Tanas Kalojani was born in 1918 in the village of Nestram, Kostur region
to a poor labourer family. His father was a bricklayer and, as soon
as Tanas completed his primary school education, Tanas followed the
same path. He passed his childhood years as did all other young workers
in Greece. Heavy workload and very little pay. Even as a young boy,
Tanas set himself apart with his bravery, stoicism and the way he got
on with the others.
He joined battle from a young age. From 1936 he was organised into
the Union of Bricklayers in the town of Kavala. During the Greek-Italian
war he served as a cavalry sergeant and fought bravely against the fascist
aggressors. After discharge he returned to his own village and from
then dedicated himself to the liberation struggle until the moment of
In 1942 he was arrested by the Italian occupying forces and forced
to the Kostur prison and from there to the Athens prison "Averof." In
1943, as soon as he was freed, he joined the ranks of ELAS. His war
experience and his bravery, which distinguished him, led to him being
promoted as captain.
After Varkisa, he was followed by the monarcho-fascist forces. In the
summer of 1946 he became one of the founders of the first military groups
of DAG in the region of Gramos. He served as captain in the 16th brigade
of DAG and participated in many battles. He died heroically on 16 November
1947 in the battle near Kopanche near to his own village. He was promoted
to Major, first hero.
Before Tanas died, his sister Polikseni Kalojani, one of the first
partisan women in DAG, fell at Vich in May 1947. A short time later
his nephew died. When the dreadful news reached his village, the women
went to his old mother to support her when she heard the news. She did
not cry. She met them with a cool gaze and said, "Yes! They were killed
but we will win!" Stood as a mother and a real heroine.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters