The Case for Greece and Bulgaria: Bulgaria

By Svetozar Tonjoroff
(Of the Editorial Staff of the New York "Press")

[The Independent; October 18, 1915]

The policy of Bulgaria in the Great War is governed absolutely by one vital consideration—the recovery of the lands which were taken from her by her former allies and by Rumania under the provisions of the treaty of Bucharest at the close of the second Balkan war The urgency of the need for a complete and final restoration of the major part of Macedonia, and of the part of Dobrudja annexed by the nations adjoining Bulgaria, is emphasized by the detailed and specific charges made at Sofia that, in Serbian as well as in Greek Macedonia, the predominating Bulgarian element is being eliminated or placed in a state of hopeless economic and cultural disadvantage.

Recognition of the justice of Bulgaria's claims to the "lost provinces" was distinctly implied by the promise of the Allies of the Entente, several months ago, to induce Serbia, Greece and Rumania to cede territories taken away from Bulgaria

This promise has not been carried out Greece, since the first fall of the Venizelos cabinet, has given no indication of a willingness to surrender Kavala, which was included in the irreducible minimum of the terms submitted by Bulgaria at the behest of the Allies Rumania, it is disclosed by Premier Radoslavoff of Bulgaria, has assumed a similar uncompromising attitude The concessions offered by Serbia in response to pressure from London and Paris comprized only about one-third of the territory designated by Bulgaria, and its surrender was to be deferred until the end of the war

Promises, however, are no longer accepted as currency by Bulgaria, in view of the painful experiences which that country had with the unsecured paper of the powers constituting the Triple Entente, at the end of the first and second Balkan wars.

There was no great surprize in Bulgaria when Serbia, even while the collective struggle against Turkey was pending and the Bulgarians were fighting the common battle of the Balkan states in the trenches of Tchatalja, deliberately broke her ante-bellum territorial agreement and referred the new issue to Russia as arbitrator, an arbitrator pledged by her minister at Belgrade, the late Baron Hartwig, to a complete adjudication of the case in Serbia's favor But that France and Great Britain would countenance such facile treaty-breaking was wholly unexpected at Sofia.

The second painful experience that Bulgaria had with foreign promises came with the reoccupation of Adrianople and the Thracian triangle by the Turks, in clear violation of the treaty of London Under this treaty Bulgaria had accepted the minimum of territory which she had conquered in Thrace, in consideration of the pledge of the powers—and especially of Great Britain and Russia—that Turkey would be held, responsible by Europe for the observance of the agreement And yet the Turkish reoccupation of Thrace was permitted by Great Britain, France and-Russia when the ink of the signature of Sir Edward Grey upon the treaty was hardly dry.

As between friends who have failed her in her dire need, in violation of their plighted word, and a foe whose enmity has been open and unconcealed, Bulgaria has chosen to cast her lot with her former enemy—Germany And in the background of the failure of the Allied to secure to Bulgaria her right to unity and liberty, lies the sinister shadow of the persecution of two millions of Bulgarians in Macedonia, continued in all its ferocity even while Serbia was ostensibly negotiating a reconciliation.

© J. Fred MacDonald, 2013



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