Excerpts from the political diary and other documents on Albania - Greek relations
1941 - 1984
Excerpt from "Enver Hoxha: "With Stalin" – Fourth Meeting – January 1950;
[ also published in the Diary: Confrontation in the presence of Stalin – Pogradec – Thursday, July 12, 1979; excerpt from "Two Friendly People, pages 301 - 337 ]
Hysni Kapo i jep intervistë AFP-së Paris,
Together the Albanian and Greek people shed their blood for freedom.
EAM and ELAS followed the heroical tradition of the Greek liberation struggle in the 19th century
The Hellenic (Greek) War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution (Greek: Ελληνική Επανάσταση Elliniki Epanastasi; Ottoman: يونان عصياني Yunan İsyanı) was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1829
A characteristic example of bravery was the battle of village Navariko (1822) where Georgios Drakos in charge of only 300 Suliotes , fought against Omer Vrionis and 6000 Turks. After 20 hours hard battle the Turks were obliged to retreat !
Our English translation:
Γράφτηκε: 31 τού Οχτώβρη 1940
του Γενικού Γραμματέα του ΚΚΕ
Προς το λαό της Ελλάδας
Ο φασισμός του Μουσολίνι χτύπησε την Ελλάδα πισώπλατα, δολοφονικά και ξετσίπωτα με σκοπό να την υποδουλώσει και εξανδραποδίσει. Σήμερα όλοι οι Έλληνες παλεύουμε για τη λευτεριά, την τιμή, την εθνική μας ανεξαρτησία. Η πάλη θα είναι πολύ δύσκολη και πολύ σκληρή. Μα ένα έθνος που θέλει να ζήσει πρέπει να παλεύει, αψηφώντας τους κινδύνους και τις θυσίες. 0 λαός τής Ελλάδας διεξάγει σήμερα έναν πόλεμο εθνικοαπελευθερωτικό, ενάντια στο φασισμό του Μουσολίνι. Δίπλα στο κύριο μέτωπο και Ο ΚΑΘΕ ΒΡΑΧΟΣ, Η ΚΑΘΕ ΡΕΜΑΤΙΑ, ΤΟ ΚΑΘΕ ΧΩΡΙΟ, ΚΑΛΥΒΑ ΜΕ ΚΑΛΥΒΑ, Η ΚΑΘΕ ΠΟΛΗ, ΣΠΙΤΙ ΜΕ ΣΠΙΤΙ, ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΓΙΝΕΙ ΦΡΟΥΡΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΕΘΝΙΚΟΑΠΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΩΤΙΚΟΥ ΑΓΩΝΑ. Κάθε πράκτορας του φασισμού πρέπει να εξοντωθεί αλύπητα. Στον πόλεμο αυτό πού τον διευθύνει ή κυβέρνηση Μεταξά, όλοι μας πρέπει να δώσουμε όλες μας τις δυνάμεις, δίχως επιφύλαξη. Έπαθλο για τον εργαζόμενο λαό και επιστέγασμα για το σημερινό του αγώνα, πρέπει να είναι και θα είναι, μια καινούργια 'Ελλάδα τής δουλειάς, τής λευτεριάς, λυτρωμένη από κάθε ξενική ιμπεριαλιστική εξάρτηση, μ'εναν πραγματικά παλλαϊκό πολιτισμό. Όλοι στον αγώνα, ο καθένας στη θέση του και ή νίκη θα 'ναι νίκη τής Ελλάδας και τού λαού της. Οι εργαζόμενοι όλου του κόσμου στέκουν στο πλευρό μας.
Αθήνα, 31 τού Οχτώβρη 1940.
Γραμματέας της Κεντρικής Επιτροπής τού ΚΚΕ
"Metaxas remains the principal enemy of the people and the country. His overthrowing is in the most immediate and vital interest of our people ... the peoples and soldiers of Greece and Italy are not enemies but brothers, and their solidarity will stop the war waged by capitalist exploiters."
(17 January 1941)
Date: March 25, 1949
The second congress of the National Liberation Front has been convened at a very difficult moment, at a decisive moment. Last night Glüchsburg spoke and said that the situation at the beginning of 1949 was more critical than ever before. This assessment is also an indication of the possibilities available to our people's democratic movement. Hence, the decisions which will be adopted by your congress should signify an even greater contribution of your people to the struggle so that together we can make a decisive turn towards victory as early as this year.
From this paint of view year congress is: 1. a military congress which should reflect the determination of year people is increase their military contribution. Hence, you should mobilize all the forces of the Macedonian people, all their available resources in a steady marsh to victory.
2. Your congress is a congress of unity among the Macedonian people. We know that year organization has in the past years experienced a crisis which had repercussions on the military efforts of the Macedonian people, as well.
Today, the National Liberation Frost has purged its organization ideologically and has laid foundations for firmer unity. Your people regard the future with confidence, knowing that as an outcome of victory they will achieve their emancipation end will independently decide the coarse of their future life. On each a basis the unity of the fraternal people will remain intact.
3. Furthermore, your congress is a congress of complete unity between the Greek end Macedonian people. Erroneous perceptions have been removed since this question was formulated an a proper basis end since the two peoples are striving for common goals. Thus, after the Fifth Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, your congress will ideologically and politically clarify one of the fundamental problems end will strengthen unity. This unity is an indispensable precondition for victory, for if we were to fight separately we would not be able to defeat monarchofascism. This unity must be preserved because it is the basis for victory and because it is the object of our enemy's attack. This unity will secure our victory. However, we should be aware that the path to victory is difficult and that we face net only monarchofascism but also the united international imperialistic reaction, which, embodied in the Americans and the British, provides manifold support with the supply of arms, an air force and the stationing of British forces in our country. In addition, preparations are being made for the sending of American forces. However, in spite of all this, with our unity end our all-out combat we can thwart their plans.
We all knew how great the difficulties ore facing our movement And we should observe them with wide open eyes, because it is the only way to overcome them. These difficulties are great and common to our two peoples.
(Here the speaker made a remark about traitorous actions and then continued:)
The Macedonian people, especially in the Vič region, gave everything they had for the struggle and were truly defeated. They gave their children, their girls and everything they had. This superhuman sacrifice has resulted is hardships which should be overcome. These hardships spring from the war, from the intensity of force. These are the difficulties of war. However, there were other, subjective difficulties, which made the burden even heavier and which compounded ether difficulties. There people gave all they had for the struggle. However, when a tighter or a quartermaster behaves badly with these people, then he is undermining unity. We have witnessed each acts and many of the offenders were condemned, however we could not tied all the culprits. We meat onto these obstacles and consciously overcome them. Only in this way will we be able to strike the warm which the enemy infiltrates to undermine our unity.
People have ether difficulties as well. One at them is the mobilization at young women. All of us understand that we are not in favor of such a thing. It is not right that we should send our girls oft to be amputated. It is neither natural nor humane, however it is a natural measure imposed by the higher interests at our two peoples, it is imperative to our struggle. This measure has caused much misunderstanding which has been shooed by the enemy. However, we mast sacrifice everything in the light for freedom. This is the only way for the Macedonian people to regard the above-mentioned measure. It will give them new courage and hence their pate will be subordinate to the interests of the struggle.
The other difficulties are: hunger, bombardments, poverty, cold, etc. Fatigue has entered into same weak souls and the enemy is striving even more to weaken them farther in order to facilitate oppression.
From this rostrum the Macedonian people should discover some other truths which will assist them in their straggle. Comrade Vurnas spoke a while ago on behalf at the Politbureau of the Central Committee of the Greek Farmers Party about the suffering of the people an Peloponnesus. The entire Greek people suffers no the Macedonian people suffer. The Macedonian people have act yet experienced what the people of Rumelia have suffered. All of you remember the 40 children all children of officers and fighters of the Democratic Army of Greece, the children who were carried by their mothers from one mountain to another, from one gorge to another, and who were caught and slaughtered by the monarchofascists. Today, thousands of children in Rumelia, Thesalia and on the Peloponnesus live in the wilderness in unheard-of difficulties and deprived of everything. We shall not allow such a tragedy to occur here in Vič. Here the people have not experienced such difficulties. Thousands of children were caved and are provided for in the countries of the people's democracy. In this way the Slavic-Macedonian people can be at peace.
As far as the young women are concerned, you should know that thousands of young women from Rumelia and Thesalia are fighting just like your woman here. You could have heard at the conference of the Democratic Women of Greece that 40% of the Democratic Army of Greece in Rumelia are women who did not have the possibility, as they do here, of going home so rather than be killed and raped they have taken up guns and fight. Well, comrades, when we see all of this, we can conclude that just so the two peoples me equal, everyone in Greece is equally molting sacrifices. This is how we should view this question today and how we should explain it to others and thus restrain and isolate who panic and are traitors.
Now I shall say a few words concerning those who undermine unity. Those who flee and desert the struggle and who sop that they will be sold out by the Greeks, those who have, betrayed these people for they can defend their people only with gnus in hand. Those who say that this wash is s lie and for cowards, those who are hiding, like lizards and trying to save their own skins. Those who have abandoned their people say: let someone else go to the devil. These cowards and underminers of unity, who aid monarchofascism should be condemned as deserters and traitors by your congress.
Only a general mobilization of your people will create favorable conditions on that they can be transformed into a decisive factor of victory.
The position of monarchofascism is critical. Those who have not managed to destroy us despite their might daring the past three years cannot understand that today we ore an indestructible wall. Today they are passing through great difficulties. A member at the British parliament, Churchill's former minister far the Mediterranean, MacMillan said: unless we support monarchofascism it will be destroyed in the summer. Sophoulis stated that he would be grateful if the American army came to Greece. In such a situation the monarchofascism are seeking to sane their skins. On basis of such an assessment made by our enemies you must make a further contribution to the common victory. Comrades, we shall win. The past three years have shown that monarchofascism was never in a position to defeat us. These three years distinctly show that we can win, only if we wish to.
When we resumed our resistance, some of our friends, particularly in the West, taught that we were doomed. They saw no future in our struggle. We know the hardships we had to face an the path we have chosen. Nevertheless, we could chaos so other path. These hardships, which were great in the beginning, we can overcome even today. But we must be determined, persevering, and seize the victory from our enemy. Your congress should put a seal on the decisions which will be adopted in that you can be sure that 1949 will be a decisive year for victory.
Just one more decisive factor for the victory of the people's democracy lies in the following: other comrades have also stressed that the camp at the people's democracies is growing stronger while international reaction seeks to devise seen more difficulties for them and hopes to find an outlet in a new war. On our side we have all at progressive mankind. This is evidenced by the moral and material support which we see receiving from the democratic peoples.
The Americans are considering bringing their army to Greece. We are not afraid of this, since people fighting for their freedom are afraid of nothing. They know that all the world's democrats are on their side and hence they are certain at their victory.
Fighting at this prominent position of international democracy as fighters and free sharp-shooters, we have the great mission at destroying monarchofascism.
As the basis for our efforts we shall base our unity as a precondition for success, hence we cannot but win.
Long live the unity of the two peoples!
Guerillas of ELAS
Women guerillas of ELAS
member of the Politbureau of the KKE
member of the KKE since 1924
(revolutionary youth organization of Greece)
Με τη χρυσή της νιότης πανοπλία,
Το θάρρος, την ορμή, τη λευτεριάμ
Πετάμε στον αγώνα, στη θυσιά,
Για την Ελλάδα, για τη λευτεριά
*Για μια ζωή ελεύθερη κι ωραία,
Απλώνουμε της νιότης τα φτερά
Μια πλάση ονειρευτή, μια πλάση νέα
Τα μπράτσα μας να χτίσουν τα γερά
Ε. Καμαρωτά, χαρούμενα τα νιάτα
Σαν σε χορό βαδίζουν πάντα μπρος
Φλόγα, ζωή και θέληση γεμάτα
Κι είναι το πέρασμά τους όλο φως
Τα νιάτα είμαστε μεις
Της γης ελπίδα,
Αλί του που αντίκρι μας θα σταθεί,
Μελίσσι από την κάθε μια πατρίδα,
Κινάμε να λυτρώσουμε τη γη.
*Στο φράχτη της σκλαβιάς
Το πέρασμά μας
Μια καταλύτρα θαν’ νεροσυρμή,
Το δίκιο, η λευτεριά
Για σύνθημά μας
Ποιός θα μας αντικόψει την ορμή
*Των ταπεινών τον πόνο κ ;ι την θλίψη
Του σκλάβου την βαθειά την οιμωγή,
Από τη γη θα κάνουμε να λείψει
Για να γενεί χιλιόμορφη ζωή
In February 1942, EAMs central Committee decided to form a military corps, called the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), that would first operate in the mountains of Central Greece, with Aris Velouchiotis as their chief captain.
Aris Velouchiotis, founder and captain of The Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), the military arm of the left-wing National Liberation Front (EAM) during the period of the Greek Resistance.
"The Headquarters of the Democratic Army in Northern Greece, in the name of all persecuted Republican combatants who constitute this army, rejects with disgust the shameful slander that the Democratic Army has relations with or is supplied by foreigners.
"The main source of arms and supplies are the monarchist bands which are armed by the British, the stores of the army and gendarmerie and prisoners from these forces.
"The Democratic Army has arisen as a result of the new occupation and the persecution to which the people are subjected by the new fascist regime, established in Greece by the British occupation.
"We were forced to take to the mountains by the violation by the British of the Varkiza Agreement and by the policy of extermination and persecution operated against us.
"The Democratic Army categorically rejects once and for all the slander that its activities are directed against the integrity of Greece. We consider the soil of the Fatherland and its frontiers as sacred and inviolable and we oppose any idea of violence against or conquest of them.
"We struggle for the life and honor of the people and for the freedom. democracy and independence of Greece. The Democratic Army categorically rejects the base slander that it burns down villages and slays women and children. We fight as our forefathers fought for freedom—and as ELAS fought for Greece. The crimes against innocent women and children and the burning down of villages are committed by our enemies. It is against them that we struggle and we punish only traitors. We are the children of the people."
After the fall of Crete, many officers of the Greek Army joined forces with ELAS and became commanders in ELAS's corps of partisan units
The guerilla army of ELAS (National People’s Army of Liberation) under the leadership of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece), led the resistance to Nazi occupation during the War.
ELAS held two-thirds of the country in February 1945.
Ντουμανάς Τσεκούρας Μανθάς ΕΑΜ
Αντάρτες του 42ου Συντάγματος του Ελληνικού Λαϊκού Απελευθερωτικού Στρατού (ΕΛΑΣ) στη Στερεά Ελλάδα το καλοκαίρι του 1944.
Αντάρτες του Ελληνικού Λαϊκού Απελευθερωτικού Στρατού (ΕΛΑΣ) από την περιοχή της Μεσσηνίας τον Σεπτέμβριο του 1944. Συλλογή Ιάσονα Χανδρινού.
Η Αντίσταση στην Ελλάδα υπήρξε μαζική και ιδιαίτερα δραστήρια. Με απόσταση, η σημαντικότερη από τις πολλές αντιστασιακές οργανώσεις ήταν το Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο (ΕΑΜ), το οποίο ιδρύθηκε στις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 1941, έπειτα από διαπραγματεύσεις του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Ελλάδας (ΚΚΕ) με τρία μικρότερα αριστερά κόμματα. Το ΕΑΜ εξελίχθηκε σύντομα στον μαζικότερο αντιστασιακό φορέα στην κατεχόμενη χώρα, και σε ισχυρή πολιτική δύναμη, κυρίως λόγω των ριζοσπαστικών στόχων που έθετε το καταστατικό του: απελευθέρωση της χώρας από την ξένη κατοχή και κατοχύρωση της εθνικής ανεξαρτησίας, σχηματισμός προσωρινής κυβέρνησης μετά την απελευθέρωση και διενέργεια ελεύθερων εκλογών και δημοψηφίσματος, ώστε να αποφασίσει ο ελληνικός λαός τη μορφή του πολιτεύματος. Τον Φεβρουάριο του 1942, συγκροτήθηκε ο Ελληνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στρατός (ΕΛΑΣ), ο αντάρτικος στρατός του ΕΑΜ με στόχο την έναρξη ανταρτοπολέμου εναντίον των κατοχικών στρατευμάτων και των συνεργατών τους. Το καλοκαίρι του 1943 ο ΕΛΑΣ απέκτησε μεγάλη σημασία για τις συμμαχικές επιχειρήσεις αντιπερισπασμού που συνόδευσαν την απόβαση στη Σικελία, ως η μόνη δύναμη που μπορούσε να πλήξει την κεντρική σιδηροδρομική γραμμή Αθήνας-Θεσσαλονίκης. Οι Γερμανοί αναφέρονταν στον ΕΛΑΣ ως "κομμουνιστικές συμμορίες", ωστόσο αναγνώριζαν πως αποτελούσε την πιο υπολογίσιμη αντικατοχική δύναμη στην χώρα.
A member of the "Security Battalions" (a Nazi collaborationist military group) standing by a man executed for aiding the Resistance; 1943
Approximately 200 communists, delivered to the Germans on 1941, were executed at the Kaisariani Shooting Range on May 1, 1944.
1944: Πραγματοποιείται μία από τις χειρότερες σφαγές ελλήνων αμάχων, από τις γερμανικές δυνάμεις κατοχής. Μετά από μάχη στο Στείρι Βοιωτίας, οι Γερμανοί, εισέβαλαν στο Δίστομο και άρχισαν να εκτελούν τους κατοίκους. Η σφαγή σταμάτησε μόνον όταν νύχτωσε και αναγκάστηκαν να επιστρέψουν στην Λειβαδιά, αφού πρώτα έκαψαν τα σπίτια του χωριού. Οι εκτελέσεις συνεχίστηκαν και κατά την επιστροφή των Γερμανών στην βάση τους, καθώς σκότωναν όποιον άμαχο έβρισκαν στον δρόμο τους. Οι νεκροί του Δίστομου έφτασαν τους 228, εκ των οποίων οι 117 γυναίκες και 111 άντρες, ανάμεσά τους 53 παιδιά κάτω των 16 χρόνων. Στην ευρύτερη περιοχή, εκτελέστηκαν περίπου 600 άνθρωποι.
Στην Ελλάδα η έλλειψη τροφίμων αρχίζει να γίνεται ορατή καθώς οι κατοχικές αρχές έχουν δεσμεύσει όλες τις παραγόμενες ποσότητες σιτηρών και άλλων καλλιεργειών. Το φάσμα της πείνας άρχισε να πλανιέται απειλητικά κυρίως στην Αθήνα και στις άλλες πόλεις.
Εθνική Αντίσταση (Ελλάδα)
At the KKE's 7th Plenum, the establishment of EAM was decided, despite the refusal of mainstream politicians to participate. EAM was founded on 27 September 1941 by representatives of four left-wing parties: Lefteris Apostolou for the KKE, Christos Chomenidis for the Socialist Party of Greece (SΚΕ), Ilias Tsirimokos for the Union of People's Democracy (ΕLD) and Apostolos Vogiatzis for the Agricultural Party of Greece (ΑΚΕ). EAM's charter called for the "liberation of the Nation from foreign yoke" and the "guaranteeing of the Greek people's sovereign right to determine its form of government". At the same time, while the door was left open to cooperation with other parties, the KKE, due to its large size in relation to its partners, assumed a clearly dominant position within the new movement. Furthermore, the KKE's well-organized structure and its experience with the conditions and necessities of underground struggle were crucial to EAM's success. Georgios Siantos was appointed as the acting leader, since Nikolaos Zachariadis, the KKE's proper leader, was interned in Dachau concentration camp.
On 10 October, EAM published its manifesto, and announced itself and its aims to the Greek people. During the autumn of 1941, its influence expanded throughout Greece, either through pre-existing Communist cells or through the spontaneous actions of local "people's committees". Following Communist practice, EAM took care to set up a refined system with which to engage and mobilize the mass of the people. EAM committees were thus established on a territorial and occupational basis, starting from the local (village or neighbourhood) level and moving up, while subsidiary organizations were created: a youth movement, the "United Panhellenic Organisation of Youth" (EPON), a trade union, the "Workers' National Liberation Front" (EEAM), and a social welfare organization, "National Solidarity" (EA). EAM's military wing, the "Greek People's Liberation Army" (ELAS) was formed in December 1942, and a crude navy, the "National People's Liberation Navy" (ELAN)
One of the great successes of EAM was the mobilization against the plans of the Germans and the collaborationist government to send Greeks into forced labour in Germany. Public knowledge of these plans created "a kind of pre-insurrectional atmosphere", which in February 1943 led to a mounting series of strikes in Athens, culminating in an EAM-organized demonstration on 5 March, which forced the collaborationist government to back down. ELAS fought against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces. EAM-ELAS activity resulted in the complete liberation of a large area of the mountainous Greek mainland from Axis control, where in March 1944 EAM established a separate government, the "Political Committee of National Liberation" (PEEA). EAM even carried out elections to the PEEA's parliament, the "National Council", in April, where for the first time in Greek electoral history, women were allowed to vote. In these elections is estimated that 1,000,000 people voted.
In the territories it controlled, EAM implemented its own political concept, known as laokratia (λαοκρατία, "people's rule"), based upon "based upon self-administration, involvement of new categories (mainly women and youths) and popular courts".
EAM organized a demonstration in Athens on December 3, 1944 against British interference. The exact details of what happened have been debated ever since, but gendarmes opened fire on the crowd, resulting in 25 dead protesters (including a six-year-old boy) and 148 wounded. This clash escalated into a month-long conflict between ELAS and the British and Greek governmental forces, known as the "December events" (Dekemvrianá), which resulted in a British and Greek government victory. In February, the Varkiza agreement was signed, leading to the disbandment of ELAS. In April, the SΚΕ and ΕLD parties left EAM. EAM was not dissolved, but was hence for all intents and purposes merely an expression of the KKE. During the 1945-1946 period, a conservative terror campaign (the "White Terror") was launched against EAM-KKE supporters. The country became polarized, eventually leading to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War in March 1946, which lasted until 1949. In its aftermath, and in the context of the Cold War, KKE was outlawed, and EAM/ELAS vilified as an attempt at "Communist take-over" and accused of various crimes against political rivals.
Πρώτη φορά που οι Γερμανοί συνάντησαν ευρεία αντίσταση από έναν άμαχο πληθυσμό ήταν στην μάχη της Κρήτης
20 Μαΐου – 1 Ιουνίου 1944
Δέκα ημέρες διήρκησε η Μάχη της Κρήτης υπήρξε σκληρή κι ανελέητη οι Γερμανοί, αν και νικητές είχαν βαριές απώλειες, περισσότερες από τους ηττημένους
με σημαντικότερη συνέπεια την αχρήστευση ενός σημαντικού όπλου της ναζιστικής πολεμικής μηχανής: τους αλεξιπτωτιστές, οι οποίοι αν και είχαν παίξει
καθοριστικό ρόλο στην ναζιστική επιτυχία στην ευρωπαϊκή ήπειρο, στη μάχη της Κρήτης είχαν τέτοιες απώλειες που πλέον
δεν ξαναχρησιμοποιήθηκαν σε τέτοιο βαθμό μέχρι το τέλος του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου
Αυτή ήταν η πρώτη φορά που οι Γερμανοί είχαν συναντήσει ευρεία αντίσταση από έναν άμαχο πληθυσμό, και ήταν αρχικά συγκλονιστικό γι ‘αυτούς.
Για αυτό και αντέδρασαν με ασύλληπτη αγριότητα, αμέσως μετά την κατάκτηση της νήσου.
«Πόσο διαφορετικός θα ήταν ο ρους της ιστορίας, αν ένα χρόνο πριν οι κάτοικοι της Δύσης είχαν δείξει το ίδιο θάρρος με τους Κρητικούς κατά την εισβολή των Γερμανών στα χωριά τους».
-Ραδιοφωνικός σταθμός Μόσχας:
«Επολεμήσατε άοπλοι εναντίον πανόπλων και ενικήσατε. Μικροί εναντίον μεγάλων και επικρατήσατε. Δεν ήτο δυνατόν να γίνει άλλως, διότι είσθε Έλληνες. Εκερδίσαμεν χρόνον διά να αμυνθώμεν. Ως Ρώσοι και ως άνθρωποι σας ευγνωμονούμε.»
On 22 June 1941, the very same day that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, KKE ordered its militants to organize
"the struggle to defend the Soviet Union and the overthrow of the foreign fascist yoke"
The Political Committee of National Liberation (Greek: Πολιτική Επιτροπή Εθνικής Απελευθέρωσης, Politiki Epitropi Ethikis Apeleftherosis, PEEA), commonly known as the "Mountain Government" (Greek: Κυβέρνηση του Βουνού), was a Communist Party-dominated government established in Greece in 1944 in opposition to both the collaborationist German-controlled government at Athens and to the royal government-in-exile in Cairo.
The PEEA was established on 10 March 1944 by the leftist National Liberation Front (EAM)/Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) movement, which was then in control of much of the country. Its aims, according to its founding charter, were, "to intensify the struggle against the conquerors ... for full national liberation, for the consolidation of the independence and integrity of our country (...) and for the annihilation of domestic fascism and armed traitor formations".
The PEEA's authority was significantly reinforced after the establishment of the National Council (Greek: Εθνικό Συμβούλιο) in 1944. The National Council was an assembly elected by secret elections organised by the PEEA in late April 1944 in both the liberated parts of Greece and the still-occupied cities, mainly Athens. Approximately one million people took part in these elections, which are notable for the fact that for the first time in Greece, women were allowed to vote. The Council first converged in Koryschades, a mountain village of Evrytania, from 14 to 27 May 1944. Its main act was voting a resolution, an extract of which is quoted:
The National Council, composed of representatives of the whole of the Greek people, who converged to declare its inexpugnable will to fight to the bitter end for the liberation of the country, the destruction of fascism and the restoration of its national unity and popular sovereignty, willing to determine the way all authorities are exercised in free Greece, votes:
The PEEA's first president was Evripidis Bakirtzis, the former leader of National and Social Liberation (EKKA). On April 18 Alexandros Svolos, a prominent professor of constitutional law of the University of Athens, took his position and Bakirtzis became vice-president.
ELAS not only resisted German and Italian occupation forces but also re-organised life in Free Greece, the mountainous areas (i.e. the biggest part of Greece) it controlled. EAM, with the co-ordination and organization of the PEEA, helped the local people organise schools, hospitalise refugees from the big cities and protect the crops from German looting. Amateur actors and musicians created travelling theatres and bands, something that most rural communities had never seen or heard before. Another achievement of ELAS (due partially to the progressive ideas and partially to the lack of men) was to promote women's rights. Young girls, who until then were working at home or the fields, had the opportunity to educate and express themselves. There were also improvised telecommunications either by telephone lines or by messengers and systems of re-distribution of food-resources, so that no village would starve.
April 1942 - the founding of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS)
1943 - The Andartiko (partisan movement) covered most of Greece by May, with 17,000 fighters in the field, rising to 30,000 in July.
This list contains the names of the most well-known ELAS leaders or simple members, with their nom de guerre in parentheses:
Athanasios Klaras (Aris Velouchiotis), chief captain of ELAS
Colonel Stefanos Sarafis, chief military expert of ELAS
Andreas Tzimas (Vasilis Samariniotis), chief political commissioner of ELAS
Major General Neokosmos Grigoriadis (Lambros), Chairman of ELAS Central Committee
Lieutenant General Ptolemaios Sarigiannis, Chief of Staff of ELAS Central Committee
Colonel Evripidis Bakirtzis, commander of ELAS' Macedonian theatre
Captain Theodoros Makridis (Ektoras), one of ELAS chief staff officers
Father Dimitrios Holevas (Papa-Holevas, Papaflessas)
Father Germanos Dimakos (Papa-Anypomonos)
Fotis Mastrokostas (Thanos)
Nikos Kavretzos (Kostoulas Agrafiotis)
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Nikiforos)
Giorgos Houliaras (Periklis)
Pandelis Laskos (Pelopidas)
Ioannis Alexandrou (Diamantis)
Lambros Koumbouras (Achilleas)
Sarantos Kapourelakos, serving directly under Velouchiotis command.
Spyros Bekios (Lambros)
Dimitrios Tassos (Boukouvalas)
Thomas Pallas (Kozakas)
Nikos Xinos (Smolikas)
Vangelis Papadakis (Tassos Lefterias)
Ioannis Aggeletos (Tzavelas)
Vasilis Priovolos (Ermis)
Ioannis Hatzipanagiotou (Thomas)
Christos Margaritis (Armatolos)
Georgios Zarogiannis (Kavallaris)
Vasilis Ganatsios (Cheimarros)
Panagiotis G. Tesseris Secretary of the Training Committee of Gorilla fighters (Laconia Region) E.L.A.S.
At the Second Congress of the SEKE in April 1920, the party decided to affiliate with Comintern.
At the Third Extraordinary Congress of the SEKE-K in November 1924, the party was renamed the Communist Party of Greece and adopted the principles of Marxism–Leninism. The party was banned in 1936
A large number of KKE members were already in prison before the Nazi invasion. The pro-Nazi occupation government handed some of them over.
The 6th Meeting of KKE Central Committee was held in Athens from 1–3 July 1941, which decided on strategy for an armed liberation struggle against the Nazi invaders.
The Macedonian Bureau of KKE organised the first two partisan units at the end of June 1941. The first was based in Kilkis and was named "Athanasios Diakos", the second was based in Nigrita and was named "Odysseas Androutsos". These small partisan units blew up bridges, attacked police stations, and eventually organized into larger combat units of more than 300 men each. In several other places and in major cities, small armed groups of KKE members and non-communists began to emerge, protecting people from looters, the Germans, or collaborators.
On 27 September 1941, Greek communists together with five other leftist parties formed the National Liberation Front (EAM), in Kallithea, Athens, and began forming partisan militia units.
On 16 February 1942, the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) was founded in a small kiosk in Fthiotida and by 1943 it consisted of 50,000 members, both men and women, with 30,000 as reserve units in major cities. The KKE played a prominent role in the organisation. By the end of the war, some 200,000 Greek citizens, both workers and peasants, had joined the ranks of KKE. KKE maintained its alliances with the EAM.
KKE criticised the interference of the British General Scoby in Greek affairs, EAM refused to disarm ELAS and ELAN.
Fighting broke out in Athens on 3 December 1944 during a demonstration, organised by EAM, involving more than 100,000 people. According to some accounts, the police, covered by British troops, opened fire on the crowd. More than 28 people were killed and 148 injured. This incident was the beginning of the 37-day Battle of Athens (Dekemvriana). the anti-communist violence on the Greek mainland had resulted in the imprisonment or exile of 100,000 ELAS partisans and EAM members, the deaths of 3,000 EAM officials and members, the rape of between 200 and 500 women, the burning of houses, and other acts of violence. Large groups had returned to their partisan hideouts in the mountains and gradually formed smaller partisan units. On 26 October 1946, KKE militia units attacked the police station in Litochoro, armed their forces and founded the Central Greece Command of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE). KKE's political influence and organization structure helped form units in the Aegean Islands of as Mytilene, Chios, Ikaria, Samos, and Crete.
The Civil War involved two sides. On the one side was the British and American backed Greek Government, led by Konstantinos Tsaldaris and, later, Themistoklis Sophoulis, which was elected in the 1946 elections which the KKE had boycotted. On the other side was the Democratic Army of Greece, of which the KKE was the only major political force. In December 1947, KKE and its allies that participated in the Civil War formed the Provisional Democratic Government ("Mountain Government") under the premiership of Markos Vafiadis. After this, the KKE (still legal due to the Treaty of Varkiza) turned illegal. On 29 January 1949, the Greek National Army appointed General Alexander Papagos Commander-in-Chief. In August 1949, Papagos launched a major counter-offensive against DSE forces in northern Greece, code-named "Operation Torch". The plan was for the Greek National Army to gain control of the border with Albania in order to surround and defeat the DSE forces, numbering 8,500 fighters. The DSE suffered heavy losses from the operation, but managed to retreat its units to Albania.
After the Civil War, the KKE was outlawed and most of its prominent members had to flee Greece or go underground. Prominent members of the KKE were tried and executed, including Nikos Beloyannis in 1952 and Nikos Ploumpidis in 1954. The execution of Ploumpidis was the last such execution by the post-Civil War governments.
* * *
Ηγετικά στελέχη του ΚΚΕ στην 5η Ολομέλεια της Κεντρικής Επιτροπής το Γενάρη του 1949 στο Γράμμο: 1. Β. Μπαρτζιώτας, 2. Π. Δανιηλίδης, 3. Ν. Ζαχαριάδης, 4. Π. Σινάκος, 5. Κ. Καραγιώργης, 6. Μ. Πορφυρογένης, 7. Δ. Βλαντάς, 8. Π. Μαυρομμάτης, 9. Ι. Ιωαννίδης, 10. Κ. Λουλές, 11. Χ. Χατζηβασιλείου, 12. Α. Γκρόζος, 13. Λ. Στρίγγος, 14. Γ. Ερυθριάδης, 15. Αλέγκρα
Γιανούλης Γιώργος Επταχώρι Καστοριάς. Διοικητής του ΕΛΑΣ περιοχής Γράμμου. Εκτελέστηκε το 1948 απο Γούσια-Ζαχαριάδη.
Γιανούλης Γιώργος Επταχώρι Καστοριάς. Διοικητής του ΕΛΑΣ περιοχής Γράμμου. Εκτελέστηκε το 1948 απο Γούσια-Ζαχαριάδη.
Εύδηλος Ικαρίας 1948. Εξόριστος, για δεύτερη φορά,
με τους συντρόφους του γραφείου της ΕΠΟΝ
[ excerpt published in the Diary: "Two Friendly People", pages 115 - 118 – Monday, January 24, 1966 ]
Ο Γ. Φαρσακίδης, πρώτος από αριστερά, μαζί με ΕΠΟΝίτες συναγωνιστές του
Φώτης Αγγουλές, ο προλετάριος ποιητής και αγωνιστής -από τον Οικοδόμο
Ο «επικίνδυνος» Αγγουλές συλλαμβάνεται στη Χίο και κινδυνεύει να καταδικαστεί σε θάνατο. Με την πάνδημη διαμαρτυρία και συμπαράσταση του νησιού η ποινή του γίνεται φυλάκιση και αρχίζει τότε η περιπλάνησή του σε διάφορες φυλακές της χώρας που θα κρατήσει πολλά χρόνια. Η ακλόνητη πίστη του στον άνθρωπο, στη δύναμή του που βγαίνει από το δίκιο, και τα ιδανικά του θα τον κρατήσουν όρθιο απέναντι στην πολύ άσχημη κατάσταση της υγείας του που γίνεται ακόμα χειρότερη από τις κακουχίες και τα βασανιστήρια για να υπογράψει «δήλωση». Δεν λύγισε.
Ο Φώτης Αγγουλές έκλεισε τα μάτια του νέος, μα πρόλαβε να ζήσει δυο και τρεις ζωές, περισσότερο από άλλους που έζησαν γεράματα. Άφησε για κληρονομιά ένα υπέροχο παράδειγμα αγωνιστικής στάσης απέναντι στις μεγαλύτερες φουρτούνες της ζωής και ένα έργο φωτεινό σαν φάρο να σκίζει τα σκοτάδια που ακολούθησαν το μεγαλείο της ανάτασης του λαού μας στα χρόνια της αντίστασης.
Εμείς αγόρι μου, είμαστε δρακογενια. κοιμηθήκαμε πάνω στο χιόνι κι ανάμεσα στα σκίνα,δεχτήκαμε ιατρικές επεμβάσεις χωρίς αναισθητικό,ζήσαμε στα ξερονήσια και τις φυλακές,μάθαμε ν αντέχουμε Δεν προλάβαμε να βγούμε στην κοινωνία και βγήκαμε στην Αντίσταση Τα οράματα ερχόντουσαν από μόνα τους να σε συναντήσουν
Ένα μικρο τέταρτο του φεγγαριού έπεφτε πάνω στα μάρμαρα το χουμε συμφωνήσει Αν παν να μας συλλάβουν, θα πέσουμε από την Ακρόπολη Παιδευόμαστε,είναι στερεωμένη με συρματόσκοινο .Σιωπή Μονό το γέλιο της γερμανικής φρουράς ακούγεται Ένα ένα κόβουμε τα σύρματα με χέρια, με δόντια, με λύσσα! Η σημαία πέφτει...........
Συλλήψεις διαδηλωτών τις μέρες εκείνες
“People were suffering… taxes had knelt them and usury would come to trigger the last shot. I leave aside my own description and I take an excerpt from the ‘History’ of Karolidis, professor at The University: “that period the country was torn apart from outlawry and the gangs of usurers, who in co-operation with the Treasury of the state and even the judges, had built solidarity and were ripping the flesh of people” […]. Even so, usurers, party leaders, judges, treasury, national bank, state and thieves, the last ones less than the rest, were performing the same “national” task: the desolation of the country and the extinction of its people. During this anti-social orgy, the foreign capitalists are coming to grab the best places.” – Excerpt from Beloyannis’ book “The Foreign Capital in Greece”, by Greek publisher “Σύγχρονη Εποχή”.
“We love Greece and its people more than our prosecutors. We demonstrated it when our freedom, independence and integrity were in danger and, precisely, we fight for better days to rise in this country, without hunger and war. For this scope we fight and, if necessary, we even sacrifice our life. I believe that by sentencing us today, you sentence our fight for peace, you sentence Greece.” – Last words of Beloyannis in his plea during the last trial, in February 1952.
“We believe in the most correct theory which has been conceived by the most progressive minds of humanity. And our effort, our struggle, is that this theory becomes a reality in Greece and the entire world (…) We love Greece and its people more than our accusers (…) Precisely because we struggle so that our country will see better days, without hunger and war (…) and when it is necessary, we sacrifice our lives.”
"If I had renounced the KKE most likely I would have been declared innocent with great honours... But my life is connected with the history of the KKE and its activity... Dozens of times I faced the following dilemma: “to live and betray my beliefs, my ideology or to die and remain faithful to them. I have always chosen the second and today I am doing this again”
"The responsibility for the fact that the land of Greece is seeded with graves and ruins belongs only to the foreign imperialists and their greek servants"
was a member of Greek resistance against German occupation during World War II and a leading figure of the Communist Party of Greece.
Nikos Beloyannis was born in Amaliada, Peloponnese in 1915. He was the son of of a poor craftsman. He was involved in the youth progressive movement from an early age, as a high school student and, later, as a University of Athens' student. He joined the Organization of the Communist Youth of Greece (OKNE) and in 1934 he became a member of the Communist Party (KKE). For his revolutionary activities, Beloyannis was expelled from the Law School of the University of Athens. In mid-1930s he became an organizer and leader of various party organizations in Peloponnese and in 1936 was arrested for his activities. Later he escaped from prison and re-arrested in 1938 when he was sentenced to five years in prison and two years in exile.
In the first years of 1940s Beloyannis remained in prison as the fascist government of Metaxas handed over thousands of communist prisoners to the italian and german occupation forces. He escaped in 1943 and joined the resistance struggle against the Nazis. In 1943-44 Beloyannis was involved in party and partisan work in the area of Patras being political commissar of the 3rd Division of the People's Liberation Army of Greece (ELAS). After Greece's liberation, he became head of the ideological work department of KKE organization in Peloponnese. He edited the magazine "Free Morias" and on the same time wrote two books: "Foreign capital in Greece" and "History of Modern Greek literature".
During the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) Beloyannis conducted political work in the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE). In 1947 he became head of the Propaganda Department of the DSE and in 1948-49 he served as political commissar of the 10th Division of the DSE. He was wounded in battle in 1948.
After the defeat of DSE on September 1949, Beloyannis and thousands of armed comrades went to the socialist countries of central and eastern Europe. After the end of the Civil War, an anti-democratic, anti-communist and completely depended on US and Britain regime was installed in Greece.
In 1950, Nikos Beloyannis was elected as a member of the Central Committee of the- then exiled- Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In June 1950, after the decision of the Central Committee of KKE, Beloyannis arrived in Greece secretely, using false documents and passport. His duty was to inform the party forces in Greece about the new party line as well as to reorganize the underground network of party organizations in the country. With the aid of the newly founded US intelligence service (CIA), the Greek authorities arrested Beloyannis on December 1950.
M A R C H 31, 1952
(Excerpt of the book "Two friendly People")
The Albanian people were immensely angered that Greek reaction executed one of the glorious sons of the Greek people, Nicos Beloyanis, who fought heroically against the Italian and German fascist occupiers and the Anglo-American imperialists.
On the opening day of the 2nd Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania (March 31, 1952), speaking about the peoples' struggle for peace in the report which he delivered, Comrade Enver Hoxha said:
"Let us remind them [the masses] of the heroic fighter of the Greek people, Comrade Nicos Beloyanis, whom the chiefs of Athens shot yesterday morning.
To honour the unforgettable memory of our dear and heroic Greek comrade, Nicos Beloyanis, (1)
I invite the Congress of our Party to observe one minute silence as a sign of love and unbreakable friendship with the fraternal Greek people."
1 As a mark of respect, in 1952 the workers' holiday camp in Durrës was given the name «Nicos Beloyanis».
Nikos Beloyannis, the man with the carnation, the Communist, the hero. It was in the dawn of Sunday 30th March 1952 when his heart stopped beating. The bullets of the firing squad gave an end to the lifes of Beloyannis and three of his comrades- Dimitris Batsis, Elias Argyriadis and Nikos Kaloumenos.
The post-civil war bourgeois, centrist government of Plastiras, under the orders of his imperialist patrons, had done it's job. Beloyannis, a member of the Central Committee of the- then illegal- Greek Communist Party, was dead. However, his legacy and ideals were already immortal.
"Beloyannis instructs us one more time,how to live and how to die.
With just one carnation he unlocked all of immortality.With just one smile he brightened the world so darkness can never fall. Good morning comrades
Good morning sun
Good morning Beloyannis".
- Yannis Ritsos, Poem "Man with the Carnation".
Belogiannis and his comrades had waged an unwavering struggle against German, British and US imperialism. This was the reason why they arrested, tried and executed them. In his highly publicized and controversial extraordinary trials Beloyannis fought with courage against his prosecutors. The first trial began in Athens on October 19th, 1951, with a lawsuit against Beloyannis and 92 more members of the Communist Party (KKE). The accusation was that they had violated the law 509 of 1947 about "communist propaganda", taking into account that KKE had been declared as "illegal" by the state. The verdict of the first trial sentenced Beloyannis and 11 comrades to death. Nonetheless, after an international outcry - and as it was clear that the trial process was nothing but a political conspiracy- the sentence was not executed.
The bourgeois state, however, alongside it's local and international allies, unfolded an alternative plot: Beloyannis and and some of his comrades had to be tried again, this time accused for "espionage" based on the law 375 of 1936. The second trial of Nikos Beloyannis- a parody trial- began on February 15th 1952. The extraordinary military tribune of Athens accused Beloyannis and his comrades for secretely transmitting important information of national interest to the Soviet Union. However, Beloyannis utilized both trials against him in order to ridicule his prosecutors and denounce their motives.
BELOYANNIS: Do you claim that I came here to implement the decisions of the plenary sessions of the CC of KKE?
Angelopoulos: Yes I do.
BELOYANNIS: These decisions state that the basis of the activity of the KKE is the struggle for bread, democratic freedoms, peace. Is this not the case?
Angelopoulos: It is indeed.
BELOYANNIS: Consequently, the struggle for bread, democratic freedoms and peace is a conspiracy against Greece, isn’t it?
BELOYANNIS: Thank you. This was all I wanted to clarify.
On March 1, 1952 Nikos Beloyannis and 7 comrades were sentenced to death. Within a week the Greek government received from all over the world hundreds of thousands telegrams against the death sentense, while an international campaign - with the participation of personalities like Picasso, Chaplin, Sartre, Éluard, Nazim Hikmet and others- asked for the cancellation of the military tribune's verdict. On the contrary, the US demanded that the Plastiras' government and the King carry out the execution of the sentense. In the late evening of Saturday, March 29, 1952, King Pavlos rejected a request for clemency for Beloyannis and his comrades.