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868.014/12–2644: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Officers 74

The following is for your information and general guidance, but not for any positive action at this time.

The Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. This Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation,” Macedonian “Fatherland,” or Macedonian “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.

[Page 303]

The approved policy of this Government is to oppose any revival of the Macedonian issue as related to Greece. The Greek section of Macedonia is largely inhabited by Greeks, and the Greek people are almost unanimously opposed to the creation of a Macedonian state. Allegations of serious Greek participation in any such agitation can be assumed to be false. This Government would regard as responsible any Government or group of Governments tolerating or encouraging menacing or aggressive acts of “Macedonian forces” against Greece.

The Department would appreciate any information pertinent to this subject which may come to your attention.

Stettinius

[The Greek Embassy sent a memorandum dated February 20, 1945, to the Department of State wherein attention was again called to the deplorable conditions caused in Northern Epirus for the Greek population by the mistreatment and attacks of various Albanian governments during the war.

The group under Enver Hoxha,75 whom the Greek government characterized as an obedient follower of Tito,76 appeared to be eager for the elimination of the Greek character of this region.77 The Greek government had heard that Hoxha had sent an agent to the Allied Command in Italy with the object of gaining recognition as the provisional government of Albania for his group.78

The Greek government felt certain that no consideration would be given to this attempt, because it could lend encouragement to Hoxha’s efforts to destroy the Greek people in Northern Epirus who were counting upon the Allies to rescue them from the persecutions they had suffered during a quarter century under Albanian rule.79]

  1. The diplomatic officers at Sofia, Caserta, Bucharest, London, Athens, Moscow, and Ankara, the Consul-General at Istanbul, and Gardner Patterson at London, on a Treasury mission to Bulgaria, Rumania, and Yugoslavia.
  2. Enver Hoxha (Hodja), Colonel General and Leader of the Albanian National Liberation Army (ANLA); on October 22 (Congress of Berat) he became Prime Minister and Minister of War and National Defense of the Provisional Government of Albania.
  3. Marshal Tito (Josip Broz), President of the National Committee of Liberation of Yugoslavia.
  4. Other memoranda outlining in some detail alleged cases of violence by the Albanian partisans were submitted to the Department by the Greek Embassy on March 23 (No. 1013, 768.75/3–2345), June 1 (No. 1833, 868.00/6–145), June 8 (No. 1862, 868.00/6–845), and June 27 (No. 2080, 768.75/6–2745); and on May 22 the First Secretary of the Greek Embassy (Christopoulos) made oral representations on this subject and on the Macedonian situation. The Department repeated the May 22 memorandum of conversation, p. 314, to Tirana in airgram 4, June 12 (868.014/6–1245) and the texts of the Greek Embassy memoranda of June 1 and June 8 in airgrams 3 and 5, respectively, to Tirana, dated June 12 (868.00/6–145, 6–1245), asking for comment.
  5. For documentation regarding this subject, see vol. iv, pp. 1 ff.
  6. This subject was developed at considerable length in Greek Embassy memorandum 581, March 2 (868.014/3–245).