"Why are you crying for your plaits? So what if they cut them? They
will grow again. They cannot cut your strength, which they can see.
Not being able to do anything else, they take out their anger on your
hair, your nails. Let them cut; let them pull out your hair. Do you
see Marija? Every day she gave her blood. Katina is being melted by
a high temperature and when they come, they say: "Make a declaration
so that we can take you to hospital." But the girls cut them off with
one look. That is how we conduct ourselves here; that is how we fight.
Head high. Do not be afraid of them and not of death. Let's sing a Macedonian
song from our village. It softens the pain; it makes us forget hunger
and the cold in the prison."
And that is how Gia Pilaeva's song started - Gija from the village
of Ekshisovo, Lerin region. She spoke like that to the fighter women
who were newly arrived to the prison, to encourage them.
"We, sisters, will sing our song and for them, that song is death.
When they prosecuted me, they were waiting for me to burst into tears
and to beg them to release me. But they did not hear that from me, and
they did not hear it from any of the fighters
They asked me "Hey, did you take bread to the partisans?" "
Yes I did." I answered them because I have children.
"Why are you spreading propaganda?"
"I am not spreading propaganda," I said, "I am telling the truth."
Following that I was sentenced to seven years in jail. But I was not
afraid. "You," I said to them, "cannot take my years. Someone else will
do that account."
I remember that in 1945 a group of women had gone to protest to the
government because the hiti [a local Macedonian name for the members
of the right wing military group X ("Khi")] from Surovichko had arrived
and were beating Ilija Valjagata. The brigadier shook with anger but
he could not detain us. When we left he sent the hiti to capture us.
Gija hid her pain and told about 1941 when she joined the party. She
worked illegally as an informant, for the illegal cadres that she was
One day just as she started her song she choked and stopped. She tried
to smile and said, "I do not know, today I don't feel well, but it will
pass. Will you sing and it will pass
Gija Pilaeva fought that way in the prison for three years. She gave
her all and died in Gedi-Kule. She died from the torture and hardships
in February 1950. She died to bring Liberation a bit closer.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters