Kole Stergiovski was born in 1911 in the village Orovnik, Prespa region
to a poor village family. In 1923 his parents sent him to the state
"pansion" in Lerin to learn to write. The state "pansions",
or "nationals" as they were officially named, in 1922 were
opened in almost every town in Macedonia. With them, the government
aimed to cultivate Greater Greek chauvinist spirit among the young Macedonian
generation and to pursue assimilationist policies. For that reason,
education, food, clothing and other needs were provided for free.
Kole studied well at the high school and completed his course with
outstanding marks. Kole was happy and his family celebrated. Kole could
not hope to pursue his studies at a higher level. Such opportunities
were not available in Greece for poor youths, especially not for Macedonian
ones. It was also the policy of the Greek reactionary rulers - "the
sons of the villagers have to remain villagers". All the same Kole
hoped to get a government job of some sort. But that did not happen
because Kole was a Macedonian and a progressive youth.
With bitterness he returned to his village and was occupied with farm
work and other labouring. He made tables, chairs, wheat stores, doors,
cupboards, ploughs, wheels and other farming tools. Despite his thin
build and his crippled hand, Kole became an excellent woodworker and
blacksmith. He worked for a short time as a scribe in the council. And
so, that is the worked he did during the dark years of the German occupation.
Then he joined the ranks of the national liberation organization and
quickly rose among the cadres of the CPG in Prespa.
In 1944 he was secretary of the Prespa regional committee of the CPG
and he worked in that post until his tragic death. After the Varkiza
agreement he was followed by the government and he was constantly in
danger from the bands of bandits. But Kole remained faithful to the
party positions; he agitated among the population with passion and spread
the party line for reconciliation and democracy.
One night the bands captured him from home and killed him close to
the village. All of Prespa wept at the loss of its beloved son and vowed
to continue the struggle with greater decisiveness so that better days
would dawn in our homeland.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
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For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters