Wednesday, 16 August 2017 | News today: 14

Will Cento be part of the joint history? (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

Nenad Mircevski

Nenad Mircevski

Ten days after Zoran Zaev announced that he had negotiated a “historic agreement on good neighborly relations” with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the public still demands to know what the document contains and whether it has the disputed points that threaten the Macedonian language, history and the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria. From Zaev we only heard accusations against his own state that it spread nationalism and announced a change in history that would be shared in the spirit of good neighborly relations, without telling who will decide what will be erased. At the same time, Bulgarian nationalists euphorically celebrate that the agreement would mean the final end of Macedonian nationalism, and Tsar Samuil, Cyril and Methodius, Grigor Prlichev and other figures from Macedonian history daily are proclaimed as Bulgarians in all sorts of debates that they guest. From the details of the agreement it is known only that the signing will take place on one of Macedonia’s biggest national holidays  – Ilinden, which according to the same agreement should be celebrated in a new joint history. It is not known whether this joint celebration will be on an equal footing, that is, whether the Macedonian identity will be recognized.

Macedonian historians warn that controversial topics of our history for the Bulgarian historiography are the medieval period, Samuil’s state, the Ilinden Uprising. But perhaps the worst would be the period of the Second World War, that is, the Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia when numerous violent acts were committed against the Macedonian population.

One of the victims of the Bulgarian occupation authority is the first president of Macedonia, Metodija Andonov Cento. The great fighter for Macedonia in 1941 and 1942 several times was arrested and held in prison in Prilep and Bitola by the Bulgarian authorities because he called for fight against fascism. His statement is recorded in the historical records: “There is only one way to gain freedom: a fight! Which can only have one form: a general people’s armed uprising! ”

Republika came to exclusive photos taken in the Bulgarian camp of Chuchuligovo near Petrich, where Cento was interned in 1943. Considering Zaev’s announcement that with the agreement on good neighborly relations “Macedonia closes a chapter of nationalism and opens another to European future,” on this occasion, I publicly ask Zaev, where will be the place of Metodija Andonov Cento in this new joint history? How will the work of this Macedonian hero be written down and whether his sufferings in the Bulgarian camps will be described in the new history books? Is Zaev ready for the “European future” to renounce the legacy left by Cento united under the flag of independent Macedonia to safeguard freedom, independence and democratic order?

Zaev from Sofia also announced that “Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov will visit Macedonia and bow before the monuments of our joint history”. Will Zaev, as a sign of good neighborly relations with Bulgaria, take Borisov before the monument of Cento?

In the Macedonian history it is written that Cento as a fighter for the Macedonian cause was guided by the principles that, according to him, basically did not differ from the principles of the Ilinden Uprising and the Krusevo Republic. He fought Ilinden ideals to become our reality today. With his work, Cento committed us to keep Macedonia united. It is the commitment that was given to us by our other ancestors who gave their lives for an independent and free Macedonia, as well as the generations to follow.

The question to Zaev is: Who committed you to sell the cause and the ideals ?