Serbianisation or Serbification[1] or Serbisation (Serbian: србизација, посрбљавање, srbizacija, posrbljavanje Bulgarian: сърбизация, посръбчване/sərbizacija, posrəbčvane, Romanian: serbificarea) is the spread of Serbian culture, people, or politics, either by integration or assimilation.

In Macedonia

We find here, as everywhere else, the ordinary measures of "Serbization" — the closing of schools, disarmament, invitations to schoolmasters to become Servian officials, nomination of "Serbomanes," "Grecomanes," and vlachs, as village headmen, orders to the clergy of obedience to the Servian Archbishop, acts of violence against influential individuals, prohibition of transit, multiplication of requisitions, forged signatures to declarations and patriotic telegrams, the organization of special bands, military executions in the villages and so forth.[2]
Report of the International Commission
Territorial expansion of the Kingdom of Serbia after the 1913.

Immediately after annexation of Vardar Macedonia to the Kingdom of Serbia, the Macedonian Slavs were faced with the policy of forced serbianisation.[3][4] Those who declare as the Bulgarians were, harassed or deported to Bulgaria.[5] Many high clergy of Bulgarian Orthodox Church were expelled: Cosmas of Debar (Bishop), Axentius of Bitola (Archbishop), Neophytus of Skopje, Meletius of Veles, Boris of Ohrid and others.[6] The population of Macedonia was forced to declare as Serbs. Those who refused were beaten and tortured.[7] prominent people and teachers from Skopje who refused to declare as Serbs were deported to Bulgaria.[6] International Commission concluded that the Serbian state started in Macedonia wide sociological experiment of "assimilation through terror."[6]

During the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the government of the Kingdom pursued a linguistic Serbisation policy towards population of the Macedonia,[8] then called "Southern Serbia" (unofficially) or "Vardar Banovina" (officially). The dialects spoken in this region were referred to as dialects of Serbo-Croatian.[9] Either way, those southern dialects were suppressed with regards education, military and other national activities, and their usage was punishable.[10] The Serbianisation of the Bulgarian language and population in Republic of Macedonia increased after World War II. Persons declaring their Bulgarian identity were imprisoned or went into exile, and in this way Vardar Macedonia was effectively de-Bulgarised.[11]

The Albanian population of Macedonia was also subjected to policies of Serbianisation, especially from 1912 until the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, when the Slavic Macedonian language became prominent and was imposed upon the Albanian population.

Romanians and Vlachs

Serbianisation has been attributed to Romanians and Vlachs, since the 19th century.[12]


The Hungarian minority has also been affected by Serbianisation since the 20th century.[13]



In the Military Frontier (1500–1800)

Serbs in the Roman Catholic Croatian Military Frontier were out of the jurisdiction of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć and in 1611, after demands from the community, the Pope establishes the Eparchy of Marča (Vratanija) with seat at the Serbian-built Marča Monastery and instates a Byzantine vicar as bishop sub-ordinate to the Roman Catholic bishop of Zagreb, working to bring Serbian Orthodox Christians into communion with Rome which caused struggle of power between the Catholics and the Serbs over the region. In 1695 Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Lika-Krbava and Zrinopolje is established by metropolitan Atanasije Ljubojevic and certified by Emperor Josef I in 1707. In 1735 the Serbian Orthodox protested in the Marča Monastery and becomes part of the Serbian Orthodox Church until 1753 when the Pope restores the Roman Catholic clergy. On June 17, 1777 the Eparchy of Križevci is permanently established by Pope Pius VI with see at Križevci, near Zagreb, thus forming the Croatian Greek Catholic Church which would after the World War I include other people; Rusyns and Ukrainians of Yugoslavia.[14][15]


The term Arnauti or Arnautaši was coined by Serbian ethnographers for allegedly "Albanized Serbs"; Serbs who were thought to have converted to Islam and supposedly went through a process of Albanisation.[16][17] This supposed process is opposed by Albanian scholars and there is no consensus among Western scholars on the issue.

In Orahovac

At the end of the 19th century, writer Branislav Nušić recorded that the Serb poturice (converts to Islam) of Orahovac began speaking in Albanian and marrying Albanian women.[17]

When Dr Jovan Hadži Vasiljević (l. 1866–1948) visited Orahovac in World War I, he could not distinguish Orthodox from Islamicized and Albanized Serbs.[17] They spoke Serbian, wore the same costumes, but claimed Serbian, Albanian or Turk ethnicity.[17] The Albanian starosedeoci (old urban families) were Slavophone; they did not speak Albanian but a Slavic dialect (naš govor, Our language) at home.[17]

In the 1921 census the majority of Muslim Albanians of Orahovac were registered under the category "Serbs and Croats".[17] This is contrary to the belief that Islamisation led to Albanisation. This suggests that claims of Islamisation has led to Albanisation of Serbs are difficult to prove. Also, there has been a continuous and considerable presence of a Slavic Muslim population in Kosovo.

Mark Krasniqi, the Kosovo Albanian ethnographer, recalled in 1957:[17] "During my own research, some of them told me that their tongue is similar to Macedonian rather than Serbian (it is clear that they want to dissociate themselves from everything Serbian[17]). It is likely they are the last remnants of what is now known in Serbian sources as 'Arnautaši', Islamicised and half-way Albanianised Slavs."[17]


The region of present-day Macedonia is sometimes called southern Serbia (part of Old Serbia) by Serbs, until 1912 part of Ottoman Empire. Marshal Tito formed SR Macedonia out of a part of 1929–1941 Vardar Banovina, and encouraged the Macedonian identity and Macedonian as a group of South Slavic languages , and subsequently the Orthodox monasteries in Macedonia.[18]

Notable individuals of non-Serb origin who declare as Serbs

See also


  1. "The Real Face of Serbian Education in Macedonia". newspaper "Makedonsko Delo", No. 9 (Jan. 10, 1926), Vienna, original in Bulgarian. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  2. "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan War". Retrieved 2015-04-12.
  3. Dejan Djokić, Yugoslavism: histories of a failed idea, 1918–1992, p. 123, at Google Books
  4. R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the twentieth century—and after, p. 20, at Google Books
  5. Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 52)
  6. 1 2 3 Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 165)
  7. Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (p. 53)
  8. "An article by Dimiter Vlahov about the persecution of the Bulgarian population in Macedonia". newspaper "Balkanska federatsia", No. 140, 20 August 1930, Vienna, original in Bulgarian. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  9. Friedman, V. (1985). "The Sociolinguistics of Literary Macedonian". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 52: 31–57. doi:10.1515/ijsl.1985.52.31.
  10. "By the Shar Mountain there is also terror and violence". newspaper "Makedonsko Delo", No. 58, 25 January 1928, Vienna, original in Bulgarian. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  11. Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook ISBN 0-8153-4058-3
  12. M. V. Fifor. Assimilation or Acculturalisation: Creating Identities in the New Europe. The case of Vlachs in Serbia. Published in Cultural Identity and Ethnicity in Central Europe, Jagellonian University, Cracow
  13. Frederick Bernard Singleton, Twentieth-century Yugoslavia, New York, Columbia University Press, 1976, p. 222
  14. Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture at Google Books
  15. Geopolitics of European Union Enlargement: The Fortress Empire at Google Books
  16. Dietmar Müller, Staatsbürger aus Widerruf: Juden und Muslime als Alteritätspartner im rumänischen und serbischen Nationscode: ethnonationale Staatsbürgerschaftskonzepte 1878–1941, p. 183–208. ISBN 3-447-05248-1, ISBN 978-3-447-05248-1
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Religion and the politics of identity in Kosovo, p. 73: see footnotes
  18. War of words: Washington tackles the Yugoslav conflict, p. 43, at Google Books
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