Secretary of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, "Luben Dimitroff Date.June 10.1995 edited by G.G.M
Much of what we know geographically as Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thrace and Dobrudja was originally populated by a common people known as the Bulgars. They spoke a common language, Bulgarian and had a common Orthodox religion, despite being conquered by the Ottoman Empire. This occupation continued until early 1878 when a Bulgarian uprising trapped a large portion of the Turkish army between an advancing Russian army and a small force of Bulgarian patriots. This victory unified the Bulgars as never before and crystallized a new national consciousness. The treaty of San Stefano, signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, in March 1878, brought an end to the war and formally acknowledged the existence of the Bulgarian nation. This newly created Bulgarian state included most of the territories inhabited by Bulgarians, in particular the region of present day Bulgaria, Vardar Macedonia (in F.Y.R.), Aegean Macedonia (in present day Greece) and Thrace (in both Greece and Turkey). The imperial powers of the time objected to such a big state which was friendly to Russia and could become a Russian spring board into the European and Mediterranean theaters. Almost immediately the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Prussian empire (Germany), the British and the French convened in Berlin to prevent Russian influence from spreading. This conference was known as the congress of Berlin of 1878. The great powers decided to impose a unilateral solution which partitioned Bulgaria proper into two regions :
Eastern Rumelia and the principality of Bulgaria. Eastern Rumelia, Macedonia and Thrace were to be governed, as before, by the Ottoman Empire whereas the principality of Bulgaria was to be given a limited autonomy. The Russians were powerless to prevent the partitioning of the newly liberated state.
However the Bulgarian people were determined to re-unify their partitioned state. The Bulgarian people fought a number of wars in order to unite its people. The first war in 1885 ( the war of unification ) liberated eastern Rumelia from the Ottoman Empire. In 1903 the Bulgarians in Macedonia and Thrace had an unsuccessfully tried to leave the Ottoman Empire. The remaining regions were finally liberated in 1912 by a coalition made up of Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. However in 1913, after the Ottoman Empire had been defeated, the coalition collapsed and began arguing about which liberated region was to be governed by which country. The main point of contention was the governance of Macedonia and Thrace, both primarily inhabited by Bulgarians. Neither the Greeks nor the Serbs wished to be bound by the original agreement made at the beginning of the war, which stipulated that those regions being populated mostly by Bulgarians were to be governed by Bulgaria. This led almost immediately to yet another war, called the Balkan war, which pitted the Serbs, Creeks and Romanians against a badly outnumbered Bulgaria. Bulgaria was quickly defeated and yet again partitioned, losing Macedonia to the Serbs and the