Tomo Slavkov was born in 1920 in the town of Gumendzha. In the pretty
town that was her birthplace, with plentiful waters and beautiful gardens,
with the old brick houses and crooked streets - characteristic of older
provincial towns - he completed his primary school and passed his young
years digging in the fields and vines of the landowners. He was tall
with broad shoulders, big dark eyes that had a sweet expressiveness;
he was fine boned, modest and quiet. Working in fields owned by others
he felt exploitation weighing on him, and he forged himself as a fighter
for social rights of the people from a very young age. He was one of
those youths who took part in the battle from the beginning of the Nazi
occupation. He organized himself into EPON and worked tirelessly going
from village to village, from house to house to organise the youth.
After that he joined the ranks of ELAS and took part in numerous battles.
He distinguished himself with his bravery and decisiveness in the great
battle at Kukush in 1944. In December 1944 with the 30th regiment of
ELAS Tomo cut across almost the whole length of mainland Greece to defend
the seat, embattled Athens, from the English imperialists.
More difficult years came. The neo-fascist forces began to imprison,
persecute and kill on the street those fighters who took part in the
national liberation struggle. The whole land was being controlled by
various armed bands of people who, for the most part, were cooperating
with the occupier.
The fearless fighters to save themselves set off along old paths,
along the places where they had fought against the German fascist hordes.
Tomo Slavkov was among the first. In 1946 in Pajak the first partisan
groups were formed so that the people could defend themselves from attacks
by the irregular troops. The partisan detachments on Pajak cleaned up
the villages from the terrorist bands.
At the end of 1946 after a strong wind and ice, after a frightening
storm, the partisan groups set off from Pajak. It was only with faith
that the battle was ideologically correct and dedication to the high
minded ideals of the party that these young people from the northernmost
parts of the country could beat the frightening hardships of this "march"
- walking hundreds of kilometres along frozen rivers and valleys, along
high barren peaks of Pind, Papingo and Dzhumerka and after a few months,
exhausted from the battle and hunger, arriving at the southernmost part
of mainland Greece. In February 1947 Tomo and his friends from Pajak
met with the partisan units from Western Roumelia. Along the whole road
of his heroic march, the dedicated fighter showed a high moral stamina
and self possession that only the true people's fighters have. Even
though he was ill, he never once left the front line. His qualities
as a communist fighter, a person who has no higher ideal in life than
to serve with all his might for the work of the Party, could be seen
during the most difficult moments of the battle. Tomo in 1948 participated
in the detachments securing the headquarters of DAG.
In March 1949 the young Gumendzhija villager was among the students
of the officer school at the Headquarters of DAG. He applied all of
his powers to gain military experience and to become a real commander
of the people's army, dignified in the trust that the Party showed him.
As well as everyday lessons he, together with the other students of
the school, took part in many battles and he did so with the same élan,
with the same bravery and decisiveness.
In the great battles of 1949 in the summer morning of 11 August when
the sun's rays had not yet caressed the burned pine trees and the destroyed
clay cliffs, when the blackened faces of the heroic defenders of Lisec
were for the 10th time pushing back the offensive by the enemy, one
fighter called with a trembling voice: "Our comrade, the commander,
died." Under a fire of bullets the political commissioner jumped
up to the place from where the voice came and threw himself with his
heavy body on the fallen hero. There lay the commander Tomor Slavkov
riddled with bullet holes made by enemy bullets.
The passionate heart of the fighter who so much loved life stopped
in the middle of the battle, leaving as advice for his comrades that
they should not withdraw from the battle until eventual victory by the
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters