Principality of Pindus and Voivodship of Macedonia

Principality of Pindus and Voivodship of Macedonia

Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Printsipat di la Pind"
"Principato del Pindo"
conventional_long_name = Principality of the Pindus
and the Voivodship of Macedonia
common_name = Pindus-Macedonia
continent = Europe
region = Balkans
country = Greece
era = World War II
status = Client state
empire = Italy
status_text = Puppet state of Italy
government_type = Principality
event_start =
year_start = 1941
date_start =
event_end =
year_end = 1944
date_end =
p1 = Kingdom of Greece
flag_p1 = Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935.svg
s1 = Kingdom of Greece
flag_s1 = Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935.svg

image_map_caption = Map of the state's position in Europe as of 1942
capital = Metsovo "(Aminciu)"
common_languages = Italian (official), Aromanian, Greek (popular)
religion = Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic
title_leader = Prince
leader1 = Alchiviad Diamandi di Samarina
year_leader1 = 1941-42
leader2 = Nicola Matushi (Regent)
year_leader2 = 1942-43
title_deputy = Voivode
deputy1 = Gyula Cseszneky
year_deputy1 = 1943

The Principality of Pindus and Voivodship of Macedonia (also "Pindo" or "Pindos", sometimes "Pindus and Moglena"; _it. Principato del Pindo; _ru. Printsipat di la Pind) was an autonomous puppet state set up under fascist Italian control in northwest Greece in the regions of Epirus, Thessaly and West Macedonia during World War II. [Poulton, Hugh. 2000. Who are the Macedonians? Indiana University Press. Pp. 111] It was proclaimed during the Italian occupation of northern Greece in the summer of 1941 as the fatherland of ethnic Aromanians, but was never able to assert itself over the local population until its "de facto" disbandment in 1944. [gr icon [ The capitulation of Italy] from "Rizospastis" newspaper, 7 September 2003] The capital of the statelet was Metsovo ("Aminciu" in Aromanian), but the national assembly sat in Trikala.


The concept of an autonomous Aromanian (Vlach) state in the Pindus area was initially promoted by Romania from the 1860s onwards. The first attempt to realize this goal was undertaken by Alchiviad Diamandi di Samarina, who in 1917 founded the "Republic of Pindus" in then Italian-occupied southern icon [ Romanian Propaganda] , from the Vlach Association of Almyros Province] Although the statelet survived for only a day, it signalled the beginning of Diamandi's association with the Italians in pursuit of his aims.

After the fall of Greece to the Germans in spring 1941 and the division of the country among the Axis powers, Diamandi created a separatist organisation known as the "Fifth Roman Legion", with the support of the Italian occupation authorities. Diamandi established himself as prince at Aminciu, and hoped for the creation of a state that would encompass all of north-western Greece. [The Pindus region also spans southern parts of present-day Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but the "Principality" was restricted to the areas under Greek rule.] Diamandi also met the Greek collaborationist Prime Minister, Georgios Tsolakoglou, but Tsolakoglou refused to accommodate his demands.

In 1942 a faction of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) offered the throne of Macedonia to Alchiviad, but there is no evidence as to whether he accepted it; however, his last successor, Julius I, was always styled as Voivode of Macedonia. Alchiviad eventually left the state in June of 1942, and took refuge in Romania because in the eyes of local Aromanians he was rather pro-Italian than pro-Aromanian, while the Italians considered him a Romanian agent. His successor for a very short time was Nicola Matushi, who tried to find a "modus vivendi" with the Greek leaders, but without success. After the liberation of Greece in October 1944, Matushi also left for Bucharest. [gr icon [ Η άλλη Ξένη] , from the "To Vima" newspaper] From mid-1942 on, the armed Greek Resistance also made its presence felt, fighting against the Italians and their collaborators.

In late 1942, the Italian occupation authorities, which previously had supported mostly Aromanian and Albanian groups, changed their attitude towards the Slavic Macedonian population. According to a source from the old pre-communist Bulgarian National Security Service, this change was due to the decisive intervention of the leader of VMRO Ivan Mihailov through Ante Pavelić in Rome in early 1943Fact|date=January 2008. Then the vacant title was offered to the Cseszneky family, probably in recognition for their role in supplying the Italian Army with cereals. Gyula Cseszneky was a Hungarian-Croatian aristocrat [ [ Hungarian Aristocracy - Barons] ] in Italian service, who only nominally reigned as "Voivode Julius" [ [ Regnal Chronologies: Northern Greece] ] between August-September in 1943, but never actually assumed power, although some local autonomist Bulgarian-Macedonian Uhrana leaders governed in his nameFact|date=January 2008 . Whatever authority the Principality exercised, it practically ceased to exist after the Italian capitulation in September 1943, when the area was taken over by the Germans.

