Dekemvriana

The Dekemvriana (Greek: Δεκεμβριανά, "December events") refers to a series of clashes fought during World War II in Athens from 3 December 1944 to 11 January 1945. The conflict was the culmination of months of tension between the communist EAM, some parts of its military wing, the ELAS stationed in Athens, the KKE and the OPLA from one side and from the other side, the Greek Government, some parts of the Hellenic Royal Army, the Hellenic Gendarmerie, the Cities Police, the far-right Organization X, among others and also the British Army.[1]

Regardless of the tensions between the left and the right, on May 1944 it had been roughly agreed in the Lebanon Conference that all non-collaborationist factions would participate in a Government of National Unity; eventually 6 out of 24 ministers were appointed by EAM. Additionally, a few weeks before the withdrawal of the German troops on October 1944, it had been reaffirmed in the Caserta Agreement that all collaborationist forces would be tried and punished accordingly; and that all resistance forces would participate in the formation of the new Greek Army, under the command of the British. Yet, on December 1, the British commander Ronald Scobie ordered the unilateral disarmament of EAM-ELAS. The EAM ministers resigned on the 2nd of December and EAM called for a rally in central Athens on the 3rd, requesting the immediate punishment of the collaborationist Security Battalions and the withdrawal of the "Scobie" order. The rally of some 200,000 people was shot at by the Greek Police and Gendarmerie, leaving 28 protesters dead and 148 wounded. These killings ushered a full-blown armed confrontation between EAM and the Government forces at first (which included the Security Battalions), and during the 2nd half of December, against the full-blown British military forces.

The clashes were limited to Athens, while elsewhere in Greece the situation remained tense but peaceful, with the exception of Epirus where Velouchiotis attacked the forces of Zervas.

The Dekemvriana ended with the defeat of EAM-ELAS, leading to its disarmament in the Varkiza Agreement which marked the end of ELAS. This first defeat broke the power of EAM. This together with the EAM-instigated "Red Terror" was followed by a period of "White Terror" against the left,[2] which contributed to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War in 1946.

Background

By 1944, the two major resistance movements in occupied Greece, EDES and EAM-ELAS, each saw the other to be their great enemy. They both saw the Germans were going to be defeated and were a temporary threat. For the communists, the British represented their major obstacle.

The New Government of Greece Enters Athens, 18 October 1944 TR2500
18 October 1944; the crowd celebrates the Liberation and the coming of Papandreou Government.

By the summer of 1944, it was obvious that the Germans would soon withdraw from Greece, as Soviet forces were advancing into Romania and towards Yugoslavia, with the retreating Germans at risk of being cut off. In September, General Fyodor Tolbukhin's armies advanced into Bulgaria, forcing the resignation of the country's pro-Nazi government and the establishment of a pro-Communist regime, while Bulgarian troops withdrew from Greek Macedonia. The Axis withdrawal, before the exiled government could return to the country, created a power vacuum. The government-in-exile, now led by the prominent liberal George Papandreou, moved to Italy, in preparation for its return to Greece. Under the Caserta Agreement of September 1944, all resistance forces in Greece were to be placed under the command of a British officer, General Ronald Scobie.

According to historian Donny Gluckstein, the British actively sought to delay the German withdrawal in order to prevent ELAS from liberating the country. He cites German plenipotentiary Hermann Neubacher.[3]

The British arrived in Greece in October (Operation Manna) with the exiled Greek government and some units of the Greek army, led by General Tsakalotos. By then, the Germans were in full retreat, and most of Greece's territory had already been liberated by Greek partisans.

On October 13, British troops entered Athens and Papandreou and his ministers followed six days later. King George II stayed in Cairo because Papandreou had promised that the future of the monarchy would be decided by referendum.

There was little to prevent ELAS from taking full control of the country. With the German withdrawal, ELAS units had taken control of the countryside and most of the cities. However, they did not take full control because the KKE leadership was instructed by the Soviet Union not to precipitate a crisis that could jeopardize Allied unity and put Stalin's larger postwar objectives at risk. The KKE’s leadership knew so, but not the ELAS's fighters and rank-and-file, which became a source of conflict within both EAM and ELAS.

Following Stalin's instructions, the KKE’s leadership tried to avoid a confrontation with the Papandreou government. Most ELAS members saw the British as liberators despite some KKE leaders, such as Andreas Tzimas and Aris Velouchiotis. Tzimas was in touch with Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, and he disagreed with ELAS's cooperation with the British forces.

The issue of disarming the resistance organizations was a cause of friction between the Papandreou government and its EAM members. Advised by British ambassador Reginald Leeper, Papandreou demanded the disarmament of all armed forces apart from the Sacred Band and the III Mountain Brigade, which were formed following the suppression of the April 1944 Egypt mutiny, and the constitution of a National Guard under government control. The EAM, believing that it would leave the guerillas of ELAS defenseless against anticommunist militias, submitted an alternative plan of total and simultaneous disarmament. Papandreou rejected this plan, causing the EAM ministers to resign from the government on December 2.

On December 1, Scobie issued a proclamation calling for the dissolution of ELAS. Command of ELAS was the KKE's greatest source of strength, and the KKE leader Siantos decided that the demand the ELAS's dissolution must be resisted.

Tito's influence may have played some role in ELAS's resistance to disarmament. Tito was outwardly loyal to Stalin but had come to power through his own means and believed that the Communist Greeks should do the same. His influence, however, had not prevented the EAM leadership from putting its forces under Scobie's command a couple of months earlier, in accordance with the Caserta Agreement. In the meanwhile, following Georgios Grivas's instructions, Organization X members had set up outposts in central Athens and resisted the EAM for several days until British troops arrived, as their leader had been promised.

The events

Dekemvriana 1944 SYNTAGMA
Unarmed protesters of EAM lying dead or wounded on 3 December 1944 in front of the Greek Parliament, while others are running for their lives; moments after the first shootings that left at least 28 dead and signalled the beginning of the Dekemvriana events.

According to the Caserta Agreement, all Greek forces were under the Allied command of Scobie. On December 1, 1944, the Greek government of "National Unity" under Georgios Papandreou and Gen. Scobie (British head of the Allied forces in Greece at that time) announced an ultimatum for the general disarmament of all guerrilla forces by 10 December, excluding those allied to the government (the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade and the Sacred Band) and also a part of EDES and ELAS that would be used in Allied operations in Crete and the Dodecanese (still under German occupation), if it was necessary. As a result, on December 2, six ministers of the EAM, most of whom were KKE members, resigned from their positions in the "National Unity" government. The EAM called for a general strike and a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament for the next day, December 3.

ScobiUltimatum
An order of Gen. Scobie signed and printed in the government's newspaper "Η ΕΛΛΑΣ" (December 6), enforcing the government's ultimatum (December 1) for the immediate disarmament of all guerilla forces not allied to the government.

The demonstration involved at least 200,000 people marching on Panepistimiou Street towards the Syntagma Square. British tanks along with police units had been scattered around the area, blocking the way of the demonstrators.

The shootings began when the marchers had arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of the Royal palace, above Syntagma Square. They originated from the streets, from the building of the General Police Headquarters, from the Parliament (Vouli), from the Hotel Grande Bretagne (where international observers had settled), from other governmental buildings and from policemen on the street. Among many testimonies, N. Farmakis, then a fifteen-year old member of the Anti-EAM Organization X participating in the shootings, described that he saw the head of the police Angelos Evert giving the order to open fire on the crowd, by means of a handkerchief waved from the window. The sharpshooters had been given a standing order, according to Farmakis, "Don't fire as they are marching, at least up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When they march to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, open fire!"[4] Although there are no accounts hinting that the crowd indeed possessed guns, the British commander Woodhouse insisted that it was uncertain whether the first shots were fired by the police or the demonstrators. More than 28 demonstrators were killed, and 148 were injured. This signalled the beginning of the Dekemvriana (Greek: Δεκεμβριανά, "the December events"), a 37-day period of full-scale fighting in Athens between EAM fighters and smaller parts of ELAS, and the forces of the British army and the government.

Greece-1944-12-17-kke-pamphlet
Pamphlet calling workers from different neighbours of Athens to fight against the Greek Government and its British support (17 December)

At the beginning the government had only a few policemen and gendarmes, some militia units, the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade—distinguished at the Gothic Line offensive in Italy, which, however, lacked heavy weapons — and the royalist group Organization X, also known as "Chítes", which was accused by EAM of collaborating with the Nazis. Consequently, the British intervened in support of the government, freely using artillery and aircraft as the battle approached its last stages.

In the early morning hours of December 4, ELAS reservists began operations in the Athens–Piraeus area, attacking Grivas' X forces[5] and many police stations with success. In the evening, a peaceful demonstration cum funeral procession took place by EAM members. Government forces took no action but the procession was attacked by Chites led by Colonel Grivas, with over 100 dead. Also on December 4, Papandreou gave his resignation to the British Commander, Gen. Scobie, who rejected it.

By December 12, ΕΑΜ was in control of most of Athens, Piraeus and the suburbs. The government and British forces were confined only in the centre of Athens, in an area that was called ironically by the guerillas as Scobia (the Scobie's country).

The British, alarmed by the initial successes of EAM/ELAS and outnumbered, flew in the 4th Indian Infantry Division from Italy as emergency reinforcements. They also transferred John Hawkesworth from Italy to Athens, as assistant to Scobie, who soon took the general command.

Although the British were openly fighting against EAM in Athens, there were no such battles in the rest of the big cities. In certain cases, such as Volos, some RAF units even surrendered equipment to ELAS fighters.. It seems that ELAS preferred to avoid an armed confrontation with the British forces initially and later tried to reduce the conflict as much as possible, although poor communication between its many independent units around the country might also have played a role. This might explain the simultaneous struggle against the British, the large-scale ELAS operations against trotskyists, anarchists and other political dissidents in Athens, and the many contradictory decisions of EAM leaders. Videlicet, KKE's leadership, was supporting a doctrine of "national unity" while eminent members, such as Stringos, Makridis and even Georgios Siantos, were creating revolutionary plans. Even more curiously, Tito was both the KKE's key sponsor and a key British ally, owing his physical and political survival in 1944 to British assistance.

Churchill in Athens

The British Army in Greece 1944 NA20518
British tanks and soldiers outside a building of EAM

This outbreak of fighting between Allied forces and an anti-German European resistance movement while the war in Europe was still being fought was a serious political problem for Churchill's coalition government in Britain and caused much protest in the British press and the House of Commons. To prove his peacemaking intentions to the public, Churchill went to Athens with General Alexander, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan at Christmas (December 25), to preside over a conference to bring about a settlement, in which Soviet representatives (Popov) also participated.

The conference was to take place in the Hotel Grande Bretagne. Later, it became known that there was a plan by the EAM to blow up the building, aiming to kill the participants, which was finally cancelled.[6][7] Instead the conference took place in Phaliro, on the cruiser Ajax. From the Greek side Siantos, Partsalidis, Mantakas and Sofianopoulos took part for EAM and Regent Damaskinos, Papandreou, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Sofoulis, Kafantaris, Dimitris Maximos, Stefanos Stefanopoulos, Gonatas, Tsaldaris and as a special personality Nikolaos Plastiras for the government. It failed because the EAM/ELAS demands were considered excessive.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union remained passive about developments in Greece. True to the informal Percentages agreement struck between Stalin and Churchill that placed Greece in the British sphere of influence, the Soviet delegation in Greece did not encourage or discourage the EAM's ambitions. The delegation's chief gained the nickname "sphinx" among local Communist officers for not giving any clues about Soviet intentions. Pravda did not mention the clashes at all.

By early January, EAM forces had lost the battle. Despite Churchill's intervention, Papandreou resigned and was replaced by General Nikolaos Plastiras. On 15 January 1945, Scobie agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for the ELAS's withdrawal from its positions at Patras and Thessaloniki and its demobilization in the Peloponnese. The communist guerillas, led by Siantos, evacuated the capital taking thousands of hostages.

References

  1. ^ Iatrides, John O. Revolt in Athens: The Greek Communist “Second Round” 1944–1945, Princeton University Press, 2015. ISBN 9780691619651
  2. ^ Kostopoulos, Tasos (2016-12-11). "Η "συμμοριοποίηση" του κράτους" [The gang-ification of the state]. Η Εφημεριδα των Συντακτων (in Greek). Athens. Archived from the original on 2016-12-11. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
  3. ^ Gluckstein, Donny (2012). A people's history of the Second World War : resistance versus empire. London: Pluto Press. p. 47. ISBN 978 0 7453 2802 7.
  4. ^ Δεκεμβριανά 1944 [Dekemriana 1944] (flv) (Television production). tvxs (Reporters Without Frontiers), Stelios Kouloglou. 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  5. ^ Charles R. Shrader, The Withered Vine: Logistics and the Communist Insurgency in Greece, 1945-1949, Praeger, 1999, p. 39.
  6. ^ Petropoulos, Giorgos (24 Dec 2013). Η εκκωφαντική ανατίναξη που δεν έγινε [The thunderous explosion that never came to be]. Εφημερίδα των συντακτών (in Greek). Athens: www.efsyn.gr. Retrieved 5 Aug 2014.
  7. ^ Vulliamy, Ed; Smith, Helena. "Athens 1944: Britain's dirty secret". guardian. Retrieved 30 Nov 2014.
1946 Greek referendum

A referendum on maintaining the monarchy was held in Greece on 1 September 1946. The proposal was approved by 68.4% of voters with a turnout of 88.6%.

3rd Greek Mountain Brigade

The 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade (Greek: ΙΙΙ Ελληνική Ορεινή Ταξιαρχία, ΙΙΙ Ε.Ο.Τ.) was a unit of mountain infantry formed by the Greek government in exile in Egypt during World War II. It was formed from politically reliable right-wing and pro-royalist personnel following a pro-EAM mutiny among the Greek armed forces in Egypt in April 1944. Commanded by Colonel Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, it fought in the Battle of Rimini in Italy (under I Canadian Corps), where it earned the honorific title "Rimini Brigade" ("Ταξιαρχία Ρίμινι") and against EAM's Greek People's Liberation Army in the Dekemvriana events in Athens.

Alexandros Svolos

Alexandros Svolos (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Σβώλος; 1892, Kruševo, Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire – 22 February 1956, Athens, Greece) was a prominent Greek legal expert, who also served as president of the Political Committee of National Liberation, a Resistance-based government during the Axis occupation of Greece.

Asyrmatos, Athens

Asyrmatos (Greek: Ασύρματος pronounced [aˈsiɾ.ma.tos]) or Attaliotika (Greek: Ατταλιώτικα pronounced [a.taˈlʝo.ti.ka]) is a neighborhood of Athens, Greece. It is located in the west slopes of Philopappos Hill, next to Ano Petralona district. It is technically part of Petralona.

Asyrmatos was named after a transmitting antenna of Greek Navy (asyrmatos being the Greek word for 'wireless'). This area was an old quarry where refugees from Asia Minor were settled, after the Asia Minor Disaster. Most of the refugees came from Attaleia, so the other name for this district is Attaliotika. The new settlement was built with rough and makeshift materials, giving it a characteristic slum-like appearance. During the Dekemvriana in 1944, the navy school and transmitting antenna were burnt down, leading the government to decide to accommodate the refugees in the old navy school facilities, with the building of stone houses and a block of flats.Asyrmatos was used as natural scenery for the notable Greek neorealistic film Synoikia To Oneiro. The film was censored by the Greek authorities of the 1960s for depicting images of poverty and misery within Athens.

Eleni Papadaki

Eleni Papadaki (Greek: Ελένη Παπαδάκη; 1903–1944) was a celebrated Greek stage actress who was murdered at the end of World War II, accused of having collaborated with the Nazi occupation force.

She was born on 4 November 1903 in Athens to an affluent family, the granddaughter of university professor Stylianos Konstantinidis. She studied philology, phonetics, music and piano at the Great Conservatory of Athens, but began an acting career at the age of twenty-two in 1925, in Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. The theatre critic for the Demokratia newspaper greeted her performance with the comment that "today the stage has acquired a great actress". At the same time, she also performed in Oscar Wilde's Salome.

Her most successful performances during the last part of her career was in the ancient Greek tragedies.

After a twenty-year career on the stage, Eleni Papadaki was murdered in Athens on 22 December 1944, during the Dekemvriana events, by communists of the OPLA, accusing her of having collaborated with the German occupiers. She had been denounced by a rival actress.

Georgios Bakos

Georgios Bakos (Greek: Γεώργιος Μπάκος, 1892–1945) was a Greek Army officer.

Born in Mani in 1892, he became a career officer and fought in the Asia Minor Campaign. As a Major General, he commanded the 3rd Infantry Division in the Greco-Italian War of 1940–41.

After the German invasion of Greece and the Greek Army's capitulation, he served as Minister of National Defence in the collaborationist government set up by Lt. General Georgios Tsolakoglou on 30 April 1941, and retained the post under Tsolakoglou's successor Konstantinos Logothetopoulos, until the Logothetopoulos cabinet's resignation on 7 April 1943. An ardent Germanophile, Bakos tried, without success, to raise a Greek volunteer unit to fight along the German Wehrmacht in the Eastern Front.During the Dekemvriana he was taken prisoner by EAM-ELAS guerrillas, and after a court-martial was executed as a traitor on 6 January 1945.

Georgios Papandreou

Georgios Papandreou (Greek: Γεώργιος Παπανδρέου Geórgios Papandréou; 13 February 1888 – 1 November 1968) was a Greek politician, the founder of the Papandreou political dynasty. He served three terms as prime minister of Greece (1944–1945, 1963, 1964–1965). He was also deputy prime minister from 1950–1952, in the governments of Nikolaos Plastiras and Sofoklis Venizelos and served numerous times as a cabinet minister, starting in 1923, in a political career that spanned more than five decades.

Greek Civil War

Τhe Greek Civil War (Greek: ο Eμφύλιος [Πόλεμος], o Emfýlios [Pólemos], "the Civil War") was fought in Greece from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army — backed by the United Kingdom and the United States — and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) — backed by Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria. It is often considered the first proxy war of the Cold War, although the Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. Founded by the Communist Party of Greece and supported by neighboring and newly founded Socialist States such as Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria, the Democratic Army of Greece included many personnel who had fought as partisans against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces during the Second World War of 1939–1945.

The civil war resulted from a highly polarized struggle between left and right ideologies that started in 1943. From 1944 each side targeted the power vacuum resulting from the end of German-Italian occupation (1941–1945) during World War II. The struggle became one of the first conflicts of the Cold War (c. 1947 to 1989) and represents the first example of Cold War power postwar involvement in the internal politics of a foreign country. Greece in the end was funded by the US (through the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan) and joined NATO (1952), while the insurgents were demoralized by the bitter split between the Soviet Union's Joseph Stalin, who wanted the war ended, and Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito, who wanted it to continue.

Tito was committed to helping the Greek Communists in their efforts, a stance that caused political complications with Stalin, as he had recently agreed with Winston Churchill not to support the Communists in Greece, as documented in their Percentages Agreement of October 1944.

The first signs of the civil war occurred in 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation. With the Greek government in exile unable to influence the situation at home, various resistance groups of differing political affiliations emerged, the dominant ones being the leftist National Liberation Front (EAM), and its military branch the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) which was effectively controlled by the KKE. Starting in autumn 1943, friction between the EAM and the other resistance groups resulted in scattered clashes, which continued until spring 1944, when an agreement was reached forming a national unity government that included six EAM-affiliated ministers.

The immediate prelude of the civil war took place in Athens, on December 3, 1944, less than two months after the Germans had retreated from the area. After an order to disarm, leftists resigned from the government and called for resistance. A riot (the Dekemvriana) erupted and Greek government gendarmes, with British forces standing in the background, opened fire on a pro-EAM rally, killing 28 demonstrators and injuring dozens. The rally had been organised under the pretext of a demonstration against the perceived impunity of the collaborators and the general disarmament ultimatum, signed by Ronald Scobie (the British commander in Greece). The battle lasted 33 days and resulted in the defeat of the EAM. The subsequent signing of the Treaty of Varkiza (12 February 1945) spelled the end of the left-wing organization's ascendancy: the ELAS was partly disarmed while the EAM soon after lost its multi-party character, to become dominated by KKE. All the while, White Terror was unleashed against the supporters of the left, further escalating the tensions between the dominant factions of the nation.

The war erupted in 1946, when forces of former ELAS partisans who found shelter in their hideouts and were controlled by the KKE organized the DSE and its High Command headquarters. The KKE backed up the endeavor, deciding that there was no alternative way to act against the internationally recognized government that had been formed after the 1946 elections, which the KKE had boycotted. The Communists formed a provisional government in December 1947 and used the DSE as the military branch of this government. The neighboring communist states of Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria offered logistical support to this provisional government, especially to the forces operating in the north of Greece.

Despite setbacks suffered by government forces from 1946 to 1948, they eventually won due to increased American aid, the failure of the DSE to attract sufficient recruits, and the side-effects of the Tito–Stalin split of 1948. The final victory of the western-allied government forces led to Greece's membership in NATO (1952) and helped to define the ideological balance of power in the Aegean Sea for the entire Cold War. The civil war also left Greece with a vehemently anti-communist security establishment, which would lead to the establishment of the Greek military junta of 1967–74 and a legacy of political polarisation that lasts until today.

Greek People's Liberation Army

The Greek People's Liberation Army (Greek: Ελληνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στρατός (ΕΛΑΣ), Ellinikós Laïkós Apeleftherotikós Stratós (ELAS)), also often mistakenly called the National People's Liberation Army (Εθνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στρατός, Ethnikós Laïkós Apeleftherotikós Stratós), was the military arm of the left-wing National Liberation Front (EAM) during the period of the Greek Resistance until February 1945, when, following the Dekemvriana clashes and the Varkiza Agreement, it was disarmed and disbanded.

Makrygianni, Athens

Makrygianni or Makriyanni (Greek: Μακρυγιάννη, pronounced [makɾiˈʝani]) is a neighborhood of Athens, Greece. Also known as Acropolis, it is located in the south side of Acropolis and bounded between the avenues Dionysiou Areopagitou and Syngrou. The district is named after Ioannis Makrygiannis, Greek general of the Greek War of Independence, who used to own a house and fields in the area. Opposite the house of Ioannis Makrygiannis a military hospital was built – known as Weiler Building after the architect who designed it. This building was later used as gendarmerie headquarters and a violent battle took place there during the Dekemvriana, in 1944. In the Makrygianni neighbourhood is located the new Acropolis Museum that was inaugurated in 2009.

National Liberation Front (Greece)

The National Liberation Front (Greek: Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο, Ethnikó Apeleftherotikó Métopo (EAM)) was the main movement of the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation of Greece. Its main driving force was the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), but its membership throughout the occupation included several other leftist and republican groups. ΕΑΜ became the first true mass social movement in modern Greek history. Its military wing, the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), quickly grew into the largest armed guerrilla force in the country, and the only one with nation-wide presence. At the same time, from late 1943 onwards, the political enmity between ΕΑΜ and rival resistance groups from the centre and right evolved into a virtual civil war, while its relationship with the British and the British-backed Greek government in exile was characterized by mutual mistrust, leading EAM to establish its own government, the Political Committee of National Liberation, in the areas it had liberated in spring 1944. Tensions were resolved provisionally in the Lebanon Conference in May 1944, when EAM agreed to enter the Greek government in exile under Georgios Papandreou. The organisation reached its peak after liberation in late 1944, when it controlled most of the country, before suffering a catastrophic military defeat against the British and the government forces in the Dekemvriana clashes. This marked the beginning of its gradual decline, the disarmament of ELAS, and the open persecution of its members during the "White Terror", leading eventually to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War.

National and Social Liberation

National and Social Liberation (Greek: Εθνική και Κοινωνική Απελευθέρωσις, Ethnikí kai Koinonikí Apelefthérosis (EKKA)) was a Greek Resistance movement during the Axis occupation of Greece. It was founded in autumn 1942 by Colonel Dimitrios Psarros and politician Georgios Kartalis.

Organization X

The Organization X (Greek: Οργάνωσις Χ; commonly referred to simply as X ("Chi" in Greek), and members as Chites (Χίτες)) was a fighting force and resistance organization with a firm right-wing and royalist ideology right set up during the Axis occupation of Greece, in June 1941 as a resistance organization. Initially, the group's name was Grivas Military Organization (Greek: Στρατιωτική Οργάνωσις Γρίβα) and in March 1943 it was renamed, adopting George's II royal monogram of two crossed gammas which resembled the Greek alphabet chi (X). X was heavily involved in battles against EAM and its secret police, OPLA, after the Axis occupation and during the civil war, considered communism to be its principal enemy.

Sacred Band (World War II)

The Sacred Band or Sacred Squadron (Greek: Ιερός Λόχος) was a Greek special forces unit formed in 1942 in the Middle East, composed entirely of Greek officers and officer cadets under the command of Col. Christodoulos Tsigantes. It fought alongside the SAS in the Western Desert and the Aegean, as well as with General Leclerc's Free French Forces in Tunisia. It was disbanded in August 1945 but is the precursor of the modern Greek Special Forces.

There is considerable variation in the translation of the unit's name into other European languages. It is perhaps most commonly referred to by British historians as the Sacred Brigade, even though it never reached anywhere near brigade strength, and occasionally as the Sacred Company, Sacred Squadron or Sacred Battalion. French military historians tend to refer to it as "Le Regiment Sacré". In contemporary Greek military parlance, a "lochos" is a company, but the unit's full strength was much closer to that of a regular infantry regiment.

Security Battalions

The Security Battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Ασφαλείας, romanized: Tagmata Asfaleias, derisively known as Germanotsoliades (Γερμανοτσολιάδες) or Tagmatasfalites (Ταγματασφαλίτες) were Greek collaborationist military groups, formed during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II in order to support the German occupation troops.

Stefanos Sarafis

Stefanos Sarafis (Greek: Στέφανος Σαράφης, 23 October 1890 – 31 May 1957) was an officer of the Hellenic Army who played an important role during the Greek Resistance.

Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos

Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos (Greek: Θρασύβουλος Τσακαλώτος; 3 April 1897 – 15 August 1989) was a distinguished Greek army Lieutenant General who served in World War I, the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, World War II and the Greek Civil War, rising to become Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff. He also served as Greece's Ambassador to Yugoslavia.

Treaty of Varkiza

The Treaty of Varkiza (Greek: Συμφωνία της Βάρκιζας, also known as the Varkiza Pact or the Varkiza Peace Agreement) was signed in Varkiza (near Athens) on February 12, 1945 between the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for EAM-ELAS, following the latter's defeat during the Dekemvriana clashes. One of the aspects of the accord (Article IX) called for a plebiscite to be held within the year in order to resolve any problems with the Greek Constitution. This plebiscite would help establish elections and thus create a constituent assembly that would draft a new organic law. In another aspect of the treaty, both signatories agreed that the Allies send overseers in order to verify the validity of the elections. The accord also promised that members of the EAM-ELAS would be permitted to participate in political activities if they surrendered their weapons. Moreover, all civil and political liberties would be guaranteed along with the undertaking by the Greek government towards establishing a nonpolitical national army.

White Terror (Greece)

White Terror (Greek: Λευκή Τρομοκρατία) is the term used in Greece, analogous to similar cases, for the period of persecution of members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and other former members of the leftist World War II-era resistance organization National Liberation Front (EAM) in 1945–46, prior to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War.

Background
Events (1946-49)
Communists
National Government
Impact and aftermath
Theaters
General
aspects
Participants
Timeline
Other
aspects
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
Ideologies
Organizations
Propaganda
Races
See also

Languages

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