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The Yugoslav authorities founded an agency in Skopje for emigration, called Matica, to spread the correct form of national consciousness among emigrants. The Macedonian church also sent priests to take part in the education of Macedonians abroad. By the 1970s, however, Belgrade was also concerned by nationalism that went beyond the official line. Dragan Bogdanovski, a future inspiration of the IMRO hardline nationalist movement after independence, was adopted by Amnesty International when he received a 13-year prison sentence in Skopje in 1979.

YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC — 41 Communist Macedonia was largely shaped by the sword, or the secret policeman’s knock on the door at dawn, with other aspects of the nation following. A literary language was agreed upon in 1947. The autocephalous Macedonian Orthodox Church was founded in 1958 and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences in 1967 to try and nurture national consciousness. The new authorities bolstered their position by setting up a written language for the republic. 11 For decades, Bulgaria would officially regard Macedonia as a testtube country created artificially by Tito.

This was not an entirely new policy. Rebecca West, arriving in Skopje in 1937, told how: We rattled down the main street to the square leading to the bridge over the Vardar, and my husband turned to crane his neck in wonder at the unique architectural horror which defiled that spot. 19 Until the 1980s, the plight of the Albanians in Macedonia was overshadowed internationally by events in Kosovo where violent protests in 1981 and 1989 led to martial law being imposed. The ethnic Albanians inhabited and inhabit compact settlements in the west of the republic bordering on Albania, the north-west bordering on Kosovo and in Skopje.

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