Παρασκευή 7 Οκτωβρίου 2022

The crimes of Bulgaria in Macedonia, 1914

The crimes of Bulgaria in Macedonia, 1914

Chapter I 

Iktroduction 1 

Chapter II 
Dispatches of King Constantine 2 

Chapter III 

Period Prior to the Hostilities 4 

Atrocities committed against the Turks and the Greeks; protest of 
the foreign correspondents at Salonica to the "Ligue pour la 
defense des droits de rhomme." Atrocities against the Servians. 
The reports from Sofia. 

Chapter IV 

Districts Occupied by the Bulgarians at the Beginning of the War 
(Nigrita and Gevgheli) 9 

Chapter V 

Atrocities Committed on the Western Bank of the River Strymon.. 12 
The District of Kilkis. The Districts of Doiran and Strumnitza. 

Chapter VI 

The Pillage and Burning of Serres 17 

The reports of the Austrian consul-general at Salonica and the vice- 
consul at Serres. The investigation of the consul-general of 
Italy at Salonica. Report of the Jewish delegation of Salonica. 
Other testimony. 

The Slaughter at Demir-Hissar 24 

Report of the Commander of the 7th Division. Report of the Com- 
mission composed of members of the Chamber of Deputies. 
Testimony of Mr. L. Leune and Mr. George Bourdon. 

The Massacres and the Destruction of Doxato 29 

The testimony of Messrs. Rene Puaux, Lucien Magrini, Commander 
Hubert Cardale, Vladimir Tordoff, etc. 
Kavala and Drama 36 

Chapter VII 

The Attacks Against the Clergy and Teachers 37 

The destruction of the schools and historical monuments. 

Chapter VIII 

Who is Responsible ? 40 

Documents establishing the participation of official Bulgaria in the 
atrocities committed in Macedonia. 

Conclusion 42 


This is a story of rapine and death. It is a history of crimes 
committed under the mask of civilized warfare, of outrages perpe- 
trated under the guise of military necessity, of murdered children 
and outraged women sent to their deaths amid scenes of cruelty 
and torture such as are almost beyond credulity in this twentieth 

The offenders were Bulgarians wearing the uniforms and the 
epaulets of their national army. The victims were Greeks, Mo- 
hamtmedans and any individuals who incited the wrath or stirred 
the cupidity of the merciless invaders. 

Every instance cited in this document is indisputable. Names, 
facts and dates are given with such frequency and with such 
authority that not one chapter in this astounding history can be 
denied. It is, simply and frankly, the true narrative of the mon- 
strous criminology of men who fought as savages, beyond the pale 
of civilized laws. All the facts come from officials and private 
individuals impartial in their statements, unbiased by their nation- 
ality and uninfluenced by the thought of either fear or favor. They 
were consuls of foreign governments, correspondents for the 
greatest newspapers of the world, and, in at least one instance, an 
officer in the Bulgarian army itself. 

The Universities of Athens, actuated by a love of truth and desir- 
ous of awaking the consciousness of civilization to the enormity of 
the Bulgarian atrocities, have issued and transmitted this authentic 
document to the universities and journalists of the world. 



My Dear Sir and Colleague: 

Three weeks ago, in conformity to a joint resolution of the two 
Universities of Athens, we called your attention by cable to the 
atrocities committed by the Bulgarians in Macedonia, and announced 
to you that we should have the honor, at a later date, of forwarding 
to you a report relative thereto. 

If the report was not sent to you at an earlier date, it was due 
to the fact that the list of the frightful crimes that were to be 
related, was daily becoming longer by other acts surpassing in 
horror those previously committed. 

Unfortunately the list has not yet been dosed. The atrocities 
that will be enumerated below will, however, suffice to enlighten 
you as to the situation and to place the responsibilities. 

The great powfcrs were shocked by such horrors. They com- 
missioned their consuls, and appointed special committees to make 
investigations on the spot. Their reports have not yet been all 
made public, and some have not been completed. We quote those 
that have been published. The rest not being available, we have 
based this statement on the official reports of His Hellenic Majesty 
and of his staff, on the testimony of foreign diplomatic and ecclesi- 
astical persons, and on that of the special representatives of the 
principal foreign newspapers that were present. 

We regret to say that these representatives were not so numerous 
at the beginning of the war as we would have wished. We have 
preferred, however, to repeat the testimony of the same persons, 
rather than to quote the statements of the regular correspondents 
of those papers, who, residing in Greece, might be suspected of 
pro-Hellenic sympathies. 

Desiring to restrict ourselves to a report purely objective, we 
have discarded every personal opinion and confined our statement 
to the documentary evidence which we have selected after the 
closest examination, and which, it can be readily ascertained, ema- 
nates from authorities whose veracity cannot be questioned, and 
as far as it was possible foreign authorities. 



The impression which the dispatch sent by King Constantine to 
his government on July 12, 1913, created throughout official circles 
and the general public has not been forgotten. 

After exposing the atrocities committed by the fleeing Bulgarian 
army, King Constantine was compelled to add: 

"Protest in my name to the representatives of the civilized 
powers against the acts of these monsters in human form. 
Protest also to the entire civilized world and say that, to my 
great regret, I shall be compelled to proceed to reprisals, in 
order to inspire the perpetrators with a salutary fear, and make 
them reflect before committing outrages of this sort. 

The Bulgarians have surpassed all the horrors of barbaric 
times, and have proved that they no longer have a right to be 
reckoned among civilized people. ,, 

A few days later the New York Times asked His Majesty's 
opinion on the atrocities committed, and the King caused the follow- 
ing reply to be sent: 

"Without going over the motives which have led Greece, 
Servia and Montenegro to repulse by force of arms the un- 
expected but well-prepared attacks of the Bulgarians on their 
allies of yesterday, which attacks have dictated to the allied 
governments their actual attitude, the atrocities committed 
every day by the Bulgarian armies and the outrages, long con- 
cealed, committed by the Bulgarians on the Turkish and Greek 
peoples since the first days of the Balkan war, impose on the 
allies an energetic attitude and the obligation to exact and to 
obtain for the future all necessary guarantees. 

As the Greek army advances crimes qf unthinkable cruelty 
are discovered. The Bulgarian authorities have silenced the 
voice of thousands of innocents who perished under horrors 
such as human history has never before recorded. There is 
not a village which has been occupied by the Bulgarians that 
has not had its men, women and children massacred, its young 
women outraged, its houses robbed and burned. 

At the first invasion of Demir-Hissar, last October, the 
Bulgarians massacred all the men of the village of Petrovo, 
and, after having outraged women and young girls, locked 
them in the mosque and set fire to it. They played on the 
bagpipes while the victims were dying. 

At Petritch, they made the wives and daughters of the 
victims dance before the bodies of the Mussulmans. At Doiran 
many thousands of Mussulmans were slaughtered and all their 
goods were plundered. At Nevrokop it was the same. At 
Meleniko, Drama, Serres, Dede-Agatch, Strumnitza — every- 
where the Bulgarian has passed — one sees only blood, dishonor 
and ruin. 

To the tortures endured yesterday by the Mussulmans come 
now those of the Christians. Even before the new war began 
the Bulgarians were oppressing all the Greek population of 
the territories occupied by them, and at the time of their 
sudden attack at Pangheon, they did not hesitate to quench 
their thirst for blood on the inoffensive Greek villagers. 

After their first defeats the Bulgarians turned upon the 
Greek population with unspeakable acts. By order of the 
officers hundreds of men, women and children were horribly 
mutilated, their houses were burned, and their goods were 

At Doiran the Greek Bishop and thirty notables were dragged 
away. 1 

At Kavala the Archbishop and twenty-eight Greek notables 
were forcibly taken away by the Bulgarians before they aban- 
doned the village. 

At Pravi the Bishop and more notables had the same fate. 

At Demir-Hissar the Bishop and three priests, with many 
notables and some women, were tortured and put to death. 

Serres, a flourishing and rich city, was almost completely 
destroyed by fire. The vice-consuls of Austria and Italy tried 
officially in vain to protect their consulates. The Bulgarians 
did not even respect the persons of the consuls, but carried 
them to the mountains and only released them on the payment 
of heavy ransoms. 

The national flags of foreign countries were raised on Euro- 
pean and American buildings, but had no effect. On the con- 
trary, the Bulgars concentrated their fire on the foreign houses 
because they knew that these houses sheltered numerous 
refugees. They cannonaded the city. The defenseless citizens 

1 The Bishop of Doiran was forcibly taken away by the Bulgarians to- 
gether with a number of other notables, and sent under guard to Sofia 
amidst the jeers and hoots of the Bulgarian soldiers and the inhabitants of 
the Bulgarian cities and villages through which he was carried. From 
Sofia he was sent, always under guard, to Mesdra covering the distance 
that separated the two cities mostly on foot. From this latter city he was 
taken to the deserted and secluded village of Etrepol, where according to his 
guards he was to be executed. 

The Roumanian army, however, which was marching through Bulgarian 
territory, reached the village of Etrepol where the Bishop was imprisoned, 
and saved him from further suffering and certain death. He was imme- 
diately released and sent to Bucharest in safety. Later His Holiness returned 
to his See. 

abandoned all their possessions, and in many cases their infirm 
relatives, to flee from the rain of shot which pitilessly pursued 

The great warehouses of the American Tobacco Company 
were burned, causing in all a loss of more than one million 
dollars. The managers, Messrs Harrington and Moore, escaped 
to Salonica during the conflagration. 

Bombs and shells raked the city, wiped out thousands of 
families, and left hundreds of victims. 

The Bulgarians cried "Hurrah" at the sight of the de- 
struction they wrought, and took away with them all that 
they could carry. 

Banks, business houses and stores, and all the residences 
were sacked. Neither the many churches, the mosques, the 
synagogues, nor the hospitals were spared. Before the de- 
struction of the city the distinguished Greek residents were 
massacred in cold blood. 

The scenes in the country are even more shocking. Every- 
where are the mutilated bodies of peaceful peasants, every- 
where are ashes and ruins where were joyous villages — a 
poignant desolation. 

Ordinary massacres and outrages on women no longer satisfy 
the Bulgarians, and they have invented refinements of cruelty 
which the imagination refuses to comprehend. Girls are out- 
raged before their parents, wives before their husbands, young 
men and old men are mutilated. Before the work is done 
their limbs are broken, their eyes are torn from the sockets. 
They disembowel one, burn another, cut off the noses and ears 
of others. At first it seemed that these crimes had been com- 
mitted by comitadjis or irregulars, but investigation has un- 
mistakably shown that all was done by regular soldiers under 
the orders of their chiefs. 

The Bulgarian authorities prepared everything. A Bulgarian 
Captain, Dimitri Botsanoff Angnet, was seen presiding at the 
massacres of Demir-Hissar. Elsewhere there were officers of 
the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Regiments. 

It is unbelievable that a civilized people could be so primitive 
as to commit such monstrosities, and one shudders to think of 
what may happen in the future to the Mussulman and Greek 
populations that may remain under Bulgarian domination." 



Desirous of confining this report to the incidents of the last 
four weeks, we shall not dwell on the sufferings of the Greeks 
Turkish and Jewish populations during the past eight months. 

We shall be content, however, to quote the words of Mr. Rene 
Puaux, representative of the Paris Temps, who was with the 
Bulgarians in the campaign of Thrace, regarding the general massa- 
cres, and for the following weeks immediately preceding the war, 
the protest of all the foreign newspaper correspondents in Salonica. 

Here is what the author of "Sofia to Chataldja" wrote to his 
paper on July 15, 1913: 

"The Bulgarian army, through its conduct, has placed itself 
beyond the pale of civilized laws. It has massacred everywhere 
the civil populations. 

From a report which I held, it appeared that its victims in 
Macedonia and Thrace were from 220,000 to 250,00a 1 It 
seems almost incredible, yet I only give these figures, because 
they were furnished to me in corroboration by another foreign 
very reliable personality, who recently returned from Con- 

A Bulgarian officer whose name I am not at liberty to dis- 
close, confessed to me that the order to exterminate the women 
and children was a formal one, and was issued in order to 
definitely wipe out any possibility of subsequent claims of 
property in the territory captured by the Bulgarians." 

The joint protest of the foreign correspondents addressed to the 
President of the "Ligue pour la Defense des Droits de VHomme," 
reads as follows: 

"It appears to us advisable at a moment when the conflict 
among the Balkan powers has reached the present acute stage 
and war seems to be inevitable, that Europe be exactly in- 
formed of the conduct of the different allies, that the responsi- 
bilities be well fixed, and that the whole truth about certain 
acts particularly .odious be given. The 'Ligue pour la Defense 
des Droits de I'Homme/ cannot remain unmoved in the face of 
the outrages committed by the Bulgarians in the regions under 
their occupation. At the outbreak of the war the press of 
Europe kept almost systematically silent regarding the reported 
horrors, but reports coming in every day both from the Greek 

J Mr. L. Magrini gives the same figures after a careful investigation of 
several months. (See Milan Secolo, July 18, 1913.) These figures are also 
confirmed by Captain Trappman who, after an investigation on the spot 
places the number of persons massacred in the two districts of Serres and 
' Demir-Hissar alone at 50,000. (See the London Daily Telegraph, July 
21, 1913.) 

N. B. The above figures do not include the victims of the recent 

and Mohammedan populations, contain the most horrible details 
concerning the treatment inflicted upon them by the Bulgarians. 
Thousands of refugees arriving here daily are confirming' 
these reports. We are, therefore, convinced, Mr. President, 
that it would be to the interest of justice and humanity that 
an impartial investigation be made at once, in order that the 
world may know the whole truth regarding these acts, which 
are a shame and a disgrace in this twentieth century. 

We hope, Mr. President, that you will use your great au- 
thority and the great influence of the league to call the attention 
of Europe to these acts, and help to create a spirit of protest 
which to us appears to be necessary. ,, 

Signed. Crawford Price, 

of the London Times, 
Emil Thomas, 

of the Paris Temps, 
P. Tiano, 

of the Paris Journal, 
Luciano Magrini, 

of the Milan Secolo, 
P. Donaldson, 

of the Reuter Agency, 
G. Turbe, 

of the Havas Agency, 
Capt. T. A. Trappman, 

of the London Daily Telegraph, 
A. Grohmann, 

of the ' Franfurter Zeituntf' 
and the "Neue Freie PressJ' of 
M. Bessantchi, 

of the Vienna Zeit. 

Although we have been compelled to make this statement longer 
than intended, we are, nevertheless, unable to give a full account of 
the terrible atrocities committed by the Bulgarians, even if we 
were to confine this report to the incidents of the last four weeks. 
The list of the villages that were set on fire and pillaged, the num- 
ber of persons that were killed, those whose properties have been 
confiscated, and those who were outraged in their honor, is too 
long to recount. 

We will first draw your attention to the fate which met the 
very few Greek prisoners that fell into the hands of the Bulgarians, 1 

*We refer to the fate of the nine Greek evzones who were taken pris- 
oners at Kallinovon the first day of the war. They were all tortured first 
and then mercilessly butchered. 

and the terrible ordeal of Lieutenant Marcandonakis. 1 We will 
then enumerate the events that occurred in the most important 
centers which will be easier for foreigners to verify. 

To facilitate this, we shall divide the present work into three 
parts corresponding to the three principal districts where the sangui- 
nary events took place. 

1 — The Districts of Gevgheli and Doiran; 

2 — The other Districts west of the river Strymon, and, 

3 — The provinces of Serres and Drama. 

We must at first remind you, however, that the Servian army 
and population in Northern Thrace have likewise suffered greatly, 
and that the Servian government repeatedly drew the attention of 
the civilized world to those atrocities, some of which were verified 
by the Russian and French consuls at Uskub. 

An international commission comprising among its members Dr. 
Albert Perron of Paris, Dr. Ludwig Schlieb of Berlin, and Dr. 
Sieber Moller of the Royal Norwegian J^Javy, made an investi- 
gation in the Servian district of Knagevatz, which the Bulgarians 
occupied for a few days. 

The report of that commission was published on July 16, 1913, 
and contains a long series of horrible misdeeds. Murders, con- 
flagrations, rapines and outrages on women are cited. It gives the 
names of the victims and certifies that these crimes were committed 
by the regular Bulgarian army. 

We shall not waste any time on the reports that emanated from 
officious sources in Sofia and from certain correspondents residing 
in the Bulgarian capital, through which an attempt was at first 
made to deny the barbarities committed by the Bulgars in Mace- 
donia, and subsequently, when the impudence of this assertion 
was brought to light, to cause the impression that the Bulgarians 
wfere not the only ones that were given to massacre, pillage and 

In order to trample into the dust such calumnies, it will suffice to 
recite simply that throughout the entire territory occupied by the 

1 Sub-lieutenant Marcandonakis, who was mortally wounded during the 
assault of Saraghiol, had his eyes gouged out and his body was frightfully 
mutilated. Other Greek soldiers that were wounded in the same battle, were, 
according to an eye witness "cowardly butchered." (See article by J. Leune 
in the Paris L' Illustration, July 26, 1913.) 

At Radovichta a Servian officer had his nose and lips cut and his eyes 
torn out of the sockets by the Bulgarians. His comrades found him still 

Greek armies there was a large number of foreigners, many of 
them subjects of nations which have actively shown their sympathy 
for Bulgaria; that among the special correspondents, whose names 
we cite, a number of them represented newspapers that have judged 
Greek politics without indulgence. Yet not one foreign subject 
and not one newspaper correspondent could be found to assert that 
the Greek army has committed one single act of those of which the 
dispatches from Sofia speak. 

These reports, therefore, can deceive only those who wish to 
be deceived. 

Here is the text of a note communicated to the great powers 
by the representatives of Greece on July 19, 1913: 

"His Hellenic Majesty has taken cognizance of a telegram 
addressed to the London Evening News, by which His Majesty 
King Ferdinand requested an international investigation on the 
atrocities committed in Macedonia by the Bulgarian army. 

His Hellenic Majesty desires first to remark that he person- 
ally witnessed the acts which King Ferdinand denies without 
being on the spot and relying solely on the statements of his 

In protesting to the whole of Europe against the Bulgarian 
horrors, and in denouncing the crimes which have been com- 
mitted, by citing dates, places, and exact facts, King Constan- 
tine personally invited the entire civilized world to ascertain 
the acts of savagery which have forever placed Bulgaria- 
beyond all civilization and human laws. 

Greece asks that representatives of the civilized world be 
sent to investigate without delay. Because although the ruins of 
the cities of Serres, Nigrita, Doxato and of all the villages 
that were destroyed, although no battle took place in their 
proximity, will for a long time remain in their place as the 
living proof that the armies of King Ferdinand have passed 
that way, the bodies of thousands of Greeks that were 
slaughtered, mutilated and burned alive, and the frightful re- 
mains of old men, women and children that were massacred, 
cannot forever remain without burial. 

As a first urgent measure the Hellenic government has 
requested that all the consuls-general residing in Salonica be 
ordered by their respective governments to visit at once the 
districts of Kilkis, Doiran, Strumnitza, Demir-Hissar, Meleni- 
ko and Nevrokop through which the Greek divisions have 
passed, to ascertain whether even a single Bulgarian has been 
mistreated by the Greek armies. 

The inhabitants of all the Bulgarian villages in the afore- 

said districts, their families and property are protected by the 
Greek army in the same degree as are the Greeks and their 

A large number of Bulgarian peasants, believing that the 
Greek army was capable of imitating the conduct of their 
own, tried to follow the Bulgarian troops in their flight. They 
were soon, however, compelled to give up, as the Bulgarians 
were fleeing too fast, and they attempted to regain their homes. 

All these unfortunate persons are cared for by our military 
authorities. Rations are regularly distributed to them exactly 
as to the Greek and Turkish populations. 

The consuls-general will no doubt notice this to be a fact. 
The districts of Gevgheli, Doiran, Nigrita, Serres, Demir- 
Hissar, Zichna and Drama, must then be visited by them to 
ascertain that the accusations we have formulated against the 
Bulgarian armies were far below the truth. 

The special correspondents of the Paris Temps, the London 
Times, the Milan Secolo, the Figaro, the London Daily Tele- 
graph, the Tribuna of Rome, the Pall-Mail Gazette, the Cor- 
riere della Serra, etc., are already on the spot. Others are 
arriving daily. All these authorized witnesses are in a position 
to see, and could relate what they saw. 

The consuls-general of Austria-Hungary and Italy in Salo- 
. nica, who visited Serres recently, stated to His Majesty the 
King that the atrocities committed there by the Bulgarians 
exceeded in horror those that were at first reported. 

They learned the names of the Bulgarian officers who took 
an active part." 



Districts Occupied by the Bulgarians at the Beginning 

of the War 

It is well known that the present war was caused by the Bul- 
garians, who, bent upon taking Salonica by surprise, broke the 
neutral zone and occupied Nigrita, the key to the Salonica-Serres 
route on one side, and Gevgheli, the junction point of the Greco- 
Servian forces on the other. 

This is how the French Academician, Mr. Francis Charmes, de- 
scribes the Bulgarian action in the "Revue des deux Mondesi" of 
July 15, 1913, page 470: 

"We have seen a number of flagrant violations of the law 
of nations. None can equal, however, the treacherous attack 


made against the Servians and the Greeks. The coup was 
not spontaneous. Of this we have no doubt. It was carefully 
planned and audaciously carried out * * * . The evident 
purpose of the Bulgarian attack was to separate the Servian 
and Greek armies exactly on the spot where later they joined 

Although proper precautions were taken, the* scheme was not 
as successful as the Bulgarians anticipated. They were compelled 
in three days to evacuate Nigrita and Gevgheli. Years, however, 
will elapse before the traces left by them during their short stay 
can disappear. 

Here is how, Mr. de Jessen, the well known Danish publicist and 
correspondent of the Paris L' Illustration and Temps, 1 describes the 
scene in Nigrita the day following the evacuation of that town 
by the Bulgarians : 

"Thursday evening a telegram from King Constantine an- 
nounced to the authorities in Salonica, that the Greek armies 
advancing through the valley of Strouma in a north-north- 
easterly direction, found the city of Nigrita which had a popu- 
lation of 7,000, along with several other villages that were 
pillaged and burnt, destroyed by fire, and its population includ- 
ing old men, women and children massacred. 

The King requested that Mr. Albert Trappman of the 
London Doily Telegraph and myself, start at once for Nigrita 
to personally verify these acts. 

We left at dawn the following morning on horseback, and 
covered the distance of more than one hundred miles in two 
days, cutting through a region overrun by Bulgarian comitadjis 
who kept the population of certain sections so frightened that 
they did not dare to leave their homes and go to the fields. 

At about one o'clock in the afternoon we discerned at last 
the outlines of the unfortunate city which we hastened to reach 
as quickly as our tired horses would allow. Wednesday last 
it stood intact under its plane and mulberry trees vibrating 
with a life of industry. To-day it is but a pyre whose corpses 
cover the frightful ruins. Out of the 1,450 houses we found 

x See the Paris Temps of July 11, 1913. Mr. de Jessen forwarded numer- 
ous photographs to L' Illustration. The negatives, however, were unfortu- 
nately received in Paris in a damaged condition. In this connection L'lllus- 
tration wrote on July 19, 1913: "a precious and irrefutable evidence has dis- 
appeared." Several photographs of the city of Nigrita in ruins appeared in 
the Illustrated London News July 27, 1913. Numerous photographs were 
taken of all the Macedonian centers that have suffered in the hands of the 
Bulgarians. A collection is now being prepared of this unexceptionable 
evidence of Bulgarian atrocities. 


only 49 standing and among those the church, whose bells 
were silenced after a night of fire and blood. One walking 
through the streets treads on stones blackened and still hot 
from the conflagration. The air was charged with heavy odors 
of human and animal flesh half burnt. The leaves of the 
vines and trees in the courtyards were shriveled up and black- 
ened. A grayish dust raised by the wind disturbed the waters 
of the stream which traversed the mass of ruins where three 
days ago stood the city of Nigrita. 

