Romev Peco

Even in the smallest group of the 18th brigade of DAG, the name of Peco was well known. The fighters had lived close to each other during the most difficult moments of battle. They were proud of him because he was an excellent shooter and commander of the group, a leading commander, a company commander. They always followed him even in the harshest battles on Vich and Sinjachko and later they would go out with him, stronger and more intent. And because of his fighting prowess, his heroism in battle as a fighter and responsible officer of DAG, Peco became a battalion commander. The fighters regarded him as a dedicated friend and fighting comrade; he was their beloved commander with a brave and passionate heart that knew how to respect others.

Every battle, every operation of the 18th brigade was tied to the strength and military experience of Peco. His modesty was apparent and he was embarrassed by praise heaped on him by his comrades.

Battle was not for him just a component of his mission as a commander, which had to be led and completed; he lived with the whole power of his soul. All of his activism was expressed in the fire of battle, all of his revolutionary passion. He distinguished himself with his capability during battle, which he followed to the smallest detail, ready to apply himself decisively where he was needed; and that feature was one that even the most senior officer would envy.

The exemplary battles of his battalion in Negush, in Sinjachko in 1948, in Kula-Plati on Vich in 1949, manouvres of his battalion from Vich to Gramos, these were the most dangerous missions, which he completed successfully.

He set off on a hard and difficlt path. The path of honesty and liberation, because that is what he wanted for his life. A child in the harsh battle for a crust to eat, he felt the burden from a young age of brutal exploitation and the truncheon of the gendarmes, the persecution and put-downs of our enslaved people. Working hard with his father in his village of Gornichovo as a sherpherd and in the barren fields, where they could not even make enough to feed the family for a year.

Taught in the best traditions of the renowned Ilinden and our Party, living the whole tragedy of our people, he dreamt one day of a liberated fatherland, of work and peaceful effort, a people's homeland where both peoples, the Greek and the Macedonians, could be happy and sing.

* * *

Dawn, 25 August 1949. The machine guns had just cooled from the previous day's battle; they were starting the loud shooting again. The slopes of Gramos seemed to tighten the heart as they were drowned by fire and steel.

A frightening pressure was being applied to Peco's battalion, which was defending the left flanks of Arina, as though all the American military material was being unloaded at that spot. Every enemy effort was drowned in blood.

During the evening hours when darkness forced the battle to wind down Peco and his commissar Mihalakis Roidis did not return to our camp. They died loyal to the people and the homeland.
The night was very dark. Our bitterness was very great.

V Shamanovski


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters