Mijale Kljanev was born in 1907 in the progressive and revolutionary
Lerin village of Patele. The progressiveness and revolutionary spirit
of Patele dates from olden times. From the time of the birth of the
battle for national education about the struggle, Archimandrit Panaret
Mishajkov, from the village of Patele, was one of the passionate fighters
for Slavic education and culture in Macedonia. Patele was among the
first villages in Lerin where a VMRO committee was formed, and its brave
son, Dine Abdurmanov, was one of the first chetniks in the area, who
in 1902 died heroically in his own village together with the legendary
commander Marko Lerinski fighting for the liberation of Macedonia from
the Turkish yoke. Mijale was the son of Aleksandar Kljanev, an Ilinden
The national liberation traditions of Patele are closely tied to the
modern revolutionary movement of the Greek and Macedonian people for
democracy and socialism under the direction of CPG. Patele again was
the first Macedonian village in Lerin where as early as 1924 a healthy
party organization of CPG was formed, which played a decisive role in
spreading the communist ideology in the Lerin region. Patele is a good
host for the creation of revolutionary fighters. In one such environment
Mijale grew and developed.
From a young age he was sensitive to the double slavery under which
the Macedonian people lived - he was disgusted by the barbaric forces
of the Greek government, which banned the Macedonians from speaking
their own mother tongue, banned them from identifying themselves as
Macedonians. But at the same time he could see that, in Patele, with
a population comprised entirely of Macedonians, not all were the same.
Some were rich - a very small number - while others, the much greater
number, were poor. Mijale's family was very poor. His father died when
Mijale was very young. He could not afford to go to school and was compelled
from a young age to throw himself into the battle to earn a crust. He
worked as a cleaner in other people's homes, a fisherman, and later
as a labourer-stone worker.
Mijale did not go to school, did not sit at a pupil's desk, but studied
in the school of life; he was educated by CPG whose member he was from
1928. He grew more mature each day, always learning something new. He
saw that not only the Macedonian workers but also the Greek workers
lived the same hard life, because they too carried the same burden as
he did, they too were poor.
The revolutionary traditions of his own village, his hard working life
and the education he received from CPG helped Mijale to become an outstanding
patriot and passionate partisan, an internationalist. Mijale was remote
from every kind of nationalism and chauvinism. He treated as brothers
all of the democratic and patriotic Greeks and was a peerless fighter
against the faction in the Macedonian liberation movement which divided
people along the lines of nationality. He was hard as granite, like
the rocks he dug up, against the enemies of the people and the Party.
But he had a humane and passionate heart and was full of love for the
people. He spoke softly, quietly, persuasively. He was totally committed
to the people and the Party. There was no life for him outside the Party.
Thanks to those qualities he grew into one of the best Macedonian cadres
of CPG in Lerin.
In 1932 Mijale became secretary of the Surovichko regional committee
of CPG. His activity was tireless and extensive. Despite the terrible
terror that was surrounding the villages, he formed party organizations
and spread the policies of the CPG into the Macedonian as well as the
Greek villages of Surovichko. All of the progressive people in Surovichko
- Macedonians and Greeks - respected him and praised him. In the month
of July 1932 he participated in a board advising cadres of CPG in Macedonia.
But leaving the meeting, he was betrayed and arrested. He was imprisoned
for five months in the Lerin prison.
In March 1933 he participated actively in the pre-election campaign,
before the elections for the people's representatives. In July 1934
he participated as the delegate from Lerin to the Greek Anti fascist
Congress in Athens.
All of that activity was closely followed by the local reactionaries
and police. They were waiting for a suitable time to deal with the brave
people's fighter. In March 1935, during the days of the Venizelos fascist
coup after a local provocation by the local reactionaries and police,
Mijale was arrested together with four of his friends. All of them were
removed to brutal exile in the Surovichko police cells and from there
to the military prison in Larisa. Mijale lay imprisoned for six months
in Larisa, then for six months in the Dramski prison, and a full four
years in the Egina concentration camp. And from Egina he was sent to
exile on the barren little island Gavdos, close to Crete.
Mijale's life in the prison was exemplary. One of his comrades, a Greek,
expressed himself as follows in his memoirs -
"In our beautiful collective, in the Larisa prison, the name of Mijale
Kljanev, the avant-garde fighter from the historical village of Patele,
will remain impressive as though written with the most beautiful ever
lasting script, and beloved by us, we who lived together with him there.
We saw his faith and his qualities and we tied ourselves to his honourable
recollection of the prison and exile. An activist of the Party outside
and a driving force in his own village, he rose up and became one of
the most active founders of the collective. He was a proud defender
of unity and discipline and set an example in all of the sectors of
the collective life. He valued political education particularly and
he wanted to pass it on to all
when we met again in the Egina
prison, Mijale was again an exemplary prisoner in every way."
And the comrades he lived with in the island Gavdos spoke with the
highest praise about Mijale. He was always happy and worked day and
night for the collective. He was an outstanding gardener and there,
on that barren and stony island where nothing would grow, he managed
to grow tomatoes, capsicums and other vegetables that the exiled men
could eat during those difficult years.
In Gavdos he was upset by the German occupation. But from 1941 Mijale
managed to escape and get over to Crete, where, under the pseudonym
Mavridis, along with the heroic people of Crete, he fought for four
years in the ranks of ELAS for the liberation of Greece from the Nazi
occupation. In a battle that took place there his hand was badly wounded.
Mijale's family knew nothing of him, whether he was alive or dead. It
was the same with his friends. Most thought he was dead. And totally
unexpectedly, one February day in 1945 after 10 years, Mijale returned
to his own village, to his own family. But he was only with his family
for one day. The next day he went to the Lerin Regional Committee of
CPG and threw himself again into the battle.
In 1946 he was again arrested and thrown into the Lerin prison. From
there he was taken to the Solun prison and later to the hell of Makronisos.
Five to ten days went by and Mijale did not return from Makronisos.
This time he did not return to his nearest, to his own people. They
"Where is he? What happened to Mijale. Is he alive, will he return?"
But he did not return this time.
"One day, in 1949, they took him from us," wrote the author Kostas
Anafiotis, "and we did not see him again. They took him to convey him
to Crete to face some kind of "charge". He left us smiling and saying
good bye, relaxed, even though we all felt - and he himself knew this
- that taking him to that dark climate in those dark days of the Civil
War, meant a thousand unknown dangers for him. We shook his hand with
dark foreboding that we would soon hear bad news about him. And our
hearts did not deceive us. One day the dreadful news reached us: Mijale
Kljanev is no longer among the living. He was killed, gangster style,
while taken from one police holding cell to another, without any court
conviction, without any proper law. By the law of the jungle. He escaped
the living hell of Makronisos but did not escape death... Dark years,
filled with hatred and bloodletting. May they never be forgotten and
may they never return. May the blood of Mijale Kljanev, the blood of
thousands of brothers, nourish the tree of forgiveness, love and peace
for our tortured homeland. Not a different hatred; not another war.
Mijale's life was rich with revolutionary activity, activity for democracy
and socialism on our side. He met all the hardships and storms with
his head held high, and it was with real heroism that he endured all
the interrogations he was subjected to.
Mijale Kljanev lived for 42 years. But half of his life, 21 years,
the best years of his youth, his hard working years, he spent without
rest, without reservation for the party, for the people, for a happy
and carefree life for the Macedonian and Greek people. It is with full
justification that the Patele villagers were proud of him and that all
Macedonian people are proud of their dignified son and his exemplary
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters