Proshov Koljo (Gjoro)

Koljo Proshov was born in the village Bahovo, Karadzhovsko in 1921 to a poor village family.

In the years of the German occupation Gjoro and the whole of Bahovo's youth were organized into EPON. Later he joined the CPG and ELAS and rose to the rank of leading commander. After the Varkiza agreement, Gjoro was followed by the monarcho-fascist forces and from the start of 1946 he was with the groups of escaped fighters in Kajmachkalan mountain.

After the formation of the CPG Gjoro was in all areas of Greece - in Kajmachkalan, Pajak, Vermion, Vich, Hasja, Olimp, Kozjak, Agrafa and elsewhere. He was a leading fighter of DAG and everyone respected him - Greeks and Macedonians.

In the southern areas of Greece he served as company commander. In this post he joined battles against the enemy where he showed strength, wisdom, tactical understanding and capabilities as a commander. With the tests of army, with his constant participation in the military operations, from the time of ELAS, he became an experienced fighter, capable of leading into battle and commanding a whole company.

Gjoro was a commander in the southern areas of Greece, where I met him. He distinguished himself with his modesty and single mindedness, with the easy way he gained new territory and conditions. He distinguished himself with the speed and cool headedness with which he operated, his bravery which he expressed with the greatest military capability of his unit. For all of that, Gjoro was respected and from the most senior commanders and by those who fought alongside him. The missions given to his company were mostly very serious because his capabilities were trusted.

Gjoro took part in the operations in the area Agrafa-Kardica in the spring of 1947, in the operations of Smokovo-Bulgara-Furna, in the battles around Karpenisi. He took part in the attack operations of the Thessaly headquarters of DAG in the summer of 1947 in the area of Rovaljari-Furna. His company distinguished itself in operations against the enemy line in Aj-Lija of Paljohori (region of Kardica). It attacked from the peak of Maroa and after the terrible battle along with other military units they took back the point from the enemy unit. They got more than 110 captives and trophies of all of the weapons and other materials.

He took part in many local battles in the region of Agrafa. In the locality "Tria sinora" on Smokovo, in May 1947 Gjoro's company launched an attack on an entire enemy battalion. The company not only held its own position and in doing so completed its mission, but then also carried out a counter attack and pushed out the enemy military units. Gjoro's hand was wounded in that battle. But he treated the wound as a most minor thing. He tied his hand a little and because he could still walk he continued to lead the battle and to command the company. It was only at night when the military units were resting that we noticed that Gjoro had been wounded.

Gjoro's company, which was comprised mostly of Macedonians, during rest times was often in contact with local Thessaly units. Gjoro by nature was serious and spoke little and here he was at the head of his fighters. Often in Vulgara (Agrafa) in the evenings around the fires, Greek and Macedonian fighters would dance arm in arm; sometimes "Eleno Mome," other times "Sirto" and later sing Macedonian and then Greek songs and joke. Even in these moments Gjoro was not found wanting and played the main role.

During operations in the difficult moments, Gjoro encouraged the fighters with his optimism and was an endless source of bravery and endurance, of fighting spirit.

In the face of Gjoro and the other brave and outstanding Macedonian fighters, the fighters of DAG from southern Greece recognized the heroic traditions of the Macedonian people. In the flame of general battle indestructible bonds and a great respect were formed between the Macedonian and Greek fighters. And Gjoro with his example was one of the first workers creating those brotherly relationships.

He was promoted to the rank of major because of his military capabilities. As a major he took part in the battle on Bikovik - Vich in November 1948. He fought bravely as always and died a hero.

Gjoro became a hero in the struggle of the Macedonian and Greek people for their liberation and he remains forever a sacred example of a military fighter in the memories of all of his military comrades - Macedonians and Greeks.

V Venetsanopulos


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters