Kocho Robev was born in Banica, Lerin region in 1915. His parents -
Trifon and aunt Sirma were poor people, farm labourers their whole lives.
Trifon from his young years until he was old was a migrant worker overseas
and died there. Kocho's four sisters did farm work until they were married.
Kocho and his older brother were servants from a young age and from
the age of 14 worked in the Banica and other nearby mines.
It was also from a young age that he set off on the difficult path
of a revolutionary. He was sympathetic to the workers' movement and
its avant-garde - the Communist Party of Greece. From 1932 he was a
member of the organization of Worker Assistance (Ergatiki Voitia) and
in 1933-4 he took active part in the movement for the formation of an
organization of miners. In the same years, he took part in the strikes
and other actions of the miners. Kocho was an intelligent and courageous
man. Despite his youthful age, his thoughts on professional issues were
listened to even by the older workers.
The police took note of all that and Kocho was noted with a red pencil
in the books of the state security.
In 1936 Kocho served as a soldier in Gr Lerin. At Easter he was in
the village on leave and was celebrating in the village square with
his friends. After a pre-arranged provocation by the police and the
commander of the border units, there was a conflict between the Banica
villagers and the soldiers that ended in a fight. The aim of the provocation
was to give a reason to hit the democratic movement in the village of
Banica, which at that time was quite well developed.
Even though Kocho was wearing a uniform with sergeant's stripes, he
took the part of the villagers and did not obey the orders of the commander.
For that reason he was demoted and four Banica villagers were sent into
exile on the islands of Ai-Stratis and Folegandros.
On 29 Ocotber 1940 one day after the declaration of the Italian-Greek
war, Kocho along with about 20 Banica villagers was sent into exile
on the island of Hios. Hundreds of Macedonian patriots from Lerin, Kostur,
Kajlarsko, Voden and other places were sent into exile on the Pelopponese
and the Aegean Islands. The fascist rulers of Metaxas were afraid of
the democratic forces and watned to hold them far from the front. That
is why it kept the communists in the prisons and islands, despite that
they wanted to go and fight on the front against Mussolini's fascist
In the month of May 1941 the Banica villagers returned from exile.
Macedonians also returned from other areas. The situation was hard and
things were bad. The politics of the Greek reactionary and fascists
forces, which among other things had the aim of creating hatred between
the Greek and Macedonian people, the politics of 'divide and conquer',
managed to succeed to some extent. At that critical time when the Greeks
and the Macedonians should have been united in battle against the occupier,
there appeared in some Macedonians a hesitation, indecisivenenss and
even pulling back. Those Macedonians who were helping the Greek rulers
were used by the foreign demagogues for propaganda with the aim of splitting
the Greek and Macedonian people, in opposition to the people's liberation
movement. However as a result of the correct politics of the CPG in
the Macedonian issue for full and equal ethnic rights of the Macedonian
people, the situation began to improve. Hundreds of communists - Greeks
and Macedonians - managed to escape the prisons and islands and got
close to the people. As a result of the tireless work of Trpovski and
other party cadres the old party organizations were reorganized and
new ones were formed, most in the Macedonian villages.
Kocho Robev quickly orientated himself and set off on the correct
path. In 1942 he became a member of the CPG and carried out a lot of
work in the organizing of his neighbours in the ranks of EAM. With his
authority and influence among the workers he helped to spread the politics
of the CPG. However he was now being followed by the local reactionary
forces and was handed over to the Gestapo. On 18 January 1944 he was
arrested along with Lazo Lochev and was taken to the Solun camp, "Pavlos
Melas". During those same days hundreds of Macedonians were arrested
from the villages of Chegan, Papdija, Krushoradi, Setina, Voshtaerni
and taken to the camps " Pavlos Melas", "Domokos"
After some months Kocho was released. He then worked as an illegal
activist of the party. He was a member of the Banica regional committee
of the CPG where he developed a significant activist record.
In 1946 Kocho was a 30-year-old man and politically mature. Thanks
to his limitless faith in the party and the people's work, he was elected
a member of the Lerin town committee of the CPG. And in this post Kocho
showed himself to be committed to his trust in the party. He criss-crossed
all of the villages and mountains near Lerin from Prekopana to Papadija,
from Prespa to Patele; his work was exemplary in spreading the party
line, in eliminating all divisive propaganda and actions, in the general
struggle of the Greek people, as the only guarantee for the national
and social liberation of the Macedonian people.
Kocho did not know what fear or exhaustion were. With decisiveness
and fearlessness he completed all of his missions, he wanted everyone
everywhere to learn the politics of the party, for the authority of
the party to grow in every village. Meeting his obligation to the party
and the people with passion and revolutionary enthusiasm, Kocho was
killed in the village of Popozheni, Lerin region.
The monarcho-fascist forces acted brutally toward the corpse of the
fearless people's fighter. Tied to the back of a truck they dragged
it all the way from Popozheni to Lerin and along all of the main roads
of the town. But their brutality backfired on them. Their brutal action
fired the people's fury at the fascist regime, and strengthened the
people's determination to fight until victory for democracy and peace.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters