The Second Balkan War: Ethnic Cleanings and Refugees (1913)

Figure 1.--These are Bulgarian children, refugees from Gorno Brody as aesult of a Greek ethnic clkeansing operation during the secoind Balkans war. They were resettled in Pestera, Bulgaria. Photo by Friedrich Immanuel, Asen Chilingirov. Click on the image to see the Cyrillic caption. Perhaps a reader will translate ot for us/

The actual killing actions, burning villages, and other attrocities were only party of the Balkans War story. The killings and destruction set in motion a flood of refugees seeking safety. Some half a million people were made refugees. Some sources describe this as people driven across newly-established borders-driven by 'rampaging' armies. This was partially true, but it was also part of a planned policy of ethnic cleansing. An example of what occurred during the Balkan Wars was Gorno (Upper) Brodi, a remote mountain village now known as Ano Vrontou in northern Greece, near the Bulgarian border. Bedore the Second Balkan Wars, Gorno Brodi had a Bulgarian majority and a Turkish minority. There were about 2,700 Bulgarian inhabitants (1873). The population was growing and reached 6,100 Bulgarian Christians (1900). The secretary of the exarch Dimitar Mishev reports that the villge Christian community was 6,480 Bulgarian exarchists and 240 Bulgarian patriarchists. It was the largest cillage in the mountanous area. The Macedonian National Liberation Organization (VMORO) was asctive in the area and activists desired to claim the area from the Ottoman for the state thy coveted. Gotse Delchev from another Macedonian nrionl liberation group (IMRO) visited the village (1913). At the time there were 1,100 houses and 8,000 mostly Bulgarian inhabitants. Despite the Macedonian interest, it was the Greeks ho evebntully seized the area. During the Balkan Wars, the Greek Army seized the area. The Bulgarian residents fled north to Bulgria, 200 of them wound up in Nevrokop (now Gotse Delchev) and 300 fled to Plovdiv. The population never recovered nd is now only a few hundred. The Bulgarian population were replaced by Greeks that were displaced from Anatolia and eastern Thrace during the Greco-Turkish War (1919-22). The numbers were only a fration of the previous Bulgarian population.


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Created: 9:14 PM 9/16/2015
Last updated: 9:14 PM 9/16/2015