of Italy more than in those of any 
other Power to facihtate a just settlement of the 
Balkan question. Would that the consciousness 
of the greatness of Italy's mission might dawn in 
time on her rulers ! How highly desirable this 
consummation is may be judged from an article 
in the Per sever anza (October i, 191 8) which utters 
a warning against the danger of giving Serbian 
Macedonia to Bulgaria and compensating Serbia 
on the Adriatic coast, " entirely at the expense 
of Italy and Albania." The mischief which 
would inevitably follow should such a course be 
adopted is manifest to all, for if the Great Powers 
will not show themselves generous and just 
towards their Serbian and Greek allies, no one can 
reasonably ask these to be magnanimous towards 
their enemies, the Bulgarians. The result would 
be the non-satisfaction of Serbian, Greek, and 
Bulgarian aspirations ; this would tend to per- 
petuate that atmosphere of distrust and hatred 
prevalent in the Balkans since the Treaty of 
Berlin, which was inspired by frankly self-seeking 
motives. This state of affairs may be to the 
liking of financiers interested in armament works, 
who found in the rivalries of the Balkan States an 
exceedingly lucrative source of revenue, but it is 



40 BULGARIA 

not likely to be approved by the general public, 

which has had enough of war and unrest. The 

dire consequences of our having countenanced an 

unjust settlement in the Balkans in 1878 and in 

1 91 3 are sufficiently obvious, and it is to be 

hoped that politicians will draw a lesson from the 

past. 

If, on the other hand, full satisfaction of 

their national aspirations be granted to the 

Serbians ^ and Greeks, very few among them will 

be found to demur at our doing justice to the 

Bulgarian claims also. In this connexion we 

need only refer to the Corfu declaration of 

July 25, 1917, in which it is explicitly stated 

that : 

" The territory [of the future Kingdom of the 

Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes] will include all 

territory compactly inhabited by our people. 

Our nation demands nothing that belongs to 

others, but only what is its own." This is 

evidently incompatible with the retention of 

Macedonia by Serbia, since the bulk of the 

Macedonians are Bulgarians, and if a reader has 

any lingering doubts as to the ethnical aspect of 

Macedonia, the evidence adduced in a subsequent 

chapter should be sufficient to convince even the 

most biased of Bulgaria's right to that district. 

^ We consider it superfluous to dwell on the ethnical 
claims of the Jugo-Slavs in Austria-Hungary, since these 
have been recently expounded in a masterly fashion by 
many distinguished writers. 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 41 

According to Reuter,^ M. Passitch reiterated 
his determination to uphold this pact, and stated 
that " The Serbian Government is determined 
to stand by the Declaration of Corfu. It neither 
pursues nor desires, nor intends to pursue, an 
Imperialistic policy, because the Serbian demo- 
cratic people has staked everything upon its 
liberation from Austro-Hungarian Imperialism." 

Even the Greeks would readily forgo their 
rights to Cavalla if by such a sacrifice they 
could ensure permanent peace in the Balkans, 
and secure the redemption of their brethren in 
Turkey, Northern Epirus, and the Dodecanese. 
M. Thalis Coutoupis, the distinguished VenizeHst 
ex-Minister and deputy for Laconia, speaking at 
a public meeting in Athens on November 4, 1917, 
affirmed that even the inhabitants of Cavalla, by 
returning a Venizelist deputy, dernonstrated 
their readiness to cede their town to aliens 
(Bulgarians) if this would bring about the 
assignment of Smyrna or Asia Minor to Greece. 
And M. Venizelos, in the memorable speech he 
delivered on August 26, 1917, admitted that had 
he believed that the cession of Cavalla to Bulgaria 
would have ensured permanent peace in the 
Balkans he would not have hesitated to agree 
to it. 

But if the Mazzinian spirit, which proclaimed 
" that every nation had the right to be free and 
^ The Times, October 17, 1918. 



42 BULGARIA 

united," and '•thac the natural geographical 
boundaries of nations had been set by God and 
were therefore inviolable," seems to be dead on - 
this side of the Atlantic, or if Italy's alHes and 
co-signatories of the Treaty of London (April 26, 
191 5) feel precluded from assuming the role of 
arbitrators, a role incompatible with that of a 
contracting party, it becomes once more plain to 
all that recourse must be had to America to break 
the vicious circle into which secret diplomacy has 
drawn us. 

Fortunately for us. President Wilson has 
already formulated the following ideal principles 
which must inspire future peace, and in them all 
may behold a guarantee for the pacification of the 
Balkans : 

First, that each part of the final settlement must be based 
upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon 
such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that 
will be permanent. 

Second, that peoples and provinces are not to be bartered 
about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere 
chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game now for 
ever discredited of the balance of power. 

Third, every territorial settlement involved in this war 
must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the 
populations concerned, and not as a part of any mere 
adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival States. 

Fourth, that all well-defined national aspirations shall be 
accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them 
without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of 
discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to 
break the peace of Europe, and consequently of the world. — 
(From President Wilson's Message to Congress, February 11, 
1918.) 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 43 

If these views prevail, as we must hope they 
will, it will be found necessary at the final settle- 
ment to acquiesce in all just ethnic claims, as 
well as in some of the Bulgarian demands, for 
most of the latter are ethnically unassailable.^ 

^ What reasons, for instance, could be adduced in favour 
of the Dobrudja's retrocession to Rumania ? This province 
was forced upon the Rumanians as compensation for that 
part of Bessarabia wliich was taken from them in 1878. 
The Rumanians vehemently protested at the time, affirming 
that the Dobrudja was Bulgarian. (Consult on the subject 
" Charles de Roumanie," par tin te'moin oculaire, or the 
masterly work of F. Dami6 on Rumania.) Now that they 
have obtained the whole of Bessarabia, the Dobrudja should 
logically revert to its rightful owners. 

Economical considerations, some would maintain, render 
the possession of Constantsa by Rumania imperative, but 
impartial people would have a right to add that the 
very same reasons demand the cession of Cavalla 
to Bulgaria. However, whatever the fate of Northern 
Dobrudja (and I must admit that before 1913 I never 
came across a Bulgarian who expressed* regret for the 
attribution of this district to Rumania, for even the most 
Russophil among them were pleased at a buffer having 
been created between their country and Russia, with regard 
to whom they were unanimous in tlieir conviction that 
" distance makes the heart grow fonder "), there are abso- 
lutely no grounds on which the return of Southern Dobrudja 
to Rumania could be justified. This province, which was 
so unjustly wrested from Bulgaria in 1913, had at the time 
a total population of 280,000, of wliich 134,331 were 
Bulgarians, 106,830 Turks, and only 6359 Rumanians. 
Even the latter were not slow to admit the iniquity of 
their action, and professed readiness to make amends, 
as soon as they perceived that by discarding the doctrine 
of equilibrium (by which they had sought to justify their 
attitude towards Bulgaria in 1913) and invoking instead 
the principle of nationality they stood to gain. Thus the 
Bucarest Universul on June 10, 1915, wrote: "Sooner or 



44 BULGARIA 

Our Balkan Allies must certainly exact safe- 
guards for the future, and before giving any 
satisfaction to the Bulgarian people it is abso- 
lutely essential for the security of peace in the 
Balkans that the cleansing of their Augean 
stable be imposed on them. Bulgarian Impe- 
rialism is not an invention of Bulgaria's oppo- 
nents, it is a reality, and constitutes a danger for 
all Balkan nations, including the Bulgarians 
themselves. Tsar Ferdinand had succeeded in 
modelling the national army of Bulgaria on the 
Prussian model, and in saturating its officers 
with the spirit that gave rise to the Zabern 
incident. The manner in which the Bulgarian 
army dealt with the Sofia demonstrations of 
1907, and with the Rustchuk affair of 1909, 
conclusively proves that it has been converted 
into a Praetorian Guard. It is true that now a 
more popular ruler has ascended the Bulgarian 
throne, but we may well have our doubts as to 
his professed attachment to democratic principles, 
especially when we consider the influence which 
his Catilinian father must have had on him. His 
patronage of the Bulgaro-German Cultural League 
gives us good reason to be uneasy as to his 
future attitude, for if he were a real democrat he 

later in applying the principle of nationality on which we 
ourselves rely for the realization of our nation's unification, 
we shall have to return to the Bulgarians the quadrilateral 
(Southern Dobrudja) which we took from them. This 
is a certainty." 



THE BALKAN QUESTION 45 

would not certainly have become such a zealous 
apostle of Kultur in his country. At any rate it 
will be imperative to revise the Bulgarian con- 
stitution and deprive Bulgaria's ruler of those 
prerogatives which Ferdinand managed to arro- 
gate to himself, and by which he secured auto- 
cratic powers. The necessity for this will be 
fully demonstrated in subsequent chapters. 

The Bulgarian people have of late been 
clamouring for the impeachment of all those men 
of dubious antecedents by whose co-operation 
and support Ferdinand was able to drag Bulgaria 
into the war. The Agrarians in their organ 
insistently demanded " that the whole Rado- 
slavov gang be brought to justice," and the 
Social Democrats in the last congress of their 
party passed a resolution asking " that the 
responsibihty of the late Cabinet [Radoslavov's] 
be estabhshed, as well as that of all its con- 
federates, and that their properties be seized." 
These are propitious omens, but we should have 
felt more confident as to the future had the 
Bulgarians taken justice into their own hands 
and sent the whole of the Coburg family home. 
For if the Western Allies feel inclined to shout 
" No peace with the Hohenzollerns," our Balkan 
Allies may well say the same of the Coburgs. 
It is to be hoped that the righteous indignation 
aroused by Tsar Ferdinand and his acolytes, 
intelligible and justifiable though it may be, 



46 BULGARIA 

seeing that to his act more than to any other 
we owe the undue prolongation of the war, will 
nevertheless not be allowed to obscure our vision 
to such an extent as to cause us to vent our 
anger on the unfortunate Bulgarian people. For 
Bulgarian Imperialism sprang solely from the 
Crown and its boundless ambitions, and it would 
indeed be a very great error to attribute the 
same spirit to the people. Nothing could be 
more foreign to the nature of the Bulgarian 
peasant than a desire for conquest, and it is 
grotesque to ascribe to him Imperialistic ten- 
dencies of which he would be the first to feel 
the evils and the last to reap the benefits. Nor 
is it only the peasantry which is averse to a 
policy of conquest, but also the great mass of 
educated people. The Bulgarian schools are hot- 
beds of SociaHsm, the majority of the teachers 
being Sociahsts, who scoff at the idea of 
nationalism. State patriotism, which swells the 
head, is not taught in Bulgarian schools, as is 
the case in Serbia and Greece, and for this reason 
Bulgarian youths are for the most part inter- 
nationalist in sentiment. Any person who has 
had some intercourse with Bulgarian students 
must have been struck with this pecuharity. 

In order to stifle what there is of Bulgarian 
ImperiaHsm, we should help the Bulgarian people 
to obtain the upper hand in the Government of 
their country, and Vv^e cannot better effect this 



THE BALKAN QUi.. 

purpose than by manifesting a desire to do tii^.. 
justice. 

Bulgaria is a small country, which cannot hope 
to develop freely if left to herself. She needs 
external aid and support, and if we will not 
offer these, she has no alternative to economic 
and political gravitation towards Germany, 
however distasteful this prospect may be.^ 
It would be a capital mistake if we persisted in 
our present policy and gave Bulgaria cause for 
rancour against us. For, whatever the measure 
of our success in the West, the Germans are not 
likely to rehnquish their ambitions entirely, and 
an unsatisfactory Balkan settlement is only too 
Hkely to afford them fresh opportunities for 
intrigue. The Germans, to whatever extent 
they are beaten, will emerge from the struggle 
with the conviction of their own superiority, and 
with their acknowledged resourcefulness and the 
immense natural wealth of their country, assets 
of which we cannot deprive them, they will con- 
stitute a menace which it would be puerile to 
disregard. The only way by which we can hope 
to circumscribe Germany's inordinate ambition 
is by a thorough application of the principle 
of nationality and by estabhshing independent 
national States, jealous of their hberty and 

^ The Allies should insist on Bulgaria's repudiating her 
war debt to Germany, a§ (Otherwise she will remain at the 
mercy of the latter. 



48 BULGARIA 

anxious to resist any encroachment on their 
independence. And in no direction does this 
need appear so urgent as in the Near East, for 
Russia, who acted as a weighty counterpoise to 
German influence in that quarter, has collapsed, 
and none of the Allies is in a position to fill up 
the void. It is therefore imperative to create a 
local force capable of thwarting all German 
schemes of penetration. Such a force can only 
evolve from a group of States which do not seek 
to destroy one another. This purpose may best 
be achieved by our refusing to tolerate any 
arrangement which places one Balkan nationality 
under the rule of another. And then we mav be 
certain that Bulgaria will not again seek redress 
for her wrongs in an alliance with the Teutons. 
Balkan feuds would cease, and a strong barrier 
would be erected against a possible revival of the 
German Drang nach Osten. 



CHAPTER II 

POLITICAL PARTIES 

The inordinate subdivision of political parties in 
Bulgaria is by no means justified by any funda- 
mental differences in their programmes. The 
main distinction between them until recently was 
the amount of sympathy or suspicion they pro- 
fessed for Russia. Each party presented a 
different shade of Russophilism or Russophobia, 
and this differentiation was deftly exploited by 
Tsar Ferdinand to suit his purpose. Although 
Russophilism was the outward criterion, never- 
theless the parties present certain well-defined 
tendencies which permit of their classification 
under the three distinct headings, Reactionary, 
Conservative, and Radical. The Radoslavov 
Cabinet was composed of the first, and included 
the so-called Liberal, Young Liberal, and Na- 
tional Liberal Parties. Gueshov's and Malinov's 
parties represent the conservative elements, 
while the Radicals, Agrarians, and Socialists 
constitute the third class. Danev's party may 
be considered as a cross between conserva- 
tive and radical. Party spirit is extremely 

virulent, and there is no limit to political 

49 D 



50 BULGARIA 

intrigue. When in opposition, parties will unite 
to overthrow the Government, but seldom con- 
trive to agree in sharing office. They do nothing 
to enhghten pubhc opinion, and their sole 
activity consists in heaping abuse on the party 
in office and in intriguing with Court circles for 
its overthrow. 

Most of the parties come into being to further 
the personal ends of their leaders. The develop- 
ment of the party is usually limited by the 
number of posts and favours available for distri- 
bution. It can attract to its orbit a certain 
number of " bosses " necessary for fiUing the 
Ministerial seats and the most important Govern- 
ment posts. When in process of time the 
aspirants to these honours increase and cannot 
all be satisfied, the party spHts, and a readjust- 
ment takes place. Naturally this fissiparous 
tendency of Bulgarian parties was greatly en- 
couraged by Ferdinand, who was fully alive 
to the advantages inherent in the appHcation of 
the principle : divide etimpera. These tendencies 
account for the superabundance of political 
parties in Bulgaria. There are as many as ten. 

The most influential party, the one which 
could claim to represent the Bulgarian well-to-do 
and propertied classes, was the Nationalist. Its 
leader, I. E. Gueshov, whose moderation and 
statesmanship have been duly apprized in this 
country, would under happier circumstances 



POLITICAL PARTIES 51 

have rendered immense services to Bulgaria and 
to the cause of civihzation in the Near East. 
His extreme respect for constitutional methods, 
however, brought him into conflict with Ferdi- 
nand, and between 1903 and 191 1 Gueshov 
refused every invitation from the Palace. Un- 
fortunately he is not of a combative disposition, 
and preferred to give way rather than to oppose 
the desires of the King. Owing to his advanced 
age the practical leadership of the party devolved 
upon T. Todorov, a brilliant orator and a capable 
solicitor. He occupied the post of Minister of 
Finance when his party was last in power, and 
in this capacity showed great ability. His criti- 
cism of the financial situation of his country 
has always been most comprehensive, and he is 
rightly regarded as an authority on Bulgarian 
financial matters. Another distinguished mem- 
ber of the party is Bobtchev, professor of law in 
the Sofia University, a talented writer and an 
historian. He was an extreme Russophil, and 
at the time of the Balkan Wars was Bulgarian 
Ambassador in Petrograd. Until lately he was 
the president of the Slav Club in Sofia, the 
" Slavianska Besseda," and was the editor of two 
Bulgarian periodicals, one literary, the other 
legal. 

Bobtchev has taken a leading part in bringing 
his country into touch with other Slav nations. 
It was largely due to his initiative that a Slav 



52 BULGARIA 

Congress met in Sofia in July 1910, with the 
object of furthering the union of Slavs on intel- 
lectual, Hterary, scientific, and economic grounds. 
Some eighty Russian delegates, with Guchkov, 
then president of the Duma, at their head, as 
well as fifty Serbian, fifty Czech, and as many 
Croatian, Slovene, Bosnian, and Montenegrin 
delegates participated. The Czech leader, Kra- 
marz, was elected honorary president, and Bobt- 
chev chairman. The enthusiasm and sense of 
sohdarity which this meeting of delegates of all 
Slav countries provoked was indescribable, and 
may be gauged by some of the speeches which 
were made. Bobtchev stated that Bulgaria was 
weak, but strong in her Slav sympathies ; poor, 
but rich in her love for Slavdom. Guchkov 
hinted that Bulgaria had not yet completed her 
task, and called upon the Bulgarians to be brave 
and strong, and to remember that they could 
reckon on the assistance of their friends. 

The satisfaction of the delegates was marred 
only by the absence of representatives from 
Poland. To emphasize the sohdarity of the 
Slav nations a meeting of the Slav gymnastic 
leagues was simultaneously convoked. Over 
1700 " Sokols " or members of the gymnastic 
leagues from Croatia, Bohemia, Serbia, etc., met 
in Sofia under the auspices of the Bulgarian 
" Younak " organization. One of the most 
feted detachments was naturally the Bulgarian 



POLITICAL PARTIES 53 

" Younaks " from Uskub, for Macedonia was 
still Turkish, and the Macedonians were not yet 
urged to style themselves Serbians. Those in- 
deed were halcyon days for the Neo-Slav enthu- 
siasts, and it may be affirmed without exaggera- 
tion that this Slav Congress prepared the ground 
for the Bulgaro-Serbian treaty of 191 2 and the 
Balkan Alliance. 

One of the most sympathetic figures in 
Gueshov's party is undoubtedly Atanas D. 
Burov, a member of a highly respected and 
influential family of Northern Bulgaria. His 
integrity, business aptitude, and frankness are in 
marked contrast to the qualities usually displayed 
by Bulgarian politicians. He does not mince his 
words when denouncing an abuse, even when 
the perpetrator is of a rank that usually assures 
immunity from criticism. Burov's rather in- 
temperate, but perfectly justifiable, language 
regarding the Crown has on many occasions 
caused a temporary strain in his relations with 
Gueshov. Among other prominent members of 
the party are Boris Vasov, the younger brother 
of the national poet and of General Vasov ; 
Madjarov, late Bulgarian Ambassador in Petro- 
grad ; Peev-Platchkov, the chief editor of the 
Mir, the party organ, who is an accomplished 
English scholar ; Jablanski, Gubidelnikov, Dimt- 
chev, and Kanazirski. 

The Nationalist [party succeeded Stambulov 



54 BULGARIA 

in power and remained in office from 1894 to 
1899, and in 191 1 it again assumed office in 
coalition with Danev's party. 

Some of the chief measures passed were the 
reduction of the Chamber's mandate from five to 
four years, and the adoption of proportional 
representation. Gueshov's great mistake — one 
he shared with Mahnov and Danev — was that he 
allowed himself to be prevailed upon to alter the 
Bulgarian constitution so as to permit the King 
to conclude treaties with foreign Powers with- 
out consulting the Chamber — a change most 
detrimental to Bulgaria since it left its ambitious 
ruler free to dispose of the destinies of the 
country. The necessity of secrecy concerning 
the Bulgaro-Serbian negotiations and the ensuing 
treaty of 191 2 may be urged in extenuation. It 
is certainly interesting to note that the Agrarians 
displayed in this connexion a much keener 
■political Ji air than all the other parties combined, 
for they contested most stubbornly the passage of 
this measure. It is true Gueshov's party was 
somewhat badly shaken at the last elections and 
saw the number of its adherents reduced to ten 
in a House of 245 seats, but this may be largely 
ascribed to the campaign of calumny which was 
directed against its leader during the period 
preceding the elections. Gueshov and Danev 
were held up to the public as the moral authors 
of the disaster which befell Bulgaria in 191 3, and 



POLITICAL PARTIES 55 

everything possible was done to discredit them. 
The weakening of the party can, however, only 
be temporary, for its connexion with a large 
portion of the electorate is too sound to suffer 
from a momentary set-back. Its strength lies in 
the fact that its partisans are mostly of the 
bourgeois class, generally a conservative and 
stable element. It possesses the peculiar feature, 
that its leaders are mostly interrelated by 
marriage, thus forming a veritable clan. 

The Nationalist party may justly claim to be 
one of the most tolerant as regards the foreign 
minorities in Bulgaria. On many occasions it 
has lent its support to the Greek communities in 
Philippopolis, Stanimaka, and Burgas to elect 
Greek deputies to the Sobranje, and it is mainly 
through its help that the first Jewish deputy in 
the Bulgarian Chamber was elected. 

The Democrats, under the leadership of Mali- 
nov, are the strongest party in the Sobranje 
after the Liberals and Agrarians, being repre- 
sented by thirty-one deputies. Their adherents 
are mostly recruited from among the intellectuals, 
the lesser bourgeoisie, and the wealthier peasants. 
Malinov is by birth a Bessarabian, and is well- 
intentioned and honest according to Bulgarian 
political standards, but lacking in determination. 

His advent to power in 1908 was greeted with 
enthusiasm as he was looked upon as a social 
reformer^ and it was generally supposed that his 



56 BULGARIA 

coming heralded the introduction of an era of 
real Parliamentarism. Subsequent events proved 
that these hopes were ill-founded, for on the 
declaration of Bulgaria's independence in 1908, 
Malinov publicly stated that Bulgaria would 
never condescend to pay an indemnity to Turkey, 
and that liberty was bought by blood and not 
by money. He had reckoned, however, without 
Tsar Ferdinand, who, not wishing so soon to 
jeopardize his newly acquired crown, ordered the 
Bulgarian Minister in Paris to announce that 
" the Bulgarians were good payers." Malinov 
swallowed the rebuff, and in due course voted for 
the payment of an indemnity to Turkey. 

Malinov's conception of democracy must indeed 
be of a very hazy sort if we are to judge from 
his behaviour in the Rustchuk affair. Early in 
1909 a Moslem girl of Rustchuk eloped with her 
lover, a Bulgarian from the same town. They 
repaired to a village in the neighbourhood, where 
the girl was baptized and subsequently married 
to the Bulgarian. After the performance of 
these religious ceremonies the couple returned to 
Rustchuk. Unfortunately the father of the 
bride happened to be one of the religious heads 
of the Moslem community in that town, and he 
looked upon his daughter's conduct as a disgrace 
to himself and a provocation to all his co- 
religionists. The Moslems, who form an impor- 
tant element in the Rustchuk department, began 



POLITICAL PARTIES 57 

an agitation for the restitution of the girl to her 
family. Deputations were sent to Sofia soliciting 
the Government's intervention in what was 
regarded as an outrage to the Moslem faith, while 
the Christian population, on the other hand, 
naturally sympathizing with the lovers, indulged 
in street demonstrations in their favour. An 
authority possessing even a small grain of sense 
would have counselled the newly married pair to 
leave Rustchuk for a couple of months until the 
popular passions they had roused by their elope- 
ment had subsided. The Malinov Cabinet, how- 
ever, desiring to placate the Turks, whose 
susceptibiHties it had wounded by the declara- 
tion of Bulgaria's independence, ordered the 
Rustchuk police to seize the bride and hand her 
back to her father. The police succeeded in 
carrying out the first part of the order, but in 
the meanwhile the population got wind of the 
plot, and set about to thwart its further execu- 
tion. The crowd became so hostile that the 
police with their captive had to seek refuge in a 
police station, where they were immediately 
besieged by the populace, which demanded that 
the bride should be set at liberty, and threatened 
to storm the police station if its desire was not 
fulfilled. Neither entreaties nor threats could 
move the crowd to yield, and finally it rushed 
the police cordon, broke into the police station, 
carried off the young bride in triumph, and after 



58 BULGARIA 

restoring her to her husband facilitated the 
flight of both from the town. All would have 
ended there if it had not been for the truly 
astonishing conception Malinov and his colleagues 
formed of their responsibilities. They decided 
that the affront inflicted on the police as repre- 
sentatives of authority ought to be punished in 
an exemplary manner. On the following day, 
the last day of February 1909, when the popula- 
tion of Rustchuk was celebrating its victory 
by holding a meeting, the military were ordered 
to disperse the crowd which had collected in the 
market square. The unwary Rustchuk citizens 
had scarcely recovered from their surprise at the 
brief summons shouted by the commander of the 
troops before the soldiers fired on the assembly. 
A squadron of cavalry, debouching from a side 
street, began to sabre the hapless civilians. 
Over thirty persons, among them several women 
and children, died from sabre and bullet injuries, 
and in addition there was a large number of 
wounded. As may be seen from this incident, 
Malinov and his colleagues may vie with the 
notorious Russian General Trepov, whom in- 
deed they have surpassed in brutality. On 
another occasion Malinov forgot his party 
principles to such an extent as to conclude 
an address to Ferdinand with a phrase that 
certainly had nothing democratic about it, 
and by which he will be known to posterity in 



POLITICAL PARTIES 59 

Bulgaria : " With you, for you, and always by 
you." 

Malinov's lack of moral courage may best be 
illustrated by the following example. It is well 
known how diligently he worked in the summer 
of 191 5 to further an agreement between his 
country and the Entente, and how he insisted on 
the expeditious dispatch of an army to Salonica 
by the Entente Powers. His poHtical opponents 
have made capital out of this, attacking him as 
instrumental in the advent of Entente troops on 
the Macedonian Front. Malinov had not the 
courage to admit that he was at the time an 
Ententophil, but through his organ, the Preporets, 
he has endeavoured to justify himself by asserting 
that " he was trying to hoodwink the Entente, 
so that the Serbians might not attack Bulgaria 
before she was ready." 

The most outstanding personaHty in the party 
is N. Mushanov, the ex-Minister of Public 
Instruction and present Minister of Public 
Works. He is extremely energetic, and possesses 
all the quaUties which are lacking in his chief. 

A. Liaptchev, the present Finance Minister, 
has already served in the same capacity. He is 
noted for his independent character and for his 
pugnacity. 

M. Takev, the Minister of the Interior, also 
occupied the same post in the Malinov Admini- 
stration of 1908, but owing to his impHcation in 



6o BULGARIA 

the Rustchuk affair was relegated to the less 
important post of Minister of Railways. He is 
responsible for the introduction of a law com- 
pelling municipalities to hold a referendum for 
any undertaking or change of a local character. 
He used to profess republican opinions. 

Professor G. Danailov, the Minister of Com- 
merce, is a prominent professor of the Sofia 
University, where he formerly held the chair of 
Political Economy. He is the author of several 
treatises on finance, and is a strong supporter of 
the pro-German policy. Professor V. Mollov, 
the Minister of Railways, is another convert to 
this policy. He was Professor of Criminal Law 
in the Sofia LIniversity, and was nominated to 
the post of Minister of Education in 1910, when 
Malinov reorganized his Cabinet. 

R. Madjarov, the Minister of Agriculture, is a 
nephew of Karavelov, the founder of the party, 
and was formerly a judge. He may be con- 
sidered the most Germanophil member of the 
present Cabinet. 

The party was originally led by Karavelov, 
who took office on three different occasions, in 
1 880-1, 1884-6, and lastly in 1901, for a period 
of a few months only, in a Coalition Cabinet with 
Danev. The party came in again in 1908, and 
remained in power until March 191 1. 

The appellation " Democrat " which this party 
has assumed is a misnomer, Far from serving 



POLITICAL PARTIES 6i 

the people's cause, the " Democrats " unwittingly 
rendered signal service to Tsar Ferdinand's 
regime. Prior to their assumption of power in 
1908, an Opposition " block " had been formed 
which pledged itself to curb the unconstitutional 
practices of the King, and compel him to con- 
form more to parliamentary methods. The soul 
of this movement was the Nationalist party, and 
for a time the " block " succeeded in exploiting 
the national indignation, which had been roused 
to fever heat by the high-handed methods of the 
Stambulovists, and thus succeeded in moderating 
the latter's excesses, which were the outward 
manifestations of Tsar Ferdinand's unconstitu- 
tional activities. As soon as it became evident 
that a Cabinet change was impending, MaHnov 
and Dancv, tempted by the lure of power, began 
to show signs of wavering. MaHnov declared 
that the formation of a coahtion Cabinet from 
five parties was an absurdity, and would never 
be accepted by Ferdinand, and when the latter 
asked him to form a Cabinet he manifested no 
scruples, and hastily accepted the offer, thereby 
completely ruining the policy of the " block." 
(The block included the NationaHsts, Progressists, 
Democrats, Radicals, and Social Democrats.) 

The Progressists, led by Danev, were originally 
a very influential party, and were noted for their 
probity. It is the Russophil party par excellence^ 
and, as Danev put it, " they made no pohtics 



62 BULGARIA 

with Russia." In other words, they impHcitly 
obeyed Russia's wishes. Had Danev stuck to 
this principle in 191 3, he would have piloted the 
Bulgarian ship of state safely into harbour. 
Unfortunately the Bulgarian victories in Thrace 
had turned his head, and he began coquetting 
with Russia, with disastrous results to his 
country and to his party. Much has been 
written against Danev. In the flush of victory 
his judgment may have been momentarily 
obscured ; in normal circumstances, however, he 
is a most genial and a truly honourable man. 
He is one of the few bourgeois politicians who is 
really popular among the peasantry. The disas- 
ter which befell Bulgaria in 191 3 wrecked the 
party. Danev ^ countermanded the order given 
by Ferdinand to attack the Serbians and Greeks, 

^ Danev was apparently hoping that Russia, in virtue 
of her secret treaty of 1902 with Bulgaria, guaranteeing the 
latter's territorial integrity, would intervene and save the 
situation. The Russian Government, however, not only 
abstained from carrying out its engagements, but let loose 
Rumania on the hard-pressed Bulgarians, with the result 
that the latter had to capitulate. The disloyal behaviour 
of Russia towards her former proteges grievously com- 
promised her prestige in Bulgaria, and alienated many of 
the foremost Russophils. The disillusionment of the Russo- 
phils was carried a step further when the late Tsar Nicholas 
visited Constantsa early in the summer of 1914, and was 
pleased to accept the honorary colonelship of a Rumanian 
cavalry regiment, the first to enter the Bulgarian town of 
Silistra. The toasts exchanged on that occasion between 
the late monarchs of Rumania and Russia were couched 
in terms which led the Bulgarians to infer that it was 



POLITICAL PARTIES 63 

hoping that Russia would intervene and save the 
situation, but in this he was disappointed. 
Russia was unable or unwilling to act. Bul- 
garia's quondam allies having had time to recover 
from their surprise, attacked the Bulgarians in 
their turn, and Danev was held up as the person 
Responsible for the ensuing catastrophe. 

The disappearance of Tsarism will further 
weaken the party, and it is very unhkely that it 
will ever recover its old prestige, which was 
largely due to the belief that it enjoyed the 
goodwill of Russian Court circles. For the 

necessary for them to look elsewhere than to Russia for 
friendship and protection. 

This impolitic act of the late Tsar Nicholas greatly 
facilitated Tsar Ferdinand's task. As an instance of the 
revulsion of feeling which resulted among the Bulgarian 
intelligentsia, I would cite the case of Nicolai Mitakov, one 
of the pioneers of Bulgarian journalism. 

Mitakov was a rabid Russophil, and an irreconciliable 
enemy of Tsar Ferdinand and his Austrophil leanings. He 
was the proprietor and editor of the Sofiski Vedomoski, in 
which he never ceased attacking Ferdinand and his un- 
constitutional acts. During the Stambulovist regime of 
1903-1908, Mitakov's attacks became so aggressive in tone 
— he threatened Ferdinand with Stambulov's fate — that 
the King hinted to certain of his officers that he would be 
pleased if he were freed from the attacks of this canaille. 
The officers acting on this hint descended on the editor, 
wrecked his office, smashed his press, set upon and nearly 
murdered him. Mitakov, who was well over fifty, took a 
long time to recover from his injuries, while his paper did 
not survive the attack. As a result of the events of 19 13, 
however, Mitakov passed over to the other camp, and he 
now occasionally contributes to the Narodni Prava virulent 
attacks on the Entente. 



64 BULGARIA 

moment Danev's only companion in the Sobranje 
is Dr. Hodjov, a prominent Sofia solicitor and 
an extremely amiable and unassuming man. 

Other prominent members are Al. Ludskanov, 
Abrashev, Sarafov, Christov. 

The organ of the party, the Bulgaria^ was 
suspended on the declaration of war. 

The Radicals are the most upright and inde- 
pendent of Bulgarian politicians. They are 
ideaUsts. Their leader, Naitso Tsanov, has de- 
clared that he would refuse to accept office if 
asked to do so by Tsar Ferdinand, and would 
only comply with such a request if it emanated 
from a majority in the Chamber. He has never 
wearied in his scathing condemnation of the 
personal regime established by Ferdinand, and 
the attitude he has assumed towards the Crown 
has been most uncompromising. He refused to 
have any dealings with the Palace, and the only 
occasion on which he sought an audience from 
Ferdinand was on September 17, 191 5, when he 
warned the King not to launch Bulgaria upon a 
war against Russia, characterizing such a policy 
as a " premeditated crime." Tsanov is extremely 
popular in the Vidin district. The municipahty 
of that town used to be in the hands of his 
adherents, and was conducted very much on 
communist principles. Another outspoken critic 
of Ferdinand's unconstitutional practices is 
Stoyan Kosturkov, the present Minister of 



POLITICAL PARTIES 65 

Education. He was formerly a director of one 
of the State colleges, and enjoys a well-deserved 
popularity in Bulgaria. He has few superiors as 
a debater, and is rightly considered a tribune of 
the people. He was for a long time the editor of 
the Radical, the party organ. Having studied law 
in Geneva, he became acquainted with several of 
the Russian Socialist leaders, with whom he is 
intimately connected. 

Dr. Fadenchecht, the present Minister of 
Justice, is a converted Jew. He was a Professor 
of Civil Law in the Sofia University, and lately 
a solicitor in Sofia. K. Siderov and Gheorgov 
are the cither leading members of the party, 
which actually possesses five seats in the Cham- 
ber. It has a big following among teachers and 
State functionaries, and it may be said that it 
practically dominated several unions of civil 
servants, such as the leagues of teachers, railway- 
men, and post-office employees. 

It cannot be said, however, that it is a really 
popular party. Its extreme idealism is against 
it, for the general public in Bulgaria prefers a 
party that has some prospect of coming into 
power, and from which it may derive some 
benefit. 

The Agrarians do not actually constitute a 
political party, but rather a league of representa- 
tives of peasant proprietors. The entry of the 
Agrarians on the political stage is of recent date, 



(^ BULGARIA 

and is largely due to the arrogance with which 
political parties had treated the hard-working 
peasantry. Most of the parties had lost touch 
with the peasants, scarcely condescended to 
inquire into their sufferings, and did little to 
improve their moral and material position. They 
saw in the peasantry merely an instrument for 
obtaining power ; they would make the most 
alluring promises in order to secure the agrarian 
vote, but when the elections were over they 
would do nothing to redeem their pledges. They 
would foist on the peasants their own candidates, 
usually strangers to the locality, and out of 
touch with the constituency they were to repre- 
sent. The peasants at last sought means by 
which to safeguard their interests, and naturally 
the rural co-operative societies formed a nucleus 
for the Agrarian movement. 

The birth of this movement may be referred to 
the brutal acts of the Radoslavov-Ivantchev 
Cabinet of 1899. By its methods of extortion 
and its absolute disregard of law, it provoked 
the peasants to an open revolt, which was 
brutally subdued by the massacres of Trestenik 
and Durankulak. The Agrarian movement is 
the most hopeful portent in Bulgarian public life, 
as it testifies that the most numerous class in 
Bulgaria, aware of the injustice with which it is 
treated, and conscious of the political and 
economic oppression to which it is subjected, has 



POLITICAL PARTIES (^y 

resolved to defend its rights by organizing itself 
into a powerful body. Owing to the absence of 
any other political force capable of regenerating 
Bulgarian public life, the task devolves on the 
Agrarian organization. For this reason its evolu- 
tion should be followed with extreme interest, all 
the more since owing to the comparative weak- 
ness of the Socialist proletariat in Bulgaria, the 
Agrarians arc bound to take the lead in shaping 
the future destiny of their country. 

As was to be expected, the Agrarian organiza- 
tion is composed of men who have little experi- 
ence in politics. They are fiercely hostile to the 
present form of Government. Thus in the last 
Agrarian Congress a resolution was passed pro- 
hibiting the Agrarian deputies from holding any 
intercourse with the King, who was denounced 
as the author of Bulgaria's misfortunes. Fore- 
most among their aims are the curtailment of the 
bureaucracy, a drastic reduction in the number 
of civil functionaries, the disbanding of the 
regular army and the creation of a militia, and 
alleviations in the burden of taxation. In a 
sense they are Republicans, and may be compared 
to the Russian Revolutionary Socialists. The 
nominal leader, or rather president, of the 
organization was Alexander Stamboliski, who in 
consequence of his outspokenness at the'' fateful 
audience of September 17, 191 5, between the 
leaders of the Opposition and Ferdinand, has 



68 BULGARIA 

been imprisoned by order of the latter. This act 
of Tsar Ferdinand is easily comprehensible, for 
the Agrarian leader was his most determined and 
fearless adversary. The scenes which resulted 
from the unrelenting opposition displayed by 
Stamboliski and his followers at the sitting of the 
extraordinary National Assembly in Tirnovo in 
June 191 1, when they attempted to oppose the 
amendment to the Bulgarian constitution, con- 
ferring on the King powers to conclude secret 
treaties, are memorable for the implacable hos- 
tility manifested by the Agrarians towards the 
Crown. 

After the conclusion of the Balkan Wars, Stam- 
boliski's denunciation of Ferdinand's behaviour 
became so fierce that for a time it was believed 
he would succeed in rousing the masses, and 
meting out just retribution to the author of Bul- 
garia's misfortunes. The jealousy with which 
the other parties regarded the rising power of the 
Agrarians and the fear that Bulgaria's neigh- 
bours were ready to take advantage of any 
internal trouble to cut off further slices from her 
territorv, were the sole factors which deterred 
Stamboliski and his adherents from ridding 
their country of the cancer which was eating 
into her vitals. The present leader of the 
Agrarians is Draghiev. He is scrupulously at- 
tached to the interests of the party, and no 
consideration will make him depart from the 



POLITICAL PARTIES 69 

guiding principles set down by the Agrarian 
Congress. He is pitiless towards those of his 
adherents who have ignored party discipline, and 
in this respect he has probably shown too much 
severity. 

Draghiev is a personality who will play a 
leading part in the future destinies of the country. 
He certainly possesses many qualities which 
mark him out as a leader. He is a fluent speaker, 
his language is plain and homely and appeals to 
the peasants. He is exceedingly unassuming 
and frank, and those who are unacquainted with 
him manifest their surprise when they find that 
this popular leader has not yet discarded his 
peasant garb. To his friends' remonstrances on 
this point, Draghiev has invariably answered : 
" We should behave like the people, live like the 
people, for we have been sent here to defend the 
interests of the people." These words are charac- 
teristic and express his attachment to the cause 
he is serving. 

Draghiev's orthodoxy has not been to the 
liking of the majority of the Agrarian deputies, 
who sought to make use of their privileged 
positions to further their private interests after 
the declaration of war. They were incited 
thereto by the Government, which was anxious 
to weaken the unity of the party. By associating 
various Agrarian deputies in commercial enter- 
prises undertaken under the aegis of the Govern- 



70 BULGARIA 

ment, and by offering them opportunities for 
participating in profitable speculations, the Rado- 
slavov Government succeeded in creating discord 
among the Agrarians and enlisting the services 
of several of their number. The Spartan Drag- 
hiev could not tolerate such an infraction of 
party discipline, and without hesitation pro- 
ceeded to dissociate himself from those who had 
compromised themselves. As he and his fifteen 
incorruptible adherents were in a minority and 
could not exclude the incriminated members, 
Draghiev seceded and established a new party. 
Several attempts have been made by the incul- 
pated members to compose the quarrel and 
restore the unity of the party, but Draghiev has 
remained adamant on the point, and has refused 
to readmit them to the fold, although individuals 
offered to make amends and promised not to 
repeat the offence. Draghiev's wrath is certainly 
justifiable, for some of his late colleagues have 
acted in a disgraceful manner, and have indeed 
proved traitors to their cause. To their repeated 
solicitations, Draghiev has answered through the 
Press, intimating his refusal to have any further 
dealings with them. He has made public his 
decision in a long declaration, in which, among 
other things, he says : 

Has not your partisan Al. Dimitrov admitted that from 
having been a deputy he became a volunteer spy ? After 
this moral degradation can he any longer represent the 
Agrarian organization ? 



POLITICAL PARTIES 71 

Is it not true that you approve of spying and informing, 
and that you tolerate spies in your midst ? 

Is it not true that you countenance profiteering, and 
allow members of your group to carry on speculations, 
while Bulgaria's sons are suffering and dying on the battle- 
fields ? 

How earnestly we should have desired to have you with 
us 1 But you have deserted your posts and have fallen 
morally. 

We have regretfully had to exclude you from our party, 
because the high and vital interests of the party rendered 
this imperative. All your appeals for admission or union 
are in vain. Your fall must be judged by the Agrarian 
Congress. We are very sorry for your present position, 
but do not ask us to share your moral downfall. This is 
not in the interest of the party. Be patient, and await 
the verdict of the pending Agrarian Congress. 

The unscrupulousness of some of the Agrarian 
deputies may be gauged by the fact that the 
party organ, the Zemledelsko Zname, which had 
ceased pubUcation by decision of the party 
council, has, in spite of Draghiev's protest, 
again been started by some of the excluded 
members with the manifest object of furthering 
their individual ends. How largely the dissident 
group has profited by the late Government's 
largess may be illustrated by the fact that it 
recently acquired a building in Sofia at the price 
of 546,000 fr. which is to serve for a club. Its 
store also, which is conducted on co-operative 
Hnes and suppHes agricultural machinery to the 
peasantry, seems now to be doing a roaring 
trade, although prior to the war it was on the 
verge of bankruptcy. It is evident that all this 



72 BULGARIA 

money has not been thrust on it for nothing, 
and that certain deputies must have rendered 
signal services to Radoslavov and his followers. 
Two of them (Al. Nedev and Djankardashliski) 
were so completely seduced by the late Govern- 
ment that they repudiated their allegiance to 
their party and formally joined the former 
Government coalition, without, of course, running 
the risk of seeking re-election in their consti- 
tuencies. 

The Agrarians were opposed to the war, they 
were for the maintenance of strict neutrality. 
They disapproved of every manifestation of 
Jingoism, and would willingly have renounced 
even Macedonia had they been granted the 
possibility of carrying through their somewhat 
communistic programme. In a conversation I 
had with some Agrarians in 1914, I remember 
that they did not express regret so much at 
Macedonia being under Serbian rule as at the 
draconian administration the Serbians imposed 
on the Macedonian population, which rendered 
life unbearable in that region and thereby in- 
censed Bulgarian public opinion. " If the Ser- 
bians," they said, " had a little sense, they 
would try to conciliate the Macedonians by 
kindness, and they would endeavour to attract 
the bulk of the Macedonians in Bulgaria back to 
their country. Then all of us here in Bulgaria 
would feel inclined to put our own house in order 



POLITICAL PARTIES 73 

rather than to think about Macedonia, whereas 
now these Macedonians ^ with their endless 
complaints leave us no peace." 

The Agrarian party actually occupies forty-five 
seats in the Chamber (at the elections it had 
secured fifty-one seats, but six Agrarian deputies, 
among them StamboHski and Sharenkov have 
been imprisoned for their opposition to the 
pro-German policy). Some of the most distin- 
guished adherents of Draghiev are : St. Momt- 
chev, St. Kolarov, and Al. Radolov. The rival 
group is headed by Tsanko Bakalov, but save 
about half a dozen members who have completely 
disgraced themselves, the others do not seem to 

* The Macedonian immigrants form the most influential 
element in Sofia. By the energy and enterprise they have 
displayed they have become a factor that has always to be 
taken into consideration in a survey of Bulgarian politics. 
In fact they form " a State within the State," for they 
have succeeded in penetrating into all the branches of the 
administration, as well as into the army, and carried on a 
persistent propaganda in favour of involving Bulgaria in a 
war for the liberation of their country. They were most 
bitter in their condemnation of the Serbians, and refused 
to be reconciled to the idea of Macedonia remaining 
under Serbian rule, a rule harsher and more hated by them 
than the much-abused Turkish regime. One may form an 
idea of the influence they wield, if it be noted that there 
are actually 800 officers of Macedonian origin serving in 
the Bulgarian army. There were also over 600 teachers in 
Bulgaria who were by birth Macedonians. Liaptchev, the 
present Minister of Finance, and General Protoguerov, the 
Bulgarian Food Controller, are Macedonians Even Mis- 
sirkov, the spokesman of the 200,000 Bulgari.ns of Bess- 
arabia at the National Bessarabian Council whicli discussed 
the union of Bessarabia with Rumania, was a Macedonian. 



74 BULGARIA 

have committed any such unpardonable offence 
as to justify Draghiev's uncompromising de- 
meanour towards them. Even in their paper 
they were very tepid in their praise of the pro- 
German policy, and for this reason the Zemledelsko 
Zname was not allowed to be sent to the troops 
at the Front. 

The split in the Agrarian party, however, may 
be due to graver reasons than those which are 
apparent, and may lead to far-reaching results 
for the party. The war has contributed largely 
to the enrichment of the peasantry, but this 
increase in wealth has not been evenly distri- 
buted. The small holders, who constitute the 
great majority, have obviously profited less than 
the large proprietors. For the former could 
produce little in excess of their personal require- 
ments, whereas the latter were able to dispose of 
large quantities of produce and to make corre- 
spondingly large gains. These enriched farmers 
may possibly be attracted by the bourgeois 
parties, a tendency manifested to a very small 
degree by the parliamentary group led by Tsanko 
Bakalov. 

On the other hand, it is doubtful whether the 
holders of the smaller properties (owners of a half 
to two hectares), who constitute about half of 
the peasantry, will be able to earn their living 
on the land after the war, owing to the increased 
taxation to which they will be Hable. Up to the 



POLITICAL PARTIES 75 

outbreak of the war they had the greatest 
difficulty in making two ends meet, and this is 
why emigration to America was so popular. The 
poorer peasant used to repair to America, work 
for five or six years, and return with money to 
buy land sufficient to support himself and his 
family. The extent to which America has 
indirectly helped the Bulgarian peasantry to 
reahze its ideal of happiness may be gauged by 
the fact that there are some 100,000 able-bodied 
Bulgarians actually in America. This fact will 
also explain why no Bulgarian Government dared 
provoke the anger of the United States, to 
which the majority of Bulgarians feel indebted 
aHke for their spiritual and their material 
welfare. 

The Socialists are divided into two mutually 
hostile factions of about equal strength. The 
so-called " Broad " SociaHsts are really Social 
Democrats, and under the able leadership of 
Sakuzov are exercising a growing influence in the 
country. The ground was not favourable for the 
development of Sociahsm in Bulgaria ; she had 
no extensive industrial proletariat with the 
attendant exploitation of labour from v/hich 
Socialism usually derives its strength. To make 
up for this apparent weakness, Sociahsm in 
Bulgaria seems to have proportionately more 
adherents among the lower grade State func- 
tionaries and school teachers than in other 



^(i BULGARIA 

countries. Had the Socialist leaders applied 
their energies to redressing the wrongs of the 
peasantry they would undoubtedly have secured 
a very far-reaching popularity and influence. 
To court the favour of the peasant, however, who 
being a small holder is regarded as a bourgeois 
and therefore an enemy, was beneath the dignity 
of the more exalted heads of the party. They 
thus failed to adapt themselves to local condi- 
tions and lost a great opportunity, for the 
peasants meanwhile organized themselves into a 
party which will always exert greater influence 
owing to the numerical superiority of its adhe- 
rents. The discussion as to whether the peasants 
were worthy or not of the attention of the 
Sociahsts was really the main cause which led to 
the spUt in the SociaHst party. Sakuzov and his 
followers held that co-operation with the peasants 
did not go counter to the spirit of the party, and 
that it was essential for the common good of 
that party and the peasants. These views 
appeared heretical to the other section, and 
finally in 1903 the rupture was definitely con- 
summated. Sakuzov and his colleagues, Dr. 
Djidrov, Dr. Sakarov, Assen Tsankov, and Kr. 
Pastuhov, are among the most enlightened of 
Bulgarian politicians, and it is to be regretted that 
the weakness of their group does not allow them 
to play a more important part in the destiny 
of their country. The party organ is the Narod. 



POLITICAL PARTIES 'T] 

The " Narrow " or Doctrinaire Socialists are 
led by Blagoev. It is difficult to find a case of 
such extreme bigotry and blind attachment to 
dogma as that furnished by these SociaHsts. 
Even Trotsky, who during his stay in Sofia in 
1909 sided with them as against the " Broad " 
SociaHsts, was astonished at their fanaticism, 
and earnestly counselled them to mend their 
ways. Their extreme intolerance exasperated 
even this Bolshevik leader, and he manifested his 
disapproval by pubHcly dubbing them " Semi- 
narists." They were on very intimate terms 
with Parvus, the notorious German propagandist, 
who succeeded in imbuing them with such 
extreme Russophobia that prior to Bulgaria's 
intervention in the war they openly maintained 
that it was Bulgaria's duty to defend Constanti- 
nople by force of arms against Russian autocracy. 
By their refusal to co-operate with the bourgeois 
parties of the Opposition they greatly strength- 
ened and facihtated the task of the Radoslavov 
Cabinet. 

The chief members of this Socialist group are 
Chr. Kabaktchiev, Lukanov, and Kirkov. 

The party organ is the Rabotnitseski Vestnik 
or WorkmerCs Journal. The two SociaHst groups 
are represented in the Chamber by twenty-one 
deputies (ten Broad and eleven Narrow). 

The partisans of Radoslavov number some 
eighty-eight deputies in the Chamber. Of these, 



78 BULGARIA 

however, twenty-one are Moslem, and are only 
nominally adherents of the party. To one con- 
versant with Bulgaria's affairs this number will 
appear ludicrously small for a dominant party, 
and will be taken as a conclusive proof of weak- 
ness. For it must be remembered that in 
Bulgaria a certain number of constituencies, the 
so-called " Government's dowry," always returns 
Government candidates. Furthermore, in the 
last elections the bulk of the forty-one deputies 
unconstitutionally elected from the territories 
acquired as a result of the Balkan Wars were 
practically nominated by the Government, and 
not elected by the population. If these points 
be taken into consideration and a further allow- 
ance made for the privileges which the possession 
of power at the time of the elections always 
confers on a party, it will be seen that this 
impressive array of some eighty-eight deputies is 
indeed a very poor achievement. In fact, had 
the party been in Opposition it is doubtful 
whether it would have succeeded in returning 
even one or two deputies to the Chamber, for its 
mainspring is solely royal favour and not the 
nation's goodwill. 

Radoslavov, during his brief tenure of office in 
1899, had compromised himself to such a degree 
by peculation, infringement of the laws, and 
violence, that he and his colleagues were subse- 
quently impeached and condemned to various 



POLITICAL PARTIES 79 

terms of imprisonment and the loss of civil 
rights. Nor was this Radoslavov's first offence. 
In 1889 he was condemned to a year's imprison- 
ment for having published a defamatory telegram 
concerning Stambulov and his august royal 
master. It is to Dr. Danev that the credit of 
bringing Radoslavov and his administration to 
trial is due. But if all honest people will applaud 
Dr. Danev for his courage in instituting a court 
of justice and for eliminating such criminal 
elements from Bulgarian public life, they will 
equally condemn Tsar Ferdinand, who a few 
years later ordered the rehabilitation of Rado- 
slavov and his acolytes. Ferdinand's object in 
this action was that of securing one more tool 
for his dirty work. After Radoslavov's condem- 
nation it would be idle to contend that he could 
ever dare present himself before the electorate 
and demand its support were he not backed by 
the Crown. 

Radoslavov has greedily claimed the major 
share of the credit which the transient success of 
the Germanophil policy brought to Bulgaria, 
but in reality he played a very secondary part 
in directing his country's policy. Bulgarian 
Ministers were very seldom acquainted with the 
schemes of their ruler, and served solely as tools 
in carrying out his plans. Far from being the 
originator of the pro-German policy, it is certain 
that Radoslavov was kept absolutely ignorant of 



8o BULGARIA 

his master's secret designs even until the middle 
of the summer of 191 5. Radoslavov, indeed, is 
little more than a crafty old peasant, and can 
hardly be credited with possessing enough poli- 
tical acumen to dream of embarking his country 
on such an ambitious and risky enterprise as 
was Bulgaria's intervention on the side of the 
Central Powers. Even his compatriots derided 
him, and his speeches were often made the 
subject of jokes in the Press. Indeed the expres- 
sion " the glorious ideas of Dedo (uncle) Rado- 
slavov " had become a standing joke in Bulgaria. 
It is true that Radoslavov has obtained a degree 
as a doctor of laws in Heidelberg University, but 
his mental powers are very limited, and the only 
reason for his appointment to the post of Prime 
Minister was his extreme subservience to Ferdi- 
nand. His other colleagues in the Cabinet were 
Pechev, the Minister of Public Instruction, and 
Dintchev, the Minister of Agriculture. The 
organ of the party is the Narodni Prava. 
Tontchev, the late Minister of Finance, was up 
to the time of Radoslavov's imprisonment a 
partisan of the latter. When the party seemed 
to have been definitely wrecked by the condemna- 
tion of its leaders, Tontchev endeavoured to 
build up a following from the less discredited 
elements. His group, however, is devoid of any 
significance, and in spite of all the advantages it 
enjoyed at the polls through sharing in the 



POLITICAL PARTIES 8i 

prerogatives of power, had not succeeded in 
electing more than thirteen deputies to the 
Sobranje. 

The other Minister in the Radoslavov Cabinet 
belonging to Tontchev's faction was Bakalov, 
the late Minister of Commerce. The following 
anecdote will show the calibre of the men com- 
posing -the so-called Young Liberal party. The 

most talented deputy of the party is G 

S , a man of considerable accomphshment, 

of whom it might have been expected that he 
would have spurned the idea of associating 
himself with a coterie which is nicknamed in 

Bulgaria the " Thieves Party." S 's friends, 

when they heard of his decision to offer his 
allegiance to Tontchev, remonstrated with him 
and endeavoured to dissuade him from com- 
mitting an act which seemed to them tanta- 
mount to moral degradation. S 's reply to 

this admonition was edifying, and goes far to 
explain the rapid increase in the number of 
poHtical coteries in Bulgaria. " I admit," he 
said, " the moral superiority of other parties, but 
if I were to join one of them I should be relegated 
to a back seat, for they have numerous partisans, 
and it is doubtful if my turn would ever come 
to fill a prominent post. By adhering to 
Tontchev's party, however, I may aspire to 
ministerial office should he ever assume power, 
for the number of his partisans is Hmited. As 



82 BULGARIA 

for Tontchev's chances of being called to form a 
Cabinet, they are daily increasing. Out of our 
ten parties there are barely four which enjoy 
royal favour, and consequently our turn will not 
be long delayed. I only aspire to be Minister 
once, that is enough for me." 

The Stambulovist party, which formed the 
other wing of the Radoslavov coalition, consists 
nominally of the followers of Stambulov. Al- 
though a few members of the party are inspired 
by high ideals and lofty patriotism, the vast 
majority are men whose sole consideration is 
personal advancement. Their tenure of office 
from 1903 to 1908, first under Ratso Petrov, later 
under Dimitre Petkov, and finally under Gudev, . 
was characterized by an orgy of illegahty and 
abuse. After the Stambulovists had left office, 
a parliamentary Commission was appointed to in- 
vestigate their acts, and the Sobranje, acting on 
the report of this Commission, decided to arraign 
the ex-Ministers and most of their partisans before 
a special court. 

The indictment consisted of 700 folio pages, 
and contained over forty counts ! The outbreak 
of the Balkan War prevented the Government 
from proceeding with the State trial. The im- 
pending menace to the Stambulovists will go far 
to explain their untiring activity in endeavouring 
to discredit and overthrow the Danev-Gueshov 
coaHtion Ministry. In fact their only hope of 



POLITICAL PARTIES 83 

salvation from the moral ruin with which the 
State trial threatened them lay in the overthrow 
of the upright Danev and the substitution in 
office of another party endowed with less respect 
for the law. Thus the Stambulovists easily lent 
themselves to all the intrigues of the Austrian 
agents and helped to envenom the discord 
among the Balkan AlHes, hoping thereby to 
undermine the Government's position. In this 
they were diligently assisted by Radoslavov and 
his partisans, who sought to revenge themselves 
on Danev for their condemnation. Thus while 
Gueshov and his supporters were advocating a 
policy of conciliation, and recommended the 
cession of Salonica to Greece, the partisans of 
Ghenadiev and Radoslavov were violently pro- 
testing against the policy of compromise. One 
of the factors which forced Danev to assume a 
more unyielding attitude than Gueshov was this 
Chauvinist agitation of his political rivals, who 
publicly denounced every concession and pro- 
tested against the submission of the dispute 
between the Balkan Allies to arbitration. Ghena- 
diev went so far as to threaten Danev that he 
would provoke riots in Sofia should Danev leave 
for Russia to confer with the Prime Ministers of 
the other Balkan States in order to arrive at an 
amicable settlement. 

The Stambulovists encouraged Ferdinand to 
fall foul of his alHes, and brought about this 



84 BULGARIA 

result at a disastrous cost to their country. The 
outbreak of the war among the Balkan allies 
caused the overthrow of the Danev Cabinet and 
paved the way for the advent of the Staoibu- 
lovists in coalition with Radoslavov's followers. 
As was to be expected, they hastened to rescind 
the order for a State trial, and in this they were 
heartily assisted by Radoslavov, who owed his 
rehabilitation to the Stambulovists. They there- 
by freed themselves from the Damocles sword 
which had so long been hanging over them. 

Nothing could equal the corruption and the 
utter disregard of public opinion under the 
Stambulovist regime from 1903-8. The late 
Prime Minister, Dimitre Petkov, on one occasion 
displayed his cynical contempt for the public by 
bluntly retorting to some of the deputies who 
were reproaching him for certain illegalities and 
pointing out to him the deplorable effect they 
would have on public opinion : " I make water 
on public opinion." On another occasion when 
friends were trying to persuade him not to 
commit an act which was likely to cast a stain 
on his name he brazenly replied : " I am so full 
of blots that a fresh stain will not show." 

Misappropriation of public funds and pecula- 
tion in connexion with army supplies were 
rampant. One of the many affaires which 
engaged public attention at the time was that 
of Colonel Metchconev. He had supplied gun- 



POLITICAL PARTIES 85 

powder which was absolutely worthless. Being 
a favourite of the King he was calmly acquitted. 
The misdeeds of General Ratso Petrov, the 
ex-Prime Minister, who made a huge fortune by 
embezzhng public funds, were appropriately 
versified by a witty poet, the General being 
described as making out of the horses suppHed 
to the' Government a napoleon apiece, and out of 
every fortification erected in defence of the 
country a prop for himself : 

Ot kontche, 

Po napoleontche, 

I ot fseko ukreplenie, 

Podkreplenie. 

In justice to the Bulgarian army it must be 
admitted that several leading officers endeavoured 
to protest against the prevalent corruption by 
handing in their resignations. The case of 
General Peev may be cited as an example. After 
his retirement he pubHshed a series of pamphlets 
in which he exposed all the evils from which the 
army was suffering with the purpose of rousing 
the pubHc and forcing it to check the growing 
evil. 

I have a letter from a Bulgarian officer dated 

June 15, 1904, in which the following passages 

occur : 

I do not think there is any institution where fraud is so 
rampant, where favouritism is so highly developed, as in 
the Bulgarian army. From the Minister of War to the 
sub-lieutenant, even to the sergeant, everj' one steals right 



86 BULGARIA 

and left. The newly supplied rifles are of such poor quality 
that I am afraid they will fall to pieces after a few rounds. 
The boots are of the same description ; after wearing them 
for a month you go barefooted. We laugh at the Turkish 
army, but we are no better. I assure you, my dear friend, 
that if we had declared war on Turkey last year we should 
have been beaten, because we had only fifty bullets to a 
rifle. Think of all the fuss we then made ! 

The fortifications we are now making are not really 
intended for defence ; their purpose is to furnish the 
" bosses " with a pretext for appropriating public money. 

For petty meanness, the following exploit of 
the then Minister of Justice can hardly be sur- 
passed. The Sofia Municipality had decided 
to make a free distribution of fuel to the poor, 
whereupon the Minister decided to take advan- 
tage of this to secure his fuel supply gratis. He 
forthwith issued a certificate to the effect that 
his sister, who was keeping house for him, was 
indigent, and thus enabled her to secure a share 
of the fuel designed for the populace. Unfor- 
tunately for those concerned, an Opposition 
paper got wind of this shady transaction and 
made the facts public, with the result that even 
the Stambulovists derided their Minister for his 
lack of dignity. 

Another crime with which the Stambulovist 
regime has been branded is the persecution of the 
Greek element throughout Bulgaria in 1906. 
Greek churches, schools, and property were ruth- 
lessly seized, and pogroms were organized in 
several towns. The town of Anhiallo on the 
Black Sea, mainly inhabited by Greeks, was set 



POLITICAL PARTIES 87 

on fire and completely destroyed. The man 
chiefly responsible for these barbarous acts was 
Ghenadiev. Being a Macedonian he had been 
incensed by the murderous activities of the 
Greek bands in his country, and was wreaking 
his vengeance on the defenceless Greek popula- 
tion in Bulgaria. Even the arch-cynic Petkov 
demurred at such violence, and remarked that 
no good would come to Bulgaria from it. Ghena- 
diev, however, was all-powerful and had his way. 
Another of Petkov's acts which is charac- 
teristic of the period was his treatment of his 
colleague Gatev. The latter, by exception an 
honest man, was the Minister for Railways. 
When the Government was considering the con- 
struction of the trans-Balkan railway, Tirnovo 
to Stara-Zagora, Gatev insisted on the adoption 
of the scheme worked out by the technical staff, 
while his colleagues and Tsar Ferdinand, being 
interested in some coal-mine concessions in the 
Trevna district, which they had granted to 
themselves, wished that the line should be 
deflected so as to traverse the region where the 
mines were located, thus enabling them to dispose 
very advantageously of their concessions. As a 
change in the original plan would have seriously 
impaired the carrying capacity of the line and 
would have increased considerably the cost of 
construction, Gatev resolutely opposed the idea, 
and refused to yield on the point. In order to 



88 BULGARIA 

overcome Gatev's obstruction, Petkov hit on the 
plan of sending him on a mission abroad, and 
temporarily took charge of the Ministry of Rail- 
ways. No sooner had Gatev turned his back 
than Petkov submitted to the Sobranje a Bill for 
the construction of the trans-Balkan railway with 
the desired modification, and had the Bill carried 
post-haste by his docile supporters, or " boys " as 
they were familiarly termed by him. Gatev, of 
course, resigned as soon as he became acquainted 
with the trick which had been played on him. 

Such was the abhorrence and disgust felt by 
the public for this gang of depredators that at 
the elections following on their retirement from 
office in 1908, not a single Stambulovist deputy 
was elected. In the present Chamber they se- 
cured the return of thirty-two of their partisans ; 
of these about twenty continued to support 
Ghenadiev, after the latter had formally re- 
nounced the traditional anti-Russian policy of 
the party, while the other dozen deputies grouped 
themselves round Dobri Petkov, the notorious 
ultra-Germanophil Momtchilov,^ Vice-President 

1 The following anecdote sufficiently illustrates the moral 
standing of this personage. Early this year, General von 
Mackensen consigned to Momtchilov 5000 kg. of flour to be 
distributed gratuitously among the poor of Timovo, where 
the General had his headquarters at the time of Rumania's 
intervention. Momtchilov, who is a deputy of the Tirnovo 
Department, received the flour, and instead of handing it 
over to the Tirnovo Municipality, began selling it to private 
buyers at 2 to 3 fr. per kg. The Mayor of Tirnovo has 



POLITICAL PARTIES 89 

of the Chamber, and KoznitskI, the late Minister 
of Railways. The views of the two rival factions 
were voiced respectively by the Volya and the 
Nov-Vek^ both of which have ceased to appear. 
After the condemnation of Ghenadiev the number 
of Starobulovist deputies decreased to twenty- 
nine, of whom eleven supported Ghenadiev and 
eighteen Dobri Petkov. The same disgraceful 
acts which characterized the Stambulovists' 
tenure of office in 1903-8 have marked their 
administration since their resumption of power. 
Jointly with the Radoslavists, they have syste- 
matically exploited the people and have heaped 
up enormous fortunes. One of the tricks to 
which they resorted to fleece the population was 
that of occasionally prohibiting the export of 
agricultural produce. This would bring down 
the price of such commodities. The Govern- 
ment partisans would then hasten to buy up all 
the available supply, raise the embargo on its 
export, and quietly dispose of it abroad, thus 
reaping enormous profits. One of the most venal 
deputies was undoubtedly Pavel Ghenadiev, the 
younger brother of the Minister. Together with 
some of his followers he practically monopolized 
the export trade to Turkey, and regardless of 
embargoes and prohibitions, smuggled huge 

since been obliged to bring an action against this pillar of 
German Kultur in Bulgaria in order to recover the value 
of Von Mackensen's generous gift, 



90 BULGARIA 

quantities of food-stuffs across the frontier. He 
brazenly advertised in the papers during 191 5 
that he was buying all kinds of produce, irrespec- 
tive of prohibitions as to export. An amusing 
incident happened to P. Ghenadiev in the course 
of one of his smuggling enterprises. The export 
of gold in coins had been forbidden. Ghenadiev 
secured some 40,000 fr. in gold and went to Rust- 
chuk, where the police prefect was ordered to see 
him on board the steamer which was to take him 
across the Danube to Rumania, and prevent any 
of the subordinate officials from doing their 
duty. The programme worked out on the 
Bulgarian bank of the river, but in Giurgevo 
the Rumanian authorities insisted on searching 
Ghenadiev, and as there was no police prefect to 
shield him, his gold was discovered and seized. 
Ghenadiev preferred to create a disturbance in 
order to get his money back, rather than, to keep 
silent and avoid a public scandal. Diplomatic 
notes were exchanged between Rumania and 
Bulgaria on the subject, and eventually the 
money was restored, but not before the affair 
had made the round of the Press. No proceed- 
ings, however, were taken against the culprit, for 
this would have constituted an anomaly and an 
infraction of the unwritten law as hallowed 
by practice. For in Bulgaria there are two 
weights and two measures, and as the Bul- 
garians express it ; " The law is a cobweb fatal 



POLITICAL PARTIES . 91 

only to small flies and harmless to the larger 
insects." 

Patriotic Bulgarians are fully aware of the 
danger which the system of corruption fostered 
by Tsar Ferdinand constitutes for their country. 
Ferdinand aimed at creating a powerful moneyed 
class as a counterpoise to the democratic elements. 
By widespread corruption, and by making pro- 
motion in the army and in the civil service 
conditional on the amount of servility displayed, 
he succeeded to a certain extent in rendering 
a numerous class subservient to his will. The 
Radoslavov clique was entirely recruited from 
such elements, and had nothing in common with 
the mass of the people. Even the Bulgarians 
make no secret of the corruption reigning in their 
midst, as may be gathered from the following 
article in the Mir, January 6, 1917. The writer 
eluded the censor's vigilance by ascribing to 
China the remarks and descriptions intended for 
Bulgaria : 

China with its many millions is unconquerable, but is 
governed by persons who have been accused and condemned, 
and who, nevertheless, have again become Ministers. Men 
without conscience and scruples, who have lost every moral 
criterion, persons who stand on the lowest step of the moral 
ladder, who rob and encourage their partisans to do like- 
wise. They make use of the power they hold to commit 
crimes and illegalities under cover of the law. People for 
whom the country's honour, welfare, and safety have each 
a price. To obtain servile tools, these rulers are not deterred 
from vitiating the intelligeutsia, corrupting the people, 
spreading throughout the country vice, corruption, and 



92 BULGARIA 

abuses, and creating an atmosphere of absolute physical and 
moral decomposition ... a stinking slough. 

This is a picture of China. . . . Thank God that things 
are different with us in Bulgaria ! 

Bulgaria will he doomed to certain destruction, even if her 
territory become a hundred times greater, should her inner 
life resemble that of China. 

Bulgaria will only be great, really great, when she revives 
morally, and by her creative power rises high above her 
neighbours. 

The above is corroborated by the report which 
a ParHamentary Committee of Inquiry, nomi- 
nated to examine the irregularities and abuses 
among military and civil officials, presented to 
the Sobranje in March 191 7. It contained, 
among other things, the following remarks : 

It is regrettable to note that in these times of crisis for 
the country some unscrupulous State servants had devoted 
their energies entirely to enriching themselves by criminal 
methods. 

One of the most talented Bulgarian writers, 
that keen observer of public life, . Stoyan 
Mihailovski, has placed the following words in 
the mouth of the hero of a play ; 

Cupidity is the mainspring of our Government circles. 
Do you see this pretty, coquettish, Bulgarian capital ? It 
is built out of plunder and robbery ! Do you recollect what 
a dirty village it used to be some twenty-five years ago ? 
Now it shines, it attracts like a Parisienne. . . . Well, to 
me, it is a thousand times filthier, filthy in the purity of 
its atmosphere, foul in the cleanliness of its streets and 
courtyards, foul because it is a living proof that the history 
of young Bulgaria has begun by spoliation. , . . 



CHAPTER III 

IN THE WAKE OF THE BALKAN 
WARS 

The outbreak of the European War found 
Bulgaria in a state of intense political ferment 
following on the disastrous termination of the 
Balkan Wars. An atmosphere of bitterness and 
distrust permeated all circles, and was intensified 
by a campaign of mutual recrimination in which 
the various political factions were indulging. 
Instead of drawing the only logical conclusion 
from the calamity which befell Bulgaria in 191 3, 
and endeavouring to guard against a possible 
recurrence of the evil, Bulgarian politicians acted 
in a way which emboldened the real culprits and 
encouraged them to persevere in their nefarious 
activities. The controversy as to who was 
responsible for the disaster was fostered by all 
those who were anxious to distract public atten- 
tion from the guilty parties. ResponsibiUty 
weighed heavily on Tsar Ferdinand, for his guilt 
in precipitating the second Balkan War had 
been more or less estabhshed by the various dis- 
closures made in. the Sobranje and in the Bul- 
garian Press. But thanks to the mutual distrust 

93 



94 BULGARIA 

with which the various poHtical coteries viewed 
each other, and the personal animosities by 
which prominent politicians seemed to be in- 
spired, no effective measures were taken to check 
the encroachments made by the Crown on the 
nation's liberties. ^ And when at last those very 
persons who had compassed Bulgaria's ruin in 
191 3 were about to launch their unfortunate 
country on another bloody adventure, the people 
and its leaders found themselves incapable of 
opposing any effectual resistance to the policy 
which was being foisted on them. This inabihty 
of the national will to assert itself was not, 
however, due entirely to local causes. Other 
circumstances had done much to accentuate the 
sense of helplessness and discouragement among 
the foremost opponents of Tsar Ferdinand's 
regime. The hostile attitude adopted towards 
Bulgaria by Entente countries in general and by 
Russia 2 in particular, from the time of the out- 
break of the second Balkan War, had sapped the 
confidence with which these States were regarded 
by the more progressive elements in Bulgaria, 

1 Yet a further reason which restrained the Bulgarians 
from meting out a just retribution to the authors of their 
misfortunes was the fear that their neighbours should take 
advantage of any internal trouble in Bulgaria to cut off 
further slices from her territory. 

" Russia's unfriendliness towards Bulgaria was largely 
due to the fact that she was afraid to alienate Serbia, for 
she counted on the latter as a pawn to be used against 
Austria. 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 95 

which intuitively turned to them for support 
against the pro-Austrian and reactionary ten- 
dencies manifested by Tsar Ferdinand. Bul- 
garian democracy had repeatedly and vainly 
appealed to the Entente to redress the wrongs 
it had suffered at Bucarest at the hands of the 
other Balkan States ; the Entente, however, 
turned a deaf ear to these prayers, and by its 
attitude disheartened and discredited Ententophil 
circles in Bulgaria. 

Had the Bulgarians been allowed to decide for 
themselves, they would undoubtedly have re- 
mained neutral spectators in this world-war as 
long as we abstained from satisfying their 
grievances, and their displeasure would never 
have expressed itself in open hostiUty to us. 
Tsar Ferdinand, however, who was on the look- 
out for an opportunity of recovering his prestige, 
so seriously impaired by his attitude during the 
Balkan Wars, and who was seeking to regain his 
vanishing authority, saw in an aUiance with 
Germany a sure pledge for the attainment of 
both these ends. 

Tsar Ferdinand's pro-Austrian proclivities are 
well known. He was ever a wilHng tool of 
Austria, and his subservience to the Ballplatz 
may be gauged by the policy which led to the 
war among the Balkan Allies in June 191 3. It 
is more than probable that he ventured on this 
fratricidal struggle after receiving explicit pro- 



96 BULGARIA 

mises of Austrian military assistance, for no 
responsible politician would have ventured to 
expose his country to risks such as those incurred 
by Bulgaria in June 191 3 without having ob- 
tained guarantees beforehand. If he deHberately 
ignored the possibihty of Rumanian and Turkish 
invasion, it was because this danger was out- 
weighed by the knowledge of forthcoming Austrian 
assistance. In this connexion a quotation from 
an article by D. Mishev which appeared in 
the Bulgarian review, Sfobodno Mnenie, a few 
mofiths prior to Bulgarian intervention in the 
present war may prove illuminating. Mishev is 
a distinguished Bulgarian publicist and the 
author of the well-known treatise on Macedonia : 
La Macedoine et sa 'population chretienne (Paris, 
Librairie Plon et Cie, 1905). He was a de- 
voted Ententophil, and in the summer of 191 5 
started a daily paper in Sofia, the Balkanski 
Zgovor, the main purpose of which was to 
popularize the idea of a reconstruction of the 
Balkan League under Entente auspices. 

It cannot any longer be denied [he writes] that Austria- 
Hungary drew Bulgaria into the war with the Balkan 
Allies. That war was a vital question for Austria, and in 
order to provoke an armed conflict, Austria-Hungary had 
in all likelihood promised that she would support Bulgaria 
not only diplomatically but also by other and more 
efficacious means — by war ! By such a promise the rear 
of Bulgaria on the Rumanian and Turkish frontiers would 
be guaranteed. Without such a guarantee the negotiations 
with Rumania surely would not have been carried on in 
so superficial a manner nor would the Bulgarian troops 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 97 

have been withdrawn from Tchataldja. Is it admissible 
that without such a guarantee our High Command could 
have decided to enter into the war with the Allies ? That 
our High Command must have received such a guarantee 
may be inferred from the negligent and light-hearted manner 
in which our High Commanders declared war. They were 
absolutely convinced that neither Rumania nor Turkey 
would cross our open frontiers. 

And such was the reliance placed on Austrian 
assistance among Tsar Ferdinand's entourage 
that he felt capable of dispensing with public 
support, and proceeded to entrust the Govern- 
ment on July 27, 191 3, to persons such as 
Radoslavov, Tontchev, and Ghenadiev, who were 
devoid of all authority and completely bankrupt 
morally. Their entire subservience to Ferdinand 
was the King's only inducement to call them to 
power. What was the programme of this trium- 
virate may be judged from the letter they 
addressed to Tsar Ferdinand on July 5, 191 3, a 
letter undoubtedly inspired by Ferdinand him- 
self. 

Your IVIajesty, — Wlien we were invited to the consulta- 
tion at the Palace, we declared to you that in order to 
secure an advantageous solution of our conflict with Greece 
and Serbia by war it would be absolutely necessary to 
secure ourselves against attack by Turkey and Rumania 
and to obtain the support of Austria-Hungary. All the 
conditions necessary for the success of such a policy were 
within our grasp, but no attention was given to our advice. 
Complete subservience to Russian policy was continued, 
notwithstanding the obvious evils of such a course, and 
thus Bulgaria was brought to this present critical moment. 
We think to-day, as we thought then, that the salvation 
of our State can only be found in a policy of intimate friend- 

G 



98 BULGARIA 

ship with Austria-Hungary. That poUcy should be adopted 
at once and without hesitation, because every hour is 
fateful. We invite Your Majesty to act immediately in 
order to save Bulgaria from further misfortune and the 
d3masty from fresh responsibility. 

Your Majesty's devoted subjects, 

Dr. V. Radoslavov 
Dr. N. Ghenadiev 
d. tonchev. 

Apparently there were good reasons for con- 
fidence in Austria. M. Take Jonescu affirms 
that during May 191 3 the Austrian Minister in 
Bucarest informed him that he had been in- 
structed to assure the Rumanian Government of 
Austria's readiness to defend Bulgaria by force 
of arms. This evidence is further corroborated 
by Giolitti's statement in the ItaHan Chamber, 
to the effect that early in August 191 3 Count 
Berchtold, then Austrian Foreign Minister, had 
soHcited Italy's support for an attack upon 
Serbia. 

It is also significant that when Tsar Ferdinand's 
plans had miscarried and Bulgaria had been 
unsparingly chastised by her vindictive neigh- 
bours, he should have abandoned the country, 
which was seething with dissatisfaction, and 
repaired to Austria-Hungary, where he spent the 
greater part of the autumn of 191 3. It was 
commonly believed in Sofia that he would not 
return, it was even reported that he had dis- 
patched his Chamberlain to Paris, and that the 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 99 

latter had rented a sumptuous residence in a 
fashionable suburb of that city for a term of 
years. It appears, however, that Francis Joseph 
was able to dissuade Tsar Ferdinand from taking 
such an extreme step, giving him assurances 
that he would soon have an opportunity of 
retrieving his ill-luck. At any rate, the Austrian 
Emperor's attitude towards the Bulgarian ruler 
was described as exceedingly cordial, surpassing 
in amenity the customary courtesies exchanged 
even between allied monarchs. When at last 
Tsar Ferdinand returned to Bulgaria, he came 
with the firm determination to persist in the 
pro-Austrian policy he had initiated, and to 
maintain in power the Radoslavov Cabinet, the 
only ministry amenable to such a course. And 
this in defiance of public opinion and in spite 
of the nation's will. The new Government 
had to appeal to the country for its support, as 
the Sobranje, being mainly composed of partisans 
of Gueshov and Danev, had been dissolved. The 
elections in Bulgaria are practically always sham 
affairs. The King appoints the Ministers, who 
in their turn dissolve the Sobranje or Parliament, 
as it is always packed with adherents of their 
predecessors in office. Before carrying out 
elections the Ministers take measures to ensure 
their success at the polls. All officials, high and 
low, mayors, prefects, councillors, both com- 
munal and urban, even poHcemen arc dismissed 



100 BULGARIA 

wholesale, and replaced in their functions by- 
partisans of the Cabinet. 

All these new civil servants have but one 
object in view : the return of the candidates of 
the party which has appointed them. If the 
elections are in their favour, their posts are 
assured for as long as their party remains in 
power ; their failure to secure the return of the 
Ministerial deputies, on the other hand, entails 
their dismissal for lack of zeal or ability. 

It is easy to imagine the abuse, the violence, 
and the law-breaking which occur during 
the elections. The Liberal groups forming the 
Government had recourse to all these electoral 
malpractices. They could boast a very ugly 
renown won in previous experiences, for they 
not only made use of artifices which custom had 
to some extent consecrated in Bulgaria, but they 
went even further, employing gangs of armed 
ruffians to terrorize the peaceful population. 
These ruffians were mostly armed with heavy 
clubs or sofas, whence the nickname Sopadji 
bestowed on the Liberal groups. The Bulgarian 
comic papers always represented the leaders of 
the self-styled Liberal coteries carrying huge 
clubs, and it may be said that the sopa is the 
emblem of these parties. The methods adopted 
by these gangs were as follows : In districts 
where the Opposition was likely to succeed in 
electing the parliamentary candidate, a body of 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS loi 

Sopadjis was dispatched a few days before the 
election took place. By their threats and by 
their menacing attitude they so intimidated the 
population that on the election day only parti- 
sans of the Ministerial party ventured out of 
doors to vote. If their opponents dared to show 
themselves, they were sure to return home with 
broken heads or ribs. It may be asked what the 
policemen were doing ? They were either lend- 
ing a hand to the Sopadjis if the Opposition 
proved obstinate and were foolish enough to 
persist in getting their heads broken, or, if the 
preliminaries had been sufficiently impressive 
and the electors had taken their cue, were 
to be found in public-houses drinking to the 
health of the Minister of the Interior, who on 
such days could always handle the secret funds 
to the delight of his subordinates. At times, 
however, the population was so maddened by the 
exasperating behaviour of the Sopadjis that it 
got the upper hand and chastised these bullies 
as they deserved. 

Although Radoslavov and his colleagues were 
considered past masters in the art of " making " 
elections in Bulgaria they failed to secure even 
a bare majority in the Chamber despite their 
craft and skill. This is all the more remarkable, 
for in Bulgaria a considerable number of con- 
stituencies invariably return Government nomi- 
nees. Such constituencies are generally or 



102 BULGARIA 

mainly composed of Moslem or Jewish electors, 
who are not interested in party strife, and 
whose principal aim is to secure the election of 
deputies belonging to the party in power, so that 
they may enjoy the Government's goodwill. 
For favouritism is so deep-seated in the State 
organism that an electoral district lacking a 
political intercessor receives no help from the 
State. This is a peculiar manifestation of Bul- 
garian parHamentarism, and the constituencies 
evincing it are collectively designated by an 
appropriate term, namely, " the Government's 
dowry." 

The elections took place early in December 
191 3, and they resulted in a scathing condemna- 
tion of the Austrophil policy which was being 
ruthlessly pursued by Ferdinand. The Govern- 
ment obtained 95 seats in the Sobranje as 
against 109 seats secured by the Opposition. 

The prospects were indeed dark for Ferdinand 
and his accomplices, who felt the ground giving 
way under their feet. Chance, however, favoured 
them once more. 

The SociaHsts refused on principle to co- 
operate with the bourgeois parties of Gueshov, 
MaHnov, or Danev, while the Agrarians stated 
that they would have to refer to a congress of 
their party before coming to a decision. Thus 
the new Chamber, unable either to pass a vote of 
confidence in the Cabinet or to appoint a new 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 103 

one, was dissolved, and new elections were 
decided upon. A fresh election campaign was 
started, and all possible means were devised to 
shift the responsibility for the second Balkan 
War from the shoulders of the King and his 
councillors to those of Gueshov and Danev. 

Tsar Ferdinand and his companions, however, 
had plainly seen that they could not possibly 
obtain the support of the country, even with all 
the means at their disposal. Some fresh means 
had to be devised if they were to face the risks 
of another election with better chances of success. 

The artful mind of Ferdinand was not slow to 
evolve a new plan of campaign ; it was decided 
to incorporate the territory awarded to Bulgaria 
by the Treaty of Constantinople, and to carry 
on elections therein. A great part of the popula- 
tion was Turkish, and Tsar Ferdinand, by coquet- 
ting with Turkey, succeeded in placating his new 
subjects, who had just exchanged Turkish for 
Bulgarian rule. The Government also settled 
some 150,000 refugees in this district, and by 
granting them lands managed to influence their 
votes. Further, instead of allocating to the new 
province the same proportion of parliamentary 
representatives as to the rest of the country, a 
false census was used to create a disproportionate 
number of parliamentary seats. 

Radoslavov and his colleagues spent several 
weeks touring the newly acquired province with 



104 BULGARIA 

the object of " preparing " the elections in the 
" Liberal " fashion already described, while all 
members of the Opposition were excluded from 
this Government preserve, on the pretext that 
the Turkish population was still restless. 

The incorporation of a new territory should 
be sanctioned by an extraordinary National 
Assembly ; elections cannot take place in it 
until its incorporation has been voted ; these 
are precepts of the Bulgarian Constitution. No 
account, however, was taken of these stipula- 
tions, nor of the vehement protests of the 
Opposition. Thus Tsar Ferdinand had his own 
way again, as was his wont, for he had long been 
accustomed to dispose of Bulgaria as if she were 
his private estate. 

The result of the new elections, even with the 
stratagem of the incorporation of the new terri- 
tory, were scarcely favourable to Tsar Ferdinand 
and his Cabinet. In the new Chamber they had 
a bare majority of ten (127 to 117) including the 
Turkish members elected from the new territory. 

Most of these Turkish deputies had been and 
still were members of the Young Turk Committee 
of Union and Progress, which held the reins of 
power at Constantinople. They received their 
instructions from the headquarters of the Com- 
mittee, and found in Ferdinand and his Ministers 
the most obedient of servants, by whom their 
wishes were taken as orders. For what could 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 105 

Radoslavov and his colleagues do ? If they 
refused any of the demands of these Turkish 
deputies, the mere threat of going over to the 
Opposition sufficed to paralyse every effort of 
resistance. Can we therefore wonder at the 
rapprochement between Bulgaria and Turkey, and 
the subsequent conclusion of an alliance ? 

But the ascendancy of a foreign State in 
Bulgaria was not to be confined to Turkey. 
Owing to the parlous financial situation of the 
country the raising of a loan abroad had become 
urgent. France's, England's, and finally Russia's 
financial assistance was besought, but it was 
either refused or offered on conditions which were 
tantamount to complete renunciation of Bul- 
garia's national aspirations. No Bulgarian 
Government could possibly subscribe to such 
terms, and the Entente financiers by their 
uncompromising attitude inadvertently helped 
to tighten Germany's grip on Bulgaria. Baffled 
in its efforts to secure a loan in Entente countries, 
the Bulgarian Government turned to Austria and 
Germany. The financial position of the country 
was desperate, and the very existence of the 
Government had become dependent on the rais- 
ing of a loan. It was then that an extraordinary 
activity manifested itself in the Bulgarian Court. 
Tsar Ferdinand (who had hitherto always left a 
free hand to his Ministers in the matter of State 
loans, conniving at the preliminary levying of a 



io6 BULGARIA 

certain amount of commission for their personal 
benefit, this being a ministerial prerogative 
hallowed by tradition in Bulgaria) now assumed 
a leading part in the negotiations. Being unable 
for obvious reasons to conduct personally the 
negotiations between the Austro-German finan- 
ciers and the delegates of the Bulgarian Govern- 
ment, he enlisted the services of his brother, 
Prince Philip of Coburg, for the delicate task of 
intervention in this transaction. Prince Philip's 
role evidently consisted in smoothing over diffi- 
culties and removing the manifold obstacles in 
the way of an agreement. His goings and 
comings to and from Sofia, Berlin, and Vienna 
became so constant at the time that this Coburg 
Prince might have suddenly been called upon to 
act as a " King's Messenger " between these 
capitals. And there were ample reasons for these 
endless journeys. The Teuton financiers, having 
got an inkling of the dire straits of Tsar Ferdi- 
nand's Government, insisted on usurious returns 
for their money in the form of economic con- 
cessions which would have reduced Bulgaria to 
economic dependence on the Central Empires. 

The German syndicate demanded the control 
and exploitation of all the coal mines in the 
possession of the State, from which practically 
the whole of the country's coal output was 
obtained, also the control of a railway to be made 
via Hascovo to Porto-Lagos, as well as that of the 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 107 

harbour at Lagos. Further, a virtual monopoly 
of the export of tobacco was to be guaranteed 
to it. The aim of the German bankers was 
evidently to obtain the exploitation of Bul- 
garia's newly acquired tobacco districts, with 
the object of discounting the growing prepon- 
derance of the American Tobacco Trust in 
Germany. 

The revelation of these demands in the Sobranje 
led to unprecedented scenes of tumult. Vehe- 
ment protests were made both within and 
without the House, and all those who dared to 
contemplate the imposition of such a yoke on 
Bulgaria were held up to public opprobrium. 
The Opposition deputies declared that " The 
scheme must be considered as dishonouring and 
disastrous for our country. . . . The signing of 
agreements of this kind by a Bulgarian Minister 
of State constitutes an outrage on the dignity 
and credit of Bulgaria." And in truth, accep- 
tance of even the first of these stipulations 
would have placed the entire economic life of 
Bulgaria at the mercy of the Teutons. It would 
have conferred on them the right to supply or 
withhold the coal necessary for the working of 
the State railways. Imagine all traffic com- 
pletely suspended at a moment when the State 
might have found it necessary to decree a gene- 
ral mobilization ! And yet, unthinkable as it 
appears, the Government finally managed to 



io8 BULGARIA 

carry this measure in spite of the determined 
resistance of the Opposition. 

The demand for a monopoly in the export of 
tobacco, however, had finally to be withdrawn, 
for the Government found that this condition 
was combated not only by the Opposition but 
also by its Turkish supporters, chiefly deputies 
from the tobacco-growing districts of Xanthi and 
Gumurdjina, to whose personal interests it was 
highly prejudicial. Finally the Germans con- 
descended to withdraw this clause, and an agree- 
ment was reached with the Government, which 
managed to carry the measure through Parlia- 
ment. The Germans, however, knowing the 
shifty customer they had to deal with in 
Ferdinand, did not advance the money in a 
lump sum, but insisted on paying it in small 
instalments every fortnight or month. The 
reason was obvious ; they wanted to secure a 
pledge for the future docility of the Bulgarian 
Government, and in this they succeeded, for by 
merely threatening to suspend the advances they 
compelled Bulgaria to submit to their dictation. 
Radoslavov and his colleagues were in a most 
unenviable situation, depending for their main- 
tenance in power on the Turkish deputies sitting 
in the Sobranje, and on the Germans for the 
pittance which was doled out to them every few 
weeks. They had no serious backing in the 
country, and naturally could not be expected to 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 109 

defend themselves against the ever-increasing 
pressure brought to bear on them by Teuton 
diplomacy. 

It must not be supposed that this financial 
measure was passed without evoking the most 
strenuous opposition throughout the country. 
Controversy on this financial Bill became so 
embittered, and party feeling ran so high, that 
even in Sofia scenes were witnessed which recalled 
the stormy days of the first years of Bulgaria's 
political life. 

A meeting of protest, to which all prominent 
commercial men in Sofia were convened, took 
place at the " Battenberg," one of the largest 
restaurants of the Bulgarian capital. The pro- 
ceedings, however, were cut short by the sudden 
irruption of a shaika or band of ruffians, some of 
them disguised in policemen's uniforms. They 
set upon the defenceless gathering, mercilessly 
beat all those on whom they could lay hands, 
completely wrecked the premises, and after 
putting to flight all those who had not been 
incapacitated in the contest, departed, manifest- 
ing their gratification at the accomplishment of 
their " highly patriotic " duties by loud hurrahs 
for Dedo (uncle) Radoslavov and his colleagues. 

A few days later I happened to visit an eye- 
witness of the fray. He was an elderly and 
highly respectable man, and one whom I should 
have thought would have been spared any 



no BULGARIA 

indignity owing to his advanced age. To my 
surprise I found him with his head swathed in 
bandages, and his right arm in a sling. Bitter, 
indeed, were his comments on the incident and 
the pusillanimity displayed by the public. His 
concluding remarks were not devoid of truth : 
" We Bulgarians are not yet a nation, for we are 
still devoid of a national consciousness. We are 
merely striving to become a nation, and like a 
flock of sheep we are being led goodness knows 
whither." 

No one could expect the Bulgarians to have 
completely emancipated themselves in so short a 
period from the vices which five centuries of 
Turkish domination had inculcated. The notion 
that there is no remedy against Government 
abuse, and that it is a necessary evil, has unfor- 
tunately become so ingrained among the public 
that its yearning for an improvement in this 
direction does not go beyond a desire for a 
Government which would only abuse its authority 
discreetly. As a distinguished Bulgarian author 
wrote 1 : " The Bulgarian's sole preoccupation is 
how to earn his daily bread. To him everything 
else is God's or the Government's business. 
Drought, hail, inundation, health, suffering, 
famine, abundance — these are God's affairs. War, 
peace, taxes, rights, injustice, punishment, all 
these are the Government's business. To all 
* Stoyan Mihailovski. 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS in 

these the Bulgarian is deaf and blind. ' Abstain 
from any participation in public affairs ' seems 
to be his motto." 

It is true that there are several poHticians who 
when in Opposition denounce the abuses com- 
mitted by the governing party, but they have 
signally failed to create a popular movement 
capable of bridling the predatory instincts of 
those in power. They have failed, either because 
their past does not inspire confidence or because 
they are too weak and disunited to enter into a 
serious conflict with the Government, which 
derives its strength from and relies on all the 
organized forces in the country : the army, the 
police, and the bureaucracy. Unfortunately 
there is no other power capable of opposing or 
checking the systematic misrule which has taken 
root, and the people seem to realize their help- 
lessness, for it has even found expression in the 
saying, " One cannot oppose authority " (prottv 
Tsarstinata ne se otivd). 

It is to this conviction that we must attribute 
the indifference of the Bulgarian public to 
national welfare, which has made them the 
unhappy victims of their politicians. The latter 
in their turn, demoralized by that atmosphere 
of corruption and intrigue so characteristic of 
Turkish rule, continued to crouch before their 
late ruler, as they did of yore before their 
Turkish overlords, and sacrificed the welfare of 



112 BULGARIA 

their nation for the satisfaction of their petty- 
personal ambitions. Undoubtedly parliamenta- 
rism would have developed and prospered at 
the same rate as other institutions if it had been 
properly fostered, but in Tsar Ferdinand consti- 
tutional government found its most implacable 
enemy. His ideal of kingship being power with- 
out responsibility, he never ceased to employ 
the most cunning and artful devices to undermine 
constitutionalism and thwart the efforts of those 
who desired to disseminate democratic principles 
throughout the country. It may sound strange, 
but next to nothing had been done in the way of 
inducing the people to take a fair share in the 
government. Until quite recently the bulk of 
the population systematically abstained from 
voting owing to the intimidation to which they 
were subjected during the elections. 

The Constitution had conferred on the Bulgarian 
ruler practically unlimited power. He was free 
to choose his Ministers, and he was the ultimate 
arbiter in all civil and military appointments. 
Functionaries were obliged to carry out the most 
illegal orders for fear of losing their situations, 
politicians had to secure Ferdinand's favour by 
the most abject servility if they aspired to acquire 
or retain power, while in the army promotion 
depended, not on merit, but on the devotion 
officers manifested for their King and his personal 
policy. 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 113 

In such an atmosphere character deteriorates, 
men are debased, and all sentiments of right and 
honour tend to disappear. Politicians, in order 
to win their master's goodwill, would blindly 
further his most criminal designs, and naturally 
sought solace for their moral degradation in 
peculation and illegal gains. The absolute con- 
trol which Ferdinand wielded over the army was 
the main source of his strength. He was the 
Commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian forces, and 
the Minister of War was merely a sort of head 
clerk, who was responsible, not to the Sobranje, 
but to the King. As the King was responsible to 
no one for his acts, it is easy to understand how 
he was able to issue the order for attacking Bul- 
garia's allies on June 29, 191 5, and subsequently 
to evade all responsibility. 

Stambulov was the only statesman who per- 
ceived how seriously the army organization 
menaced Bulgarian liberties. He drew up a 
scheme for the reorganization of the army on a 
constitutional basis, and managed to get it voted 
by the Sobranje in 1893. But Tsar Ferdinand, 
by his habitual underhand methods, foiled Stam- 
bulov's patriotic purpose, first by depriving the 
Premier of the services of his able Minister of 
War, General (then Major), Savov, and shortly 
afterwards by causing Stambulov's fall and 
assassination. 

Although a constitutional monarchy, it may be 



114 BULGARIA 

said that Bulgaria has seldom been ruled by- 
constitutional means. Tsar Ferdinand was not 
a person to let slip the reins of power which he 
grasped at the assassination of Stambulov. 
Crafty and astute, he never appeared to be 
encroaching on the constitutional liberties of his 
people. Although the Constitution was con- 
tinually violated, he took good care that the 
breaches were committed by his Ministers. It 
was in the choice of these persons that Ferdinand 
showed remarkable cunning, for he usually 
recruited them among men who were not only- 
lacking in character and prestige but whose 
previous record unfitted them for any high 
position. Among them were persons convicted 
of smuggling, fraudulent bankruptcy, and various 
other crimes. The deeper their moral turpitude, 
the safer and the more valuable they seemed to 
their royal master, as he could be quite sure that 
all his behests would be obeyed implicitly by 
them. 

Men of character who were likely to prove 
independent were not welcome at Ferdinand's 
Court. They were only appealed to in moments 
of great difficulty, or at times when their support 
was indispensable for the execution of his designs. 

The pseudo-constitutional regime estabhshed 
by Tsar Ferdinand in Bulgaria was more detri- 
mental to the country than the most absolute 
autocracy, for every member of the governing 



IN THE WAKE OF THE WARS 115 

coterie which shared for a brief period the pre- 
rogative of power with him, acted as an irrespon- 
sible autocrat. During the brief space of time 
any poHtical faction was permitted to remain in 
power, its chief aim was to plunder, in order not 
only to satisfy the greed of its partisans but also 
to create some reserves on which to draw during 
the lean Opposition years that inevitably followed. 
They thus exhausted the State's resources, foisted 
on the State contradictory and often prejudicial 
programmes of policy, as has been the case in 
practically every branch of the administration, 
rendered the development of industry insecure, 
weakened the forces of production, demoralized the 
working classes, and created a legion of hungry 
office-seekers ready to offer their support to any 
politician who would hold out to them a promise 
of a State or municipal office. 

And yet in spite of this blight on Bulgarian 
political life, thanks to the unceasing toil and 
industry of the peasant, Bulgaria had attained a 
foremost place among the Balkan States. We 
may imagine, therefore, what would have been 
the progress achieved had not the nation's energy 
been squandered and its activities thwarted by 
the malevolent influence of Tsar Ferdinand, that 
evil genius of Bulgaria. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE UNEDIFYING STORY OF THE 
NEGOTIATIONS 

The dilatory fashion in which negotiations be- 
tween the Entente and Bulgaria were conducted 
is certainly not a subject to which Allied diplo- 
macy would refer with pride were it ever called 
upon to vindicate its activities. After failing to 
obtain Greece's support for the Dardanelles 
Expedition, the Entente decided to sound Bul- 
garia, and in March 191 5 certain verbal proposals 
were made to the Sofia Cabinet through Sir 
Arthur Paget. To these the Bulgarian Govern- 
ment replied by a request for an elucidation of 
the Entente terms. No answer was vouchsafed 
for a long time, however, and the one which was 
finally given plainly intimated unwilHngness to 
continue the pourparlers. We need not go far to 
seek an explanation for this attitude. Entente 
diplomacy was placing great hopes on the 
impending ItaHan intervention and on the success 
of the Dardanelles campaign. Under these cir- 
cumstances it felt in a position to dispense with 
the help of the Balkan States, and accordingly 

treated them with scant courtesy. The prospect 

116 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 117 

of acting without the co-operation of these 
greedy, clamorous, intemperate, would-be cus- 
tomers must certainly have proved alluring to 
many politicians. That such views were preva- 
lent may be inferred from the off-hand way in 
which even Serbia's ethnic rights were treated. 
There is good reason to assume that the Russian 
Government, which sought to keep Serbia under 
its influence, and therefore aimed at maintaining 
her preponderately Orthodox, did not view the 
Jugo-Slav movement very favourably, and con- 
sequently supported Slav interests in a half- 
hearted manner in the negotiations between the 
then Triple Entente and Italy. The Tsardom, in 
fact, does not seem to have desired to see Serbia 
enriched by more than Bosnia, Herzegovina, and 
a part of Dalmatia, so that the onus for the 
apparent disregard of the principle of nationality 
evinced in the Convention of London of April 26, 
191 5, may, with some justification, be laid on 
Russia. As a consequence of this cavalier treat- 
ment of our Balkan Ally, sympathy with Serbia 
grew stronger among the other members of the 
Entente, and the view gained ground that her 
claims had been unduly neglected, and that it 
would be incompatible with the dignity of the 
Allies to insist on her making further concessions. 
Unfortunately this attitude proved disastrous 
both to Serbia's cause and to that of her well- 
wishers. It may be compared to the case of a 



ii8 BULGARIA 

patient who has developed gangrene in a finger. 
A timely amputation would save the hand, but 
if the doctor is persuaded to postpone the 
necessary operation, it will be found that not 
only the finger, but the hand, wrist, and even the 
whole Hmb may finally have to be sacrificed if 
the Hfe of the patient is to be saved. 

So it has been in the case of Serbia. Had Bul- 
garia been granted even a part of her moderate 
demands at the time of Italy's intervention and 
before the Russian disasters in Galicia and 
Poland, her intervention on the side of the 
Allies would have become an accompHshed fact. 
No Bulgarian Government could have withstood 
the outburst of popular feehng in favour of the 
Entente which a spontaneous offer of Macedonia 
would have provoked in Bulgaria at that pro- 
pitious moment. 

If Serbia is to blame for her uncompromising 
attitude on the Macedonian question, it must be 
admitted that Entente diplomacy also bears a 
share of the responsibility, for it was the incon- 
siderate fashion in which Serbian interests in the 
Adriatic were treated that rendered the Serbians 
so reluctant to renounce their territorial posses- 
sions in Macedonia. The Entente, before sub- 
scribing to all the Itahan demands, might have 
considered that there were other potential allies 
whose support might have been acquired with- 
out prejudice to the principles embodied in the 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 119 

Allied programme. In fact, had the Allied 
diplomats early in the spring of 191 5 displayed 
as much generosity in Sofia as in Rome, they 
would undoubtedly have succeeded in winning 
Bulgaria's military support, which would have 
involved that of Greece.^ 

Serbia might have been allowed temporarily to 
occupy Northern Albania as compensation for 
the immediate cession of Macedonia to Bulgaria, 
and it is hardly credible that she would have 
demurred, in view of the immense advantage to 
be derived from Bulgaria's co-operation both by 
Serbia and the Entente. Bulgaria's intervention, 
which would have been immediately followed by 
that of Greece, would have realized better results 
than Italy's, for one such result would have been 
Turkey's definite overthrow. 

It is a fact that Radoslavov expressly assured 
some prominent Macedonian leaders in the spring 

^ The intervention of either Bulgaria or Greece at the 
time would have inevitably involved that of the other 
State. Any intelligent person who happened to be in Sofia 
early in 191 5, when the Entente was negotiating with 
Greece for her participation in the Dardanelles expedition, 
could testify that the Bulgarian Government was ready to 
mobilize the army and march against Turkey as soon as 
Greece's adherence to the Entente had been announced, 
so as to secure a right to a share in the spoils. Not even 
Tsar Ferdinand thought it opportune at that time to evince 
his pro-Austrian leanings, so sure did he feel of the success 
of the proposed enterprise against the Dardanelles by 
combined Entente and Greek troops. The agreement 
between Ferdinand and Germany was apparently entered 
into subsequently, during July 19 15. 



120 BULGARIA 

of 191 5 of his readiness to co-operate with the 
Entente as soon as the latter would guarantee 
the eventual cession of Macedonia to Bulgaria 
through an occupation by British and French 
troops. Such a proposition was even made to 
Russia by one of the prominent members of the 
Macedonian community in Sofia, the late Dr. 
Vladov, with the authorization of the Bulgarian 
Government, but unfortunately no satisfactory 
answer was returned. 

The apparent neglect with which the Entente 
treated Bulgaria during the fateful months 
following Italy's intervention could not but 
increase the disillusionment of our supporters in 
Bulgaria. For those who have not come into 
personal touch with Bulgarians it is impossible 
to form a just idea of the disappointment caused 
by such a crying injustice as the retention of 
Macedonia by Serbia. What the partition of 
Poland and the forcible annexation of Alsace- 
Lorraine are respectively to the Poles and to the 
French, the dismemberment of Macedonia was to 
the Bulgars. It was an open sore in the national 
life, it embittered pubHc feeling against the 
Entente nations, who although proclaiming them- 
selves the champions of right, yet neglected to 
redress what, in the eyes of the Bulgarians, was 
the supreme wrong. The chagrin of the Russo- 
phils at Russia's abandoning the traditional 
policy consecrated at San Stefano was intense, 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 121 

France was regarded with some resentment 
owing to M. Delcasse's having suggested a parti- 
tion of Bulgaria in 191 3, and all regretted, as 
Ghenadiev's organ, the Volya, said, " that Britain 
did not play the leading part in the negotiations 
between the Entente and Bulgaria, for Serbia's 
resistance would have been overcome and an 
agreement easily reached." 

Indeed, the Allied decision to allow Russia to 
play the leading part in all Balkan negotiations 
could not but have the most baleful consequences 
for the Allied cause, owing to the suspicion with 
which Russian policy was regarded by all the 
Balkan States with the exception of Serbia. The 
mortifications suffered by the Entente Powers in 
the Near East may be ascribed solely to this 
initial mistake. At any rate Radoslavov's words : 
" Had not England yoked herself to the same 
chariot as Russia, it would have been extremely 
difficult for Bulgaria to refuse her active support 
to the British world policy," ^ may be taken as 
genuinely expressive of the distrust with which 
the Tsardom was viewed not only by those at 
the head of affairs in Bulgaria but also by many 
other prominent Balkan politicians and intel- 
lectuals. 

Further proposals were submitted to the 
Bulgarian Government at the end of May 191 5, 
when Bulgaria was asked to place the whole of 
* Illusirirfe Zeitung, No. 122, 



122 BULGARIA 

her military forces at the disposal of the Allies 
and to declare war against Turkey. In exchange 
she was promised the uncontested zone in 
Macedonia, Thrace as far as the line Enos-Midia, 
and the restitution of that part of the Dobrudja 
which had been annexed by Rumania in 191 3. 

The Bulgarian Government replied within a 
fortnight ; the point on which it insisted most 
strongly was the question of guarantees for the 
carrying out of these offers. 

The reluctance of the Entente to force Serbia 
to relinquish Macedonia exasperated Bulgarian 
public opinion, and led it to lose hope of ever 
obtaining satisfaction from the Entente. The 
attitude of the Serbian Press at the time was 
sufficiently provocative to have deterred the most 
optimistic politicians in their endeavour to recon- 
stitute the Balkan League. The misfortune of 
Serbia lay in the fact that her Government was 
dominated by the military. M. Passitch was 
unable to make concessions distasteful to this 
party, and could only yield to force. A cursory 
glance at the Serbian Press of the period would 
have convinced any unbiased person that Serbia 
was not in a mood to make the necessary conces- 
sions to Bulgaria voluntarily, and that drastic 
action ought to be taken. The following com- 
ment in the Radnitske N ovine, a Serbian Socialist 
paper, the only one which seems to have been 
capable of cool judgment^ indicates the chauvinist 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 123 

rage which blinded the Serbians to the disasters 

threatening their unfortunate country : 

If we were to judge from what is written in the Mali 
Journal [another Serbian daily] and its contemporaries, we 
should infer that Serbia is not at war with Austria, but 
with Bulgaria. While in Bulgaria several influential papers 
write sympathetically about Serbia, and express a desire 
for an understanding with us [Serbians], no one among us 
has shown any sympathy for the kindred Bulgarian people, 
although it was they wlio lost in the war against us. In 
spite of the fact that the Bulgarians are in a much better 
situation than ourselves, and can dominate us, it is we 
who stir up strife, it is we who rattle our swords. Does 
not the policy pursued by Serbia to-day deserve the 
appellation " madness " ? 

Some extracts from the Serbian Press of that 
period will prove that there was no exaggeration 
in thus stigmatizing the divagations of Serbian 
journalists. 

The Mali Journal, May 20, 191 5, wrote : 

What was incontestably Bulgarian is now incontestably 
Serbian. 

The semi-official Pravda of May 28, 191 5, 

wrote : 

No Serbian Government will be found to agree to the 
giving away of Serbian territories. 

And in its subsequent issue added : 

What has been acquired by blood will only be yielded 
bj' blood. 

The Tribuna, May 23, 191 5, said : 

If it should happen that the smallest part be taken from 
the lands which Serbia acquired by blood, we shall know 
how to repay this injustice, and in order to guarantee our- 
§eives once for all against Bulgaria, we shall do what w? 



124 BULGARIA 

ought to do in Albania — namely, occupy all the Serbian 
districts as far as the Yantra and the Maritsa, and in- 
corporate them in a great Serbia, a united Jugo-Slavia. 

The Samoyprava, June 3, 191 5, exclaimed : 

To yield to Bulgaria ! , . . how monstrous, how un- 
natural ! It is a bloody blow to the feelings of our people. 
Serbia will never yield. 

While the Bitolski N ovine of the same date 

stated : 

Two and a half years ago we won Macedonia by the 
sword, and only by the sword can we be forced to yield it. 

Even the Rumanians were surprised at this 

frenzied chauvinism of the Serbian Press, and 

suggested that a more moderate attitude was 

indispensable. The Bucarest Universul, June 4, 

191 5, frankly admonished the Serbians in the 

following terms : 

Concession at the right time of what is necessary, is more 
heroic and more beneficial than stubborn refusal. 

How inordinate the Serbian claims appeared 
even to the few people in Serbia who had not 
been contaminated by the prevaiHng chauvinism 
may be gathered from another article in the 
Radnisske Novini, in its issue of June 3, 1915. 
Under the heading "Our Claims," it ironically 
remarked : 

At this time when a great Serbia is being created, no 
territory in which we may have historic or ethnic rights 
should be left out of account. 

In regard to Macedonia, Albania, and three-fourths of 
Bulgaria our rights have been proved. Everything in these 
countries is Serbian, and only Balkan absent-mindednesg 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 125 

is responsible for certain foreign appellations encountered 
in those lands. But we do not consider that we should 
stop at this. There is a great deal more we should ask. 
For instance, why should not Salonica be ours ? Our 
Doitchin resided there for a long time. Why should not 
Seres be ours, when it is known for a fact tliat under its 
walls Dushan was taken with an attack of diarrhoea ? We 
may also ask for a part of Asia Minor. Did not Serbians 
shed their blood there while supporting Bayazid in his 
struggle against Tamerlane ? And what, pray, can be 
said about California ? Are there not several Serbian 
towns there also ? 

If there were Serbians sensible enough to 
deride in such a scathing manner the inordinate 
jingoism of their rulers, surely this fact ought to 
have been sufficient to lead Entente diplomatists 
to the only logical conclusion — namely, that a 
policy of voluntary compromise was impossible, 
and that a settlement would have to be imposed 
from above. 

If the execution of such a scheme was imprac- 
ticable in 191 3 owing to the rivalry between the 
European Powers, its realization early in 191 5 
ought not to have presented insuperable diffi- 
culties, for it is hardly likely that any Balkan 
State would have then willingly incurred the risk 
of a rupture with the Entente by refusing to 
submit to an equitable verdict. 

Nevertheless, the Entente lost valuable time in 
vain efforts to wring concessions from the Balkan 
States on behalf of Bulgaria. Even as late as 
the beginning of August 191 5, when fresh pro- 
positions were made to Bulgaria, no adequate 



126 BULGARIA 

guarantees could be given as to their reali- 
zation, for Bulgaria's neighbours continued 
to resist stubbornly the Entente's counsels of 
moderation. To the territorial concessions pre- 
viously made to Bulgaria the Entente added 
Seres, Drama, and Ca valla. The occupation of 
Macedonia by Bulgaria, however, was to be 
deferred until after the war. But Serbia main- 
tained a sullen silence and refused to signify 
her acceptance of the propositions, thereby 
strengthening the natural suspicion felt by the 
Bulgarians towards their neighbours. The un- 
compromising attitude of the Serbian Government 
may be gauged by the fact that M. Passitch 
intimated his Government's consent to these 
concessions only on September i, and made 
certain reservations about Prilep, Ochrida, and a 
common frontier with Greece which robbed the 
offer of most of its value. ^ The Entente Powers 
took note of the Serbian reply, and made a final 
offer to Bulgaria on September 14. It came, 



^ It was certainly not M. Passitch who was to blame for 
this lack of political insight, but rather certain extreme 
jingoes among the Serbians who were wont to shout at the 
time : " Better the Austrians in Belgrade than the Bulgars 
in Monastir." These gentry were incapable of gauging the 
magnitude of the interests at stake, and of taking into 
account the sacrifices on the part of their Allies which 
their stubbornness entailed, believing as they did that the 
final victory of the Entente would spare them the necessity 
of making concessions which seemed too humiliating to 
their ultra-Chauvinism. 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 127 

however, too late to influence the Bulgarian 
Government, which had already bound itself to 
Germany. 

But it must in justice be admitted that the 
Bulgarians, who only two years previously had 
learnt to their cost the inanity of treaties,^ were 
perfectly justified in fighting shy of the promises 
held out to them by the Entente, especially when 
Serbia, the party chiefly concerned, signified her 
assent in such a half-hearted manner. It is 
obvious that their faith in Serbia's promises, to 
be redeemed after the war and when Serbia 
would be strong enough to repudiate them, 
could only be very limited. And there was 
some good ground for this distrust, for at the 
time the Serbian Prince Regent thought it 
expedient to issue a proclamation to the Mace- 
donians, promising them constitutional rights ; 
in this he alluded to them as sons of Dushan, 
thereby indicating his resolve to retain them 
under Serbian rule. Unbiased persons cannot 
but agree that there is some truth in the asser- 
tion made by the Prepozets, in August 191 8, that 
" Bulgaria is where she is, because her Balkan 
enemies did everything possible to prevent her 
being where they are." 

Nevertheless, in spite of the unfavourable out- 

^ The Serbo-Bulgarian Treaty of 1912, the Petrograd 
Protocol of 19 1 3, and the Treaty of London (May 19 13) 
were torn up, to the great disadvantage of Bulgaria, a few 
months after their conclusion. 



128 BULGARIA 

look the Bulgarian Parliamentary Opposition 
gladly seized upon the offered opportunity, and 
a satisfactory solution would have been easily 
reached if the Bulgarians had been allowed to 
decide for themselves. In fact the Opposition 
leaders were exceedingly anxious to reach an 
agreement with the Entente, for they were afraid 
that Tsar Ferdinand would plunge their country 
into a fresh adventure. The pro-German pro- 
clivities of the Cabinet were daily becoming more 
manifest, and the series of defeats Russia had 
sustained rendered the Bulgarian Government 
less amenable to Entente influence. German 
influence was now in the ascendant, for while the 
Entente statesmen had been wasting their time 
in the hopeless endeavour to reconstitute the 
Balkan League, their enemies had been methodi- 
cally at work extending their power in Bulgaria. 
Newspapers had been bought or subsidized, new 
ones had been created, and all these employed 
their power to spread suspicion of the Entente. 
The basest calumnies were launched against the 
Allies, and reports were concocted to impress the 
public with the Entente's lack of unity. The 
Russian defeats in Poland were ascribed to 
British and French selfishness, and the venal 
Press warned the Bulgars against allying them- 
selves with nations which could not be rehed on, 
and left their allies in the lurch. The following 
quotation from the Nov-Vek, the organ of the 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 129 

late Minister, Dobri Petkov, July 30, 191 5, is 
characteristic of the line of action adopted by 
the Germanophil Press : 

If the British and French were sincere Allies they would 
not persist in their present criminal inactivity. On the 
contrary, at the time of the Galician battles, and specially 
now when the Russian army is being stifled under 
German pressure, it is the duty of the British and of the 
French as loyal Allies to a'ssist the Russians, even at the 
cost of the greatest sacrifice. Evidently one must conclude 
that either the Allies of Russia are unable to undertake an 
offensive against the Central Powers, or are deficient in 
loyalty towards their Ally. The first supposition would 
prove that we were right in objecting to take sides against 
the Central Powers, the second hypothesis would demon- 
strate that Bulgaria must not link her fate with such 
Allies. 

The comings and goings of German high 
personaUties such as Prince Hohenlohe, the Duke 
of Mecklenburg, etc., furnished the pro-German 
newspapers with splendid opportunities for inter- 
viewing these personages, and exploiting public 
credulity with all sorts of tales about German 
invincibility. 

The Bulgarian Press had so magnified German 
successes and the new German military inven- 
tions that the Bulgarians began to feel rather 
nervous at the impending attack upon Serbia 
which was being announced as imminent. For 
after the crushing defeats Russia had sustained 
it was commonly expected that the Austro- 
Gcrmans would shortly turn their attention again 
to Serbia. The public was anxiously demanding 



I30 BULGARIA 

what should be done in such an eventuahty. 
The overthrow of Serbia was looked upon as 
certain, and the prospect of a German demand 
for a free passage through Bulgaria was not to 
be dismissed too lightly. How this matter was 
engrossing public opinion about the end of 
August 191 5 may be seen from an article which 
appeared in the Mir : 

When we see the Germans resolved to reach our frontiers 
we should ask the Entente whether they are prepared to 
furnish us with the necessary means for stopping them. 
We should not care to have to wait for the final victory of 
the Allies in order to be freed, as is the case v/ith the Belgians. 
Our Government should settle this question with our 
neighbours, and take the necessary measures. It is possible 
that the Balkan theatre of war may be of second-rate 
importance to the Entente, but it is the decisive one for 
us small nations, and we would wish to take measures in 
advance for ensuring our safety. 

The Entente's indecision, their delay in settling 
the Balkan question, the divided counsels which 
seemed to prevail among their leaders, all tended 
to weaken our prestige and undermine the con- 
fidence which our friends reposed in us, whereas 
the activity which the Germans displayed in all 
their undertakings could not fail to win the 
admiration of all impartial observers. As a 
Bulgarian politician put it, Germany was suc- 
ceeding because, after meditating for fifty years, 
she was acting, while the Entente, in spite of its 
favourable situation, instead of acting was 
meditating. 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 131 

Sofia had been flooded with a number of 
doubtful characters, who turned the most popular 
cafes of the town into their headquarters. They 
spread the vilest insinuations against the Entente 
Powers, and held these nations up to execration, 
depicting them as Bulgaria's executioners in 
191 3. The old bugbear of the Russian menace 
was once more conjured up, and the public was 
warned to beware of Russia, the suppressor of 
nationalism. This propaganda was further fos- 
tered by the large number of newspapers which 
were subsidized or started by the Germans. The 
Utro and Dnevnik were readily placed by their 
mercenary owners at the disposal of the Teutons. 
The Kambana's services were secured by a very 
liberal sum which enabled its impecunious pro- 
prietor to acquire a building worth some 
100,000 fr. in the Plostad Slaveykov in Sofia. 
This paper was financed so liberally by its 
German patrons that it started a morning 
edition in the summer of 191 5, entitled the 
Balkanska Poshta. It has rendered invaluable 
assistance to the German cause, and the Kaiser 
has awarded the order of the Prussian Crown 
to the owner in recognition of his devotion 
to Germany. 

The Austro-Hungarian Legation, too, started 
the daily Zavet^ which was for some time thrust 
gratuitously on the public, and suppHed the 
Bulgarski Tergovski Vestnik with abundant funds, 



132 BULGARIA 

enabling it to increase its publication from three 
to six times a week. 

The only independent non-party paper which 
continued to expose the falsehoods circulated 
against the Entente, and was indefatigable in 
pointing out what a snare Austro-German friend- 
ship had proved to Bulgaria in the past, was the 
Balkanska Tribuna. Its proprietor, Ikonomov, 
had been previously imprisoned when the Stam- 
bulovists were in power, on the pretext that he 
was morally implicated in the murder of the late 
Minister Dimitre Petkov, but really on account 
of his unsparing criticism of the reactionary 
tendencies of Bulgaria's ruler. Every obstacle 
was placed in the way of the publication of this 
paper. Consignments of its printing paper were 
delayed at the Customs, attempts were made 
to break up its printing-press, and finally the 
Government began suspending it at brief inter- 
vals. The proprietor then hit on the ingenious 
idea of publishing another paper, the Zaria, 
simultaneously, so that the publication of at 
least one of these pro-Entente newspapers was 
secured. It is gratifying to note that the zeal 
and devotion of this pubhcist were at last recog- 
nized by the Russian Government, and that 
some compensation was awarded to him for the 
heavy losses he incurred through the periodical 
suspension of his papers. 

By August it had become apparent that Tsar 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 133 

Ferdinand was hand in glove with the Germans. 
The first intimation of Ferdinand's secret inten- 
tions was conveyed by the forced resignation of 
General Fitchev, the Minister of War, on August 
19, 191 5. The patriotism and independent 
character of the General made his retention of 
such an .important position impossible when the 
subordination of the Bulgarian army to the 
German command had been decided upon. 
General Fitchev would not only have refused to 
acquiesce in such a plan, but would probably 
have opposed it. Another indication of Tsar 
Ferdinand's plans was furnished by the Bulgaro- 
Turkish negotiations for the cession of Turkish 
territory to Bulgaria. And yet a further proof 
that the Germans considered Bulgaria's adhesion 
to their cause as certain was the fact that German 
agents were acquiring the entire supply of wool 
in the country, as well as large quantities of 
produce, and were warehousing them at the 
Danubian ports, or stipulating for their delivery 
there by October 191 5. As long as Serbia com- 
manded the Iron Gates the Danube waterway 
was effectually barred, and the Germans could 
not dream of exporting these goods by the river. 
If, therefore, they were making all these prepara- 
tions which indicated an assurance on their part 
of being able to utiHze the Danube, it was to be 
inferred that they were resolved to crush Serbia. 
It is surprising, but nevertheless true, that at 



134 BULGARIA 

this critical moment Serbian Government circles 
did not display the sHghtest alarm at the Austro- 
German menace. They considered the ominous 
mustering of Austrian and German troops in 
Hungary as destined to overawe Rumania, and 
were confidently counting on Greek and Ru- 
manian assistance, should Bulgaria decide to 
throw in her lot with the Central Powers. 

The vacillating attitude of the Bulgarian 
Government during the late summer of 191 5 
should not be attributed to hesitation on its part 
as to its future poHcy. Its alHance with the 
Central Powers was not due to any fortuitous 
circumstance, such as the Russian ultimatum of 
October 3, 191 5. Though Bulgarian Government 
circles would hke us to believe this, it is, indeed, 
too great a strain on our credulity, for there is 
abundant evidence of their having previously 
planned and prepared their co-operation with the 
Central Powers. It is now an established fact 
that in July 191 5, Colonel Gantchevwas secretly 
dispatched to German Headquarters to arrange 
for the future campaign against Serbia, and it is 
probable that General Fitchev's dismissal was 
mainly due to this event, as the negotiations had 
to be concealed from him. 

The following personal experience of the writer 
throws some light on the underhand attitude of 
the Bulgarian Government and on the duplicity 
of its dealings with the Entente Powers, which 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 135 

up to the last moment it was endeavouring to 
hoodwink by assurances of loyalty. In August 
1915, I became acquainted with two gentlemen, 

P and M ,^ who were acting as agents 

for some American army equipment factories, and 
were negotiating with the Bulgarian Government 
for the supply of 60,000,000 fr. worth of mihtary 
stores. The negotiations were proceeding satis- 
factorily, and General Fitchev had made arrange- 
ments for a delivery of these goods at Dedeagatch. 
Soon after General Fitchev's enforced resignation, 
the War Ministry asked that delivery should be 
effected in Salonica, and through the medium of 
a Greek bank. We may infer from the counter- 
manding of the instructions that General Fitchev 
was ignorant of the secret schemes of his Govern- 
ment, and that the latter had not only resolved 
to fight against us, but was confidently relying 
on the benevolent neutraHty of Greece, and 
perhaps on her eventual assistance. The hesita- 
tion shown by the Radoslavov Cabinet is to be 
explained by its not possessing the confidence of 
the country or even of the parties constituting 
it. Tontchev and his group were out and out 
pro-German, Radoslavov was hesitating, and, 
like a dutiful servant, awaited his royal master's 
commands. Ghenadiev, on the other hand, 
1 Should these hnes come to the notice of these gentle- 
men, I should feel greatly obhged if they would refund me 
the 1000 fr. I lent them to facilitate their hurried departure 
from Sofia. 



136 BULGARIA 

although he had come into power pledged to 
conduct an Austrophil policy from the early- 
summer of 1 91 5, manifested strong pro-Entente 
sentiments, and openly declared that Bulgaria 
should not allow herself to be dragged into a 
war against Russia. This pronouncement caused 
a tremendous sensation. It was indeed a momen- 
tous decision for the leader of the Stambulovist 
party, whose fundamental principles were sus- 
picion and hatred of Russia. It was nothing 
short of a complete renunciation of the political 
programme of the party and, as was to be 
expected, caused its disruption. Minister Dobri 
Petkov, the Vice-President of the Sobranje, the 
ultra-Germanophil Dr. Momtchilov, and some 
ten other Stambulovists severed all connexion 
with Ghenadiev, formed a new poHtical group, 
and started as their organ the Nov-Vek. 

Both this newly created party and the adhe- 
rents of Radoslavov and Tontchev were furious 
at Ghenadiev's apostacy, but the latter found no 
difficulty in justifying himself by invoking 
patriotic reasons, and by affirming that he 
prized Bulgaria's interests more than either 
Austria's or Russia's. 

Ghenadiev's defection placed the Radoslavov 
Government in a very serious predicament, for 
it lost it the slight majority it possessed in the 
Chamber. Radoslavov could ill afford to dis- 
pense with Ghenadiev's support, and he avoided 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 137 

a rupture by formally promising Ghenadiev to 
maintain neutrality. In order to counterbalance 
this threatened defection of Ghenadiev, Rado- 
slavov was secretly planning the substitution of 
the Agrarians for the Stambulovists in his 
Cabinet, and was trying to win the support of 
the former by the most alluring promises. 

The closing of the Dardanelles and the mining 
of the Danube by the Serbians had practically 
stopped the export of Bulgarian produce. The 
consequent loss was severely felt by the rural 
population, who were the producers, and Rado- 
slavov took advantage of the dissatisfaction 
among the Agrarians to win their consent for an 
attack on Serbia, which, he argued, would remove 
one of the obstacles to export trade, and would 
permit Bulgaria to dispose of her grain to the 
Central Powers at very remunerative prices. 
But the Agrarians refused to swallow the bait, 
and divujged Radoslavov's proposals to the whole 
of the Opposition, whereupon all the Opposition 
leaders presented a request to the Prime Minister 
emphasizing the necessity of summoning the 
Chamber without further delay, in order to 
deliberate on the policy Bulgaria ought to adopt. 
Radoslavov, however, knowing that the majority 
of the Chamber would be opposed to him, 
strenuously resisted this demand. 

On August 26 the united Opposition, with the 
exception of the Doctrinaire Socialists, addressed 



138 BULGARIA 

the following appeal to the Bulgarian people as 
a protest against the Government's attitude : 

Owing to the grave events with which we are confronted, 
the parhamentary groups of the Democrat, Agrarian, 
National, Progressist, Radical, and Social Democrat parties, 
after consultation on the situation of the country and the 
relations of the Government with the belligerents, have 
unanimously recognized the need for the Government to 
maintain constant touch with the nation's representatives, 
and examine in advance with them the attitude which 
Bulgaria should adopt regarding the war. 

It was for this purpose that the Opposition parties 
urged the immediate convocation of the Chamber to an 
extraordinary session. 

This request of the Opposition has been met with a 
categorical refusal on the part of the Prime Minister, who 
has even hinted th it in the event of a disagreement arising 
between the Chamber and the Government the former 
might be dissolved, thus permitting the continuation of 
the present foreign policy. This policy, which aims at 
destroying and not at creating, at dividing rather than at 
bringing together, is the policy of a Government twice 
defeated at the elections, which public opinion con- 
siders nefarious, a Government that cannot even rely on 
the actual majority in the Chamber. A policy contrary to 
the interests of the State, imposed by force and in opposi- 
tion to the sentiments and will of the people, may lead to 
disaster. 

Believing that the Government does not wish to come 
to an understanding with the people in the person of its 
legal representatives, and fearing that we may be con- 
fronted with a new adventure, we protest against this 
action of the Government, and we hope that the nation 
will support our protest by an energetic intervention in 
favour of an immediate convocation of the Chamber to an 
extraordinary session. 

The abstention of the Doctrinaire SociaHsts 
from this joint protest against the reactionary 
tendencies of the Cabinet was due to their 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 139 

fanatical attachment to Socialist tenets, which 
rendered them blind to realities. They were so 
violently opposed to the acquisition of Con- 
stantinople by Russia that they almost lent 
their support to the Germanophil Cabinet. 

The excitement caused by the publication of 
this manifesto quickly subsided, for the Govern- 
ment hastened to issue a denial of the imputa- 
tions made against it, and reaffirmed its deter- 
mination to maintain neutrality, at the same 
time accusing the Opposition of scheming to 
plunge the country into war on the side of the 
Entente. 

The visit to Sofia early in September of the 
Duke of Mecklenburg, accompanied by the 
director of the Oriental section of the German 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their repeated 
interviews with Tsar Ferdinand left no room 
for doubt as to the real intentions of the Bul- 
garian ruler and the imminence of the danger. 
The Opposition prepared a fresh manifesto to 
the Bulgarian nation, to which the signatures 
of the ilite of the intelligentsia were appended. 
The manifesto, unfortunately, was seized by 
the police before issue, and its signatories 
either arrested or prosecuted. The Preporets^ 
which reproduced it, was also seized, but not 
before several copies had been circulated. 
This manifesto, which was signed by several 
professors, generals, colonels, ex-ministers, and 



140 BULGARIA 

literary men, among whom figured the national 
poet, Ivan Vazov, although it failed to obtain 
the wide publicity it was intended to have, 
nevertheless deserves to be quoted, as it plainly 
discloses the sentiments animating the real 
leaders of the Bulgarian nation at that time : 

TO THE BULGARIAN PEOPLE 

Citizens, — A terrible danger is threatening Bulgaria. 
She is being drawn into the camp of her hereditary enemies, 
contrary to her interests, her traditions, and her duty. Let 
us grasp the meaning of this menace and let us be filled 
with a sense of our duty towards our motherland. 

All of us, professors, writers, merchants, agriculturists, 
workmen, citizens without distinction of party, inhabitants 
of towns ox villages, let us forget party differences and let 
us unite to save Bulgaria. Is it not clear to all, especially 
after the signature of the agreement with Turkey, that the 
present Government has definitely taken sides with the 
Central Powers, and that it waits for a favourable moment 
to plunge the country into a war in the interest and at 
the will of Germany ? That the Government is gagging 
the Press, forbids public meetings, does not convoke the 
Chamber, encourages and protects the venal Press, in order 
to stifle the sentiments of the nation and involve its sons 
in a terrible war which will ruin Bulgaria's last hopes and 
lead her to disaster ? 

Let us rise as one man and let us not allow this act of 
madness to be carried out. Let us give our support to the 
Democratic, Agrarian, National, Progressist, Radical, and 
Socialist parties which have given us an example of 
unanimity by their appeal of August 26. 

Let all citizens adopt the watchword of the Opposition 
parties. Enough of discord and indifference ! Let us all 
fulfil our patriotic duty courageously. The destiny of our 
country depends to-day on our unity. It depends solely 
on us to direct Bulgaria's foreign policy in a spirit con- 
sistent with the wiU and traditions of the Bulgarian people, 
and not in contradiction to the sacred heritage of our 
history and our forefathers. 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 141 

Let us not permit a return to June 29 [1913. the date 
of the attack against Serbia and Greece]. Let us not permit 
Bulgaria to be involved in a fresh and more terrible disaster ! 

Let us resist the will of isolated personalities [Tsar 
Ferdinand], irresponsible and foreign to Bulgarian interests 
and sentiments. Let all Bulgarians tluroughout the country 
demand the convocation of the Chamber, so that the voice 
of the nation may be heard. 

Citizens, success and victory depend on solidarity and 
union. 

Bulgaria is on the brink of a precipice. Let us awake to 
unite and save her ! The sacred memory of the generations 
which created our beautiful country, the blood of the heroes 
who glorified her at Lule-Burgas and Adrianople, call us 
forth to perform our duty with self-sacrifice at this most 
critical hour of Bulgarian history. 

It is certainly most regrettable that the 
Entente Powers did not avail themselves of 
the prevailing pro-Entente sympathies in Bul- 
garia to thwart the secret plans of Tsar 
Ferdinand. This would have involved the 
infringement of Bulgarian sovereignty. But 
would it not have been justifiable to neutralize 
the unconstitutional and underhand dealings 
of an autocrat even by high-handed measures, 
especially when such momentous interests were 
at stake ? 

No one acauainted with the situation in 
Bulgaria at that time can believe that a pro- 
clamation by the Entente Powers, and by 
Russia in particular, calling upon the Bulgarian 
people to rise and help their liberators, and 
promising them the realization of the Treaty 
of San Stcfano, would have left the countrv 



142 BULGARIA 

indifferent. The mere presence of a few 
Russian warships off Varna and Burgas, and 
the landing of a few Russian troops would have 
set the country ablaze with enthusiasm, and 
nothing would have deterred the Bulgarians 
from throwing themselves in the fray on our 
side. The offers to serve in the Russian army, 
the monetary contributions to the Russian Red 
Cross, the public prayers for the success of the 
Russian arms, the numberless messages and 
resolutions of sympathy that ceaselessly poured 
in at the Russian Legation in Sofia from all 
over the country revealed unmistakably the 
strong pro-Russian feeling of the masses. 

I vividly recollect the visit one September 
morning of an old client and his son from the 
small Balkan town of Troyan. After the usual 
cigarette and cup of Turkish coffee, and the 
interchange of the customary courtesies, per- 
ceiving the uneasiness of my elder interlocutor, 
I proceeded to question him as to what had 
brought him so suddenly to the capital, since 
he professed to be unwilling to transact 
business. He then confided to me that a 
German aeroplane had landed a few days 
previously in their locality. The local autho- 
rities proceeded to arrest the two German 
aviators, but the latter protested, and loudly 
affirmed that Bulgaria had concluded an 
alliance with Germany, that very shortly they 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 143 

would be fighting shoulder to shoulder, and 
that therefore they ought as allies to be 
allowed to proceed on their voyage. The 
authorities eventually wired to Sofia, and the 
airmen, instead of being interned, were set free. 
The statements of the Germans, and the sub- 
sequent attitude of the Bulgarian authorities 
towards them, had aroused the suspicions of 
my old client, and he had decided to come to 
Sofia and seek an explanation from the leader 
of his party. The possibility of Bulgaria's 
taking up arms against Russia appeared to 
him so monstrous that, forgetting himself, he 
turned'ii'to his son and muttered : " If you 
youngsters dare lift your hands against those 
who liberated us, we, your elders, who are 
conscious of the blessings conferred on us by 
Russia, will shoot you like curs." 

So deep was the conviction that Bulgarians 
would refuse to fight against Russia that the 
public disbelieved the warnings of the Opposi- 
tion, and derided the idea that the Govern- 
ment could contemplate an alliance with the 
Central Empires against Bulgaria's liberators. 
Had the Ministers of the Entente Powers 
departed from the reticence which inter- 
national conventions imposed on them, and . 
brought the secret plottings of Tsar Ferdinand 
to the knowledge of the nation, they would 
have aroused such a storm of indignation in 



144 BULGARIA 

Bulgaria that the execution of the German 
plan would have been rendered impossible. 

The Opposition leaders made another deter- 
mined effort to detach the Government from 
the Germanophil policy it had espoused. 
They solicited an audience from Tsar Ferdi- 
nand, and were received by him on Septem- 
ber 17. They unanimously declared that in 
order to safeguard the country against a policy 
contrary to the interests and sentiments of the 
nation, the formation of a coalition Govern- 
ment was essential, and they protested violently 
against any agreement being made with the 
Central Powers. 

Tsanov, the Radical leader, denounced the 
contemplated action against Russia as a 
premeditated crime. 

Stamboliski, the Agrarian leader, was most 
outspoken in his remonstrance. He fearlessly 
condemned the Germanophil policy, and 
he assigned the chief responsibility for the 
calamitous consequences which he foresaw 
would ensue to Ferdinand personally. 

The latter was infuriated by the brutal 
directness of the Agrarian leader's speech, and 
complained to Gueshov, but Gueshov calmly 
retorted : " He takes in the palace the freedom 
of speech he has been denied outside." And, 
in fact, the sentiment of the nation had ceased 
to find adequate expression owing to the 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 145 

prohibition of meetings, the promulgation of 
martial law, and the gagging of the Press. The 
liberty of the latter was further restricted by 
the establishment of a preventive censorship 
on September 17. 

The audience ended in a very stormy 
manner-. Ferdinand, maddened by the threats 
of Stamboliski, intimated to the Opposition 
leaders that he had already decided on the 
policy to be followed, and that nothing would 
make him swerve from his course. 

The failure of the Opposition and the utter 
disregard of constitutional practices by Tsar 
Ferdinand should not be a surprise to any one, 
for the Bulgarian parties had suffered constitu- 
tional forms to become the screen of what was 
in practice an autocracy. 

There was nothing to deter Bulgaria's ruler 
from violating the Constitution. If any of 
his Ministers were impeached and condemned 
for a breach of the fundamental laws of the 
country, a breach always committed at the 
inspiration of the Crown, Ferdinand invariably 
forced the party coming next into office to 
pass an amnesty Bill to exonerate the culprits. 

At this particular period martial law was 
proclaimed. According to article 73 of the 
Bulgarian Constitution, martial law cannot be 
enforced unless sanctioned by the Chamber 
within five days of its proclamation. This 



146 BULGARIA 

statute, however, was disregarded, the Press 
gagged, the Opposition terrorized, and the 
Sobranje not convoked. 

According to article 47 of the Constitution, 
the King may publish decrees, having the 
binding force of law, with the approval and on 
the responsibility of the Ministers, but only if 
the State is in imminent danger, and if it is 
.found impossible to summon the Sobranje. 
When the mobilization order was issued, no 
danger was threatening Bulgaria ; neverthe- 
less, the Chamber was not convoked, the reason 
being that it would have voted against such 
an order. 

The mobilization of the Bulgarian army was 
decreed during the night of September 21, and 
the pretext furnished by the Government was 
that it was intended to overawe the Serbians 
and render them more amenable to the cession 
of Macedonia. Bulgaria, it was asserted, would 
not attack Serbia if the latter yielded. The 
mobilization provoked no outburst of en- 
thusiasm, and the Bulgarians flocked to the 
colours sullen and discontented. The behaviour 
of the men afforded a remarkable contrast to 
the joy they had displayed three years earlier 
when war against Turkey was announced. 
The Social Democrats and Agrarians endea- 
voured to hamper the carrying out of the 
mobilization by distributing broadcast mani- 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 147 

festoes declaring that the mobilization was an 
anti-national measure, and enjoining reservists 
not to obey the call. 

Not only the men, but even their leaders 
were dissatisfied at the policy pursued, and the 
Government, aware of the unpopularity of its 
measure, took good care to prevent any 
insubordination in the army by nominating as 
commanders personal favourites of the King. 
The old generals who had distinguished them- 
selves in the Balkan Wars, such as Savov, 
Ivanov, Fitchev, Radko Dimitriev, Vasov, 
Guenev, and Shishkov, were given no com- 
mands, for they had rendered themselves sus- 
pect by their pro-Entente sympathies. General 
M. Savov, much to the annoyance of his master, 
made no secret of his views at the time, and 
these were that he could bring Turkey to her 
knees in twenty-five days, and thereby shorten 
the war considerably, whereas Bulgaria's inter- 
vention against the Entente would unduly 
prolong it. Greece's decree of mobilization on 
September 23 caused consternation in Govern- 
ment circles. Radoslavov provoked a scandal 
and accused the German Minister of having 
deceived the Bulgarian Government. Tont- 
chev, the extreme pro-German member of the 
Government, and his friend Bakalov tendered 
their resignations. Tsar Ferdinand tried to 
obtain Malinov's support by offering him and 



148 BULGARIA 

his partisans the vacant Ministerial seats, but 
the leader of the Democrats rejected the offer 
on the ground that he disapproved of a 
Germanophil policy. The Press not only did 
not announce the mobilization of the Greek 
army for a few days, but thought fit to calm 
the public by spreading a report that M. 
Venizelos had resigned. When at last the 
news of the Greek mobilization could not be 
hidden from the public, since the Greek Con- 
sulates were advising their nationals of it, the 
Press announced the fact, but simultaneously 
furnished a reassuring explanation as to 
Greece's attitude. Greece, it was stated, would 
not consider Bulgaria's armed intervention a 
sufficient reason for helping Serbia by armed 
force, for her treaty obligations did not compel 
her to participate in a general war. 

The assurances which were undoubtedly 
offered by the Germans as to the real state of 
affairs in Greece must have calmed Ferdinand's 
momentary dismay, for finally he refused to 
accept the resignation of his Ministers, and 
when Russia ^nd her Allies presented an 
ultimatum on October 4, summoning Bulgaria 
to break off relations with the Central Powers 
within twenty-four hours, he directed Rado- 
slavov to furnish an evasive answer such as 
could not possibly have satisfied the Entente 
Powers. The hopes built by Germany on 



THE NEGOTIATIONS 149 

Greece's attitude were unfortunately fulfilled. 
M. Venizelos resigned on October 4, and 
Constantine's disloyalty to his ally, Serbia, 
enabled Ferdinand to stab Serbia in the back. 
No explanation has yet been furnished as to 
why the Entente permitted Constantine to 
flout Venizelos, who was enjoying the confi- 
dence of the Greek nation, and to break his 
pledged word to Serbia with such disastrous 
consequences for the Allied cause, although 
the treaty of 1863 gave to the Protecting 
Powers the right to interfere and oppose such 
a manifest violation of the Hellenic Constitu- 
tion as was the forced resignation of M. 
Venizelos. There is not the slightest doubt, 
however, that if M. Venizelos had remained in 
power the Greek army would have rescued 
Serbia, and would have prevented the terrible 
tragedy that befell our Balkan Ally. The 
Bulgarian army would have become demo- 
ralized by the resistance it would have encoun- 
tered, and by its inability to effect a rapid 
junction with the Germans. At the moment 
it did not possess sufficient rifles, and was short 
of ammunition ; the artillery had only 400 
shells per gun. As a Bulgarian friend of mine, 
a Colonel in the Reserve, told me a few days 
prior to the departure of the Entente Ministers 
from Sofia, the only hope of turning back 
Bulgaria then lay in a defeat of the Bulgarian 



150 BULGARIA 

army. Such a defeat would have encouraged 
the Bulgarians to mutiny. As for the Bul- 
garian Government, it had sold itself to the 
Germans, and it was no use trying to win it 
back. The Entente might have offered not 
only Macedonia but even Belgrade without 
inducing it to depart from the decision it had 
taken. 

Though it seems a paradox, many patriotic 
Bulgarians wished and hoped for such a defeat 
as would have saved them not only from 
German tutelage but also from the corrupt 
rule of Ferdinand. 

The reply offered by the Bulgarian Govern- 
ment to the Entente Powers having been 
judged unsatisfactory, diplomatic relations 
with Bulgaria were severed, and the Allied 
Ministers left on October 7, after notifying the 
Bulgarian Government that any hostile act 
against Serbia would be considered tanta- 
mount to a declaration of war against the 
Entente. This intimation, however, was 
powerless to intimidate Tsar Ferdinand, and 
at the time prearranged with the Germans 
the Bulgarian army invaded Serbia. 



CHAPTER V 

INTERVENTION AND AFTER 

In his decision to side with Germany, Tsar 
Ferdinand must have been influenced not only 
by his belief in a German victory but also by 
the expectation that the Entente Powers 
would be unable or unwilling to lend any 
effective help to Serbia. The Bulgarian 
Government, early in October 191 5, endea- 
voured to hearten the public by assuring it 
that the occupation of Macedonia would at 
most entail a possible struggle with Serbia, 
and that the Entente would only protest for 
the sake of appearances. The Austro-Germans 
under the redoubtable Von Mackensen were 
represented as about to deal Serbia her death- 
blow, and Macedonia was running the risk of 
invasion. As it would not be easy to induce 
the Austro-Germans to evacuate that region 
once they had installed themselves there, it 
was claimed that the immediate occupation of 
Macedonia was a national duty, and that it 
was imperative to forestall them. Since the 
Entente had already offered to cede Macedonia 
after the war, surely it could not now object to 



152 BULGARIA 

the Bulgarians occupying it in advance ; for 
obviously the Entente would prefer to see 
Bulgarians there rather than Germans. These, 
it must be admitted, were not bad arguments 
to bring forward even to the Russophils, who 
looked askance at the prospect of attacking 
Serbia, and thereby oifending Russia. The 
manifesto by which the declaration of war 
against Serbia was made public followed the 
same lines. Here is the text of this momentous 
document : 

MANIFESTO TO THE BULGARIAN PEOPLE 

Bulgarians, — You all are witness to my unsparing 
efforts since the beginning of the European war to maintain 
peace in the Balkans, and tranquillity within the country. 

I and my Government have endeavoured by maintaining 
neutrality up to now to realize the ideals of the Bulgarian 
people. Both groups of belligerent Powers acknowledge 
the great wrong inflicted on us by the partitioning of 
Macedonia, and both belligerent parties are agreed that the 
greater part of Macedonia should belong to Bulgaria. 

Only our treacherous neighbour Serbia has remained 
obdurate to the counsels of her friends and allies. Serbia 
not only refused to listen to their advice, but, inspired by 
envy and avidity, even attacked our territory, and our 
brave troops have been obliged to fight in defence of their 
own land. 

Bulgarians, in 191 2 precious national ideals compelled 
me to call forth our brave army to a struggle in the course 
of which, full of self-abnegation, it severed the chains of 
slavery and unfolded the flag of liberty. Our Allies the 
Serbians were then the chief cause of our losing Macedonia. 

Weary and exhausted, though unvanquished, we had to 
furl our banners until better days. The good days have 
come much earlier than we could have hoped. The Euro- 
pean^war is drawing to its close. The victorious armies of 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 153 

the Central Empires are in Serbia and are rapidly advanc- 
ing. I summon the Bulgarian armed nation to the defence 
of its native land desecrated by a disloyal neighbour, and 
to the liberation of our enslaved brethren under the Serbian 
yoke. 

Our cause is just and holy. 

I therefore order our brave army to drive the enemy 
out of the precincts of the kingdom, to overthrow our 
disloyal neighbour, and to emancipate our brethren suffer- 
ing under the Serbian yoke. 

We shall fight against the Serbians in conjunction with 
the brave troops of the Central Empires. 

Let the Bulgarian soldier advance from victory to 
victory ! 

Forward ! May God bless our arms ! 

Ferdinand. 

The belief was so prevalent that the Entente 
Powers would take the Bulgarian occupation 
of Macedonia as an accomplished fact, and 
that the diploii.atic tension would soon be 
relieved, that many friends in Bulgaria strongly- 
advised me not to leave, and assured me that 
within a few weeks the Entente Ministers 
would be back. In view of subsequent events, 
it may be maintained that acquiescence in the 
Bulgarian coup would have been the most 
sensible policy for us to have pursued. The 
other alternative was to constrain King Con- 
stantine to carry out his pledge to Serbia, not 
only because Serbia was our Ally, but because 
the large majority of the Greek nation with 
M. Venizelos at its head had expressed itself 
firmly in favour of assisting Serbia. Entente 
diplomacy, however, chose another path, only 



154 BULGARIA 

to adopt, in June 1917, the very course it ought 
to have taken in October 1915. Unfortunately 
Serbia had been overrun in the meanwhile, 
and Greece had been rendered helpless by the 
baleful German propaganda. The only cir- 
cumstance that may be adduced in extenuation 
of this manifest blunder is that we were 
playing second fiddle to Russia. War was 
declared against Tsar Ferdinand, and nothing 
done against King Constantine, not because 
the former was more culpable than the latter, 
but simply because Constantine happened to 
have a Russian Grand Duchess for his mother. 
She interceded on his behalf in Petrograd, and 
enabled her son to befool the Entente diplo- 
matists for two years, to the immense delight 
of the Teutons. In fact our relations with 
Greece up to June 1917 must have been a 
source of endless mirth to our enemies, and 
London Opinion (November 18, 1916) in a 
clever cartoon fittingly depicted the Allied 
behaviour to Greece as the most comical thing 
on earth. Greek patriots may well complain 
of our attitude during that period, for it was 
mainly our apathy and shortsightedness that 
enabled the Germans to deprive Greece of her 
strength and to undermine her morale. 

The Bulgarians, once involved in the war, 
accepted the situation, being assured by their 
Government that the aspirations of the nation 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 155 

would be realized at a very small sacrifice. 
These aspirations even the Opposition parties 
came regretfully to admit were unrealizable in 
co-operation with the Entente. The leader of 
the Social Democrats, Sakuzov, clearly ex- 
plained, the attitude of the Opposition in an 
interview with the Korrespondenz Bureau^ in 
the course of which he said : 

The Entente would never have purchased our neutraUty 
at the price of Macedonia ; it would not have been pro- 
mised, much less given to us, even had we fought for 
the Entente. Thus we have lost the basis on which we 
founded our opposition to Radoslavov's policy. 

Toleration of the Government's policy, how- 
ever, docs not imply approval, as the Mir 
(January 31, 1917) endeavours to make plain : 

The Bulgarian Opposition, which represents the nation, 
held views contrary to those of the Government, but when 
war was declared it had to keep silent, in common with 
all Oppositions in all belligerent countries, for otherwise it 
would have demoralized the nation and encouraged the 
enemy. The Opposition is in no way to be considered as 
responsible for a policy it disapproved, and to which it 
has passively submitted out of patriotism. The policy of 
the Government will be judged by the results obtained. 

The lukewarmness of the Opposition and of 
the public towards the Government's policy 
forced the latter to foster the belief that the 
Entente was bent upon the dismemberment of 
Bulgaria, and that consequently the war had 
to be carried on to the bitter end, no compro- 
mise being possible. Every article in the 
Entente Press advocating the chastisement of 



156 BULGARIA 

Bulgaria was seized upon and diligently cir- 
culated in the local Press, for the purpose of 
impressing on the Bulgarians that their salva- 
tion lay in a close union with the Germanic 
Empires, seeing that the Entente Powers were 
bent on Bulgaria's ruin. This was such a 
familiar argument that we even find it em- 
ployed in a circular letter addressed during 
July 191 8 by the Stambulovist Central Com- 
mittee in Sofia to their partisans, a document 
well worth reproducing : 

Let us have no illusions ! Our enemies are fighting for 
our annihilation. If we in our generosity are ready to offer 
an honourable peace to our enemies, they (in the event of 
a victory, which God forbid !) out of their cruelty and envy 
will annihilate us. They will ravage and burn our villages 
and towns. They will not leave one stone standing upon 
another, and our country will be divided and subjugated. 

This was the main plank of the enemy 
propaganda. It did not serve to buoy up the 
nation's spirit, but it convinced it of the 
necessity of continuing a war that from the 
start had been most unpopular. The Bul- 
garians, in short, were confronted with the 
dilemma of going on or going under. The 
unpopularity of the pro-German policy may be 
gauged by the attitude of a section of the 
Government's supporters. In July 1916 the 
Government came very near to defeat in the 
Chamber on a motion by Malinov to postpone 
discussion on the Budget, which Radoslavov 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 157 

declared he would consider equivalent to a 
vote of censure. Malinov at the time was 
seeking to overthrow the Government, because 
he was opposed to its policy of declaring war 
against Rumania, and was endeavouring to 
keep Bulgaria neutral in the conflict between 
Rumania and the Central Powers. 

The bulk of the Stambulovists voted with 
the Opposition, and the Government would 
certainly have been defeated had not Gue- 
shov's party unexpectedly decided to cast 
their votes for Radoslavov. This action on 
the part of one of the Opposition parties saved 
the Cabinet at the time, but we must not for a 
moment entertain the belief that Gueshov's 
party had been won over to the view of the 
Cabinet. We should rather attribute their 
attitude to their sense of patriotism. They 
were actuated by the principle : " My country 
right or wrong." To what, indeed, could the 
overthrow of the Radoslavov Cabinet have led ? 
Either to internal troubles and disorder culmi- 
nating inevitably in defeat, a defeat disastrous 
to Bulgaria, for no mercy could be expected 
from her vindictive enemies ; or — the more 
probable alternative — to a coup d'etat, sup- 
pressing the Sobranje and the restricted con- 
stitutional liberties still enjoyed by the Bul- 
garians. Gueshov chose a lesser evil, the 
maintenance of the then existing regime, and 



158 BULGARIA 

unbiased persons will scarcely blame him. 
This trial of strength between the Government 
and the Sobranje served as a warning to 
Radoslavov, who immediately took proceed- 
ings to restore the Chamber to its former state 
of subservience. A charge was trumped up 
asainst Ghenadiev and his most devoted 
followers, and sentences of imprisonment for 
various terms were passed on them by a 
court martial at Sofia in October 1916. It is 
needless to say that their seats in the Sobranje 
were thereupon filled by persons in whom the 
Government had greater confidence. After 
this little operation, the constitutional and 
democratic Bulgarian Government proceeded 
to carry on business in its habitual pseudo- 
parliamentary manner, which permitted Tsar 
Ferdinand to boast in a subsequent interview 
with the Neue Freie Presse, that many Entente 
countries might envy the democratic institu- 
tions existing in Bulgaria ! 

We need not feel much sympathy for the 
fate that befell Ghenadiev, as the best that can 
be said of him is that he was an unscrupulous 
adventurer. Radoslavov, who is a nonentity, 
had long envied the growing influence of this 
rival of his, and from the time Ghenadiev first 
manifested pro-Entente sympathies, set him- 
self to compass his ruin and that of his 
partisans. Even before the declaration of war 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 159 

Ghenadiev, suspected of harbouring evil de- 
signs against the Government, was arrested, 
but by the timely intervention of his influential 
Macedonian friends was released. In April 
1916, he and some of his prominent supporters 
were again arrested, but subsequently were set 
at liberty, until by their attitude in the 
Sobranje they sealed their doom. It may be 
mentioned that a distinguished member of the 
party was assassinated in Sofia early in 
January 1916, probably with the connivance 
of the authorities. There could scarcely be a 
more dastardly crime than that to which 
Dr. Utchormansky fell a victim, for he was a 
straightforward man, and one of the few 
honest Stambulovists. He had completed 
his studies in the United States, and held 
extremely liberal views. He probably was 
the most Ententophil member of his party, 
although I recollect that he was not sparing 
in his denunciations of the Entente for its 
attitude, which, according to him, was un- 
wittingly driving Bulgaria into the arms of 
Germany. But his was not a solitary opinion. 
Had not Bulgarian politicians been entreating 
the Entente for two whole years to take into 
consideration the wrong done to Bulgaria, and 
warning it of the possible consequences that 
might ensue if the wound inflicted on Bulgaria 
at Bucarest were allowed to fester ? Their 



i6o BULGARIA 

appeals, however, were left unheeded, though 
it is well known that despair is a bad counsellor. 

The spirit of opposition to Radoslavov's 
policy had not been crushed out entirely from 
among the Stambulovists by the condemnation 
and imprisonment of Ghenadiev, and the atti- 
tude of the remnant grouped round the ex- 
Minister Apostolov continued to inspire dis- 
trust in the Government. Even a year after 
Ghenadiev's condemnation we find a deputy 
(Karakashev) belonging to Dobri Petkov's 
faction formally transferring his allegiance to 
Apostolov, Ghenadiev's friend and successor. 
There are even grounds to believe that Rado- 
slavov's resignation was brought about by the 
formal withdrawal of both the Stambulovist 
groups from the Government, which took place 
in May 191 8. 

One of the most significant manifestations of 
discontent with the Government policy was 
the formation of an association in Sofia, which 
was joined by the most prominent authors 
and professors. This society, founded in 
February 191 7, proposed to instil national 
self-consciousness in the masses, and to guide 
the national forces in the right direction, so 
that the nation might not be taken unawares 
and forced to pursue an anti-national policy, 
as had been the case in the present war. In 
order to guard against possible attempts to 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER i6i 

stultify the action of the society, it was 
declared that only donations approved by the 
directorate would be accepted, and that contri- 
butions might be rejected without explanation. 

Although several prominent members of the 
Nationalist and Democratic parties joined the 
league, neither the Minister of Education nor 
the President of the Sobranje, who were 
invited to become members, did so. On the 
contrary, the Government started a violent 
campaign against it in its organ, the Narodni 
Prava, virulently attacking its members for the 
Russophil sentiments they had manifested in the 
past, and characterizing them as unfit to guide 
the Bulgarian people and estabhsh the ideals 
Bulgaria should pursue. 

The sympathy with which the league was 
viewed in Bulgaria is demonstrated by the fact 
that committees were formed in the larger towns 
to collect subscriptions for it, and that the town 
of Varna alone within the brief space of two 
months contributed some 35,000 fr. to the funds. 

In order to counter the efforts of this patriotic 
society, the Germans and their sympathizers 
proceeded to establish a rival association aiming 
at a cultural rapprochement with Germany. 
Most of its members were naturally Government 
deputies or State officials, and K. H. Kaltchev 
was elected president. The latter is well known 
to be a persona grata with Tsar Ferdinand, by 



iSi BULGARIA 

whom he was employed to negotiate with Turkey 
behind the backs of Bulgaria's allies in December 
1912. This German society was placed under 
the high patronage of the heir apparent, Prince 
Boris. The Agrarian deputy, Stoyan Omartseski, 
(who had been excluded from Draghiev's party), 
Professor Mollov, a Democrat, and Peev-Platskov, 
a Nationalist, were apparently the only members 
of the Opposition who adhered to it. 

An Austro-Bulgarian society on similar lines 
was also founded, and, under the auspices of the 
pro-German leagues, a series of lectures have 
been delivered in Sofia by German and Austrian 
professors and prominent politicians, with the 
object of popularizing the idea of a closer alliance 
with the Central Powers and of familiarizing the 
Bulgarian public with German culture. 

The outbreak of the Russian Revolution was 
greeted with immense enthusiasm as a portent of 
an early peace with Russia and with the Entente. 
Russophil pohticians began to recover their old 
self-assurance, which was further intensified by 
the declarations made by Milyukov, and pub- 
lished in the Utro (April 25, 1917).^ 

1 Milyukov was reported to have said : " The views 
which I upheld for fifteen years with regard to the 
rights of Bulgaria I still support as Minister of Foreign 
Affairs. The Bulgarian cause was and is dear to me. 
In spite of the circumstances which compelled the Bul- 
garian army to act against us, I cannot help acknowledg- 
ing that it has shown much bravery and valour. The men 
who are now guiding Russia's destinies are keeping in mind 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 163 

The excessive optimism that ensued alarmed 

Government circles, and they did their utmost 

to discourage it by decrying Russia's past 

conduct, and trying to rouse suspicion. These 

attempts, however, do not seem to have had 

any effect on the Opposition. The Mir, on 

May 2, 1 91 7, urged the newly formed league of 

authors to take the initiative in bringing about 

a rapprochement between Russia and Bulgaria. 

" The moment is propitious. Why should not 

the old misunderstanding between Bulgaria and 

Russia, due to the autocratic regime, be removed, 

since the cause itself has been removed ? " The 

fury that this proposal aroused among the 

Government parties may best be depicted by the 

articles that appeared on the following days in 

the Narodni Prava (Mav 5 and 11, 1917) : 

We knew very well that many members of the League 
have become the unwilling tools of a few well-known 
politicians, who will not renounce their political views and 
who will impose them on the members. The programme of this 
society is political, and it will put obstacles in the way of 
any Government which does not follow a policy agreeable to it. 
It is simply masquerading under the veil of literature. The 
Mir has now thought lit openly to disclose the aims of the 
society. Now is the time to raise anew the cherished Russo- 
phil traditions ! The time has come for the rats to emerge 
from their hiding holes ! There is a revolution in Russia, 



the errors of their predecessors, and for this reason they 
are resolved not to enter into any compact contrary' to the 
spirit of justice and international morality. At this moment 
I can tell you one thing with assurance, and that is, that 
Bulgaria will emerge from this war united : Bulgaria will 
receive Macedonia I have nothing further to add." 



1 64 BULGARIA 

and all fables about Russian magnanimity towards Bulgaria 
may prove valuable ! It is time to sow corruption again 
among the Bulgarian nation ! Of what advantage can a 
telegram of thanks to the Den prove in the war ? The 
writer knows it will be useless, but his object is to create 
a certain frame of mind in Bulgaria which may be taken 
advantage of for furthering the policy of the Russophils. 
He wishes to make use of the League in order to promote 
his political vdews and his party's aims. 

It is the Government which should look after the nation's 
interests, or at least the Chamber and the political parties. 
They are responsible bodies, and they have a right to take 
interest in questions concerning the nation and to state 
their views. It should not be allowed to prominent members 
of political parties to expose their views under the guise of 
hterary societies ; they should make them known on the 
responsibility of the party they belong to, for secret activity 
implies that ugly schemes are being hatched. No Bulgarian 
political party can so far forget itself as to ask the Bulgarian 
people to address telegrams to a country from which troops 
are being sent for the destruction of Bulgaria, but prominent 
men of these parties do this through a society of authors. 
Through this society they aim at spreading demoralization 
and leading astray the Bulgarian people by dangerous 
exhortations. And these men now begin to shout : " Hasten 
on a pilgrimage to Russia ! ' ' simply because the Den has 
written something abuut Bulgaria. But what about the 
Russian troops at Galatz and in Macedonia ? Because one 
Russian journal has written something in our favour, our 
learned men and our authors are asking us to jump into the 
Russian sea and drown ! Is not this absurd on their part ? 
We reject with contempt the efforts of some hardened 
partisans of dangerous political dogmas to exploit for party 
uses some words said in favour of Bulgaria. And this 
under the cloak of some society of authors and learned 
men. 

Such a society ought to know its business and not to 
meddle in the Government's, and especially now when it is 
necessary we should safeguard the nation from the deceit 
of those men who by their appeals to Tsar Ferdinand during 
1914 and 1915 did their utmost to lead Bulgaria to destruc- 
tion. 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 165 

In the suggestion put forward [of sending congratulations 
to the Petrograd Den] one cannot help detecting the purpose 
of those connected with the A^ir to lead back the Bulgarian 
people to the path which brought only misfortunes, as in 
1913. But it is too late now for such criminal designs. The 
time when the cause of nations was won or lost in the Press 
is over, and even if it were to return it is not astronomers, 
mathematicians, and writers who will carry on the fight, 
but our diplomatists, who know how to retort. Let those 
others keep silent, as they did when great events were 
taking place [the conquest of Macedonia and the Dobrudja]. 
It is not the generous donors of funds who have encouraged 
the League on this path. They imagined that their dona- 
tions would be used for the country's welfare and not for 
an evil purpose. Such an evil purpose e ists ; those con- 
nected with the Mir are endeavouring to throw Bulgaria 
at all costs into the arms of regenerated Russia, which 
remains, as before, exceedingly dangerous to our nation. 
Enough blood was shed in 191 3 to dispel once for all the 
myth of Russian goodwill towards Bulgaria, but to all 
appearance the persons about the Mir desire once more 
to expose the Bulgarian people to a new trial at a moment 
when, thanks to the powerful co-operation of her allies, 
Bulgaria is so happily realizing her unification. 

There were good reasons indeed for the Govern- 
ment to look with dismay at this revival of 
Russophilism. Dissatisfaction with its policy 
had been steadily growing, and although every 
display of it was ruthlessly repressed, yet the 
free tribune of the Sobranje remained, whence 
the representatives of the nation gave uncon- 
trolled vent to their pent-up anger and dismay. 
The stenographic reports of the Sobranje of this 
period would without doubt prove extremely 
interesting reading, not only to the historian, but 
also to the psychologist ; unfortunately they are 



i66 BULGARIA 

not yet available. The speeches of Opposition 
members were so mutilated and distorted by the 
censor before publication that they convey any- 
thing rather than the original thoughts of the 
speakers, and the Bulgarian Government may 
have been wise in thus distorting the speeches, 
as publication in their original form would have 
done more to inflame public opinion against 
Bulgaria's rulers than the most virulent Bolshevik 
propaganda. One may judge of the accusations 
levelled against the Government by the following 
speech of Radoslavov delivered in the Sobranje 
on March 31, 1917 : 

Gueshov and Tsanov have complained that the relations 
between the Government and the Opposition were strained, 
that we have not kept them informed of the course of 
events, that we have taken everything on ourselves, and 
that we are engaging the responsibility of the nation and 
the army in spite of their opinions and their political convic- 
tions. They have further argued thus : " Since we do not 
hinder you in your foreign policy, we do not assume anj' 
responsibility for it. We shall vote for the war credit for 
350,000,000 fr. because it is for the army and not for you 
(the Government). In you we have no confidence what- 
ever. You, who are guiding Bulgaria's destinies, are 
weakened among yourselves, you are divided as to the 
internal policy you should follow [refers to Apostolov's 
recent withdrawal from the Cabinet], there is something 
which has undermined your authority, something rotten, 
making a breach in your position, only there is nobody to 
capture it. Therefore, you have no right to ask for our 
support, and we are astonished that you can still retain 
your ministerial seats and manage Bulgaria's affairs." Such 
has been the tone of all speeches coming from the Opposition, 
and when I declared that Bulgaria is in an excellent situa- 
tion as regards her foreign relations, many members of the 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 167 

Opposition derided me. But at this moment, when we are 
defending our frontiers, when we declare that Bulgaria has 
reaUzed her ideal, that we mean to stick to those frontiers 
in spite of everything, because we know we shall be able to 
maintain ourselves there, and when we desire that this 
should be heard on the battlefield, how could you refuse 
to vote the credits for tlie support of the Bulgarian army ? 
Parliament was bound to support the present Government 
if only from the Opposition's point of view. In the same 
way as the Opposition supported the Government in 1913, 
you are bound to support this same Government, which 
has the situation in hand and is realizing the ideals of the 
Bulgarian nation. It is thus that all of us who are repre- 
senting the Bulgarian nation should have done, in order 
that it might be heard and that others should see that the 
Bulgarian Parliament is united and strong. But to some 
of you the Russian Duma is more important. The Sobranje 
ought to have been represented as strongly united, and the 
Opposition should not have insinuated in these very 
precincts that the Government is weak and tottering, that 
the Government machine is creaking and that some strong 
action is needed, but that Parliament is too apathetic to take 
it. For such is the inference from Malinov's speech. 

I do not know how far g. Gueshov's assertion, that with 
the occupation of Macedonia and the Dobrudja we have 
completed our task and should retire, is serious. This is 
said with another object, g. Gueshov is reserving also the 
right to ask us when the war is over, " whether our policy 
has been the best." The meaning of all this may well be 
found in the opinion expressed in October 19 15, by the 
Serbian paper Odjck, when it warned the Russian Ambas- 
sador, Troubetskoy, not to trust the Bulgarian Russophils, 
that they are deceiving Russia, and that if any misfortune 
happens to Germany they will be the finst to crawl before 
Russia, and throw the blame on Tsar Ferdinand and his 
Government. Are you, members of the Opposition, not 
repeating now this very same thing, even after the un- 
paralleled successes of Bulgaria ? Should such language 
ever have been used ? In 19 15 the Opposition went to the 
Palace, and after making use of the most bitter words, 
threatened the King ; but what a difference from that time 
and now. Sazonov will not again speak as he did, 



i68 BULGARIA 

nor will the Russian Government threaten us as it did in 
1915 ; they will acknowledge their error. When this is so, 
how is it possible that regrets and lamentations over 
Bulgaria should be heard in the Bulgarian Chamber, and 
that the situation should be represented as so desperate that 
there was nothing to do but come to blows among our- 
selves. After all the sacrifices made by the Bulgarian nation 
for its independence and its honour such a sort of patriotism 
should not be advocated by anybody, more especially 
any one in the Sobranje. It may be supposed that 
the motive of those speaking against our policy is to re- 
present the situation as it is described by some Bulgarian 
deserters or foreign agents in circulars, which are occa- 
sionally dropped from enemy aeroplanes. Here are some 
quotations from these proclamations : " Do not obey 
your bribed leaders and rulers any further, greet the 
Russian troops with tears in your eyes, with warm and 
brotherly cordiality. Do not fire against the sons of those 
who liberated you or you will meet with no good 
either in this world or the next. You have suffered enough. 
Bulgarians ! Cease hesitating and fearing. Take a resolu- 
tion and act. Act bravely and heroically, and drive out 
the traitors. Hasten and come to your senses and surrender 
your destiny to Russia, in order to escape from the approach- 
ing disaster which is going to overwhelm you. Look at 
the abyss yawning at your feet. Russia leads you to life 
and liberty, Germany to bondage and shame. Choose 
to-day, because to-morrow will be late." I have read this 
in order that you might see that some of its phrases are 
similar to those spoken in the Sobranje. Has not g. 
Tsanov declared that we are leading the nation to destruc- 
tion on the steep incline of an abyss ? If you begin 
with the report of the Provident Committee, study the 
telegrams and letters in it, and finish with this enemy appeal, 
you will see one tendency throughout, that of compromising 
the alliance between Bulgaria and Germany and Austria- 
Hungary. The speeches of the members of the Opposition 
have been recorded, and one day they will make their 
authors blush. 

Capital has been made out of the reported smuggling by 
German soldiers. Because some German soldier tried to 
smuggle two pigs to Germany g. Christov [Opposition 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 169 

deputy] shouts that this cannot be allowed, that we are 
being deprived of our pork supphes. Because in a consign- 
ment of ore from Eliceina [a copper mine near Vratza] to 
Germany some bags containing hams, cheese, and eggs 
were found, the Provident Committee protests that this is 
a crime committed by our AlUes, and demands how the 
Government can countenance it ? But, of course, the 
Government knows all about it, for it assists the Germans ! 
The tendency is clear, it is to compromise our Allies. 
Another insinuation, much more terrible. Somebody 
promised to export 300,000,000 kg. of cereals but the 
Provident Committee stopped it. (A voice from the ranks 
of the Opposition : " And 600,000 head of cattle.") This 
service of the Provident Committee in having stopped the 
export is great, it is invaluable, and certainly it is not the 
only service rendered ! We are members of a strong 
alUance. A most loyal alUance, which is historic. Not 
only now, but also in the future, we shall remaiji Alhes of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary. Since the war is not 
finished our soldiers are fighting shoulder to shoulder with 
those of our Allies. Armies have similar needs : these 
armies need a postal service, a telegraph service, such as 
our armies have at Tultsa, at Bucarest, and elsewhere. 
Therefore it is not right ; there is no foundation for saying 
and shouting : " These Germans, they have taken over 
our posts, our railways ; they have taken the very air we 
breathe, and now they are carrying off our bacon and our 
eggs, and they leave us to die of hunger ! Let nothing 
more be given to our Allies, let us look first after ourselves 
and then after the others." The Opposition has a right to 
hinder our understanding with the Germans and Austrians, 
but in such a case let it come to an understanding with 
them. I repeat, let it do so because it is for the Opposition 
to repent, and not for the Government. 

But the existing dissatisfaction turned to 
exasperation when the attitude of the German 
and Austro-Hungarian Sociahsts towards Bul- 
garian aims became known. At the Stockholm 
Conference the Austro-Hungarian Socialists pro- 



I/O BULGARIA 

posed a compromise on the Macedonian question, 
which would have proved fatal to Bulgarian 
hopes. This proposal, as might have been fore- 
seen, evoked the most bitter comment in Bulgaria, 
and to the suggestion of Bulgarian and Serbian 
Socialists coming to terms on the Macedonian 
question the Bulgarians retorted that the Transyl- 
vanian question should be likewise settled by a 
conference between Hungarian and Rumanian 
Socialists. The Bulgarians were furious against 
the German authorities for the tacit support they 
gave to the views of their Socialists, and the Mir 
(June 22, 1917) voiced the displeasure of the 
public in the following characteristic terms : 

The Germans say : " Alsace and Lorraine are old German 
countries, and no plebiscite can be allowed to be taken 
there. As for the Balkans, we adhere to the declarations 
of our Austro-Hungarian comrades." The inference is 
clear. Ours is unquestionably ours. There in the Balkans 
let them settle matters among themselves. There are many 
ways and means, perhaps by a plebiscite. . . . Fine 
phrases on somebody else's account may be all very 
well, but not on one's own. Why should Bulgarian 
Socialists have to come to terms with the Serbians as to 
Macedonia, and German and French Socialists not have to 
do likewise in the case of Alsace and Lorraine ? Is not 
Macedonia, after all, more indisputably Bulgarian than 
Alsace-Lorraine is German ? 

These misgivings naturally increased when 
articles of quite a pro-Serbian character began 
to appear in the German and Austrian Press. 
The articles of the German Sociahst, Wendel, and 
his advocacy of Serbian views, were evidently 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 171 

inspired, and aimed at enticing the Serbians to 
conclude a separate peace with Austria. The 
Bulgarians fully realized this, and being of a 
suspicious disposition made the most sinister 
deductions from the tolerance exhibited by the 
censorship in the Central Empires. The following 
quotation from the Kambana, June 29, 191 7, 
illustrates the exasperation prevailing at the 
time : 

The attitude of the Hungarian SociaUsts assumes even 
a more repulsive aspect when we consider that while they 
oppose the emancipation of Macedonia they absolutely 
refuse to enter into a discussion concerning Bosnia and 
Herzegovina. This attitude lacks both sense and morality. 

The Arbeiter-Zeitung, the organ of the Austrian Social 
Democrats, treats the Bulgarian demands as exaggerated, 
if not as impudent, but the impudence is all on the side of 
the leaders of the Austrian Social Democrats. Tsarism is 
dead, but it appears that its criminal policy as regards 
Serbo-Bulgarian disputes has been adopted by the Austro- 
Hungarian Socialists. This is shameful and infamous for 
a party in allied Austria, a party which pretends to aim 
at the triumph of liberty and that of the rights of nations. 
If any opposition to our national claims was to appear in 
Central Europe, it might perhaps have been expected from 
the extreme Imperialists, who, together with Russian 
Tsarism, used to scheme for the partitioning of the Near 
East. Even the conscience of these last has awakened, 
and they have admitted our rights ; therefore the part the 
Austro-Hungarian Socialists are endeavouring to play in 
the Balkan question appears all the more contemptible, 
senseless, and criminal. 

So serious was the apprehension excited that 
even Radoslavov found it necessary to seek an 
explanation in Berlin. On his return he con- 
vened a meeting of Bulgarian journalists, and 



172 BULGARIA 

made the most reassuring communications as to 
the state of relations among the Allies. But no 
sooner had this controversy subsided than a 
dispute arose concerning the Dobrudja question. 
The Bulgarians had long felt it a grievance that 
they had not been allowed to establish their own 
administration in that province, and the efforts 
made by the Central Empires to concihate 
Rumania could not but aggravate the existing 
irritation between the Bulgarians and their allies, 
especially when the latter began to reahze that 
Austria was unwilling to countenance the aggran- 
dizement of Bulgaria. In this connexion the 
repeated visits of the Rumanian politicians, 
Carp and Marghiloman, to Vienna and Germany 
did not fail to excite the over-suspicious Bul- 
garians. Hostility to Bulgarian ambitions was 
shared not only by Count Czernin, owing to his 
advocacy of a peace without annexations, but by 
the majority of the Slav elements in the Dual 
Monarchy, who could ill disguise their hatred of 
the Bulgarians for the latter's desertion of the 
Slav cause. Thus the Jugo-Slav deputies on the 
Foreign Affairs Committee of the Austrian 
Delegations proposed through their spokesman, 
Korocek, the wholesale rejection of the Bulgarian 
annexationist programme, which proposition the 
other Austrian delegates for manifest reasons 
declined to accept. The Czechs also, who had 
taken a prominent part in organizing Bulgarian 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 173 

administration, and a large number of whom had 
settled in Bulgaria, more than once manifested 
their hostility to her. 

Such a state of affairs could not but endanger 
the smooth working of the alliance, and the 
Kaiser's visit to Sofia early in October 1917 must 
largely be ascribed to his desire to placate the 
Bulgarians and to soothe their feelings by 
flattery. The attention paid to them by the 
Kaiser greatly gratified their amour-propre^ for 
they saw in it a mark of appreciation on the part 
of their ally, all the more since it was the first 
visit the head of a powerful State had ever paid 
to the Bulgarian capital. Although the declara- 
tions the Kaiser made in Sofia were not as 
explicit as the Bulgarians would have liked, it 
was possible to interpret them as favourable 
to Bulgarian aims, and this helped to strengthen 
the position of the Cabinet and to reconcile the 
Opposition to its pro-German policy. Hence- 
forth we hear very little of the activities of the 
League of Authors and Professors, and a great 
effort was evident on the part of the Opposition 
to demonstra;;/^ its solidarity with the Govern- 
ment on the occasion of the convocation of the 
Sobranje a few days later, " so that all agitations 
and all rumours of a nature to encourage the 
enemy to continue the war, in the hope that the 
fortress will surrender from within^ would cease." 
The Mir even went so far as to declare that the 



174 BULGARIA 

Opposition had drawn from historic facts a 
logical conclusion, and that it was determined to 
help in bringing the enterprise that had been 
taken in hand to a happy conclusion. 

This apparent reconciliation, however, was 
shortlived, for in the debates that followed in the 
Sobranje, Opposition members hastened to attack 
the Government for allowing the exercise of their 
functions to be governed by their pro-German 
sympathies, and Government adherents were 
branded as traitors and brigands. The following 
outburst of the Narodfti Prava (April 9, 191 8), 
against the seditious attitude of the Opposition, 
demonstrates how slender were the hopes for con- 
ciliation and union evoked for a m^oment by 
the Kaiser's visit : 

They [the Government adherents] are great heroes. They 
stood firmly and without flinching at their parliamentary 
posts, unmoved by the storms let loose by intemperate and 
foohsh Opposition deputies. The majority endured long 
hours of speeches, that aimed at undermining, compromis- 
ing, and destroying the only true policy for Bulgaria's 
unification. The speakers knew their speeches were criminal, 
but they nevertheless persisted in delivering them in order 
to provoke disturbances. There, in the Chamber, the 
majority had even to listen to shameless speeches in defence 
of the bitterest enemies of Bulgaria. 

Though a lull in the anti-Government agitation 
prevailed until the conclusion of the Brest- 
Litovsk Treaty, and the preliminary treaty with 
Rumania, Radoslavov's failure to secure the 
allocation of the entire Dobrudja to Bulgaria 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 175 

kindled anew the anger of the Opposition and 
the distrust of the public. The non-settlement 
of the Dobrudja question revealed to the Bul- 
garians the fact that Turkey was demanding as 
compensation for the miHtary help she lent in 
the campaign against Rumania the retrocession 
of the territory along the banks of the Maritsa, 
which she had ceded to Bulgaria in September 
1915, This discovery as to the intention of their 
eastern ally produced the most deplorable effect 
on the Bulgarians, who had not forgotten that 
the dispute among the Balkan Allies in 191 3 
likewise arose through a similar demand for a 
revision of a treaty on the plea of rebus sic 
stantibus. The formal signature of the Treaty of 
Bucarest (191 8) dispelled the slight hopes that 
remained of an early solution of the Dobrudja 
question, thus keeping alive the controversy 
with Turkey. The Bulgarians remarked bitterly 
that Austria-Hungary had annexed an area 
almost as great as that of the Dobrudja, contain- 
ing mineral and timber resources estimated at 
over 5,000,000,000 fr., and that, although she 
had received Turkish assistance to a much 
greater extent than Bulgaria, no mention was 
made of establishing a condominium in the terri- 
tory she had acquired from Rumania. Germany, 
it was pointed out, had acquired political and 
economic concessions rendering her mistress of 
the Rumanian railways, the oil-springs and the 



176 BULGARIA 

Danube waterway. She had secured for her own 
use the Rumanian grain crops for a number of 
years at ridiculously low prices, which, computing 
the annual yield at 2,000,000 tons, would benefit 
her to the extent of at least 5,000,000,000 fr. 
annually. Bulgaria had not demurred to the 
principle of self-determination being extensively 
applied at Brest-Litovsk for the satisfaction of 
German aims, and Germany had created for her 
own benefit a whole group of buffer states more 
or less subservient to her. Turkey, in accordance 
.with the same principle, was allowed to annex 
the Caucasus, and to put forward claims to 
the Crimea and Central Asia. Even Rumania 
was requited for her " treachery " to the Central 
Powers by the gift of Bessarabia, but, when it 
came to Bulgaria, the AlHes refused to apply the 
same measure, and would not even grant her 
what ethnically, geographically, and historically 
was Bulgarian, territory she had won by her 
own efforts at the cost of some 60,000 casualties. 
No wonder the Bulgarians felt sore at the treat- 
ment meted out to them, and they must have 
vowed not to enter into an alliance again after 
such an unfortunate experience. The Bulgarians 
indeed have an extreme disHke for association in 
business, and they naively point out that if 
partnership were a good thing, God would surely 
have taken a partner. 

Public dissatisfaction was echoed by the Press ; 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 177 

and the following remarks of the Dnevnik (April 
18, 1918) maybe taken as generally expressive 
of the views prevailing : 

We have done everything possible for the AUiance and 
have borne everything ungrudgingly, and now they want 
to impose on us this ransom ! Without this we can see 
that treachery is requited, as in the case of Rumania, who 
obtains Bessarabia, so that there is no need for them to 
rub salt into our wounds. If we do not react against our 
Allies, out of regard for them, we at least have the right 
to demand that our feelings should be respected. Other- 
wise we do not understand what is our position and rdk in 
the Alliance. Have they invited us to the feast merely 
that we should serve the guests ? 

The bitterness of the disappointment caused 
by the Turkish demand may be reaHzed if it 
be remembered that the territory required in 
exchange for the recognition of Bulgarian rule in 
the Dobrudja constituted the firstfruits of the 
pro-German policy, and its possession had been 
virtually guaranteed to Bulgaria by Germany, 
under whose auspices the arrangement had been 
carried out. The cession of this territory to 
Bulgaria had been accomphshed twenty-four 
hours after the Bulgarian mobilization order had 
been decreed, and after the Bulgarian Govern- 
ment had furnished proofs of its willingness to 
co-operate with the Central Powers. It really 
constituted the price paid by Turkey for the 
purchase of Bulgaria's intervention, so that the 
demand for its restitution was rightly regarded in 
Bulgaria as nothing short of blackmail. Turkish 



178 BULGARIA 

appetite had so inordinately developed at the time 
that the Constantinople politicians were actually 
hinting that they would not be satisfied even 
with this, but that if Bulgaria were to acquire the 
Morava district, or Greek Macedonia, Turkey 
would demand from Bulgaria all the territory she 
had ceded to the latter by the Treaty of Constanti- 
nople, which comprises the entire Bulgarian sea- 
board on the ^gean Sea. It is easy to imagine 
the sense of bitter disillusionment caused by the 
Germanophil policy hitherto pursued. Even the 
Press did not disguise its resentment. " We 
had a foretaste of what the treaties between 
Bulgaria and Germany contain, when the Do- 
brudja was ceded to the Allies before passing 
to us. We also know that all the war expenses 
will lie on our back. The deputies have had the 
opportunity of grasping German etymology, and 
no doubt now understand what is meant by 
Jinanzielle Beihilfe,^^ remarked the Preporets. 
" Bulgaria should be so treated that she need not 
look to the south for mercy and protection, but 
should be made to fix her eyes on the north. 
She is not in the same position as Rumania, for 
she has an outlet on the sea, by which the 
vessels of the Entente may freely reach her," 
said the Socialist Narod. " It is only for the 
sake of this outlet on the ^gean that we agreed 
to defend the Straits for the Turks. Our inter- 
vention would be senseless if after seven years of 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 179 

war and a national debt of several milliards we 
returned to our previous position and permitted 
our trade to depend on the goodwill of our 
Turkish allies. In such a case we fail to under- 
stand why we fought against Russia, and what 
significance a pohtical and economic alliance 
with the Central Powers can have for us," added 
the Germanophil Dnevnik. And Gueshov's organ 
commenting on Von Kiihlmann's speech in the 
Reichstag as to the advisability of readjusting 
the present Bulgaro-Turkish frontier, which he 
considered had been drawn too hastily, caustically 
remarked : 

Von Kiihlmann states that the treaty between Bulgaria 
and Turkey was hasty ! The inference is clear : The 
Bulgarians should not insist too much on a hastily con- 
cluded treaty, and should give in to the Turkish demands. 

It appears, therefore, that the vaUdity of a treaty depends 
on its not being hastily concluded ! What is then to happen 
if another " Von " should think fit to declare that the 
treaty between the Central Empires and Bulgaria was also 
hastily concluded ? We do not see where we should draw 
the line between hastily concluded and therefore inoperative 
treaties and vaUd treaties, all the more since the treaty 
with Turkey is the basis on winch our aUiance with the 
Central Powers was built. How is the structure to be 
saved when its foundation collapses ? We await Rado- 
slavov's explanation as to how he interprets the treaties, in 
which according to Kiihlmann he hastily engaged Bulgaria, 
and whether it is true, as the Turkish papers assert, that 
they simply made concessions in order to involve us in 
the war, with the intention not only of getting back subse- 
quently what they then gave, but also of asking for some- 
thing more. We are awaiting these explanations, and we 
reflect : Is it not hasty to think that Bulgaria intervened 
hastily in the war on the side of the Central Powers ? 



i8o BULGARIA 

We can better grasp the meaning of the covert 
threat contained in the above remark if we take 
into consideration that Hussein Djahid, the 
influential Young Turk, Vice-President of the 
Turkish Chamber and editor of the ^anin, 
plainly declared in his paper that if Bulgaria 
would not cede amicably what Turkey demanded, 
the latter would conclude an alHance with Ru- 
mania, Greece, and Serbia when the present war 
was over, and take by force what was not ceded 
voluntarily. 

Turkey is not a particularly pleasant neighbour 
for a weaker country ; this is the general experi- 
ence of all the Balkan States. And Bulgarians 
must have rued the day when they were decoyed 
into saving Turkey, and indirectly contributed 
to the rebirth of the wild Pan-Islamic ambitions 
then freely proclaimed by the Turks, which could 
not have failed to excite the gravest apprehensions 
in Bulgaria, owing to her large Moslem population. 
The more successes the Turks obtained in the 
Caucasus the more arrogant and domineering 
they became. The Bulgarians were well ac- 
quainted with Turkish psychology and would 
harbour no illusions about the future, when 
they, being Turkey's weakest neighbours, would 
have become the main object of her bullying. 

This was only too well understood in Bulgaria, 
and was the main cause of Bulgaria's insistence 
on obtaining the town and fortress of Adrianople 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER i8i 

in 191 3. All Bulgarians whom I questioned at 
the time as to why they insisted so much on 
getting Adrianople, which they themselves ad- 
mitted was not a Bulgarian town, unanimously 
answered : " Hitherto all the Balkan States had 
a common frontier with Turkey, and therefore 
the danger of a Turkish attack weighed equally 
on all, and made them more disposed to lend 
each other mutual support, but henceforth 
Bulgaria will be alone to face the Turks. We 
know them too well not to insist on obtaining a 
safeguard against their future insolence. We 
shall be alone almost at the muzzle of the Turkish 
cannon ; we therefore must have Adrianople, 
which will serve as a shield against their aggres- 
sion." Nothing had occurred to allay these fears ; 
on the contrary, Turkish ambitions had been 
reawakened, and according to the wild talk of 
Turkish politicians embraced the restoration of 
an empire surpassing even that of Suliman's in 
splendour. If we were to judge from Constanti- 
nople papers. Central Asia, the entire Black Sea 
seaboard, the Crimea, Egypt, TripoH, Tunis, 
Crete, and the Dodecanese were some of the 
objects of Turkish megalomania. They seemed 
to have lost all sense of proportion, and showed 
no regard for their Bulgarian allies. Thus they 
made no secret of their desire to get back the 
whole of Western Thrace, where there is a 
Moslem population of some 200,000, more than 



1 82 BULGARIA 

half of whom, however, are Pomaks, or Moslem 
Bulgarians. 

It was only natural for the Bulgarians to look 
with consternation at this Pan-Islamic agitation. 
They opposed the most resolute non possumus 
to the Turkish demands, all the more since 
they were uncertain as to whether they would 
be allowed to retain Greek Eastern Macedonia 
with the port of Ca valla. Their ally, Germany, 
maintained a very dubious attitude on this point, 
and cunningly fostered the belief among the 
Greeks that she would return this territory to 
them if they did not support Venizelos. The 
Bulgarians, therefore, refused to yield to the 
Turks their railway Hne to the ^gean, for they 
prize it too highly, as it renders them inde- 
pendent of the Power possessing the Straits. 
They even prefer to forgo their rights to 
Northern Dobrudja rather than lose their door 
to the ^gean and to the outer world. 

The readiness with which the Bulgarian 
SociaHsts approved the resolutions of the Inter- 
Allied Socialist Conference in London becomes 
therefore intelligible, and in spite of subsequent 
denials made through Government channels must 
be taken as characteristic of the chastened views 
that were prevaiHng throughout the country. 
Through their party organ the Bulgarian 
Sociahsts declared that " that part of the pro- 
gramme which refers to general principles is 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 183 

quite acceptable, and an agreement would be 
very easily reached. Every Social Democrat 
will support these general principles as advocated 
by the Entente comrades." Naturally the Inter- 
Allied proposal to grant local autonomy to 
Macedonia and the recommendation to incor- 
porate that province in Serbia could scarcely 
meet with the approval of any Bulgarian, but 
the retort it evoked was significant in its 
moderation. " The Conference," the Bulgarian 
Socialists argued, " ought to have offered us a 
mode of settlement which we, the parties most 
directly concerned in the matter, might have 
been able to accept without any extraordinary 
difficulties." 

The interpretation which Reuter gave to the 
article in the Narod — namely, that the Bulgarian 
Socialists were inclined to accept autonomy for 
Macedonia, was not altogether erroneous, as may 
be inferred from the Narodni Prava, June 11, 
which, commenting on Renter's message, practi- 
cally confirms its standpoint. It says : 

Such are the views of the Social Democrats. They do 
not even dare admit that Macedonia is a Bulgarian country : 
they want autonomy for Macedonia. Was it for this that 
we made so many sacrifices ? Is it for this that so many 
brave sons of Bulgaria are perishing ? Is it lor this we 
are spending milliards ; for the sake of autonomy for 
Macedonia ? 

In spite of the fact that both Von Kiihlmann 
and the Emperor Charles visited Sofia with th^ 



1 84 BULGARIA 

object of composing existing differences, the 
tension between Bulgaria and her aUies did not 
relax, but on the contrary increased, as another 
cause for friction arose in the form of Germany's 
relations with Greece. 

Although diplomatic relations between Greece 
and the Central Powers had been severed on 
July 2, 1917, Germany continued to maintain in 
appearance a friendly attitude towards Greece. 
M. Venizelos' return to power was ascribed to 
foreign interference, and German official circles 
were lavish in demonstrations of sympathy with 
the Greeks, the " victims of Entente brutahty." 
As long as the Greek forces on the Macedonian 
front were insignificant in number, the Bul- 
garians, out of deference for their allies, sup- 
pressed their ill-humour, and generally restricted 
themselves to criticizing the Grecophil pohcy of 
Germany as senseless, for according to them, 
Greece, by her geographical situation, was bound 
to remain under the influence of the Entente. 

The German attempts to represent the Greek 
mobilization as a failure, and the various rumours 
as to revolts and mutinies in Greece, found willing 
listeners in Bulgaria, where they were sedu- 
lously re-echoed and magnified by the Govern- 
ment Press. The gradual and continual arrival 
of Greek troops on the Macedonian front, how- 
ever, and the increased activity which resulted, 
began to alarm the Bulgarians, who came slowly 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 185 

to realize the unpalatable truth, that they would 
have to reckon with a fresh adversary. This 
revelation was doubly unpleasant, because it 
disclosed even to the most unwary that the war 
would be further prolonged. These pessimistic 
inferences increased the annoyance already felt 
by the Bulgarians at the patronizing air with 
which the Germans were treating the Greeks. 
German papers, in fact, began espousing the 
cause of Greece and advocating the maintenance 
of Greece's territorial integrity, as having been 
guaranteed by Germany, while other papers, 
such as the Berliner Tageblatt and Frankfurter 
Zeitung, lent the hospitality of their columns to 
various Greeks among the adherents of King 
Constantine, who endeavoured to demonstrate 
that Greece was not at war with the Central 
Powers, that King Constantine's deposition was 
an unconstitutional act, and that he was still de 
jure King of Greece. The acts of the Venizelist 
Government, it was alleged, which was imposed 
by force on the Greek nation and was main- 
tained in power by foreign pressure, could not be 
considered as binding on Greece. If these views 
were to prevail in Berlin, it was evident that at 
the termination of even a victorious war the 
Bulgarians would have to evacuate the towns 
and districts of Seres, Drama, and Cavalla, and 
the exasperation of the Bulgarian public at the 
attitude of their ally may be easily imagined. 



1 86 BULGARIA 

Such was the irritation of the pubHc that Rado- 
slavov felt bound to make a reassuring statement, 
and afhrm that " there is no ground for any 
anxiety as to our rights to Seres, Drama, and 
Cavalla, and to all the territories which Greece 
secured by the treaty of 191 3. According to our 
treaty with our allies, in the event of Greece, 
without any provocation on our part, declaring 
war against us, we have a right to annex all the 
territories which Greece acquired by the Treaty 
of Bucarest in 191 3. This condition was fulfilled 
when Greece declared war last year." Rado- 
slavov's utterances, however, failed to impart the 
requisite confidence. He had too often abused 
the creduhty of the public, and as he had been 
caught lying in a most brazen manner on the 
question of the Dobrudja, little credence was 
given to his official assurances.^ 

An indication of the dangerous pitch to which 
public indignation had been roused was furnished 
by the attitude of the Gueshov and the Social 
Democrat parties. In contravention of the pre- 
scriptions of the Bulgarian censor, they pubHshed 
in their organs, the Mir and the Narod, two 
violent articles on Radoslavov's administration. 
Both papers were suspended, but from the tenor 
of the repHes they evoked in the Narodni Prava, 

1 He had addressed a telegram to the Dobrudja National 
Council to the effect " that the Dobrudja was free and that 
it had not been divided" (May 11), when he was aware 
that the contrary was true. 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 187 

an idea may be formed of the virulence of their 
attacks. The Government organ replying to the 
Mir wrote : 

Unfortunately, there are people in Bulgaria who have 
never felt as Bulgarians. Of late they have become mentally 
unhinged and have lost all feeling of patriotism, because 
Bulgaria is ad\-ancing safely towards the realization of her 
most cherished ambitions. This greatness towards which 
Bulgaria is advancing is maddening to traitors. They can- 
not bear the idea of it. WTiat is to become of them ? 
Foreign gold is burning their hands, and through their Press 
they are endeavouring to spread discord and to undermine 
the morale of the public, so that the strong Bulgarian rock 
may be sapped and destroyed by the enemy. Those inspir- 
ing the Mir have published one issue of this paper teeming 
with innuendoes and scurrilities against our Allies and the 
Government. This, for those who compassed Bulgaria's 
ruin in 1913, is a glorious deed. To these people, with 
their criminal past towards Bulgaria, our Allies are evil, 
because our Allies are helping us to realize our unification. 
The Government is likewise evil because it did not agree 
to throw Bulgaria on the side of Russia, because it is doing 
its duty by the various measures it has adopted, and because 
it will not take advice from bankrupt politicians and 
quondam traitors, but moves on courageously along the 
path it has traced. By insinuating tliat the food-supply 
is badly arranged, they think they will be able to discourage 
the people. But who is mad enough to lend an ear to the 
treacherous opinions of the inspirers of the Mir ? 

No conscientious Bulgarian can ask for agreeable food 
during the last month before harvest, and the Government 
is accused on this head because those belaind the Mir 
believe that our people, influenced by their stomachs, will 
compromise their high aims. But the people will not follow 
the advice of these notorious political marauders, and will 
not lend an ear to these despicable politicians, wJio per- 
sistently demanded of the Entente that it should occupy Mace- 
donia, and who used to threaten that if we did not join Russia 
they ivould instigate disorders in the country. 

Our people will pay no attention to these non-Bulgarians, 



I! 



BULGARIA 



who for the sake of Serbia and Russia divided Macedonia 
into various zones, to these criminals who obeyed the orders 
of the Russian Tsar, who not only did not acquire any 
territory for Bulgaria, but gave the whole of Macedonia 
to the Serbians and the Greeks. The successes which have 
been obtained and those which will be obtained the persons 
connected with the Mir desire to compromise. In their 
base calumnies they go so far as to say that the Government 
deputies form a black majority of doubtful origin, and all 
this out of envy, because this majority has helped Bulgaria 
to include within her frontiers the whole of Macedonia, the 
Morava, the Cavalla and Drama districts, the valley of the 
Maritsa, and the Dobrudja. 

The answer to the article of the Narod^ which 
was in the form of an open letter to Rado- 
slavov, was couched in the following terms : 

In its content, the message is a feeble collection of street 
rumours by which those incapable of serving the nation are 
endeavouring to destroy what others have created. In the 
threats it contains it does not differ from all tho^e open and 
veiled menaces which have been addressed to Radoslavov, 
and even to a higher personage since he assumed power in 
1 9 13. These provocations, however, will not frighten the 
Prime Minister, although a price may have been set on 
his head, and his bones would probably be angrily thrown 
to the dogs for " audacious treachery to the Slavo-Russian 
cause " and for having followed a poUcy " foreign to Slav 
Bulgaria." Whence do the authors of the message derive 
the courage to affirm that " the country was forced into 
the war against the will of the nation and only by agree- 
ment with the Crown ? " 

" The need for a more complete unit}' of the national 
forces calls for a radical change in policy," says the message, 
but in what sense is this change desired by the Socialists ? 
Is it in the sense of the speeches made by the Opposition 
leaders in the Sobranje during 1914 and 1913 ? Is it in 
the sense of the manifestoes published by the Opposition 
leaders before mobilization ? Or is a change in the Russian 
manner desired ? 

We cannot believe that any politician in Bulgaria would 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 189 

undertake to carry through a change along the lines 
indicated above. This shows that the attacks on the Prime 
Minister are not serious. At the present moment, however, 
in the present oppressive atmosphere, the smallest causes 
may create dangerous currents, and for this reason such 
attacks are a premeditated crime against the State. 

The brilliant successes of Radoslavov's policy have tem- 
porarily subdued the envy of the Opposition leaders and 
have forced them to change their tactics. But their sub- 
mission is only apparent. They have not repented, nor 
have they returned to the right path. Under their new 
disguise they lie in ambush to seize power and realize their 
infernal plans. If they do not succeed in this they are 
ready to go to extremes. They have taken Bolshevik 
Russia for their model. 

According to the Socialists, the Bulgarian Government is 
corrupt, because it has allowed its partisans to accumulate 
untold riches. 

The Bulgarian Government is tyrannical because it allows 
the censorship to stop gossip tending to undermine the 
basis of society. It is usurping power, because it will not 
permit our Bolsheviki to plunder our citizens as was 
attempted in Philippopolis, where the Socialist mob broke 
into the mayor's house, not for the purpose of demanding 
rights and defending its usurped power, but for loot. 

The Opposition leaders trade on the food shortage and 
ascribe it to the smuggling of food to Germany. This is a 
shameful misrepresentation of the case, for if there is a 
small shortage this is entirely due to the unsatisfactory 
harvest. Owing to the measures taken, the Prime Minister 
is convinced that Bulgaria will not succumb by famine. 
And if God safeguards her from the dreadful results of the 
agitation of envious partisans, she is sure of the success 
of her high cause. 

Criticism of the Government is apparently the prerogative 
of Socialists in all countries. But to pretend that they 
exercise this in the name of morality and in the interest of 
army discipline — the discipline of a bourgeois army ! — 
which they profess to save from evil influences, is criminal 
hypocrisy. 

You want peace. But is this the way you will obtain 
it ? Does the obstacle to peace come from us or from our 



190 BULGARIA 

Allies ? Was it not we who, although victors, first tendered 
our hand for peace and found no one to clasp it ? 

Will your platonic desire stop the French and British 
troops from exterminating us at the smallest sign of weak- 
ness, and from restoring the Morava and Macedonia to 
Serbia, Drama and Cavalla to Greece, and the Dobrudja to 
Rumania, while they divide our country among themselves ? 

The Prime Minister and the Government wiU not betray 
the Alliance, nor will Bulgaria forgive any one for such a 
betrayal. 

Your fear, gentlemen of the Socialist party, that we have 
endangered the unification and independence of the Father- 
land is nothing but the sham fear of men who have no country 
and who declare themselves to be against the unification of 
the Bulgarian people. Our acquisitions and independence 
are endangered only by you and by such agitation as yours. 

Our foreign policy is said to be servile, shortsighted, 
pusillanimous, prejudicial, and anti-national. Woe to 
Bulgaria if she were forced to hand over the direction of 
her foreign policy to the Socialists, who have arranged 
affairs so well in Russia, or to their bourgeois supporters, 
the Ententists, the authors of the pogrom of 1913 ! The 
Socialists declare that externally Bulgaria has been humbled, 
insulted, and subjected to unprecedented extortion, and that 
internally she has become disorganized to an appalling extent. 

Never was Bulgaria in such a splendid position as at 
present. It is in vain that the condominium in the Dobrudja 
alarms our Socialists ; this is merely a temporary measure ; 
only the Socialists can believe it to be a fiasco. The 
Government of Bulgaria does not depend on the wishes of 
the microscopic Socialist minority in the Sobranje, which 
must be impudent indeed to assume the right of speaking 
" in the name of the entire nation." 

The internal ferment which had been prevaihng 
for the past months, and which found expression 
in the violent diatribes of the Mir and Narod, 
was bound to end in Radoslavov's resignation. 
He failed in his attempt to suppress dissatisfac- 
tion by his favourite methods of force, and even 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 191 

found that some of his supporters had abandoned 
him at this critical moment. The two Stambu- 
lovist Ministers in the Cabinet tendered their 
resignations on May 30, owing to their disapproval 
of the way in which Radoslavov had handled the 
Dobrudja question. If to the political diffi- 
culties be added those arising from the unsatis- 
factory condition of the food supply, and the 
exasperation and anger aroused by the various 
exposures of the corrupt practices of Radoslavov's 
administration, it is easy to understand why 
Tsar Ferdinand considered that pressure had 
risen to a dangerous point, and that the moment 
had come to let off a little steam in the form of 
a change of Cabinet. 

The selection of Malinov as Prime Minister 
was inevitable. After the politicians of the 
" Liberal " groups he is the most amenable to 
Court influence, and for this weakness of his the 
Bulgarians have dubbed him " The Lackey." 
Though less subservient than Radoslavov, he 
has proved docile enough to satisfy Ferdinand, 
for has he not professed his devotion to the 
latter in the memorable phrase, " For you, with 
you, and always by you ? " 

MaHnov, who owed his nomination to the 
servihty he displayed, was far from enjoying 
the full confidence of the nation. It was mainly 
for this reason that he failed in his efforts to 
form a broad coalition Cabinet. The Social 



192 BULGARIA 

Democrats abstained from entering the Cabinet, 
because they " did not desire to be employed as 
a label for the carrying out of a policy that they 
disliked." ^ The Agrarians refused to partici- 
pate, because certain guarantees they demanded 
concerning the administration, especially the 
removal of all foreign (German) interference, 
Malinov could not or would not grant. In all 
probability they asked also for the acquittal of 
their imprisoned leader Stamboliski, which Ferdi- 
nand would certainly have disapproved. The 
Doctrinaire Socialists acted according to their 
principle of '^ no co-operation with the bourgeois^ 
The reasons which led Gueshov's party to refrain 
from accepting ministerial posts are obscure, 
but they must be of the same nature as those 
enunciated by the Agrarians and the Social 
Democrats. For the party leaders, in spite of 
the tone of their organ edited by the pro-German 
ex-Minister Peev-Platchkov (pro-German, not by 
conviction, but from personal animosity, because 
he has lost four brothers fighting against us), 
must still retain their old sympathies for the 
Entente. As for the presence of the two Radical 
Ministers in the Cabinet, it was due to their 
patriotic wish to help their country in its diffi- 
culties, and not to any pro-German sympathies.^ 

1 Narod, June 22, 1918. 

2 Eloquent testimony of the views of Minister Kosturkov 
is furnished by his organ, the Radical, July 4, of which he 



INTERVENTION AND AFTER 193 

The Malinov Cabinet did not possess any 
liberty of action. It had to conform strictly to 
royal wishes. It may be taken for granted 
that it did not even enjoy the unlimited 
confidence of the Crown, for Ferdinand had 
entrusted- the War Ministry to his old Court 
Marshal, General Savov,^ instead of giving the 
post to General Paprikov, the nominee of the 
Democrats. 

The course taken by Malinov — namely, the 
continuation of the policy hitherto followed — was 
not approved either by Radicals, Social Demo- 
crats, or Agrarians. The Radicals insisted on the 
Government pursuing a policy " more inclined to 
the Left, so that it may be better able to rely on 
the support of the broad masses." This demand 
had found a ready response among the Social 
Democrats and Agrarians. The views of the 
former arc best illustrated by a perusal of the 
resolutions passed at a congress of their party 

used to be editor. In spite of his own consciousuess of 
patriotic responsibility and the vigilance of the censor- 
ship he yet managed to express his opinion as follows: 
" The methods of settling inter- Allied disputes among the 
Entente countries is the opposite of that of the Alliance. 
Wliile in the latter there is one absolute arbiter, among the 
Entente all members have equal rights and all disagree- 
ments are settled by friendly negotiations based on justice 
without any reference to the material strength of each 
individual Ally." 

1 Whose name should not be mistaken for that of General 
Michael Savov, the commander of the Bulgarian army 
during the war against Turkey. 



194 BULGARIA 

which met in Sofia early in September 191 8. 

According to Reuter : 

The meeting rigorously condemned any Imperialistic 
aims, and declared that the principal part of democracy 
at the present moment was to work to bring about a demo- 
cratic peace with the Entente on the basis of the principle 
of nationality. The resolutions adopted emphasized the 
necessity of creating a League of Nations as the condition 
of a permanent peace and the establishment of an inter- 
national regime based on the principle of the free determina- 
tion of peoples. 

Though these resolutions are expressive of the 

general views prevaihng in Bulgaria, the Malinov 

Cabinet could not let itself be influenced by 

them, for it was bound to humour the Liberal 

groups which are pro-German and which enjoy 

a majority in the Chamber. The most it could 

attempt was to follow a middle course until such 

time as the popular cry of " bread and peace " 

became too insistent and threatening to be 

ignored. 



CHAPTER VI 
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 



If ferment was rife in the towns, where the 
arrogant demeanour of Bulgaria's allies had 
sown the seeds of discontent in the hearts of the 
public, already disaffected by reason of hardships 
and privations greater than those prevailing even 
in Austria, tranquillity and contentment seem to 
have been prevalent until quite recently in the 
country districts. 

The industry and frugality of the Bulgarian 
peasant are proverbial. His wants are modest, 
and he generally contrives to supply most of 
his needs from the produce of his farmstead. 
About 80 per cent, of the total population are 
peasants, of whom some 933,000 are landed 
proprietors.^ The peasants being more or less 

^ According to a statistical table published in igii the 
land was parcelled out as follows : 

Properties of an area up to J hectare . 
of i to I hectare 
of I to 2 hectares 
of 2 to 3 
of 3 to 4 
of 4 to 5 ,, 
of 5 to 10 
of over 10 ,, 



180,000 

113,000 

131,000 

87,000 

68,000 

58,000 

175,000 

121,000 



Total 



95 



933.000 



196 BULGARIA 

self-supporting, hardly experienced any of the 
sufferings to which the urban population was 
subjected. Their chief requirements, such as 
salt, petroleum, soap, sugar, and hides — their 
clothes are usually homespun and home-made of 
the wool of their own sheep — ^were, it is true, 
scarce, but the capitulation of Rumania had 
solved the problem of supply of the first two of 
these commodities, and what does a shortage or 
even an absence of the others mean to the 
avaricious peasant, when he is offered the oppor- 
tunity of disposing of his produce at rates which 
may be estimated at three to ten times those of 
pre-war days. 

According to the Bulgarian Statistical Bureau, 
the price of wheat in 1917 was 207.1 per cent, 
dearer than in 1905,^ maize 267.6 per cent., 
beans 450 per cent., potatoes 558.3 per cent., 
cabbages 682.9 P^^ cent., onions 417.2 per cent. 
Other vegetables 981.8 per cent. Rice 377.3 per 
cent. Meat 389.6 per cent. Fruits 465.2 per 
cent. Butter 554 per cent. It is the peasantry 
who have profited by this rise in the prices of 
agricultural produce. 

" The peasants have reaped enormous profits, 

each family having realized from 15,000 to 

30,000 fr. from the cultivation of tobacco alone," 

^ In 1918 the price of wheat was fixed at i fr. per kg., 
which represents an increase of 500 per cent, on the prices 
ruhng in 1905. All other food-stuffs likewise increased in 
proportion. 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 197 

said the Minister of Agriculture in an interview 
with the representative of a Sofia daily in June 

1917. It may be interesting to note the enor- 
mous strides made in the cultivation of this 
profitable crop. In 191 5 the tobacco acreage 
amounted to 18,000 hectares, while in 1917 it 
had extended to 30,000 hectares. It was expected 
to reach 50,000 hectares this year, with a yield 
of 40,000,000 kg. The home consumption 
amounted roughly to 3,000,000 kg., but owing 
to the doubling of Bulgaria's population and the 
needs of the army, some 8,000,000 kg. should be 
set apart for local requirements, releasing 
32,000,000 kg. for the export trade. Tobacco 
used to fetch i to 2.50 fr. per kg. in pre-war 
times, while now it has risen to the fantastic 
figure of 36 fr. per kg. Thus the Bulgarian 
peasantry will reaHze from the sale of its tobacco 
crop alone over one miUiard of francs. A true ap- 
preciation of this figure will be formed if it be re- 
membered that before the war the total value of 
Bulgarian exports seldom reached 200,000,000 fr. 
a year. 

In an interview published at the end of April 

1 91 8, the Prefect of the Adrianople Department, 
speaking on the situation in his district, the 
greater part of the population of which is com- 
posed of Bulgarian refugees from Turkey and 
Macedonia, stated that the inhabitants were 
much pleased with the economic conditions and 



198 BULGARIA 

their work, as their produce fetched very remu- 
nerative prices, and that they had become 
economically independent. " Even sorghum 
grain," he added, " which a few years ago was 
worthless, to-day brings in thousands of francs 
to those who cultivate it." 

A good criterion of the consequent prosperity 
is furnished by the returns of the savings banks : 



Deposits. 


1916. 


1917. 


1918. 




Fr. 


Fr. 


Fr. 


January 


4,140,000 


7,790,000 




February . 


5,700,000 


10,370,000 




March 


6,280,000 


11,380,000 


17.879.736 


April 


3,190,000 


10,870,000 


16,953.078 


May 


3,720,000 


12,720,000 





The total deposits during 191 7 amounted to 
127,891,064 fr. as against 55,108,211 fr. in 1916. 
The receipts of 1917 almost equalled the total of 
the preceding twenty-one years that the savings 
banks had been in operation. 

The State Agricultural Bank announced in its 
half-yearly report, published in September 1917, 
that most of its farmer-debtors had paid off their 
debts, and that it had received deposits of 
upwards of 168,000,000 fr. 

Tontchev, the late Finance Minister, in intro- 
ducing the Budget for 191 8, stated that deposits 
in the three State banks (the National Bank of 
Bulgaria, the Agricultural Bank, and the Co- 
operative Bank) had increased at the following 
rate : 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 199 

Fr. 

1914 .... 327,000,000 

1915 .... 354,000,000 

1916 .... 458,000,000 

1917 .... 665,640,000 

While loans made by these banks to private 
debtors had been refunded to the amount of : 

Fr. 

1914 .... 382,254,000 

1915 .... 365,559,000 

1916 .... 327,800,000 

1917 .... 255,152,000 

A further indication of the apparent economic 
prosperity is furnished by the balance-sheet of 
the National Bank of Bulgaria during 191 7. Its 
net profits for the year amounted to 40,000,000 fr. 

This Government institution has a share 
capital of 20,000,000 fr. and a reserve fund of 
10,000,000 fr., and has the exclusive privilege 
of issuing notes. The law required that a third 
of their value should be covered by gold. The 
bank collects and manages all necessary pay- 
ments to the Government account, and places at 
its disposal in case of need all its circulation 
media. It is intended to increase the capital of 
the bank to 100,000,000 fr. 

Every effort was made by the Government to 
remove any cause of dissatisfaction among the 
peasants and the poorer classes. Remembering 
the bitter experience of the Balkan War when, 
owing to the penury of resources, no assistance 
was granted to the dependents of soldiers, a 



200 BULGARIA 

neglect resulting in widespread suffering among 
the pool and discontent among their mobilized 
relatives, the Government proceeded to grant 
allowances on an adequate scale to the families 
of mobilized soldiers. 

The amount of pecuniary assistance distri- 
buted to the families of indigent soldiers from 
the beginning of the war and up to the end of 
April 1918 had reached the sum of 160,872,156 fr., 
the number of families in receipt of assistance 
being 180,580, with a total of 550,000 members. 
A vote was passed by the Sobranje in May 191 8 
doubling the amount of these allowances, so 
that the monthly outlay was estimated to attain 
9,611,784 fr. 

In order to placate the peasantry further, and 
to ensure, as far as possible, the regular cultiva- 
tion of the fields, the Government, in co-operation 
with the German authorities, imported a number 
of motor-ploughs, and arranged to till the farms 
of those peasant families whose men were at the 
front. In order to facilitate communications 
and for strategic purposes, roads and railways 
were constructed. This was also to the advan- 
tage of the peasants, who were thus enabled to 
market their produce more easily. The amount 
of railway construction undertaken and com- 
pleted is truly amazing if we take the existing 
diiHculties into consideration. The following 
lines have been opened for traffic : 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 201 

Silistra-Kaspitsan. 

Tserven Bregh-Orechovo (only the section 
Tserven Bregh-Kneja had been completed by 
February 191 8). 

Zimnitsa-Bukovnik. 

Radomir-Dupnitsa-Levunovo. This line was 
being extended to Demir Hissar. 

Prilep-Gradsko. 

Uskub-Tetovo-Gostivar. The construction of 
a further section to Ochrida had been voted by 
the Sobranje on November 191 7. 

The construction of the following lines has 
also been sanctioned and probably begun : 

Kustendil-Kadin Most-Tsarevo Selo-Kotsani- 
Ishtip-Gradsko. 

Ghiushevo-Kumanovo. 

Shumen-Karnobat. 

The Government did not forget either the civil 
fimctionaries or the State pensioners, and war 
bonuses were duly awarded to them. The condi- 
tion of the labouring classes was also improved. 
Commissions were appointed in all towns to fix 
new and higher rates of pay, while at the same 
time bread and meat were provided for the 
indigent at half the statutory prices fixed for the 
well-to-do. All these measures testify to the 
anxiety of the Bulgarian Government to satisfy 
the poorer classes in order to avoid discontent 
among the masses. 



202 BULGARIA 

The enforcement of these measures entailed a 
large expenditure by the State, but was rendered 
feasible by German assistance. German financial 
help to Bulgaria was in fact nominal, and the 
munificence she displayed' did not cost her much. 
Credits, estimated at 50,000,000 fr. per month, 
were opened at Berlin, and on this guarantee the 
National Bank of Bulgaria issued corresponding 
amounts of bank-notes. According to its balance- 
sheet published on April 22, 191 8, the gold 
reserves totalled 62,986,000 fr. Funds abroad 
(German paper credits), 1,227,928,000 fr., and 
the fiduciary circulation 1,607,296,000 fr. The 
State indebtedness to the Bank was estimated at 
611,442,406.30 fr.i This great increase of paper 
money has caused depreciation, and the Govern- 
ment hit upon a plan for stopping its in- 
creased circulation by supplying a competing 
medium in the form of treasury bonds, and by 
instructing the National Bank to accept deposits 
with 4 per cent, interest. These measures were 
resorted to in November 1917, and by June 15, 
191 8, the amount of treasury bonds sold was 
reported to be 347,688,000 fr., and the deposits 
in the National Bank (at 4 per cent.), 87,688,000 fr. 

It may be interesting to note that several 

^ A comparison with a balance issued on July 7, 1918, 
is not without interest as it shows to what an extent 
the State indebtedness to the State Bank is increasing. 
The sums were respectively 63,757,000 fr., 975,203,000 fr., 
1,877,341,000 fr., and 1,102,546,576 fr. 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 203 

other provisions of a financial character were 
sanctioned by the Sobranje early this year for 
the purpose of placating the army. Thus all 
soldiers are to be exempted from the obligation 
of paying interest on existing loans for the 
duration of the war and for six months after the 
demobilization. For the first three years after 
the conclusion of peace no creditor will be 
entitled to take legal proceedings for recovery of 
his debts from any person who has served as a 
soldier. These measures were to apply to all 
soldiers whose families had not realized a profit 
exceeding 7000 fr. during the war. Yet another 
law was voted, by which mobilized workmen and 
employees were entitled to receive 50 per cent, 
of their salaries from their late employers during 
the duration of war. 

The prosperity of the country districts goes a 
long way to explain the comparative absence of 
dissatisfaction in Bulgaria. The bulk of the 
population was more or less contented, and the 
soldiers, receiving such encouraging news from 
their homes, had not much cause to grumble at 
the undue prolongation of the war. 

The unsatisfactory harvest of 191 7 not only 
proved insufficient to cover the requirements of 
the country in cereals, but even left a deficiency 
of over 100,000 tons, and this led the Radoslavov 
administration to adopt last spring some very 
rigorous measures in order to make good the short- 



204 BULGARIA 

age. Requisitioning commandoes were formed 
of Albanian brigands, and these were employed 
to search for and seize any concealed stocks of 
bread-stuffs over and above the requirements of 
each farmstead. These peculiar Government 
agents seem to have distinguished themselves by 
their violent methods, and although they appa- 
rently succeeded in their mission, and have 
unearthed considerable quantities of grain, they 
have excited much indignation among the country 
folk. 

This will explain the sudden recrudescence 
of discontent which proved too much for the 
already overstrained administration of Rado- 
slavov. The conditions prevailing in towns were 
the reverse of those in the country. Everything 
to which a Bulgarian town-dweller had become 
accustomed was unobtainable except at a price 
he could not possibly afford. A suit of clothes 
cost 500 fr., a shirt 50 fr., and a pair of boots 
200 to 250 fr., and these were only obtainable 
after the applicant had satisfied a committee 
appointed specially for the purpose that he had 
no other clothes, and that those which he was 
actually wearing were in rags. The following 
humorous anecdote of two friends bent upon 
obtaining new clothing was published by a Sofia 
paper during the summer of 1917 : 

The two friends presented themselves at the office of the 
Provident Committee to seek a written authorization for 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 205 

renewing their wardrobe. They found in the anteroom a 
crowd of ragged people, wearing old overcoats without 
sleeves, trousers in shreds, boots without soles or with their 
feet bandaged in dirty linen. Their surprise was great 
when they recognized among the ill-clad crowd some of 
their own acquaintances. 

In answer to their question as to the purpose of masquerad- 
ing in such attire, the two friends were told that if they 
did not furnish the Provident Committee with cogent proofs 
of their need no permits would be given them. They there- 
fore returned home, and managed to borrow from some 
beggars a few ragged clothes. After making themselves 
unrecognizable, they went again the following day to the 
Provident Conmiittee, hoping to obtain tickets for clothes 
and shoes. But to their dismay they learnt that the 
Provident Committee was now engaged in more important 
business, and were obliged to return home once more 
empty-handed. 

The cost of living had increased to such an 
extent that functionaries, even with the bonuses 
voted by the Government, were unable to live on 
their salaries. The Mir (July 15, 1918), for 
instance, referring to the prevailing dearness 
said : " In the most modest of restaurants 900 fr. 
at least are required per month for food only. 
How then are officials to meet their expenses ? " 
while the Dnevnik (August 6, 191 8) affirmed : 
" Many families in Sofia eat only once in twenty- 
four hours, for the price of food-stuffs does not 
permit them to make more than one meal." The 
price of meat and bread had increased fourfold, 
that of eggs fivefold, of fat and butter tenfold, of 
vegetable and fruit three to fifteen-fold, of fuel 
sixfold, of soap twenty-fold, of boots eightfold. 
Textiles were unobtainable, a metre of common 



2o6 BULGARIA 

cotton calico fetched 28 to 30 fr., while a bobbin 
of cotton thread of 1000 yards was sold at 
80 fr. Farmers no longer brought their produce 
to the town markets owing to the shortage of 
labour, and because they could dispose of it to 
local collecting committees, so that the towns- 
folk had to content themselves with the meagre 
rations fixed by the Government. A Sofia daily 
gave a narrative of some of the tricks that were 
resorted to by the Sofians to supplement their 
rations : 

It has scarcely dawned, and I am hurrying towards the 
end of the town in the hope of meeting some villagers, 
because experience has taught me that it is difficult to 
find anything in the market. There are many other house- 
holders on the same quest. I catch one up and ask him : 
" WTiither bound, friend ? " " On a walk," is the reply. 
Yes, indeed, a walk ! and we endeavour to outstrip one 
another, until at last we simply race. The races are most 
interesting on Fridays. It you go in the direction of the 
cemetery you will see a rare sight — perfect races, not 
between horses, but between men. 

The supply of fuel had been so curtailed that 
many towns had not received anything like an 
adequate provision for their requirements. For 
the winter of 191 6 it had been arranged to supply 
each family in Sofia with at least three-quarters of 
a ton of coal, but the amount actually delivered 
did not amount to more than 400 kg., and one 
may imagine what sufferings must have resulted 
for the civil population in a rigorous climate like 
that of Bulgaria. Discontent could not but 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 207 

grow when it was found that the Radoslavov 
Government showed itself too benevolently dis- 
posed towards the Germans, and allowed them 
to export commodities which were badly needed 
at home. Several deputies belonging to the 
Radoslavov party were permitted to smuggle 
large quantities of flour and sugar abroad. 
Manufacturers of woollen cloths who were sup- 
plied with certain quantities of wool for the 
requirements of their mills bribed Government 
partisans and exported the wool given to them 
to Germany, finding this more lucrative than 
weaving woollen stuffs for the needs of the 
country. It was found that a prominent Govern- 
ment deputy, Dr. Chr. Gheorghiev, had sold a 
large quantity of quinine to the Turkish Govern- 
ment from the already inadequate supplies 
possessed by Bulgaria. The brother of the late 
Minister Dintchev, was permitted to smuggle 
into Turkey 50,000 lambs from the Burgas 
district, by means of which transaction he is said 
to have realized a profit of over 1,000,000 fr.^ 

1 A very amusing anecdote is related in connexion with 
this transaction. It had been arranged to transport a large 
number of these lambs by steamers from Burgas to Con- 
stantinople. In order that the inhabitants of the former 
town might not witness the wholesale smuggling, the autho- 
rities at the time prearranged for the shipment announced 
through the town-criers that hostile aircraft were about to 
bombard the town, and that every one ought to seek shelter 
within doors for a few hours. Naturally the population 
obeyed the order, and during those hours the lading of the 
cargo was effected without attracting undue attention. 



2o8 BULGARIA 

Yet another deputy (Altimirski) was found to 
have offered large quantities of grain to the 
Germans, and when in the spring of this year the 
Government demanded a loan of grain from the 
German authorities in Rumania, the latter 
pointedly retorted that since grain had been 
offered to them by Bulgarians, the Bulgarian 
authorities would do better to requisition local 
stocks, and not seek allied help when it was not 
indispensable. 

The unexampled corruption which was ram- 
pant in the public offices and the illicit methods 
resorted to by prominent adherents of Radoslavov 
in accumulating huge fortunes proved too much 
even for German equanimity. We see a member 
of the German military mission in Sofia publishing 
a pamphlet in which the prevalent abuses are 
exposed, and some of the leading partisans of 
Radoslavov violently taken to task. Von den 
Steinen, its author, was naturally removed ; but 
the similarity of his name with that of the 
German War Minister led the Bulgarian public to 
believe that the exposures were made by the 
latter. These revelations, coming at a time 
when the Dobrudja negotiations had reached a 
deadlock, provoked such a wave of indignation 
throughout the country that it was no longer 
possible for the Radoslavov Cabinet to continue 
in office. " Out with them " was the universal 
cry, and it became so threatening that Tsa,r 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 209 

Ferdinand had to comply with the nation's 
desrre and part company, much to his regret, 
v\dth his subservient Ministers. 

Von den Stcinen's criticism will perhaps repay 
quotation, and the following excerpt from his 
pamphlet' on the characteristics of Radoslavov's 
followers is not devoid of piquancy if it be 
remembered that it is mainly owing to the efforts 
of the men he so scathingly condemns that 
Bulgaria's adherence to the Central AlHance was 
rendered feasible. Describing the various types 
of people met in Bulgaria, Von den Steinen says ; 

There is also the person thoroughly versed in graft, 
who in Bulgaria is particularly unscrupulous and disloyal. 
This person foists himself on the foreigner and perverts 
relations between peoples. For this reason it is a mis- 
fortune with regard to the cultural relations between Ger- 
many and Bulgaria that at this very moment those parties 
which have practised the most repulsive form of graft 
should be in office. It is for this reason, and not on account 
of their foreign policy, that Radoslavov and his party are 
unanimously execrated by the Bulgarian people. It is 
most deplorable and very important with regard to our 
cultural influence that these parties have no connexion 
whatever with the Bulgarian intelligentsia. The intel- 
lectuals look down with scorn on the followers of Rado- 
slavov and abstain from all intercourse with them, lest their 
honour should be tarnished. As Radoslavov's partisans have 
everywhere foisted themselves on us [Germans], as they 
have consciously and systematically isolated the Germans 
from everything not pertaining to their band, a .situation 
most detrimental to our prestige has resulted. Firstly, owing 
to a great number of capable and active Bulgarians remain- 
ing out of touch with us [Germans], and secondly, because 
our cultural activity has come to naught and has been 
compromised by the incapacity and disloyalty of the persons 
belonging to the governing parties. At the next elections, 



210 BULGARIA 

the parties who pretend to monopolize German friendship, 
and who aim by their cultural relations with the Germans 
at obtaining bribes and decorations, will simply be uprooted. 
Then we shall be placed in a very unfortunate situation 
if we have not formed any other ties with the Bulgarian 
people. 

The systematic spoliation in which the parti- 
sans of the former Government coaHtion indulged 
was phenomenal. Prefects and high officials 
would commit such gross abuses that in many 
cases the military authorities had to intervene, 
and Radoslavov, in order to extricate these pillars 
of his party from the heavy hand of the law, was 
obliged in many instances to pretend that he 
needed their presence in Sofia, or to send them 
on missions abroad. To what extent corruption 
was rife may be gauged from the fact that Takev, 
the new Minister of the Interior, not only relieved 
all these gentry of their functions, but ordered 
that most of them should be impeached for the 
illegalities they had committed. As an example 
it may be stated that the late mayor of Sofia is 
shortly to answer a charge of appropriating 
120,000 kg. of sugar.^ 

The organ of the Agrarians, the Zemledelsko 
Zname (July 3, 191 8), published the following 
appreciation of the Radoslavov regime : 

It will remain for ever memorable for its robberies, 
peculations, embezzlements, and corruption. The new 

^ He has since been condemned to two years' imprison- 
ment and the loss of his civil rights for a period of five 
years. 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 211 

Government would indeed compromise itself if it did not 
take measures to satisfy the revolted national conscience. 
Impeach them at once ! — the entire Radoslavov gang of 
marauders and plunderers, who at the expense of the whole 
nation and while it was rotting in the trenches, has been 
accumulating inestimable riches by the most dishonourable 
means. All their fortunes must be confiscated by the 
State. 

The Radoslavov administration has proved 
destructive in every branch of the administration. 
From the financial point of view it has com- 
pletely wrecked the country, and it may be 
stated without exaggeration that the situation is 
desperate. The total indebtedness of the country 
is rapidly reaching the total of the estimated 
national wealth. Bulgaria entered the war with 
a debt estimated at from 1,000,000,000 to 
I, t; 00,000,000 fr., of which 610,000,000 fr. were 
consolidated. Up to the end of April 191 8 the 
total war expenditure which had been incurred 
amounted to nearly 7,000,000,000 fr. in round 
numbers, and the total national debt must 
have attained, therefore, 8,000,000,000 fr. The 
national wealth was reckoned at 10,000,000,000 fr. 
before the war, and it may be added that this 
was a generous estimate, seeing that the main 
purpose of the computation was to give confidence 
to Bulgaria's foreign creditors. The sole aim 
of the late Finance Minister and his partisans 
was to line their pockets before their race was 
run. Taxation on anything like an adequate 
scale was carefully avoided so as not to cause 



212 BULGARIA 

restlessness ; it would, moreover, have opened 
the people's eyes to the ultimate consequences of 
the policy followed. The Bulgarian's pocket is 
his most sensitive point, and if the average 
Bulgarian had had any inkling of being called 
upon to pay in the future eight to nine times as 
many taxes as before the war (which, by the 
way, is altogether beyond his power), we should 
have long since been gratified with comforting 
news from Bulgaria. Tontchev, the late Finance 
Minister, conducted his Department in an alto- 
gether haphazard manner. This cannot possibly 
be termed a system or a policy, and his attitude 
on the introduction of a Bill for the taxation of 
war profits may be cited as typical of his methods. 
This measure was strongly advocated by all the 
Opposition, but as the persons the Bill aimed at 
were mostly partisans of the coalition at the time 
in office, to whom all war and Government 
contracts had been given, Tontchev did his 
utmost to prevent the passing of this measure. 
As the Opposition, however, returned repeatedly 
to the charge, and as, moreover, the Finance 
Minister could not pretend to make his budget 
estimate for 191 8 balance without some drastic 
increase in taxation, he let the tax on war profits 
figure in his estimate for revenue to the amount 
of 120,000,000 fr. But though the Budget was 
voted, nothing has been decided yet as to this 
new tax, and it consequently remains inopera- 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 213 

tive. As some critic justly remarked, by the 
time the tax becomes law, those aimed at will 
have spent their profits. 

The Budget for 191 8 estimated the revenue at 
some 478,400,000 fr. and the expenditure at the 
same. But Tontchev's estimates have never 
come up to expectation. Every Budget he 
framed has closed with a deficit amounting to a 
total of over 110,000,000 fr. for the quinquennial 
period of his stewardship. In the present Budget 
no provision is made for war expenditure, while 
interest on the public debt and a sinking fund are 
only partially provided for. These last items alone 
involved an expenditure of some 40,000,000 fr. 
in pre-war times, when Bulgaria's consolidated 
debt figured at 600,000,000 fr. in round numbers. 
If we take the national debt at 8,000,000,000 fr., 
Bulgaria on this basis would have to provide 
530,000,000 fr. for her pubHc debt service. In 
reahty, however, a much higher figure will be 
required owing to the great depreciation of 
Bulgarian currency and to the fact that interest 
will necessarily have to be remitted abroad, 
whence the money was borrowed, so that for a 
correct computation at least 30 per cent, more 
should be added. Even this figure may be 
regarded as too low, for the present rate of 
exchange is much higher, 100 Swiss being equi- 
valent to 210 Bulgarian francs. 



214 



BULGARIA 



Budget for 1918 



Expenditure 



1. Civil List (expenses of the 

Court, etc.) . 

2. Audit Office 

3. National Debts 

4. Ministry for Foreign Affairs 

5. Ministry for the Interior 

6. Ministry of Education 

7. Ministry of Finance . 

8. Ministry of Justice 

9. Ministry of War 

10. Ministry of Commerce 

11. Agriculture 

12. Ministry of Buildings 

13. Ministry of Railways : 

ia) Railway Administration 
[b) Post and Telegraph ,, 



old Bulgaria, 
fr. 

6,441,500 

6ig,ooo 

128,178,173 

7,320,176 

17,818,000 

37,102,002 

13,840,990 

9,477,070 

104,600,050 

23,235,280 

9,172,000 

10,210,320 

41,177,529 
12,780,220 

421,972,310 
Total 



Revenue 

Direct taxes 

Indirect taxes 

Government monopolies 

Taxes and dues 

Fines and confiscations 

Revenue from railways, ports. Post Office, 

telegraphs, and telephones 
Revenue from Government land, capital, 

etc. ....... 

Revenue from municipahties and district 

administrative bodies for teachers' salaries 
Sundry revenues ..... 



New Bulgaria, 
fr. 



2,065,060 
12,025,480 

3,615,480 
10,497,000 

5,289,750 

402,480 
2,289,750 
3,463,400 

9,911,940 
6,479.909 

56.040,249 
478,012,559 

fr. 

228,000,000 

116,000,000 

12,000,000 

13,400,000 

300,000 

57,000,000 

26,900,000 

10,500,000 
14,300,000 



478,400,000 

Another item which also must be provided for 
is that of pensions to disabled soldiers, which will 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 215 

entail an annual outlay of 66,000,000 fr. accord- 
ing to the ex-Minister Todorov, although others 
contend that 90,000,000 fr. will not be too much. 
The present expenditure, as provided for in the 
new budget, is by no means on an adequate scale 
for peace conditions, when a tremendous outlay- 
will be necessary for the development of Bul- 
garia's new provinces and for the work of 
reconstruction. Tontchev estimated that the 
first Bulgarian peace Budget would amount to 
1,000,000,000 fr., while the ex-Minister Todorov 
calculated that expenditure would come to 
1,300,000,000 fr. How will such a stupendous 
sum be raised from an impoverished and 
exhausted country, when from 150,000,000 to 
200,000,000 fr. were the utmost that could be 
annually squeezed out of the tax-payer ? The 
problem was undoubtedly occupying the minds of 
all Bulgarian politicians who had their country's 
interests at heart, and who dreaded to see Bulgaria 
falling into the economic bondage of Germany. 
The economic question was Bulgaria's nightmare, 
and provided us with a fulcrum which we could 
have set ourselves to use to great advantage, for 
nothing is more distasteful to the Bulgarian mind 
than the idea of his country being farmed by the 
foreigner, and he himself turned into a helot. A 
close economic alliance with the Central Empires, 
such as was contemplated in the Central Europe 
scheme, was bound to prove most detrimental to 



2i6 BULGARIA 

Bulgarian interests. If import duties on German 
and Austro-Hungarian wares were to be reduced, 
Bulgaria's budding industry, some 75 per cent, 
of which is founded with native capital, would 
be jeopardized. On the other hand, Bulgaria's 
exports are mostly agricultural, and, as both 
Germany and Austria-Hungary would have 
continued of necessity to protect their own agri- 
culture, Bulgaria could hope to get little in re- 
turn, and the bulk of Bulgarian produce would 
have continued to find its way to the Entente 
States, to Turkey, Greece, and Egypt, as was the 
case before the war. 

The Bulgarians have fully realized what such 
a commercial dependence on the Central Powers 
would imply, and the lesson they have had 
recently is not likely to be forgotten. Of late 
there had been much talk in Germany of the bad 
quality of the tobacco supplied to the German 
troops. The cause was not due to any shortage 
of tobacco in the countries of the Central Alliance, 
but to the measures adopted by the Central 
German Buying Department. Wishing to force 
down the prices of Bulgarian tobacco, it pro- 
hibited all imports into Germany of tobacco 
costing more than a statutory price. The Bul- 
garian producers, unable to export anywhere 
except to the Central Powers, or through them 
to the few neutral countries in Europe, were 
laced by the dilemma of either accepting the 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 217 

price offered by the Germans or keeping their 
tobacco. The Bulgars, who are exceedingly 
tenacious in money matters, decided for the 
latter alternative, stored their tobacco and spite- 
fully allowed their beloved allies to smoke the 
poisonous' substitute mixture so violently decried 
in the Reichstag. If the Germans had been 
content with this self-denying measure, the 
Bulgars would have had no cause of complaint, 
for their alHes were entitled to protect their 
economic interests as they thought best. The 
Germans, however, who aimed at bringing the 
Bulgarian exporters to their knees, were not 
content with fixing a maximum price for tobacco 
imported into Germany, but took the extreme 
step of prohibiting the transit of Bulgarian 
tobacco through the Central Empires to Switzer- 
land and Scandinavia, where it would have found 
an easy market. This step served as an eye- 
opener to the Bulgar, and he is too cute a person 
to be taken in twice. In fact, he was never 
deceived by German promises, and if it were not 
for the abject venality displayed by the corrupt 
members of the Radoslavov Cabinet, who were 
openly bribed by Germany, even the last Bul- 
garian loan, by which Bulgaria became econo- 
mically dependent on Germany, would never have 
been concluded. The scant regard thus shown 
by Germany for Bulgarian interests caused 
tremendous excitement in Bulgaria, and the 



21 8 BULGARIA 

virulent attacks upon the Radoslavov administra- 
tion which appeared in the Mir and the Narod 
were largely prompted by the embargo which 
Germany placed on Bulgarian tobacco exports. 
In fact, such was the anger aroused that the 
Teutons themselves became alarmed, and after 
Radoslavov's fall allowed the transit of a limited 
quantity of tobacco through their territories to 
Switzerland, a concession they had already made, 
though they had hitherto withheld it under 
various pretexts. 

The above case was not the only one in which 
the Germans had made themselves obnoxious. 
The Bulgarians complained that their aUies 
would not send them certain items of machinery 
for their textile mills which they had ordered in 
Germany. And they accused the Germans of 
holding these back with the deliberate intention 
of compelHng the Bulgarians to close their mills 
and export their wool to Germany instead of 
working it in Bulgaria. 

Such friction, it must be admitted, was 
scarcely conducive to a lasting understanding, 
and if the Bulgarians put up with it, it was 
simply because they had to make a virtue of 
necessity. They must have surely been mentally 
repeating one of the verses of their popular song, 
" Brigands, AUies," which runs as follows : 

We keep a good account of everything 
And shall fiercely retaliate, 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 219 

Bulgaria aims not only at her national unifica- 
tion, but at remaining politically and economi- 
cally independent, and this has been more than 
once emphasized by Malinov in his speeches in 
the Sobranje. He even pointedly remarked 
on the occasion of a speech by the German 
Ambassador in Sofia, in which the latter expressed 
his wish for a " united Bulgaria," that this ought 
to have been supplemented by a wish for a 
politically and economically independent Bul- 
garia. The Social Democrats also have lately 
formulated a demand for complete freedom from 
foreign interference in the administration, and 
have asked that the exploitation of railways and 
mines in Bulgaria should be carried out by 
Bulgarians. 

The German object was to farm Bulgaria, and 
this was utterly incompatible with the Bulgarian 
point of view. Ilia Yanoulov, a leading Socialist, 
stated in the Sobranje in December 191 7, that 
land and all natural resources must be in the 
hands of the Bulgarians, and that high taxes must 
be imposed to support the native industry, which 
must not be allowed to perish as it constitutes 
the main guarantee of the nation's economic and 
poHtical independence. I. E. Gueshov affirms 
that a nation is politically independent only as 
long as it is economically so, and strenuously 
advocates the idea of making Bulgaria as self- 
supporting as possible. A noted economist, 



220 BULGARIA 

Professor B. Boev, declares : " In order to be 
economically independent, Bulgaria must not 
hand over her natural wealth to foreigners," 
while yet another distinguished writer. Professor 
D. Mishaikov, opines : "An economic alliance 
between ourselves and other States involving the 
removal or reduction of import duties on indus- 
trial articles imported into Bulgaria would con- 
siderably prejudice home industry, and would 
impede the establishment of new industries. In 
short, every tariff agreement between two or 
more States is unprofitable to the State which is 
industrially the weaker." It is true that some 
adherents of Radoslavov, like the deputy Keort- 
chev, Chr. Gheorgiev, etc., are advocates of the 
Central Europe scheme, but we know whence 
they derive their inspiration. It had the same 
source as the Kamhana ^ shout : " If Germany 
should perish, Bulgaria does not deserve to 
live." 

The prolongation of the war constituted a 
great peril to Bulgaria. Not only were her finan- 
cial resources in danger of exhaustion, but her 
material reserves were being drained to a dan- 
gerous extent. This year she experienced an 
acute shortage of food-stuffs, and had it not been 
for the stocks she obtained from the Ukraine by 

* The Kambana, according to the Zemledelsko Zname 
(July lo and 17, 1918), is " the organ of pohtical marauders 
and agents-provocateurs," 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 221 

way of the Black Sea, from Bessarabia, and even 
from Germany, Bulgaria would have been forced 
to capitulate. The present harvest is a failure, 
and it is doubtful, in spite of official assurances 
to the contrary, whether it will prove sufficient 
for local . requirements. But even if it should, 
this will not bring much consolation to Bulgaria, 
who is dependent on foreign countries for a 
certain quantity of indispensable commodities, 
which she can only obtain by offering food-stuffs 
in exchange. These articles are of vital im- 
portance to the economic Hfe of the country, 
and their absence is bound to affect the national 
economy most adversely. 

In this respect the interview with the Bulgarian 
Food Controller which the Zaria pubHshed on 
August 13, 1 91 8, is extremely important, as it 
makes little attempt to conceal the anxiety with 
which the situation is viewed in responsible 
quarters. Among other things he said : 

For the moment the most important object is the supply 
of the army and the civihan population with articles of 
prime necessity. The country is practically left to herself, 
and for the present it is not possible to say what will be 
the mutual help given among the Allies, as the agreement 
with the Central Powers concerning compensations expires 
on November i . Negotiations for a new treaty have begun, 
but a final decision has not yet been reached. 

Amongst the most important articles are food products. 
This year's harvest has really been good in Macedonia 
and the Morava, but in Bulgaria it has not been particularly 
so. The harvest of the Morava and Macedonia will suffice 
to cover the requirements of the army, and with proper 



222 BULGARIA 

organization it should be possible to satisfy the civilian 
population also. We shall be unable to export. An in- 
crease in the bread ration has been decreed, but it is too 
early yet to say whether this ration will remain in force or 
will be altered. Last year we obtained not less than ii 
milUon kg. of milk products, such as butter, cheese, etc., 
but unfortunately the production has decreased, and I do 
not reckon that the output this year will surpass 6 million kg. 

The Food Controller's statement to the effect 
that Bulgaria would be unable to export was of 
the greatest significance, for if hitherto Bulgaria 
had been able to supply some of her requirements 
from amongst her allies by offering food-stuffs in 
exchange, though with great difficulty,^ what was 
she likely to do in the future ? 

The expected yield of cereals is estimated this 
year at 2,073,958,650 kg. Consumption calcu- 
lated at an average of 200 kg. per head (the rural 
population and the soldiers are allowed 230 kg. 
while others receive 1 70 kg. per head per annum) 
for a total population of some 9,000,000 ^ would 

1 Complaints against Bulgaria's allies for not keeping 
their pledges were occasionally met with in the Press. Thus 
the Radical (July 7, 1918) writes : " According to an agree- 
ment we concluded with them we ought to have received 
500,000 metres of cloth, but we have not yet obtained a 
single one ; they were to send us also 1000 truck loads of 
iron goods, of which, however, none have yet arrived." 

8 Surface. Population. 

Census of 1916, Bulgaria (frontiers of sq. km. 

1913) .... 116,177 5,095,700 

„ 1917, Bulgaria (plus Sou- 
thern Dobrudja) . . 123,702 5,517,700 

„ 1917, Macedonia, in Bul- 
garian occupation . . 30,000 1,269,400 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 223 

amount to 1,800,000,000 kg.^ There is also seed 
to be set aside for the next harvest, and if wc 
assume that the same area will be brought under 
cultivation as last season, namely, 3,175,322 
hectares, another 500,000,000 kg. at the very- 
least must be reserved for this purpose. The 
cattle still remain to be provided for, and 
owing to the extremely poor hay and straw 
yield, due to the prolonged drought of this 
summer, a more liberal allowance than formerly 
will have to be made. The Food Bureau has 
decreed that 50 kg. of cereals per head of cattle 
are to be allowed per annum for all cattle, 
including pigs more than two years old, and 
6 kg. per head for sheep and goats. These 
quantities are altogether inadequate for the 
upkeep of the cattle, but we shall base calculation 
on them. 

In 1917 it was reported that within the old 
frontiers of Bulgaria there were 1,485,354 horned 
cattle and horses. The number of sheep in 1918 



Census of 1917, Morava, in Bulgarian 
occupation . 
„ 1917, Dobrudja (Northern) 
19 1 7, Drama district (plus 
Cavalla and Seres) 


Surface, 
sq. km. 

24,238 

15.536 

7,500 


Population. 

1,229,100 
380,400 

325,000 



Total (Census of 1917) 200,996 8,721,600 

^ This is an under-valuation, for the Narodni Prava 

(June 15, 1918) affirmed that 2,600,000,000 kg. were the 

annual grain requirements of the army and of the civiUan 

population. 



224 BULGARIA 

was 10,650,562, so that computing at 50 and 
6 kg. we obtain a total of 138,171,072 kg. of 
grain. But besides the above there are the pigs 
and the goats as well as the cattle in the occupied 
territories, which have also to be fed. So that 
an estimate of 200,000,000 kg. of grain for fodder 
must be considered as the minimum even on the 
basis of the meagre rations decreed. It may be 
incidentally remarked that the Agrarians are 
demanding an increase of the rations, and are 
insisting upon a quantity of 200 kg. of grain per 
head of cattle. Adding up the various items we 
get a total of 2,500,000,000 kg.,^ representing the. 
minimum needs, as against 2,073,958,650 kg., the 
estimated yield of the total harvest. Can Bul- 
garia hope to supplement her scanty resources 
from any ofher equally hard-pressed neighbours ? 
This is very doubtful, and the uncertainty no 
doubt contributed to the inclination of the 
Bulgarians to consider peace terms. 

The clothing of the Bulgarian army also con- 
stituted another anxious problem. For months 
past this question had been engaging the atten- 
tion of the authorities. The Bulgarian soldiers 
were clothed in rags, affirmed the Greek papers. 
This was admitted months ago by the Bulgarian 
deputies who visited the Front. Evidently 

^ After Bulgaria's capitidation this computation no longer 
holds good, for a much smaller population will have to be 
provided for. 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 225 

Bulgaria could no longer provide adequate 
clothing for her army. The production of wool 
in Bulgaria amounts to some 12,000,000 kg., 
corresponding to ij kg. per head annually, ob- 
viously an amount entirely inadequate to satisfy 
the requirements of both the army and the civil 
population. 

A recent appeal by the War Ministry to the 
population asking it to surrender all its super- 
fluous clothing and underclothing enlarged on the 
hardships endured by the soldiers owing to the 
great scarcity of underwear. This should not 
be surprising if it be remembered that the 
import of textiles into Bulgaria had been greatly 
curtailed since 191 2 by the Balkan Wars and 
the subsequent closing of the Straits; whatever 
stocks there may have been, have long since been 
exhausted. The fact that a metre of common 
calico was fetching as much as 30 fr., is a sufficient 
testimony to the existing scarcity. 

Bulgaria, in proportion to her population, has 
sustained exceedingly heavy losses. The late 
Minister for War, General Naidenov, admitted 
last March that she had lost some 53,000 in killed 
alone. If to these be added the losses incurred 
during the Balkan Wars it will be seen that 
Bulgaria's man-power also must be very seriously 
depleted. In spite, however, of the excessive 
drain on her financial resources and the diminu- 
tion of her man-power, Bulgaria, being mainly 



226 BULGARIA 

an agricultural country, will soon recover some 
of her former prosperity, owing to the thriftiness 
and industry of her population, especially if 
there is a sequence of good harvests. Bulgaria's 
international trade was not large, and conse- 
quently little attention was paid to it by British 
business men. Thus we see that British exports 
into Bulgaria increased from 18,000,000 fr. in 
1886 to 31,000,000 fr. in 191 2, while German 
and Austro-Hungarian exports increased from 
2,000,000 and 17,000,000 fr. to 31,000,000 and 
51.4 million respectively for the same period. 

German and Austro-Hungarian exporters enjoy 
a great advantage over their British rivals in 
that they can make use of the Danube waterway 
and thereby forward their goods to Bulgaria 
more rapidly and at less cost. But this is far 
from being the chief cause of the trade supremacy 
the Central Powers have secured in Bulgaria. It 
is to be attributed to the careful study of the 
Bulgarian market by the Germans, and their 
endeavour to meet the wishes of Bulgarian 
customers. The local banks, also, being wholly 
or partly German or Austro-Hungarian establish- 
ments, greatly facilitate the trade of their com- 
patriots by granting various financial facilities to 
those of their customers who purchase their 
goods from the Central Empires. Up to the 
present the few British manufacturers who 
traded with Bulgaria entrusted the conduct of 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 227 

their business to Austro-German agents, who 
naturally endeavoured to divert British custom 
to Germany. In order to further trade with 
Bulgaria, the Germans have recently founded a 
company entitled the " Bulgarian Lloyd," which, 
inter alia, proposes to deal in manufactured 
articles and to open stores in all parts of Bulgaria, 
From this it is obvious that British trade, if it is 
to maintain even its modest pre-war position, 
will have to reform its methods. The first years 
after the war will provide a good opportunity to 
British manufacturers to secure a trade opening, 
for most of the German industries, owing to their 
lack of raw materials, will be unable to cater 
for the Bulgarian market. If this space of time 
be made use of to inaugurate a vigorous trade 
offensive, and methods be adopted to consolidate 
the position thus won, there is little doubt that 
British commerce will be able to capture a great 
share of Bulgarian import trade and successfully 
hold its own against the Central Powers. This is 
all the more desirable because the purchasing 
power of the rural population has greatly in- 
creased during the war, and the improvement of 
the means of communication will in the future 
very favourably affect agriculture, which consti- 
tutes the principal occupation in Bulgaria. The 
extensive subdivision of the land has hitherto 
proved a serious bar to improvement in agri- 
cultural methods and to the extensive use of 



228 BULGARIA 

agricultural machinery, but the activities of the 
co-operative peasant societies, of which there are 
over 1000, will do much to remedy this evil by 
familiarizing the peasantry with modern methods, 
and by supplying it with up-to-date implements 
for field work. 

In order to foster commercial relations with 
Bulgaria, British manufacturers and exporters 
ought to co-operate and establish in that country 
a permanent exhibition of British products. 
Such an establishment could be entrusted with 
the task of booking orders, effecting sales, and 
getting into touch with prospective customers. 

British manufacturers have been content up to 
the present to leave to the export merchants the 
care of finding a market for their goods, and the 
wholesale merchants in Bulgaria were quite 
satisfied with this arrangement until German 
commercial travellers appeared on the scene. 
German manufacturers desiring to increase their 
sales began transacting business with retailers 
also, with the result that the turnover of the 
wholesale merchant was greatly reduced. This 
had its repercussion on British trade, for British 
goods were mostly or solely imported by the 
wholesale firms. Many instances could be cited 
of British goods, both cheaper and superior in 
workmanship to corresponding German articles, 
having been excluded from the Bulgarian market 
because they could not be supplied direct to the 



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 229 

retailer at a competitive price, since by passing 
through different hands their selhng price had 
increased to more than the initial cost of similar 
German products. 

As is known, the Germans have established 
several organizations to further their export trade 
not only in the Near East but all over the 
world, and it will be essential, especially in 
Bulgaria, a country which was economically 
dominated by Germany, that some such rival 
scheme should be evolved to enable British trade 
to develop or even to maintain its old position. 
The creation of a sample depot in one of the 
chief commercial centres of the country would be 
of the utmost value. Such an enterprise is all 
the more to be recommended, since it can be 
made self-supporting ; for, by levying a very 
small commission on the sales — a fraction of what 
is usually charged by an agent — all expenses in- 
curred would be readily defrayed. It is obvious 
that the co-operation of British manufacturers is 
indispensable for the success of such an enter- 
prise, and the danger of one firm being favoured 
at the expense of another would be easily 
obviated if the organization were placed under 
the control of the Board of Trade. The adoption 
of such a measure would confer inestimable 
advantages on British industry, as the person or 
persons entrusted with this task would not only 
aim at obtaining orders, but would help to 



230 BULGARIA 

enlighten the manufacturers at home on the 
requirements of the clients, and supply every 
information as to the articles sold by their 
foreign trade rivals. 

The establishment of a British bank in Bulgaria 
would also confer many advantages on British 
exporters, and might conduce to the placing 
of many Government and municipal contracts 
with British manufacturers. Such an under- 
taking, however, is not likely to prove very 
remunerative to its initiators owing to the 
plethora of banks already existing in the 
country. 

In conclusion, reference may be made to the 
question of financing the Bulgarian customer. 
Credit is essential for the sale of goods in Bulgaria, 
as customers, though extremely honest, are very 
short of capital and cannot pay in cash. If the 
sale of goods were entrusted to an organization 
controlled by the Board of Trade, manufacturers 
could be confident that their interests would be 
properly attended to, and consequently would 
feel more inclined to comply with this indispen- 
sable condition. 



CHAPTER VII 

BULGARIAN CLAIMS TO THE MORAVA 
AND MACEDONIA 

Before the Balkan Wars, the chief claimants to 
Macedonia were Bulgaria and Greece. Serbian 
pretensions were not taken seriously, even in 
Serbia, for the Serbian Government readily 
waived its claims to this region as soon as the 
Bulgaro-Serbian Treaty afforded it the oppor- 
tunity of acquiring territory in another quarter. 
Greece was the only party which might have 
challenged Bulgarian predominance in Mace- 
donia with some apparent justification, if we 
are to judge from the arrangement concerning 
the election of deputies in the Ottoman Chamber 
which was arrived at between the Greek and 
Bulgarian communities a year before the out- 
break of the Balkan War. Thus in the vilayet 
of Uskub two seats were allotted to the Bul- 
garians, in the vilayet of Monastir two seats to 
the Bulgarians and five to the Greeks. 

In the elections for the first Ottoman Parlia- 
ment after the Young Turk revolution of 1908, 
the total number of electors in the vilayets of 

Salonica, Monastir, Uskub, and the sanjaks of 

231 



232 BULGARIA 

Seres and Drama was 197,530 Patriarchists (ad- 
herents of the Greek Patriarchate, among whom, 
however, figured some Bulgarians) as against 
290,348 Bulgarian Exarchists. These figures 
substantiate the Greek claim to a share of Mace- 
donia, which could not be disregarded, more 
especially in the case of the region of Monastir.^ 
But well-founded as these Greek pretensions 
may have been, Greece, by her alliance with 
Serbia, voluntarily waived her rights in Central 
Macedonia in favour of the latter. The Serbians, 
on the other hand, failed to elect a single deputy 
of their own nationality, and this to some extent 
lends support to the contention that the Serbian 
title to Central Macedonia is based purely upon 
the successful issue of the second Balkan War. 
Before 1878 the Serbians openly acknowledged 
in their writings that Macedonia was a Bulgarian 
country, and it was only when they lost hope of 
realizing their national aspirations in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina that they cast their eyes on Mace- 
donia. 

In corroboration of this statement we may 
quote the words of M. Milovanovitch, the late 
Serbian Premier, who, writing in the Serbian re- 
view, the Delo (No. xvii, p. 300, 1898), declared : 
" Serbia only began to think about Macedonia 
after 1885." If Macedonia were Serbian such 
a delay would have been incomprehensible, and 

* The Greeks of this region are mostly Hellenized Vlachs. 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 233 

the belated concern of the Serbians for Macedonia 
can only be explained by the fact that hitherto 
their aspirations were directed to another quarter, 
and that they only turned to Macedonia when con- 
vinced that it constituted the hne of least re- 
sistance to their territorial aggrandizement. Had 
the Bulgarians indeed proved less stubborn and 
tenacious, this new orientation of Serbia's poHcy 
might have brought all the advantages its 
initiators expected from it. 

That Serbian rights to Macedonia were not 
taken very seriously even in Serbia before 191 2 
may be seen from the Serbo-Bulgarian treaty 
concluded in February 1912, in anticipation of 
the war against Turkey, when the two contracting 
parties agreed that all territories east of the 
Struma should revert to Bulgaria, and those 
west of the Shar Mountains to Serbia, while the 
territory between these two limits, comprising 
the entire basin of the River Vardar and the 
greater part of Macedonia was to form a pro- 
vince with an autonomous Government. If this 
arrangement, however, proved impracticable, it 
was agreed to divide this territory into two 
zones by a line running generally north-east 
from Lake Ochrida to the point of intersection 
of the ancient Serbo-Bulgaro-Turkish frontiers. 
The zone south-east of this hne was to revert 
unconditionally to Bulgaria, while that comprised 
between this hne and the Shar Mountains, in 



234 BULGARIA 

which the important town of Uskub was situated, 
was to be divided. If no agreement could be 
arrived at as to this partition, the two contracting 
parties agreed to submit their difference to the 
arbitration of the Tsar of Russia. 

Thus it is evident that Serbia was quite 
content to leave the major part of Macedonia to 
Bulgaria, for she evidently did not feel entitled 
to press her ethnical claims further. If she 
subsequently altered her mind and demanded a 
revision of this treaty, thereby indirectly pro- 
voking the second Balkan War, her pretensions 
must be ascribed to the attitude of Austria, 
who prevented Serbia from obtaining an outlet 
on the Adriatic. Baffled in her aims, Serbia 
naturally turned once more to the ^gean, and, 
as was to be expected, came into conflict with 
the Bulgarians, who could hardly be expected to 
view these Serbian ambitions good-humouredly. 

It will be remarked that although in the treaty 
the greater part of Macedonia was recognized as 
incontestably Bulgarian, no mention was made 
of an incontestably Serbian zone. 

Historical claims concerning Macedonia are 
utterly worthless, for it will be found that every 
interested party can advance some thesis to 
validate its contention. The testimony of un- 
biased explorers who visited the country while 
it was still under Turkish rule is of much greater 
value. The evidence found in Serbian news- 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 235 

papers and books of that period is likewise of 
paramount importance, and fully corroborates 
the Bulgarian argument that Macedonia was, 
and therefore still is, Bulgarian in population. 
Serbian writers even went so far as to admit that 
the district of the Morava, with the towns of 
Nish, Vranya, Pirot, and Lescovatch, was 
peopled by Bulgarians, so that we need not be 
at all surprised at the Bulgarian claim to the 
Morava district. Historically the claim is per- 
fectly sound. But forty years of Serbian rule 
have succeeded in thoroughly Serbizing the 
population, and a few years ago an inhabitant of 
this district would certainly have been annoyed 
if he had been told that he was a Bulgarian.^ 
The Serbians themselves often taunted the inhabi- 
tants of Nish with their Bulgarian origin. While 
traveUing through Serbia in 191 5, I remember 
overhearing some Serbian fellow-travellers who 
complained of the avarice and greed displayed by 
the inhabitants of Nish towards those of their 
countrymen who, fleeing before the Austrian 
invaders, had sought shelter in that town. The 
concluding comment of the Serbians was : " What 
else could be expected from the inhabitants of 
Nish ? Are they not Bulgarians ? " 

But, however convincing the arguments ad- 
vanced in support of the Bulgarian claim to the 

1 The Bulgarians themselves admit it. See Vazov's 
" Under Quarantine." 



236 BULGARIA 

Morava district, the fact remains that the local 
population considers itself Serbian. It is not so 
much race or language that distinguishes one 
nation from another as ideas, affections, interests 
and hopes held in common. It is mainly these 
last which constitute nationality. The Bulgarian 
jingoes being aware of the sentiments prevailing 
in the Morava district departed from their 
customary line of conduct, rather than compro- 
mise their claim to this region. Previously 
Bulgarians were at one in their readiness to hold 
a plebiscite in the territories they claimed. Not 
only did they advocate the consultation of the 
Macedonian population, but even that of the 
Dobrudja. Since the annexation of the Morava 
district was mooted, Bulgarian journalists have 
betrayed their repugnance to this measure. 
They declare that the inhabitants of the district 
claimed by Bulgaria expressed their views as to 
their nationality when they were consulted as to 
whether they desired to remain under the 
authority of the Greek Patriarchate or that of 
the Bulgarian Exarchate, and that since they 
expressed themselves in favour of the latter a 
fresh consultation would be superfluous. 

It is interesting to note that the most strenuous 
efforts were being made by the Bulgarians to 
awaken the slumbering national consciousness of 
their " brothers " on the Morava. At the instiga- 
tion of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior a 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 237 

National Educational Committee for the Morava 
had been formed. Its objects were : 

(i) To attach the inhabitants of the Morava to 
Bulgaria by kindness and acts of affection, and 
to take an active part in everything relating to 
their cultural needs ; 

(2) To influence them by word of mouth, by 
literature, by education, and by information, 
allowing them freedom of conscience. 

The headquarters of the Committee were at 
Sofia, and it was intended to open branches in 
the Morava district. (The president, Datsov, is 
a well-known citizen of Sofia, and a native of 
the Serbian territories claimed by Bulgaria.) 

Cultural societies were established, and reading- 
rooms, lecture-halls, and schools were opened with 
the object of winning over the local population to 
the Bulgarian cause. The Narodni Prava^ com- 
menting on a literary entertainment given at Nish 
on December 18, 1917, remarked: "The entire 
audience felt that it had emerged from the deep 
lethargy of the Serbian yoke, and that it had 
never lost its Bulgarian consciousness." 

One may well smile at this reassuring state- 
ment of the chronicler, for if it was found neces- 
sary to convince the population of its Bulgarian 
nationality, it may be inferred that it regarded 
itself as Serbian. This is all the more apparent 
when the Bulgarians proceed to claim even 
M. Passitch as a Bulgarian, owing to his having 



238 BULGARIA 

been born of Bulgarian parents at Zaitchar, one 
of the towns claimed by Bulgaria. However 
true this statement may be, no one can entertain 
any doubts as to the nationality of the venerable 
Serbian Prime Minister, and from this particular 
instance it is easy to see why the Bulgarians 
were so averse from the holding of a -plebiscite^ 
for there is little doubt that most of the inhabi- 
tants of the Serbian districts claimed by Bulgaria 
would object to passing under Bulgarian rule as 
strongly as would M. Passitch. 

That the Bulgarians themselves discriminate 
between the Macedonians and Dobrudjans on the 
one hand, and the inhabitants of the Morava 
district on the other, and treat the former as 
thorough Bulgarians while the latter are looked 
upon more as lost brethren, is evident from a 
recent speech by Radoslavov (April 191 8), in 
which he referred to the inhabitants of the 
Dobrudja as " the good, brave Dobrudjan Bul- 
garians," while the inhabitants of the Morava 
district were styled " former Bulgarians." 

A Sofia daily as lately as June 191 8 was dis- 
cussing quite frankly the question as to what 
were the feelings of the inhabitants of the 
Morava district as regards their nationality. As 
the article throws much light on the subject and 
is written in an ingenuous and artless manner, 
even admitting the excesses committed by the 
Bulgarians, we may consider it as an approxi- 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 239 

mately true appreciation of the state of mind 
prevailing in the region : 

IMPRESSIONS FROM THE MORAVA 
Serbians or Bulgarians ? 

How does the local urban and rural population feel ? 
Does it feel as a member of the Bulgarian nation, or is it 
attached to Serbia ? In our endeavour to find an answer 
we are met by conflicting evidence. It is difficult to pene- 
trate the secret recesses of the people's heart, and on this 
occasion the question is more complicated, because the 
heart of the Morava population is double. 

We should not seek a Bulgarian consciousness among 
the Serbian immigrants from Western Serbia, who settled 
in the district with the object of creating a firmer foundation 
for Serbian authority, and these immigrants are numerous. 
They are Serbians in body and soul, and will remain so 
for ever. The rest of the population, however, spiritually 
belongs to Bulgaria. It is attached to the Bulgarian race, 
and if it does not demonstrate its attachment noisily, this 
is solely due to the fear lest Serbian rule should be re-estab- 
lished. The population dreads reprisals in such a case. It 
unanimously considers that it will be better off in Bulgaria 
than in Serbia, and it desires to remain under Bulgarian 
rule. It is not disillusioned by the incidents which have 
occurred, nor by the high taxes it now pays, for it knows 
that war brings in its wake many sorrows, alarms, and even 
illegalities. The Morava population looks to Bulgaria as 
to its motherland, but secular servitude has frightened it 
and confirmed its belief that Bulgaria's greatness is tran- 
sient, because Bulgaria has always had big and powerful 
enemies and few loyal friends. We heard this opinion 
expressed by a Moravan notable, an intellectual. He speaks 
Serbian, but he knows that his forefathers were pure 
Bulgarians, as he himself is. 

The authorities should try to increase their prestige in 
the Morava district. Ever>' failure in the diplomatic field 
must be avoided as carefully as failure on the battlefield, 
for it greatly impresses the people. 



240 BULGARIA 

But if Bulgarian claims to the Morava and 
Timok districts may be scouted, such claims to 
Macedonia were and remain irrefutable. Even 
the Serbians have not deemed it politic to claim 
the Macedonians as their co-nationals ; they 
have evolved the theory that the Macedonians 
are an amorphous mass, devoid of all national 
consciousness, and capable of being assimilated 
without much ado either by Bulgaria or 
Serbia. 

To one who has witnessed the continuous 
immigration of the Macedonians into Bulgaria, 
and who has been a spectator of some of their 
sufferings, the falsity of this contention appears 
in all its crudity. It may well be asked of the 
supporters of this ingenuous theory : Why have 
the Macedonians, when fleeing before Turkish 
oppression, persistently sought shelter in Bulgaria 
and not in Serbia ? Since they were Slavs they 
might have expected as warm a reception in 
Belgrade as in Sofia. The Macedonians, how- 
ever, persisted in flocking by thousands to 
Bulgaria because they considered that country 
as their own, and no similar exodus from Mace- 
donia either in the direction of Greece or of 
Serbia has ever been noticed. And it is not only 
Turkish persecution which drove these unfor- 
tunate Macedonian peasants to abandon their 
homes and seek protection among their liberated 
brethren in Bulgaria, for this migratory move- 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 241 

merit, far from ceasing after the Turks had been 
finally driven out of Macedonia, was, on the con- 
trary, intensified when this hapless land passed 
under Serbian and Greek sovereignty as a result 
of the second Balkan War. It was then that 
migration reached its climax, and any unbiased 
observer passing at the time through Bulgaria 
would have been convinced that the Macedonians, 
far from being devoid of a national consciousness, 
are on the contrary deeply conscious of their 
Bulgarian nationality, for the sake of which 
they wiUingly sacrificed all their belongings, and 
even risked their Hves, dreading nothing so much 
as the danger of forcible denationaHzation at the 
hands of Greeks or Serbians. What huge propor- 
tions this Macedonian immigration into Bulgaria 
attained may be gauged from the fact that 
merely in the territory Bulgaria had obtained 
from Turkey by the Treaty of Constantinople 
(191 3) some 150,000 Macedonian refugees settled. 
The number of Macedonian immigrants in Bul- 
garia before the Balkan Wars had reached 300,000, 
while after 191 3 their number increased to 
500,000. Radoslavov even affirmed that it had 
reached 600,000. 

But some light may be thrown on the contro- 
versy as to whether the Macedonians are Bul- 
garians or Serbians by the admissions made by 
the Serbians themselves before the time when 
Serbian politicians, under the influence and 



242 BULGARIA 

inspiration of Austria, began to cast longing eyes 
on Macedonia. 

The Serbian writer, Dim. Davidovitch, in his 
" History of the Serbian Nation," pubHshed first 
in 1 82 1 in Belgrade, enumerates the lands 
peopled by Serbians, but does not mention 
Macedonia among them. In the accompanying 
map, which is a reproduction of the one contained 
in the above work (edition of 1848), and shows 
the southern limits of the Serbian lands, even 
the Morava district and Nish are not included 
within the ethnic boundaries of the Serbian race. 
At the same time the two streams which form 
the River Morava bear their proper original 
appellations, the eastern tributary being styled 
the Bulgarian Morava, owing to the fact that it 
traverses a Bulgarian country, while the western 
is designated as the Serbian Morava for a 
similar reason. In his beautiful poem, " Djatski 
Rastanak," the founder of the new Serbian school 
of poetry, Branko Raditchevitch, enumerates all 
the lands peopled by Serbians, but likewise 
omits Macedonia from the list. 

The Serbian newspaper, Serbske Narodne No- 
vine (Year iv, pp. 138 and 141-43, May 4 and 7, 
1 841), described the towns of Nish, Lescovatch, 
Pirot, and Vranya as lying in Bulgaria, and 
styles their inhabitants Bulgarians. 

In an article entitled ".General Geography of 
Turkey in Europe," the same paper (Year vii, 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 



243 



Nos. 33 to 43, 1844) refers to the inhabitants of 
Macedonia as Bulgarians, and further affirms : 
" Serbia has never firmly extended her frontiers 
to the south, while the Bulgarians have pene- 




• 50F«A 



Hu^TeA/p/i 



^£i.£S 



trated in masses even as far as Macedonia. The 
Serbians only once brought under their rule the 
southern and mountainous district of Macedonia, 
while the Bulgarians settled there and have kept 
the country for good." 

According to the Serbian authors lankovitch 
and Gruitch, the following districts were deemed 
Serbian : 



244 BULGARIA 

(i) The Voivodina (Banat, Syrmia, and 
Batchka) ; (2) Slavonia ; (3) Dalmatia ; (4) Istria ; 
(5) Ragusa (Dubrovnik) ; (6) Cattaro ; (7) Monte- 
negro ; (8) Metohia ; (9) Bosnia ; (10) Herze- 
govina ; (11) Serbia (then a principality), (See 
" Slaves du Sud," by the above authors, pub- 
lished in Paris, 1853.) 

The Serbski Diievnik (June 23, 1855), dilating 
on the situation in Bulgaria, said, among other 
things : '' Not only the inhabitants of Nish, who 
are nearer to the Serbians both geographically 
and linguistically, but also the real Bulgarians 
of Sofia, Philippopolis, Seres, etc., very readily 
read our paper." 

About the middle of the nineteenth century 
the Serbian Government dispatched S. Berko- 
vitch, one of its officials, on a tour of investiga- 
tion through Macedonia and Old Serbia. In 
i860, soon after his return, Berkovitch published 
a selection of national songs collected from 
various places throughout Macedonia under the 
title " National Songs of the Bulgarian Mace- 
donians." The book was printed by the Belgrade 
Government Press, and the author gave the 
following reasons for designating the songs as 
" Bulgarian " and not " Slav " : "I call these 
songs Bulgarian and not Slav, for whenever I 
asked a Macedonian Slav what he was, he 
answered, ' I am a Bulgarian, and my tongue is 
Bulgarian.' " The author was candid enough to 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 245 

fix the Shar Mountains as the ethnographic boun- 
dary between the Bulgarians and the Serbians. 

In 1867 negotiations were initiated between 
the Serbian Government and Bulgarian patriots 
who had assembled in Bucarest to plan the 
liberation of their country from the Turkish 
yoke. There were delegates from various Bul- 
garian towns, and a memorandum was drawn up 
and dispatched to the Serbian Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, Garashanin, advocating a close union 
with Serbia. The memorandum began as follows : 
" As present circumstances force all oppressed 
nationalities in Turkey to seek means of liberating 
themselves, we Bulgarians living in Bulgaria, 
Thrace, and Macedonia came together to consider 
how to liberate our dear motherland." 

An agreement between the Bulgarians and the 
Serbian Government was finally reached accord- 
ing to which a federal Jugo-Slav State was to be 
created, incorporating all Bulgaria and Serbia. 
The term Bulgaria was explicitly explained as 
designating Bulgaria proper, Thrace, and Mace- 
donia. Garashanin replied on May 22, 1867, 
that he fully agreed to the Bulgarian propositions. 

According to the Serbian paper, Vidov Dan 
(No. 38, March 29, 1862), the Bulgarian national 
frontiers extended " from the Danube to the 
^gean, and from the Black Sea to the lower 
Morava and the Black Drin. The population 
was said to number 5,000,000, 



246 BULGARIA 

In February 1868, the Vidov Dan published an 
article on Bulgaria and the Bulgarians (Nos. 33, 
34, 38, February 13, 14, and 18), the following 
extracts from which may be quoted : 

Bulgaria comprises the greater part of ancient Moesia, 
Thrace, and Macedonia. The Bulgarian language is spoken 
from the mouth of the Danube as far as Salonica and the 
lake of Kastoria, and from Jelegrad to Ochrida. The line 
formed by the ancient Roman highway, the Via Egnatia 
[the same opinion is also expressed by G. M. Mackenzie 
and A. P. Irby in their " Travels in the Slavonic Provinces 
of Turkey in Europe "], between Salonica and Ochrida, may 
be taken as an ethnographic frontier between Greeks and 
Bulgarians, although it leaves a portion of Bulgarian terri- 
tory to the south and a few Greek localities to the north of 
it. Among the 5,000,000 Bulgarians inhabiting Turkey 
300,000 are Moslems (Pomaks) and 60,000 Roman Catholics ; 
the others are all Orthodox. 

The Bulgarians are surrounded by Rumanians, Greeks, 
Albanians, and Turks, who are all hostile to them. They 
are persecuted by the Greek clergy and oppressed by the 
Turkish garrisons of Vidin, Nish, Sofia, Varna, Shumla, and 
Rustchuk. Hence they have lost much of the old martial 
spirit which animated them in the first centuries of their 
national existence. This is not because Bulgarian mothers 
are incapable of rearing brave men, for in Bulgaria also the 
blood of heroes has been shed for the cause of liberty. 
Botsaris [the legendary hero of the Greek war of indepen- 
dence] and many other Bulgarians fought for the Christian 
faith during the Greek insurrection, and others struggled 
for the liberty of Rumania and Serbia. Lastly, in 1835, 
1840, 1844, and 1866 Bulgarian insurrections occurred, but 
these were isolated cases. The Bulgarian is, in general, 
peaceable and gentle ; he has a clear intellect and a quick 
imagination ; in short, he is capable of great deeds both 
physical and moral. Unfortunately these excellent qualities 
are not full}' developed, because it is impossible to train 
them properly under present conditions. He is hospitable 
as are all Slavs, modest, pious, and neither insensible nor 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 247 

fanatical. Above all, he loves his dear, beautiful, and 
unfortunate country. 

Similar comment may be quoted from the Ser- 
bian Press of the period ad infinitum. Austrian 
diplomacy had not yet succeeded in infusing the 
venom of hatred and envy into the soul of the 
two kindred peoples. Both Serbians and Bul- 
garians, mindful of the past, sought to realize 
their emancipation in close union with one 
another, and Balkan sohdarity became an estab- 
lished fact. Never were Serbo-Bulgarian rela- 
tions more cordial than towards the middle of 
the nineteenth century, and the reason is easy to 
find ; each party respected his neighbour's 
domain. Serbians were not asked to look for 
their co-nationals in Macedonia, but on the 
contrary respected Bulgarian susceptibilities, and 
far from seeking aggrandizement at the expense 
of their eastern neighbours, laboured whole- 
heartedly to assist them. 

The first estrangement between Serbia and 
Bulgaria occurred when Russia, as a recompense 
for the assistance Serbia had rendered her during 
the Russo-Turkish War, ceded to her the Bul- 
garian towns of Nish and Lescovatch. At the 
Congress of Berlin, Austrian support enabled 
Serbia to acquire the remaining portion of the 
Morava district, with the towns of Vranya and 
Pirot, which consummation was arrived at by 
Serbia's renunciation of her claim to the sanjak 



248 BULGARIA 

of Novi-Bazar in deference to Austrian wishes. 
It was thus that Serbia initiated her ill-starred 
policy of claiming and annexing territories alien 
to her in population. 

Satisfied 1 with the results obtained in 1878, 

1 The Narodni Glasnik, October 3-15, 1879, wrote : 
" Serbia has acquired more than Kossovo, more than 
Sarajevo. She has acquired a veritable political Eldorado 
in the valley of the Morava. . . . She has acquired Nish ! " 
The jubilation of the paper is easily explained if one 
remembers that the Morava Valley may be considered the 
gate of Macedonia. But even among the Serbians, far- 
sighted men were found to deprecate the manifest injustice 
done to the Bulgarian people, and to predict the ruinous 
consequences of such a policy. In 1880 Vasha Pelagitch, 
an eminent Serbian politician, published a history of the 
Balkan conflicts of 1875 to 1878, in which he expressed 
himself against the incorporation into Serbia of the districts 
of Nish, Pirot, Lescovatch, and Vranya, which were then 
Bulgarian in population, and warned his countrymen of 
the dangers their annexationist policy was likely to evoke. 
Referring to the Russo-Turkish War of 1878, as a result of 
which Serbia acquired the above-mentioned districts, he 
wrote : " The local population [of those districts] greeted 
the coming of the Serbian army and of the administrative 
authorities in a becoming manner, but the greater part of 
the urban population was dissatisfied. The citizens of 
Pirot plainly intimated that they did not wish for a Serbian 
administration, nor to be incorporated in the Serbian State, 
but that they desired to remain under Bulgarian rule. The 
Serbian authorities silenced this desire of the local inhabi- 
tants in their fashion. Many prominent persons in Serbia 
did not approve of this attitude of the authorities ; they 
wished and still wish that the desires of the population 
should be taken into consideration, namely, that those who 
wish to join the Serbians should be received by us, and 
that those who do not desire it should be allowed to join 
freely those whom they consider nearer to them. No State 
has a right to force men to become its subjects contrary to 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 249 

she did not hesitate to sign a convention with 
Austria in 1881, by which she undertook not to 
stir up trouble in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
Austria offering in return not to hamper Serbian 
expansion to the south. The Serbo-Bulgarian 
War of 1885 was a logical consequence of the 
new orientation of Serbia's policy. King Milan 
fell on the Bulgarians to prevent the union of 
Northern with Southern Bulgaria, lest Bulgaria, 
grown strong, should bar the Serbian advance to 
the south. 

In spite of the disastrous outcome of this war, 
Serbia persisted in her ill-advised policy, and in 
1 889 concluded a treaty with Austria, waiving her 
claims to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in exchange 
for which Austria was to lend her support to 
Serbia and facilitate the latter's penetration of 
the valley of the Vardar. 

This sinister policy was persisted in until at 
the inspiration of Russia the Serbo-Bulgarian 
Treaty of 191 2 was concluded, and Serbia was 
once more prevailed upon to renounce her 

their will. Only by following such principles can we hope 
to live in peace and amity with neighbouring peoples. By 
our appropriation of the Pirot district we incurred the 
enmity of the Bulgarian people, with whom we ought 
always to live in brotherly love and in an ever closer 
alliance." The same writer also scathingly condemns the 
decisions taken at the Congress of Berlin, and makes no 
secret of his indignation at the decision of the diplomats 
to dismember Bulgaria, which dismemberment he rightly 
prophesied would lead to endless strife in the Balkans, 



250 BULGARIA 

Macedonian ambitions in favour of a more 
practical scheme of territorial expansion. Un- 
fortunately when this statesmanlike plan was 
about to attain full fruition Austria vetoed the 
project and blasted the hopes for a permanent 
settlement in the Balkans by insisting on the 
creation of an Albanian State, thereby depriving 
Serbia of her just gains in her campaign against 
Turkey. Austria's object was to sow discord 
among the Balkan States and to divert Serbia's 
attention to the East, thus bringing her once 
more into conflict with Bulgaria. 

It is customary to blame Bulgaria for the 
outbreak of the fratricidal war among the Balkan 
States, but this is to fail to associate cause with 
effect. The instigator of Bulgaria's attack on 
her quondam alHes was Austria, and it was the 
pusillanimity and pacifism manifested by some 
of the representatives of the Entente Powers at 
the conference of Ambassadors in London (191 3) 
which enabled Austria to execute her underhand 
designs. Instead of championing Serbia's mani- 
fest right to obtain free access to the sea, instead 
of allowing the union of Northern Epirus^ with 

1 The Greek character of this region has been sufficiently 
demonstrated in M. Rene Puaux' " La malheureuse Epire." 
In order further to emphasize this point, it would be well to 
mention that at a time when Athens consisted of hovels 
inhabited by a few hundreds of Greeks and Turks, the town 
of Moschopolis had a population of 65,000 and was the 
torch-bearer of Hellenic culture during the eighteenth cen- 
tury. It possessed a printing-press erected in 1720, which 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 251 

Greece (deputations from all the larger towns 
had come to London at the time to carry through 
the annexation to Greece), European diplomacy- 
agreed to the adoption of a solution which was 
bound to cause the disruption of the Balkan 
Alliance, and eventually to facilitate the realiza- 
tion of Teuton ambitions. 

The Bulgarian claim to Macedonia has been 
sanctioned by international acts, and cannot be 
lightly dismissed. Bulgaria's rights have been 
publicly acknowledged by the very party which 
will be called upon to contest them, and this 
places Entente diplomacy at a great disad- 
vantage. 

At the Constantinople Conference of 1876 the 
Ambassadors of the European Powers drew up a 
programme of reforms for Turkey, with the 
object of checking Turkish misrule by introducing 
self-government in those districts where the 
majority of the population was Bulgarian. Dis- 

was the only Greek printing-press in existence at the time 
save that of the Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople. 
The town was famous for its academy, in which some of the 
most renowned Greek scholars were trained. Subsequently 
it lost much of its splendour, and in 1916 it was completely 
ravaged by Albanian brigands under the chief Sali Butka. 
The last remnants of its once famous library were then 
destroyed. This incident shows what is likely to be the 
fate of the other Greek communities of Epirus if left 
to the tender mercies of the Albanian hillmen. 
Ij Several of the most distinguished Greek families, such 
as the Capodistrias, Averoff, Sinas, Zapas, Arsakis, Zo 
graphos, etc., are of Epirote origin, 



252 BULGARIA 

tricts in which Turks and Greeks, taken together, 
outnumbered the Bulgarians, were not included 
within the proposed administrative units. The 
Conference decided on the formation of two 
Bulgarian provinces. The eastern was to have 
Tirnovo for its capital, and to include the 
sanjaks of Rustchuk, Tirnovo, Tultcha, Varna, 
Sliven, PhilippopoHs (without Sultan- Yeri and 
Achir-Tchelebi), and the cazas of Kirk-Klisse, 
Mustapha-Pasha and Kizil-Agatch ; while the 
western province, with Sofia for its capital, was 
intended to comprise the sanjaks of Sofia, Vidin, 
Nish, Uskub, Monastir (except two cazas on the 
south), a part of the sanjak of Seres (the three 
northern cazas), and the cazas of Strumitsa, 
Kukush, Tikvesh, Doiran, Veles, and Kastoria.i 

This conclusively proves that forty years ago 
European statesmen considered not only Mace- 
donia but even the Morava district and the 
entire Dobrudja as predominantly Bulgarian in 
population. 

The Bulgarian claim received further confir- 
mation in the Treaty of San-Stefano (February 
19, 1 878) ,2 by which a Bulgarian principality 
with even wider frontiers than those drawn up 
by the representatives of the European Powers 

i Documents diplomatiques. Affaires d'Orient, 1875-6-7, 
Paris, 1877, annexe iii au compte rendu No. 8; also Blue 
Book, Turkey, No. 2, 1877. 

2 As regards this Treaty, it is of the greatest importance 
that the view of an eminent American authority should be 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 253 

at Constantinople in 1876 was created. It may- 
well be asked also whether the Entente has 
not yet further validated Bulgaria's titles to 
Macedonia by offering her the cession of this 

made known. The late Dr. George Washburn, director of 
Robert College, wrote as follows in his " Fifty Years in 
Constantinople " : 

" The Treaty of San-Stcfano was, of course, a hard one 
for Turkey, but it would have been better for England and 
for all the peoples of European Turkey if it had been allowed 
to stand. 

" The Sultan himself had no reason to thank England or 
Austria for their intervention. The secret convention by 
which England acquired Cyprus was little better than a 
theatrical trick of Lord Beaconsfield's. The Treaty of 
Berlin, which was signed July 13, 1878, was one of the most 
important events of the nineteenth century in European 
history, but it was not made in the interest of any one 
in the Turkish Empire. I do not know that it professed 
to be, although Lord Beaconsfield congratulated himself 
on having ' consolidated ' the Empire, a euphemism for 
having reduced the size of it. Each Power sought only to 
further its own interests and ambitions, and for the people 
chiefly concerned the result has been a succession of wars, 
revolutions, and massacres down to the present day. 

". . . This is not the place to discuss the Treaty, but we 
may take a single illustration from the people in whom the 
College was most interested at that time, the Bulgarians. 
The Treaty of San-Stefano had created a Bulgaria essen- 
tially on the lines agreed to by the Powers at the Conference 
of Constantinople. The Treaty of Berlin divided the 
Bulgarians into five sections, giving one part to Serbia, one 
to Rumania, one to an autonomous province called East 
Roumelia, one to Turkey (Macedonia), and one to constitute 
the Principality of Bulgaria under the suzerainty of the 
Sultan ; and it was England especially that insisted upon 
this, and also upon the right of Turkey to occupy and fortify 
the range of the Balkans, all with the object of making it 
impossible for the Bulgarians to form a viable State which 
might be friendly to Russia. The Englishmen who knew 



254 BULGARIA 

province as recently as 191 5 in exchange for her 
miHtary assistance. 

The attribution of Macedonia to an auto- 
nomous Bulgaria as outhned in the scheme of 
1876 drew no protests from the Serbian Govern- 
ment. Neither did the creation of the Bulgarian 
Exarchate in 1870. With regard to the latter, it 
is now alleged that the Macedonian population 
sided with the Exarchate, not on account of its 
Bulgarian nationality, but in order to have a 
religious service in a Slav tongue, and to protect 
itself against exploitation by the Greek clergy. 

We are entitled to accept this explanation 
with some scepticism, for at the moment the 
Serbian Government was perfectly aware that 
the movement against the Greek Church was a 
movement distinctly Bulgarian in character ; at 
least this is the view any unbiased person would 

Bulgaria, all our friends, understood the folly and wicked- 
ness of this at the time. All England has learned it since. 

" Thus far the results have been the revolution of 1885, 
which resulted in the union of Bulgaria and Eastern Rou- 
melia, the war with Serbia, the insurrection in Macedonia 
and province of Adrianople, and all the massacres and 
unspeakable horrors of the last thirty-nine years in Mace- 
donia, to say nothing of what Bulgaria has suffered from the 
intrigues of foreign Powers ever since the Treaty of Berlin. 
The awful massacres and persecutions from which the 
Armenians have suffered since 1886 have been equally the 
result of this Treaty." 

And if my revered master were alive, he would further 
have ascribed to the annulment of the Treaty of San- 
Stefano some of the causes which brought about the present 
world -war. 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 255 

form from a perusal of the following passage 
in the Serbian semi-official paper, the Tedin- 
stvo, April 23, 1 87 1, in which the obstacles in the 
way of a compromise between the Bulgarians 
and the Greek Patriarchate are discussed : 

The greatest obstacle to such an understanding is the 
question of the dioceses of 'Jlirace and Macedonia. Accord- 
ing to the Imperial [Turkish] firman, the dioceses of these 
provinces where the majority is Bulgarian will be placed 
under the jurisdiction of the Exarchate, and if there are 
doubts on this point the question will be resolved by a 
plebiscite. At the beginning the Greek Patriarchate did 
not wish to allow the creation of any Bulgarian diocese in 
Macedonia or Thrace, but now it seems inclined to come 
to an understanding. This is the main question which 
separates the Greek Patriarchate and the Bulgarians. 

The reader will readily admit that if Slav 

interests had been at stake, the paper would 

have shown more ardour in its advocacy of them, 

and would not have hinted that this was a 

purely private question between the Bulgarians 

and the Greek Patriarchate. On this particular 

point the valuable testimony of Lord Strangford 

may be adduced. Writing at a time when 

controversy over the Bulgarian ecclesiastical 

movement was at its height, he said : 

To the eye of the Turk and the conservative diplomatists 
who stand on antique ways, to the tourist and the trader, 
the Bulgarian is merely a Greek Cluistian like another, 
only with a vernacular patois of his own ; he is one of the 
Rum Milleti or " Greek nation " spiritually and intra- 
nationally administered by the Patriarchate and nothing 
more. Yet it is antipathy to that Greek spiritual admini- 
stration which has called liis sense of nationality into 
existence, and wliich is as the very breath of its life. He 



256 BULGARIA 

insists on having bishops and clergy of his own race and 
speech ; he will not tolerate an alien priesthood, who are 
too often both the originators and the instruments of 
oppression and tyranny ; he seeks to obtain the established 
use of his language as an instrument of prayer and educa- 
tion, and rather than be deprived of this he will go over 
to the Church of Rome. He has his own newspaper, the 
Tsarigradski Vestnik, at Constantinople, advocating his 
own views, and both the capital and the great towns south 
of the Balkans, such as Adrianople and Philippopolis, where 
the Christian population is partly Greek, partly Bulgarian, 
have been set in a ferment by a war of pamphlets and lead- 
ing articles waged between him and the Greeks. {" The 
Shores of the Adriatic," 1863.) 

It is indeed strange that practically all writers 
on Macedonia have omitted to make any allusion 
to the alleged " Serbian " inhabitants of that 
country. They unanimously refer to the majo- 
rity of the Macedonian population as Bulgarian. 
The latter have, in fact, demonstrated on innu- 
merable occasions that they are Bulgarian in 
sentiment as well as in language by the untold 
sufferings they have readily undergone for the 
sake of their nationality.^ Long before the 
awakening of the national consciousness in 
Bulgaria, and before the creation of the Bulgarian 
Exarchate and of the Bulgarian Principality, it 
was the Macedonians who initiated the move- 
ment for the emancipation of the Bulgarian 
nation. Owing to their travels in Austria and 

* In 1885, during the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the Mace- 
donians formed a legion of volunteers and fought against 
the Serbians. In 1913 they again sided with the Bul- 
garians, and some 20,000 of them fought against the Greeks 
and the Serbians. 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 257 

Serbia, and their intercourse with more advanced 
communities, the Macedonian merchants acquired 
a desire for learning, and for the improvement of 
the lot of their co-nationals. Thanks to the 
generosity and self-sacrifice of the Bulgarian 
communities in Macedonia, Bulgarian schools 
were opened in the early part of the nineteenth 
century in Uskub, Veles, Kratovo, Kriva- 
Palanka, Ishtip, Gostivar, etc. — at a time when 
such Bulgarian towns as Tirnovo, Sofia, Vidin 
Svichtov, Philippopolis, and Sliven had only 
Greek schools maintained by the Greek clergy. 

Dissatisfaction with the domination exerted by 
the Greek clergy over the Bulgarian population 
likewise first manifested itself in Macedonia. 
Thus it was in Uskub towards 1830 that the 
local population demanded of the Turkish Govern- 
ment the appointment of a Bulgarian instead of 
a Greek Bishop. The intensity of the friction 
this demand caused between the population and 
the Greek Patriarchate may be gauged by the 
fact that four bishops in succession were nomi- 
nated, and finally the Patriarchate was obliged 
to appoint a bishop who could speak Bulgarian. 

Not to mention the monk Paisi, the earliest 
modern Bulgarian writers are Macedonians. 
Among these the educationist, Hadji Yakim, 
may be cited as having first published books 
in the language he himself styles " plain 
Bulgarian." The first books were printed in 



258 BULGARIA 

1 8 14-19 in Hungary, and the cost of publishing 
was covered by subscription among Bulgarian 
merchants belonging to various towns in Mace- 
donia. Another writer was the monk Cyril 
Peitsinovitch of Tetovo, who also published 
books in the " Bulgarian language," one of 
which appeared in 18 16 in Hungary, while a 
subsequent treatise was printed in Salonica in 
1840. Nor can the names of the first Bulgarian 
folk-lorists, the brothers Miladinov ; of the poet 
Zinzifov, of Veles (i 839-1 877), who was a regular 
contributor to the Russian newspapers Den and 
Moskovski Fyedomosti; and of the poet Grigor 
Perlitchev of Ochrida (i 830-1 892), be passed 
over in silence. The latter completed his studies 
in Athens and was awarded a prize by the Greek 
Academy for his poem, " Armatolos," which was 
published in Athens in i860. It is noteworthy 
that Perlitchev, who, owing to his education, 
considered himself a Greek and made no secret 
of his phil-Hellenic sentiments in his Greek 
poems, later became one of the foremost defenders 
of the Bulgarian cause. It may be remarked 
incidentally that his contributions to Bulgarian 
Hterature did not equal his Greek poems in 
merit. His chief Bulgarian work is a translation 
of the Iliad, which was not a success. 

To what extent the Macedonians were deter- 
mined to go in order to safeguard their Bulgarian 
nationality may be seen from the fact that the 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 259 

inhabitants of Kukush, Enidje-Vardar, and Mon- 
astir took the extreme step of adopting the 
Roman Cathohc faith with the sole object of pre- 
serving their mother tongue, as may be inferred 
from the appeal the inhabitants of Kukush 
addressed to Pope Pius IX in 1859. This 
separatist movement, which began in 1859, ^'^^' 
tinued until some tens of thousands of Bulgarians 
passed over to Catholicism. It was also in 
Macedonia, at Salonica, that the first Bulgarian 
printing-press was erected. Its director, the 
Bulgarian priest Theodosius Sinaitski, was a 
native of Doiran, and the language employed 
was styled either Slaveno-Bulgarian or simply 
Bulgarian. At the death of Theodosius the 
printing-press was closed, and owing to the 
opposition of the Greek clergy the printing of 
Bulgarian literature was discontinued until 1852, 
when a native of V^odena named Kiriak Dergilen 
obtained permission to reopen the printing-press 
on condition of his using Greek instead of 
Bulgarian characters. 

It was mainly as a result of the struggles of 
the Macedonian Bulgarians for the opening of 
Bulgarian schools and for the creation of a 
national Bulgarian Church that finally the 
Turkish Government was prevailed upon to 
sanction the estabHshment of the Bulgarian 
Exarchate in 1870. It may seem strange that 
most of the pioneers of the Bulgarian national 



26o BULGARIA 

movement should have been educated in Greece. 
Such leading Macedonians as the brothers Mila- 
dinov, Gr. Perlitchev, Dr. Michaikov, Dr. Tsoma- 
kov, the brothers Robev, etc., were all graduates 
of Greek colleges or of the University of Athens. 
The elder Miladinov was the soul of this Bulgarian 
Renaissance ; it was he who organized most of 
the Bulgarian schools in Macedonia, and incited 
his co-nationals to revolt against the ecclesiastical 
yoke of the Phanar. And it was chiefly the 
insistence of the Macedonians on being included 
within the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Church 
that brought about the schism between the 
latter and the Greek Patriarchate, which had 
finally professed willingness to acknowledge the 
independence of the Bulgarian Church on condi- 
tion that the Bulgarians should renounce their 
claims to the Macedonian dioceses. Bulgarians 
contributed but Httle to the awakening of the 
dormant national consciousness of the Mace- 
donians ; it may indeed be asserted that the 
contrary was true. The case of the Macedonian, 
Neophyte Rilsky, who organized the first school 
in Bulgaria — namely, that of Gabrovo (1835) — 
sufficiently proves this. 

All unbiased writers who have visited Mace- 
donia have admitted that the country is Bul- 
garian : Pouqueville, Ami-Boue, Cyprien Robert, 
Lejean, Ubicini, Hilferding, Emile de Laveleye, 
and Victor Berard are unanimous in their 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 261 

verdict. Even the Greek author P. A. Aravan- 
tinos, in his treatise " Annals of Epirus and 
other Neighbouring Greek and lUyrian Lands," 
pubHshed at Athens in 1856-7, says : " BitoHa 
or Monastir has a population of 20,000 ; most of 
its Christian inhabitants speak Bulgarian. Prilep 
is now inhabited by some 1200 families, Moslem 
and Christian ; the latter are either Bulgarian 
or Vlach. 

" Tikvesh. This town and district are in- 
habited by the Bulgarian race. 

" Niaoussa. A new town with a Bulgarian 
population of 2000." 

It would also be relevant to cite Mackenzie 
and Irby, " Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of 
Turkey in Europe " (1867), who refer to Prilep 
and its district as Bulgarian (p. 83). This town 
was indeed a strong centre of Bulgarism in 
Macedonia ; its public school, which had been 
opened in 1843, was one of the most renowned 
of Bulgarian educational establishments in that 
region. 

These authors were so much impressed by the 
Bulgarian character of the country they traversed 
that they referred to Macedonia as " Southern 
Bulgaria," and they even described Nish as a 
Bulgarian town, at which we should not be 
surprised, for the population had not yet been 
Serbized. 

The following quotation from Lord Strang- 



262 BULGARIA 

ford's book is certainly as apposite to-day as at 
the time when it was written : 

The entire mass of the rural and non-Mussulman popula- 
tion of Turkey in Europe, with the exception of Bosnia, 
Thessaly, Albania, the Chalcidic peninsula, and a very 
narrow belt of sea-board, consists not of Greeks and Sclavs, 
but of Bulgarians. They are not true Sclavs, nor do they 
as yet think of themselves as such, whatever they may 
end by doing under strong influences, but we are never 
safe from having them passed off upon us as an identical 
part and parcel of the south Sclavonian. 

The opinion of M. Louis Leger, the eminent 
Professor of the College de France, on Macedonia 
fully corroborates the evidence which has already 
been furnished. In his important treatise, Le 
Panslavisme et Vinteret frangais (Paris, 1917), 
this distinguished scholar states : 

The Bulgarians have sided with our enemies and we have 
no particular reason for being tender to them, but the duty 
of scholars is primarily to seek and proclaim the truth. 

The Bulgarians have entered into an alhance with the 
Germans and Austro-Hungarians in order to avenge them- 
selves on the Serbians, Well, what was the initial cause 
of the conflict ? The Macedonian question. Setting 
actual passions aside, let us examine this question from a 
purely scientific point of view. This is what I was writing 
in 1888 for the Grande Encyclopedie, at a moment when 
people were far from foreseeing that the Franco-German 
conflict would have its repercussion in the Balkan peninsula. 

Macedonia, in spite of the affirmations of Greeks and 
Serbians to the contrary, is almost entirely peopled by 
Bulgarians. The Greek and Serbian claims could not stand 
before the precise verifications made by Rittich, Grigoro- 
vitch, Hilferding, Mackenzie. In truth, the Shar Mountains 
form the boundary between the Bulgarian and Serbian 
nationalities. The Macedonian Slavs consider themselves 
Bulgarian, and ^peak a Bulgarian dialect. 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 263 

It was only after the conclusion of the Treaty of Berlin, 
when Serbia perceived that Bosnia and Herzegovina had 
been definitely lost to her, that some of her statesmen 
thought of seeking a compensation in Macedonia, and of 
imagining Serbs in a country peopled by Bulgarians. 

M. Victor Berard, the author of several 

treatises on Macedonia, pronounces a similar 

verdict on the Serbian claims to that country. 

He writes as follows : 

It is quite certain that Serbian pretensions to the whole 
of Macedonia only date from a few years back. Before the 
Congress of Berlin, the Serbians used to talk of the people 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina as their brethren, and named 
the region Prizrend-Pristina, Old Serbia. They designated 
the Adriatic on the west, the Shar Mountains and the upper 
Drin to the south, as the limit of their ambition. In short, 
the Bulgarian frontier traced by the Treaty of San-Stefano 
from Katchanik to the Black Drin, seemed in no wise to 
modify the grandiose dreams of a future Serbia. The idea 
of the conquest of Macedonia only arose in Serbian imagina- 
tion when Austria laid hands on Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
Wishing, no doubt, to make up for that imaginary loss by 
an imaginary right to annex, the Serbs have in their maps 
extended the hmits of their nationality to the south of 
the Shar Mountains, and even to the archipelago and 
mountains of Thessaly. In exchange for Fiume, Ragusa, 
and Cattaro, irrevocably lost, they dream of taking Salonica. 

The impartial testimony of American mis- 
sionaries as to the nationality of the Macedonian 
population may also be quoted. The members 
of these religious and educational missions have 
acquired such a thorough knowledge of local 
conditions that their opinion on the subject may 
be reckoned as most authoritative. The follow- 
ing memorandum addressed in 191 3 on behalf of 
these missions to the Foreign Ministers of all the 



264 BULGARIA 

Powers will be found most conclusive in the 
evidence it furnishes. 

Your Excellency, — It is a well-known fact that for 
more than fifty years American Protestant missionaries 
have carried on religious and educational work in various 
parts of the Balkan Peninsula. In this work they have 
been without political purposes or political alliances, and, 
on principle, have consistently avoided all interference in 
political affairs. In view of these facts, a brief statement 
as to the places where this work has been conducted, the 
people among whom it has been conducted, and the manner 
of conducting it, may be of value at this time when the 
fate of large portions of the Balkan Peninsula is about to 
be decided. 

About the middle of last century the attention of the 
American missionaries in Constantinople was attracted to 
the Bulgarian peasants in and about that city, and the 
impression made by them was so favourable that it was 
decided to investigate the region from which they came. 
The investigation was made in the late 'fifties, and its result 
was that religious societies in Great Britain and the United 
States of America decided to inaxigurate missionary work 
in the Balkan Peninsula mainly among the Bulgarians. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church of North America took 
as its field the region between the Danube and the Balkan 
mountains, and began its work in 1857, while the region 
south of the Balkans was assigned to the Missionary Society 
of the Congregational Churches of America, which society 
sent out its first missionaries in 1858. 

These missionaries located at Adrianople. Others fol 
lowed them, and in turn Stara Zagora, Philippopolis, Sofia, 
and Samokov were occupied before 1870. The work was 
extended to the Razlog district, and in 1871 the first 
Bulgarian Protestant Church was organized in Bansko. 

In 1873, after a tour of investigation, the city of Monastir 
was selected as the most favourable centre for work in 
Macedonia, and in the fall of that year two missionary 
families were located there. From this centre the work 
was extended aU through Macedonia, and churches or 
preaching-stations were established in Monastir, Ressen, 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 265 

Prilep, Vodena, Enidje Vardar, Kafadartsi, Velles, Skopia, 
Prishtina, Radovish, Murtino, and Monospitovo. In 1894, 
after the opening up of the railway Hnes which converge 
upon Salonica, that city was made a new centre of work 
with supervision over the outlying districts, from Mitrovitsa 
on the north-west, and Mehomia on the north, to Drama 
on the east. New preaching-stations were established in 
Koleshnitsa, Doiran, Koukoush, with its villages Todorak 
and Mezhdurek. Gurmen (Nevrokop district), Drama, 
Tetovo, and Mitrovitsa. 

Although it was originally the plan of the Mission to 
work among the Mohammedans of European Turkey as 
well as among the Bulgarians, as a matter of fact the work 
has been confined, with the exception of the recently estab- 
lished Albanian branch, almost exclusively to the Bulgarians. 
The Bible was translated into modem colloquial Bulgarian, 
and has been circulated all through Bulgaria, Macedonia, 
and Thrace. Over six hundred hymns and sacred songs 
have been prepared in Bulgarian for the use of the religious 
communities connected with the Mission in Bulgaria and 
Macedonia. The literature of the Mission is prepared in 
Bulgarian. The language of preacliing in all the places of 
assembly except Prishtina and Mitrovitsa, where Serbian 
is used, is Bulgarian. Schools of gymnasium rank have 
been established in Samokov and Monastir, and an Agri- 
cultural and Industrial Institute in Salonica. Primary 
schools have long been maintained by the Mission in many 
cities and villages in Bulgaria, and in the following places 
in Macedonia : Monastir, Todorak and Mezhdurek (Kou- 
koush district), Enidje Vardar, Koleshino, Monospitovo and 
Strumitsa, Drama, Bansko, Banya, IMehomia, and Elesh- 
nitsa in the Raslog district. In all these places the language 
of instruction has been and is Bulgarian, although EngUsh 
has also been introduced of late years in the Girls' Boarding- 
School of Monastir. 

After years of acquaintance with Macedonia, either through 
residence or travel, or both, mingling with the people and 
living in their homes, we are fully convinced that the great 
bulk of the population in the region which we have indicated 
as the Macedonian field of our ivork, is Bulgarian in origin, 
language, and customs, and forms an integral part of the 
Bulgarian nation. 



266 BULGARIA 

We desire to call your Excellency's attention to this 
simple statement of facts with the hope that it may be of 
some assistance in securing a just and righteous solution 
of the momentous problem of Macedonia's future, and we 
also hope that whatever the solution may be, the necessary 
measures will be taken to guarantee full religious liberty 
for all under the new administration of the country, and 
to insure the same freedom to carry on religious and 
educational work which has been enjoyed in the past. 

A statement identical with this has been sent to the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of all the Great Powers. 

(Signed) J. F. Clarke, D.D., Missionary in European 

Turkey for fifty-four years. 
J. W. Baird, Missionary in European Turkey 

for forty years. 
Robert Thomson, of Edinburgh, Missionary 

for thirty years in Constantinople and 

European Turkey. 

Samokov, Bulgaria, August 5, 1913. 

The treatment meted out to the Macedonians 
by the Serbians is yet another proof that they 
do not consider them as their co-nationals. As 
soon as they occupied Macedonia they proceeded 
to close all the Bulgarian schools and churches, 
and all persons professing pro-Bulgarian sym- 
pathies were ruthlessly persecuted. On Feb- 
ruary 24, 191 3, the Bulgarian Bishop of Veles 
was dragged out and chased from his residence 
as a common criminal. At about the same time 
the Bishop of Uskub was cast into prison, while 
the Bishop of Deber was forced to quit his see. 
All this was done while the Bulgarians were still 
fighting the Turks at Tchataldja. What occurred 
later may be better learnt by a study of the 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 267 

notorious decree of October 4, 191 3, which 
established a veritable reign of terror in Mace- 
donia, and conferred on the most insignificant 
Serbian functionary full powers to dispose of the 
life of the local inhabitants. It must not be 
thought that the poHcy of forcible Serbization 
was appHed exclusively to the Bulgaro-Mace- 
donians : it was Hkewise applied to the Greco- 
Macedonians, and the Greek community of 
Monastir has much to say on the subject. 

Even the American missions were subjected to 
annoyance. One day in the autumn of 191 3 
Mr. W. P. Clarke, the Director of the American 
College in Monastir, was visited by the Serbian 
commander of that town, who intimated to him 
in the name of King Peter that the estabhshment 
would have to close if the teaching was not 
carried on in Serbian instead of Bulgarian. To 
the remonstrance of Mr. Clarke that he could not 
adopt Serbian because there were no Serbian 
students in the college, the commander curtly 
repHed, " Whether there are or are not, such 
are my orders." 

We do not wish to imply that the Serbians are 
singular in their intolerance and intemperance, 
and that the other Balkan nationalities show 
more amenity in their dealings with subject 
nationalities. The Greeks, for instance, did not 
treat the Bulgarian inhabitants of Kukush any 
better, and the latter, in order to escape persecu- 



26B BULGARIA 

tion, emigrated en masse to Bulgaria. Nor were 
the Bulgarians slow in devising reprisals against 
the Greeks of Western Thrace. For, according 
to the Bulgarian census taken after the last par- 
liamentary election in Bulgaria, the number of 
Greeks in the Bulgarian ^gean Coast district was 
reported to be 9600, though before 191 3 their 
number must have certainly exceeded 50,000.^ 

^ As this statement is liable to misinterpretation it is 
necessary to elucidate the subject. After the signing of the 
Treaty of Bucarest, the Greek troops which were in occupa- 
tion of Western Thrace withdrew, and the Greek inhabitants, 
fearing that the Bulgarians on their return would retaliate 
by massacres for the " Bulgarochtonean " campaign of 
King Constantine in the valley of the Struma, fled to 
Greece. For several months complete anarchy prevailed. 
The local Moslems, who form the majority of the popula- 
tion, refused to submit to Bulgarian rule, and attempted 
to set up an autonomous administration. Finally the 
Constantinople Committee of Union and Progress cajoled 
them into accepting Ferdinand as their ruler, after the 
latter had submitted to all its demands concerning the 
retrocession to Turkey of Adrianople, Kirk-Klisse, part of 
the Maritsa valley, etc. When order was at last re-estab- 
lished, the Bulgarians refused to readmit the Greeks, and 
settled in their stead Bulgarian refugees from Macedonia. 

As the most is made in the Greek Press of Bulgarian mis- 
deeds, with a view to preparing public opinion in Allied 
countries to countenance the definite ousting of Bulgaria 
from the ^gean Sea coast, it is necessary to cite certain 
figures which substantiate Bulgaria's rights to the territory 
she possesses. 

According to the last Bulgarian census, the population 
of the district comprised 136,776 Turks, 127,736 Bulgarians, 
72,846 Pomaks or Bulgarian Mohammedans, 30,374 Bul- 
garian Patriarchists (these may be taken as being mostly 
Greeks or Hellenized Bulgarians), 9600 Greeks, 4900 Jews 
and 6310 various. 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 269 

The Rumanians are not more humane. The woes 
of the Bulgarians of the Dobrudja were pertinently 

Since the Greeks are now laying claim to this territory, 
which is and ought to remain Bulgarian — the majority of 
the inhabitants being of Bulgarian race — it may be per- 
missible to mention that a compact Bulgarian population 
of some 200,000 was included within the Hellenic Kingdom 
— namely, in the regions of Fiorina, Vodena, and Enidje 
Vardar. However, this part of their patrimony the Bul- 
garians were ready to renounce in favour of Cavalla and its 
district, to which they have no ethnic rights, the Bulgarian 
element extending in a solid mass only northwards of the 
line Seres-Drama. 

Concerning Greek Eastern Macedonia it is well to 
remember that the Greek element is not in an absolute 
majority. Out of a total of 369,429 there were : 168,290 
Greeks, 145,857 Turks, 33,255 plus 16,627 Slavs or Bul- 
garians, the last number figuring under the quaint title 
of non-Greek-speaking Greeks, and 4400 Jews (Greek 
census of 1915). It may be surmised that besides the 
49,882 Bulgarians whose existence the census admits, there 
are others, for the Greek authorities must have represented 
all the Bulgarian Patriarchists as Greeks, and all the 
Pomaks as Turks, so that the attribution of Greek Eastern 
Macedonia to Bulgaria would not be at such absolute 
variance with the principle of nationality as it seems at 
first sight. (Before the Balkan wars the Bulgarian, Greek, 
and Turkish elements were practically equal.) 

Of course if Bulgaria is to be maintained within the 
frontiers traced at Bucarest in 1913, there is no need to 
raise the question of the future status of Greek Eastern 
Macedonia, but if according to the principle of nationality 
she is awarded Macedonia, then it will be an imperative 
economic need for her to obtain an outlet on the ^Egean 
farther west than the one she already possesses. 

However, these Bulgarian aspirations can only be 
realized if we first satisfy our Balkan Allies, and unfor- 
tunately our politicians do not manifest any desire to do so. 
The Greeks are not allowed to voice their indisputable 
rights to Western Asia Minor, where there was a solid Greek 



270 BULGARIA 

exposed in an article published in the Contemporary 
Review {]\x\y 1914). No better illustration of the 

population of over 800,000 in the vilayets of Aidin and 
Konia alone ; they are asked to renounce their secular 
aspirations to Constantinople and the shores of the Pro- 
pontis. which are more Greek than Attica itself ; and they 
must keep silent over Epirus and the iEgean islands, 
while, on the other hand, they are incited to claim the 
Bulgarian sea-board on the .Egean. A truly bewildering 
policy ! That this is so, readers may deduce from the 
following article in the Nea Hellas (October 17, 1918) : 

" At last the signal has been given for proclaiming 
Greek rights, but only as regards Thrace. God forbid that 
anything should be mentioned about Asia Minor, the 
Dodecanese, and Cyprus !, The Italian Press is allowed to 
advertise the Italian claims to . . . Smyrna ! But we 
here are not allowed to state even what we have a right 
to." 

Plain men fail to comprehend the wisdom of such a 
policy, for it can scarcely be conducive to reconciliation 
among the Balkan peoples, and is in direct contravention 
of the ideas and principles for the triumph of which the 
best part of humanity has been bleeding for more than 
four years. Obviously the Manchester Guardian (May 18, 
19 1 8) was right when it said : " Diplomatists are men who 
seem to specialize in ignorance of foreign countries." The 
Allied peoples indeed must thank Fate that at the coming 
Peace Congress the businesshke and altruistic Americans 
will make themselves heard, for there is a grave danger 
that through the incapacity of our politicians the following 
lines of Byron may come true : 

The desolated lands, the ravaged isle, 
The fostered feud encouraged to beguile. 
The aid evaded and the cold delay, 
Prolonged but in the hope io make a prey, 
These, these shall tell the tale and Greece can show 
The false friend worse than the infuriate foe. 
It is imperative that the British public should realize in 
time the anguish with which the Greek nation views the 
future, lest the Allies in their magnanimity should permit 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 271 

intolerance of the Balkan peoples can be fur- 
nished than the following act of M. Take Jonescu, 
who is supposed to be among the most enlightened 
of Rumanians. In the autumn of 191 3 he spoke 
thus to the Notables of the Bulgarian town of 
Dobritch, which had just been annexed by 
Rumania ^ " If you have any common sense, if 

the perpetuation of Turkish inisrule and allow Greeks to 
remain under Turkish tyranny. The President of the Asia 
Minor Greeks, speaking at a meeting of unredeemed Greeks, 
convoked in Athens on October 27, 19 18, pathetically 
declared : 

" We are entitled to shout aloud to the civilized world 
and to our great Allies, from whom our tyrants are begging 
mercy : For God's sake don't grant mercy to these hang- 
men ! There are already enough victims. Grant us 
liberty. We are worthy of it, more worthy than any 
other subject race. For five centuries we have been 
waiting for the sun of liberty. At last we see it rising for 
us also. For God's sake don't cover it with a black veil 
again." {Allytrotos, November 3, 1918.) 

And to an article in New Europe, advocating the reten- 
tion of Constantinople by Turkey, the Nea Hellas (Novem- 
ber 5, 191 8) retorts as follows : 

" We published the article from New Europe yesterday 
merely to show the ignorance of Near-Eastern problems 
existing in circles professing knowledge of the subject. It 
is unnecessary to point out how ridiculous it is to insist on 
respect for the tombs of the Sultans in Adrianople and the 
shades of Turkish conquerors when this implies sacrificing 
the living to the dead. The maintenance of Turkish rule 
at Constantinople is advocated on the ground that Mussul- 
man communities throughout the world would regard the 
expulsion of Turkey from Europe as a mortal blow. But 
the writer forgets that during the European War Turkey 
was absolutely cut off from the Moslem races, that even 
Arabia raised the standard of revolt, that all the endeavours 
of German agents to proclaim a holy war failed, and tliat 



272 BULGARIA 

you possess any sense of reality, forget that 
you were Bulgarians, for otherwise Rumania 
will not be a fatherland to you, but a place of 
exile." ^ 

These facts demonstrate conclusively that the 
Balkan peoples cannot be expected to deal justly 
with alien populations under their rule, and that 

the overthrow of Turkey was brought about largely by 
Moslem armies fighting for the Entente ! In face of this, 
how can Turkey be considered the guardian of Moham- 
medan traditions ? Why this reverence for the shades of 
a few conquerors, who ground down the Christian races and 
hindered the development of civilization in the Near East ? 
And what about the traditions of rule of another race in 
these cities, and the fact that present conditions support 
its claims, owing to the existence in Constantinople and its 
neighbourhood of a large and compact Greek community ? 
Moreover, while the bounds of Armenia, Georgia, Arabia, 
etc., are being drawn, the writer would appear to be 
ignorant that in Asia Minor all these races are in a minority 
as compared with the Greek. The Hellenism of the Black 
Sea coast is light-heartedly parcelled out among different 
Powers, and the shores of Asia Minor, peopled solely by 
Greeks, are allotted to Turkey ! And this solution is said 
to be just, and to guarantee lasting peace in the Near 
East ! " 

Would that these Greek apprehensions were unfounded ! 
It is really unthinkable that the maintenance of Turkish 
rule, after their record of incapacity, should even be contem- 
plated in the interest of the lower class Turks themselves. 
The perpetuation of this misrule is so contrary to the 
elements of common sense that, if in spite of all it were 
allowed, people would rightly despair of the progress of 
humanity. In such a case we might well exclaim with 
Alfred de Vigny : 

A voir ce que I'on fait stir terre, et ce que Von laisse, 
Seul le silence est grand, tout le reste est faiblesse / 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 273 

from a mere humanitarian point of view it is im- 
perative that the principle of nationahty should 
be strictly observed. 

The remarkable development of Bulgarian 
educational activity in Macedonia can only be 
interpreted as another proof of the close kinship 
which exists between Macedonians and Bulgarians. 
Bulgarian schools were more numerous and more 
fully attended than the Greek and Serbian 
schools. The Macedonians preferred the first 
because there they were taught in a language 
they considered their own, which was not the 
case in the other schools. Such were the notable 
achievements obtained by the educational efforts 
of the Bulgarians in Macedonia that they elicited 
the following tribute from M. Victor Berard, the 
well-known French writer : 

Had the European Powers made as many efforts for the 
advancement of learning as the Bulgarians in Macedonia, 
not a single illiterate would have remained in the world. 

According to statistics compiled by the Bul- 
garian Exarchate in 1911-12, the number of 
Bulgarian schools in Macedonia was 1081, with 
1763 teachers and 56,440 pupils, and the number 
of churches was 1139, with 1132 priests. The 
total population, according to a census taken in 
191 7, was 1,269,400. 

A statistical table which must refer to pre-war 
conditions, declares that there were in Bulgaria 
9.3 pupils per hundred inhabitants. In Serbia 



274 BULGARIA 

the percentage was 4, in Greece 3.7, and among 
the Bulgaro-Macedonians 5.2. If these statistics 
are reliable, we may infer that the number of 
Bulgaro-Macedonians towards 191 2 was about 
1,085,000. This figure in comparison with the 
total seems exaggerated, but it should be remem- 
bered that the total pre-war population was 
considerably larger than that of the present. 

It cannot be gainsaid that the dialects spoken 
in Macedonia differ from the Bulgarian language, 
but it is hardly permissible to conclude from this 
that these dialects are equally akin to Bulgarian 
and to Serbian. There are so many common 
particularities in the Bulgarian and Macedonian 
speeches that the latter can only be described as 
Bulgarian dialects. An enumeration of some of 
the details which characterize the Bulgarian 
tongue, and which also distinguish the various 
Macedonian dialects from other Slav tongues, 
may be necessary in order to show the close 
linguistic relation between the Macedonian and 
the Bulgarian idioms ; 

(i) The Bulgarian language makes use of an 
affixed article (post-vocal). 

(2) It is analytic as regards declensions. 

(3) It forms the comparative and superlative 
of adjectives by prefixing the particles 'po and 
nai to the adjectives. 

(4) The infinitive mood is absent. 

Besides the above four points which charac- 



BULGARIAN CLAIMS 275 

terize both the Bulgarian and Macedonian dia- 
lects, it may be stated that there is a much greater 
lexical unity between them than between the 
latter and the Serbian. 

In conclusion, what was written on the subject 
by Lord Strangford more than half a century 
ago deserves to be reproduced, as it is still very 
much to the point : 

The Servians, or certain parties in Servia, believe and 
wish us to beheve that they have both the power and the 
moral right to annex to their own rule some, if not all, of 
the country inhabited by Bulgarians. They are sparing no 
effort to work on the Bulgarians, and induce them to see 
the fitness of tilings in the way they do themselves. It is 
possible, nor is it undesirable, that with time and trouble 
they may succeed in so assimilating them, but, in the 
meanwhile, they seek to represent the relationship of the 
Bulgarians with themselves as a ready-made kinship already 
existing, and amounting to virtual identity. The Bulgarian 
is not akin to the various fragments of the Illyrian, Servian, 
or true South-Sclavonic family in the same degree that they 
are connected with one another. In origin and descent he 
is different from them, though on this no stress need be 
laid, so long as the ethnologists know nothing of his first 
forefathers, and, even if they did, are all conjecture, and 
no fact as regards the precise nature and value of hereditary 
transmitted aptitudes. In condition, habit, and character 
he is widely different, and he is hardly less so in language. 
He speaks a Sclavonic dialect, it is true, which according 
to modern German criticism is one of the two sole living 
descendants of the old CyrilUan tongue. 

But it is not the Servian's Sclavonic dialect ; it stands 
apart from it, it has lost its declensions, it has a different 
phonetic character, partly by corruption, partly by archaic 
retention. It uses a definite article, and postfixes it to 
its noun, and its structure is more analytic than the syn- 
thetic structure which made Niebuhr call the Servian the 
" honestest language in all Europe." In fact, his language 



276 BULGARIA 

differs from the Servian in nature as well as in analogy — 
though hardly so much in amount — exactly as the Danish 
differs from German. As Denmark and Germany are 
within the pale of our knowledge and common sense, we 
have been spared from having a rigmarole about their 
original Teutonism thrust into the history of their dif- 
ferences. The ethnological case is as though we were to 
have the Fleming and the Hollander and the Frisian and 
the Sleswicker all joined together under some such name 
as Netherdutchland, or Nordo-Germania, with the Dane 
or Swede kneaded up with the mass, the whole being then 
paraded before the acquiescent eyes of some remote part 
of Europe, as a real bona fide nationality for the purpose of 
producing a certain effect on the opinion of that country. 



INDEX 

Abrashev, Progressist, 64 

Adrianople, 181 

Agrarian party. 45, 49, 54, 55, 65, 66. 74, 102 

pacifist leanings of, i, 2, 4 

opposition to pro-German policy, 137 

attempt to hamper mobilization, 146 

attitude towards Malinov, 192 

appreciation of Radoslavov, 7, 210 
America, influence in Bulgaria, 11, 75 

appreciation of Bulgarian aspirations. 12 

interests in Turkey, 12, 13 
American missionaries on Macedonia. 264 
Ami-Bou6, 260 
Anhiallo, 86 

Apostolov. ex-Minister , 160 
Aravantinos, P. A., 261 
Athens, 24 

Bakalov. ex-Minister, 81. 147 

Bakalov, Tsanko. 73 

B6rard, Victor, 263, 273 

Berchtold, Count, 98 

Berkovitch, S., 244 

Blagoev, Socialist leader, 77 

Bobtchev, ex-Minister , 51, 52 

Boev, Professor B., 220 

Boris, Prince. 162 

Brest-Litovsk. Treaty of, 174, 176 

British trade in Bulgaria, 228-30 

Budget for 1918, 214 

Bulgaria, census of population, 223 

Bulgarian claims to Greek Eastern Macedonia, 269, 270 

to the Dobrudja, 43 
Burov, ex-Minister A. D., 53 

277 



278 INDEX 

Carp, Rumanian Minister, 172 
Cavalla, 41, 126, 182, 185, 186 

question, the, 269 
Christov, Progressist, 64 
Clemenceau, M., allusion to assassination of British and 

French bluejackets in Athens on December 1, 1916, 28 
Coburg, Prince Philip of, 106 
Constantine, King, 18, 153, 154, 185 
Constantinople, conference of, 10, 251 

Greek claims to, 30 
Corfu, declaration of, 40, 41 
Coutoupis, M. Thalis, 36, 41 
Crewe, Lord, 14 
Czernin, Count, 172 



Danailov, ex-Minister Professor G., 60 
Danev, Dr., 49, 54, 60, 79, 83, 99, 102 

party, 61-64 

attitude during the Balkan Wars, 62 
Davidovitch, Dim., 242 
Delcasse, M., 121 
Democrat party, 55-61 
Dergilen, Kiriak, 259 
Dimitriev, General Radko, 10, 147 
Dimtchev,. Nationalist, 53 
Dintchev, ex-Minister, 80, 207 
Djidrov, Dr., 76 
Dobrudja, 3, 19, 182, 208, 236 

friction with Germany over the, 172, 174, 177 

Bulgarian rights to the, 43 

treatment of the Dobrudjans by Rumania, 269 
Draghiev, Agrarian leader, 68, 69, 70, 74, 162 

Entente, attitude towards Bulgaria, 4, 9, 94, 105, 120, 156 
Greece, 26, 29, 35, 153 

negotiations with Bulgaria, 116, 121, 126 

hesitating attitude, 130, 141, 149 
Epirus, Northern, 250 
Exarchate, creation of Bulgarian, 254, 256 

statistics on Macedonia, 273 



INDEX 279 

Fadenchecht, Dr., 65 

Ferdinand, Tsar, 5, lo, 12, 44, 45, 50, 51, 56, 58, 61, 62, 
87. 92, 94. 105. 154 

attitude towards Agrarians, 68 

encouraged to attack his Balkan allies, 83 

corruption fostered by, 91, 114 

pro- Austrian proclivities, 95, 102 

sojourn in Austria, 98 

electioneering artifice, 103 

disregard for constitution, 104, 112, 113, 115, 145 

German loan, 106 

co-operation with Germany, 95, 133, 139 

audience with Opposition leaders, 144, 145 

interview Wxth Neue Freie Presse, 158 
Fitchev, General, 134, 135, 147 
Flood, Mr., on Bulgarian aims, 11 
Foch, Marshal, 15 
Food Controller, General Protogherov, interview with, 221 

Gantchev, Colonel, 134 

Garashanin, late Serbian Mmister for Foreign Afifairs, 245 

Gatev, ex-Minister, 87, 88 

George, Mr. Lloyd, 29 

Germany, cultural penetration of Bulgaria, 5 

growing influence in Bulgaria, 128, 131 

energy displayed, 130 

anti-German spirit in Bulgaria, 163, 170, 171, 175, 178 

friendliness towards Greece, 184 
Ghenadiev. Dr. N., 83, 87, 88, 121, 135 

open letter to Ferdinand, 97 

break with pro-Germans, 136 

impeachment, 158 

condemnation, 160 
Ghenadiev, ex-Deputy Pavel, 89, 90 
Gheorghiev, Dr. Chr., 207, 220 
Gheorghov, Radical, 65 
GioHtti, Signer, 98 
Giuliano, di San, 34 
Greece, mutinies in, 16 

friendliness of Germany towards, 19 

German propaganda, 19, 20, 23, 154 

persecution of Ottoman Greeks, 22, 23 



28o INDEX 

Greece, aspirations, 21, 27, 29, 30, 31, 270 

mobilization order, 147 

pro-German attitude, 148 
Gubidelnikov, Nationalist, 53 
Guchkov, ex-President of the Duma, 52 
Gudev, ex-Premier, 82 
Guenev, General, 147 
Gueshov, I. E., ex-Premier, 49, 99, 102, 144, 192 

party, 50-54 

conciliatory attitude during the Balkan Wars, 83 

views on economics, 219 

attack on Radoslavov, 186 

support to Radoslavov, 157 

Hadji Yakim, teacher, 257 
Hilferding, 260 
Hodjov, Dr., Progressist, 64 
Hohenlohe, Prince, 129 
Hussein Djahid, 180 

Iankovitch and Gruitch, 243 

Ikonomov, editor of Balkanska Tribuna, 132 

Italy, 39, 117, 118 

Ivanov, General, 11, 147 

Jablanski, Nationalist, 53 
Jonescu, M. Take, 98, 271 

Kabaktchiev, Socialist, 77 
Kaiser, visit to Sofia, 173 
Kaltchev, K. H., 161 
Kanazirski, Nationalist, 53 
Karavelov, Petko, 60 
Keortchev, Deputy, 220 
Kifissia, 24, 26 
Kirkov, Socialist, 77 
Kolarov, S., Agrarian, 73 
Korocek, Jugo-Slav leader, 173 
Kosturkov, Minister, 64, 192 
Koznitski, ex-Minister, 89 
Kramarz, Czech leader, 52 
Kiihlmann, von, 179, 183 



INDEX 281 

Laveleye, Emile de, 260 

League of Bulgarian Authors and Professors, 160, 173 

L6ger, Professor Louis, on Macedonia, 262 

Lejean, 260 

Liaptchev, Minister A., 59, 73 

Liberal parties, 49, 77-90, 100 

London, Convention of, 42, 117 

Ludskanov, ex-Minister Al., 64 

Lukanov, Socialist Deputy, 77 

Macedonia, 39, 40, 53, 119, 122, 126, 146, 150, 151, 230, 
240 

Agrarians on Macedonia, 72 

feelings of Bulgarians on the Macedonian question, 
120 

refugees from, 241 

awakening of Bulgarian nationalism in, 256 

missionaries' opinion on, 264 
Mackenzie and Irby, 261 
Madjarov, Minister R., 6, 60 
Makensen, General von, 88, 151 
Malinov, Alexander, 49, 54, 102 

party, 55-61 

vacillating attitude of, 3 

disapproval of pro-German policy, 148, 156, 157 

assumption of Premiership, 191-94 

defence of Bulgarian economic interests, 219 
Marghiloman, Rumanian ex-Premier, 172 
Maritsa question, 175, 178 
Mazzini, 38, 39 

Mecklenburg, Duke of, 129, 139 
Michaikov, Dr., 260 

Mihailovski, Stoyan, author and poet, 92, no 
Miladinov, folk-lorists, 258, 260 
Milan, King, 249 

Milovanovitch, late Serbian Premier, 232 
Milyukov, pro-Bulgarian statements, 162 
Mishaikov, Professor D., 220 
Mishev, D. Brankov, publicist, 96 
Mollov, Professor V., 60 
Momtchev, S., Agrarian Deputy, 73 
Momtchilov, Vice-President of the Sobranje, 88, 136 



282 INDEX 

Morava, 3, 235, 236, 238, 240, 242 

Bulgarian daily on the, 239 
Mushanov, Minister N., 59 



Naidenov, General, 225 

National Bank of Bulgaria, 199, 202 

Nationalist party, 50-55, 61 



Omartseski, Deputy Stoyan, 162 
Opposition manifestos, 138, 140 
attacks on Radoslavov, 174 

Paget, Sir Arthur, 116 

Paissi, monk, 257 

Paprikov, General, 193 

Parvus, 77 

Passarov, Bulgarian Ambassador, 24 

Passitch, Serbian Premier, declaration of, 41 

attitude towards Bulgaria, 122, 126 
Pastuhov, Deputy Kr., 76 
Patriarchate, Greek, and Bulgarian nationalist movement, 

254. 257, 260 
Pechev, ex-Minister, 80 
Peev, General, 85 

Peev-Platchkov, ex-Minister, 53, 192 
Peitsinovitch, Cyril, 258 
Pelagitch, Vassa, 248 
Perlitchev, Grigor, 258, 260 

Petkov, late Premier Dimitre, 82, 84, 87, 88, 131 
Petkov, ex-Minister Dobri, 89, 129, 136, 160 
Petrov, ex- Premier General Ratso, 82, 85 
Politis, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, 33 
Progressist Party, 61 

Radical party, 64 

pacifist leanings, i, 2, 61 

attitude towards Malinov, 193 
Raditchevitch, Branko, 242 
Radolov, Deputy Al., 73 



INDEX 283 

Radoslavov, Dr. Vassil, 12, 45, 49, 66, 97, 135, 147, 157, 
203, 204 

party, 77-81 

condemnation, 83 

election methods, 101-103 

subservience to Turks, 105 
to Germans, 108 

dread of Russia, 121 

speeches, 166, 238 

declaration concerning the Dobrudja and Cavalla, 186 

resignation, 191 

destructive influence in Bulgarian finances, 211 
Rilski, Neophite, 260 
Robert, Cyprien, 260 
Robev, 260 
Roosevelt, Mr. Th., 38 
Russia, position in the Entente, 14, 121 

unfriendhness towards Bulgaria, 94 

pro-Russian feeling in Bulgaria, 14T, 142, 163 

ultimatum to Bulgaria, 148 

effects of Russian revolution in Bulgaria, 162 

dread of, 131 
Rustchuk, 44, 56, 57, 58, 60 

Sakarov, Deputy Dr., 76 

Sakuzov, Socialist leader, 75, 76, 155 

San Stefano Treaty, 225 

Saratov, Progressist, 64 

Savov, General M., 133, 147, 193 

Schenck, Baron, 35 

Serbia, 119, 127, 149, 150 

Entente's disregard of, 117, 118 

attitude on Macedonian question, 118, 122, 234 

uncompromising spirit, 122, 123, 124 

invasion, 151 

control of the Danube, 133 

Bulgarian declaration of war against, 152 

persecution of Macedonians, 266 

Sharenkov, Deputy Andrei, 73 
Shiskov, General, 147 
Siderov, Deputy K., 65 



284 INDEX 

Sinaitski, Theodossius, 259 
Social-Democrat party, 49, 61, 75, 102 

pacifist leanings, i, 2, 8, 182, 183 

congress of the party, 7 

attempt to hamper mobilization, 146 

attitude towards Malinov, 192 

attack on Radoslavov, 186, 188 

economic policy, 219 
Socialism in Bulgaria, 46, 75 
Socialists, Doctrinaire, party, 77 

attitude of, 138, 192 
Sofia, 44, 119, 131 

anti-German meeting, 109 

German propaganda in, 162 

departure of Entente Ministers, 149, 150 

scarcity of food in, 205 
Sopadji, 100 

Stamboliski, Alexander, 67, 68, 73, 144, 145, 192 
Stambulov, 53, 113, 114 
Stambulovist party, 82 
Steinen, von den, 6, 208, 209 
Stockholm Conference, 169 
Strangford, Lord, 255, 261, 275 
Stratos, Greek ex-Minister, 27 



Takev, Minister M., 59, 210 

Theotokis, late Greek Premier, 23 

Todorov, ex-Minister Todor, 11, 51, 215 

Tontchev, ex-Minister, 80, 81, 82, 135^ 147, 198 
open letter to Ferdinand, 97 
ruinous financial policy, 212, 213 

Trotsky, 77 

Tsankov, Deputy Assen, 76 

Tsanov, Naitso, 64, 144 

Tsomakov, Dr., 260 

Turkey, friction with Bulgaria, 177 
megalomania, 181 



Ubicini, 260 

Utchormansky, Dr. B. N., 159 



INDEX 285 

Vasov, Deputy B., 53 

Vasov, General G., 53, 147 

Vasov, Ivan, 53, 140 

Venizelos, 10, 21, 22, 28, 34, 35, 37, 41, 149, 153. 184 

opposition to, 16, 18, 20 

lack of Entente support, ig 

speeches, 24, 25, 41 

resignation, 148, 149 

Washburn, Dr. George, 253 
Wilson, President, 38, 42 

Yanoulov, Deputy Ilia, 219 
Young Turks, 32, 33, 104, 231 

ZiNZiFOV, poet, 258 



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