THE FORMATION OF SNOF

With the formation of SNOF (Slavo Macedonian National Liberation Front) in October 1943, a committee was elected to lead the organization. A secretary of the Lerin area, Kiril Pilaev was elected, and as organizing secretary Gjorgi Turundzhiev, both from the village of Ekshi Su, with Stavre Kochopulos from the village of Banitsa.

Kiril Pilaev

Unfortunately, this organization existed for only a short time. It did not appeal to the Greek chauvinists who from the start felt the danger of the existence of SNOF for the future of the Greek nation. They saw that in a short time, SNOF managed to persuade the Macedonian patriots to massive participation in the battles against the common enemy of Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. After forceful demands from the Greek chauvinist forces that had penetrated the leadership of the Greek Communist Party, KPG, it was resolved to disband SNOF. This was at the joint Regional conference.

The main leadership of KPG decided that in the village Bel Kamen, in the second half of the month of February 1944, to hold one of the largest conferences. The location of the village enabled the conference to be held there. About 250 delegates attended from all of the villages of the Lerin region and the town of Lerin. At this conference there were delegates of EAM, from the youth organization and the representatives of the armed forces of ELAS. The discussion at the start of the conference was about the actions to date by ELAS against the occupying forces of Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. They also discussed the meaning of SNOF and EAM, with only one difference and that was the script. SNOF was written about in Macedonian and EAM in Greek.

To hold such a large conference secretly was hard and it was hard for the German occupier not to find out. The Germans found out about the conference and sent military forces to eliminate the partisan forces which were securing the conference and its delegates.

After heated battles the German forces managed to enter the village but only after the delegates had left it. Remaining in the village was just one old disabled woman with her goat. The Germans demanded that she hand over her goat but when she would not, they killed her. They killed an old woman over a goat and annoyed over their failure in relation to the conference, they set fire to the village and half of it burned down while the other half was left because it was settled by Vlachs who were cooperating with the German occupiers.

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