Order 7 of the Bulgarian military command, 26 May 1941

The order no. 7 of the Bulgarian military administration imposed on the Serrai during the period of occupation, imposed strict rules with the aim of Bulgarianizing the region. In detail, the rules included the following:

Mandatory Bulgarian language on signs: All store signs had to be written in Bulgarian. Also, store names had to have Bulgarian endings.

Penalties for violation: Those who violated this order faced a fine and closing of the shop.

Posting of Bulgarian flags: All houses and shops had to be fitted with Bulgarian flags.

Traffic ban: Residents were prohibited from driving after sunset.
Bulgarian language in the liturgy: The liturgy in the towns and villages had to be celebrated in the Bulgarian language, and during the liturgy the kings of Bulgaria had to be remembered.

Hanging pictures of the king: In the offices of the Holy Metropolis of Serres and the ecclesiastical committees, the picture of the king of Bulgaria Vori had to be hung.

These measures were part of the policy of the Bulgarian military administration to consolidate its control and strengthen its presence and influence in the region, significantly affecting the daily life and cultural identity of the inhabitants.

The order no. 7 of the Bulgarian military administration is a typical example of the policy of Bulgarization implemented during the period of the Bulgarian occupation of Macedonia during World War II. This decree was intended to strengthen the Bulgarian character of the region through the imposition of Bulgarian cultural and linguistic elements. 

In addition to inscriptions and religious worship, the policy of Bulgarization also included the imposition of the Bulgarian language in schools, administration, and other public services. The Greek education system was replaced with Bulgarian schools and the staff was replaced with teachers and officials of Bulgarian origin.

The enforcement of the new regulations had a serious financial impact on residents. Many shopkeepers who could not comply with the new requirements were forced to close their businesses, while penalties and fines further weakened the local economy.

The Bulgarianization policy caused a strong reaction from the local Greeks. Resistance manifested itself in various forms, from passive resistance (such as disobeying orders) to active participation in resistance groups acting against the Bulgarian authorities.

Bulgarianization efforts deeply affected the social and cultural life of the region. The imposition of the Bulgarian language and culture was intended to alter the national identity of the inhabitants, causing intense pressure on the Greek community to preserve its traditions and cultural heritage.

The order no. 7, like the rest of the Bulgarianization policies, ended with the withdrawal of Bulgarian forces from the region in 1944, after the weakening of the Axis forces and the advance of the Allies.

This order reflects the strategies of ethnic and cultural assimilation used during the Second World War in occupied territories, and constitutes a dark chapter in the history of the Serres region and wider Macedonia.