OHRID DURING THE BALKAN WARS

    On 13th March  1912 , Serbia   and   Bulgaria   agreed   to   takeover  the  Turkish  provinces  on 
the Balkans. Macedonia was  divided . According  to  their  plans , the area  of  Ohrid  was  to  be 
divided into two parts: one section fell under the rule  of  Serbia ,  and  the  status  of  the  second 
section  was to  be  decided  after  the  war   was   finished . The  beginning  of  the  First  Balkan 
War  was   greeted   with  hopes  and  expectations   for  liberation    of   Macedonia.  Thus ,   the 
Macedonians  from  Ohrid helped the Serbian, Bulgarian, and Greek allies. More than 500 citizens
of  Ohrid  took  part  in  the battles on the Trachia front. Macedonians also had their  own military
groups made up of volunteers. Such were the military groups of  Petar Caulev,  Milan Matov,  and
Pavle Hristov. The Serbian Army, lead by the second  lieutenant Bozidar Simovic ,  entered  Ohrid
on 22nd November 1912. Immediately after the Serbian authorities arrested and disarmed the military groups. Also, all the citizens of  Ohrid  who were engaged in establishing temporary government were pursued. All of them were called "Followers of Bulgaria" by the Serbian regime and became undesirable.

    Administratively, the County of Ohrid was part of the Bitola District that was formed the winter of 1912/13. It remained as such until the establishment of the independent Ohrid County 20th November 1913. It consisted of the municipalities of Ohrid, Struga, and Debar.

    In May 1913 the powerful countries delineated the borders of the Balkan states. Within the newly established Albanian State, a territory of more than 10,000 hectares was included. The line was drawn near the site called Khafa-san (near Struga) to the north, and the monastery St. Naum to the south. Mixed population lived in that territory. However, according to certain data, about 30,000 Macedonians remained in the part that belonged to Albania. That way the region of Lake Ohrid, that used to be an economic, political, cultural, and administrative entity for centuries, was divided by the borderline created by the powerful countries.
 

    The conditions in Macedonia were rather unfavourable. As a result, a great deal of people left the County in that period. Hence, according to a record from 1923, there were 12,000 inhabitants in Ohrid: 7,000 Macedonians, and 5,000 Turks and Albanians. A year later the town had only 10,000 inhabitants: over 5,000 Macedonians and almost the same number of Muslims, the majority of which were the Turks.

    In October 1915 Bulgaria decided to enter into an offensive war against Serbia. The target was Macedonia itself. Towards the end of November that year, the Second Bulgarian Army occupied the part that was under Serbian rule. After the conquest, the Bulgarians divided Macedonia into seven districts, one of which was the Ohrid District. That district covered the same territory as under the previous Serbian rule with a certain expansion in the municipality of Debar.

    The presence of the Bulgarians in the Ohrid region will be remembered by the numerous robberies. A large number of objects, books, and other valuable chattel that were century-old testimonies of the growth and achievements of the Ohrid Archiepiscopate, as well as in art and literature were taken away.

 

 

 

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