“Macedonian” identity was forged post WWII by Tito and Stalin and implemented hastily in 1945 onwards, by executions of pro-Bulgarian intelligentsia (see link below), evictions, language replacement, persecutions of all who would declare themselves Bulgarian, brainwashing of children in schools and systematic spread historical lies both within Yugoslavia and abroad. (the fact is that Bulgaria was defeated, weak, subdued by the Soviets and disorganised, and was not world-famous like Greece, therefore could not and still cannot counter this false identity).
The ancient component was included to justify the communist involvement in Greek Aegean Macedonia, which is where ancient Macedonia existed, and where the Greek civil (1946–48) war took place (with heavy involvement of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union). “Macedonian” was a geographical term used in the 19–20 centuries for part of the Ottoman empire and does not match (is much larger than) the ancient Macedonia. To forge the “Macedonian” nation the history of the Bulgarian national movement in this region was rewritten in order to show the Bulgarian national figures and liberation fighters as fighters for a “Macedonian” nation and language (which they never were – they always used the Bulgarian orthography and literary language). Like the Miladinov brothers (published a book called “Bulgarian folk songs”), Dame Gruev, Jane Sandanski, or Goce Delčev (who studied at the military academy in Sofia and whose descendants still live in Bulgaria).
The first to come up with the idea to split the “Macedonians” from the rest of Bulgarians was a Serbian diplomat, Stojan Novaković, but his ideas were not followed. After occupying the Vardar valley Serbia declared the population “old Serbs” or “true Serbs”. Until these ideas were revived by the Comintern in the 1930s and then by Josip Broz Tito. The “Macedonian” nation is one of three new nations created in communist Yugoslavia (the other two being the “Muslim”, now called Bosniak, and the Montenegrin) and about a dozen in the Soviet Union, which was the large forgery of fake national identities (one could argue how many exactly but at least three are undisputed: Tajik, Moldavian and Karelian, as well as a number of Turkic nations).
For nation – out of nowhere – building reasons. Kuzman Shapkarev, considered an “ethnic Macedonian” in FYROM said:
“But even stranger is the name ‘Macedonians‘, which was imposed on us only 10 to 15 years ago by outsiders and not as something by our own intellectuals… Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other.” (In a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888, Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
Professor Eugene Borza explains:
”The Macedonian kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire, never to recover its independence. During medieval and modem times, Macedonia was known as a Balkan region inhabited by ethnic Greeks, Albanians, Vlachs, Serbs, Bulgarians, Jews, and Turks. [no “ethnic Macedonians” at that time, as the “Macedonian ethnicity” is a recent creation…]
Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and ‘Macedonians’, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions —mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia— even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity.
The twentieth-century development of a ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the [ethnic] ‘Macedonians’, who have had no history, need one.
Their own so-called ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation ‘Macedonia’ and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival…” (Eugene N. Borza, “Macedonia Redux”, in “The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999)
Denko Maleski, professor at the University Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, FYROM (International Politics and Contemporary Political Systems) and former Minister of foreign affairs of the FYROM, argues:
“The creation of the [FYRO]’Macedonian’ nation, for almost half of a century,*was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship [i.e: the Communist Party of Yugoslavia]. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the ‘Macedonian’ historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the [FYRO]’Macedonian’ identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word ‘Bulgarian’ with the word ‘Macedonian’ were made. We reach towards some fictional ethnic purity which we seek in the depths of the history and we are angry at those which dare to call us Slavs and our language and culture Slavic!? We are angry when they name us what we – if we have to define ourselves in such categories – are, showing that we are people full with complexes which are ashamed for ourselves.” (Utrinski Vesnik newspaper, Skopje, October 16, 2006)
British academic T.J. Winnifrith concludes:
“Apparently these radical Slavic factions [FYROMians] decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world!”
(T.J. Winnifrith, “Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments”, Duckworth, 1995)