Leon Trotsky on Greek National Questions in 1929

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky on Greek National Questions in 1929.

"I would again like to raise the question of Macedonia and Epirus. So far as I understand, not much importance has been given to this question up to now.

"However, this question is very important for educating the Greek workers, for liberating them from national prejudices, for improving their understanding of the international situation in the Balkans and generally. Official statistics give the following information: There are 82,000 Macedonian Slavs among Macedonia’s 1,400,000 inhabitants; there are 19,000 Albanians among Epirus’s 300,000 inhabitants.

"The first question that comes to mind is: Are these figures accurate? Our first task is to take an attitude of total skepticism toward these figures. The statistics were drawn up in the year 1925, at the time of the resettlement, under the bayonets of military authority.

"What do they call 'Greek'? Perhaps those who speak Greek because they have to but don’t consider themselves Greeks. If these figures are inaccurate, that fact must evoke dissatisfaction and hatred among the nationalist elements.

"If we say that the official statistics must be regarded with great skepticism, we will win a lot of sympathy.

"Most important, in this way we can win the confidence of the Bulgarian proletariat. Even before the war the Bulgarians were also very distrustful of the Greeks, since the Greeks are very nationalistic."

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