restricted access Minority Rights and Educational Problems in Greek Interwar Macedonia: The Case of the Primer "Abecedar"

This study elucidates the diplomatic context of the "Abecedar," a Slavic primer prepared in 1925 by the Greek authorities for use by Greece's Slavic-speaking population. The "Abecedar" has become widely known recently because in various partisan studies its very existence and its withdrawal shortly after its circulation have been employed as sound evidence for the existence of an ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece even before World War II. Archival sources, used here for the first time, provide substantial evidence to show that the primer was a desperate and honest (at least for European observers) attempt by Greece to comply with its minority obligations and simultaneously to neutralize Bulgarian and Serbian involvement in Greek Macedonia. The attempt eventually failed owing to local pressure and diplomatic necessity.