A dictionary of my readings in Ivan Mihailov's archive in Rome
Речник на моите прочити из архива на Иван Михайлов в Рим
Category: Macedonian Liberation Movement
Language: Bulgarian


   Ivan Mihaylov (18961990) was a Bulgarian revolutionary in interwar Macedonia, and the last leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO). Under Mihaylov, the IMRO became notoriously anti-communist and identified itself closely with Bulgarian nationalism, thus eliminating not only the enemies of the Bulgarian national idea in Macedonia but also its left-wing opponents within the Macedonian liberation movement. He cooperated also actively with revanchist powers, such as Mussolini's Fascist Italy, Admiral Horthy's Hungary and Hitler's Nazi Germany. Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization then had de facto full control of Bulgarian part of Macedonia, which it used as a base for hit and run attacks against Yugoslavia and Greece. Mihaylov began a change in IMRO's goal, from annexing Macedonia to Bulgaria, to an independent Macedonia, as a second Bulgarian state. He changed also the organization's tactics from guerrilla campaigns to individual terrorist acts. Numerous terrorist attacks were carried out by IMRO against Yugoslav officials under his leadership, the most spectacular of which was the assassination of Alexander I of Yugoslavia, in collaboration with Croatian Ustaše. During the last stage of the Second World War he tried to realize the IMRO's plan to create an Independent Macedonia. However Mihaylov rejected then its realization, due to the lack of real German military support, along with his reluctance to take a course that would lead to a civil war. During the Cold War, Mihaylov lived in Italy, while the emigrant Macedonian Patriotic Organization (MPO) in the USA and Canada, worked under his guidance, on the old IMRO's goal of an independent Macedonia. This was acknowledged by a CIA analyst report from 1953, which dubbed the MPO as "the US branch of the IMRO", and asserted that it acted as a money raising organ to support Mihaylov's activity. At the beginning of the fall of communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia, only a months before his death in 1990, he kept insisting: "I am Bulgarian from Macedonia" and "I would recommend to the young people in Macedonia to hold on to the fact that we have been Bulgarians for thousand years." Mihaylov was considered a bulgarophile traitor and fascist in Communist Yugoslavia. He is still regarded as such in what is today North Macedonia, while the organization he led is seen as a controversial Bulgarian organization, because its ideas clash with the Yugoslav Macedonian historical narrative. He was regarded as a Nazi collaborator in Communist Bulgaria. Mihaylov has been partially rehabilitated later there, supporting Bulgarian narrative that negates the existence of a widespread Macedonian national identity before the end of World War II, and he has been fully rehabilitated today.


Publisher Orbel
Language Bulgarian
Pages 256
Illustrations b/w figures
Binding paperback
ISBN 9789544961770
Creation date 2024
Size 14 х 21 cm

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