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1878 to 1885. It was a state with a checker career into which I shall not go. It dreamed fitfully of vast dominion. The dreams took shape at times and led the Bulgars to the walls of Constantinople and Salonica. But these cities were never destined to be theirs. The dreams vanished—the Bulgar could never establish himself upon the shores of the Aegean. His subjection in 1393 to the Turk put an end to such efforts. Bulgars then disappear from history until the year 1877.
Senator BRANDEGEE. What is the title of the red-backed volume containing the map to which you have referred ?
Prof. Bolling. Slovanske Starozitnosci, by Dr. L. Niederle, professor of Ceske at the University of Praze.
I have told this story at some length to lead up to the question: Must we expect to find in Thrace a Bulgarian population or a population that is part Turkish, part Greek? On the answer to that question the whole issue depends. For, as Americans, we believe that the most fundamental of all rights is the right of a people not merely to good government but to self government. That is something entitled to precedence over considerations of policy and over economic desires.
Who, then, make up the population of Thrace? The most reliable statistics available are those of the Turkish Government for 1912, which have been used both by Venizlos (Greece before the peace congress of 1919, appendix 2) and Prof. Sotariades (an ethnological map illustrating Hellenism in the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor, London, 1918). These figures come from an ally of Bulgaria, and yet they show that in the whole of Thrace there are 957,000 Turks, 730,000 Greeks, 112,000 Bulgarians, 183,000 Armenians, 65,000 Jews, and 151,000 inhabitants of other nationalities.
The Turks are thus the most numerous element in the population. But there is one thing on which all parties are agreed. Four and onehalf centuries of misrule, tyranny, and oppression on the part of the Turks have rendered it impossible to plan for any continuance of Turkish Government in Europe. The Turks must either leave Thrace or accept the government of some other people. Their destiny is clear. Of the remaining element the Greeks have a large plurality, and in particular they outnumber the Bulgarians—the only others to be considered seriously-in the proportion of 7 to 1.
Now, Mr. Chairman, it is possible to bring an objection to the form of this presentation of the case. I wish to consider it in order to show that the vital issue remains unaffected. It may be said that Mr. Venizelos is asking only for a part of Thrace and that our statistics should refer only to that part. I recognize the force of such an objection and will attempt to present such statistics. They can not be given with absolute exactness, because the figures are based on the old administrative district and the new lines cut across them. The inexactness, however, shall not be permitted to work to our advantage. I subtract, therefore, the vilayet of Constantinople and the Sandjaks of Rodosto and Gallipoli, which lie in the main beyond the EnosMidia line, with a population of 489,000 Greeks and 9,000 Bulgars. I subtract also four northern Sandjaks—Achi-Tchelembi, Kirdjali, Mustapha-Pasha, Tyrnovo_not claimed by Mr. Venizelos, because they contain only 9,000 Greeks to 35,000 Bulgarians.
• The result is 232,000 Greeks as against 68,000 Bulgarians, or a proportion of over 3 to 1–certainly a sufficient preponderance on which to base a valid claim. It is to be noted also that the other nationalities (except the Turks, 348,000) have practically disappered, there being but 5,000 Armenians and 13,000 Jews. In the territory claimed, the Greeks are thus much more than double, the Bulgars, Armenians, and Jews taken together.
Senator Knox. Do you mean to say that the Greeks are willing to give up the territory when the population is so disproportionate?
Prof. BOLLING. That is the offer, for the nationalization of everything beyond, and concessions so liberal surely entitle them to favorable consideration when they present other claims.
To attempt a similar calculation for the various divisions said to be proposed by Mr. Polk for the partition of Thrace is impossible. The details of his plan are reported too indefinitely and his lines seem to conflict more seriously with the administrative districts. You can form a better judgment by consulting an ethnological map.
In this connection, I wish to call your attention to the character of the authors of the maps which support our contention. I have already cited the map of Soteriades. He is a professor of history at the University of Athens. His map is based upon these figures and so adds nothing more to our claim. But there is the map published by Herman Hirt (Die Indo-Germanen, Strassburg, 1905–1907, map 2). It is on a small scale, but clearly corroborates our position. Prof. Hirt is the leading authority of the world upon the question of the original home of the Aryans and their dispersion through Europe and Asia. No scholar's opinion is entitled to greater weight. His work has been largely with the Slavic languages—that fact, his German nationality, the date of his book, all combine to free him from any suspicion of prejudice in the case. Then there is the map facing page 20 in the Balkans, Oxford, 1915, written by four English scholars, Nevill Forbes, Arnold T. Toynbee, D. Mitrany, D. G. Hogarth, at a time when it was hoped that Bulgaria could be won to the side of our allies. Of these, Toynbee and Hogarth are eminent names in the field of classical scholarship. Another excellent map is to be found in the Rise of Nationality in the Balkans, by R. W. Seton-Watson, lecturer in East European history, King's College, University London, London, 1917.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Toynbee is one of the great classical scholars.
Prof BOLLING. Yes; and Mr. Hogarth, as you will remember, is the great explorer at Ephesus.
Then we have a book with quite a remarkable map by AmadoreVergilj, entitled La Questione Rumeliota e la Politica Italiana. The map is ethnological, but it shows the distribution of Greek and Bulgarian schools and churches. I would be glad if the Senators would look at it, because it proves not only the population but it shows also that the Greeks are better educated, more interested in education, as well as more numerous than the Bulgars.
Senator Swanson, does that answer your question?
Permit me to call the attention of the committee to the character of the maps. We know that there are others that show a different result-a Bulgarian population where a Bulgarian corridor was wanted. Soteriades mentions one such “issued under the auspices of the Daily Telegraph by the firm of Geographia (Ltd.).” I have not been able to consult it. Another was published by Leon Dominian; a third appeared in the National Geographic Magazine for December, 1918. Of the last two, one was by a graduate, the other by a former professor of Roberts College. Is there any significance in this fact?
Senator BRANDEGEE. Can you state briefly what conclusions you draw from the study and consideration of the maps and the volumes upon which you rely, what deductions you draw?
Prof. BOLLING. That the population of the part of Thrace in question is overwhelmingly Greek as compared with Bulgarian.
Senator SWANSON. How is it as compared to the aggregate popolation?
Prof. BOLLING. The Turks, as I said a few moments ago, have a plurality over the Greeks, a substantial plurality.
Senator SWANSON. What is that substantial plurality?
Prof. BOLLING. In the whole of Thrace there are 957,000 Turks and 730,000 Greeks. In this particular part of Thrace there are 232,000 Greeks. I do not recall at the moment but I think it is 348,000 Turks.
Senator Moses. When you say Turks, you mean Mohammedans ?
Prof. BOLLING. Very largely. I mean people who feel that their national consciousness is Turkish.
Senator Moses. Many of them are not of Ottoman blood ?
I will not trouble you with the citation of authorities, nor with the statement of what we could prove by the testimony of American citizens familiar with Thrace and with the nationality and sentiments of its population. Our opponents seem, indeed, to be inclined to shift their position. Our statistics, they say, are right for 1912, and our maps, also. But the Bulgars have held the country since 1913—their troops have been there during the war—and the ethnology of the country, they tell us, has changed. We should, they urge, recognize the changed condition. In plain language, Mr. Chairman, that means we should reward murder and frightfulness. Such an argument needs no answer.
To sum up, Mr. Chairman, our view of the situation is based upon the principle of a people's right to self-determination.
In the part of Thrace asked for by Mr. Venizelos there are more than three Greeks to every Bulgar. They represent a population which has held to this land for over 2,500 years in spite of indescribable cruelty and oppression. They desire ardently to govern themselves by uniting again with the land from which their fathers came. It seems to us, as Americans, a plain duty to place no obstacle in the way of this desire.
Mr. Cassavetes will now explain to you the plans suggested for the thwarting of this desire, the reasons urged in their support, and our reasons for finding them unsatisfactory.
I thank you most sincerely for your attention.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Before you leave the stand, will you allow me to ask one question. You alluded in one portion of your remarks to the books published by a professor-one by a professor, and the other by a graduate of Roberts College, and made some suggestions about that college. That college comes out in a good many of our hearings on these matters. What is its position there? Does it wield any influence in its vicinity on political questions, or the determination of any such matters as we have been discussing?
Prof. BOLLING. Senator, if you will recall in the article in the New York Times to which you allude, it was claimed there that it was Roberts College that was responsible for this new plan, and at the same time it reminded us that it was Roberts College that kept us out of the war with Bulgaria, and with Turkey. I have no personal information with regard to Roberts College. Some of the members of the committee may be able to inform you more definitely.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I remember at the time the committee was considering the wisdom of the declaration of war against Turkey, and Bulgaria, that several clergymen appeared before the committee protesting against it, and that they were interested in Roberts College. That was one of the reasons I asked the question.
Prof. BOLLING. We see statements such as were made in the New York Times, which I have quoted, and I ask you gentlemen whether it is not a strange coincidence that two maps giving a pro-Bulgarian view of the situation should be that connected with Roberts College?
Senator Moses. Did you at any time in the course of your statement, before I came in, discuss the commercial question to show that the outlets to the Agean, which the Bulgars desire, are not necessary to their development ?
Prof. BOLLING. No; I have left that to the others who will follow.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I do not know that it is germane to the subject, but for my own information, which is meager on this subject, you spoke of the Bulgarians as being a cross between two nations?
Prof. BOLLING. Slavs and Bulgars.
Prof. BOLLING. No, sir. The earlier homes of the Slavs would be along the middle and the upper courses of the Dneiper, and going back joining with t'ie Lithuanians, and then closely with the Germans.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Are the Tartars Mongolians ?
Prof. BOLLING. That is not an anthropological but a linguistic term, but I believe that is correct.
I thank you for your attention.
STATEMENT OF MR. N. J. CASSAVETES.
Mr. CASSAVETES. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have the honor, together with my distinguished colleague, Prof. Bolling, to present to you the sentiments of half a million Americans of Greek descent. As an American of Greek descent, I desire to emphasize the fact that we have come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only as American citizens to plead the case of an allied and friendly nation which looks for justice at the hands of America. Whatever the decision of our Government in the case of Thrace, we wish to assure you, Mr. Chairman, that it will in no way affect the loyalty of the American citizens of Greek descent to this country, nor in any way interfere with the faithful discharge of their duties to their adopted country.
My distinguished colleague has, I believe, established beyond doubt the fact that the numerical, cultural, and economic superiority of the Greeks in Thrace is in the proportion of 7 to 1 in favor of the Greek element. This fact alone should be sufficient to induce our country to decide in favor of Greece in the question of Thrace. Unfortunately, we understand from the reports which come to us from Paris that our American delegation, while admitting the numerical superiority of the Greek element in Thrace, is not prepared to allow Thrace to be united with the mother country Greere. What imperative reasons are forcing themselves upon our delegates at Paris to disregard the principle of nationality in favor of the ally of our enemies and at the expense of one of our faithful Allies? Mr. Chairman, permit me to trace on the map the latest plan submitted by our American delegation at Paris in connection with the solution of the question of Thrace. According to this plan, the entire Province of Thrace is divided into two parts, eastern and western Thrace, separated by the river Hebrus or Maritza. Eastern Thrace is further divided into two parts by a line running from the Gulf of Saros to the town of Midia on the Black Sea.
That portion lying to the east of this line is to become international with Constantinople; the other part is to be given to Greece. Western Thrace is divided into three part, as follows: The territory included between the old Greek frontier on the Ægean Sea and the town of Maronia between a line running north of this town to a distance halfway between the sea and the old Bulgarian frontier and between a line from this central point to the old Greek frontier is given to Greece. The portion included between the Maritza River and the Greek portion of Western Thrace is internationalized and the rest of Western Thrace is given to Bulgaria. The most important objection to this plan is, of course, the violation of the principle of nationality and that of the economic unity of the Province of Thrace. No less serious an objection is the fact that the portion of Eastern Thrace given to Greece is absolutely disconnected from Greece proper, remains suspended in the air, without harbors on the Black Sea or on the Ægean, a temptation, inviting Bulgarian aggression, with Greece absolutely incapable of rendering military assistance in case Bulgaria should decide to invade the territory. What are the reasons adduced by the American delegation at Paris in justification of this plan? In the first place, it is contended that Bulgaria needs an economic outlet on the Ægean. Secondly, it is argued that unless Bulgaria has a guaranty of a free access to the Ægean Sea, she will not cease from plotting and preparing for a Balkan war. Thirdly, it is argued that the American delegation is forced to oppose Greek claims to Thrace, in order to discourage the desire of the Great Powers for splitting Bulgaria between Roumania and Serbia. We shall take up these arguments one by one.
Bulgaria has no economic need of an outlet to the Aegean. Bilgaria, a nation of four million and a half, has two excellent ports on the Black Sea-Varna and Bourgas. Roumania, a nation of 15,000,000, has only one port on the same sea--Constanza. With the internationalization of Constantinople and the Dardanelles, Bulgaria can not be said to be barred from an access to the Aegean. The only port included in the international strip of Thrace is the port of the De-de Agach. This port is absolutely unavailable for commercial