Crnakov Ilija (Lazaridi)
Ilija Crnakov was born in the village of Patele, Lerin region in 1909.
From a young age he began to work as a black smith in Surovichko. In
1932 he became a member of the CPG.
Ilija had a very good character; he was modest, clever and well regarded
by the population in Surovichko.
From 1934-39 in the most difficult years of the Metaxas dictatorship
Ilija's steel works was the cell of the regional committee of the CPG
in the Surovichko area. From there he gave out copies of "Rizospastis"
and the other party publications and from there it made its way to the
surrounding villages. Various letters and notes passed through his workshop
of the regional CPG committee from Lerin to the party organizations
in the villages. Through his workshop also went the party instructors
not just for Lerin and Surovichko but also for Kostur, Kajlarsko, Kozhansko
and Grevena. All of this work was done by Ilija with careful attention
to secrecy. Because of his revolutionary activity, at the time of the
Metaxas regime he was arrested and put to brutal torture.
In the time of the German occupation Ilija, educated in the spirit
of patriotism and the proletariat internationalism, led a fight against
the German occupiers, against the chauvinistic propaganda of the Greater
Bulgarian fascists and because of his actions, and the actions of his
comrades, not a single soul from Patele or Surovichko took a rifle to
fight for Kalchev. In 1943 he was forced to undertake his activities
illegally and worked as a member of the regional committee of EAM in
Surovichko. There he was exemplary against those seeking to divide the
brotherhood and unity of the Greek and Macedonian population and to
protect the correct line of the CPG for the equal national rights of
After the Varkiza agreement Ilija worked as a party instructor, for
EAM, at the start legally and after 1946, illegally in Surovichko.
He worked wherever the party put him - in the political organizations,
in DAG, and in other services of the people's movement. In March 1948
in Klisura, Kostur region in the battle of the 18th brigade he was killed
while fighting heroically.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters