Metodi Shatorov

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Metodi Shatorov (1939) official document
Metodija Satorov-Sarlo.jpg

Metodi Tasev Shatorov - Sharlo (Bulgarian: Методи Шаторов - Шарло and Macedonian Cyrillic: Методиja Шаторов - Шарло) (January 10, 1897, Prilep, Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire – September 12, 1944 near Velingrad, Bulgaria) was a Bulgarian communist leader during the first half of 20th century [1][2][3][4][5] and also temporary leader of the Vardar Macedonian communists in 1940-1941. As most left-wing politicians from Macedonia, during the 1930s he adopted the Balkan Communist Federation's concept for an autonomous Macedonia.[6] However, Macedonian communist functionaries, originating from the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) (IMRO (United)) never lost their strong pro-Bulgarian (bulgarophile) sentiments.[7]


Shatorov graduated from the local Bulgarian Exarchate's junior school in Prilep and afterwards from the Bulgarian men's high school in Bitola.[8] He also attended a pedagogic school in Skopje in 1914-1915. In 1918 the Bulgarian Army withdrew from Vardar Macedonia and Serbia annexed the area. He immediately emigrated to Bulgaria, where he became a member of the BCP in 1920. Furthermore, Sharlo was arrested for his participation in the September Uprising in 1923. In 1925 he became also a member of the IMRO (United) - de facto a BCP creation. As a significant party worker, he grew as a functionary of the Comintern and a member of the BCP Central Committee. He was imprisoned several times and emigrated to the Soviet Union for political reasons. During the Spanish Civil War Sharlo went to Paris as a coordinator of BCP. During World War II the Comintern sent him back to Vardar Macedonia (being then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia under the name 'Vardarska Banovina') to serve as a Secretary of the Macedonian Regional Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party (YCP) since 1940. After the Bulgarian takeover of Vardarska Banovina in April 1941, the Vardar Macedonian communists fell in the sphere of influence of the BCP under Sharlo's leadership.[9] The Macedonian Regional Committee refused to remain in contact with the YCP and linked up with BCP as soon as the invasion of Yugoslavia started.[10] Sharlo refused to distribute the proclamation of the YCP which called for military action against the Bulgarians.[11] He also became prominent with his anti-Serbian political views. The local committee of the YCP took the collaborationist position, based upon the assumption that the Bulgarian army liberated Vardar Macedonia from serbianisation. Shatorov was credited with the slogan "One people, one country, one party", by which he approved the Bulgarian invasion.[12] For him not the Bulgarians, but the Serbs were the occupiers of Vardar Macedonia.[13]

While the Bulgarian communists avoided organising mass armed uprising against the Bulgarian authorities in Vardar Macedonia, the Yugoslav communists insisted on an armed revolt. Upon the decision of the Comintern and Joseph Stalin himself the Macedonian communists were reattached to CPY. Sharlo's leadership was terminated, but the vestiges of his policy among part of the communist activists were preserved. Despite his expulsion, the new executive bodies of the Macedonian Regional Committees continued to share Shatorov's ideas until 1943.[14] This policy changed since 1943 with the arrival of the Tito's envoy Montenegrin Serb Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo. He began in earnest to organise armed resistance to the Bulgarian rule and sharply criticized Sharlo's pro-Bulgarian policy.[15]

Consequently, for his actions Sharlo was expelled from the YCP and in the late 1941 he moved again to Sofia, where he began working as one of the Bulgarian resistance movement leaders (under the nickname 'Panayot'). He was among the most active organizers of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews.

Sharlo was heavyly wounded and disappeared under unknown circumstances on September 5, 1944 in a battle between partisans and gendarmerie on Milevi skali in the Rhodopi mountain. As Shatorov was previously sentenced to death by a Tito's tribunal, there are serious indications that he was killed by Josip Broz Tito's agents (allegedly in agreement with the International Department of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party) as a politically inconvenient leader.[16] This happened only several days before the Communist coup d'état of September, 9 (backed by the Red Army) installed a new government of the Fatherland Front. As per the autopsy report, he died after September, 11, i.e. several days after the old regime's end, and until then he was not discovered neither by his comrades nor by the new authorities.

Shatorov's supporters in Vardar Macedonia, called Sharlisti, were systematically exterminated by the YCP since the autumn of 1944, and heavily repressed for their anti-Yugoslav and pro-Bulgarian political positions.


After 1944 the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began a policy for establishing a common Balkan Federative Republic and forced the creation of a distinct Slav Macedonian consciousness as a bridge between the two states. Hence, the Shatorov's policy was not in favour in both countries. Nevertheless, the Bulgarian Communist Party decided at a plenum in 1958 to change its course on the Macedonian Question. Afterwards, the concept for a Macedonian ethnicity and language was abandoned and Shatorov was fully rehabilitated in Bulgaria. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the fall of Communism he was partially rehabilitated in the Republic of Macedonia only in 2005.



  1. ^ Conflict and chaos in Eastern Europeр, Dennis P. Hupchick, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, ISBN 0-312-12116-4, р. 153.
  2. ^ Вера Ацева го тврди следното: "Прво, другари, ако се чита писмото на Методија Шаторов-Шарло, напишано по распуштањето на Покраинскиот комитет и неговото сменување од секретар на ПК на КПЈ на Македонија ќе се види дека тој во душата е Бугарин. Целото негово дејствување преку летото 1941 година, како секретар на ПК, беше подредено на тоа Македонија да биде составен дел на Бугарија. Јас лично го познавам, сум работела со него, сум била член на ПК, па според тоа, можам повеќе и да судам".(види: "Дискусија на Вера Ацева, Скопје во НОВ, 1941", Скопје, 1973, стр. 379)
  3. ^ Jосип Броз Тито тврди следното:" Драги другари, постапката на "Стариот Бугарин" кој што беше одговорен за нашата работа во Македонија с епокажа не само антипартиска но и контарреволуционерна. Тој го саботираше издавањето на прогласот на ЦК на ЈКП и зазеде националистичка позиција. Тој ги прекина сите врски со ЦК на ЈКП после окупацијата и не се јави на поканата да дојде со известието на ЦК. Тој завзеде непријателска позиција спрема другарите Срби, завзеде позиција која со ништо не се разлкува од позицијата на македонската реакционна буржоазија.
  4. ^ Bulgaria during the Second World War, Marshall Lee Miller, Stanford University Press, 1975,ISBN 0-8047-0870-3, pp. 130-131.
  5. ^ Utre zhivotŭt shte bŭde nash: spomeni, Vladimir Tanov, Partizdat, 1980, p. 132
  6. ^ "Дневник", Македония: Капитален труд за Методи Шаторов - Шарло. 06 декември 2012, Агенция "Фокус".
  7. ^ Palmer, S. and R. King Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Archon Books (June 1971), p. 137.
  8. ^ Воин Трайков Божинов, Българската просвета в Македония и Одринска Тракия 1878-1913, Българска Академия на Науките, 1982, стр. 219.
  9. ^ Historical dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Valentina Georgieva, Sasha Konechni, Scarecrow Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8108-3336-0, p. 223.
  10. ^ Who are the Macedonians?, Hugh Poulton, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1-85065-238-4, p.102
  11. ^ Bulgaria during the Second World War, Marshall Lee Miller, Stanford University Press, 1975, ISBN 0-8047-0870-3, p. 131.
  12. ^ Macedonian and Bulgarian national nihilism, Ivan Alexandrov, Macedonian Patriotic Organization "Todor Alexandroff' Australia, ISBN 0-646-14079-5, p. 22.
  13. ^ Dimitris Livanios, The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939-1949, Oxford Historical Monographs, OUP Oxford, 2008, ISBN 0191528722, p. 120.
  14. ^ Bane Andreev of Veles, a party secretary for Macedonia, expressed this same ideology, as cited in volume 7 of the Encyclopedia Jugoslavie 1955, p. 686: "Bane Andreev thought that the Macedonian people believe in Bulgaria's role as liberator and that no Macedonian wants to fight against the Bulgarian soldiers. That the Macedonians should respond positively to the mobilization call being carried out by the Bulgarian authorities and join the army."
  15. ^ At a meeting of the partisan brigades, as well as a group of battalions in the Resen region on 21 Dec 1943, Tempo makes the following comments about Shatorov and the leadership of MCP:
    "They thought that the Macedonian people were Bulgarians and that they were oppressed by the hegemony of Great Serbia and had to be transferred to Bulgaria. Their basic slogan is: "All non-Macedonians out of Macedonia". The capital J [Serbo-Croatian spelling of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavian, etc.] was deleted from all documents. In fact they did not want Yugoslavia, no matter where it stood politically. When the war started, the initial decision of this leadership was to be separate from Yugoslavia and from Tito. They declared that Macedonia would be free as soon as the Bulgarians came...."
  16. ^ Убийството на Методи Шаторов, Илия Стефанов, ИК "Военно издателство", ISBN 954-509-332-3.

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