Day of Macedonian Uprising in 1941

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The day of the Macedonian Uprising in 1941 is October 11. It marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Macedonian uprising against fascism during World War II in Yugoslav Macedonia. Since the times of SFRY this was the national holiday in SR Macedonia and later in Republic of Macedonia it was proclaimed a public holiday. It is a non-working day.[1]


During the Second World War, the Axis powers invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, of which today Republic of Macedonia was part called Vardar Banovina. On October 11, 1941, the Yugoslav Communists in Vardar Macedonia began to organize an armed insurrection against their Bulgarian occupiers with started with an attack on the local police-station in Prilep. The October 11 rebellion launched the war for national liberation from fascist occupation, which coincided with the subsequent rise of the Macedonian communist resistance movement into the following years. It lasted until late 1944.[2]


Every year on 11 October, there are official ceremonies and public speeches and celebrations on the occasion of Day of Macedonian Uprising. There are also official award called 11 October, given out to Macedonian people who have contributed significantly to the national progress.


The glorification of the Communist Partisan movement became one of the main agenda of the post-war Yugoslav political propaganda. Historically, Yugoslav communism and Macedonian nationalism are closely related.[3] The very Macedonian nation, state and language are basically a result of Yugoslav communist policies.[4][5] After the Republic of Macedonia gained its independence during 1990s, the picture has not changed significantly. Macedonian historiography has not revised the Yugoslav Communist past, because almost all of its historical myths were created during the communist era.[6] In fact, when Bulgarian Army entered Vardar Macedonia on 19 April 1941, the soldiers were greeted by the locals as liberators, while pro-Bulgarian feelings among them prevailed.[7] After the Bulgarian takeover the local communists fell in the sphere of influence of the Bulgarian Communist Party. They refused to define the Bulgarian forces as occupiers. However, after the German invasion of the USSR in June, with the help of the Comintern a decision was taken in August, and the Macedonian Communists were attached back to the Yugoslav Communist Party. People loyal to the CPY were next appointed as leaders of the Regional Committee in September. As result the Bulgarian police station in Prilep was attacked on 11 October. The only victim of this attack was a local policeman who was conscripted in the Bulgarian police.[8] Soon after most of the leading pro-Yugoslav communists were annihilated or arrested and imprisoned until 1944 Bulgarian coup d'état.[9] The resistance movement after these actions fell virtually again under Bulgarian communists' control. Throughout 1942 and most of 1943, the resistance was weak and sporadic. This policy changed during 1943 with the arrival of the Tito's personal envoy, the Serb Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo. Nevertheless, before the Autumn of 1944, the Macedonian Partisans were not significant military force.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Discovering Macedonia, Macedonian Holidays – a Comprehensive Guide.
  2. ^ Macedonia is celebrating the 11th of October – The Day of the Antifascist Uprising. 11 October, 2017,
  3. ^ Roumen Daskalov, Diana Mishkova as ed., Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume Two: Transfers of Political Ideologies and Institutions, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 9004261915, p. 499.
  4. ^ Per Carsten Wieland, [Stefan] Troebst sees the Macedonian process of nation building as a perfect example of Gellner's theory of nationalism. Since the foundation of the Yugoslav Macedonia this construction was conducted in haste and hurry: “National language, national literature, national history and national church were not available in 1944, but they were accomplished in a short time. The south-east-Slavic regional idiom of the area of Prilep-Veles was codified as the script, normed orthographically by means of the Cyrillic Alphabet, and taken over immediately by the newly created media. And the people have been patching up the national history ever since. Thus, they are forming more of an “ethnic” than a political concept of nation. For more, see: One Macedonia With Three Faces: Domestic Debates and Nation Concepts, in Intermarium; Columbia University; Volume 4, No. 3 (2000–2001).
  5. ^ Yugoslav Communists recognized the existence of a Macedonian nationality during WWII to quiet fears of the Macedonian population that a communist Yugoslavia would continue to follow the former Yugoslav policy of forced Serbianization. Hence, for them to recognize the inhabitants of Macedonia as Bulgarians would be tantamount to admitting that they should be part of the Bulgarian state. For that the Yugoslav Communists were most anxious to mold Macedonian history to fit their conception of Macedonian consciousness. The treatment of Macedonian history in Communist Yugoslavia had the same primary goal as the creation of the Macedonian language: to de-Bulgarize the Macedonian Slavs and to create a separate national consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia. For more see: Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King, Yugoslav communism and the Macedonian question, Archon Books, 1971, ISBN 0208008217, Chapter 9: The encouragement of Macedonian culture.
  6. ^ Ulf Brunnbauer, "Pro‐Serbians" vs. "Pro‐Bulgarians": Revisionism in Post‐Socialist Macedonian Historiography, first published on 21 December 2005
  7. ^ "Who are the Macedonians?" Hugh Poulton, Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1995, ISBN 978-1-85065-238-0, p. 101.
  8. ^ Македонизмът и съпротивата на Македония срещу него, Коста Църнушанов, Унив. изд. "Св. Климент Охридски", София, 1992 г. стр. 206.
  9. ^ Marshall Lee Miller, Bulgaria during the Second World War, Stanford University Press, 1975, p. 132.
  10. ^ Livanios, Dimitris, The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939-1949, Oxford University Publishing, 2008, ISBN 0191528722, pp. 118-141.
  11. ^ Michael Palairet, Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 2), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, ISBN 1443888494, p. 212.