“How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world! How wonderful it is that everyone, great and small, can immediately help bring about justice by giving of themselves.” — Anne Frank
As we commemorate World Refugee Day, UMD is ever more committed in revealing and disseminating the truth about Greece’s whitewashing of its past and present handling of Macedonians that have or are living within its borders.
If the proposed and seriously flawed Macedonia name change agreement of June 17, 2018, heralded by so many in the Western democratic community, is fully ratified, Greece’s obligation to acknowledge and compensate for a century of systematic ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide, and discrimination against its sizeable Macedonian minority in Greece, will be forever deemed null and void. This will forever whitewash Greece’s often bloody and hateful past against native Macedonians.
70 years ago, during the Greek Civil War, Greek army forcibly exiled 44,000 Macedonian children refugees who were between the ages of two and fourteen. These children were targeted because of their ethnic and cultural identity – Macedonian. Nearly all of them never again were able to return to their native villages and homes for they were destroyed, and their families were either killed or permanently displaced.
Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia (Vojvodina), Slovakia, Romania, Russia, United States, and Uzbekistan welcomed these refugees and cared for them – for this, we could not be more grateful.
The 5th World Reunion of the Macedonian Children Refugees will be held in Macedonia this summer. Many of them are no longer with us today, but their memory will remain eternal.
On July 22, 2018, UMD will spearhead a global campaign and hold a candle vigil outside of every Greek Embassy and Consulate in the world in memory of all Macedonian refugees and the Macedonian lives lost not only during the Greek Civil War but also throughout the past century of Greece’s systematic ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide against Macedonians.
Greece must be held accountable for the perfidious ethnic cleansing that they have perpetuated for over a century and allow all native Macedonians to repatriate their rights and losses caused by those actions. Currently, the Greek Amnesty Law of 1982 only permits refugees that are “Greeks by genus” entry back into Greece. As for the countless illegally confiscated properties and losses, a Greek law enacted in 1985 only allows compensation to those that were “Greeks by genus”. Therefore, Macedonians, as they do not exist, are systemically and purposefully excluded.
On this World Refugee Day, we ask that Macedonians be remembered for their long struggle for their inherent human rights, such as the freedom of association and ethnicity, no matter where they may reside in the world.