Slavkov Tomo

Tomo Slavkov was born in 1920 in the town of Gumendzha. In the pretty town that was her birthplace, with plentiful waters and beautiful gardens, with the old brick houses and crooked streets - characteristic of older provincial towns - he completed his primary school and passed his young years digging in the fields and vines of the landowners. He was tall with broad shoulders, big dark eyes that had a sweet expressiveness; he was fine boned, modest and quiet. Working in fields owned by others he felt exploitation weighing on him, and he forged himself as a fighter for social rights of the people from a very young age. He was one of those youths who took part in the battle from the beginning of the Nazi occupation. He organized himself into EPON and worked tirelessly going from village to village, from house to house to organise the youth. After that he joined the ranks of ELAS and took part in numerous battles. He distinguished himself with his bravery and decisiveness in the great battle at Kukush in 1944. In December 1944 with the 30th regiment of ELAS Tomo cut across almost the whole length of mainland Greece to defend the seat, embattled Athens, from the English imperialists.

More difficult years came. The neo-fascist forces began to imprison, persecute and kill on the street those fighters who took part in the national liberation struggle. The whole land was being controlled by various armed bands of people who, for the most part, were cooperating with the occupier.

The fearless fighters to save themselves set off along old paths, along the places where they had fought against the German fascist hordes. Tomo Slavkov was among the first. In 1946 in Pajak the first partisan groups were formed so that the people could defend themselves from attacks by the irregular troops. The partisan detachments on Pajak cleaned up the villages from the terrorist bands.

At the end of 1946 after a strong wind and ice, after a frightening storm, the partisan groups set off from Pajak. It was only with faith that the battle was ideologically correct and dedication to the high minded ideals of the party that these young people from the northernmost parts of the country could beat the frightening hardships of this "march" - walking hundreds of kilometres along frozen rivers and valleys, along high barren peaks of Pind, Papingo and Dzhumerka and after a few months, exhausted from the battle and hunger, arriving at the southernmost part of mainland Greece. In February 1947 Tomo and his friends from Pajak met with the partisan units from Western Roumelia. Along the whole road of his heroic march, the dedicated fighter showed a high moral stamina and self possession that only the true people's fighters have. Even though he was ill, he never once left the front line. His qualities as a communist fighter, a person who has no higher ideal in life than to serve with all his might for the work of the Party, could be seen during the most difficult moments of the battle. Tomo in 1948 participated in the detachments securing the headquarters of DAG.

In March 1949 the young Gumendzhija villager was among the students of the officer school at the Headquarters of DAG. He applied all of his powers to gain military experience and to become a real commander of the people's army, dignified in the trust that the Party showed him. As well as everyday lessons he, together with the other students of the school, took part in many battles and he did so with the same élan, with the same bravery and decisiveness.

In the great battles of 1949 in the summer morning of 11 August when the sun's rays had not yet caressed the burned pine trees and the destroyed clay cliffs, when the blackened faces of the heroic defenders of Lisec were for the 10th time pushing back the offensive by the enemy, one fighter called with a trembling voice: "Our comrade, the commander, died." Under a fire of bullets the political commissioner jumped up to the place from where the voice came and threw himself with his heavy body on the fallen hero. There lay the commander Tomor Slavkov riddled with bullet holes made by enemy bullets.

The passionate heart of the fighter who so much loved life stopped in the middle of the battle, leaving as advice for his comrades that they should not withdraw from the battle until eventual victory by the people.

P Galubov

 

From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters

© 2009

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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters
 















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