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.
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.
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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.
Lerin in Mourning