Department 12

People’s Liberation War (PLW) 1941-1944


The Anti-Fascist and People’s Liberation War of the Macedonian people in the period from 1941 to 1944 represented a continuation of the national liberation struggle. The Ilinden Uprising traditions and conceptions of the IMRO were an incentive and direction to the young Macedonian revolutionaries to persevere in fulfilling the goal of national and political freedom and Macedonian statehood. Most of the Macedonians in all three parts of divided Macedonia sided with the anti-fascist alliance in the fight against fascism and the occupiers, and they spotted the historic opportunity to fulfill their ideas and aspirations for national statehood. During the People’s Liberation war of the Macedonian people many anti-fascists, democrats, communists and patriots were killed. Those worth mentioning are: Kuzman Josifovski - Pitu, Strasho Pindzur, Cvetan Dimov, Mirche Acev, Vera Ciriviri Trena, Vera Jocic, Borka Taleski, Jovan Josifovski – Svestarot, Nikola Parapunov, Lazo Trpovski and many other comrades from all over Macedonia that remained inscribed in the consciousness of the Macedonians.

A result of the fight of the Macedonian army, which was established during the Second World War, was the assembly of ASNOM and liberation of the territory of Vardar Macedonia. Then the modern Macedonian state was born – the Democratic Federal Macedonia under the leadership of Metodija Andonov - Chento, within the Yugoslav federation. Thus the Macedonian issue was partially solved and only some of the designs of VMRO for freedom and statehood were met.




He was a Macedonian activist and communist, a member of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party and the Bulgarian Communist Party, as well as member of the Commission for Illegal Affairs and of the District Committee of the IMRO (United) for Pirin Macedonia. He was the founder of the first Macedonian Partisan Brigade in the area of Skopje, in August 1941. As a member of the Comintern he declared himself everywhere as a Macedonian and worked in favor of the Macedonian issue. At the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party he was in charge to work on the side of the “Macedonian line”. From 1930, Shatorov worked with the Comintern bodies in Moscow on the issue of the national and revolutionary movement of the Balkan nations, where he was in charge for the “Macedonian line”. He participated in the discussions of the bodies of the Comintern on the future status of the Macedonian organization, he advocated for the creation of “a distinct Macedonian national organization or party” to act on the “Macedonian issue” considering it as a fundamental prerequisite for uniting the Communists and other Macedonian advanced forces in the struggle for national liberation and for unification of the Macedonian territory.As secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Macedonia, he immediately changed the name of the Party, from the Regional Committee of the CPY for Macedonia into the Regional Committee of the CPY in Macedonia, and at the Regional Conference of the CP in Macedonia held on September 8, 1940 the resolution known as the “Macedonian platform” was adopted, stressing, among other matters, that “understanding and the implementation of the revolutionary policy and the national issue are of great importance for the communist organizations, because it emerges as the question of questions”. The Macedonian platform was the first program document for solving the Macedonian national issue through the struggle of the Macedonian nation for proving its national identity, equality with other Balkan nations, for its own free and sovereign state.

In 1941 Sharlo was removed from the CPY. The reason for his removal from the duty political secretary of the Regional Committee and his exclusion from the Party laid in his Macedonian platform, which relied on the right for self-determination of each nation, that is, the right for having a sovereign and independent state in the Balkans. In order to avoid his execution by the Partisan Court, he joined the Bulgarian Communist Party where he continued to act in organizing the partisan movement in Bulgaria. In 1944 he died in a battle with the Bulgarian fascist forces under suspicious circumstances.
He was a Macedonian partisan, an anti-fascist, commander of the PLW and PBM, a military theorist, politician, historian and a national hero. In 1927 he completed the Military Academy in Belgrade, in 1933 the High Military Academy, and in 1938 he graduated at the HQ Academy. He met the outbreak of World War II ranked as HQ Major serving in Ljubljana, as Chief of the HQ Division. After returning to Macedonia in 1941 he connected with the national liberation movement in occupied Macedonia. The same year he was appointed member of the Regional Military HQ in Macedonia, and in 1942 he was appointed commander of the HQ of the People's Liberation Army and the Partisan Brigades of Macedonia. In 1943 he was appointed major general, and the same year he was elected to the Second session of the Presidency of AVNOJ. As of February 1944, he was in command over 33 Macedonian brigades, including brigades from Kosovo and South Serbia as well. Later he was later elected to the Advisory Board for ASNOM, and as a participant of the First session of ASNOM he was included in the Presidium of ASNOM. In 1945 he was appointed Chief of the Supreme Headquarters of NLW or the HQ of the Yugoslav Army. Between 1946 and 1952 he was deployed as Commander of the Sarajevo Military District and Head of the High Military Academy of the Yugoslav National Army. He retired with the rank Colonel General. In the period from 1965 to 1970 he was the Head of the National History Institute. With the establishment of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts on August 18, 1967, he was elected its first regular member, and in 1968 he was elected a corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Subsequently, he was elected to the Yugoslav (today: the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts), the Slovenian, the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Academy of Kosovo. From 1976 to 1983 he was president of MASA. In the period from 1978 to 1981 he was Chairman of the Council of the Academies of Science and Arts of Yugoslavia. He was also a member of the Council of the Federation. In 1953 he was awarded the National Hero Medal. In 1978 he received the AVNOJ Award, as the highest award bestowed in Yugoslavia.

Kosta Ratsin was a Macedonian poet, an essayist, novelist, editor and contributor to several newspapers and magazines, a supporter of the Communist ideology and founder of the modern Macedonian art of poetry or the contemporary Macedonian literature. In addition to poetry, he also wrote several prose and theoretical papers. Such are his articles on the Bogomils, Hegel and feminism which stand as masterpieces of the Macedonian Communist and advanced setting of that period. Ratsin was a member of the Union of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) and delegate to the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party in Dresden. In 1932 the CPY and UCYY (SKOJ) in Macedonia were reinstated, and in 1933 Ratsin became member of the District Committee of the CPY for Macedonia. In 1940 the communication between Ratsin and the Management of the CPY in Macedonia deteriorated, for which he was expelled from the Party. In 1942 these relations improved, and therefore Ratsin returned to the partisan lines. Kocho Ratsin ended as a victim of a commissioned political murder for being a member of the pro-Macedonian course during World War II. His most famous work is his collection of poems “Beli Mugri (White Dawns)” considered the foundation of the modern Macedonian literature. Earlier in 1936, he published the poem “To a Worker” which is considered the first poem written in Macedonian. The rest of his body of work, beside his poetry, includes essays such as “Hegel”, stories such as the story “Result” and the novel “Opium” (“Poppy”).

The First Session of ASNOM, August 2nd 1944

At the first session of ASNOM (Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia) a total of nine legislative acts were adopted, of which four were of governmental character. These acts laid the foundation of the new modern Macedonian state or the Democratic Federal Macedonia, which was then officially declared. The following acts were adopted at the session:

1. Decision on declaring ASNOM as the highest legislative and executive representative body, the highest body of state power in democratic Macedonia;

2. Decision on approval of the decisions, orders and obligations issued by the HQ NLW and PBM and the Executive Board of ASNOM;

3. Decision on introducing the Macedonian language as the official language of the Macedonian state;

4. Declaration of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of DFM;

5. Rules for the operation of ASNOM
6. Decision on establishing a State Commission for weighing the offenses of the occupier and his helpers
7. Decision on declaring The 2nd of August – Ilinden, as a National holiday of the Macedonian state
8. Decision for acknowledgement and gratitude of the National Liberation Army of Macedonia
9. Decision on establishing a Legislative Commission with the Council of ASNOM





 KIRO GLIGOROV (1917-2012)

He was an activist of the Macedonian students and communist movement, a member of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Committee (ANOC), a member and secretary of the Advisory Board for convening ASNOM, he was a recording secretary of ASNOM; next he was reprimanded for being an autonomist and separatist and sent to Belgrade in 1945. There, in the period from 1945 to 1947, he was appointed Assistant Secretary General to the Presidency of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and then he was appointed Assistant Minister of Finance from 1947 to 1952. Subsequently, he performed several functions: Assistant President of the Commercial Council of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1952-1953), Deputy Director of the Federal Institute for Economic Planning (1953-1955), Secretary for Economy - Coordinator of the Federal Government (1956), Secretary of the Secretariat of the SIS for general economic affairs, and at the same time he was elected member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (1956-1962). He became Federal Secretary of Finance (1962-1967) and after the disastrous Skopje earthquake he was in charge of SIS for developing a program to rebuild the ruined city, and for delivering the first economic reforms in 1965.

Between 1967 and 1969 he was Vice President of SIS, and then he became a member of the Presidency of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and of the Executive Bureau, between 1969 and 1971. From 1971 to 1972 he was a member of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; during the period from 1974 to 1978 he was Chairman of the Yugoslav Assembly. Before his retirement, in the period from 1978 to 1987 he was a member of the Federation Council. In 1987 he retired, however, he was included in the team for reforms of the President of SIS, Ante Markovic. In February 1990 he joined the Macedonian Forum for preparing the Macedonian national program. Gligorov actively participated in the work of this Forum which reviewed the situation in the Yugoslav federation and the opportunities for securing independence of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on January 25, 1991, Gligorov was elected the first President of the independent and sovereign Republic of Macedonia by the Assembly, on 27 January 1991.