Giza Tanas

It was autumn 1946. After extensive travel along the bare rocky mountain, we entered into forest. From the time of the ELAS partisan movement, I had yet to enter into such a forest. What amazing moments! It was as if I had met an old, loyal friend and protector… we traveled along a narrow path among the trees. A tall, broad and thriving pine forest, with a soft carpet below of fallen yellow pine needles. The air was clear and moist. All of that made us feel deeply moved. I relived all the ELAS memories of gatherings, comrades, friends…

I was in a happy frame of mind when we entered the partisan camp of one of the local units. The campfires were abandoned and the partisans were up and getting ready to go. The commander was giving them their final orders. Tall, broad shouldered, with a wide forehead, a decisive look in his eyes, lips pressed together. Put briefly, this was a man with power and a strong will. The commander inspired trust and respect.

"Giza!" I called and ran toward him. He greeted me happily. It was our first meeting since the time of ELAS. In our short discussion, unexpectedly, as though he wanted to get something off his chest that had been strangling his soul, he told me about some new divisive actions carried out by certain elements and, concerned, he finished by saying, "We have to bring an end to such actions. Without brotherhood and unity with the Greek people, we will not succeed in our harsh battle." That was the moral fibre of Giza, who had a clear political orientation.

On 22 December 1946, through the efforts of the CPG, and under the strong pressure of the people, the local partisan groups and groupings were unified and reorganised under the flag of DAG. Giza set off with one of the groups for Voion.

The stormy meetings came one after the other. DAG took control of whole regions and in the conditions of the war the people with enthusiasm and energy that had not been seen before built the foundations of a people's government. "For the first time you live as a free person, owner of your own land, you keep the results of your own effort. Girls and boys, men and women, enter the ranks of DAG."

Our forces grew. The groups of between 77-88 fighters became divisions of 150-200 fighters.

I encountered him as commander of a division in the summer of 1947. He was respected by the partisans of his division, and well known to the partisans and the people from Vich to Hasija. The leadership of DAG in Voion - Gramos rated Giza very highly and intended shortly to promote him to the position of battalion commander.

However, the work of the people's fighter was cut short at the "Battle of Grevena" because the brave patriot from the village of Neret, Lerin, the brave protector of unity in struggle between the Macedonian and Greek people fell heroically, for a just cause, freedom and democracy for our motherland.

G Nedelko


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

© 2009

Return to Index

For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters