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Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας
Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas
Communist Party of Greece
Leader Aleka Papariga
Founded 17 November [O.S. 4 November] 1918
Headquarters 145 Leof. Irakliou,
142 31 Athens (Nea Ionia)
Newspaper Rizospastis
Youth wing Communist Youth of Greece
Ideology Communism,
Marxism-Leninism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation Formerly Comintern,
Now participates in the International Conference of Communist and Workers' Parties.
European affiliation None
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Official colours Red
Website
http://www.kke.gr/
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

Founded in 1918, the Communist Party of Greece (Greek: Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas), better known by its acronym, ΚΚΕ (usually pronounced "koo-koo-eh" or "kappa-kappa-epsilon"), is the oldest party on the Greek political scene.

Contents

History

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Foundation

The October Revolution of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 gave impetus for the foundation of Communist parties in many countries all over the globe. ΚΚΕ was founded on 4 November 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece (Acronym: SEKE, Greek: Σοσιαλιστικό Εργατικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Sosialistiko Ergatiko Komma Elladas) by Avraam Benaroya, a Sephardic Jewish teacher and Socialist Workers' Federation leader in Thessaloniki. The party was run by a five-member central committee which consisted of Nikos Dimitratos, D. Ligdopoulos, M. Sideris, A. Arvanitis and S. Kokkinos.

The background of KKE has roots in more than 60 years of small socialist, anarchist and communist groups, mainly in industrialized areas. These groups, following the example of the Paris Commune and the 1892 Chicago workers' movement for the 8 hour day, had as immediate political goals the unification of Greek workers into trade unions, the implementation of an 8 hour working day in Greece, and better salaries for workers. Inspired by the Paris Commune and the Communist revolutionary efforts in the US, Germany and Russia at the beginning of the century, and the destruction that almost 20 years of wars had brought upon the Greek workers, a unified Social-Communist party was founded in Greece.[1]

At the Second Congress of the SEKE in April 1920, the party decided to affiliate with Comintern, an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow in 1919. It changed its name to the Socialist Labour Party of Greece-Communist (SEKE-K). A new central committee was elected, which included Nikos and Panaghis Dimitratos, Yannis Kordatos, G. Doumas and M. Sideris. 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. Pandelis Pouliopoulos was elected as general-secretary. Ever since, the party has functioned on the basis of democratic centralism.

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KKE between the two World Wars

KKE strongly opposed Greece's involvement in the Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, which it considered an imperialistic scheme to control the market of Asia Minor given the new political situation after the Ottoman Empire's collapse. KKE members propagated this position both on the front - which provoked accusations of treason from the Greek government - as well as in the mainland. KKE collaborated with the Soviet ambassador to persuade Venizelos' administration to withdraw its troops from Asia Minor, and to persuade the Soviet Union to exert political pressure on Kemal Ataturk to allow autonomy for Greek cities in Asia Minor.[2]

KKE played a prominent role in strikes, anti-war demonstrations, foundation of trade unions and worker associations. KKE and other leftist political forces fostered the creation of labor unions in all sectors, including the General Greek Workers Confederation (ΓΣΕΕ), which shared common goals with KKE.[3][4].

These activities met by opposition from the Mid-War governments; in 1929 George Papandreou, as minister of Education, passed legislation against organized communist teachers, known as Idionymon. Such legislation was often used to prosecute KKE members and other leftist activists.[5] Under the Idionymon all members of the Communist Party of Greece, being considered dangers to the state, were to be removed from public service or put in exile.

The first prison camps for left wing citizens and communists were founded in that era. KKE and its organizations, although small in numbers, continue operating in all Greek major cities, especially industrial areas such as Athens, Piraeus, Patra, Thessaly and Volos, Thessaloniki, Kavala and elsewhere.[6]

KKE collaborated with other newly founded Communist Parties to oppose the rise of the Fascist movement in Europe. In 1932, the Commitern decreed that anti-Fascist fronts be formed internationally. KKE responded by creating the People's Front, which was the largest Marxist anti-Fascist organization in Greece prior to the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas.

The party was banned in 1936 by the dictatorial 4th of August Regime of Metaxas. Many KKE members were imprisoned or exiled on isolated islands.

KKE members volunteered to fight on the side of the socialist government of Spain during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939; about 440 Greeks joined the ranks of the International Brigade, many of whom were high-ranking KKE members.

KKE and the Macedonian issue

After the Balkan Wars in 1912-1916, World War I in 1916-1919, and the disastrous Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, there were diplomatic approaches from the superpowers of that era regarding the re-drawing of Greek borders, given the fact that the new state in Turkey and Bulgaria were pressing for more territory in order to improve their trade routes with the British Empire. The ruling parties were simultaneously trying to move parts of Northern Greece (Macedonia and Thrace)to Turkey and Bulgaria, and to win the return of islands in the Aegean and parts of Macedonian territory to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This policy was reiterated several times throughout the pre-war era.[7][8]

Nikos Zachariadis, General Secretary of the party from 1931 to 1956

The main impetus for their demand was the ethnic and religious minorities currently living inside Greek borders in Northern Greece. KKE opposed any geo-strategic game in the area which would use minorities to start a new imperialistic war in the region. At its Third Party Congress in 1924, KKE announced its policy would be to promote the creation of two new independent states in the northern Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace. Its policy was dictated by Communist theory that stated any minorities should be self-determined under a common Socialist State, and it had its roots in the example of the newly founded Soviet Union.[9]

In 1934, KKE expressed its intent to "fight for the national self-determination, and ultimately secession, of the repressed Macedonians and Thracians, and to collaborate for this goal with the Bulgarian organizations of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and the Thracian Revolutionary Organisation under a People's Republic where all nations will found their self-determination and will build the common state of the workers..."[10].

As a result of this, KKE was seen by many as a party whose policy was "the detachment of large areas of northern Greece", and that "this was dictated by Comintern and hurt the popularity of Communism at the time".[11] Nikos Zachariadis, General Secretary of the party, officially renounced KKE's policy of secession in 1945.[12]

In 1949, during the Fifth Congress of the Central Committee of KKE, it was stated that "...The Greek and the Macedonian people will win this struggle only united..."[13]. This position prompted the government in Athens, together with the British government, to begin a propaganda campaign against KKE and the party's military wing, the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), blaming them for secession plans in northern Greece. In order for KKE to clear up its position on the Macedonian subject, the 6th Congress of its Central Committee was called a few months later, during which was clearly stated that KKE was fighting for a free Greece and for a common future for Greeks, Slavs, and Macedonians under the same state.[14]

The issue was ended by Central Committee in 1954 with the withdrawal of the position of self-determination of minorities in the North. In 1988, the General Secretary of KKE, Charilaos Florakis, once again presented KKE's political position on the matter in a speech to the Greek Parliament.

KKE during the Second World War

1940

By 1940, KKE had almost collapsed. Metaxas' dictatorship had imprisoned many of the leadership and members. By October half of KKE's 2,000 members were in prison or in exile. The most prominent jails were the Acronauplia, Anafi, Ikaria, Kefalonia and the Central Athens Jail ("Averof"). A large number of prisoners were shot in retaliation to attacks of National People's Liberation Army (ELAS) partisans throughout the German occupation from 1941 to 1944, but some escaped to join the National Liberation Front-ELAS forces.

By 1940, the Security police had proved extremely successful in dismantling the KKE organisation; not only had it imprisoned the leadership, but it created a fake series of Rizospastis, the Central Committee newspaper. This generated confusion among the remaining scattered underground members.[15][16]

Around this time a small group of old party officials formed the "Old Central Committee". Two of them were elected by the 6th Conference.[17] In his memoirs for the Greek Civil war, C.M. Woodhouse (the British liaison with Greek resistance groups during WWII) wrote: "The 'Old Central Committee' interpreted a directive issued by Comintern as indicating collaboration with the German and Italian dictatorships, given the Hitler-Stalin alliance."[18]. On the other hand, Woodhouse argues, Georgios Siantos, who had escaped from prison, and Nikos Zachariadis, who was still incarcerated, took the opposite view that KKE must support Metaxas in his fight against Mussolini.[18] The archives of KKE [19] also address the confusion between different KKE cadres; the "Old Committee" interpreted the politics of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as part of the "imperialistic game between the Axis forces and the British." This faction of KKE felt that the Metaxas regime was a "pawn of British imperialism in the region," [20] and, therefore, the "Old Committee" viewed any war between the Axis forces and the British as an "...imperialistic war that the people of any of the countries involved should not participate in...". According to KKE's account, this position was criticized by Comintern in 1939 (a few months after the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact), which had instructed KKE to fight against Italy in the event of an invasion of Greece.[21][22]

Nikos Zachariadis, KKE General Secretary, wrote from prison on 2 November 1940: "Today the Greek people are waging a war of national liberation against Mussolini's fascism. In this war we must follow the Metaxas government and turn every city, every village and every house of Greece into a stronghold of the National Liberation Fight... On this war conducted by Metaxas government all of us should give all our forces without reservation. The working people's and the crowning achievement for today's fight should be and shall be a new Greece based on work, freedom, and liberated from any foreign imperialist dependence, with a truly pan-popular culture."[23][24]

Several party members, including Nikos Ploumpidis of the "Old Central Committee", denounced this letter as a forgery produced by the Metaxas regime.[25][26] Zachariadis was even accused of writing it to win the favour of K. Maniadakis, the Minister for Public Order, to win his release from prison.[2] According to one source when drafting this letter Zachariadis was unaware of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact, and was castigated by the Comintern for an anti-Soviet stance.[27]

According to KKE's archives, the "Old Central Committee" had been denounced for its stance on the war issue; today KKE claims that the majority of the party membership had not followed the decision to take the Nazi side.[28][29] On 16 November 1940, Zachariadis repudiated the line of his first letter in a second letter where he accused the Greek Army of waging a "fascist" and "imperialistic war" and appealed to the USSR for peaceful intervention,[30][31] thus aligning his position with that of the "Old Central Committee".[25]

On 7 December 1940, the "Old Central Committee" issued a manifesto addressed "to all the workers and public servants, to all soldiers, sailors and airmen, to patriot officers, to the mothers, fathers, wives and children of the fighters and the workers of all neighboring countries", in which it describes the war as a game of the imperialist powers, headed by the British. According to KKE, the "Old Central Committee" based this opinion on the belief that Mussolini's Italy would not dare to attack a country that had a cooperation agreement with the Soviet Union. The main political line of this manifesto was the call to the soldiers on the front not to go beyond Greek borders, but after securing them to try seek a peace agreement with the enemy.[32]

Zachariadis may have issued a third letter on 17 January 1941, in which he explained the motives for his first letter and wrote: "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."[27]

According to KKE archives, Zachariadis had issued no further letters, and the third letter may have been in fact the statement of the "Old Central Committee" on 18 March 1941.[33] In any case, Zachariadis himself referred in his public statements after liberation almost exclusively to his first letter as proof of the patriotic character of KKE and its role as an inspiration to the Greek resistance movement during the war.

Regardless of what the (highly doctored) KKE archives show, the fact is that all these letters -real or imagined- by Zachariadis, had no appeal whatsoever either to the Greek population as a whole or to the Greek soldiers who were fighting so successfully in the mountains of Albania, pushing the Italian fascist invader towards the Adriatic. KKE was after all a small party, with less than 6% of the popular vote in the last democratic election that was held in 1936.

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".[25][30] Apparently the KKE was by far more "patriotic" in defending the Stalinist regime of the Soviet Union than in defending the Metaxas regime in Greece a few months before, the very regime that, after all, had proven its patriotic and anti-Axis credentials by almost defeating the Italian fascist invaders.

1941: Invasion

The German invasion of Greece

On April 6, 1941 the German invasion was launched, and Athens was occupied on 27 April, following an unconditional surrender of the Greek forces by General Georgios Tsolakoglou, who was later appointed Prime Minister by the Nazis.

C.M Woodhouse, a British Intelligence officer, head of the British military delegation stationed by the Allies in Greece during WWII, wrote that on 18 March, when the Germans were moving unopposed into Bulgaria, KKE advised Greeks to follow the example of "the heroic fraternal people of Bulgaria" [25] Moreover, according to George Papandreou, there were hints of a possible collaboration between KKE and the Germans in forming a government under occupation.[25][34] This has not been historically proven since to date no evidence of such collaboration has been found. To the contrary, when the Allied command ordered Greek resistance groups not to attack the retreating Nazi forces, ELAS never obeyed the order.[33][35][36].

In any case, confusion remained among many Greek Communists as to what the Moscow-sanctioned position was. In his memoirs, KKE leader Ioannis Ioannidis wrote about a regional Communist cadre who proclaimed the following as Greece was being bombed by the axis: "The Germans will not bomb us. The mustached-one (Stalin) will not let them," [37]

A large number of KKE members were already in prison before the Nazi invasion. The pro-Nazi occupation government handed some of them over to the Nazis fearing that they - following the pro-Soviet party line - would resort to sabotage in Greece following Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.[38][39][40][41] There were many occasions that police officers released communist prisoners, especially the ones that they were in exile in Aegean islands. There were reports that some communists had been used as a human shield by the Germans to prevent ELAS attacks against them. The fact is however, that it became German policy - especially after it became obvious to them that they were losing the war- to execute civilians in retaliation for attacks against them by communist or non-communist guerillas. Approximately two hundred communists and Greek patriots were executed at the Kaisariani Shooting Range on the 1st of May 1944.[42] In 1941, several KKE members managed to escape prison. According to Woodhouse "...communist prisoners were released by the German occupation forces from the jail on the Acronauplia, at the request of the Bulgarian embassy in Athens".[43][44].

Twenty Communists held as political prisoners in Heraklion, Crete demanded to be released to fight against the invading Germans. The Greek government, which had left mainland Greece by then and was en route to Egypt, had no power to release them. They eventually escaped after their jail was damaged by German bombs and joined the British and Greek forces defending the Heraklion harbor. After the fall of Crete, many officers of the Greek Army joined forces with ELAS and became commanders in ELAS's guerilla army units. Corp.[45][46]

Although KKE was suffering from a lack of central political leadership, since its leader Nikos Zachariades had been taken by the Germans to the Dachau concentration camp, its members succeeded in maintaining communication with each other. 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. At the same time, the "Old Central Committee" submitted to the authority of the new Central Committee.[47] The first united resistance organization was founded in the regions of Macedonia and Thrace on 15 May 1941.[21] In Thessaloniki, the Macedonian Bureau of KKE established the Eleftheri (Liberty) Organization, along with the Socialist Party, the Agrarian Party, the Democratic Union and Colonel Dimitrios Psarros.

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 comprising of more than 300 men each.[48] 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.[49] On 27 September 1941, Greek communists together with five other Centrist and Leftist parties formed the National Liberation Front (EAM), in Kallithea, Athens, and began forming partisan militia units.

1942 to liberation

On 16 February 1942, the National People's Liberation Army (ELAS) was founded in a small kiosk in Fthiotida, and by 1943 it consisted of 150,000 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, 800,000 Greek citizens, both workers and peasants, had joined the ranks of KKE. KKE maintained its alliances with the EAM. Its main stated aim at this time was to form a united government with all parties that wanted to see Greece liberated from foreign powers.[50]

Nikos Zachariadis was imprisoned in Dachau; he was released in 1945 and returned to Greece as the elected general secretary of the KKE. During his imprisonment Andreas Tsipas and Georgios Siantos served as party general secretaries.

KKE and the Greek Civil War

At the end of the war, fighting broke out between EAM and the Greek government, which had returned from wartime exile. Backed by KKE, EAM refused to disarm ELAS and ELAN while the militias and police that had collaborated with the Germans remained free.[51] Six ministers of the EAM, most of whom were KKE members, resigned from their positions in the government in November 1944. 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,[52][53] opened fire on the crowd. More than 28 people were killed and 148 injured. According to other accounts, it is uncertain if the first shots were fired by the police or the demonstrators.[54] The Dekembriana, as this incident is known, was the beginning of the 37-day Battle of Athens. Following a ceasefire agreement called the Treaty of Varkiza, ELAS laid down the majority of its weapons and dissolved all of its units. Right-wing groups, including elements which had collaborated with the Germans, seized this opportunity to persecute leftists, including many KKE members.[55]

The Civil War involved two sides. On the one side was the internationally recognised Greek Government, led by Konstantinos Tsaldaris and, later, Themistoklis Sophoulis, which was elected in the 1946 elections which the KKE boycotted. On the other side was the Democratic Army of Greece, of which the KKE was the only major political force.

According to EAM figures, in the few months after the Treaty of Varkiza, 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.[56] The KKE Central Committee issued a directive to all party forces not to engage in any armed conflict but to try to prevent attacks by other means. This caused confusion among the majority of its supporters, and served to weaken the party organisation across the country.[57]

Badge of the Democratic Army of Greece. The letter Delta stands for Demokratia, meaning both "Democracy" and "Republic".

Large groups had returned to their partisan hideouts in the mountains and gradually formed smaller partisan units. As most of the ELAS armoury had been surrendered under the terms of the Varkiza treaty, these units armed themselves with weapons seized from attacks on militia units that had been provided arms by the police, as well as attacking police stations. By mid 1946 these units forced the KKE leadership to change its neutral position and to plan the formation a partisan army with the officers and fighters that were still free. 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). After this successful operation, the remaining scattered groups reorganized the pre-Varkiza Treaty ELAS formations all over the country. KKE's political influence and organization structure helped form units in the Aegean Islands of as Mytilene, Chios, Ikaria, Samos, and Crete.[29][58]

In 1947, KKE and its allies that participated in the Civil War formed the Provisional Democratic Governmentunder the premiership of Markos Vafiadis. As well as issues regarding the war effort, the Provisional Government had to deal with issues regarding the "People's Law" in the territories controlled by the DSE. These had to do with the judicial, financial, and political systems. As the Provisional Government was based on political forces which aimed to establish a socialist state, its decisions were driven by this political agenda. The self-determination of national minorities living in Greece was one priority. The Provisional Government and the KKE intended to establish a People's Republic of Greece in which all nationalities would work together in a Socialist state.[59] An article written by Nikos Zachariadis expressed the KKE's strategy after the envisioned victory of the Democratic Army of Greece regarding what was then known as the "Macedonian Issue": "The Macedonian people will acquire an independent, united state with a coequal position within the family of free peoples’ republics within the Balkans, within the family of Peoples’ Republics to which the Greek people will belong. The Macedonian people of Aegean Macedonia are today fighting for this independent united state with a coequal position and is helping the DSE with all its soul ...".[60] The policy of self-determination for Macedonia within a People's Republic was reiterated during the 5th KKE Central Committee meeting held in January 1949, which declared that the "Macedonian people -a tiny minority in the Greek province of Macedonia with less than 2% of the population- participating in the liberation struggle would find their full national re-establishment as they want giving their blood for this acquisition ... Macedonian Communists should pay great attentions to foreign chauvinist and counteractive elements that want to break the unity between the Greek and Macedonian (Slavomacedonian) people. This will only serve the monarcho-fascists and British imperialism ...” [61]. This declaration of the 5th KKE Central Committee had an adverse effect on the future of the KKE in Greece, as it was tantamount to a declaration for partition of Greece, an act which naturally was regarded by the vast majority of the Greek people as treason.

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.[62]

Charilaos Florakis, whose nom-de-guerre was Kapetan Yiotis, was a DSE-appointed Brigadier General during this battle. Florakis was ordered by the DSE High Command to re-enter Greece with a group of DSE fighters via the Gramos Mountains and try to establish connection with all the DSE forces that remained within Greece. The battalion indeed reached small DSE units south of Gramos down to Evritania, and retreated thereafter back to Albania. Floriakis later served as General Secretary of KKE from 1972 to 1989.

On 28 August 1949 the Civil War in Greece ended with the DSE forces defeated militarily and politically and KKE entered a new phase in its history.[63]

In 1989, the political consequences of the Civil War were finally lifted: DSE was recognized as an equal Greek army to the National Army, and DSE fighters were named "DSE fighters" instead of "Communist Gangfighters" ("κουμουνιστοσυμμορίτες"). The war was named "The Civil War of Greece" instead of "The War against the gangs and thieves" ("συμμοριτοπόλεμος") that was the official state name for that era up until that point.[citation needed]

Post-War Era

After the Civil War, the KKE was outlawed and most of its prominent members had to flee Greece, go underground, or provide a signed declaration that they renounced Communism to avoid prosecution under Law 504, issued in 1948, A large number of KKE members were either prosecuted, jailed or exiled. 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. The fear of widespread reaction from left-wing citizens curbed further executions and eventually led to the gradual release of most political prisoners. In 1955 there were 4,498 political prisoners and 898 exiles; in 1962 there were 1,359 prisoners and 296 exiles.[64] But under the prevailing anti-communist rules, communists and KKE sympathizers were barred from the public sector and lived under a repressive anticommunist surveillance system.[65] Such discrimination against communists was partially relieved with the legalization of KKE in 1974, and the discrimination ended in the 1980s. During this period of illegality, the KKE supported the United Democratic Left (EDA) Party.

Former King Constantine II claims that in 1964 he proposed to George Papandreou (senior) that the KKE be legalized. According to the former monarch, Papandreou refused to comply so as not to lose his party's left-wing supporters.[66] This allegation cannot be verified, as it was expressed after Papandreou's death. Moreover, Constantine's public statements regarding communism during the 1960s renders the veracity of this allegation questionable.

During the Junta

On 21 April 1967, a group of right-wing Greek Army colonels led by Georgios Papadopoulos successfully carried out a coup d'état on the pretext of imminent "communist threat", establishing what became known as the Regime of the Colonels. All political parties, including EDA, were dissolved, and civil liberties were suppressed for all Greek citizens. KKE members were persecuted along with other opponents of the junta.

In 1968, a crisis escalated between KKE's two main factions. The crisis was already festering during the 12th plenum of the party's central committee held in Budapest between 5 and 15 February 1968 in which three members of the politbureau (M. Partsalidis, Z. Zografos & P. Dimitriu) were expelled for fractionist activity and was further triggered by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. This event led a number of Greek communists who were ideologically leaning with the so-called opportunist faction to break with KKE that was loyal to the Socialist Republic's policy and to follow the nascent Eurocommunist line, which favored a more pluralistic approach to socialism. A relatively large group split from KKE, forming what became the Communist Party of Greece (Interior). The spin-off party forged bonds with Eurocommunist parties such as the Italian Communist Party and with Nicolae Ceauşescu's Romanian Communist Party. Its supporters referred to KKE as the KKE (Exterior) ("ΚΚΕ εξωτερικού"), inferring that KKE's policies were dictated by the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Despite the difficulties resulting from the split, KKE continued its opposition to the Greek Junta throughout the next 6 years. Its political fighting against the regime took the form of labour disruptions and strikes and small demonstrations all over the country.[67][68] Its power was rising inside the Universities where the newly founded Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) began working underground. KKE underground forces continued to work closely with other political groups of the center and left within Greece and abroad. In many European capitals anti-Junta committees were founded to support the struggle in Greece.

Legalisation

After the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1974, Constantine Karamanlis legalised the KKE hoping to reclaim "a vital part of national memory".[69] In the 1974 elections the KKE participated with the KKE Interior and the EDA under the name of the United Left, receiving 9.36 per cent of the vote. In the elections from 1977 to 1989, the KKE participated on its own (see results below).

Participation in government

In 1944, KKE participated in the national unity government of George Papandreou, holding the positions of Minister of Finance, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Labor, Minister of National Economy and Public Works, and Deputy Minister of Finance.

In 1988, KKE and Greek Left (Greek EAP; the former KKE Interior), along with other left and center parties and organisations, formed the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos). In the June 1989 elections Synaspismos gained 13.1 per cent of votes and joined a coalition with New Democracy to form a short-lived government amidst a political spectrum shaken by accusations of economic scandals against the previous administration of Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement. In November of the same year Synaspismos participated in the "Universal Government" with New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement which appointed Xenophon Zolotas as Prime Minister for 3 months. In 1991, KKE withdrew from Synaspismos. Some of its members left the party and remained in Synaspismos, which evolved into a separate left-wing party that is now an alliance of Synaspismos with other leftist splinter groups called the (Coalition of the Radical Left).

KKE is a force in the Greek political scene, rallying a significant amount of support within the organized working-class movement. KKE is currently trying to mold a loose and rather disorganised international communist movement along a purely Marxist-Leninist line; since its 18th Congress (February 2009) KKE has opened up a discussion within the ranks and more broadly within the Greek left-leaning community on the future evolution of communism in the 21st century, with a particular emphasis on examining the causes of the collapse of the Socialist system in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe.

Splits and alliances

There have been a series of splits throughout the party's history, the earliest one being the Trotskyist Organisation of Internationalist Communists of Greece.

In 1956, after the 20th Conference of the Communist Party of the USSR, a faction created the Group of Marxist-Leninists of Greece (OMLE), which split from party in 1964, becoming the Organisation of Marxists-Leninists of Greece.

In 1968, amidst the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, a relatively big group split from KKE, forming KKE Interior.

In 1988 KKE and Greek Left (the former KKE Interior), along with other left parties and organisations, formed the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

Also in 1988, the vast majority of members and officials from Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), the KKE's youth wing, split to form the New Left Current (NAR), drawing mainly youth in major cities, especially in Thessaloniki.

In the early 2000s, a small group of major party officials such as Mitsos Kostopoulos left the party and formed the Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA), which in the 2007 legislative election participated in the Coalition of the Radical Left.

Youth organisation

KNE logo.

KKE's youth organization is the Communist Youth of Greece, KNE, which closely supports KKE's goals and strategic targets.

Current activities

The KKE stands in elections and has representatives in the Greek Parliament, local government, and the European Parliament, where its two MEPs sit with the European United Left - Nordic Green Left.

It publishes the daily newspaper Rizospastis. It also publishes the political and theoretical journal Komounistiki Epitheorisi (Communist Review) every two months and a journal covering educational issues, Themata Paideias.

List of First Secretaries and General Secretaries

  1. Nikolaos Dimitratos (November 1918-). Expelled from the party on charges of "suspect behavior."
  2. Yannis Kordatos (February 1922-). Expelled from the party on charges of "distorting Marxism."
  3. Nikolaos Sargologos (November 1922-). Expelled from the party on charges of "espionage."
  4. Thomas Apostolidis (September 1923-). Expelled from the party on charges of "opportunism".
  5. Pandelis Pouliopoulos (December 1924-). Expelled from the party on charges of being a "provocateur".
  6. Eleutherios Stavridis (1924–1926). Expelled from the party on charges of pro-bourgeoisie political position.
  7. Pastias Giatsopoulos (September 1926-). Expelled from the party on charges of "liquidarism".
  8. Andronikos Haitas (March 1927-). Expelled from the party and executed in the USSR in 1935.
  9. Nikolaos Zachariadis (1931–1936).
  10. Andreas Tsipas (July 1941-September 1941). Expelled from the party on charges of "adventurism."
  11. Georgios Siantos (January 1942-1945). Expelled from the party on charges of being an "agent provocateur."
  12. Nikolaos Zachariadis (1945–1956). Expelled from the party;committed suicide after years in exile in Siberia.
  13. Apostolos Grozos (1956)
  14. Konstantinos Koligiannis (1956–1972).
  15. Charilaos Florakis (1972–1989).
  16. Grigoris Farakos (1989–1991). Resigned from the party to join Synaspismos.
  17. Aleka Papariga (1991–present)

Party's electoral results

A KKE sign in Athens, 2005
Results since 1926
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Seats
1926
Parliament
41,982
4.37%
10
1928
Parliament
1.4%
0
1929
Senate
1.7%
0
1932
Parliament
58,223
4.97%
10
1932
Senate
3.91
0
1933
Parliament
4.5%
0
1935
Parliament
9.59%
0
1936
Parliament
5.8%
15
1974
Parliament
464,787
9.47%
8
1977
Parliament
480,272
9.36%
11
1981
Parliament
620,302
10.93%
13
1985
Parliament
629,525
9.1%
12
June 1989
Parliament
855,944††
13.1%
28
June 1989
European
936,175††
14.30%
4
November 1989
Parliament
734,611††
11.0%
21
1990
Parliament
677,059††
10.3%
19
1993
Parliament
313,087
4.5%
9
1994
European
410,741
6.29%
2
1996
Parliament
380,167
5.61%
11
1999
European
557,365
8.67%
3
2000
Parliament
379,517
5.53%
11
2004
Parliament
436,573
5.9%
12
2004
European Parliament
580,396
9.48%
3
2007
Parliament
583,815
8.15%
22
2009
European Parliament
425,963
8.35%
2
2009
Parliament
517,154
7.54%
21
Notes:
With other parties.
As part of the United Front.
As part of the United Left coalition.
††As part of the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

Party membership

Membership 1918-1948[70]
Year Number of members
1918 1,000
1920 1,320
1924 2,200
1926 2,500
1928 2,000
1930 1,500
1933 4,416
1934 6,000 (est.)
1936 (start) 17,500
1936 (mid) <10,000 (est.)
1941 200 (est.) free + 2,000 in prison
1942 (December) 15,000
1944 (June) 250,000
1944 (October) 420,000–450,000
1945 (October) 45,000
1946 (February) <100,000
1948 <50,000

See also

References

  1. ^ Οι ρίζες του Ελληνικού Κομμουνιστικού Κινήματος - Roots of the Greek Communist Movement
  2. ^ a b Andrew L. Zapantis, Greek Soviet Relations 1917-1941, 1983.
  3. ^ Δοκίμιο Ιστορίας του ΚΚΕ-Study on the history of CPG
  4. ^ KKE, Επίσημα Κείμενα, τ1,τ2- CPG, Official Documents v1,v2
  5. ^ S. Seferiadis, 'The Coercive Impulse: Policing Labour in Interwar Greece', Journal of Contemporary History, January 2005.
  6. ^ Δοκίμιο Ιστορίας του ΚΚΕ - Study in the History of CPG
  7. ^ Rizospastis, January 27, 1925.
  8. ^ Rizospastis, March 1, 1925.
  9. ^ For The Issue of Self-Determination of the People, V.I.Lenin
  10. ^ KKE, Πέντε Χρόνια Αγώνες 1931-1936, Athens, 2nd ed., 1946.
  11. ^ Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 106, 141.
  12. ^ Rizospastis, October 24, 1945.
  13. ^ Επίσημα Κείμενα ΚΚΕ, vol. 6, pp. 342 - 347.
  14. ^ Επίσημα Κείμενα ΚΚΕ, vol. 6
  15. ^ KKE, History of the Communist Party of Greece.
  16. ^ Aggelos Elefantis, The Promise of the Impossible Revolution, Greek Communist Party self-meditation and the bourgeois during the inter-war Period, Themelio, 3rd edition, 1999.
  17. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 11.
  18. ^ a b C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 16
  19. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol 5, 1940-1945
  20. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol4, vol5
  21. ^ a b History of the National Resistance, 1940-1945, vol1
  22. ^ Study in the History of KKE
  23. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 9.
  24. ^ Aggelos Elefantis, The Promise of the Impossible Revolution, Greek Communist Party self-meditation and the bourgeois during the inter-war Period, Themelio, 3rd edition, 1999, pp. 300–301.
  25. ^ a b c d e C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 17
  26. ^ Ριζοσπάστης, June 17, 1941
  27. ^ a b Giannis Marinos (2006-10-29). "Ένα παράθυρο στην αλήθεια". To Vima. http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=14902&m=B57&aa=1. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  28. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945.
  29. ^ a b Study of the History of the KKE.
  30. ^ a b Courtois, Stéphane, et al. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999, p. 326.
  31. ^ KKE Central Committee, December 7, 1940.
  32. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 15.
  33. ^ a b KKE, Official Documents, vol.6
  34. ^ George Papandreou, The Third War, Athens, 1948, p. 18
  35. ^ History of the National Resistance, 1940-1945, vol5
  36. ^ Ο ΕΛΑΣ της Αθήνας (Athens' ELAS), Orestis Makris
  37. ^ Γιάννης Ιωαννίδης, ΑΝΑΜΝΗΣΕΙΣ p. 63
  38. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-1945
  39. ^ The Civil War in Peloponissos , A. Kamarinos
  40. ^ Experiences of Armed Struggles, 1940-1949, Papageorgiou
  41. ^ Charilaos Florakis, The People's Leader
  42. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-1945, vol1
  43. ^ C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 18
  44. ^ D.G. Kousoulas, Revolution and Defeat - The Story of the Greek Communist Party, London, 1065
  45. ^ Εφημερίδα "Ριζοσπάστης" - "Rizospastis" newspaper : ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ
  46. ^ Εφημερίδα "Ριζοσπάστης" - "Rizospastis" newspaper : ΕΡΓΑΤΙΚΑ
  47. ^ KKE, Official Documents.
  48. ^ V. Georgiou, History of the National Resistance 1940-1945, vol. 1, Aylos, 1979, pp. 188, 248-249.
  49. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-145
  50. ^ P. Papastratis, 'From the "Great Idea" to Balkan Union', in M. Sarafis and M. Eve (eds.), Background to Contemporary Greece, Rowman & Littlefield, 1990.
  51. ^ K. Barbis, The Greek tragedy, in three stages, Pelasgos, Athens, 2000.
  52. ^ Kessel Album, Athens 1944.
  53. ^ Spyros Kotsakis, Captain in ELAS First Army, December 1944 in Athens, Athens, 1986.
  54. ^ C.M. Woodhouse, Modern Greece, Faber and Faber, 1991, p. 253.
  55. ^ Stavrianos, L. S. and Panagopoulos, E. P. "Present-Day Greece." The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 20, No. 2, (June 1948), pp. 149-158.
  56. ^ "To Pontiki, Civil War: 60 Years Later.". http://www.topontiki.gr/Pontiki/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=455&Itemid=62. 
  57. ^ A. Kamarinos, The Civil War in the Peloponessus, Athens, 2000.
  58. ^ Δημοκρατικός Στρατός magazine, edited by Ριζοσπάστης, 1996.
  59. ^ Study on the History of KKE.
  60. ^ Δημοκρατικός Στρατός magazine, edited by Ριζοσπάστης, 1996, vol. I, pp. 408-412.
  61. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 6, pp. 356, 338.
  62. ^ Thrasimvoulos Tsakalotos 40 years soldier of Greece
  63. ^ Charilaos Florakis, The Peoples Leader
  64. ^ Polymeris Voglis, Becoming a Subject: Political Prisoners During the Greek Civil War, Berghahn Books, 2002, p. 223.
  65. ^ Minas Samatas, "Greek McCarthyism: A Comparative Assessment of Greek Post-Civil War Repressive Anticommunism and the US Truman-McCarthy Era", Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora.
  66. ^ Thanassis Lalas, "Constantine Speaks About All", BHMAgazino, June 3, 2001.
  67. ^ "KNE, Our History.". http://www.kne.gr/polytechneio1973. 
  68. ^ " ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΣΥΜΠΕΡΑΣΜΑΤΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΓΕΓΟΝΟΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΝΟΕΜΒΡΗ 1973" KE, Ιούλιος 1976, http://www.kne.gr/179.html
  69. ^ Philip Carabott and Thanasis D. Sfikas (eds.), The Greek Civil War, Ashgate, 2004, p. 266.
  70. ^ The table is part of a larger table found in Chr. Vernadakis & G. Mavris, "Απο τη 'Λαοκρατία' στην 'Αλλαγή'", Theseis 22 (1988). The table in the article provides detailed sources for the numbers stated above which are from CPG's official documents and/or independent historians.

External links


Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας
Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas
Communist Party of Greece
Leader Aleka Papariga
Founded 17 November [O.S. 4 November] 1918
Headquarters 145 Leof. Irakliou,
142 31 Athens (Nea Ionia)
Newspaper Rizospastis
Youth wing Communist Youth of Greece
Ideology Communism,
Marxism-Leninism,
Euroscepticism
International affiliation Formerly Comintern,
Now participates in the International Conference of Communist and Workers' Parties.
European affiliation None
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Official colours Red
Parliament
21 / 300
European Parliament
2 / 22
Website
http://www.kke.gr/
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

Founded in 1918, the Communist Party of Greece (Greek: Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas), better known by its acronym, ΚΚΕ (usually pronounced "koo-koo-eh" or "kappa-kappa-epsilon"), is the oldest party on the Greek political scene.

Contents

History

Foundation

The October Revolution of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 gave impetus for the foundation of Communist parties in many countries all over the globe. ΚΚΕ was founded on 4 November 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece (Acronym: SEKE, Greek: Σοσιαλιστικό Εργατικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Sosialistiko Ergatiko Komma Elladas) by Avraam Benaroya, a Sephardic Jewish teacher and Socialist Workers' Federation leader in Thessaloniki. The party was run by a five-member central committee which consisted of Nikos Dimitratos, D. Ligdopoulos, M. Sideris, A. Arvanitis and S. Kokkinos.

The background of KKE has roots in more than 60 years of small socialist, anarchist and communist groups, mainly in industrialized areas. These groups, following the example of the Paris Commune and the 1892 Chicago workers' movement for the 8 hour day, had as immediate political goals the unification of Greek workers into trade unions, the implementation of an 8 hour working day in Greece, and better salaries for workers. Inspired by the Paris Commune and the Communist revolutionary efforts in the US, Germany and Russia at the beginning of the century, and the destruction that almost 20 years of wars had brought upon the Greek workers, a unified Social-Communist party was founded in Greece.[1]

At the Second Congress of the SEKE in April 1920, the party decided to affiliate with Comintern, an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow in 1919. It changed its name to the Socialist Labour Party of Greece-Communist (SEKE-K). A new central committee was elected, which included Nikos and Panaghis Dimitratos, Yannis Kordatos, G. Doumas and M. Sideris. 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. Pandelis Pouliopoulos was elected as general-secretary. Ever since, the party has functioned on the basis of democratic centralism.

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KKE between the two World Wars

KKE strongly opposed Greece's involvement in the Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, which it considered an imperialistic scheme to control the market of Asia Minor given the new political situation after the Ottoman Empire's collapse. KKE members propagated this position both on the front - which provoked accusations of treason from the Greek government - as well as in the mainland. KKE collaborated with the Soviet ambassador to persuade Venizelos' administration to withdraw its troops from Asia Minor, and to persuade the Soviet Union to exert political pressure on Kemal Ataturk to allow autonomy for Greek cities in Asia Minor.[2]

KKE played a prominent role in strikes, anti-war demonstrations, foundation of trade unions and worker associations. KKE and other leftist political forces fostered the creation of labor unions in all sectors, including the General Greek Workers Confederation (ΓΣΕΕ), which shared common goals with KKE.[3][4].

These activities met by opposition from the Mid-War governments; in 1929 George Papandreou, as minister of Education, passed legislation against organized communist teachers, known as Idionymon. Such legislation was often used to prosecute KKE members and other leftist activists.[5] Under the Idionymon all members of the Communist Party of Greece, being considered dangers to the state, were to be removed from public service or put in exile.

The first prison camps for left wing citizens and communists were founded in that era. KKE and its organizations, although small in numbers, continue operating in all Greek major cities, especially industrial areas such as Athens, Piraeus, Patra, Thessaly and Volos, Thessaloniki, Kavala and elsewhere.[6]

KKE collaborated with other newly founded Communist Parties to oppose the rise of the Fascist movement in Europe. In 1932, the Commitern decreed that anti-Fascist fronts be formed internationally. KKE responded by creating the People's Front, which was the largest Marxist anti-Fascist organization in Greece prior to the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas.

The party was banned in 1936 by the dictatorial 4th of August Regime of Metaxas. Many KKE members were imprisoned or exiled on isolated islands.

KKE members volunteered to fight on the side of the socialist government of Spain during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939; about 440 Greeks joined the ranks of the International Brigade, many of whom were high-ranking KKE members.

KKE and the Macedonian issue

After the Balkan Wars in 1912-1916, World War I in 1916-1919, and the disastrous Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, there were diplomatic approaches from the superpowers of that era regarding the re-drawing of Greek borders, given the fact that the new state in Turkey and Bulgaria were pressing for more territory in order to improve their trade routes with the British Empire. The ruling parties were simultaneously trying to move parts of Northern Greece (Macedonia and Thrace) to Turkey and Bulgaria, and to win the return of islands in the Aegean and parts of Macedonian territory to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This policy was reiterated several times throughout the pre-war era.[7][8]

[[File:|right|thumb|Nikos Zachariadis, General Secretary of the party from 1931 to 1956]] The main impetus for their demand was the ethnic and religious minorities currently living inside Greek borders in Northern Greece. KKE opposed any geo-strategic game in the area which would use minorities to start a new imperialistic war in the region. At its Third Party Congress in 1924, KKE announced its policy would be to promote the creation of two new independent states in the northern Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace. Its policy was dictated by Communist theory that stated any minorities should be self-determined under a common Socialist State, and it had its roots in the example of the newly founded Soviet Union.[9]

In 1934, KKE expressed its intent to "fight for the national self-determination, and ultimately secession, of the repressed Macedonians and Thracians, and to collaborate for this goal with the Bulgarian organizations of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and the Thracian Revolutionary Organisation under a People's Republic where all nations will found their self-determination and will build the common state of the workers..."[10].

As a result of this, KKE was seen by many as a party whose policy was "the detachment of large areas of northern Greece", and that "this was dictated by Comintern and hurt the popularity of Communism at the time".[11] Nikos Zachariadis, General Secretary of the party, officially renounced KKE's policy of secession in 1945.[12]

In 1949, during the Fifth Congress of the Central Committee of KKE, it was stated that "...The Greek and the Macedonian people will win this struggle only united..."[13]. This position prompted the government in Athens, together with the British government, to begin a propaganda campaign against KKE and the party's military wing, the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), blaming them for secession plans in northern Greece. In order for KKE to clear up its position on the Macedonian subject, the 6th Congress of its Central Committee was called a few months later, during which was clearly stated that KKE was fighting for a free Greece and for a common future for Greeks, Slavs, and Macedonians under the same state.[14]

The issue was ended by Central Committee in 1954 with the withdrawal of the position of self-determination of minorities in the North. In 1988, the General Secretary of KKE, Charilaos Florakis, once again presented KKE's political position on the matter in a speech to the Greek Parliament.

KKE during the Second World War

1940

By 1940, KKE had almost collapsed. Metaxas' dictatorship had imprisoned many of the leadership and members. By October half of KKE's 2,000 members were in prison or in exile. The most prominent jails were the Acronauplia, Anafi, Ikaria, Kefalonia and the Central Athens Jail ("Averof"). A large number of prisoners were shot in retaliation to attacks of National People's Liberation Army (ELAS) partisans throughout the German occupation from 1941 to 1944, but some escaped to join the National Liberation Front-ELAS forces.

By 1940, the Security police had proved extremely successful in dismantling the KKE organisation; not only had it imprisoned the leadership, but it created a fake series of Rizospastis, the Central Committee newspaper. This generated confusion among the remaining scattered underground members.[15][16]

Around this time a small group of old party officials formed the "Old Central Committee". Two of them were elected by the 6th Conference.[17] In his memoirs for the Greek Civil war, C.M. Woodhouse (the British liaison with Greek resistance groups during WWII) wrote: "The 'Old Central Committee' interpreted a directive issued by Comintern as indicating collaboration with the German and Italian dictatorships, given the Hitler-Stalin alliance."[18]. On the other hand, Woodhouse argues, Georgios Siantos, who had escaped from prison, and Nikos Zachariadis, who was still incarcerated, took the opposite view that KKE must support Metaxas in his fight against Mussolini.[18] The archives of KKE [19] also address the confusion between different KKE cadres; the "Old Committee" interpreted the politics of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as part of the "imperialistic game between the Axis forces and the British." This faction of KKE felt that the Metaxas regime was a "pawn of British imperialism in the region," [20] and, therefore, the "Old Committee" viewed any war between the Axis forces and the British as an "...imperialistic war that the people of any of the countries involved should not participate in...". According to KKE's account, this position was criticized by Comintern in 1939 (a few months after the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact), which had instructed KKE to fight against Italy in the event of an invasion of Greece.[21][22]

Nikos Zachariadis, KKE General Secretary, wrote from prison on 2 November 1940: "Today the Greek people are waging a war of national liberation against Mussolini's fascism. In this war we must follow the Metaxas government and turn every city, every village and every house of Greece into a stronghold of the National Liberation Fight... On this war conducted by Metaxas government all of us should give all our forces without reservation. The working people's and the crowning achievement for today's fight should be and shall be a new Greece based on work, freedom, and liberated from any foreign imperialist dependence, with a truly pan-popular culture."[23][24]

Several party members, including Nikos Ploumpidis of the "Old Central Committee", denounced this letter as a forgery produced by the Metaxas regime.[25][26] Zachariadis was even accused of writing it to win the favour of K. Maniadakis, the Minister for Public Order, to win his release from prison.[2] According to one source when drafting this letter Zachariadis was unaware of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact, and was castigated by the Comintern for an anti-Soviet stance.[27]

According to KKE's archives, the "Old Central Committee" had been denounced for its stance on the war issue; today KKE claims that the majority of the party membership had not followed the decision to take the Nazi side.[28][29] On 16 November 1940, Zachariadis repudiated the line of his first letter in a second letter where he accused the Greek Army of waging a "fascist" and "imperialistic war" and appealed to the USSR for peaceful intervention,[30][31] thus aligning his position with that of the "Old Central Committee".[25]

On 7 December 1940, the "Old Central Committee" issued a manifesto addressed "to all the workers and public servants, to all soldiers, sailors and airmen, to patriot officers, to the mothers, fathers, wives and children of the fighters and the workers of all neighboring countries", in which it describes the war as a game of the imperialist powers, headed by the British. According to KKE, the "Old Central Committee" based this opinion on the belief that Mussolini's Italy would not dare to attack a country that had a cooperation agreement with the Soviet Union. The main political line of this manifesto was the call to the soldiers on the front not to go beyond Greek borders, but after securing them to try seek a peace agreement with the enemy.[32]

Zachariadis may have issued a third letter on 17 January 1941, in which he explained the motives for his first letter and wrote: "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."[27]

According to KKE archives, Zachariadis had issued no further letters, and the third letter may have been in fact the statement of the "Old Central Committee" on 18 March 1941.[33] In any case, Zachariadis himself referred in his public statements after liberation almost exclusively to his first letter as proof of the patriotic character of KKE and its role as an inspiration to the Greek resistance movement during the war.

Regardless of what the (highly doctored) KKE archives show, the fact is that all these letters -real or imagined- by Zachariadis, had no appeal whatsoever either to the Greek population as a whole or to the Greek soldiers who were fighting so successfully in the mountains of Albania, pushing the Italian fascist invader towards the Adriatic. KKE was after all a small party, with less than 6% of the popular vote in the last democratic election that was held in 1936.

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".[25][30] Apparently the KKE was by far more "patriotic" in defending the Stalinist regime of the Soviet Union than in defending the Metaxas regime in Greece a few months before, the very regime that, after all, had proven its patriotic and anti-Axis credentials by almost defeating the Italian fascist invaders.

1941: Invasion

File:Battle of Greece -
The German invasion of Greece

On April 6, 1941 the German invasion was launched, and Athens was occupied on 27 April, following an unconditional surrender of the Greek forces by General Georgios Tsolakoglou, who was later appointed Prime Minister by the Nazis.

C.M Woodhouse, a British Intelligence officer, head of the British military delegation stationed by the Allies in Greece during WWII, wrote that on 18 March, when the Germans were moving unopposed into Bulgaria, KKE advised Greeks to follow the example of "the heroic fraternal people of Bulgaria" [25] Moreover, according to George Papandreou, there were hints of a possible collaboration between KKE and the Germans in forming a government under occupation.[25][34] This has not been historically proven since to date no evidence of such collaboration has been found. To the contrary, when the Allied command ordered Greek resistance groups not to attack the retreating Nazi forces, ELAS never obeyed the order.[33][35][36].

In any case, confusion remained among many Greek Communists as to what the Moscow-sanctioned position was. In his memoirs, KKE leader Ioannis Ioannidis wrote about a regional Communist cadre who proclaimed the following as Greece was being bombed by the axis: "The Germans will not bomb us. The mustached-one (Stalin) will not let them," [37]

A large number of KKE members were already in prison before the Nazi invasion. The pro-Nazi occupation government handed some of them over to the Nazis fearing that they - following the pro-Soviet party line - would resort to sabotage in Greece following Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.[38][39][40][41] There were many occasions that police officers released communist prisoners, especially the ones that they were in exile in Aegean islands. There were reports that some communists had been used as a human shield by the Germans to prevent ELAS attacks against them. The fact is however, that it became German policy - especially after it became obvious to them that they were losing the war- to execute civilians in retaliation for attacks against them by communist or non-communist guerillas. Approximately two hundred communists and Greek patriots were executed at the Kaisariani Shooting Range on the 1st of May 1944.[42] In 1941, several KKE members managed to escape prison. According to Woodhouse "...communist prisoners were released by the German occupation forces from the jail on the Acronauplia, at the request of the Bulgarian embassy in Athens".[43][44].

Twenty Communists held as political prisoners in Heraklion, Crete demanded to be released to fight against the invading Germans. The Greek government, which had left mainland Greece by then and was en route to Egypt, had no power to release them. They eventually escaped after their jail was damaged by German bombs and joined the British and Greek forces defending the Heraklion harbor. After the fall of Crete, many officers of the Greek Army joined forces with ELAS and became commanders in ELAS's guerilla army units. Corp.[45][46]

Although KKE was suffering from a lack of central political leadership, since its leader Nikos Zachariades had been taken by the Germans to the Dachau concentration camp, its members succeeded in maintaining communication with each other. 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. At the same time, the "Old Central Committee" submitted to the authority of the new Central Committee.[47] The first united resistance organization was founded in the regions of Macedonia and Thrace on 15 May 1941.[21] In Thessaloniki, the Macedonian Bureau of KKE established the Eleftheri (Liberty) Organization, along with the Socialist Party, the Agrarian Party, the Democratic Union and Colonel Dimitrios Psarros.

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 comprising of more than 300 men each.[48] 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.[49] On 27 September 1941, Greek communists together with five other Centrist and Leftist parties formed the National Liberation Front (EAM), in Kallithea, Athens, and began forming partisan militia units.

1942 to liberation

On 16 February 1942, the National People's Liberation Army (ELAS) was founded in a small kiosk in Fthiotida, and by 1943 it consisted of 150,000 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, 800,000 Greek citizens, both workers and peasants, had joined the ranks of KKE. KKE maintained its alliances with the EAM. Its main stated aim at this time was to form a united government with all parties that wanted to see Greece liberated from foreign powers.[50]

Nikos Zachariadis was imprisoned in Dachau; he was released in 1945 and returned to Greece as the elected general secretary of the KKE. During his imprisonment Andreas Tsipas and Georgios Siantos served as party general secretaries.

KKE and the Greek Civil War

At the end of the war, fighting broke out between EAM and the Greek government, which had returned from wartime exile. Backed by KKE, EAM refused to disarm ELAS and ELAN while the militias and police that had collaborated with the Germans remained free.[51] Six ministers of the EAM, most of whom were KKE members, resigned from their positions in the government in November 1944. 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,[52][53] opened fire on the crowd. More than 28 people were killed and 148 injured. According to other accounts, it is uncertain if the first shots were fired by the police or the demonstrators.[54] The Dekembriana, as this incident is known, was the beginning of the 37-day Battle of Athens. Following a ceasefire agreement called the Treaty of Varkiza, ELAS laid down the majority of its weapons and dissolved all of its units. Right-wing groups, including elements which had collaborated with the Germans, seized this opportunity to persecute leftists, including many KKE members.[55]

The Civil War involved two sides. On the one side was the internationally recognised Greek Government, led by Konstantinos Tsaldaris and, later, Themistoklis Sophoulis, which was elected in the 1946 elections which the KKE boycotted. On the other side was the Democratic Army of Greece, of which the KKE was the only major political force.

According to EAM figures, in the few months after the Treaty of Varkiza, 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.[56] The KKE Central Committee issued a directive to all party forces not to engage in any armed conflict but to try to prevent attacks by other means. This caused confusion among the majority of its supporters, and served to weaken the party organisation across the country.[57]

File:DSE
Badge of the Democratic Army of Greece. The letter Delta stands for Demokratia, meaning both "Democracy" and "Republic".

Large groups had returned to their partisan hideouts in the mountains and gradually formed smaller partisan units. As most of the ELAS armoury had been surrendered under the terms of the Varkiza treaty, these units armed themselves with weapons seized from attacks on militia units that had been provided arms by the police, as well as attacking police stations. By mid 1946 these units forced the KKE leadership to change its neutral position and to plan the formation a partisan army with the officers and fighters that were still free. 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). After this successful operation, the remaining scattered groups reorganized the pre-Varkiza Treaty ELAS formations all over the country. KKE's political influence and organization structure helped form units in the Aegean Islands of as Mytilene, Chios, Ikaria, Samos, and Crete.[29][58]

In 1947, KKE and its allies that participated in the Civil War formed the Provisional Democratic Governmentunder the premiership of Markos Vafiadis. As well as issues regarding the war effort, the Provisional Government had to deal with issues regarding the "People's Law" in the territories controlled by the DSE. These had to do with the judicial, financial, and political systems. As the Provisional Government was based on political forces which aimed to establish a socialist state, its decisions were driven by this political agenda. The self-determination of national minorities living in Greece was one priority. The Provisional Government and the KKE intended to establish a People's Republic of Greece in which all nationalities would work together in a Socialist state.[59] An article written by Nikos Zachariadis expressed the KKE's strategy after the envisioned victory of the Democratic Army of Greece regarding what was then known as the "Macedonian Issue": "The Macedonian people will acquire an independent, united state with a coequal position within the family of free peoples’ republics within the Balkans, within the family of Peoples’ Republics to which the Greek people will belong. The Macedonian people of Aegean Macedonia are today fighting for this independent united state with a coequal position and is helping the DSE with all its soul ...".[60] The policy of self-determination for Macedonia within a People's Republic was reiterated during the 5th KKE Central Committee meeting held in January 1949, which declared that the "Macedonian people participating in the liberation struggle would find their full national re-establishment as they want giving their blood for this acquisition ... Macedonian Communists should pay great attentions to foreign chauvinist and counteractive elements that want to break the unity between the Greek and Macedonian (Slavomacedonian) people. This will only serve the monarcho-fascists and British imperialism ...” [61]. This declaration of the 5th KKE Central Committee had an adverse effect on the future of the KKE in Greece.[citation needed]

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.[62]

Charilaos Florakis, whose nom-de-guerre was Kapetan Yiotis, was a DSE-appointed Brigadier General during this battle. Florakis was ordered by the DSE High Command to re-enter Greece with a group of DSE fighters via the Gramos Mountains and try to establish connection with all the DSE forces that remained within Greece. The battalion indeed reached small DSE units south of Gramos down to Evritania, and retreated thereafter back to Albania. Floriakis later served as General Secretary of KKE from 1972 to 1989.

On 28 August 1949 the Civil War in Greece ended with the DSE forces defeated militarily and politically and KKE entered a new phase in its history.[63]

In 1989, the political consequences of the Civil War were finally lifted: DSE was recognized as an equal Greek army to the National Army, and DSE fighters were named "DSE fighters" instead of "Communist Gangfighters" ("κουμουνιστοσυμμορίτες"). The war was named "The Civil War of Greece" instead of "The War against the gangs and thieves" ("συμμοριτοπόλεμος") that was the official state name for that era up until that point.[citation needed]

Post-War Era

After the Civil War, the KKE was outlawed and most of its prominent members had to flee Greece, go underground, or provide a signed declaration that they renounced Communism to avoid prosecution under Law 504, issued in 1948, A large number of KKE members were either prosecuted, jailed or exiled. 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. The fear of widespread reaction from left-wing citizens curbed further executions and eventually led to the gradual release of most political prisoners. In 1955 there were 4,498 political prisoners and 898 exiles; in 1962 there were 1,359 prisoners and 296 exiles.[64] But under the prevailing anti-communist rules, communists and KKE sympathizers were barred from the public sector and lived under a repressive anticommunist surveillance system.[65] Such discrimination against communists was partially relieved with the legalization of KKE in 1974, and the discrimination ended in the 1980s. During this period of illegality, the KKE supported the United Democratic Left (EDA) Party.

Former King Constantine II claims that in 1964 he proposed to George Papandreou (senior) that the KKE be legalized. According to the former monarch, Papandreou refused to comply so as not to lose his party's left-wing supporters.[66] This allegation cannot be verified, as it was expressed after Papandreou's death. Moreover, Constantine's public statements regarding communism during the 1960s renders the veracity of this allegation questionable.

During the Junta

On 21 April 1967, a group of right-wing Greek Army colonels led by Georgios Papadopoulos successfully carried out a coup d'état on the pretext of imminent "communist threat", establishing what became known as the Regime of the Colonels. All political parties, including EDA, were dissolved, and civil liberties were suppressed for all Greek citizens. KKE members were persecuted along with other opponents of the junta.

In 1968, a crisis escalated between KKE's two main factions. The crisis was already festering during the 12th plenum of the party's central committee held in Budapest between 5 and 15 February 1968 in which three members of the politbureau (M. Partsalidis, Z. Zografos & P. Dimitriu) were expelled for fractionist activity and was further triggered by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. This event led a number of Greek communists who were ideologically leaning with the so-called opportunist faction to break with KKE that was loyal to the Socialist Republic's policy and to follow the nascent Eurocommunist line, which favored a more pluralistic approach to socialism. A relatively large group split from KKE, forming what became the Communist Party of Greece (Interior). The spin-off party forged bonds with Eurocommunist parties such as the Italian Communist Party and with Nicolae Ceauşescu's Romanian Communist Party. Its supporters referred to KKE as the KKE (Exterior) ("ΚΚΕ εξωτερικού"), inferring that KKE's policies were dictated by the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Despite the difficulties resulting from the split, KKE continued its opposition to the Greek Junta throughout the next 6 years. Its political fighting against the regime took the form of labour disruptions and strikes and small demonstrations all over the country.[67][68] Its power was rising inside the Universities where the newly founded Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) began working underground. KKE underground forces continued to work closely with other political groups of the center and left within Greece and abroad. In many European capitals anti-Junta committees were founded to support the struggle in Greece.

Legalisation

After the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1974, Constantine Karamanlis legalised the KKE hoping to reclaim "a vital part of national memory".[69] In the 1974 elections the KKE participated with the KKE Interior and the EDA under the name of the United Left, receiving 9.36 per cent of the vote. In the elections from 1977 to 1989, the KKE participated on its own (see results below).

Participation in government

In 1944, KKE participated in the national unity government of George Papandreou, holding the positions of Minister of Finance, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Labor, Minister of National Economy and Public Works, and Deputy Minister of Finance.

In 1988, KKE and Greek Left (Greek EAP; the former KKE Interior), along with other left and center parties and organisations, formed the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos). In the June 1989 elections Synaspismos gained 13.1 per cent of votes and joined a coalition with New Democracy to form a short-lived government amidst a political spectrum shaken by accusations of economic scandals against the previous administration of Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement. In November of the same year Synaspismos participated in the "Universal Government" with New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement which appointed Xenophon Zolotas as Prime Minister for 3 months. In 1991, KKE withdrew from Synaspismos. Some of its members left the party and remained in Synaspismos, which evolved into a separate left-wing party that is now an alliance of Synaspismos with other leftist groups called the (Coalition of the Radical Left).

KKE is a force in the Greek political scene, rallying a significant amount of support within the organized working-class movement. KKE is currently trying to mold a loose and rather disorganised international communist movement along a purely Marxist-Leninist line; since its 18th Congress (February 2009) KKE has opened up a discussion within the ranks and more broadly within the Greek left-leaning community on the future evolution of communism in the 21st century, with a particular emphasis on examining the causes of the collapse of the Socialist system in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe.

Splits and alliances

There have been a series of splits throughout the party's history, the earliest one being the Trotskyist Organisation of Internationalist Communists of Greece.

In 1956, after the 20th Conference of the Communist Party of the USSR, a faction created the Group of Marxist-Leninists of Greece (OMLE), which split from party in 1964, becoming the Organisation of Marxists-Leninists of Greece.

In 1968, amidst the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, a relatively big group split from KKE, forming KKE Interior.

In 1988 KKE and Greek Left (the former KKE Interior), along with other left parties and organisations, formed the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

Also in 1988, the vast majority of members and officials from Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), the KKE's youth wing, split to form the New Left Current (NAR), drawing mainly youth in major cities, especially in Thessaloniki.

In the early 2000s, a small group of major party officials such as Mitsos Kostopoulos left the party and formed the Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA), which in the 2007 legislative election participated in the Coalition of the Radical Left.

Youth organisation

[[File:|thumb|right|KNE logo.]]

KKE's youth organization is the Communist Youth of Greece, KNE, which closely supports KKE's goals and strategic targets.

Current activities

The KKE stands in elections and has representatives in the Greek Parliament, local government, and the European Parliament, where its two MEPs sit with the European United Left - Nordic Green Left.

It publishes the daily newspaper Rizospastis. It also publishes the political and theoretical journal Komounistiki Epitheorisi (Communist Review) every two months and a journal covering educational issues, Themata Paideias.

List of First Secretaries and General Secretaries

  1. Nikolaos Dimitratos (November 1918-). Expelled from the party on charges of "suspect behavior."
  2. Yannis Kordatos (February 1922-). Expelled from the party on charges of "distorting Marxism."
  3. Nikolaos Sargologos (November 1922-). Expelled from the party on charges of "espionage."
  4. Thomas Apostolidis (September 1923-). Expelled from the party on charges of "opportunism".
  5. Pandelis Pouliopoulos (December 1924-). Expelled from the party on charges of being a "provocateur".
  6. Eleutherios Stavridis (1924–1926). Expelled from the party on charges of pro-bourgeoisie political position.
  7. Pastias Giatsopoulos (September 1926-). Expelled from the party on charges of "liquidarism".
  8. Andronikos Haitas (March 1927-). Expelled from the party and executed in the USSR in 1935.
  9. Nikolaos Zachariadis (1931–1936).
  10. Andreas Tsipas (July 1941-September 1941). Expelled from the party on charges of "adventurism."
  11. Georgios Siantos (January 1942-1945). Expelled from the party on charges of being an "agent provocateur."
  12. Nikolaos Zachariadis (1945–1956). Expelled from the party;committed suicide after years in exile in Siberia.
  13. Apostolos Grozos (1956)
  14. Konstantinos Koligiannis (1956–1972).
  15. Charilaos Florakis (1972–1989).
  16. Grigoris Farakos (1989–1991). Resigned from the party to join Synaspismos.
  17. Aleka Papariga (1991–present)

Party's electoral results

[[File:|thumb|right|A KKE sign in Athens, 2005]]

Results since 1926
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Seats
1926
Parliament
41,982
4.37%
10
1928
Parliament
1.4%
0
1929
Senate
1.7%
0
1932
Parliament
58,223
4.97%
10
1932
Senate
3.91
0
1933
Parliament
4.5%
0
1935
Parliament
9.59%
0
1936
Parliament
5.8%
15
1974
Parliament
464,787
9.47%
8
1977
Parliament
480,272
9.36%
11
1981
Parliament
620,302
10.93%
13
1985
Parliament
629,525
9.1%
12
June 1989
Parliament
855,944††
13.1%
28
June 1989
European
936,175††
14.30%
4
November 1989
Parliament
734,611††
11.0%
21
1990
Parliament
677,059††
10.3%
19
1993
Parliament
313,087
4.5%
9
1994
European
410,741
6.29%
2
1996
Parliament
380,167
5.61%
11
1999
European
557,365
8.67%
3
2000
Parliament
379,517
5.53%
11
2004
Parliament
436,573
5.9%
12
2004
European Parliament
580,396
9.48%
3
2007
Parliament
583,815
8.15%
22
2009
European Parliament
425,963
8.35%
2
2009
Parliament
517,154
7.54%
21
Notes:
With other parties.
As part of the United Front.
As part of the United Left coalition.
††As part of the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

Party membership

Membership 1918-1948[70]
Year Number of members
1918 1,000
1920 1,320
1924 2,200
1926 2,500
1928 2,000
1930 1,500
1933 4,416
1934 6,000 (est.)
1936 (start) 17,500
1936 (mid) <10,000 (est.)
1941 200 (est.) free + 2,000 in prison
1942 (December) 15,000
1944 (June) 250,000
1944 (October) 420,000–450,000
1945 (October) 45,000
1946 (February) <100,000
1948 <50,000

See also

References

  1. ^ Οι ρίζες του Ελληνικού Κομμουνιστικού Κινήματος - Roots of the Greek Communist Movement
  2. ^ a b Andrew L. Zapantis, Greek Soviet Relations 1917-1941, 1983.
  3. ^ Δοκίμιο Ιστορίας του ΚΚΕ-Study on the history of CPG
  4. ^ KKE, Επίσημα Κείμενα, τ1,τ2- CPG, Official Documents v1,v2
  5. ^ S. Seferiadis, 'The Coercive Impulse: Policing Labour in Interwar Greece', Journal of Contemporary History, January 2005.
  6. ^ Δοκίμιο Ιστορίας του ΚΚΕ - Study in the History of CPG
  7. ^ Rizospastis, January 27, 1925.
  8. ^ Rizospastis, March 1, 1925.
  9. ^ For The Issue of Self-Determination of the People, V.I.Lenin
  10. ^ KKE, Πέντε Χρόνια Αγώνες 1931-1936, Athens, 2nd ed., 1946.
  11. ^ Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 106, 141.
  12. ^ Rizospastis, October 24, 1945.
  13. ^ Επίσημα Κείμενα ΚΚΕ, vol. 6, pp. 342 - 347.
  14. ^ Επίσημα Κείμενα ΚΚΕ, vol. 6
  15. ^ KKE, History of the Communist Party of Greece.
  16. ^ Aggelos Elefantis, The Promise of the Impossible Revolution, Greek Communist Party self-meditation and the bourgeois during the inter-war Period, Themelio, 3rd edition, 1999.
  17. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 11.
  18. ^ a b C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 16
  19. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol 5, 1940-1945
  20. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol4, vol5
  21. ^ a b History of the National Resistance, 1940-1945, vol1
  22. ^ Study in the History of KKE
  23. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 9.
  24. ^ Aggelos Elefantis, The Promise of the Impossible Revolution, Greek Communist Party self-meditation and the bourgeois during the inter-war Period, Themelio, 3rd edition, 1999, pp. 300–301.
  25. ^ a b c d e C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 17
  26. ^ Ριζοσπάστης, June 17, 1941
  27. ^ a b Giannis Marinos (2006-10-29). "Ένα παράθυρο στην αλήθεια". To Vima. http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=14902&m=B57&aa=1. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  28. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945.
  29. ^ a b Study of the History of the KKE.
  30. ^ a b Courtois, Stéphane, et al. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999, p. 326.
  31. ^ KKE Central Committee, December 7, 1940.
  32. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 5, 1940-1945, p. 15.
  33. ^ a b KKE, Official Documents, vol.6
  34. ^ George Papandreou, The Third War, Athens, 1948, p. 18
  35. ^ History of the National Resistance, 1940-1945, vol5
  36. ^ Ο ΕΛΑΣ της Αθήνας (Athens' ELAS), Orestis Makris
  37. ^ Γιάννης Ιωαννίδης, ΑΝΑΜΝΗΣΕΙΣ p. 63
  38. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-1945
  39. ^ The Civil War in Peloponissos , A. Kamarinos
  40. ^ Experiences of Armed Struggles, 1940-1949, Papageorgiou
  41. ^ Charilaos Florakis, The People's Leader
  42. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-1945, vol1
  43. ^ C.M. Woodhouse, The Struggle for Greece, Hurst & Company, 1976, p. 18
  44. ^ D.G. Kousoulas, Revolution and Defeat - The Story of the Greek Communist Party, London, 1065
  45. ^ Εφημερίδα "Ριζοσπάστης" - "Rizospastis" newspaper : ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ
  46. ^ Εφημερίδα "Ριζοσπάστης" - "Rizospastis" newspaper : ΕΡΓΑΤΙΚΑ
  47. ^ KKE, Official Documents.
  48. ^ V. Georgiou, History of the National Resistance 1940-1945, vol. 1, Aylos, 1979, pp. 188, 248-249.
  49. ^ History of the National Resistance 1940-145
  50. ^ P. Papastratis, 'From the "Great Idea" to Balkan Union', in M. Sarafis and M. Eve (eds.), Background to Contemporary Greece, Rowman & Littlefield, 1990.
  51. ^ K. Barbis, The Greek tragedy, in three stages, Pelasgos, Athens, 2000.
  52. ^ Kessel Album, Athens 1944.
  53. ^ Spyros Kotsakis, Captain in ELAS First Army, December 1944 in Athens, Athens, 1986.
  54. ^ C.M. Woodhouse, Modern Greece, Faber and Faber, 1991, p. 253.
  55. ^ Stavrianos, L. S. and Panagopoulos, E. P. "Present-Day Greece." The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 20, No. 2, (June 1948), pp. 149-158.
  56. ^ "To Pontiki, Civil War: 60 Years Later.". http://www.topontiki.gr/Pontiki/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=455&Itemid=62. 
  57. ^ A. Kamarinos, The Civil War in the Peloponessus, Athens, 2000.
  58. ^ Δημοκρατικός Στρατός magazine, edited by Ριζοσπάστης, 1996.
  59. ^ Study on the History of KKE.
  60. ^ Δημοκρατικός Στρατός magazine, edited by Ριζοσπάστης, 1996, vol. I, pp. 408-412.
  61. ^ KKE, Official Documents, vol. 6, pp. 356, 338.
  62. ^ Thrasimvoulos Tsakalotos 40 years soldier of Greece
  63. ^ Charilaos Florakis, The Peoples Leader
  64. ^ Polymeris Voglis, Becoming a Subject: Political Prisoners During the Greek Civil War, Berghahn Books, 2002, p. 223.
  65. ^ Minas Samatas, "Greek McCarthyism: A Comparative Assessment of Greek Post-Civil War Repressive Anticommunism and the US Truman-McCarthy Era", Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora.
  66. ^ Thanassis Lalas, "Constantine Speaks About All", BHMAgazino, June 3, 2001.
  67. ^ "KNE, Our History.". http://www.kne.gr/polytechneio1973. 
  68. ^ " ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΣΥΜΠΕΡΑΣΜΑΤΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΓΕΓΟΝΟΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΝΟΕΜΒΡΗ 1973" KE, Ιούλιος 1976, http://www.kne.gr/179.html
  69. ^ Philip Carabott and Thanasis D. Sfikas (eds.), The Greek Civil War, Ashgate, 2004, p. 266.
  70. ^ The table is part of a larger table found in Chr. Vernadakis & G. Mavris, "Απο τη 'Λαοκρατία' στην 'Αλλαγή'", Theseis 22 (1988). The table in the article provides detailed sources for the numbers stated above which are from CPG's official documents and/or independent historians.

External links


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