Chereshnitsa had no casualties during World War II, but it suffered heavy casualties during the Greek Civil War.
These villagers and all other Slav Macedonians died not for communism, not for the Kingdom or nation of Greece, nor for Bulgaria or Bulgarian communism. Whether they were Komitee, Partisans, or Andartes, they fought and died for decent living, a country where they can express their views without recrimination or harassment, a country where they can practice their language, culture, customs, and traditions.
Below is a list of all Chereshnitcheni who lost their lives between 1940 and 1949, during the occupation and the Civil War conflict.
- Miteto Baroff (Baros) (the younger), age 38. He was executed in 1944 in the village of Chereshnitsa by the Partisans. He threw a hand grenade through the grated steel bar window which exploded in his face. Wounded, he ran and hid in the Lialkina house. The Partisans found him there and executed him on the spot. He was the father of Kouzo and Fana Barovi.
- Yorgi Dzonoff, age 60. He was killed in action in 1944 in Chereshnitsa while he was attempting to break the encirclement of the village by the partisans. He was pretending to go to ponesh to plow the fields. Dedo Yorgi was married to Kata Boshkova and they had three sons, Pando, Done, and Stefo. All are deceased.
- Leko Kiroff (Kirou), age 24. He was captured by the partisans in the battle for control of the village of Chereshnitsa in 1944. Leko was taken to Pozdivishcha where he was tried, convicted, and executed by the partisans. He was domazet from the village of Olishtcha to Nikovite (Gegata), and was married to Tinka Popova (Pappas), the oldest daughter of Maneto and Sicka Popovi.
- Koleto Kiroff (Kirou), age 34. Koleto killed himself in 1944 where he was hiding from the partisans in the Todorchina Plemna (barn) across from our house. He placed the muzzle of his rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He was married to Dina Mafina, and they had two daughters, Efimia and Marika.
- Pando Nedelkoff (Tsilkos), age 35. He was captured by the partisans in the battle for control of Chereshnitsa in 1944. Pando was taken to Pozdivishcha where he was tried, convicted, and executed by the partisans. He was married to Ourania from Tiovlishtcha and they had a boy, Gole, and a girl, Liuba. He was second in command of the Komitee unit in Chereshnitsa and the brother of Yorgi Nedelkoff (Tsilkos) and John (Vane) Nedelkoff (Tsilkos).
- Yorgi Nedelkoff (Tsilkos), age 34. He was captured by the partisans in the battle for control of Chereshnitsa in 1944. Yorgi was taken to Pozdivishcha where he was tried, convicted, and executed by the partisans. He was married to Liuba Dzodzova and they had a son, Blazjio, who is married and lives in Australia. Yorgi was the brother of Pando Nedelkoff (Tsilkos) and John (Vane) Nedelkoff (Tsilkos).
- Tometo Pizarkoff (Pizarkos), age 20. He surrendered to the partisans in the battle for control of Chereshnitsa in 1944. He was tried, convicted, and executed by the partisans in Pozdivishcha. He had three sisters: Liuba, Milka, and Fana, and was the son of Argir, who was in Australia, and Prosha Pizarkovi.
- Miteto Pliastoff (Pliastos), age 60. Miteto was captured by the partisans in the battle for control of Chereshnitsa in 1944. He was taken to Pozdivishcha where he was tried, convicted, and executed by the partisans. He was married to Dota Pizarkova and the father of Slavi Pliastoff, who was a partisan with the attacking unit that captured Chereshnitsa.
- Labreto Stoyanchin (Tsoukas), age 35. Labreto avoided capture by the Partisans in the battle for control of Chereshnitsa in 1944. He was later captured by the Partisans in Bitolia where he was hiding. He was tried, convicted, and executed. Labreto was married to Rina Pliastova and they had two sons, Spiro and Yorgi.
- Naseto Ingelioff (Vouliotis), age 21. He was conscripted by the partisans and killed in action for control of Mount Gramos in 1948, by the Greek National Army. He was the son of Stefo and Dina Ingeliovi and had two sisters, Lefteria and Tsilia.
- Koleto Karayannin (Karayannis), age 30. Koleto was first drafted in the Greek National Army. After he served his time, he went back to the village where he was drafted by the partisans. His unit, commanded by Dineto Soulioff, was attacking the armory and police station in Gornitsi when Koleto was killed in 1948. He was the husband of Fana Shimagova and the father of Tsilio Karayannin.
- Ditchka Kiranina (Giamos), age 19. She was conscripted by the partisans and killed in action in a battle for control of Mount Vicho in 1948 by the Greek National Army. Ditchka was the daughter of Toli, who was in Australia, and Rina Kiranini and had two brothers, Yorgi and Kouzo.
- Itso Mangoff (Mangos), age 19. He killed himself rather than surrender to the Greek National Army in Rupitsko Pole in 1948. Itso was actually underage but, when the partisans drafted his brother Naseto, Itso volunteered to take his brother’s place. During the time when the “Gotcheva Brigada”, SNOF, seceded from ELAS, they formed small harassing units to harass the Greek National Army units and the police. Itso volunteered for one of these units. He was very courageous and was not afraid of jumping into the middle of any action. His unit was on one such mission in the Rupitsko Pole when it was overwhelmed by a much larger Greek National unit. Knowing that if he were captured he would be badly tortured, Itso decided to take his own life rather than surrender. Before taking his own life, he expended all of his ammunition, grenades, and even disassembled his sub-machine gun and dispersed the parts in all directions so that they would not fall into enemy hands. He was brought to Kostour and was dragged on the streets of Kostour while people watched, including some people from our village. He was the son of Tometo and Mara Mangovi and he had three brothers, Gile, Nase, and Yorgi.
- Hristana Mangova (Mangou), age 19. She was conscripted by the partisans and was killed in action when her unit was attempting to capture the city of Lerin (Florina) in 1949. Hristana was near a mortar unit that was firing into the city of Lerin when an opposing shell fired from within the city struck the ammunition that was piled near the firing mortar unit. The explosion scattered shrapnel all around and one shrapnel hit her in the neck. She had two sisters, Mara and Lena. She was the daughter of Slavi Mangoff who was in Australia. Her mother, Dita, was from the Kochovi family.
- Mitcho Milios, age 34. He was conscripted by the partisans and was declared missing in action in 1947. Mitcho was married to Lina Shapova. They had a son and a daughter.
- Yanko Nikoff (Nikos), age 23. (Pictured left) Yanko was conscripted by the partisans and killed in action defending Mount Bigla in 1947 by the Greek National Army. He was the son of Geleto and Dota Nikovi.
- Pando Pandoff (Nikolaidis), age 26. He was wounded in battle and was sent to Bitolia to get well. After getting well, Pando froze to death in 1949 when he and his unit were crossing the border between Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, somewhere between Lerin and Bitolia. He was the son of Koleto and Dota Pandovi and had three brothers, Mane, Andrea and Yorgi and a sister, Liopa.
- Andrea Popoff (Pappas), age 19. Andrea was drafted by the partisans. He took part in a battle in Mount Gramos where he was captured after being wounded and executed on the spot by the advancing Greek National Army in 1947. He was the son of Petreto and Tana Popovi and had three brothers, Gligori, Kouzo, and Labre and a sister, Anthoula.
- Yorgi Parpoff (Parpos), age 19. Yorgi was killed in 1948 by the back fire of a bazooka while training for a house to house fighting in anticipation of participating in the battle for Lerin. A bazooka is an anti tank weapon. The back fire of the weapon is just as dangerous as the front projectile that it fires. Apparently Yorgi had his back to a solid object, such as a wall, when he pulled the trigger. The blast of the weapon had no place to go but to recoil in reverse thus killing Yorgi. He was the son of Vaneto Parpoff who was assassinated by the Partisans.
- Toula Ristovska (Hristiadis), age 18. She was killed in action in the battle to capture Sorovichovo in 1948. Toula was the daughter of Naseto and Fana Ristovski. Her father was in the United States, and her mother was killed by a mortar shell during the encirclement of the village of Chereshnitsa by the partisans in 1944. Toula was for a long time the girlfriend of my cousin, Kouzo Shimagoff, who was arrested by the Greek National Army and sentenced to death. She joined the Partisans since she had no one close enough left in the village.
- Dineto Soulioff (Soulidis), age 38. Dineto was the most courageous person from our village. He first was a co-captain of the Komitee in our village along with Mihali Ristovski when the Komitee were first organized by the Italians. He was a captain during the second arming of the Komitee by the Germans. Dineto escaped being captured by the Partisans in the battle for control of the village of Chereshnitsa but was later captured in Bitola. During his trial he convinced the partisan tribunal that he really was fighting for the same cause. He said if they would give him the opportunity to join the partisans, he would prove to them that he was a true Macedonian, fighting for the rights of the Macedonians who some day hoped to see Macedonia free and independent. He was, therefore, given a unit to command and sent to Aegean Macedonia to prove himself. According to accounts circulated, his unit was always victorious in battle. It is said that when the Greek National Army would hear of his unit’s whereabouts, they would always take special precautions, such as doubling the guard. His unit was given the task to capture the army and police station in Gornitsi. During the encounter he was killed while he was attempting to take the school house in Gornitsi in 1948. He was married to Tana Chicovska and they had two sons, Tome and Mihali.
- Miteto Tarpchinoff (Terptsinas), age 19. He was conscripted by the partisans and killed in action in 1948 in Malimadi by the Greek National Army. Miteto was the son of Yorgi and Tsana Tarpchinovi and had a brother, Sotir, and sister, Sichka.
- Stefo Tarpchinoff (Terptsinas), age 18. He was conscripted by the partisans and killed in action in 1948 in Malimadi by the Greek National Army. Stefo was the son of Terpcheto and Vena Tarpchinovi and had a sister, Tsana, and a brother, Kouzo.
- Labreto Todorchin (Theodorou), age 25. He was conscripted by the partisans and was wounded in a battle to capture Gornitsi in 1948. His wife Dotsa (Nikova) Todorchina was carrying wounded partisans away from the fighting area. One of these wounded partisans that she carried was her husband. She did not know this until she brought him to Chereshnitsa where he died from his wounds. They had no children.
- Tashko Tsinin, (Sklifas) age 17. He volunteered at the age of 16 by lying about his age. Tashko was killed in action in 1947 in Malimadi. He was the son of Doneto and Gehna Tsinini and had three sisters, Slavka, Sopha and Tsilia. His sister Tsilia, helped to carry him to a central pick-up point.
- Kocho Despin (Despos), age 15. He was the youngest and the first casualty from our village with the guerrilla fighters. Kocho was killed by the advancing Germans on the guerrilla positions in Mount Gramos in 1944. I can still remember us, the young children of the village, during a Panihida (Trisagion Service) at the cemetery singing a special lamenting song, that ELAS had composed. He was the son of Giri and Dita Despini and had a brother, Petre.
- Vaneto Parpoff (Parpos), age 48. Vaneto was assassinated by the partisans in Chereshnitsa in 1947. He was accused of collaborating with the enemy, the Greek Army. He was the son of Phileto and Liopa Parpovi and had four sons and two daughters.
- Mihali Ristovski (Hristiadis), age 45. He was the son of Popo Naki and Kitcha Ristovski. Mihali was in a meeting with other organizers when he was captured by the Komitee of the village of Setoma, turned over to the Germans and executed in 1945 in Soloun. He was married to Olga of Olishtcha and they had a son and a daughter. Their son, Kocho, became a medical doctor in Hungary.
- Fana Ristovska (Hristiadi), age 40. Fana was married to Naseto Ristovski, who was in America. She was the mother of Toula Ristovska who was killed in action as a Partisanka. Fana was killed in 1944 by a mortar shell fired by the partisans on her way home from Dedo Yorgi Dzonoff’s funeral arrangements while the village was surrounded by the partisans.
- Kouzo Shimagoff (Simagos), age 21. My cousin, Kouzo, was a couple of years older than I. He was always joking and always calling others by some nickname. He referred to me as bobby (pronounced bo-o-bee), that is, a miniature dog, because of my size. I was very small for my age. He and his then friend, Naseto Tsinin (Sklifas), were inseparable. They were both sympathisers of the Partisan movement for the same basic reason – freedom of expression and against oppression. They did not want to join in the fighting, but they wanted to help the Partisan cause. The Partisans also needed more civilians to disseminate information. Naseto Tsinin was a Stratiotikos Ipefthinos (Military Expediter or responsible for military matters). He was responsible in keeping the partisan units informed of things and making sure they had recruits.
One day Kouzo, Tometo Boshkoff, and Naseto Tsinin (all Partisan sympathizers) were returning to the village from Kostour, when they were informed that the Greek National Army was in the village. Naseto Tsinin and Tometo Boshkoff were carrying confidential documents and needed to hide them before proceeding to the village. Kouzo was carrying a book with Macedonian songs that needed to be hidden. They found rocks somewhere in Kotka and hid everything under the rocks. It was in the winter and the ground was covered with fresh fallen snow. They hid everything and went to the village. The next day another army unit patrolling the same area saw the footsteps on the snow and uncovered the hidden items.They connected Naseto Tsinin and Tometo Boshkoff to the documents and Kouzo to the Macedonian song book and arrested all of them. In the process during the trial, Naseto Tsinin and Tometo Boshkoff were absolved of any wrong doing and all the blame was put on Kouzo. Naseto Tsinin with one or two other Chereshnitcheni even turned as prosecution witnesses and perjured themselves.
Kouzo was found guilty of aiding the enemy (a fabricated charge) and was executed in Athens while in prison on February 13, 1948. He was the son of Gligor and Dina Shimagovi. His father was in America. He had three sisters, Dita, Fana, and Sopha.
The newspaper article on the following page published by the newspaper Kathimerini “ΚαθηµερΙυη” on February 14, 1948, grossly distorts the truth. The last paragraph referring to Kouzo Shimagoff (Tsimahos) states that Kouzo was a soldier in the Greek Army and that he deserted his unit and joined the Partisans. The article then goes on to say that Kouzo informed on his supposedly Greek army unit and it was apparently ambushed by the Partisans and suffered heavy casualties. Kouzo was never a soldier in the Greek Army.