Among the smouldering debris very few bodies were to be 
seen. When the Greek army entered the place, most of the 
bodies were hastily buried on account of the terrible heat, but 
a number of them still remained unburied. 

Old men in pools of blood on whom the flies were swarm- 
ing; young men with faces distorted and hands twisted in a 
last gesture of agony and despair. The mayor and the military 
officer estimated that 470 people were burned alive. Besides 
these victims, others were suffering from moral injuries. 
Women were outraged before their children; girls ravished 
before their parents; children were slaughtered and old men 
roughly treated. We have seen and heard enough to under- 
stand that this city, so flourishing three days ago, became the 
city of woe, la cittd dolente, as Dante says, of whom one 
naturally thinks before these visions of horror." 

Captain Trappman in a communication dated July 10, 1913, wrote 
to his paper, the London Daily Telegraph, in part as follows : 

"I will never forget what I saw in Nigrita, a Greek city 
of 8,000 inhabitants and about 1,500 houses. To-day it is a 
heap of smoking debris from which comes the odor of burned 
human flesh. From a distance the roofs of the remaining 
forty-nine houses appeared to be red, owing to the contrast 
with the blackened ruins. Search parties were working here 
and there, trying to locate the bodies of those who perished. 
Four hundred and seventy were burned alive or killed by the 
Bulgarians in the city alone. King Constantine invited us to 
continue our investigations in the other towns of this district, 
where an entire regiment is detailed in the work of disposing 
of the bodies of the murdered peasants. In Nigrita the Bul- 
garians massacred more than 1,500 Greeks, and outraged many 
women. Their condition is pitiable. All the houses were 
sacked. One can hardly find in the history of war a record 
of greater savagery than that displayed by the Bulgars in the 
District of Nigrita." 

If the Gevgheli district was not made the theater of those horri- 
ble scenes that attract the foreign correspondent, it has had its 


share of the atrocities. Almost the entire Greek population of 
the town bearing the same name escaped from the Bulgarians 
and took refuge in Goumentsa. Among the notables that remained 
behind, six were murdered, one a woman, and eight others includ- 
ing the Bishop's Vicar were arrested and their lives saved only 
by a miracle. 1 

At Bogdantsa seven notables, including the priest Papastamataki, 
were murdered on the spot. Seventeen others were slaughtered at 
Doiran where they were taken. Similar crimes were committed 
in the other Greek sections of the district, at Negotsi, Selovon, 
Moine, etc. Stoyakovon was set on fire and totally destroyed and 
most of its population massacred. 2 




The District of Kilkis 

Beaten and fleeing, the Bulgarian army adopted the system of 
setting on fire all the cities and villages which it was compelled 
to abandon, in order to deprive the Greek army of provisions and 
to retard its progress. According to an expression used by an 
eye witness, Mr. Lucien Magrini, the Bulgars placed between them- 
selves and the Greeks a "zone of fire. ,, (See the Milan Secolo 
July 7, 1913.) This method was followed throughout the entire 
campaign. Another witness, Mr. George Bourdon, whose testi- 
mony we regret that we cannot use as often as we would have 
wished, because the present work was almost completed when his 
correspondence began to appear in the Paris Figaro, made the 
same remark three weeks later and in the following terms : 

A smoke rising from afar is a sign that the Bulgarians are 
retreating. Their retreat is always marked by fire." (See 
Figaro, July 25, 1913). 

The special correspondent of the Daily Telegraph cabled to his 
paper on July 17, 1913, as follows: 

*For the names of the victims see the official report of the Greek army 
staff dated July 18, 1913. 

2 For full details see the official report above cited. 


"I have been advancing the last 48 hours as fast as my 
horse could carry me. Everywhere the Bulgarians in full re- 
treat are burning the villages. 5 


These tactics were, however, more strictly followed at the begin- 
ning of the hostilities, and it may be said that from Salonica to 
Doiran, and from Salonica to Serres, there is not one single village 
that was not burned by the Bulgarians. When the Greeks entered 
the town of Kilkis, which had a population of 5,000, only the resi- 
dence of the governor and a French convent where a large number 
of women and children sought refuge was left standing. 

The superior of the convent, Father Gustave Michel, made 
certain statements regarding the atrocities committed by the Bulga- 
rians worthy to be preserved. They were made the object of 
interpellation in the House of Commons. Here is what he said: 

"Most shocking crimes have been perpetrated around Kilkis 
by the Bulgarians, the majority of which I have seen with 
my own eyes. In the village of Kurkut a band of Bulgarians, 
headed by a man named Dontchieff, locked all the male popu- 
lation of the place in the mosque, and then compelled the 
women to surround it and witness the frightful spectacle. 
First they attempted to blow up the mosque by throwing bombs 
against its walls which, however, failed to explode. Then they 
set the place on fire and burned alive more than 700 men. 
Those who tried to escape were shot down as they ran. I 
saw in the streets of Kurkut the calcined human remains. I 
offered assistance to some starving women and was accused 
by a Bulgarian soldier of collecting human heads to send as 
curiosities to France. 

At Plantza the same band of marauders carried their atrocious 
work to still greater lengths. They first drove the male in- 
habitants into the mosque, which they burned, compelling as 
before the women to witness the horrible spectacle, and im- 
mediately after stacked the women together and burned them 
alive in the public square. 

In Rainovo men and women were slain and the bodies 
thrown into the wells. 

At Kilkis the Bulgarian inhabitants destroyed the mosque 
and massacred their fellow-townsmen of the Moslem faith. 

On several occasions I have held conversations with Bul- 
garian "comitadjis." With unbelievable callousness they 
boasted of the atrocities they have committed. Among them 
I was surprised to find merchants of Sofia, students from the 
Bulgarian Universities, even professional men. One man. a 


student of literature, assured me that he had killed with his 
own hand not less than one hundred and forty Greeks. 

I was called to the bedside of a dying man. He had been 
beaten to death for resisting a 'comitadji' who had seized upon 
his daughter. I applied to the French consul at Salonica beg- 
ging him to exert his power to put an end to these massacres. 


Father Michel's statement was corroborated by Mr. Magrini, cor- 
respondent of the Milan Secolo, by the Catholic sisters at Kilkis, 
and by the three missionaries of the Evangelical Churches in Sa- 
lonica whose testimony is very valuable as it covers not only the 
atrocities committed at Kilkis, but at Doiran, Strumnitza, Serres, 

Their protest cabled to the press of Europe and America on 
July 23, 1913, reads as follows: 

"After their first defeat the Bulgarians began, in revenge, 
a series of most horrible crimes against the Greek noncom- 
batants, who were entirely unprotected. Defeated at Nigrita 
by the Greek army, they turned in fury to the burning and 
pillaging of the towns along the line of their retreat and the 
massacre of the defenceless peasants. In Nigrita over seven 
hundred persons were slaughtered, many of the victims being 
women and children. The atrocity was perpetrated by orders 
of the Bulgarian army officers. 

Two days before the evacuation of Doiran the Bulgarians 
called a counsel, sending a summons to the Greek Bishop and 
thirty of the foremost citizens to attend. They were all 
detained by the Bulgarian authorities and for many days 
nothing further was learned of their fate. Later the mutilated 
bodies of the unfortunate hostages were found. Not one had 
been spared. 1 

In Strumnitza the Bulgarians paused in their flight long 
enough to kill three Greek peasants, a woman and sixteen Mo- 
hammedans. They sacked the stores and threatened a general 
massacre. Fortunately the Greek Bishop was able to prevent 
further butchery by declaring that he would not be responsible 
for the lives of the Bulgarian citizens of the town should the 
Greek troops see the shambles. 

At Demir-Hissar the destruction of life and property was 
fiendish. A hundred and four men and women were killed, 
among them a Bishop and a priest. The Bulgarians resorted 
to the most revolting forms of torture. The body of the 

1 The Bishop of Doiran was found imprisoned in Etrepol, a deserted and 
secluded village in Bulgaria, and was released by the Roumanian army. 


Bishop was found horribly mutilated, his beard and hair torn 
from his head. Many of the victims were frightfully' dis- 
membered and all of the corpses showed unmistakable signs 
of hideous torture. The women and young girls were delivered 
over to the soldiery. 

It was at Serres, however, that Bulgarian savagery reached 
its height. After its evacuation a detachment was sent back to 
bombard the town. The inhabitants fled panic-stricken. A 
party of Bulgarian officers and soldiers, assisted by the local 
Bulgarian authorities and a band of 'irregulars/ entered and 
looted the city, subsequently setting fire to the houses, which 
they drenched with petroleum. The fleeing inhabitants were 
shelled by the artillery. In the town itself nothing was spared. 
The Austrian consul, together with the women and children 
who had sought refuge in the Consulate, were dragged to the 
mountains. The Italian consulate also suffered destruction. 
The flags of foreign powers were ignored. The American 
flag, flying over the stores of the American Tobacco Company, 
availed nothing. The managers escaped to Salonica, reporting 
a loss of nearly a million dollars. Every man, woman and 
child caught in the streets or hiding within the looted houses 
was mercilessly slain. About four thousand houses, a thousand 
stores, eighteen mosques and churches, all the schools, syna- 
gogues and hospitals are crumbling ruins to-day. The loss 
exceeds $3,000,000. Twenty thousand people are destitute. 

In the town of Doxato, with a population of about three 
thousand, two thousand five hundred were killed and the village 
reduced to ashes. The farms all over the district are wiped 
out and no one can determine the number of the murdered 
peasants. The Bulgarian army has left behind it a trail of 
utter devastation and misery. 

Signed. Rev. M. Brunau, 

of the German Evangelical Mission, 

Rev. P. Toekhuvanian, 

of the Armenian Evangelical Mission, 

Rev. A. Mitsopoulos, 

of the Greek Evangelical Mission. 

Doiran and Strum nitza 

The startling advance of the Greek army from Kilkis to Strum- 
nitza prevented the fleeing and closely pursued Bulgarians from 
engaging in any systematic destruction of property. Persons, 
however, were attacked, and we may note among other crimes the 
forcible abduction and disappearance of the Bishop of Doiran and 
twenty-seven other prominent citizens of that city. 

The entrance of King Constantine and his army into the city of 
Doiran was marked by the following characteristic incident : 


"The Mufti (an official expounder of Mohammedan law), 
says the official report under date of July 10, 1913, greeted the 
King in the name of the Mussulman community, and offered 
to him as a sign of homage according to Turkish custom a 
pot of basil. He then asked the King's protection for the 600 
victims of Doiran, women and children, whose husbands and 
fathers were slain last October by the Bulgarians. The Mufti 
then related that all the mosques except one, which was used 
as a church, were burned to the ground by the Bulgarians, and 
he asked that the remaining one be returned to his people. 

The King at once gave orders that food be regularly dis- 
tributed to the widows and the orphans at the expense of the 
Greek government, and that the mosque be returned to its 
original owners. The Mufti stated that there were more than 
5,000 widows and orphans in the neighborhood who needed 
protection and assistance. In fact the Turkish population in 
the surrounding country was almost completely exterminated 
by the Bulgarians. One meets everywhere victims whose prop- 
erty has been destroyed and who lost their sole support. 

The Greek government is confronted to-day with the neces- 
sity of giving relief to these unfortunate Mussulmans whose 
destitution and distress the Bulgarians have wrought. In 
certain Turkish villages near Doiran, the Bulgarians forcibly 
Converted* the Mussulman population and assigned them 
priests who afterwards fled with the Bulgarian troops. 15 


If Strumnitza suffered less than Doiran, it was due to the courage 
of its Archbishop whose manly attitude nearly cost him his life. 

Here is how the correspondent of the Paris Temps at Salonica 
(see issue of July 14) describes what occurred in Strumnitza: 

"Before evacuating the city, the Bulgarian soldiers sacked 
several Greek and Turkish houses. They killed the priest 
Constantine and wounded his wife. They slew another Greek 
on his way from Gevgheli and massacred sixteen Turks includ- 
ing children. They placed under arrest a number of notable 
citizens with the intention of murdering them, and released 
them only when the Greek Bishop declared that he would not 
be responsible for the lives of the Bulgarian citizens of the 
town and the surrounding country should the Greek troops 
see the shambles. 

iThe Turkish community of Doiran has submitted a long memoire de- 
scribing in all its details the outrages committed by the Bulgarians in the 
district of Doiran. This report was authenticated by the Bulgarian priests 
Telatinof, Nakof and Yanoff, who voluntarily vouched for the statements 
of the victims. 

The memoire was published in a large number of European newspapers, 
notably the Paris- Temps. 


Two were, however, killed in the interim, and, alleging an 
epidemic, the Bulgarians tried to lock the Bishop in a pavilion 
where the cholera victims were kept. He managed to escape 
during the night to a nearby village. The Greek army occupied 
the city on Wednesday at seven in the evening." 



The Province of Serres and Drama 

However terrible were the atrocities committed on the left bank 
of the river Strymon, they cannot be compared, in the extent of 
destruction, with those committed by the Bulgars on the right bank 
of said river. The difference is due to two reasons: First, in 
that the province of Serres is richer than those of Doiran and 
Kilkis, and, second, because the bridges spanning the river Strymon 
were all destroyed and the Greek armies could not arrive in time to 
prevent the catastrophe. 

Unable to give a full list of the heinous crimes committed, as 
all the villages in the valley of Serres were burned ; we will confine 
this account as we have done up to now to the principal centers. 

The Burning and Plunder of Serres 

. Serres is one of the very few cities in the interior of Macedonia 
where foreign consular authorities are located. Moreover, it was 
visited by the consuls-general of Austria and Italy at Salonica. 
We have, therefore, in our possession foreign official documents, 
and, faithful to our method, we shall quote them in preference to 
the more detailed reports of the Greek authorities. 

The text of the official dispatch sent by the Austro-Hungarian 
consul to his government, as per translation forwarded to the Paris 
Temp^ by its Vienna correspondent, reads as follows: 

"To-day I proceeded to Serres in company with my Italian 
colleague. The three-fourths of the city formerly so rich and 
flourishing is now a mass of smouldering ruins. The Bul- 
garians had already abandoned Serres on July 5. On the 11th 
troops and comitadjis led by officers and officials made their 
appearance. They bombarded the defenceless town with four 
guns, pillaged from top to bottom and burned its finest quar- 

!See Temps, July 23 ; 1913. 


ters, as well as several houses belonging to Austrian subjects 
and our consulate. The loss amounts to about 45,000,000 
francs (about 9 million dollars). 

Fifty notables were massacred, among them the Hungarian 
subject, Albert Biro. Several persons perished in the flames. 
The five new tobacco warehouses of the Austrian firm of Her- 
zog & Co. were set on fire and they are still burning. The 
estimated loss is about 2,500,000 francs (about $500,000). 

Our flag was not respected. The vice-consul, Mr. Zlatko, 
who was holding the flag, was carried off to the mountain with 
150 other persons who sought refuge in the consulate and was 
released only after paying a heavy ransom. 

It is essential that help should be sent for the persons under 
our protection, who belong to the best and heretofore wealthiest 
Jewish families. 

Please send without delay large sums for the purchase of 
food and raiment. 

Drama h^s been occupied. At Doxato several hundred 
women and young girls were found to have been massacred 
by the Bulgarians. 

One hundred and forty massacred persons were found at 

Twenty Greeks of Serres were first robbed and then put to 
death by the Bulgarians in the estate of Pierre Pantza. 

The loss sustained by the Greeks of Serres exceeds 2,000,000 
francs (about $400,000). The losses of the Austrian tobacco 
firm of Herzog & Co., and the American Tobacco Co., are 

Mr. Zlatko, the Austrian vice-consul at Serres, sent the follow- 
ing telegraphic report to the consul-general at Salonica: 

"A Bulgarian detachment of cavalry and infantry bombarded 
the town pf Serres on Friday morning. After a few shells 
fell in different directions, the infantry marched into the city, 
setting all the houses and stores on fire and massacring the 
inhabitants. Serres was almost totally destroyed. The num- 
ber of victims is numerous. About 20,000 persons are with- 
out shelter. All the food, clothing and stores have been de- 
stroyed. The town faces a famine. The situation is desperate. 
Please send help. 

On Friday toward noon, soldiers of the regular army at- 
tacked my house and drove me into the street with my family 
and a large number of persons who had fled from the massacre 
and the fire and had taken refuge with me. We were im- 
mediately led up to the mountain. All the women and chil- 
dren that accompanied me were threatened with death, and it 


was only by paying large ransoms that we were released. I am 
safe and well, but my house was burnt. I am, with my family, 
without shelter or clothing. All our subjects who live here 
are in the same situation as myself. 

The Greek army occupied the city on Friday evening. A 
police service was at once organized and order was main- 
tained. Everything is quiet now. 3 

The reports of the Italian authorities have not yet been made 
public. An idea may, however, be gained in advance of what they 
contain, by reading a long article which Mr. Magrini forwarded 
to his paper the Milan Secolo and published in that paper on July 
18, 1913. Mr. Magrini interviewed not only the Italian vice-consul 
at Serres, but in company with the Italian consul-general at Salonica 
assisted in the investigation made by the latter, and reported the 
speech he made before leaving the destroyed city. 

The main parts of Mr. Magrini's article, confirmed also by 
Mr. P. Lafco in the Corriere delta Serra July 17, 1913, which, as he 
himself formally declared was based on information obtained from 
the Italian consular authorities, 1 read as follows : 

"The public is not aware, wrote Mr, Magrini, of the volumi- 
nous and detailed record of evidence collected by the foreign 
consuls at Salonica and kept secret, regarding the massacres 
of the Moslem population in Macedonia and Thrace by the 

From a personal investigation made, I am able to say 
that about 200,000 Turks, including defenceless men, women, 
old men and children, were put to death by the Bulgarians 
during the first few months of the Balkan war. The entire 
eastern part of Macedonia and Thrace, oppressed in an in- 
credible manner, was plundered and terrorized. The silence 
kept by the great powers about the massacre of the Mussul- 
man population, encouraged the Bulgarians to continue their 
work and led them to the present massacre and pillage of the 
Greek population. Europe can no longer doubt. Two of the 
great powers caused, on account of these horrible crimes, an 
investigation to be made by their consuls who came to the con- 

1 The testimony of Mr. Munchausen, professor of languages at Serres, 
must also be taken into consideration. Professor Munchausen was among 
the Austrian subjects taken with the vice-consul to the mountains by the 
Bulgarians. His testimony was obtained by the special correspondent of the 
London Daily Telegraph and published in that paper on July 21, 1913. It 
confirms Mr. Magrini's statement and adds certain supplementary details. 
The dispatch sent to the New York Herald by its special correspondent on 
July 17, is also interesting. 


elusion that the Greek version regarding these crimes, was 
much below the actual truth. 

An Eventful Week 

When it became known that the Italian consul-general, 
Mr. Macchioro Vivalba, and his Austrian colleague, Mr. 
Auguste Krel, were going to Serres, I thought that it was my 
duty to follow them. I assisted and participated with them 
in the examination of numerous witnesses, and I am therefore 
in a position to make known the result of the consular investi- 
gation from which it appears that the Bulgarian government 
planned the destruction of Serres beforehand, and is directly 
responsible for it. 

We were able to reconstruct the eventful week through 
which the Macedonian city passed. On Friday, July 4, the 
Bulgarian advocate adviser of the Italian consul reported to 
him that the following order was received: 

'If it appears that Serres is lost to the Bulgarians, let 
it be destroyed.' 

On the evening of the same day General Ivanoff, who was 
beaten at Lahana, passed through the station of Serres on his 
way to Demir-Hissar. On Saturday, July 5, the stores and 
houses were sacked and seventeen notables were massacred; 
four other notables, among them the principal of the gym- 
nasium, the director of the hospital and the manager of the 
Orient Bank, were led outside of the city and killed with 
bayonet thrusts. Thereafter General Voulkof, Governor of 
Macedonia, and all the Bulgarian functionaries, soldiers, and 
gendarmes left the city hurriedly. On Saturday and Monday 
the town was quiet in expectation of the arrival of the Greek 
army. The inhabitants, however, were arming themselves in 
order to repel a probable attack by the comitadjis. On Tues- 
day and Wednesday some skirmishes took place between a 
number of the inhabitants and groups of soldiers who tried 
to enter the town and set it on fire. On Thursday the in- 
habitants, foreseeing the catastrophe, dispatched messengers 
to Nigrita to demand help, but it was too late. 

I questioned the Moslem Ahmed-Hafiz formerly attached 
to the Bulgarian police together with the Austrian consul- 
general. Here is his statement: 

On Thursday evening the Bulgarian officer Monef called 
at my house and told me that the Bulgarians were going to burn 
Serres the following day. He invited me to join in the pillage 
and the burning with a band of Moslems. I refused. Then 
Monef asked me for petroleum ; I replied that I had none. 


On Thursday, during the night, four field guns were placed on 
the hill Dulti, which commands the city, and the following 
morning at eight o'clock the bombardment began and created a 
terrible panic. Later more than 500 infantry, several groups 
of cavalry, numbering ten each, and about 50 comitadjis entered 
the city armed with bombs, and the atrocities began. I recog- 
nized several officers among the soldiers, including Dr. Yankof, 
secretary to General Voulkof and government councilor, the 
late chief of police Karagiosof and Orpanief, chief of the 
gendarmerie of Serres. It looked like a well organized plan. 
The doors of the houses and stores were broken open with 
sticks tipped with iron, which the soldiers carried. The build- 
ings were entered and pillaged. The booty was loaded on some 
hundred wagons, specially got together for this purpose. Then 
the houses were emptied, one by one, sprinkled with petroleum 
and other inflammable substances and set on fire. Using the 
least possible effort, in a row of three houses they would set 
on fire the one in the middle, relying on the violent wind which 
was blowing to complete the work of destruction. The sol- 
diers fired on the people who attempted to save the burning 
houses, consulates, and foreign buildings. 

The Attack on the Italian Consulate 

In the quarter Kamenikia, twenty-eight persons, including 
the Hungarian subject, Albert Biro, were massacred. The 
Austrian vice-consul with the people who had sought refuge 
in the consulate were carried off to the mountain. His mag- 
nificent residence was sacked and then burned. All the build- 
ings that were protected by foreign flags, were treated in the 
same manner. At the Orient Bank an attempt was made to 
open the safe by means of a bomb, but it failed, and the build- 
ing was set on fire and destroyed. 

The Italian consular agency, located in a well constructed 
building, surrounded by a vast garden, was miraculously saved 
from destruction. It is the only house saved in a whole square 
which was burnt down. 

The Italian consular agent, Mr. Menahem Simantow, ex- 
plained to us that at noon on Friday a number of infantry 
soldiers ordered him to open his house, where 600 persons, 
mainly women and children, had taken refuge. Mr. Simantow 
showed himself at a window, and the soldiers demanded 
400 Turkish pounds, abouts $200. Mr. Simantow, who 
could speak Bulgarian, persuaded them to be satisfied with 
only four pounds (about $20.00) and to withdraw. The pres- 
ence of a young Bulgarian, Mavrodief, says Mr. Simantow, 
saved the agency from catastrophe. However, it became neces- 
sary in the course of the day to buy off other soldiers with 


fresh ransoms. The consulate, full of refugees, was surrounded 
by flames, and it was with difficulty that we managed to protect 
ourselves. The consul then continued his narrative in relation 
to the massacre of the Moslem element and the persecution 
which the entire population had to undergo since the occupa- 
tion of the town by the Bulgarians. He gave us details un- 
heard of before. The authorities seized upon the best articles : 
furniture, carpets, silverware and clothing. Everything was 
stolen and sent to Sofia. He related that when Czar Ferdinand 
visited Serres, the prefect asked him to loan a silver service 
on which, according to custom, bread and salt was to be offered 
to the Bulgarian Sovereign. The consul readily consented, 
but when the Czar departed, the service was not returned to 
him. He made repeated demands for it, but without avail. He 
then threatened to create a scandal and to have the Italian 
Legation at Sofia intervene for the return of the service. He 
finally succeeded in obtaining an indemnity which hardly 
amounted to one-fourth of the value of the stolen articles. 

As Mr. Simantow is a wealthy merchant, the Bulgarian au- 
thorities obtained from his stores merchandise to the value of 
50,000 francs (about $10,000) and left with him worthless re- 
ceipts in lieu of payment. Such receipts were to be found 
everywhere in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace; very often, 
especially when Greeks were concerned, the receipts contained 
instead of the value and nature of the merchandise received, 
insulting expressions in the Bulgarian language. 

All storekeepers were also compelled to put up signs in the 
Bulgarian language, and even the Italian consular agent had 
to obey the order. In fact, he was fined because he failed to 
comply with it when first requested." 

Four Thousand Houses Destroyed 

Mr. Magrini then publishes an interview he had with the Austrian 
vice-consul, whose statement we quoted above, and continues : 

"In company with Mr. Vivalba and Consul Krai, I visited 
and inspected repeatedly all parts of the city. What an im- 
mense desolation ! It is figured that more than four thousand 
houses have been destroyed. The consuls-general declared that 
they have never witnessed such a spectacle. Our views coin- 
cide. We are facing a resurrection of Tamerlan and Gengis 
Khan. The horror of the destruction is beyond all imagination. 
It is impossible to estimate the full damage. The losses alone 
of the three large tobacco comp'anies, the Herzog Company 
and the two American companies, amount to $2,000,000. 


The Promises of the Italian Consul 

On July 14 Commander Mazarakis of the Greek army re- 
turned to the Mussulmans the great mosque which the Bul- 
garians confiscated and converted into an exarchistic church. 
The ceremony attending the restitution was very touching. 
The Mussulmans wept with joy and praised Greece for their 
deliverance. The Bishop and the orthodox clergy were present. 
The Italian consul-general, who was also present, made a speech 
and declared that he would communicate to his government the 
nameless horrors of Bui gar barbarity verified by him, and he 
added, that the manifestation of harmony and brotherly feel- 
ing existing between the Mussulmans and the Greeks was a 
happy omen for the resurrection of the city of Serres now re- f 
stored to peace and order by the Greek authorities. ,, 

It may be observed that the Greeks and the Turks were not the 
only ones that suffered. The Jewish community in Serres also had 
a terrible experience. Here is the essential part of the report drawn 
up by the Jewish delegation from Salonica: 1 

"It is under the painful and melancholy impression that we 
have felt when visiting the still smouldering ruins of what once 
was the flourishing city of Serres that we are making this re- 
port. The city of Serres, with a population of about 30,000 
people, composed of 16,000 Greeks, 12,000 Mussulmans and 
1,300 Israelites, was until recently, notwithstanding the un- 
fortunate Balkan war, full of life and relatively prosperous. 

A vandal hand heavily laid upon it caused a deathly silence 
to succeed the beneficent hum and bustle of its commercial 
activities. Out of 6,000 houses in Serres, 4,000, the very best, 
were reduced to ashes. More than 4,000 shops were first pil- 
laged and then burned. The disaster is enormous. All the 
inhabitants, without distinction, suffered more or less. Over 
one-half of the population is without food or shelter. Out of 
200 Jewish families living in the city, 131 lost their real and 
personal properties, stock in trade, etc.; 112 saw their belong- 
ings completely destroyed, and among these 29 families lost 
also their houses. The shops of 32 others were burned. The 
material losses sustained by the Jewish population alone ex- 
ceed 41,035 Turkish pounds (about $205,000). 

The community lost the synagogue, one school for the erec- 
tion of which 50,000 francs ($10,000) were expended, and 
two houses. 

1 For the losses sustained by the Jewish community see the Paris Temps 
of July 21, 1913, the Echo (TAthenes of July 24, and the report of Mr. 
Schinas of the Salonica press bureau published in the Liberie de Salonique 
July 15, 1913. 


The indirect losses of the Jewish merchants arising from 
moneys due them by non-Jewish business men who saw, like- 
wise, their fortunes swept away in the common disaster, must 
be also included. These losses can not be estimated at present. 

During our visit in Serres we had occasion to talk to Major 
Mazarakis, commander of the place, and thank him for his 
kindness to our co-religionists. Major Majarakis is imbued 
with the best intentions, but as he will have to rejoin his regi- 
ment sooner or later, he has appointed several committees com- 
posed of prominent citizens, without distinction of race or re- 
ligion, to look after the work of assistance and public health." 

We may end by remarking that the Bulgarians, like the "high- 
waymen" and the other associations of malefactors of the early 
part of the nineteenth century, committed part of their crimes under 
disguise. More privileged, however, than the bandits of the past, 
the Bulgarians had as their headquarters the very offices of the 
Tiighest local authorities. This clearly appears from the following 
official dispatch dated July 17, 1913: 

"The Austrian and Italian consuls, who arrived here, were 
horror-stricken before the Bulgarian crimes and at the sight 
of their victims shown to them in my presence and in the pres- 
ence of the Archbishop. * * * We visited the offices of 
General Voulkoff in company with the consuls, and we dis- 
covered there a large number of false beards and wigs used 
by the comitadjis for a disguise, also a quantity of stolen arti- 
cles, including carpets and ladies' clothing. A similar dis- 
covery was made by me in the palace of the Governor at Kilkis." 

Commander of the Place of Serres. 

The Slaughter at Demir-Hissar 

The first news of the massacres committed at Demir-Hissar were 
made known by the following report of the commanding officer of 
the Sixth Division dated July 12, 1913, and published in the Paris ' 
Temps on July 14: 

"I have the honor to report to Your Majesty that an officer 
of my staff, sent to Demir-Hissar, ascertained that Captain 
Meligof, of the Bulgarian gendarmerie, arrested, at the instance 
of three pro-Bulgarian persons, the Bishop, Monseigneur 
Constantine, the priest Papastravou, Mr. Papazacharizanou, 
a prominent citizen, and more than 100 Greeks who were im- 
prisoned in the confines of the Bulgarian school. On July 7 
and 8, Bulgarian soldiers and gendarmes massacred them and 


requisitioned Turkish peasants to bury them within the school 
property outside the enclosure on the east side. 

An officer of my staff caused the grave to be opened in 
order to verify the facts. He found in a depth of about six 
feet the bodies of the victims all in a pile. 

Further, the Bulgarian officers and soldiers outraged sev- 
eral young girls and killed one named Agatha Thomas, daugh- 
ter of a gardener, who resisted their attacks. The shops were 
either ransacked or destroyed, and the house furniture of the 
Greeks carried away. The lives of many were saved by the 
Turks who sheltered them in their homes. 

The city in general presents a mournful spectacle of destruc- 

A commission composed of Greek ex-members of the Chamber 
of Deputies at Constantinople from Macedonia, and members of 
the Chamber of Deputies in Athens, visited the place and forwarded 
to His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch at Constantinople and to 
the President of the Greek Chamber of Deputies, a report con- 
taining the following details: 

"The line of the Bulgarian retreat from Lahana led through 
Demir-Hissar where 104 prominent citizens were at once ar- 
rested, including the Bishop and three priests. Eighty were 
immediately put to death and the remaining twenty- four, feign- 
ing death, although covered with serious bayonet thrusts, man- 
aged to escape. Two women were among the victims and two 
children, aged two and three years, respectively; two of the 
survivors, very old men, were covered with bayonet thrusts. 
One of them had been buried alive, but the earth being thrown 
lightly over him he managed to free himself sufficiently to at- 
tract attention and was saved. His condition is critical. 

A very great number of women and girls suffered at the 
hands of the retreating troops, all stores and houses were 
looted, but the height of Bulgar barbarity was attained when 
the Bishop and three priests were killed by the very hand of 
Captain Anghel Dimitrieff Bostanof of the 12th Regiment, who 
first cut their hands and gouged their eyes out. 1 

All these atrocities were committed by officers and soldiers 
of the regular Bulgarian army belonging to the 12th and 21st 
Regiments. The consuls of Austria and Italy interviewed and 
took the depositions of the survivors. The bodies of the dead, 
some of which have been frightfully mutilated, are now being 

1 This was confirmed by the correspondent of the New York Herald. 
See issue July 17, 1913. 


On the morning of July 7, toward nine o'clock, a score of 
Bulgarian soldiers, carrying arms with bayonets fixed and hav- 
ing an officer in command, went to the residence of the Bishop 
where the Great Logothetis of the Diocese, Mr. Thomas Papa- 
charizakis, was visiting at the time, and knocked at the door. 
As the Bishop refused to open, they broke it down. An 
officer with a detail of six men placed the immates under 
arrest and ransacked the house from garret to cellar. They 
took among other things forty Turkish pounds ($200) which 
they found in a drawer of the Bishop's desk. After treating 
the prisoners with every imaginable indignity they conducted 
them near the Bulgarian school and forced them to kneel. 
The Bishop was repeatedly stabbed by bayonet thrusts, and his 
skull crushed by a blow. Mr. Papacharizakis died of apoplexy, 
due to fright, but his corpse was, nevertheless, bayoneted. 
The sufferings of the Bishop lasted longer. The Bulgarians 
kicked and insulted him, and tore the hair and beard from his 
head. Afterwards they stripped the bodies of their victims 
even to their undergarments. 

Having accomplished their inhuman work, the soldiers re- 
turned to the residence of the Bishop seeking for his sister, who 
had escaped, and who remained in hiding on the roof of a 
neighboring house. The aged mother of the Bishop died from 
shock. The looters secured all the vestments of the church be- 
longing to the Bishop, including two mitres, a cross set in 
diamonds, and a gold bound Bible. They took all secular valu- 
ables and 240 Turkish pounds (about $1,200), belonging to the 
Bishop's sister. 

Until noon of the following day the corpses of the victims 
remained exposed on the roadside. Then, with the bodies of 
many others, they were tied by the feet and dragged to a pit 
which they dug in the yard of the half-finished Bulgarian school 
house and there thrown in. We exhumed some of the remains 
and, although decomposition had set in, we could see unmis- 
takable signs of the dreadful tortures which had been inflicted. 
An examination of all of the corpses was impossible, as many 
were far gone in decay. The body of the Bishop was thrown 
in head down. The faces of the martyred victims bore the 
traces of ineffable sufferings. 

The exhumation took place amidst the sobs of the widows, 
the orphans and the entire community." 

The competent local authorities drew up a list of the victims, 
among whom were the Bishop of Meleniko, Monseigneur Constan- 
tine, the Archpriest Stavros, the great Logothetis Thomas Papa- 
charizakis, Constantine Harizano and other notables. 1 

1 For a full list of those that were killed and those that disappeared or 
were wounded, see the official report of the Greek staff supra cited. 


The Paris U Illustration of August 2, 1913, contains numerous 
photographs of Demir-Hissar and of the survivors. Also the pic- 
tures of four of the forty-two young girls that were outraged by the 

The following account signed by L. Leune accompanied these 
pictures : 

"We are passing through the pretty town of Demir-Hissar 
built on a hill, with its picturesque bridge set on the rocks and 
its cypress trees. Women and children come and go, shadows 
of human beings with faces full of suffering and despair. A 
wounded man crosses the street. He has had a strange experi- 
ence. Before their precipitate departure, the Bulgarians caused 
the drum to beat, a sign which means, in nearly every country, 
that some important communication is about to be announced 
by the authorities. The people of Demir-Hissar rushed out 
of their houses in masses. The Bulgarian soldiers seized the 
Bishop, the priests and the notables, 110 people in all, and 
conducted them to the courtyard of the Bulgarian school house, 
where an immense pit had been freshly dug. The prisoners 
were forced to sit around it. Poor fellows, they well under- 
stood that this great yawning hole was going to be their grave. 
They looked at it and smiled like martyrs. They were about 
to depart for the great beyond to commence that great life 
which time can not destroy. They will watch from above the 
victorious Hellenic army take possession of the land which 
they have so bravely defended during their short stay on earth 
and preserved for their mother country. It would be their 

The Bulgarian bayonet is doing its terrible work. A thrust 
carries the beard of the Bishop away with the jaw. Another 
digs his eyes out. A third stops the beating of the heart. 
Fingers, hands and other limbs are torn away from the victims 
and thrown pell-mell. It can hack, that Bulgarian bayonet! 
Their work, that mass of mutilated bodies without form, the 
Bulgars contemplate with satisfaction and a sneer. * * * 
How brave they are, the soldiers of King Ferdinand, these 
'Japanese of Europe/ these 'Prussians of the Balkans'! * * * 

But the Greek army is approaching! * * * The corpses 
remain and the murderers are fleeing. And the wounded man 
continues : 'After my first wound, I feigned death. When the 
Bulgarians fled, I got up. The Greek soldiers were there.' " 

A small town can not so easily recover from such a disaster. 
The picture which Mr. George Bourdon, who spent three entire 
weeks at Demir-Hissar after the slaughter of July 7, has drawn of 
the place is proof of this statement. 


Here is the text of his dispatch to the Figaro which appeared 
in that paper on August 4, 1913: 

Salonica, August 2. 

"On my return from the general headquarters at Livanovo, 
which is the Olympus of a very busy staff, I visited the city 
of the dead. I am speaking of Demir-Hissar. 

Demir-Hissar, a charming little Turkish town northwest of 
Serres, is built at the foot of a rocky mountain which gives it 
the aspect of a thicket lying against a wall. Dominated at the 
top by the ruins of an old fort, traversed by a river, which, at 
this time of the year, shows its dry bed of white pebbles ; with 
its pretty little coffee house standing on stilts and open to the 
four winds; its murmuring springs; its mosques and trees as 
old as Mahomet; its uneven pavements; its quaint little stores- 
where but lately sat squatting merchants from afar picking the 
glittering beads of their amber diaplets; it forms a fetching^ 

Turks, sitting behind their baskets rilled with fruit, vainly 
await a customer. One seeks on the azure skies the blue line 
of the Bosphorus or the small wave of the sea of Marmara. 
I imagined myself back in Broussa where I felt to have found 
again that gentle and mysterious charm of the high quarters of 

Nothing, however, but silence reigns in this grief-stricken 
city, which resembles a motionless widow, who, having cried' 
her eyes out, can not shed any more tears. 

The rare people we meet on our way, mostly Turks, rise and* 
salute us with deference. The aids of the King and the Greek 
princes are guiding me through the town. How very few peo- 
ple indeed we meet! The streets are deserted of the human- 
beings that gave them life ; the little neat stores are abandoned, 
the big houses are without their occupants, even the courtyards 
are without their inmates. What cataclysm then has so sud- 
denly struck this charming town ? It is neither fire, earthquake 
nor lava. Its houses are intact. The Bulgarians, however, have 
passed this way. 

Swords, bayonets and knives were freely used, and Demir- 
Hissar realized how true was its old Turkish name : The Fort- 
ress of Iron. Turks and Greeks although unequal in number 
suffered alike. A large number of Greeks owe their lives to- 
tenderhearted Turks and they own this with gratitude. 

In many places, where the bodies of the victims were interred, 
pious hands have placed a stone, a cross or a candle to burn. 
There is nothing so touching as these humble signs of grief and 
mourning. They bear no names. It is like a human wail which 
quietly and discreetly finds vent, yet it rends the heart and fills- 
the skies. 

At Nigrita, at Doiran, at Strumnitza, the same atrocities. 


Serres was barbarously destroyed. The three-fourths of the 
town was reduced to ashes. Four thousand houses, churches 
and mosques were systematically set on fire and burned. Forty 
thousand people remained without food or shelter. 

So many massacres, so much looting and destruction of prop- 
erty, stirred the Greek hearts to exasperation and brought about 
that wonderful transformation that carried the armies of King 
Constantine forward for three weeks. The impulse was ir- 
resistible as each and every man felt in him the violent desire 
to conquer. 

These are not the empty words frequently used to embellish 
the exploits of a successful athlete. They express profound 
realities, and the state of mind of an army, which made up in 
heroism what it lacked in experience. It was imbued with some 
of the religious and the divine. I do not think that our great 
revolutionary armies were inspired with a purer faith and a 
more violent willingness for self-sacrifice. 

There was something of the sublime in this Greek army, 
as in our own, a spectacle rare enough to compel admiration. 

I know that I will not be believed or believed but par- 
tially. I know also that there are people who would smile when 
they hear of heroism and of wonders. It matters not. I am 
but a witness who sees, hears and relates, and I am satisfied 
that not one of the foreign newspaper correspondents, not one 
of the witnesses who like myself have heard and seen, would 
contradict me." 

The Massacres and the Destruction of Doxato 

Doxato, the center of production and tobacco industry, was the 
-most prosperous of the Macedonian cities. Nothing but the church, 
-which was saved by a miracle, and a few families hidden among the 
ruins, remain. 

The newspaper correspondents, Messrs. Puaux and Magrini, vis- 
ited the town the day following its destruction by the Bulgarians. 

Commander Cardale, of the British Royal Navy, who was at 
Kavala, proceeded there at once and became also a witness of the 
terrible catastrophe. 

We are reproducing here below their testimony, to which we will 
add that of Vladimir Tordoff, editor of Outro Rossije of Moscow, 
and a few others. 

Testimony of Mr. Puaux 1 

"I spent the following morning in Doxato, about ten miles 
south of Drama, and I had the good fortune to interview many 

iSee Paris Temps, July 21, 1913. 


impartial witnesses, including a French couple, a Mr. and Mrs. 
Valette, who related to me in detail the events which culminated 
in the burning of the town and the murder of thousands of 

The Bulgarians, for the ostensible reason that certain sharp- 
shooters from the village fired in the morning and on the after- 
noon, without, however, inflicting any injury, on a number of 
stragglers belonging to the retreating army of Kavala, decided 
to punish the inhabitants of Doxato. 

On Sunday morning, July 13, they reached the town and 
placed a cordon about the estate of Mr. Valette, with the evident 
intention of arresting his interpreter, overseer and a family 
servant, all of whom were Greeks. Mr. Valette displayed the 
French flag over his doorway and protested to the commander, 
who was not very far away, against the arrests. The com- 
mander, after a long parley, finally accepted Mr. Valette's 
view, but he detailed two sentries to guard the gate of his estate. 
The order to attack was then given and the Bulgarian soldiers 
opened fire on the town with four cannon ; in less than half an 
hour the shattered houses began to collapse, and at noon the 
artillery fire ceased. Then two Bulgarian cavalrymen came 
and took away the sentries that were left to guard the estate, 
and addressing the Gypsy employes who worked on Mr. 
Valette's estate, over one hundred in number, urged them to go 
to Doxato 'where the looting was good.' 

The soldiers told Mr. Valette that they had received orders 
to remove the Greek servants to Drama, and finding resistance 
useless, Mr. Valette determined to accompany his employes, 
ordered two of his carriages to be prepared and went with them. 
At Drama he met Mr. Dobreff, the Bulgarian Governor, who 
seemed greatly agitated, declaring that a great disaster had hap- 
pened and that he must at once give aid to the victims and 
orders for the disposal of the dead. Mr. Dobreff proceeded at 
once to Doxato, together with Mr. Bachivakof, the lieutenant- 
governor, the cdimacan of Doxato and the president of the 
municipal council of Drama, caused the burial of some of the 
bodies and returned once more to Drama. During his stay 
he ordered the release of Mr. Valette's servants. 

On Monday morning the town was still burning and the 
Valette estate was crowded with refugees who were afraid to 
leave. The Greek army arrived two days later. Mr. Valette 
added that during the past week the people had been very 
nervous, as the preceding Sunday the Bulgarians arrested the 
prominent citizens, and on Friday and Saturday a few skir- 
mishes took place in the neighborhood of the town between 
Bulgarian and Greek volunteers. 

If a few stragglers of the Bulgarian army were fired upon, 
that was not a reason, said Mr. Valette, why a whole city should 


be burned and pillaged and more than one thousand persons, 
including women and children, murdered. 

Mr. Valette's statement was corroborated by his daughter. 
They are both among the principal witnesses who will be ex- 
amined by the French Commission appointed by President 
Poincare to investigate, in response to a telegram of protest sent 
by King Constantine, when it reaches that place. 

One fact is certain, that almost all the peasants were robbed 
before they were put to death. When about to photograph a 
group of these unfortunate victims, 1 whom Bulgarian cavalry- 
men took outside of the limits of the city to murder, I found 
empty purses lying among the corpses now in a state of decom- 
position. Two men, belonging to that group, managed to es- 
cape and reached the estate of Mr. Valette, crawling through 
the fields on their hands and knees. They told Mr. Valette 
that the Bulgarians compelled their victims to give up every- 
thing they had before they were put to death. 

Doxato, until recently so flourishing, is now a heap of ashes. 
On the central square a group of three old women attracted our 
attention. One of them was sobbing violently. She had lost 
everything in the world. Her whole family was killed and her 
house destroyed. The other two were trying to console her. 
Their husbands and sons were also massacred, but they 
answered quite simply : 'They died for Greece.' " 

Testimony of Mr. Magrini 

Mr. Magrini conducted his own investigation in company with 
the most prominent Italian citizen in the district of Kavala, Mr. 
George Buffetti. He described conditions as follows in a corre- 
spondence published in the Milan Secolo, July 26, 1913 : 

"On Saturday evening Bulgarian soldiers placed four field 
guns at a distance of 300 feet from the town, and on Sunday 
morning they commenced the bombardment. The inhabitants 
fled, some in the direction of Kavala, others following the dry 
bed of the river toward the mountains, carrying their money 
with them. A few hundred locked themselves in their homes. 

The Bulgarian cavalry appeared suddenly on the scene and 
pursued the fugitives, while 400 Bulgarian soldiers with bay- 
onets fixed entered the town followed by two wagonloads of 
cans full of petroleum. The cavalry, composed of 120 men, 
was divided in two sections with Birnef and Symeonof 
as commanding officers, respectively. They attacked and cut 
right and left men, women and children with their swords, 

1 The photos of Mr. Puaux appeared in V Illustration of August 2, 1913. 


while the infantrymen robbed the victims and finished the 
work of destruction. 

Unheard of acts of savagery are related. A number of 
Mussulmans, whom the Bulgarians requested to take part on 
the assurance that Bulgaria and Turkey had formed an alliance 
against Greece, also participated in the massacre which lasted 
until five o'clock in the afternoon. 

Besides Majors Symeonof and Birnef, many other officers 
and officials took an active part in the massacre according to 
the testimony of the survivors, including Athanas Priestef, 
chief of police of Doxato, Jean Borof, Karakof and Vakef, a 
justice of the peace. 

Having completed our investigation we were about to leave 
Doxato, when a man with distorted features, dashed towards 
us like a madman and asked for a piece of bread. Mr. Buffetti 
recognized in him a millionaire tobacco merchant, whose family 
had been massacred and his properties destroyed. We took 
him along in our carriage to Drama." 

Testimony of Commander Cardale of the Royal British Navy 

Commander Cardale made certain statements to Mr. Stevens, 
special correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph (see issue of 
July 24, 1913), which the latter summed up as follows: 

"Commander Cardale, an active officer of the British Navy, 
who happened to be at Kavala, and who, on hearing of the 
horrors committed by the Bulgarian troops at Doxato, left im- 
mediately for that place, gave me the following description of 
what met his eyes on reaching the scene of the massacres. 

At the entrance of the town the first thing that met his gaze 
were bands of dogs feeding on human remains. The burnt 
town appeared to be deserted, and a great deal of shouting had 
to be resorted to before some women issued from the ruins. 
By the time he got to the place most of the bodies lying in the 
streets had been removed, but many, for want of grave- 
diggers, had been temporarily deposited at the entrance of the 
village, which explains the horrible sight above mentioned. 

In one courtyard a large number of women and children were 
massacred. The bodies of thirty of them were still there when 
Commander Cardale visited the place. All the bodies had 
bayonet thrusts and bore marks of unspeakable mutilations. 
The walls were spattered with blood to a height of six feet 
from the ground, and he » accounts for this by the narrative 
given him by the surviving inhabitants, who say that the victims 
were not put to death at once, but were slowly brought to their 
end by bayonet thrusts. 


In one corner of the courtyard he saw huddled together the 
bodies of six little children. Into the courtyard of a rich Turk's 
house a similar flock of women and children were driven for 
slaughter by the Bulgarians, but before they had time to dis- 
patch them all some broke through the cordon of soldiers placed 
at the entrance and ran upstairs into the house of the Turk, 
seeking refuge under the carpets and divans of the place. 

Commander Cardale found the cushions and carpets slashed 
by sword cuts and the walls reeking with human blood and 
hacked remains. In one of the rooms there was a stove pipe. 
Up this pipe he saw, wedged in, a girl, 7 years of age, who had 
evidently tried to escape in this way, the murderers killing her 
by thrusts from bayonets from below. On the body of the little 
victim he counted four such bayonet wounds. In another room 
he was shown the place, still bespattered with blood, where a 
woman and her child had been crucified on the wall. The im- 
pressions that the bodies had left were plainly visible, as were 
also the holes left by the nails driven through the outstretched 
hands and feet of the victims. 

Throughout the town he personally counted 600 bodies still 
left unburied, mostly of women and children. He verified the 
following story showing how the precepts of Christianity are 
understood by the so-called Christian Bulgarians: 

Thirty Greeks and one Turk sought refuge in the sanctuary 
of a Greek church while the massacres were going on outside. 
A squad of Bulgarian soldiers entered the church. To the 
Greeks they said that if they had found them outside they 
would have killed them all, but, as they were Christians in a 
Christian church, they would spare their lives. But as to the 
Turk, he must die, and suiting the action to the word, they 
killed the Moslem on the steps of the altar. 

Commander Cardale showed me several of the photographs 
he took with his camera, and placed at my disposal any I 
wished to send to England for publication." 1 

Commander Cardale was questioned by Mr. Andreades, Professor 
of Law at the University of Athens, and he declared that the cor- 
respondent of the London Daily Telegraph reproduced exactly in 
its principal parts the account he gave him of the atrocities. He 
added that the number of dead could not be accurately fixed, but 
that by counting the graves, the bodies and other human remains 
that were strewn everywhere, he estimated that no less than 600 
were killed. 

The commander saw bodies lying six hundred yards outside of 

1 They were published in the Illustrated London News, Aug. 9, 1913. 


the town limits. They were the bodies of those who tried to get 
away and were cut to pieces by the Bulgarian cavalry. He stated 
that the testimony of all the witnesses he had examined agreed that 
Bulgarian officers of the highest rank participated in the massacres. 

He also confirmed the story that Gypsies and Turks were induced 
to take part in the work of destruction and looting of the pros- 
perous town. 

In the absence of arms, their auxiliaries, who were called in the 
afternoon probably to help complete the work as quickly as possi- 
ble, used sticks and agricultural implements to attack their victims, 
whose end was thus rendered more horrible. 

Testimony of Captain Trappman 

Captain Trappman, after an investigation of his own, cabled to 
his paper, the London Daily Telegraph, in part as follows i 1 

"The French Commission appointed to investigate will find 
ample evidence how the Bulgarian cavalry, followed by in- 
fantry, chased the luckless villagers for miles, the cavalry 
killing or wounding, whilst the infantry mutilated the corpses." 

Testimony of Vladimir Tordoff 

Mr. Vladimir Tordoff made a summary in French of the corre- 
spondence in Russian he sent to his paper UOutro Rossije of Mos- 
cow. This summary, which was published in the Liberte de 
Salonique July 20, reads as follows : 

"On July 2/15, toward midnight, news reached the general 
headquarters of the Greek army at Hadji-Beylik, of the atroci- 
ties committed by the Bulgarians at Doxato. I was returning 
from the battlefield of Strumnitza which I had just visited 
in a military automobile. Although exhausted with fatigue, I 
asked some of my colleagues, Mr. Puaux of the Paris Temps 
and Mr. Mavroudi of the Debats, to try and obtain from the 
military authorities a vehicle to convey us to Doxato. 

Our request was immediately granted by the military authori- 
ties, and very early the following morning, after hardly three 
hours rest, we were able to start for Doxato. 

We first crossed the bridge of Strouma on foot and on the 
way met a large number of dray-carts carrying wounded and 

!See Daily Telegraph, June 24, 1913. 


supplies. An officer, speaking Russian perfectly, met us and 
placed at our disposal, in accordance with instructions received 
from headquarters, an automobile with two young, brave and 
very experienced chauffeurs. 

Qne of them was a volunteer who came expressly from the 
United States to take part in the war. 

The trip to Doxato was one of the most difficult and tire- 
some we had experienced. We were several times compelled 
to ford streams and pull the automobile, to improvise foot 
bridges from stones and branches of trees, etc. 

It was about nine o'clock the following morning when we 
reached Demir-Hissar. A group of prominent citizens with a 
brokenhearted countenance stopped our vehicle and insisted 
that we go and see the bodies of the martyred victims of Bul- 
gar barbarity. 

The bodies were lying in the courtyard of a house shaded by 
an immense plane-tree around which two Turkish girls with 
picturesque costumes were playing. We had advanced but a 
few steps when a nauseating odor compelled us to stop our 
nostrils. A large number of unburied corpses were already in 
a decomposed state. A group of women standing nearby were 
wringing their hands and crying piteously. We were pro- 
foundly moved at this spectacle." 

Mr. Tordoff then gives his impressions about the destroyed city 
of Serres, and certain villages of that district which have had the 
same fate, also about Zlakovo where he met a woman whose daugh- 
ters were ravished and her husband killed by the very Bulgarian 
soldiers who accepted their hospitality. Mr. Tordoff continues his 
narrative as follows : 

"At Drama we found the population celebrating with great 
enthusiasm the arrival of the Hellenic troops which entered the 
town the day before amidst general relief. 

About a dozen miles from Drama we faced the ruins of 
Doxato. This prosperous town was destroyed by the Bul- 
garians on the pretext that Greek sharpshooters killed near 
that place a number of Bulgarian soldiers who were retreating 
from Kavala. 

The Bulgarians bombarded Doxato for three hours with the 
aid of four cannon placed on commanding heights, and they set 
different sections of the town on fire. Not being satisfied with 
this, they invited the gypsies to participate in the looting and 
massacre of the Greeks. The slaughter of the people by the 
Bulgarians was frightful. Hundreds of innocent citizens were 
slain. The place was everywhere looted. We saw on the pave- 


ments, among the ruins of the houses and shops, safes that were 
forced open, broken sewing-machines, etc., etc. Women were 
wringing their hands and/Crying in despair. I saw with my own 
eyes children carrying bayonet wounds. I met an old woman 
who had lost everything. She was crying piteously for her five 
children, of the fate of whom she was ignorant. A Greek 
priest was pierced through and through by a bayonet thrust near 
the church door. We saw at different places piles of corpses 
exposed to the sun, and others, half buried, whose heads, arms 
or legs were sticking out of the soil. 

One-half of the population of Doxato disappeared without 
leaving any traces. 

This heartrending spectacle impressed me painfully. Dur- 
ing the entire trip from Hadji-Beylik to Doxato, I felt a terrible 
shame that such savageries were committed by Slavs." 

Kavala and Drama 

The people of Kavala and Drama have been so terribly oppressed 
during the past few months, that it will be difficult to give an ac- 
curate account in a few words. 1 These cities were at least saved 
from massacre and destruction. 

Kavala owes its escape to a very ingenious stratagem of Admiral 
Coundouriotis. 2 The Bulgarians believing that they were to be sur- 
rounded, abandoned the city, taking with them as hostages Bishop 
Athanase and his secretary, two doctors, the headmaster of the 
Greek school, the dragoman of the Greek consulate, the honorary 
dragoman of the French consulate and the most prominent Greek 
citizens of the town. 8 

1 For complete details see a long article by Gaston Deschamps, an eye- 
witness, which was published in the Paris Temps July 22, 1913. Also an 
article by Mr. Magrini in the Milan Secolo of July 18, which contains also- 
an interview with Mr. Protopapas, the mayor of Kavala. Concerning Drama, 
read the correspondence of Mr. Puaux in the Paris Temps July 21, 1913, and 
that of Mr. Mavroudi in the Journal des Debats, July 24, 1913. 

2 Mr. Deschamps who was on the island of Thasos opposite Kavala at 
the time, describes this stratagem in all its details and characterizes it as 
"one which Themistocles, admiral of the Athenians, would have approved." 
See article above cited. 

3 Here is the list: 

1. The Bishop of Kavala. 2. P. Lekos, dragoman of the Greek con- 
sulate. 3. P. Candiotis, Hellenic subject and manager of the Bank of Athens. 
4. A. Charissiadis, merchant. 5. Dr. Poulidis. 6. M. Kolokythas, merchant 
and honorary dragoman of the French consulate. 7. Dr. Conoplidis. 8. 
Th. Vratzouhas, agent of the firm of Moriatis & Co., of Manchester. 9* 
Boulgaridis, tobacco merchant, Hellenic subject. 10. C. Ioannou, tobacco- 
merchant, Hellenic subject. 11. A. Alexopoulos, tobacco merchant, Hellenic 
subject. 12. A. Zorbas, manager of the newspaper Simaia. 13. A. Natzos r 


The same tactics were followed at Pravi, a small town northwest 
of Kavala, 1 at Chari-Chaban and other places. 

The prosperous village of Alistrati was saved, thanks to the 
"timely arrival of the Greek army which extinguished the conflagra- 
tion the Bulgarians had started. Official Greek sources also attribute 
the saving of Drama to the rapid march of the 7th Division. Ac- 
cording to Mr. Puaux, however, "Drama suffered little by compari- 
son, thanks to the coolness and the humanity shown by the two 
:principal Bulgarian functionaries, Colonel Guezof and Prefect 
Dobref." 2 

We bow before the testimony of Mr. Puaux, and, extending our 
-congratulations to these two Bulgarian officials, we can not help 
remarking that the efficacy of their intervention is an additional 
-proof of the heavy responsibility that weighs upon all of their col- 
leagues throughout the rest of Macedonia. 


The Destruction of the Schools and Historical Monuments 

There are certain crimes among the many horrible ones that have 
"been committed which the universities of Athens feel very keenly. 

Your attention was drawn to the fiendish attacks made against 
the high Macedonian prelates, and the large number of priests that 
iell victims to their faith and fidelity to duty. The acts of violence 
to which so many professors and teachers were subjected have, 
no doubt, aroused your indignation. 

From the correspondence of Mr. George Bourdon in the Paris 

1 Here are the names of the citizens of Pravi carried off by the Bul- 
garians : 

Rev. Econome Papanicolaou, C. Emmanuelides, D. Emmanuelides, K. 
Likides, P. Likides, George Karageorge, E. Hadjistergiou, C. Hadjistergiou, 
C Fanitsas, N. Tascos, S. Joannis, D. Ragas, D. Lambros and Christ 

2See Paris Temps, July 21, 1913. 

Hellenic subject, employed by the Bank of Athens. 14. Th. Pantazis, com- 
mission merchant. 15. M. Pappadopoulos, secretary to the Archbishop. 
16. I. Yattos. 17. Th. Valimidis. 18. P. Zoulas. 19. D. Tamintzikis. 20. S. 
Phessas. 21. C. Phessas. 22. A. Vassiliadis. 23. D. Economou. 24. G. 
Antoniadis, 25. A Papadopoulos. 26. J. Zorbas, and 27. C. Striminghis. 
The Hellenic government immediately communicated this list to the 
Greek legations abroad with the instruction to protest against this violation 
of the rules of international law, and to demand protection for the lives of 
the Hellenic subjects led away by the Bulgarians. 


Figaro, which we quote below, you may form an idea of the horri- 
ble death which Professor Papapavlos, D.L., suffered. He was 
one of the most distinguished Hellenists, a brilliant scholar, and a 
graduate of the universities of Athens and Leipzig. At the time 
of his death he was the headmaster of the gymnasium at Serres. 
Here is what Mr. Bourdon wrote on July 24, 1913 : 

"The bodies of some of the hostages taken by the Bulgarians 
from Serres will be found in a corn field. We searched for 
them for a long time in vain. Finally one of us exclaimed : 
'We are getting near.' 

A stench of putrefaction, a strong, penetrating, persistent 
and sickening smell of decaying flesh, an experience of which 
I had in Casablanca, struck our olfactory nerves. We first 
discovered one corpse, then a second, then a third — seven in 
all. The first was lying about two hundred yards away from 
the second, and three hundred yards approximately separated 
the latter from the other four. 

The last body we found on a slope not far from the others. 
The first poor fellow must have stumbled as he lost his shoe 
and fell three yards forward. Another must have been struck 
on the back. He was lying face down and his whole body was 
half stuck in the muddy field. A third had his skull crushed 
with a gun, and the blow must have been so violent that it 
broke the butt of the gun and threw it a few feet away. We 
found the barrel still loaded with five cartridges in a thicket 
not very far away, and the butt, which was covered with coagu- 
lated blood and hairs, fitted exactly. 

Near the corpse of another victim we found a second broken 
butt. No doubt the murderer must have taken the barrel of 
the gun with him. A fifth was lying on his back, his twisted 
hands and fingers stuck in the soil. His face was black, his 
mouth wide open and he seemed to be still yelling from fright. 
It reminded me of those two petrified corpses one sees at 
Pompeii, with twisted limbs and open mouths, looking, after so* 
many centuries, as if they have not ceased to scream under the 
molten lava. 

Conscious of the sensibilities of my readers, I shall not pro- 
tract the description of this horrible spectacle. 

We armed ourselves with a stern will power, stopped our 
nostrils and with horror-stricken eyes proceeded to the com- 
pletion of the investigation we had undertaken, which we con- 
sidered necessary. 

We took photographs of these frightful remains which we 
are going to publish. 1 One thing is certain, that these notables,. 

1 They were published in L' Illustration, August 2, 1913. 


like many others, were the victims of the regular army and not 
of the comitadjis although the Bulgarian authorities deny this. 
They were taken prisoners at Serres and forcibly carried off 
by the retreating army. 

The unfortunate victims before our eyes were well dressed 
and had every appearance of gentlemen. That they were from 
Serres, we have no doubt, as three of the bodies were recog- 
nized and identified. ,, 

One of the victims was Professor Papapavlos, and the other two 
Dr. Cryssafis, the best doctor in Serres, and Mr. Stamoulis, the 
manager of the Orient Bank. 

An adequate idea of what the Greek Church and the teachers 
had to suffer in Macedonia and Thrace may be gained by con- 
sulting the official reports of the Bishops which were published in 
the Ecclesiastiki Alitheia, the official organ of the ecumenical 

The publication of these reports commenced on July 28, 191 3, 1 
and is far from being completed. No doubt they will be translated 
into French, and the civilized world will then be able to learn how, 
in this twentieth century, such persecutions, recalling the darkest 
times of the religious wars, were conceived and carried into 

We shall mention only the case of Eurydice Papa-Apostolou, a 
teacher at Pravi, who lost her reason after she was assaulted by 
Bulgarian soldiers. 2 

We may also mention the well known fact that in Macedonia 
and Thrace the Greek schools were turned into hospitals, barracks 
and stables, so that, in the guise of military necessity, Greek instruc- 
tion was everywhere interrupted. In this way the Bulgarians ex- 
pected to assimilate the Greek population of Macedonia and Thrace 
to that of Eastern Roumelia, which, in spite of the treaty of Berlin 
and other supplementary treaties, was deprived of its churches and 
schools and forced to patronize the Bulgarian. 

The literary world will also be shocked at the numerous acts of 
vandalism against the ancient relics. 

iSee "Ecclesiastiki Alitheia" Nos. 23 and 27. 

2 Read the report of the Bishop of Elefteroupolis published in the afore- 
said paper June 28. This poor girl is now an inmate of the Dafni lunatic 
asylum, near Athens. 


The reports of the Bishops contain ample proof of this statement* 
Not only several objects of ancient art were stolen, but a number 
of inscriptions disappeared or were destroyed. 

The rage shown by the Bulgarians against the inscriptions was 
manifest everywhere, and is partly explained by their fear that the 
Greek inscriptions constituted historical records. 

It appears from a letter of Dr. Economou, ephor of antiquities 
in Macedonia, addressed on June 12, 1913, to his colleague, Pro- 
fessor S. Lambros, that the Bulgarians of Ostrovon destroyed an 
inscription because it contained the name Alexander, which they took 
for that of Alexander the Great. 

These acts of vandalism, or rather these bulgarisms, are nothing 
in comparison to the profanation at Silyvria by the Bulgarian officer 
Kaptsef, of the tomb believed to be that of Emperor Basil, the slayer 
of Bulgarians. 

In the conflagration of Serres many relics belonging to the 
medieval and ancient periods perished, including the magnificent 
Cathedral, a jewel of byzantine architecture, with its priceless con- 
tents; the collection of the antiquities preserved in the Metropolis 
and in the hospital ; the collection of the manuscripts of the diocese 
and those of the gymnasium, together with twenty churches, many 
of which were old, or contained ancient inscriptions, icones or 
sculptures. 2 


In the course of this lengthy statement, we had several times 
occasion to cite the names of the Bulgarian officers and officials 
who were not only the instigators of the massacres, the looting and 
the burning of the cities, but the leaders as well. 

It is, therefore, a question of official crimes, and any attempt to 
throw the responsibility on the comitadjis will be in vain. This 
truth was established by the actual facts, and strongly proclaimed 

1 See, among the many other reports, those of the Bishops of Heraclee, 
Ganos and Derkos. 

2 Full information regarding the inscriptions and other medieval and 
ancient objects of art, until recently preserved in the Cathedral of Serres, 
will be found in the splendid works of Prof. Papageorgiou (Bysantinische 
Zeitschrift, 1894) and of Messrs. Pedrizet and Chesnay {Monuments de 
VAcademie des Inscriptions, Paris, 1904). 


and confirmed by the consular reports and the statements of the 
foreign consuls at Salonica and by Commander Cardale of the 
British Royal Navy. 

The following editorial appeared in the Paris Temps, which is 
always so well informed, on August 4, 1913 1 1 

"The moral condition of Bulgaria was aggravated by the 
investigation made by the counselor of the French Legation 
at Athens, Mr. du Halgouet, whose worth and character are 
unanimously recognized and respected. This investigation con- 
firms and defines the accusations made by King Constantine." 

Still more convincing are the official documents found in the 
palace of the Bulgarian Governor at Serres on July 16, 1913. We 
give the principal ones: 

(a) Order No. 8265, dated June 21, by which the Governor of 
Serres, Voulkof, ordered the prefect of Drama to arrest and com- 
mit to some prison in Bulgaria the Greek Bishop of that town and 
the foremost citizens, on the pretext that they were inflaming the 

(b) Order No. 8391, bearing date June 21, addressed to the 
Governor of Serres, Voulkof, by the Chief-of-Staff, Moustakof, 
contained a list of prominent citizens who were to be imprisoned 
by the latter. 

(c) Document No. 8390, dated June 21, addressed by Voulkof, 
Governor of Serres, to the prefect of Strumnitza, ordered the im- 
prisonment of the Greek Bishop of that town in a Bulgarian 

1 The Paris Temps of July 30 already contained the following dispatch 
from Salonica: 

"Mr. du Halgouet, first secretary of the French legation in Athens and 
Colonel Lepidi, who were ordered by the French government to make an in- 
vestigation on the reported massacre and looting by the Bulgarians, visited 
Serres, Doxato and Demir-Hissar, and made a thorough examination. 

The result, which they incorporated in an official report, agrees in every 
respect with the result of the investigation previously made by the consuls- 
general of Austria and Italy at Salonica. Mr. du Halgouet asserts that 
Serres and Doxato were destroyed in the same manner and after a settled 
plan, not by the comitadjis, but by the regular Bulgarian army which acted 
in accordance with special orders received from higher sources. 

The local civil officials and the chiefs of the Bulgarian police and gen- 
darmerie helped the army in its work of destruction. 

Mr. du Halgouet declared that several Bulgarian officers were among 
the slayers. 

This dispatch was fully confirmed by a long correspondence by Gaston 
Deschamps, published in Le Temps, August 7, 1913. 


(d) Dispatch No. 8256, dated June 21, addressed by the Prime 
Minister of Bulgaria, Mr. Danef, to the military governor of 
Serres, counselled the latter to have the Bishop and the notables 
tried by a court martial before sending them to prison, in order 
to justify their arrest. 

(e) Lastly, dispatch No. 8263 from the military governor of 
Serres to the Bulgarian Commander-in-Chief advising him of the 
arrest of the Bishops of Doiran and Kavala. 


Sir and Very Honorable Colleague : 

This statement, notwithstanding our efforts to abridge it, not- 
withstanding the many atrocities we have omitted, is much longer 
than intended. No doubt you must have observed, if you have had 
the patience to read it through, that not one single fact could be 
denied, and that it is based on unimpeachable testimony. But even 
glancing through it, you must have been convinced that, when you 
were asked by cable three weeks ago to stigmatize these misdeeds 
without precedent in the history of modern warfare, in the name of 
righteousness and Christian morality, we did not exaggerate. 

We expressed the hope that European public opinion would pre- 
vent the repetition of the Macedonian atrocities in that part of 
Thrace which was still occupied by the Bulgarians and which is 
inhabited, almost entirely, by Greeks and Turks. 

Unfortunately, the echo of indignation which the news from 
Macedonia created throughout the civilized world failed to reach 
the ears of the governments at Sofia ; so that Dede-Agatch, Macri, 
Gioumouldjina, Xanthy and other localities in Thrace were made 
the scenes of horrors no less atrocious than those committed in 

We thought, however, that this sad deception should not prevent 
us from sending you the present report. 

Bulgaria owes its independence in a great measure to the massa- 
cres of Batak, to the "Bulgarian Atrocities" so eloquently denounced 
by the late Gladstone. At a moment when it is being debated, not- 
withstanding the outcome of war, whether many hundred thousand 
Greeks are to be left under Bulgarian rule, it appears to us neces- 
sary that the civilized world, so justly shocked by the atrocities of 



which the Bulgars were the victims in 1876, should form a more 
accurate idea of the crimes committed by them in 1913. 1 

Please accept, Dear Sir and Colleague, the assurance of my 
highest consideration. 

Theodore Zaimis, 
Rector of the Universities of Athens, 

Athens, August 31, 1913. 

1 According to an article by J. W. Ozanne, which appeared in the Nine- 
teenth Century, one of the largest English Reviews, on August 1, 1913, "the 
Bulgarian attack against the districts occupied by the Greeks and the Ser- 
vians was accompanied by scenes of unheard of savagery, before which the 
atrocities of Botak, which caused a shiver of horror to run throughout the 
civilized world, pale into insignificance. * * * The subjects of King 
Ferdinand have established a record." 

Κατεβαστε το βιβλίο ΕΔΩ

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου