Greek Civil war
Resistance during the Second world war
A powerful resistance movement anti-nazi, the Front National of Liberation (EAM), was founded on September 27th 1941. Citizens of all democratic opinions, socialist militants, trade unionists, members of the Communist Parties of Greece and party of the people's democracy were in the beginning. The EAM organized an army of Resistance, which took the name of ELAS (Armed popular with national release, Εθνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στρατός, ΕΛΑΣ in Greek), where the dominant force was the Communist party of Greece, KKE.
Other resistance movements, minority, were animated by officers and conservatives (EKKA, EDES, monarchists of the Zervas general), but they did not form an united front against the occupation. The EAM strongly worrying them with its reform projects social and the influence of the communist .
The ELAS managed certain maquis (in particular in Western Macedonia, that Germans and Italians never controlled completely), proceeded to social reforms and carried out without slackening the combat against the troops mussoliniennes, Nazis and against controlling the Greek collaborationnists (not recognized by the population nor by the government in exile with the Cairo).
a National council of the released areas was elected on April 30th, 1944 with Korischades, by 1.800.000 voters. The women and the young people of more than 18 years then could vote for the first time.
In Egypt, the majority of the Greek regular army in exile with the Cairo with the royalist government, wished to set up a republican democratic regime of national union, whereas its staff supported by the Alliés aspired to restore the authoritative royalist mode. The republican tendency was repressed by the Britanniques which carried out a purification of all the military body Greek in April 1944.
During the summer 1944, whereas Anglo-Saxons and Soviets had already outlined zones of influence to the Conférence of Teheran (December 1943) but had not still ratified anything (the Conférence of Yalta will take place only in February 1945), the Communists constituted a clandestine Greek government which ceased recognizing the king and the Greek government of Caire.Le king Georges II answered while forming with the liberal venizelist Georges Papandréou, a coalition government made up of all the tendencies.
In October 1944, at once after the retirement of the German forces, Winston Churchill, to avoid being put in front of the accomplished fact of a passage of the Greece at the Communism, made unload in Pirée the British brigade of the Scobie general who required the disarmament of the ELAS and his dissolution. But communist resistance, aguerrie by 3 years of combat against the Germans of which it had recovered the armament, started the combat against the English and quickly dominated to it quasi totality of Greece, except for Salonique and of Athens: it was the First Greek Civil war. It ceased in February 1945, following the Conférence of Yalta, when Stalin required of the EAM- ELAS to accept the truce of Varkiza and the regency exerted by the métropolite of Athens: Monseigneur Damaskinos, until the return of the king George II who took place after a plebiscite (September 1946).
When the Cold war started to oppose the allies, Stalin required of the Communists to break the truce: it was the Second Greek Civil war. Under the control of the commander Markos, supported by the Yugoslavia and the Soviet block, the EAM- ELAS establishes a revolutionary government with Konitza in Épire. Of 1946 with 1949, violent one engagements continued under atrocious conditions, between the Communists and the government supported by the England, then the the United States. The rupture between Tito and Stalin leaving Markos without resources, the communist partisans had to deposit the weapons in October 1949
The armed conflict
KKE, first political clout of the country to the release, did not seize officially the power in December 1944, but the EAM-ELAS refused to dissolve, and was turned against the troops Alliées (Greek royalists and British) arrivals of Cairo. The agreement of Varkiza (February 1945) proclaimed a cease-fire and elections, as well as the promise of a referendum on the political nature of the mode. But these elections were held in a climate of terror carried out by the militia of extreme right-hand side and extreme left, so much so that the democratic parties boycotted this consultation.
Driven back in the mountain by the militia of right-hand side, those of left crérent in December 1947 a democratic Army of Greece, led by the old resistant ones of the EAM, with a communist Revolutionary Government. Soon the army replaced the militia of right-hand side (which it integrated, recruiting even of former collaborationists left the prisons to make number) and the civil war took an international dimension with the American intervention and the stakes of the Cold war. It is at this time that Truman mark its will “ to help Greece to safeguard its democratic regime ”, by taking over British.
During nearly three years, the Epire (except the coast) and the major part of the Western Macedonia, as well as zones of the Thessalie and central Macedonia, were the territory of the Republic (communist) of Konitza, while the remainder of Greece formed a Kingdom (with however pockets of resistance Communist in the modest districts of the big cities). In the border zones of the Republic of Konitza , a true face was set up, with bombardments (including air on the side gouvernamental), offensives and counter-offensives, while attacks and repression ensanglantaient the cities. Only the islands were saved. Tens of villages changed hands several times and were finally given up by their inhabitants, were summoned to choose a camp and marked treason by the other.
Tito (until 1948) and the Communist parties Bulgarian and Albanian had helped the guerilla militarily, unlike the Soviet Union. The war thus finished in 1949, when Yugoslavia, leading vendor of weapons, stopped his deliveries, after the secession of Tito of the communist bloc in 1948.
In 1949, Greece is in sorry state: it is estimated that it would have lost approximately 8% of its inhabitants because of the Second world war and the civil war. The destruction was important: 1,2 million homeless people, the major part of the destroyed merchant fleet, infrastructures reduced to nothing, just like agricultural and industrial capacities.
The elected governments which followed one another were dominated by the conservative party while waiting for the catch to be able by the military junta. The country came out from it traumatized and bloodless.
Much less known than that Spain, but proportionally so tragic, the Greek civil war would have made 150 000 died and of tens of thousands of refugees in the communist countries (of 80 with 100 000 according to the estimates), and of many exactions on both sides. Many families were torn by the conflict, of the thousands of children were orphan or removed with their families.
A communist Diaspora was established in Yugoslavia and in other countries of Eastern Europe (of which GDR), where it was quickly marginalized because of the barrier of the language and the hostility of the local populations seeing in these foreigners supplied by the Party, of privileged and combined their oppressors. From 1985 and thanks to the laws of amnesty, much of these families of Koukoués (taken refuge communist) disillusioned returned to Greece, in spite of the difficulties of integration (some passed meanwhile to Russian, Rumanian, Serb… losing the use of the Greek, and the majority were not familiar of the market economy).
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