Department 13

Victims of the Communist Regime

The period of the modern Macedonian state within the Yugoslav federation from 1945 to the 90s of the 20th century is marked with numerous historical contradictions. On the one hand, the founded Macedonian state represented a warranty for national prosperity of the Macedonian people, and on the other hand, a strict ideological supervision was exerted over all social courses (from economy to culture) which was designed, guided and assessed by the Communist Party as the only ruling party.

Dissatisfied with the incomplete resolution of the Macedonian issue (regarded only as a Yugoslav issue, not as a Balkan issue) a considerable number of Macedonian national fighters, intellectuals and newly formed organizations and groups, following the ideological standpoints of the IMRO, placed requirements for unification of the Macedonian people. Combating the imposition of a stronger centralized authority of the Federation, applied by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz - Tito, these Macedonian secret organizations and groups embodied the struggle for a wider autonomy in the decision making of the domestic and foreign policy of the Macedonian state in terms of the Federation. They advocated for democratization of the political system and the effectiveness of the legal versus the political state which existed in that society. The ideological and political challengers and those who opposed the economic measures and political power of the Communists were subjected to persecution and forced to withdraw from political and public life. Particularly, the supporters of the idea for ​​an independent and sovereign Macedonian state were exposed to austere measures.




Chento was one of the founders of the modern Macedonian state and the first President of ASNOM. He was a representative of the Macedonian national civic orientation and a participant in the national liberation and political struggles between the two world wars for which he was imprisoned many times. After the attack on Yugoslavia and the new occupation of Macedonia, Chento refused to cooperate with the Bulgarian fascist occupiers and therefore imprisoned twice and detained in a camp. In 1943 he succeeded to the free territory in Debarca where he was elected member of the HQ of NLW and PBM. That same year he was elected President of the Initiative Committee for convening ASNOM and in that capacity he went to the island of Vis, as a member of the Macedonian delegation, which placed, before NKOJ, the issue for unification of the Macedonian people. At the first session of ASNOM he was elected Chairman of the Council of ASNOM. For his single performances and demands for a broader autonomy of the DFM within the Yugoslav federation, especially in economic terms, including the efforts for an integral unraveling of the Macedonian issue he was labeled as autonomist and separatist. He was an advocate of the belief that every nation has the right to self-determination and independence (secession) and therefore opposed the highest political leadership of Yugoslavia. His demand for inserting the clause for self-determination and secession in the first Constitution of the FNRY provoked harsh attacks from the Yugoslav and the Macedonian political leadership. In 1946, Chento was arrested and convicted in a trial of eleven years of imprisonment with forced labor and five years of deprived civil and political rights and confiscation of his personal belongings. In 1955 he was released from prison due to his hard health condition and died in 1957. He was rehabilitated in 1990 as a victim of a staged trial.

Восочна фигура: ЃОРЃИ КАРЕВ (1887-1949)

Wax Figure: GJORGJI KAREV (1887-1949)

Gjorgji Karev was the brother of the revolutionary, warlord and President of the Krushevo Republic, Nikola Karev. During the Ilinden Uprising he participated as a Macedonian revolutionary, and in the Second World War, throughout the Bulgarian occupation of the Macedonian territories, he was appointed as serf of the town of Krushevo. After the war he was detained and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He died on the last day of serving his prison sentence.

Егзекуција на велешките затворенициExecution of the prisoners from Veles

The execution of the prisoners from Veles was carried out by representatives of the military police (OZNA) in the night of 15/16 January, 1945. A group of 53 prisoners were taken in a truck outside the city and killed in the area between the villages Vetersko and Letevci, in a field near the village Letevci. They were tied to each other, forced to kneel in front of a huge pit, they were hit with a large wooden sledgehammer to the skull, and then thrusted into a mass grave. After this execution, at the trial held posthumously, the offenders were prosecuted and found guilty.

ПАВЕЛ ШАТЕВ (1882-1951)PAVEL SHATEV (1882-1951)

He was a Macedonian national activist of European education, a “gemidzija” (Thessaloniki assassin), PhD of Law, Minister of Justice of the National Republic of Macedonia, a publicist, President of the MEFO between the two world wars, member of the leadership of IMRO (United), that was established in Vienna in 1925, a fierce advocate for defending the independence of the Macedonian national cause between the two world wars and supporter of the idea for a ​​federation between the two world wars, a fellow of the Soviet intelligence service and member of the Council of ASNOM. He was an advocate of the viewpoint that the Macedonian national liberation cause should remain clear and impartial, beyond the influence of the communist parties and other foreign influences, on the other hand, he did not exclude the possibility of mutual cooperation with the Balkan communist parties, especially the Yugoslav and Bulgarian Party, and for initiating a general liberation movement of the Macedonians in all three parts of divided Macedonia. In 1949, as a result of the policy of the InformBureau in Yugoslavia, he was detained and put under house arrest. He died in Bitola, in 1951.

ЈОСИП БРОЗ ТИТО (1892-1980) JOSIP BROZ TITO (1892-1980)

He was a revolutionary, a communist, a political and military leader of the NLW and the PBY, a Marshal and a Yugoslav statesman. During World War I he took part on the Russian front as an Austro-Hungarian soldier where he was captured. In 1920 he returned to Zagreb where he joined the ranks of the Yugoslav Communist Party, and from 1937 he was elected General Secretary of the Party. Through World War II he organized and commanded the National Liberation War of Yugoslavia, and after the war he performed the highest political and public duties. His confrontation with Stalin marked his international political breakthrough. He was the founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and one of the world's most respected politicians. He created and governed the Yugoslav federation from 1943 until his death in 1980.



He was one of the leading political figures in the NRM/SRM after 1944. In the period from 1943 to 1963 he was President of the Central Committee of the CPM/UCM and a representative of the pro-Yugoslavian party wing and creator of the interpretation of history, especially the recent one. Earlier, in 1941, as a prominent communist from Kragujevac, Serbia, he was sent to Macedonia. His arrival in Macedonia ordered the removal of Sharlo Shatorov from the leading duty with the Regional Committee of the CPY for Macedonia, but soon Kolishevski was captured and imprisoned in the Bulgarian fascist prison in Bulgaria. He returned to the already declared DFM after the session of ASNOM in 1944 and supported by the highest authorities in Belgrade (Yugoslavia) he began the policy of eliminating our national and political activists labeled as “autonomists” and “separatists”.

ЈОВАН КОТЕСКИ (1932-2001) JOVAN KOTESKI (1932-2001)
He is a Macedonian poet who belongs to the third generation of Macedonian authors. In the period after World War II he studied literature in Skopje, and consequently, he worked as a journalist with Radio Skopje. During the 50s, 60s and 70s of the twentieth century he has published numerous books of poetry, and between 1981 and 1982 he was the President of the International Festival of Poetry “Struga Poetry Evenings” (SPE). In 1985 he published the collection of poems “Tapija (Title Deed)” and the same year he was arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to five years in prison. He was accused of working secretly on the disintegration of the Yugoslav Federation and for creating an independent Macedonian state which belongs to the last group of political prisoners - intellectuals in the former Yugoslav federation. In 1987 he was released on efforts by the Croatian writer and philosopher Predrag Matvejeviċ, who in his capacity as Vice President of the International Association of the PEN Center based in New York, organized a petition with signatures of prominent world known writers to the former Presidency of Yugoslavia. He died in 2001 in Skopje, and posthumously he was bestowed the “Kliment Ohridski” award.
РИСТО ШИШКОВ (1940-1986)

RISTO SHISHKOV (1940-1986)

He was a prominent Macedonian film and theater actor, a graduate of the Theatre Academy in Belgrade, Acting Department. After two years of work in the Yugoslav Drama Theatre in Belgrade, he moved to Skopje and in 1964 became a member of the Drama Department with the Macedonian National Theatre. He played in 54 different plays, shot 11 films (in the twelfth film “Water” his role was overwritten), in five television plays and three television series and numerous radio programs. He won the theatrical prize of the International Theatre Festival “Vojdan Chernodrinski” (1977) for his role in the play “The Inn under the Green Tree”. In 1979 he was accused for, probably, insulting some Serbian and Croatian artists, and for insulting Tito, and therefore he was detained the following year. In his honor in 1992 the Festival of Chamber Theater “Risto Shishkov” was established in Strumica.


In 1951, several young men embraced by the idea of an independent Macedonian state, were distributing leaflets containing the wording “autonomous Macedonia”, for which they were executed on Mount Belasica without any trial conducted and verdict: Gjorgi Jarmov (22), Mirko Pecev (23), Boris Delev (22), Gjorgi Kosturanov (19) and Stefan Topchev (19).


He was a lawyer, holding a PhD of Legal Studies at the Sorbonne, a veteran awarded with the Partisan Memorial 1941. He was one of the secretaries of ASNOM and the creators of the ASNOM documents. In 1932 he enrolled at the Faculty of Law in Paris, where he successfully completed his studies and then presented his doctorate at the Sorbonne in March 1939 on the thesis “Resources for the unification of exchange rates”. During his studies in Paris he was totally involved in the student democratic movement, and in 1937 he became secretary of the student’s association in Paris. After returning to Yugoslavia in 1941, he joined the CPY, and consequently appointed secretary of the Kichevo Committee. He was detained and imprisoned by the Italian occupation forces, and transferred to the concentration camp Porto Romano in Albania, in 1943. He remained in prison until the capitulation of fascist Italy in 1943. Upon returning to Kichevo, he joined the National Liberation movement in the first liberated town Kichevo. His work meant withdrawal from the HQ of NLW and PBM. In 1944 he worked on the preparations for ASNOM alongside Metodija Andonov - Chento, Kiro Gligorov, Mihajlo Apostolski and many other leaders and members of the HQ. During the First Sessions of ASNOM he was elected Second Secretary to the Council. In 1951, during the clash of the CPY with the InformBureau, Polezhinoski was arrested without a trial and taken to Goli Otok from where he was released in 1954.


Venko Markovski was a Macedonian poet, a graduate of the University “St. Kliment Ohridski (St. Clement of Ohrid)” at the Department of Slavic Philology in Sofia, a scholar with the Academy of Sciences, a playwright and one of the founders of the contemporary Macedonian literature. Before the Second World War he was a member of the Macedonian literary group founded in Skopje, in 1931, and in the period from 1932 to 1934 he was a member and one of the founders of MORO (the Revolutionary Organization of the Macedonian Youth); later, in the period from 1938 to 1941 he was a member of the Macedonian literary group in Sofia. In 1938 he published the following books of poetry: “Narodni Bigori/People's Sorrows” and “Oginot/The Flame” are considered the first books written in Macedonian language. In the period 1941-1942 he was serving a sentence in Gonda Voda and Enikjoj. During World War II he took part in the National Liberation War and became a member of the HQ of the NLW and PBM, a delegate to the Second Session of AVNOJ, and then member of the Advisory Board of ASNOM and a delegate, as well. In the period from 1944 to 1945 he was actively involved in the work of the three committees on codification of the Macedonian literary language. In 1948 he supported the Resolution of the InformBureau and consequently imprisoned for that; and in 1956 in his poem “Modern paradoxes” he criticized Tito's regime for which he was sentenced to five years in prison on Goli Otok. He was released in 1965, and left for Bulgaria where he remained for the rest of his life.


Panko Brashnarov was a teacher, a revolutionary and activist of the IMRO of Gotse Delchev, and he was a member of the NFP during the Young Turk Revolution; he was a socialist by conviction, member of the Yugoslav Communist Party, and founder and organizer of the IMRO (United) in Vardar Macedonia, a consistent follower of the ideas of Ilinden and the oldest delegate of ASNOM. With the election of the members of the Presidium of ASNOM Brashnarov was appointed President, and later re-elected as Vice President, subsequently, he worked as Secretary of the Information Department with the Presidium of ASNOM being its member until 1950. That same year he was arrested as a supporter of the InformBureau representing his views that the Macedonian issue for unification of the Macedonian people was incorrectly set and handled by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In 1951, after several months of inquiries, he was taken to Goli Otok, where soon after his arrival there, he died.

ПЕТРЕ ПИРУЗЕ – МАЈСКИ (1907-1980)PETRE PIRUZE – MAJSKI (1907-1980)Petre Piruze was a lawyer and member of the communist movement in the period between the two world wars, and in 1941 he was elected member of the Yugoslav Communist Party and First Secretary of the Communist Party in Ohrid. As a participant in the anti-fascist struggle he was intensively active in the formation of the people’s liberation partisan squads/battalions. During the war he commanded the people’s liberation fight in western Macedonia as commander of the Second Operational Zone and he was praised by the Macedonian people as a fearless fighter. He was elected member of the HQ of PLA and PBM and participated as a delegate to the Second Session of AVNOJ. Later he got elected a member of the EB for convening the first session of ASNOM, as delegate to ASNOM and a member of the Presidium. Piruze was the first trustee for appointment of a Minister of Justice of the Macedonian state. After the war he was summoned to Belgrade where he was appointed a judge of the Federal Supreme Court of Yugoslavia, and in 1947 he was stripped of the honor “Partisan Memorial 1941”. In 1950, without charge and without any administrative penalty or judicial act he was imprisoned and sent to Goli Otok where he was serving time in prison until 1954, when he was released.