Mirka Ginova

Mirka was born close to the Ostrovsko Lake in Rosilovo, a village of 60 families. Her parents were poor villagers. Mirka tasted the bitterness and hardships of life at a very young age. She lost her mother and grew up with great difficulties and hardships. When she completed her primary schooling in the village, her father noticed young Mirka's aptitude for education and, even though he had so little money, sent her to teacher's college in Kostur.

In 1939 Mirka completed her teacher's college course, emerging as a primary school teacher. However, further bitter disappointments awaited her. The fascist regime of Metaxas would not appoint her to a position - it imposed many obstacles on her. Mirka lost an entire year going from one office to another seeking to gain an appointment.

In 1940, she was temporarily appointed a teacher in a village in Voden. From her first day she threw herself into her profession with love and passion. She was at last able to share with the young pupils the maternal love and gentleness which she herself did not experience as a child. For the children, she was a mother figure and a friend. Everyone got into the habit of treating her as their own mother. And the whole village respected the young woman and held her in high regard as an impressive teacher.

However, she did not manage to enjoy her modest though responsible job for long. Mussolini's fascist regime and the Nazi hordes were trampling Greece. Then the hangings started, the concentration camps, the prisons, the mass shooting, hunger, rape and destruction.

Mirka could not bear the drama that was unfolding in her country. The occupiers destroyed the few remaining traces of dignity in her birthplace. This gave rise to a desire in her for freedom and independence for her birthplace. She also developed a passionate hatred for the Nazi sympathizers and local traitors. She became persuaded that only through battle, only through armed battle by all the people against the occupiers, would her birthplace be saved from catastrophe. It is for this reason that she joined the ranks of OKNE.

At first she worked underground. She organized girls from the local area and brought them into battle for freedom. She sent partisans - men and women - into the ELAS, and in 1943 she herself joined the partisan units of ELAS in Kajmachkalan.

Mirka worked as an activist of EPON among the Macedonian youth.

The appearance of the Soviet army in the Balkan and the attacks by ELAS caused the Nazi sympathizers to leave Greece.

The ELAS sympathizers-freedom fighters entered the villages and towns. The people rejoiced in the freedom.

However, the people did not enjoy the joy of freedom for long. New occupiers came - the Americo-English 'allies'. A new occupation, more oppressive than the first. The members of the national resistance were persecuted. Massive arrests, torture and imprisonments. The same traitors, who, along with the Nazis, had tortured people, were now persecuting imprisoning and torturing the fighters of ELAS and every democrat. The Anglo-Americans tried, using torture and force, to strangle the democratic convictions of the people and impose their own laws.

The persecution of the Macedonian people was especially brutal. Mirka was pursued and was forced to hide from one village to another, and later to escape to the mountains. Together with the other persecuted fighters she helped the people and gave them courage in the battle against the new occupiers She organized battles by the villagers against the torturers of the people.

In the summer of 1946, in the Pocep forest, Voden region, a small partisan group formed - Mirka's group.

One morning 200 gendarmes and soldiers surrounded the area. Mirka was with six of her comrades, who were all unarmed. Only she was armed. The position was extremely difficult. The gendarmes pushed further and further forward and the small group feared that they would fall into the hands of the gendarmes at any moment. The burning line closed in on them, it tightened and pressed them threateningly.

They got closer…

However, the brave Macedonian woman did not lose her courage. She lifted the scope and took aim. One gendarme fell dead. She shot again. Another one fell. She aimed well. Each one of her bullets hit flesh and planted death in the slaves of the new occupiers. But there were too few bullets and too many of them. And that is why she fell into their hands along with her comrades.

The gendarmes threw themselves at her and brutally tore her clothes, her body, tore out her hair, and with blood all over her they led her through the streets of Voden.

But the Macedonian woman Mirka held her head up high and proudly. She smiled at the people who gathered to see her, to take courage from her; she smiled at the people who she loved so much and for whom she gave her life.

The government security forces tortured her brutally. They beat her with wood, with rifle butts, with metal wire. They stuck needles under her nails. They connected electrical cables to her body. They buried her alive, to the neck, and shot above her. Mirka proudly withstood all the torture. She found strength in herself to encourage her comrades too.

On 25 July 1946, together with the six comrades, she appeared before a specially convened military court and was sentenced to death. The event took place in the primary school in Greek Enidzhe Vardar. Many people, especially young men and women, went to watch. The gendarmes kicked at the people to try to stop them from entering the school. But they did not succeed.

In the court, Mirka raised herself up and turned the dock into a platform, from where she now spoke, not to small children as she had as a teacher, but instead to the prosecutors she bravely accused the Greek reactionaries and proudly defended the people. To the judge's question:

"What are you?" she proudly answered: "I am a Macedonian and I believe in the Communist Party of Greece, because only that party represents all of the peoples of Greece, and guarantees to the Macedonians equal rights with all others. I fought in the occupation against the Nazi occupiers. With a particular hatred I fought against the Bulgarian fascists, who sought to throw the Macedonians into the clutches of the security guards."

To the question: "Who do you work with?" she answered, "The people! Greeks and Macedonians who are fighting together for liberation."

And when the death sentence was read out, with a smile on her lips Mirka said, "I am not afraid that you will kill me! There stand behind me a thousand Macedonian women and Greek women, who will keep the battle going. I am proud to die fighting for the freedom of the people."

On 27 July 1946 at 5 o'clock in the morning, three days after the sentence, she was led to the Enidzhe-Vardar cemetery to the execution wall. Mirka stood tall and proud and greeted the execution with the anthem, the Internationale. She did not permit them to blindfold her.

"The seven people sent for execution met the execution and did not accept blindfolds. The teacher Irina Ginis showed even more sang froid by singing the "Internationale" and shouted "Hurrah" for the Communist Party of Greece." This is the way in which the Ministry for Internal Affairs reported Mirka's execution.

"The good teacher" gave her life so that good days would come for our children, for the people.

Mirka - the national heroine of the Macedonian people lives in the hearts of the many in the army who passed through her "classes" for a free, happy homeland.


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters