|The Invention of the 'History of the Macedonian Nation', and the Real Descent of the Macedonians:|
Those who produce the propaganda issued in Skopje attach great importance to the ex post facto construction of the history of the 'Macedonian nation'. The 'National History Institute of the Macedonian People' was founded in Skopje in December 1948. The historians of Skopje focused their attention on proving that a separate 'Macedonian' nation existed regardless of whether or not it had ever given any sign of life in the past.
Those historians included Kriste Pitoski, Alexander Trayanovski, Risto Poplazakov and Ian Katardziev, together with the politician Dimitar Vlahov. Their argument consisted of the claim that there had been a 'Macedon ian' people of Slav descent who lived in the area of Macedonia in the 7th century AD.
"After a period of importance in the Middle Ages" (this, of course, is the Empire of Tsar Samuel, who was a Bulgarian and certainly not a 'Macedonian') "the Macedonian people were enslaved by the Bulgarians and latterly by the Turks". In the particular case of Samuel, the argument from Skopje is that he was a 'Macedonian Slav', that since he was the leader of a Macedonian state he was therefore a 'Macedonian', and that consequently the state he founded was 'the first Macedonian state'.
The historical truth of the matter is that Samuel was a Bulgarian Tsar, not a Macedonian. Consequently, the state he founded was Bulgarian. That is why the Byzantine Emperor Basil II, who crushed Samuel and his state, is known as Basil the Bulgar-Slayer and not Basil the Macedonian-Slayer.
According to A. Vasiliev, "Basil's war against the Bulgarians was a very cruel one, as a result of which he was called 'the Bulgar-slayer"'. And M. Levtchenko says that "Basil acquired the name 'Bulgur-slayer because of his exploits and cruelty in war. By 1018 he had finished with Bulgaria."
An inscription dating from 1017 has been found at Monastir: it refers to John, the nephew of Samuel, "Bulgarian by race".
The 'Macedonian' historians of Yugoslavia have been careful enough to avoid the trap of claiming that they are the continuation of the ancient Macedonians. However, they have indulged in theories of various other kinds, identifying the Macedonians with the ancient Illyrians, or tracing their ancestry back to some separate indigenous tribe a sort of mixture of Illyrians and Thracians.
As a result, the Greek influence which can be seen everywhere in Macedonia has to be interpreted as imported from the Greek colonies of Chalkidike, while the Macedonian kings and their stock are described as 'Hellenising apostates' and the population is Macedonian rather than Greek. However, the historians of Skopje are aware of the need for their 'Macedonian' nation to acquire some bonds with antiquity. They thus invented the theory that the invasion of the Slavs (a thousand years after the golden age of Macedon) resulted in the extermination of a part of the indigenous population and inevitable intermarriage with the survivors. Under this oversimplified version of the process by which nations are born, the Slavs who established themselves in Macedonia 'married into' the last traces of the ancient Macedonians so as to provide the Yugoslavs with 20th century 'Macedonians'.