Συνέντευξη του καθηγητή Richard Hall στην Clio Turbata και στην Αλεξάνδρα Περχανίδου
- What was the reason behind your decision to focus your studies in the events of the Balkan Peninsula during the First World War?
Well, I was interested in European History and I was struck by the fact that the War begins in Europe really in 1912 and it must be considered, for South Eastern Europe, that the war begins in the Balkan Wars and it continues on even after 1918 in Greece for instance fighting in Anatolia; The war begins again in 1939, for Greece there is the civil war (1949), then there is the Cold War. So really, the 20th century is a century of war and to understand that we must look at the South Eastern Europe, the Balkan Peninsula.
- Both Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece had nationalistic aspirations over Macedonia before the First World War during the period of 1878-1913. How do you think this fact influenced the warring factions during the war?
Absolutely, that was the key for Bulgaria. Bulgaria would go to war on whichever side would give the strongest guarantees in Macedonia. For Entente this was not possible, because Serbia would not part with her parts in Macedonia and Serbia and Greece were the friends of France, Russia and Great Britain when they went to the war, ultimately. So the Entente could not match the Central Powers’ offer for Macedonia, which they would give to Bulgaria.
- As you mention in your work, “Consumed by War: European Conflict in the 20th Century”, Bulgaria was one of the great defeated in both the Balkan and the First World War. Do you believe that the nationalistic dreams of Bulgaria were one of the main reasons the country could not sustain their gains in Macedonia?
Absolutely, and remember that they tried on the Second World War and they managed to control Macedonia and they couldn’t sustain it yet again! And I think this is how it become when Yugoslavia collapsed. I think it helped Bulgaria be more realistic that this is not going to happen. And it helped them to see Macedonia in a different position. There are still people in Sofia who call for the “Great Bulgaria” but they are not serious people.
Καθηγητής Ιστορίας στο Τμήμα Ιστορικών και Πολιτικών Σπουδών του Georgia Southwestern State University των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής. Στο παρελθόν δίδαξε στα Πανεπιστήμια της Νεμπράσκα και της Μινεσότα. Η ερευνητική του δραστηριότητα εστιάζει στην περίοδο του Α΄ Παγκοσμίου πολέμου στα Βαλκάνια.