THE FIRST AFZ CONGRESS

The first AFZ congress (Anti-fascist front of women) was held on 29 April 1948 on the mountain near the village Trnaa. 420 women delegates from all parts of Aegean Macedonia took part in the congress and guests from the People's Republic Macedonia were invited but could not attend.

Evdokija Nikolova-Vera, the secretary of the AFZ for Aegean Macedonia, provided a report about the work that had been undertaken to that date.

Ioannis Ioanidis himself selected the place where the congress was held and he was present as a delegate and member of CK of KPG and on the directive of the secretary of CK of KPG, Nikos Zaharijadis.

The day before the start of the congress Ioanidis managed to persuade Vera along with the other women delegates that they should join the fighting ranks of DAG after the end of the congress.

Ioanidis persuaded Vera on 28 April but on 29 April, while the congress was being held, Vera understood the malice intended by Ioanidis and his ultimate aim and she withdrew. She no longer wanted to join the ranks of DAG with the other delegates. Tane Lazar Naumov, the secretary of the NOF Lerin region was also present.

As well as Ioanidis, Poriforigenis also attended. At that time, he was the minister for justice in the temporary government of KPG.

Although delegates from the People's Republic of Macedonia were invited, these delegates did not manage to participate in the work of the First congress of AFZ because that was the aim of Ioanidis. The delegates from Skopje were forced to travel via the People's Republic of Albania instead of crossing the border directly from Macedonia to free Prespa. Without good reason, the delegates were held at the Albanian border. They were held until the congress ended and then they were released to free Prespa.

Had Vera not withdrawn at the last moment and all the women delegates had gone with Ioanidis after the congress to the DAG ranks then AFZ would have suffered a huge and catastrophic blow to its structure.

The Minister for justice, Poriforigenis, in his speech to the delegates tried in every way to persuade the women with Vera at their head to voluntarily join DAG. Poriforigenis with the knowledge of the general secretary of KPG Zaharijadis surely wanted to use these not strong women to free the Peloponnese and all of old Greece. Ioanidis and Poriforigenis did not achieve their malicious aim. They called the congress of AFZ with that aim - to mobilize the women delegates.

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Lerin in Mourning
 















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