In August, 1943 Count Gyula Istvan Cseszneky de Milvany et Csesznek was proclaimed Grand Voivode or Duke of Macedonia. Duke Cseszneky, whose family had held feudal lordships in medieval Macedonia and had strong ties with the antifascist Italian authorities, with the support of local Macedonian autonomists established a Macedonian statelet in Southwest Macedonia.
The Duke's aim was to create an independent and united Macedonia. The Duke protected the local Jewish community against Nazi troops, after the war his merits were recognized in Israel. The Duke also re-established the autonomous Church of Macedonia. Unfortunately, Duke Cseszneky was deposed by Nazi Germany and forced to take refuge in Hungary. He died in exile, in Brazil. His nephew, Count Ladislav Cseszneky is the current Head of the House of Cseszneky.