Another important figure in the history of the state was the Albanian Vasil Rapotika (Vasilis Rapoutikas). According to V. Papagianni, he was Minister of Defence in the autonomous government since its creation. After Matushi's departure Rapotika was not loyal to the Italians, but rather offered his services to the Germans, particularly after the Italian occupation forces had started to arm local Macedonians. He was shot dead by a Greek guerilla group just outside Larissa. The Greeks then tied his corpse on the back of a donkey and paraded him through the Aromanian villages of the Pindus.Fact|date=October 2007 This was intended in order to scare the local population and as a final proof that the Principality had reached its end.

Another commander was M. Hatzi who was recognized by the Nazi German authorities in 1944 as leader of their local supporters. In September 1944 the above mentioned Ivan Mihailov was offered by the Germans to head a future semi-independent Macedonian state but he declined favouring the occupation of Vardar Macedonia by Bulgaria.

Internal policies

Due to the chaotic political and military situation the succession rules were not set. Nevertheless, it seems that the Principality was an elective and not a hereditary monarchy.

The state adopted certain anti-Greek policies but unlike other fascist régimes of the time was not anti-Jewish.Fact|date=March 2008 Jews from Kastoria, Veria, and Ioannina held top positions in the hierarchy of the Principality. Fact|date=October 2007


*1941-1942: Prince Alchibiades I (Alchiviad Diamandi di Samarina)
*1942-1943?: Regent Nicholas I (Nicola Matushi)
*1943: Voivode Julius I (Baron Gyula Cseszneky)
*1944: M. Hatzi as military governor

Arms of HH the Prince Alchibiades

:"See Heraldry"Quarterly, I three moutons passant, Or; II a chèvre salient, gules; III Azure, a river in fess Gules bordered Argent; IV a loup guardant, vert; overall an escutcheon barry of eight Gules and Argent impaling Gules.

Orders and decorations

*Princely Eagle Order
*Julian Order


:"See Nobility"The system of nobility is not known. A couple of titles of count and baron were granted by both Prince Alchibiades and Prince Julius. It was noted that Alchibiades had sold positions for 250 000 drachmas.



* Arseniou Lazaros: "Η Θεσσαλία στην Αντίσταση"
* Andreanu, José - "Los secretos del Balkan"
* Iatropoulos, Dimitri - "Balkan Heraldry"
* Toso, Fiorenzo - "Frammenti d'Europa"
* Zambounis, Michael - "Kings and Princes of Greece", Athens 2001
* Papakonstantinou Michael: - "Το Χρονικό της μεγάλης νύχτας" (The chronicle of big night)
* Divani, Lena: - "Το θνησιγενές πριγκιπάτο της Πίνδου. Γιατί δεν ανταποκρίθηκαν οι Κουτσόβλαχοι της Ελλάδας, στην Ιταλο-ρουμανική προπαγάνδα".
* Thornberry, Patrick und Miranda Bruce-Mitford: - "World Directory of Minorities". St. James Press 1990, page 131.
* Koliopoulos, Giannēs S. (aka John S. Koliopoulos): - "Plundered Loyalties: Axis Occupation and Civil Strife in Greek West Macedonia". C. Hurst & Co, 1990. page 86 ff.
* Poulto, Hugh: - "Who Are the Macedonians?" C. Hurst & Co, 1995. page 111. (partly available online: [] )
*After the War Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation, and State in Greece By Mark Mazower (partly available online: [] )
* Kalimniou, Dean: - Alkiviadis Diamandi di Samarina (in Neos Kosmos English Edition, Melbourne, 2006)
* Horváth Mihály: A magyar nemzet története
* Seidl-Bonitz-Hochegger: Zeitschrift für Niederösterreichischen Gymnasien XIV.

External links

*en icon [ Greece-Epirus, at]
* [ A nemlétezők lázadása]
* [ Open University of Calalonia: Le valaque/aromoune-aroumane en Grèce]
* [ Ivan Mihailov's Unpublished Memoirs, Diaries and Materials]
* [ Η φωνή της γης]

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