In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

452 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY That might mean the power of the sword, of dominion over others. But it may also mean (to quote the prologue to the Weimar consti- . tution of 1919) 11 freedom and justice, the serving of the ends of peace at home and abroad and tlie furthering of social justice." I hope it will. · II. BALKAN PROSPECTS L. s. STAVRIANOS. DEvELOPMENTS in the Balkans have occurred recently which ordinarily would have rated headlines but which have been virtually ignored because of the news from the war fronts. These are the .Greek-Yugoslav agreement of January 15 ·providing for a post-war . Balkan federation, and the announcement of King George II, early in February, which abolished the Greek dictatorship. Needless to say, the significance of these events depends upon the final outcome of the war. An Axis victory would reduce their significance to precisely nothing. Instead the "New Order, would be imposed on the Balkan Peninsula, and the nature of this "New Order" has been realistically described by Al,fred Rosenberg: "The Balkans must be united with Greater Germany in a firm federation in various forms of semi- or apparent sovereignty, economically or militarily, affiliated to Germany."1 A beginning has already been made in putting this programme into effect. Greece and Yugoslavia have been occupied by Axis troops and partitioned amongst Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, and Hungary. The rump states which are left are ruled ostensibly by native "fuhrers" but in reality by the local German commanders. Similarly Bulgaria and Roumania, although technically allied to Germany, have nevertheless been occupied and remain completely under Axis control. In the economic sphere, only light industries are permjtted to continue operations, while the production of raw materials is regulated to conform to the needs of German e~onomy. Thus far the reaction to this "New Order" has been profound discontent and widespread sabotage in Roum_ania and Bulgaria, and armed revolution in Yugoslavia and Greece. If Germany and her allies were able to win a decisive victory and conclude peace, it would be a comparatively easy matter to restore order in the Balkans. How stable and per:manent the settlement would be is another question. One of the chief reasons 1 Cited by F. W. L. Kovacs, Tlte Untamed Balkans (New York, 1941), 197. THE WAR AND OPINION 453 why Hitler was able to gain control of the whole peninsula in such short order was the internal dissension prevailing within the various states, due to unhealthy ·.social and economic conditions and to conflict amongst the various national groups. It is difficult to see how the ('New Order" can cope successfully with these problems. The poverty and over-population of the rural areas cannot be alleviated by checking industrialization and by restricting Balkan economy to the production of agricultural, m'ineral, and other raw materials." As for the national question, it is infinitely worse under Axis rule than it was under the former governments. A state of open warfare exists in Transylvania, Thrace, Voivodina, Dalmatia , Slovenia, and other recently annexed areas. In fact, the whole peninsula has become virtually a vast new Macedonia. Thus if the Nazi government should ever be in the position to carry out its policy of uniting "the Balkans ... with Greater Germany in a :firm federation," it would be a union forced from without, not arising from within. It would be based solely on German military supremacy and would exist only so long as that were maintained. It could be pointed out, of course, that the Romans and the Turks were able to rule the entire peninsula for centuries, but it seems scarcely conceivable that this could be repeated in the present era and under the existing circumstances. In the case of an Allied victory the exact nature of the postwar settlement in the Balkans cannot be foreseen because of the fact that it will be based to a far greater extent upon what the masses of the people want and do. What they will want and what they will do can be gauged somewhat by a review and an analysis of their wishes and actions at the end of the first World War. The nature of...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 452-456
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.