Lazo Trpovski

Lazo Trpovski was born in 1901 in the village D'mbeni, Kostur region, in the heroic and revolutionary village of the legendary Macedonian fighters Lazar Moschov and Lazar P. Trajkov. His parents were impoverished rural workers and he, from childhood, was aware of the difficulties of such a life and the sufferings and the brutal struggle in the fields to make a living. He felt the double oppression of the Macedonian people - national and social - and from a very young age he studied the sacred revolutionary traditions of the Macedonian people, in the spirit of love for his birthplace and a hatred for tyranny.

In the village, Lazo was closely acquainted with poverty and the miserable life of the villager, while in the distant foreign land, Canada, where he had been given the opportunity to go, he saw close up the life of the worker who works day and night but is still hungry. It was in Canada that he saw the struggle of the worker, with the strikes and demonstrations against the capitalist exploiters. He got to know progressive workers, leaders of the workers' movement and quickly adapted himself and became a member of the Communist party.

From then a new life began for Trpovski. He undertook an active role in the struggle for the rights of the workers, in organising and leadership roles. He would explain to the workers that only with the destruction of the capitalist regime, with the overthrow of the government by the proletariat would the workers be liberated, and he led them toward achieving that goal. It was here, among workers from different countries, that Trpovski was trained in the spirit of the proletariat internationalism.

Persecuted by the law enforcement agencies of Canada for his activities, Trpovski found refuge and welcome in the Soviet Union. There, in the Great country of socialism, he became closely acquainted with the life of soviet people, who, filled with optimism and faith in their happy future, showed him their new and splendid way of life.

There Trpovski became better acquainted with the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and, filled with faith in the victory of the workers' struggle, he returned to his homeland in 1934. After his return home, Lazo gave himself over completely to the Greek Communist Party and worked as an activist in its ranks to the end of his life. Under the pseudonym "Blackman" he ranged across western Macedonia and developed brave but underground operations against the Metaxas fascist tyranny and the capitalist slavery, working toward the victory of democracy and socialism for national equality of the Macedonian people.

Lazo was particularly expert at disguising his underground operations under the cover of some legitimate activity. In the time of the fascist dictatorship of Metaxas, as in the time of the Nazi occupation, he entered unfamiliar villages presenting himself at different times as a relative, a friend or a trader.

Trpovski was a modest, brave and decisive national fighter. However, the most significant trait of his character was his limitless faith and dedication to the CPG, in the people from whom he took great strength for the difficult and brutal struggle.

One old communist, a comrade of Lazo's, expressed his recollections about Lazo: "What I recall that was most characteristic about the way Lazo Trpovski approached the struggle was his boundless enthusiasm. Even in the prisons of Akronafilija you could see in his face his enthusiasm and faith in the struggle."

Because of his strong record of revolutionary activism, Lazo was pursued by the monarcho-fascist forces of Metaxas and was arrested in 1939. In the Kostur prison, where he was first thrown, he was put on a brutal torturing device but the brave communist did not give in. Before the special regional commission for the persecution of communists, before the torturer of the people, Tsaktsiras, Trpovski exposed the anti-national, anti-peoples politics of the monarcho-fascists and bravely defended the politics of the CPG and the rights of the Macedonian people.

In the prisons of Akronafilija, where Trpovski was exiled, he made an effort to complete his Marxist preparation, to organise his thinking for future struggles.

In 1941 Trpovski was again among the people. He had become a member of the executive committee of the CPG in the Macedonian region and worked in Western Macedonia among Macedonians and Greeks. He worked with fervent enthusiasm in the struggle against the Nazi occupation and was active as an organiser. He would go on foot from town to town, from village to village, throughout western Macedonia, so that he could re-establish the former party branches, form new ones and mobilise the people in EAM, in the struggle against the Nazi fascism and his local collaborators. He was always among the people, among the partisans of ELAS and became a leading and beloved fighter leader and comrade of the Greeks and Macedonians in western Macedonia. Trpovski's name is closely tied with the first partisan ranks in western Macedonia, with the establishment of a free territory in Voion-Grevena, with the massive participation of the Greek and Macedonian populations of western Macedonian in the peoples struggle against fascism.

Trained in the spirit of patriotism and proletarian internationalism he was involved in a decisive struggle against all kinds of chauvinistic and national matters arising in the Macedonian movement, whatever the source. With party fervour he fought against the Greater Bulgarian chauvinist propaganda and operations, against all the foreign propaganda that surged in Macedonia during the time of the Nazi occupation. He explained to the Macedonians about the danger of all of these appeals and propaganda, which would not bring anything good to the people, but rather would only bring harm and fragmentation to the national people's movement. He informed the people about the need for, and meaning of, a united battle with the Greek comrades. His aim was to ensure the effective united struggle of the two peoples because that was the correct path, the path to complete freedom, to national and social freedom for the Macedonians. Lazo said to the Macedonians: "As our enemies are many, so our battle alongside the Greeks is great; if we fight together, we will achieve freedom together."

Lazo Trpovski became a communist, he was a brave fighter who entered the ranks of the working class and the workers revolutionary movement. Under the influence of the Canadian communist party, under the influence of Lenin's famous party, of the great Soviet Union which he loved with all his heart, he returned to his homeland and tied his life to the activities of the CPG.

This valued son of our people dedicated his life to the achievement of the ideals of the CPG, for freedom, democracy and peace in Greece, for the national and social equality of the Macedonians. Lazo Trpovski was killed by Nazi agents in April 1943 near the village of Imera in the Kozhani region. He fell with the brave Kerasidis and seven other activists of CPG.

The death of Lazo Trpovski was a heavy loss for the party and the national liberation movement, a big loss for the Macedonians, all working people of Greece in the struggle against fascism. The face of the Macedonian national hero, Lazo Trpovski shines as one of the thousands of sacrifices of CPG in the struggle against fascism.

The people of the towns and villages sing songs about him and his name is spoken with great affection by young and old; he inspired bravery and faith in new struggles for democracy, peace and progress.


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters