Keramdzhiev Petre (Petrepavle)

Petre Keramidzhiev was born in Voden to a labourer family. He was short, with lively eyes, and scars on his forehead from a carefree childhood. Petre was the wise thinker of the family and they spoiled him as much as their resources allowed. But the household purse was thin. So, at the age of 12, Petre had to start working. First at home but soon he was forced to work for others. He felt the full bitterness of exploitation. He was the last to go to bed and the first to rise in the morning. He could not sit to eat until the master had finished. Petre's growth was stunted.

The years passed. As Petre grew older, he felt more and more exploited.

"Why do they pay me so little, mum, when the master makes so much? Why do they feed me dry stale bread but the master's family eat all sorts of things? These were the questions he asked his mother and himself. In 1936 he became a member of OKNE and later of CPG.

The occupation started. The Nazis and their supporters came to Voden. The agents of the monarcho fascist forces of King Boris arrived at the same time.

Petre was a Macedonian. He remembered the torture, the castor oil forcibly thrown down the throat and racks from the time of the Metaxas dictatorship and in his soul raged a hatred against the greedy plutocrats. The new struggle began. The occupier on one side with his servants Kalchev and others who promised paradise and wheat, and on the other side tireless fighters who spent a big part of their lives in the dungeons, the prisons and the rocky islands of Metaxas and Maniadaksis. Before they could draw the breath of freedom after being released from the concentration camps of death, they joined new battles.

They did not waste time: they organized the struggle. The battle for life and freedom started. EAM, which set a path for the people to fight against the oppressors and their local lackeys, was established. Petre was among the first in its ranks.

The interests of the people and the interests of the struggle created a goal in Petre's life. Petre was at all the outlawed gatherings. He had little education and little experience but this was no obstacle to him giving help decisively. He joined wherever he could, he learned many secrets of the oppressors and he informed the organization - "Hide. They are going to make arrests." " Take measures. They are going to mobilize workers from Germany." He continued that way until the summer of 1944. He saved the organization from catastrophe many times. And when he was identified and steps were being taken to capture him, after sending many fighters to the mountains, he himself escaped and proudly took up arms to fight for ELAS.

New battles awaited him there. He put his soul into the fight for Kajmachkalan, loved by the Macedonian and Greek villages in Voden and Karadzhovsko.

"Everything for ELAS; everything for its army," said Petre and he gathered everything together: food, weapons, clothing, shoes etc. "If the English will not give them to us, the people will," said Petre. It was true. He found rifles hidden away at the time of the Ilinden Uprising.

He found shoes, slippers and anything else.

Petre was not satisfied with this. He wanted to join the battles. "Comrades, let's not have these. I will do my other work when the units are resting. I will not miss the battle," joked Petre. And so he joined the battle for the Vladovska station, for the Voden and Karadzhovski posts.

In the summer of 1947 Petre was in the ranks of DAG under the pseudonym Petrepavle and operated in a unit in Kajmachkalan. He spread happiness wherever he went; he was loved by the Macedonians and the Greeks. He fought the battle of the armed fighter as well as the battle of the outlawed fighter.

One day he descended with important missions in hand to the village Vladovo that was occupied by the enemy. A police officer stopped him and asked him for personal identification papers. Instead of his identification papers, he took out his revolver. His cool headedness saved him from being arrested. He managed to complete his mission that time too.

As a unit quartermaster, a fighter, a corporal, leading commander and courier, he was tireless. He participated in many battles. However, his bravery, self sacrifice and faith in the struggle made him put himself in the way of danger. In an operation in Vladovo, after the police station was destroyed and his mission completed, when the units withdrew, Petrepavle who always withdrew last, was killed. His death was a huge loss to our unit. His funeral was carried out with all honours. He was buried beneath his beloved trees close to a spring where he would rest and drink water. The spring was named "Petrepavle's Spring" by the partisans because his grave was near there.


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

© 2009

Return to Index

For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters