Serbianisation or Serbianization, also known as Serbification, and Serbisation or Serbization (Serbian: србизација/srbizacija or посрбљавање/posrbljavanje; Albanian: serbizimi; Bulgarian: сърбизация, sərbizacija or посръбчване, posrəbčvane; Croatian: srbizacija, posrbljavanje; Macedonian: србизација, translit. srbizacija; Romanian: serbificarea) is the spread of Serbian culture, people, and language, either by integration or assimilation.
- 1 Medieval period
- 2 19th century
- 3 20th century
- 4 21th century
- 5 Other ethnic groups
- 6 Notable individuals of non-Serb origin who declared as Serbs
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
Bosnia and Hercegovina
Serbian historians in their historiography to demonstrate the Serb character of Bosnia and Hercegovina have cited that the region upon its submission to the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate led to the Serbianisation of most of the territory.
Principality of Serbia
Timok and Morava regions
The historical sources demonstrate that before the 19th century and the rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire the majority of the ordinary Orthodox Christians on the Balkans had only a vague idea of their ethnic identity. The local South Slavic-speaking peasants were accustomed to define itself in terms of their religion, locality and occupation. After the national states were established, peasantry was indoctrinated through the schools and military conscription, the official Church, and the governmental press. It was through these instruments of the state administration, that a national identity came into real and rapid development.
The Serbian Revolts between 1804 and 1815 gained autonomy from the Ottoman Empire that eventually evolved towards de facto independence between 1835 and 1867. In this period a two transitional ethno-linguistic territories between Serbs and Bulgarians existed. The first one of transitional Bulgarians, between Niš and Sofia, and a second one of transitional Serbs, between Niš and Belgrade. At the time the areas west of Belgrade were considered free of Bulgarian ethno-linguistic influence and as such motivated the Serb linguistic reformer Vuk Karadžić to use the Hercegovina dialects for his standardisation of Serbian.
National revival and statehood among the Serbs preceded the Bulgarian struggles (1860-1885) by some decades, which led to the full Serbianisation of the transitional Serbs between Belgrade and Niš in the first half of the 19th century. Nevertheless, Serbian sources from the mid 19th century, continued to claim, the areas southeast of Nis, including Macedonia, were mainly Bulgarian populated. Per Serbian newspaper, Vidovdan (No. 38, March 29, 1862), the future Bulgarian-Serbian frontier would extend from the Danube in North, along the Timok and [sic] "Bulgarian Morava", and then on the ridge of Shar Mountain towards the Black Drin River to the Lake of Ohrid in South.
In 1867, a Bulgarian society, active in Bucharest approached the Serbian state with a draft-agreement. The Bulgarian side proposed the founding of a common Serbo-Bulgarian (Bulgaro-Serbian) dual state, headed by the Serbian Prince. This state was to be named South Slav Tsardom and defined the territories that would constitute Bulgaria as follows: Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. Serbian Premier Garašanin accepted the Bulgarian proposal in a letter from June 1867, but he diplomatically refused to sign the document, fearing how representative this organisation had been. On the other hand, the establishment of this common state concerned other Bulgarian organisations, which perceived it as an implementation of Garašanin's expansionist plan called Načertanije.
However, afterwards influenced by Načertanije's ideas, Serbian elites began to claim the transitional Bulgarians located south-east of Niš calling them Old Serbians. After the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (1877-1878), Principality of Bulgaria was created, but the lands in the regions of Niš, Pirot and Vranje became a part of Serbia. It had successfully homogenized and modernized these new territories and in this way it assimilated the "transitional Bulgarians" of the Timok and Morava river valleys toward the end of the nineteenth century. Afterwards Serbia turned its attention to the region of Macedonia.
Kingdom of Serbia
In 1878 Serbia became independent and pressure developed in the state for people from different ethnic groups to Serbianise religious denominations and their personal names. Serbianisation of identity along with ideological and cultural Serbianisation followed. Belgrade was reconstructed as a new capital by the Serb elite that removed elements of the Ottoman era. While Serb commonfolk looked for ways to aid the Serb cause and assist other Serbs still residing in areas ruled by the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Austro-Hungarian Serbs who had integrated within Serbia and promoted Serbianisation opened the country up to cultural and economic influences of Austria-Hungary in the 1880s.
In the late Ottoman period, representatives from Serbia such as the statesmen, diplomat and historian Stojan Novaković encouraged a separate Slavic Macedonian identity through Macedonianism to counter Bulgarian influence and the "Bulgarian idea" to separate the local population from Bulgarians and instill the "Serbian idea". Serbianising directly the local Slavic population through propaganda and education was difficult due to strong Bulgarian sentiments at the time in the region. The spread and promotion of Serbian Macedonianism was seen by Serbs as the first move toward eventually Serbianing the Macedonians.
Following the First World War, the new Kingdom was reliant on patronage from the Serb monarchy that resulted in tendencies of centralisation and Serbianisation that other ethnic communities in the country opposed. In Belgrade a new government was formed after the war that quickly Serbianised the gendarmerie and made non-Serbs in the country view the new Kingdom as a extension of the old Kingdom of Serbia.
Prior to 1918 most pro-Yugoslav Croat linguists supported the linguistic ideas of Serb linguist Vuk Karadžić. After the creation of the Kingdom and the official adoption of the concept of a Yugoslav nation composed of three "tribes", increasing numbers of Croats came to view Karadžić's ideas a disguised attempt at Serbianisation of non-Serbs.
The region of present-day North Macedonia until 1912 was part of the Ottoman Empire. According to Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 Edition, at the beginning of the 20th century the Slavs constituted the majority of the population in Macedonia. Per Britannica itself the bulk of the Slavs there was regarded by almost all independent sources as "Bulgarians". Immediately after annexation of Vardar Macedonia to the Kingdom of Serbia, the Macedonian Slavs were faced with the policy of forced serbianisation.
We find here, as everywhere else, the ordinary measures of "Serbization" — the closing of schools, disarmament, invitations to schoolmasters to become Servian officials, nomination of "Serbomans", "Grecomans" and Vlachs, as village headmen, orders to the clergy of obedience to the Servian Archbishop, acts of violence against influential individuals, prohibition of transit, multiplication of requisitions, forged signatures to declarations and patriotic telegrams, the organization of special bands, military executions in the villages and so forth.
Those who declare as the Bulgarians were, harassed or deported to Bulgaria. The high clergymen of Bulgarian Orthodox Church were also deported. Bulgarian schools were closed and teachers expelled. The population of Macedonia was forced to declare as Serbs. Those who refused were beaten and tortured. Prominent people and teachers from Skopje who refused to declare as Serbs were deported to Bulgaria. International Commission concluded that the Serbian state started in Macedonia wide sociological experiment of "assimilation through terror." All Bulgarian books gave way to Serbian. The government Serbianized personal names and surnames for all official uses. Between 1913-1915 all people who spoke a Slavic language in Vardar Macedonia were presented by Serbia as Serbs.
During the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the government of the Kingdom pursued a linguistic Serbisation policy towards population of the Macedonia, then called "Southern Serbia" (unofficially) or "Vardar Banovina" (officially). The dialects spoken in this region were referred to as dialects of Serbo-Croatian. Either way, those southern dialects were suppressed with regards education, military and other national activities, and their usage was punishable. Following the First World War Serbian rule was reinstated over Vardar Macedonia, the local Bulgarian or Macedonian population was not recognised and an attempted Serbianisation occurred. During 1920 the Orthodox community of Vardar Macedonia was placed under the Serbian Orthodox Church after payment was made to the Constantinople Patriarchate who sold its control for 800,000 francs in 1919. In Vardar Macedonia, Bulgarian signage and literature was removed and societies were shut down along with the expulsion of Bulgarian teachers and clergy who had returned during the war. Names of people were forcefully Serbianised such as Atanasov becoming Atanasović and Stankov as Stanković along with a spate of repression that followed through arrests, internment and detention.
The Kingdom was also interested to change the ethnic composition of the population in Vardar Macedonia. Yugoslavia commenced a policy of forced Serbianisation through such measures as the Agrarian Reform which was a settlement plan. In 1919 there were announced the orders for preparing for colonization of Southern Serbia. The Serbian colonization was maintained through "agricultural" and "administrative" actions. In the Interbellum, the Kingdom has settled 3,670 families (18,384 persons). The colonists were given properties. Also, in the same time almost all clerks in the area were Serbs. This means that in the period between the two World wars the Kingdom succeeded through the agricultural and the administrative colonizations to create significant Serbian ethnic minority in Vardar Macedonia. Total numbers were 4,200 Serb families with 50,000 Serb gendermes and troops relocated from Serbia to Vardar Macedonia to advance the Serbianisation of the region and population.
The initiation of an educational campaign made children to learn that "I am a true Serb like my father and my mother" while their parents were not receptive of the Yugoslav state. Government authorities due to maladministration had difficulties in Serbianising the local population as they were strongly attached to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Exarchate) and Bulgarian nationalism. In Vardar Macedonia Bulgarian newspapers were banned in many areas and mail from Bulgaria remained undelivered within the region due to "a technicality".
As a counteraction to Serb efforts the paramilitary IMRO began sending armed bands into Yugoslav Macedonia to assassinate officials and stir up the spirit of the locals. After 1923 the IMRO had de facto full control of Bulgarian Macedonia and acted as a "state within a state". It used Bulgaria as a base for terrorist attacks against Yugoslavia with the unofficial agreement of the right-wing governments. Because of this, contemporary observers described the Yugoslav-Bulgarian border as the most fortified in Europe. Meanwhile several hundred political assassinations were organized by the Yugoslav security police led by Dobrica Matković. Following regular attacks by pro-Bulgarian IMRO komitadjis on Serbian colonists and gendarmes, the government appealed to Association against Bulgarian Bandits, responsible for the massacre of 53 inhabitants of the village of Garvan in 1923. Regions with pro-Bulgarian sentiments such as Tikveš and Bregalnica were violently Serbianised by Serb četniks that resulted in the population gathered up for forced labour and local leaders being killed.
In 1930s a more homogeneous generation was growing up in Vardar Macedonia, which resisted Serbianisation and increasingly identified itself as Macedonian, but which also made it clear that Bulgarian idea was no more the only option for them. A sizable part of the local population nonetheless had undergone a transformation as Serbianised Slavs. The government and its widespread massive Serbianisation campaign was unsuccessful in trying to eliminate the traces of an emerging Macedonian national consciousness among the local population. During the interwar period Bulgaria resented the Serbianisation policy in Vardar Macedonia. In World War Two, the Bulgarian Army occupied southern Yugoslavia and their troops were welcomed as heroes who liberated the local Macedonian Slavs from Serbianisation.
The Serbian attempt at the Serbianisation of Kosovo and Albanian reaction toward resisting those efforts has been a factor contributing to conflict among Albanians and the Serbs. The region was strategically important for the state and its security with the local Albanian population deemed as "unreliable". Kosovo from the early twentieth century was exposed to the politics of Serbianisation through violence and administrative measures such as replacing Albanians with another population. In the aftermath of the First World War Serbian control over Kosovo was restored and the Kingdom attempting to counteract Albanian separatism pursued a policy to alter the national and religious demographics of Kosovo and to Serbianise the area. The government implemented policies such as the Agrarian Reform. It was a settlement plan to encourage Serb and Montenegrin settlers from other parts of Yugoslavia to resettle in Kosovo through preferential treatment of financial and land incentives to strengthen the Slavic element. Albanian land was illegally confiscated, often through expropriations and Albanians were encouraged to leave the region. Between 1918 to 1923, as a result of state policies 30,000 and 40,000 mainly Muslim Albanians migrated to the Turkish regions of Izmir and Anatolia. Albanian historians state that during the whole interwar period 300,000 Albanians left Yugoslavia due to duress. By 1931 the Serbianisation efforts had failed as Albanians still composed 63% of the Kosovan population. Other parts of the Serbianisation policy in Kosovo included establishing an effective government administration and refusing autonomous Albanian cultural development in the region.
After WWII Marshal Tito formed out SR Macedonia of a part of 1929–1941 Vardar Banovina, and encouraged the development of Macedonian identity and Macedonian as a separate South Slavic language. The Macedonian national feelings were already ripe, but some researchers argue that even then, it was questionable whether the Macedonian Slavs considered themselves to be a nationality separate from the Bulgarians. Yugoslav Communists recognized the existence of a separate Macedonian nation to quiet the fears of the Slavic population that a new Yugoslavia would continue to follow the policies of forced serbianization. For the Yugoslav authorities to recognize the local Slavs as Bulgarians would be to admit, they should be part of Bulgaria. In fact the recognition of the Macedonian language and nation aimed to de-bulgarize the local population and to create a national consciousness that would support the identification with Yugoslavia. As result persons continuing to declare Bulgarian identity were again imprisoned or went into exile, and so Vardar Macedonia was finally de-bulgarised.
Today some researchers have described the process of codifying the Macedonian language during 1945 - 1950 as 'Serbianization'. Within the period of Macedonian language codification two tendencies emerged: one language majority, that was pro-Macedonian, with some pro-Bulgarian biases, and one language minority openly pro-Serbian. The language minority, with the help of the Yugoslav political establishment defeated the language majority. Macedonian became a “first” official language in the newly proclaimed SR Macedonia, where Serbian was declared as “second” language, while Bulgarian was prohibited. The irreversible turning point of Serbianisation of the Macedonian standard took place in the late 1950s. On the other hand during the time of federation in Socialist Yugoslavia, Yugoslav citizens learned Serbo-Croatian at school. This bilingualism was stimulated by the subordinated pro-Serbian elites in Yugoslav Macedonia. In this way the influence of Serbo-Croatian arrose so much, that the colloquial speech of the capital Skopje has been described as a "creolized form of Serbian". For Bulgarians, Macedonian nationalism represents the result of the Serbification process in the region. Bulgarian scholars and politicians maintain that the Macedonian language was Serbified as it adopted words from the Serbian language in the postwar codification process under Yugoslavia that the Bulgarian government has denounced.
The territories called Western Outlands were ceded by Bulgaria to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1920 as a result of the Treaty of Neuilly, following the First World War. All Bulgarian schools and churches there were closed. Serbian primary schools were opened, teaching and learning in Serbian, while Bulgarian was prohibited. In 1920 a Law on the Protection of the State was adopted, which forced the Bulgarians there to accept Serbian names and surnames. A large part of the population emigrated to Bulgaria. An armed conflict started in 1922 when pro-Bulgarian separatist IWORO carried out numerous assaults on the Tzaribrod–Belgrade railway. Bulgarians have received the status of a national minority after WWII. They live in the Caribrod and Bosilegrad municipalities and in some villages in Pirot, Babušnica and Surdulica municipalities. However in 1948 there was a sharp deterioration for several decades of the Bulgarian-Yugoslav relations, due to the Tito-Stalin split. The Bulgarian teachers there were expelled again. The population was subjected to humiliation, and systematic psychological terror. Bulgarians made the highest percentage among the minorities detained on Goli Otok labour camp after the WWII. This fact is one of the main causes of this community’s behaviour to convert into Yugoslavs and Serbs, but even to Shopi and Torlaks. The decades of geographic isolation of other Bulgarians, and the repressions additionally led this community to inability to build its own minority space for many years.
During the 1980s, some Serb intellectuals criticised and the League of Communists and held them responsible for Yugoslavia's political and economic troubles while offering solutions to the "Serbian question" through discussions and explanations of the Serb predicament. One of the narratives that emerged claimed that under communism Serbs had abandoned their old traditions resulting in a loss of Serbian identity and unawareness of Serb interests with looming historical defeat in a process called "de-Serbisation".
The Yugoslav army (JNA) prior to the 1990s was a multi-ethnic force consisting of conscripts, regulars, commissioned and non-commissioned officers that for the highest ranks was determined though a ethnic principle of representative proportionality reflected in Yugoslavia's multi-ethnic composition. Serbs overall held most senior, middle and junior ranks. Following 1990-1991 during the later stages of the breakup of Yugoslav federation that descended into war the JNA underwent a process of Serbianisation. It transformed from being multi-ethnic into a mainly Serb organisation under the Serbian republic's President Slobodan Milošević who held control and command over the force. During the period non-Serb personnel defected to the new armies of the new post-Yugoslav republics and others who felt disillusioned yet were unable to defect resigned. Slovene, Croat, Macedonian and Muslim (Bosniak) officers left the ranks of the Yugoslav army. As the army became dominated more by Serbs a program has instituted to retire non-Serb personnel that resulted in 24 generals remaining out of 150 on the eve of when the JNA was formally disbanded on 19 May 1992. In that time 42 of those generals had been removed by General Božidar Stevanović during his campaign of Serbianisation. He belonged to a clandestine network called Vojna Linija (Military Line) that backed the Serbianisation of the JNA and Milošević placed Stevanović as head of the air force to accelerate the removal of military personnel deemed unreliable and non-Serb. Following these processes the JNA was impacted due to the realisation that Yugoslavia no longer existed and its priority shifted toward creating the frontiers of a new Serbian state. A campaign to shift the political orientation of the JNA to a Serbian character also occurred.
At the end of May 1992, over 90% of the JNA was composed of Serbs. The Serbianisation of the Yugoslav army created the conditions for their support of Serbs in the Krajina region of Croatia and Bosnia. Following the independence of Bosnia and formation of a new Yugoslav federation of Serbia and Montenegro, the old Yugoslav army was divided into two new armed forces due to UN sanctions imposed on the federation. Several months prior to May 1992 a division of armies and its assets was planned as authorities in Belgrade assessed its involvement in Bosnia would receive a hostile international reaction along with being accused of aggression. JNA General Veljko Kadijević was appointed to carry out the task by redeploying all Serbs from Bosnia to local Bosnian army units and removing any Serbs not from the area. As such Belgrade later claimed to be uninvolved in the Bosnian War while Bosnian Serb military forces remained under its control. Seen as reliable by Belgrade, Ratko Mladić was promoted to general and given command over the Serbian armed forces in Bosnia while maintaining the fiction of a separate armed force as the old Yugoslav chain of command remained. Mladić and Serb Bosnian forces under his command followed Belgrade's Serbian nationalist aims and objectives. Serb military forces in Croatia were also under the control of Belgrade.
On 25–26 August 1993 at a gathering the Supreme Defense Council of retired generals, Milošević's full control over the Yugoslav army was complete as the few remaining traces of the JNA were done away with. It was succeeded by the Army of Yugoslavia (Vojska Jugoslavije -VJ). Serbianisation continued during the first few years of the new military force through purges of personnel arising out of a need to ensure the loyalty of the armed forces to Milošević. During the Yugoslav Wars, the Serbianised Yugoslav National Army was involved in the destruction of urban centres such as Sarajevo, Mostar and Vukovar. Territories within Bosnia conquered during the war by Bosnian Serbs were subjected to homogenisation and assimilation through Serbianisation. The processes of Serbianisation of the Yugoslav army resulted in the creation of three Serbian armies under the control of Milošević. Following the conclusion of the Yugoslav Wars of the early 1990s, the Serbianisation process of the Yugoslav army (JNA) was confirmed at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) by witnesses.
In the late 1980s Milošević promoted a Serbian nationalist platform that entailed the re-Serbianisation of two autonomous Yugoslav provinces, Kosovo and Vojvodina. On 23 March 1989, the autonomy of Kosovo within the Yugoslav federation was revoked by the government of the Serb Republic and Serbianisation of the province followed. During the 1990s under the government of Milošević the Serbianisation of Kosovo occurred. Laws were passed by the parliament of Serbia that sought to change the power balance in Kosovo relating to the economy, demography and politics. Various measures included prohibiting the official use of Albanian, prevention of Albanian involvement in education, severely limiting the usage of Albanian symbols and efforts to deal with the imbalances of demography between Albanians and Serbs. In the education sector Serbian authorities pressed Albanian schools to follow the Serbian language curriculum and to achieve those aims Albanian teachers in the thousands were replaced with Serbs. Official reasons for mass dismissal of Albanian teachers were incompetence in the Serbian language and that Kosovo educational institutions were centres of resistance and counterrevolution that indoctrinated Albanian students.
Other reforms of the Kosovo education system segregated Albanian and Serb students within schools while funding, teaching staff and educational facilities were allocated for Serbian students and Albanian students received little. An entrance exam in Serbian literature and language became compulsory for students to pass in secondary schools. The Kosovo police force underwent Serbianisation after accusations of maltreatment toward Serb and Montenegrin civilians were made by Serbian authorities against Albanian police that resulted in their dismissal. The Kosovo Albanian police force was replaced with Serb special police units of the Serbian Interior Ministry. Albanians were against the measures and as such riot police and troops prevented them through force from going to school with some educational facilities being surrounded by tanks to stop attendance by students. The Kosovo police force that was newly Serbianised maltreated the Albanian population.
At the University of Pristina similar reforms occurred and lecturers that were not sacked were told to teach in Serbian with the level of Albanians at the university declining to a small few toward the conclusion of 1991. Pristina University along with its students became an important centre of Albanian resistance to Serbianisation. The parliament of Kosovo repudiated Serbianisation and made a declaration of the province's independence, established an alternative government and ministry of education. Demonstrations by Albanians were followed by more dismissals and reprisals in the education sector which led to the establishment of an Albanian parallel education system consisting of sacked teachers giving lessons in private homes. Kosovan Albanian school textbooks of the interwar period of the 1990s referred to the Serbianisation of Kosovo through attempted colonisation and mass expulsion of Albanians by Serbs for a prolonged period of Kosovo's history in the twentieth century. Hospitals had their Albanian nurses and physicians dismissed.
Another aspect of Serbianisation in Kosovo was the implementation of a discriminatory language policy. In 1991 public discourse was Serbianised through a campaign by the government such as targeting signs and government organs that became unfamiliar to many monolingual Albanians. Kosovo media was Serbianised as 1,300 employees of Radio & TV Pristina were dismissed with television coming under Belgrade control and a propaganda tool for the government. Albanian newspapers were shut down and the most popular newspapers placed under the control of the government while other independent papers allowed to exist were under constant pressure from the state. Cultural institutions of Kosovo only showed Serbian productions. Albanian municipal officials and industrial workers were also dismissed from their employment. State sanctioned Serbianisation overall resulted in more then 100,000 Kosovo Albanians losing employment with many made to leave their apartments while their jobs were given to Serbs that migrated into the region.
Serbianisation entailed for Serb nationalists the resettlement of Serbs to Kosovo and limiting the favorable demographic position Albanians held. in Serbia during the 1990s the works of Vaso Čubrilović, a Serb nationalist writer became popular and its content dating from 1930s called for the dislocation of Albanians through mass resettlement. In 1995 a Serbian leader Vojislav Šešelj outlined in a Serb publication Velika Srbija (Greater Serbia) a memorandum similar to that of Čubrilović that called for the Serbianisation of Kosovo through violence against Albanians and their leadership aimed toward discrediting them within Western public opinion. Following similar themes the parliament of Serbia on 11 January 1995 passed the Decree for Colonisation of Kosovo of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It outlined government benefits for Serbs who desired to go and live in Kosovo with loans to build homes or purchase other dwellings and offered free plots of land. Few Serbs took up the offer due to the worsening situation in Kosovo at the time.
The government in 1995 resorted to forcefully resettling in Kosovo the Serb refugees that fled from Croatia, with most leaving thereafter and few remaining that increased tensions in the area. Serbs selling property to Albanians was made illegal by the government, fines existed for Albanians that did not undertake their military service in Bosnia and Croatia. The government also made if difficult for Albanians living oversees to return and penalties existed for Albanian families that had more then a child while Kosovo Serbs were rewarded for having multiple children. Serbianisation of the Kosovo economy also occurred with areas inhabited by Serbs receiving investment, new infrastructure and employment opportunities, while Albanians overall were either excluded or had limited economic participation. In January 1999, the Serb police and army initiated a planned offensive against Kosovo Albanians that involved the violent liquidation of assets aimed at their displacement and Serbianisation of the region.
Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the official language Serbo-Croatian broke up into separate official languages and the process in relation to Serbian involved the Serbianisation of its lexicon.
Republic of Macedonia
After Republic of Macedonia gained independence in 1991 this process has continued. Under the leadership of Nikola Gruevski (2006-2016) the leading VMRO-DPMNE party has promoted pro-Serbian policy. In 2015 the former prime minister and leader of the VMRO-NP, Ljubčo Georgievski has claimed in an interview to Radio Free Europe that then authorities had a clear goal, to keep the country closer to Serbia, and at some future stage to join the northern neighbor. According to him a classical pro-Yugoslav policy was being conducted, where confrontation with all the other neighbors was taking place, but the border between Macedonian and Serbian national identity has been erased. "Stop the Serbian assimilation of the Macedonian nation" was the motto of the billboards that were placed then on Skopje streets, through which the Party launched a campaign for preserving the Macedonian national identity. The pro-governmental press claimed that the "Bulgarian" Georgievski organised a new provocation. As a result the billboards were removed quickly by the authorities.
The historical event that created the Yugoslav Macedonian republic on 2 August 1944 is viewed differently through political party rivalries. The Social Democrats (SDSM) celebrate it and the VMRO-DPMNE condemn it as part of a Serbification project.
Other ethnic groups
Voluntarily Serbianisation has been attributed to Romanians and Vlachs, since the 19th century. The Hungarian minority in north Serbia (Vojvodina) has also been affected by Serbianisation since the aftermath of World War II.
Notable individuals of non-Serb origin who declared as Serbs
- Đorđe Vajfert, industrialist and Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and later Yugoslavia, of German origin.
- General Pavle Jurišić Šturm (Paulus Sturm), World War I hero, born in Prussia, of Sorbian ethnicity.
- Histoire de la nation Serbe publiée par Demeter Davidovits et traduite en français par Alfred Vigneron: Auch unter dem serbischen Titel: Istorija naroda srbskog isdana od Dimitrija Davidovits predoedena na franzuskii jezyk od Alfred a Vinjerona [Vigneron]. Author: Demeter Davidovits, Publisher: Beograd Impr. Nat. 1848.
- Editions from 1846 and 1848 on WorldCat.
- Demeter, Gábor et al. (2015) Ethnic Mapping on the Balkans (1840–1925): a Brief Comparative Summary of Concepts and Methods of Visualization. In: (Re)Discovering the Sources of Bulgarian and Hungarian History. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia; Budapest, pp. 65-100; p. 73.
- "The Real Face of Serbian Education in Macedonia". newspaper "Makedonsko Delo", No. 9 (Jan. 10, 1926), Vienna, original in Bulgarian. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- Palairet, Michael (2016). Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 1, From Ancient Times to the Ottoman Invasions). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 401. ISBN 9781443888431.
- Guibal, Barbara; Hulak, Florence (2004). "La Bosnie-Herzégovine Et Ses Frontières". Cités. 2 (18): 166.
- Andrew Light, Jonathan M. Smith as ed., Philosophy and Geography II: The Production of Public Space, Rowman & Littlefield, 1998, ISBN 0847688100, p. 241.
- Henry Wilkinson, Maps and Politics a Review of the Ethnographic Cartography of Macedonia. Liverpool University Press, 1951, pp. 105; 149.
- K. Bozeva-Abazi, 2003, The shaping of Bulgarian and Serbian national identities, 1800s-1900s. McGill University, Montreal. Summary.
- Drezov, Kyril (1999). "Macedonian identity: An overview of the major claims". In Pettifer, James (ed.). The New Macedonian Question. MacMillan Press. p. 53. ISBN 9780230535794.
- The Serbian newspaper Srbske Narodne Novine (Year IV, pp. 138 and 141-43, May 4 and 7, 1841), described the towns of Niš, Leskovac, Pirot, and Vranja as lying in Bulgaria, and styles their inhabitants Bulgarians. In a map made by Dimitrije Davidović called „Territories inhabited by Serbians” from 1828 Macedonia, but also the towns Niš, Leskovac, Vranja, Pirot etc. were situated outside the boundaries of the Serbian race. The map of Constantine Desjardins (1853), French professor in Serbia represents the realm of the Serbian language. The map was based on Davidović‘s work confining Serbians into the limited area north of Šar Planina.
- Ethnic Mapping on the Balkans (1840–1925): a Brief Comparative Summary of Concepts and Methods of Visualization, Demeter, Gábor and al. (2015) In: (Re)Discovering the Sources of Bulgarian and Hungarian History. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia; Budapest, p. 85.
- Papadrianos, Ioannis: “The First Balkan Alliance (1860–1868) and the Bulgarians,” Balkan Studies, 42 (2001): pp. 15–20.
- Crampton 1987, p. 16: "...a Balkan alliance, which alarmed both Bulgarians and Turks with its implications of Serbian expansionism as expounded two decades previously, in Garasanin's Nacertanie, the Serbian equivalent of Greek Megali Idea."
- SANU 1993, p. 172: "The result of Nacertumje's implementation was the establishment of the first Balkan alliance (1866–1868)..."
- Mišković, Nataša (2011). "Mission, power and violence: Serbia's national turn". In Hannes, Grandits; Clayer, Nathalie; Pichler, Robert (eds.). Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans: The Great Powers, the Ottoman Empire and Nation-building. IB Tauris. p. 223. ISBN 9781848854772.
- Marinov 2013a, p. 317.
- Lane 2017, p. 44.
- Lane, Ann (2017). Yugoslavia: When Ideals Collide. Palgrave MacMillan. p. 45. ISBN 9780230214071.
- Cviic, Christopher (1994). "L'avenir Incertain De La Croatie". Politique Étrangère. 59 (1): 148–149. doi:10.3406/polit.1994.4253.
- Up until the early twentieth century, the international community viewed Macedonians as a regional variety of Bulgarians, i.e. Western Bulgarians. However, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 the Allies sanctioned Serbian control of much of Macedonia, because they accepted the belief that Macedonians were in fact Southern Serbs. This extraordinary change in opinion can largely be attributed to one man, Jovan Cvijić, a prominent geographer at the University of Belgrade. Nationalism and Territory: Constructing Group Identity in Southeastern Europe, Geographical perspectives on the human past, George W. White, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, ISBN 0847698092, p. 236.
- Dejan Djokić, Yugoslavism: histories of a failed idea, 1918–1992, p. 123, at Google Books
- R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the twentieth century—and after, p. 20, at Google Books
- "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan War". Retrieved 2015-04-12.
- Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 52)
- Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 165)
- Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 53)
- Papavizas 2015, p. 92.
- "An article by Dimiter Vlahov about the persecution of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia". newspaper "Balkanska federatsia", No. 140, 20 August 1930, Vienna, original in Bulgarian. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- Friedman, V. (1985). "The Sociolinguistics of Literary Macedonian". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 52 (52): 31–57. doi:10.1515/ijsl.1985.52.31.
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- Marie-Françoise & Galmiche 1993, p. 80. "Belgrade envisagea dès 1986, puis décida en 1989-1990, date où l'autonomie a été annulée par amendement de la Constitution, une serbisation à marche forcé."
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- Mertus, Julie A. (2009). "Operation allied force: Handmaiden of independent Kosovo". International Affairs. 85 (3): 466. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2009.00808.x. "The Serbian parliament proceeded to pass a series of laws designed to reshape the demographic, economic and political balance of power in Kosovo. In an attempted 'Serbization' programme, tens of thousands of Kosovo Albanian doctors, municipal officials, teachers and industrial workers were sacked from their jobs, while ethnic Serbs were given economic incentives to live in Kosovo. The Serbian government replaced local Albanian police officers with special police units from the Serbian Ministry of the Interior."
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- Kostovicova 2005, p. 77.
- Corson, Mark W.; Turregano, Clemson G. (2002). "Spaces of Unintended Consequences: The Ground Safety Zone in Kosovo". GeoJournal. 57 (4): 274. doi:10.1023/B:GEJO.0000007205.16802.d7. "In 1989 Milosevic revoked the autonomous status of Kosovo and seriously marginal- ized the ethnic Albanian majority by banning the use of their language in schools and government, and allowing the newly Serbianized police force to abuse the Kosovar Albanian citizenry."
- Bache & Taylor 2003, p. 288.
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