Nikolush Dimitri

When I think of the battles we fought in the past, I think of my father.

On 10 October 1941 the first partisan shot was fired in Western Macedonia. The First Partisan group, a group of 11 people's fighters from the village of Krmsko (Mesovuno) -Kajlarsko killed the village president, an agent of the Nazi occupiers. After 13 days, on 23 October, the tragic gatherings at Mesovuno had taken place. The Nazis with artillery fire and all of the other military capabilities from Kozhani surrounded the village at dawn and fired from all sides, killing 153 men aged between 15 and 65. They banished all of the children and the women and set fire to the village, burning it down.

During that time, the Greek police arrested my father because I was a part of the group of fighters at Mesovuno. My father was aged 70. In the Register of Births he was recorded under two surnames - Dimitri Nikolush and Hadzhitashkos. The first surname was after his father who was called Nikolush and the other was from his grandfather who had been in adzhilak. In Kajlarsko all of the market stall-holders knew the old dried hot chilli maker [piperdzhija] from Karadzhovsko. He was a hard worker. On Sundays and holidays, he would not rest. If he did not have work to do in his fields, he would travel around selling ground dried chilli powder. With that work he was able to care for a family of six and send me to the Voden high school and later to the Kozhani teachers college.

After the events at Mesovuno my sister was arrested along with my father. The authorities decided that my father was too old so they should arrest someone younger from the family so that could persuade the teacher - me - to give himself up. And so they arrested my sister too. The two 'dangerous' arrested people were sent to Kajlari and after 3-4 days to Kozhani. After that they released my sister but sent my father into exile to the town Livadija in southern Greece.

We hoped he would return so that we could see each other again. But our hopes were not fulfilled.

In the month of April 1942 sad news arrived - my father had died on 30 March 1942. He had a serious illness and his life was taken while he was far from his wife, his children and the village where he was born. He was the last victim of the Mesovuno events and the first victim of Katranica in the battle against the occupier.

One April day I was informed in Kajlari of the sad news. Dark clouds covered the horizon and from morning to night a heavy rain fell. I had never thought that my father could die in such a way. Shut in a room, I thought of him for the whole day about his care for our family, for me. We were also good friends. He understood that the battle against the occupier and the fascists was righteous. He knew how bad an enslaved life was and how bad life was for the very poor people.

I sought to find out about his life in Livadija. "National Solidarity" (Ethnic Alilengi residents) helped the old Macedonian exile during the hardest days. A Greek teacher and her family stayed with him during the last moments of his life and closed his eyelids after his passing.

Greeks who were collaborators and servants to the Nazi occupiers arrested an old Macedonian man and sent him into exile because his son fought for the liberation of Greece. Other Greeks - the patriotic Greek people - took him in their arms and stayed with him during the most difficult and last days of his life. The roots of the two peoples are connected from long in the past and are deep and that is why that connection cannot be destroyed.

A Hadzhitashkov


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters