Stavridi Pavle

On 30 August 1937 the bloody fascist dictatorship of Gligsburg-Metaxas freshened the prison camp of Akronafilija with the blood of one unforgettable son of the Macedonian people - of the communist Pavle Stavridi.

Pavle's life was short and ordinary but sufficient to leave his influence on the general struggle of the Greek and Macedonian people against social enslavement and national oppression.

Pavle Stavridi was born in 1915 in the village of Lageni, Lerin region, a son of Macedonian villagers. He completed his primary schooling in his village and continued his education in the Lerin teacher's college, which he completed in 1934. While still a student he joined the ranks of OKNE where he worked actively. As a result of his revolutionary operations he was arrested many times by state security and this put many obstacles in his way to becoming a teacher. He is compelled to return to his village and to work the small fields owned by his father. But he did not resile from the struggle. In the village he was beloved by the progressive youth. He organized, led and educated the youth.

Apart from his revolutionary activities in the village he did not forget his aim: to work in his profession, so that he could more easily and more faithfully fight for the social liberation of Greece from the bourgeois feudal traps, to lead to the national liberation of the Macedonian people. And he won. In 1935 he managed to become a teacher in the village Klabuchishta, Lerin region. But even here they do not leave him in peace. A new odyssey began for the young teacher. They transfered him from village to village. But this life increased his desire for the struggle, it armed him in an even greater faith in the struggle, it made him a mature revolutionary armed with theory and practice. Finally, during the dictatorship of Gligsburg-Metaxas, he ended up on the path to exile with hundreds of other Greeks and Macedonian people's fighters.

After some months, Maniadakis - the Minister for Internal Security at the time - said he was dangerous and took him from the Cyclades islands and sent him to the hard labour camps of Akronafplija, where he was interned with about 500 communists. The young Macedonian teacher continued to build his revolutionary character and readiness and continued the struggle even while inside the camp. He was among the first to organize and run schools for the illiterate and became the beloved teacher of Greek and Macedonian illiterate fighters. He was Veniamin of the Macedonian "colony" in the camp, which loved him and respected him as a fully matured revolutionary.

On 30 August 1937 at night, the executioners of Maniadakis organized an attack on the camp. One heart stopped beating- the passionate heart of a dignified son of the Maceodnian people - Pavle Stavridi.

With the death of the Macedonian hero the unity between the Greeks and Macedonians became stronger and we saw it in the epic story of EAM and DAG, in Gramos and Vich, to do miracles out of heroism and self sacrifice and which continued and will continue for the triumph of ideals for which Pavle Stavridis gave his life.

Out of respect for the dignified fighter who died there, the collective on Akronafplija named dormitory B in the camp "Talamos Stavridi."

The poet prisoner N Papaperiklis farewelled him with the following inspiring verses:

You were felled by a bullet bringing evil
And when the sun was in the east
In the full bloom of your youth
It shone on fast flowing rivers.
Your face burst into a smile.

The battle receded. To you
A grammar, verses
Beloved songs, two-three books…
In a current the still-warm blood
Meditated on holy Akronafplija.

And here are your students
They step slowly and silently
With their book, pencil and paper:
"Where is our teacher?"
Their faces search.

Macedonian mountains, wondrous
panoramas, military hiding places
Your broad winged eagle
Will not be near you any more.

He fell in a terrible battle.
Above him thick grasses grow
The people's river waits
For a day to come with songs
Of the battle march to take him.

Shed tears for the hero
And if it pains you
Sharpen your ears - in countless hearts
His heart beats
And smoothes the path and leads.

T Pejkov


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters