Chochov Jane (Stojan)

Stojan was known among the people of Lerin and Kostur as the beloved and respected Jane Chochov from the village of Armensko.

Fair haired, tall with broad shoulders, modest and smiling, well dressed, with a rifle in his strong hands; that is how he was remembered by those who knew him from his time in ELAS.

Jane was one of the first partisans who got together -

"On that mountain Vicho
On the Prekopanska plateau"

so they could make the traditional Ilinden promise - to fight the tyrants.

It was not by chance that he was among the first to take the path of armed struggle against the Nazi occupiers. That was the natural path for someone who had had an earlier revolutionary life.

In his childhood years - when a person can get strong impressions fixed in their mind - the earlier barbarianism of the Turkish tyrants against the rebellious Armensko villagers in the famous Ilinden Uprising was still fresh.

When the old men and women told of that time Stojan listened carefully, following their stories word for word, his child-like heart beating fast. From that time he was in a position to know the meaning of slavery, struggle and freedom. Even then he was developing a fighter's spirit and was growing stronger. Stojan at age 15 lived in the town of Lerin. From that point his views broadened. The social and national persecution under the bourgeois-chiflik government troubled him more. He sought a path on which he could develop his youthful activism. This aim led him to oppose the inequality he saw. So he joined the ranks of OKNE. From its ranks, in brotherly unity with the Greek youths, he fought for human ideals for the youth, regardless of ethnicity or language.

Later, at the time of the Metaxas dictatorship he, like thousands of other Greek and Macedonian patriots, was followed.

He fought bravely in 1940-41 with weapons in his hands against the Mussolini-fascist aggressors.

Without making a break in his struggle for the people, he joined the ranks of ELAS in the month of April 1943. In ELAS because of his capabilities, he was soon given very responsible tasks. In June he was promoted to the position of member of a three-commander detachment, and a little later company commissar.

* * *

In the winter of 1943-44 in Lerin and Kostur the hand picked "Vich Battalion" was operational. It carried out military operations against the Nazis and at the same time political propaganda work among the people. Stojan was one of the most active partisans of "Vich Battalion".

People from Koreshtani, Prespa and elsewhere recall how he spoke to them, how he supported their good spirits, setting alight in their hearts the flame of the revolution and helping the confused regain the correct path.

With his manly body upright, with his feet slightly turned out and a rifle between them, Stojan spoke with a strong, powerful voice and he invited the people to rise up. He spoke about the Ilinden uprising and had so much to tell using the stories from his childhood - he spoke about unity and the goals of that struggle, about the defeat of that epic story. The people listened carefully. Then he would move onto the new uprising - against the Nazi occupiers and he would give them a task - united with the brotherly Greek people, to fight against the enemy until victory could be achieved. Only in that way could the Macedonian people then achieve their own ethnic and social rights.

Stojan is also remembered from the play performed by the partisans in the villages. Stojan played the main role in that play, the role of the exploited villager "Grandpa Trajko". He is also remembered for the successful military operations he took part in against the enemy.

* * *

Summer 1944. Thirty thousand soldiers shook the mountains Voion-Gramos. They were carrying out a serious military operation with the aim of surrounding and destroying the 9th division of ELAS. Stojan was in one unit as a battalion commissar. He fought courageously. But the end came. He was badly wounded in the legs and he could not move. He gave an order to his comrades to leave him and to continue the battle. Stojan fixed himself to a spot and shot at the Nazis while he still had the strength and bullets. One bullet - the last - he kept for himself. He did not do the favour to the enemy of letting them capture him alive.

G Nedelkov


From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters