Population changes in eastern Macedonia and in Thrace : the legislative “initiatives” of the Bulgarian authorities (1941-1944)

Xanthippi Kotzageorgi


The Bulgarian occupation of Eastern Macedonia and of Thrace during the
Second World War was never perceived by the conquerors as a temporary
situation. Rather it was essentially seen as a legitimate annexation to the
existing territory of the Bulgarian Kingdom and therefore attempts were
made to give this occupation a character of permanence. The strongest proof
for this is the “alteration operation” of the region’s ethnological synthesis. The
operation worked mainly through two fronts: the first was either the “facilitated”
by all possible means or the forced exodus of the Greek population from
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The second was the gradual —planned but
also disorganized— colonization of the region with Bulgarian emigrants from
the Bulgarian Kingdom. Both of these historical processes were surrounded
with a legislative covering, the specific aspects of which are discussed in the

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