Vangel was one of the modest Macedonian fighters killed during the
He worked in his own shop as a shoemaker. His shop was in a wide street
of Lerin, near to the market. The yard with some trees separated his
shop from his house. An old fashioned house with verandah.
At the end of 1943 I spent two nights at his home and I recall how
I was shown such friendly hospitality by his family. His mother, his
father and his two sisters lived principally from Vangel's work and
they had a few vines, which were worked by his old father.
When I met him he was 25 years old. He took part in the Albanian front
and once he returned from there he quickly oriented himself because
he had to fight against the German occupier. Because of his active revolutionary
record he was elected a member of the Lerin town council of EAM and
was responsible for the work among the Macedonians in the town.
In the shop he had a spot set aside for old shoes that had been brought
in for repair. The villagers also left their bags there on market days.
It was there he also collected shoes for the partisans.
In January 1944 a partisan had come from Kajmachkalan and with Vangel's
help he bought new shoes and things ended well.
Vangel's shop was one of the cells where outlawed activists of the
CPG met, and of the liberating organizations EAM, EPON. They also left
banned newspapers there for them to be spread to the villages and the
Vangel was a dear man. He had many different clients and a wide circle
of acquaintances and friends - Greeks ad Macedonians - who respected
In January 1944 in Lerin the Bulgarian fascist army arrived and together
with the German armies began operations against the ELAS units. Vangel,
as a member of the party, together with his Greek friends actively took
part in the battle against both the Germans and the Bulgarian fascists.
On 24 March 1944 in the evening, at the celebration of the Greek national
holiday, a heavy snow fell and covered the streets of Lerin. The town
slept but Vangel did not. He and his Macedonian friends stuck bills
on the walls in Lerin inviting the people to come out against the Nazi
occupation and to bring the battle for liberation of our side.
That night other groups of Macedonians and Greeks, members of the CPG,
of EAM and EPON, were doing the same thing.
* * *
On the eastern front in the spring of 1944 under the heavy attack of
the Soviet army, the Germans left Hitomir and went westwards. It was
clear that the Soviet Army along with those in union with it would eliminate
the Nazi plague from Europe.
Under the influence of the victory of the Soviet Army, the struggle
of the Greeks and Macedonians in the Lerin region widened and got stronger.
But the enemy felt its fate was in danger and redoubled its terror.
As it was unable to split the Macedonians and the Greeks in their united
struggle, it began to torture and shoot them both.
Toward the end of the month of May and the beginning of June 1944 the
enemy began mass arrests of Greeks and Macedonian patriots. Vangel was
among those arrested along with Nikola Muratidi and Kozma Sehidi, cadres
of the illegal patriotic organizations in the town.
Vangel, when the Gestapo asked him for the names of those working with
him in the outlawed organizations, kept quiet. They tortured him so
that he would reply but still he kept quiet. He gave up no one to the
enemy. When they took him to be hanged he was calm and peaceful.
On the street in Bilga mountain above the village Armesko around July
1944 the furious occupiers hanged Vangel with barbed wire along with
the friends from whom he was never separated and with whom he worked
closely - Kosma Sehidi and Nikola Muratidi together with Mechkarov from
the village of Neret and another comrade, a Greek patriot. The day was
beautiful. The sun shone and it was warm, the spring was turning into
summer. Nature was full of flowers and greenery. The birds sang happily.
The friends and relatives of the five hanged men sang mournful songs
but at the same time they made a promise to strengthen the battle against
Vangel correctly understood the party line of the CPG for the equal
rights of Macedonians and under that watchword he fought and poured
his own blood. He fell as a dignified son of the people, a faithful
fighter of the CPG giving expression to the unity between the two brother
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
Return to Index
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters