Lazo Trpovski was born in 1901 in the village D'mbeni, Kostur region,
in the heroic and revolutionary village of the legendary Macedonian
fighters Lazar Moschov and Lazar P. Trajkov. His parents were impoverished
rural workers and he, from childhood, was aware of the difficulties
of such a life and the sufferings and the brutal struggle in the fields
to make a living. He felt the double oppression of the Macedonian people
- national and social - and from a very young age he studied the sacred
revolutionary traditions of the Macedonian people, in the spirit of
love for his birthplace and a hatred for tyranny.
In the village, Lazo was closely acquainted with poverty and the miserable
life of the villager, while in the distant foreign land, Canada, where
he had been given the opportunity to go, he saw close up the life of
the worker who works day and night but is still hungry. It was in Canada
that he saw the struggle of the worker, with the strikes and demonstrations
against the capitalist exploiters. He got to know progressive workers,
leaders of the workers' movement and quickly adapted himself and became
a member of the Communist party.
From then a new life began for Trpovski. He undertook an active role
in the struggle for the rights of the workers, in organising and leadership
roles. He would explain to the workers that only with the destruction
of the capitalist regime, with the overthrow of the government by the
proletariat would the workers be liberated, and he led them toward achieving
that goal. It was here, among workers from different countries, that
Trpovski was trained in the spirit of the proletariat internationalism.
Persecuted by the law enforcement agencies of Canada for his activities,
Trpovski found refuge and welcome in the Soviet Union. There, in the
Great country of socialism, he became closely acquainted with the life
of soviet people, who, filled with optimism and faith in their happy
future, showed him their new and splendid way of life.
There Trpovski became better acquainted with the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary
theory and, filled with faith in the victory of the workers' struggle,
he returned to his homeland in 1934. After his return home, Lazo gave
himself over completely to the Greek Communist Party and worked as an
activist in its ranks to the end of his life. Under the pseudonym "Blackman"
he ranged across western Macedonia and developed brave but underground
operations against the Metaxas fascist tyranny and the capitalist slavery,
working toward the victory of democracy and socialism for national equality
of the Macedonian people.
Lazo was particularly expert at disguising his underground operations
under the cover of some legitimate activity. In the time of the fascist
dictatorship of Metaxas, as in the time of the Nazi occupation, he entered
unfamiliar villages presenting himself at different times as a relative,
a friend or a trader.
Trpovski was a modest, brave and decisive national fighter. However,
the most significant trait of his character was his limitless faith
and dedication to the CPG, in the people from whom he took great strength
for the difficult and brutal struggle.
One old communist, a comrade of Lazo's, expressed his recollections
about Lazo: "What I recall that was most characteristic about the way
Lazo Trpovski approached the struggle was his boundless enthusiasm.
Even in the prisons of Akronafilija you could see in his face his enthusiasm
and faith in the struggle."
Because of his strong record of revolutionary activism, Lazo was pursued
by the monarcho-fascist forces of Metaxas and was arrested in 1939.
In the Kostur prison, where he was first thrown, he was put on a brutal
torturing device but the brave communist did not give in. Before the
special regional commission for the persecution of communists, before
the torturer of the people, Tsaktsiras, Trpovski exposed the anti-national,
anti-peoples politics of the monarcho-fascists and bravely defended
the politics of the CPG and the rights of the Macedonian people.
In the prisons of Akronafilija, where Trpovski was exiled, he made
an effort to complete his Marxist preparation, to organise his thinking
for future struggles.
In 1941 Trpovski was again among the people. He had become a member
of the executive committee of the CPG in the Macedonian region and worked
in Western Macedonia among Macedonians and Greeks. He worked with fervent
enthusiasm in the struggle against the Nazi occupation and was active
as an organiser. He would go on foot from town to town, from village
to village, throughout western Macedonia, so that he could re-establish
the former party branches, form new ones and mobilise the people in
EAM, in the struggle against the Nazi fascism and his local collaborators.
He was always among the people, among the partisans of ELAS and became
a leading and beloved fighter leader and comrade of the Greeks and Macedonians
in western Macedonia. Trpovski's name is closely tied with the first
partisan ranks in western Macedonia, with the establishment of a free
territory in Voion-Grevena, with the massive participation of the Greek
and Macedonian populations of western Macedonian in the peoples struggle
Trained in the spirit of patriotism and proletarian internationalism
he was involved in a decisive struggle against all kinds of chauvinistic
and national matters arising in the Macedonian movement, whatever the
source. With party fervour he fought against the Greater Bulgarian chauvinist
propaganda and operations, against all the foreign propaganda that surged
in Macedonia during the time of the Nazi occupation. He explained to
the Macedonians about the danger of all of these appeals and propaganda,
which would not bring anything good to the people, but rather would
only bring harm and fragmentation to the national people's movement.
He informed the people about the need for, and meaning of, a united
battle with the Greek comrades. His aim was to ensure the effective
united struggle of the two peoples because that was the correct path,
the path to complete freedom, to national and social freedom for the
Macedonians. Lazo said to the Macedonians: "As our enemies are many,
so our battle alongside the Greeks is great; if we fight together, we
will achieve freedom together."
Lazo Trpovski became a communist, he was a brave fighter who entered
the ranks of the working class and the workers revolutionary movement.
Under the influence of the Canadian communist party, under the influence
of Lenin's famous party, of the great Soviet Union which he loved with
all his heart, he returned to his homeland and tied his life to the
activities of the CPG.
This valued son of our people dedicated his life to the achievement
of the ideals of the CPG, for freedom, democracy and peace in Greece,
for the national and social equality of the Macedonians. Lazo Trpovski
was killed by Nazi agents in April 1943 near the village of Imera in
the Kozhani region. He fell with the brave Kerasidis and seven other
activists of CPG.
The death of Lazo Trpovski was a heavy loss for the party and the national
liberation movement, a big loss for the Macedonians, all working people
of Greece in the struggle against fascism. The face of the Macedonian
national hero, Lazo Trpovski shines as one of the thousands of sacrifices
of CPG in the struggle against fascism.
The people of the towns and villages sing songs about him and his name
is spoken with great affection by young and old; he inspired bravery
and faith in new struggles for democracy, peace and progress.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
Return to Index
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters