Hellenic State (1941–1944)

The Hellenic State (Greek: Ελληνική Πολιτεία, Elliniki Politeia, also translated as Greek State[1]) was the collaborationist government of Greece during the country's occupation by the Axis powers in the Second World War.

Hellenic State

Ἑλληνική Πολιτεία
Flag of Greece
Motto: "Eleftheria i Thanatos"
Ελευθερία ή θάνατος
"Freedom or Death"
Anthem: Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían
Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν
"Hymn to Freedom"
Hellenic state during Axis occupation 1942
Hellenic state during Axis occupation 1942
StatusPuppet government of Axis powers
Common languagesGreek
Greek Orthodox
• 1941–1943
Günther Altenburg
• 1943–1944
Hermann Neubacher
Prime Minister 
• 1941–1942
Georgios Tsolakoglou
• 1942–1943
Konstantinos Logothetopoulos
• 1943–1944
Ioannis Rallis
Historical eraWorld War II
6 April 1941
20 May 1941
12 October 1944
CurrencyGreek drachma (₯)
ISO 3166 codeGR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Greece
Kingdom of Greece


After the fall of Greece, General Georgios Tsolakoglou was appointed as Prime minister of the new Greek government on April 30, 1941. As King George II had left the country with the legitimate Greek government-in-exile, the new regime avoided all reference to the Greek monarchy and used Hellenic State as the country's official, generic, name. The collaborationist regime lacked a precise political definition, although Tsolakoglou, a republican officer, considered the Axis occupation as an opportunity to abolish the monarchy, and announced its end upon taking office.[2] The existence of a native Greek government was considered necessary by the Axis powers, in order to give some appearance of legitimacy to their occupation, although it was never given more than an ancillary role. The country's infrastructures had been ruined by the war. Raw materials and foodstuffs were requisitioned, and the government was forced to pay the cost of the occupation, giving rise to inflation, further exacerbated by a "war loan" Greece was forced to grant to Nazi Germany. Requisitions, together with the Allied blockade of Greece, resulted during the winter of 1941-42 in the Great Famine (Greek: Μεγάλος Λιμός), which caused the deaths of an estimated 300,000 people.

The Hellenic State lacked the infrastructures and latitude for action to face the great difficulties of the Occupation period; it was also devoid of any political legitimacy, and was widely considered a puppet government. Tsolakoglou demanded greater political rights for his government, and soon threatened to resign.[2] The proclamation of a mandatory work service in Germany for Greek citizens proved widely unpopular and hastened the fall of Tsolakoglou: on 17 November 1942, he was sacked and replaced by his deputy, Konstantinos Logothetopoulos. The new government announced that 80,000 Greek citizens were to be sent to Germany. This led to widespread demonstrations and strikes, and the decision was eventually revoked. Logothetopoulos, who had protested against the measures taken by the Axis occupation authorities, was himself sacked on 6 April 1943. Against the wishes of the Italians, who favored Finance Minister Sotirios Gotzamanis, he was replaced by Ioannis Rallis, a monarchist politician. Rallis, who was looking beyond the German withdrawal from Greece to the restoration of the post-war political order, and who was alarmed by the growth of the mostly Communist-dominated Greek resistance, obtained German consent for the creation of the Security Battalions, armed formations that were used in anti-partisan offensives.

The collaborationist Greek government ceased to exist after the withdrawal of German forces and the liberation of the country in October 1944. Tsolakoglou, Logothetopoulos (in Germany, where he had escaped to) and Rallis were all arrested, along with hundreds of collaborationists. The restored government set up the so-called Trials of Collaborationists (I Diki ton Dosilogon) to judge collaborators,[3] but it made not the major efforts it had announced to punish collaborators: this contributed to the escalation of political enmities in Greece, which in turn played a part in the outbreak of the Greek civil war.[4]

Government and politics

The regime was first led by Georgios Tsolakoglou, the general who signed the unconditional surrender of the Hellenic Army to the Germans. However, he was sacked a year later and replaced by Konstantinos Logothetopoulos, who himself was sacked in 1943. The last prime minister of the Hellenic State was Ioannis Rallis, who led the collaborationist regime until its dissolution in 1944. Georgios Bakos, a Greek Army major general, served as the minister of national defense. The Hellenic State was widely viewed as a puppet government and was unpopular with the Greek people.


The collaborationist regime under Rallis set up Security Battalions, units of soldiers that took part in aiding the German Army in fighting the resistance. However, they are known for committing atrocities against the civilian population. An officer named Georgios Bakos served as the minister of national defense.

Administrative divisions

Greece Prefectures 1941-44
Map shows the prefectures of Greece and the Bulgarian annexation of Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace.

Administrative-wise, the Hellenic State was divided into a number of prefectures.


  1. ^ Yves Durand, Le Nouvel ordre européen nazi, Complexe, Paris, 1990, p. 44)
  2. ^ a b Bernhard R. Kroener, Germany and the Second World War Volume V/II, Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 44
  3. ^ Markos Vallianatos, The untold history of Greek collaboration with Nazi Germany (1941-1944)
  4. ^ Charles R. Schrader, The withered vine: logistics and the communist insurgency in Greece, 1945-1949, Greenwood Press, 1999, p. 38

External links

4th of August Regime

The 4th of August Regime (Greek: Καθεστώς της 4ης Αυγούστου, Kathestós tis tetártis Avgoústou), commonly also known as the Metaxas regime (Greek: Καθεστώς Μεταξά, Kathestós Metaxá), was a totalitarian regime under the leadership of General Ioannis Metaxas that ruled the Kingdom of Greece from 1936 to 1941. On 4 August 1936, Metaxas, with the support of King George II, suspended the Greek parliament and went on to preside over a conservative, staunchly anti-communist government. The regime took inspiration in its symbolism and rhetoric from Fascist Italy, but retained close links to Britain and the French Third Republic, rather than the Axis powers. Lacking a popular base, after Metaxas' death in January 1941 the regime hinged entirely on the King. Although Greece was occupied following the German invasion of Greece in April 1941 and the Greek government was forced into exile in the Middle East, several prominent figures and features of the regime, notably the notorious security chief Konstantinos Maniadakis, survived for several months in cabinet until the King was forced to dismiss them in a compromise with the representatives of the old democratic political establishment.

Axis leaders of World War II

The Axis leaders of World War II were important political and military figures during World War II. The Axis was established with the signing of the Tripartite Pact in 1940 and pursued a strongly militarist and nationalist ideology; with a policy of anti-communism. During the early phase of the war, puppet governments were established in their occupied nations. When the war ended, many of them faced trial for war crimes. The chief leaders were Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy, and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Unlike what happened with the Allies, there was never a joint meeting of the main Axis heads of government, although Mussolini and Adolf Hitler did meet on a regular basis.

Greece (disambiguation)

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in south-east Europe.

Greece may also refer to:

Periods of the history of Greece:

Prehistoric Greece

Neolithic Greece, 7000–1100 BC

Mycenaean Greece, c. 1600 – 1100 BC

Ancient Greece, 1100–146 BC

Dark Ages in Greece, c. 1100–800 BC

Archaic Greece, c. 800 – 480 BC

Classical Greece, 5th and 4th centuries BC

Hellenistic Greece, 323–31 BC

Roman Greece, 146 BC – AD 330

Medieval Greece

Byzantine Greece

Modern Greece, 1828–present

First Hellenic Republic, an unrecognized state 1822–1832

Kingdom of Greece, a monarchy during the periods of 1832–1924, 1935–41 and 1944–74

Second Hellenic Republic, 1924–35

Hellenic State (1941-1944)

Greek military junta, 1967-1974

Third Hellenic Republic, 1974-presentOther:

Greece (European Parliament constituency)

Magna Graecia or Greater Greece, areas of southern Italy settled by Greeks since the 8th century BCE

Greece (town), New York, a town in western New York

Greece (CDP), New York, a suburb of Rochester located within the town

Hellenic State

Hellenic State (Greek: Ελληνική Πολιτεία) was used as the official name of the modern Greek state thrice in its history:

the period of governance by Ioannis Kapodistrias in 1828–1832, when Greece was first constituted as a regular state after the Greek War of Independence (see First Hellenic Republic)

the first few months of the Second Hellenic Republic, after which the name was changed to Hellenic Republic on 24 May 1924

the period of Axis occupation (1941–1944) of the country during World War II, when the collaborationist regime renamed the country in opposition to the internationally recognized Kingdom of Greece, which remained in exile in Egypt (see Hellenic State (1941–1944))

Kingdom of Greece

The Kingdom of Greece (Greek: Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος [vaˈsiliɔn ˈtis ɛˈlaðɔs]) was a state established in 1832 at the Convention of London by the Great Powers (the United Kingdom, Kingdom of France and the Russian Empire). It was internationally recognised by the Treaty of Constantinople, where it also secured full independence from the Ottoman Empire. This event also marked the birth of the first fully independent Greek state since the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in the mid-15th century.

The Kingdom succeeded from the Greek provisional governments after the Greek War of Independence, and lasted until 1924. In 1924 the monarchy was abolished, and the Second Hellenic Republic was established, after Greece's defeat by Turkey in the Asia Minor Campaign. It lasted until 1935, when it was overthrown by a military coup d'état which restored the monarchy. The restored Kingdom of Greece lasted from 1935 to 1973. The Kingdom was again dissolved in the aftermath of the seven-year military dictatorship (1967–1974), and the Third Republic, the current Greek state, came to be, after a popular referendum.

List of former sovereign states

A historical state or historical sovereign state is a state that once existed, but has since been dissolved due to conflict, war, rebellion, annexation, or uprising.

This page lists sovereign states, countries, nations, empires or territories that have ceased to exist as political entities, grouped geographically and by constitutional nature.

List of mayors of Athens

The Mayor of Athens is the head of the Municipality of Athens, the largest district of the City of Athens.

List of predecessors of sovereign states in Europe

This is a list of all present sovereign states in Europe and their predecessors. The borders of Europe are difficult to define. The borders between Europe and Asia are generally agreed to be the Caucasus Mountains, the Ural Mountains, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

Political Committee of National Liberation

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. It was integrated with the Greek government-in-exile in a national unity government at the Lebanon conference in May 1944.

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