Harizani Rusalim

Rusalim was a heroic son of the Macedonian people and the Greek working class; one of the cadres of the tobacco gathers on our side.

He was born in Sersko to a poor farming family. As a young boy, because of poverty he set off on the path of struggling for a crust of bread. From a very young age he went to Demir-Hisar and became a tobacco worker. It was there that for the first time he experienced exploitation. In parallel with that he understood that only with a decisive and ongoing struggle could the position of the workers and the working masses and ethnic minorities be improved. His struggle commenced in the harsh battles of the tobacco workers. Rusalim set off on that path from a young age and with his revolutionary following he continued it to the end of his life.

Rusalim's participation in the every day battles of the tobacco workers from Demir-Hisar, Seres and Solun, in the political and economic battles, which were organized and led by the CPG, led him to become a strong character, a loyal fighter for the proletariat, for the working people.

Because of his qualities Rusalim became a member of the CPG at a young age and gained respect from the workers and he was elected to various committees, including the representative of the tobacco workers. Later he reached the highest posts of the workers' movement. Many times he was elected a member of the General Greek Federation of the Tobacco Workers and as a member of the compliance committee of the federation he worked tirelessly for many years. He worked in every role with enthusiasm, without being concerned about hardships, dangers and deprivations. Many times he ended up without bread, hungry, but he would not leave the work allocated to him. Under the most difficult conditions he was concerned to complete the tasks given to him by the Party. He felt proud when the Party gave him difficult or dangerous missions. For that reason he was liked by all those who worked with him and it was pleasing to us when we worked with him. I felt very happy when I worked with him.

However, as the regard of the workers and the Party toward Harizani grew, the hatred of the enemy of the people also grew. He was arrested many times and sent to the cellars, prisons and barren islands. But nothing was able to make him give up. On the contrary, while in prison he beame hardened and as soon as he was released, he threw himself with greater passion into the people's struggle. He was an immoveable mountain.

The fascist dictatorship of Metaxas sent him to the camps on Akronafpilija where 500 communists were imprisoned. In the jail Rusalim always had a smile on his face; he was liked by all the comrades; he always carried out the tasks given to him by those in charge of the prisons.

In 1941 he succeeded in getting himself released and in a few days reached Solun where he threw himself into the struggle again. He worked with all his strengths for the Party tasks to be completed, for the development of the people's liberation struggle, for our liberation from the Nazi occupiers. However he was caught again by the government security, which was working for the occupier, and was imprisoned in the camp "Pavlos Melas."

He knew he would not get out of there alive. But he was not afraid of death. He awaited it with faith in the victory of the people who fought under the leadership of the Party.

In the last days of his life Rusalim did not forget his comrades on Akronafplija. He sent a letter to them in which he wrote, among other things, "Perhaps when you get this letter, I will no longer be among the living. That should not sadden you. There are sacrifices in the struggle. Sending my final greetings to you I shout with all my might "Long live the CPG! May the people overcome! Long live the people's victory!"

And when the letter reached us the unforgettable hero was no longer alive. He was executed by the Nazis in May 1942.

The last words that Harizani was heard by witnesses to say were "I feel I have met my obligation; you make sure you meet yours too, as did Papaflesas."

Harizani stood before the executioners with his head held high and a smile on his face. Before he fell he cried out, "Down with fascism! Long live the CPG! May the people overcome! Long live the Red Army!"

V Ashikis


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters