Trajchev Stojan (Stefo)

He was born in the village of Nevoljani, Lerin region. He took part in the democratic movement on our side from a young age and in 1941 he became a member of the CPG. He developed an active revolutionary record in his village and because of that he was followed and persecuted by the occupying forces.

In 1943 he was forced to leave his village, to separate from his family, to give himself to the national liberation struggle, to liberate our side from the German fascist occupiers.

At the start he worked as a member of the Balkan regional committee of the CPG and later as the first secretary of the same committee with the pseudonym "Stefo". In this important and demanding post Stojan was responsible for carrying out missions for the liberation movement.

He was filled with faith that the people would ultimately win and criss-crossed the region from Cherovo to Asanovo village, from Papadija to Petoraci, establishing new party organizations, spreading the party line, teaching the population - Macedonian and Greek about the battles against the occupier.

And covering that region was not an easy matter. He had to get through the roads of Lerin-Solun. Lerin-Kozhani, over the railway lines, bridges and crossings, over many unfamiliar villages where he did not know anyone, where there were no party organizations, where in those dark years at any moment you could meet an enemy ready to betray you to the occupying forces, so that you would be shot.

In all of these hardships Stefo fought bravely and thanks to his self sacrifice, he prevailed. There was, for him, one other hardship. He was an illiterate man and for the first time he was obliged to speak before 10-15 or more people. And not just to speak but to persuasively put the party line, to defend the party line and to prepare the population for a battle, which was not expected by most of the people.

Stefo overcame this difficulty too, thanks to self education, the help of his comrades and fellow workers, his unending love for the CPG, and the goals that he contributed to - not just because he was dedicated to it, but also because he adopted the party's line and policy.

Stefo became an effective agitator. He spoke simply and persuasively.

One night, I remember it like it was now, after a party meeting in a mill near the village of Krushoradi, kneeling among about 10 villagers from that village, he spoke, he informed the villagers in a way that the most exacting teacher would envy. He spoke so well that all of those present listened to him with undivided attention.

* * *

In 1943 the whole Banichki region was liberated or under the control of the ELAS units. Prespa, Karadzhova and Vich too. The occupying forces in Lerin and Voden were not in a position to act against the partisan units on their own. So, during the night of 16 January 1944 one Bulgarian fascist division transferred from Bitola to Prespa, the Lerin plain, then to Kajmachkalan.

The Bulgarian fascists' army under the command of the German Gestapo in Lerin made a brutal attack on the peaceful population. They torched whole villages and plundered them, they arrested and shot patriots and carried out horrible brutal acts. In those dark days, in the village of Voshtareni, Stefo was arrested. At once he was taken to the Lerin based Gestapo and was subjected to indescribable torture day and night.

But they could not break the man who had endured many hardships, a man who was dedicated to the party. After a few days he was taken to Solun to the polyclinic in Vaena that was taken over for the purpose of torturing fighters of the struggle. And there Stefo was brutally tortured and in the summer of 1944 - it is not known on what day - he died as a result of the non-stop brutal torture.

He died for the party, for the people.

S Kochev


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

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters