Dr. Alex Bebler
The newspaper Vima published on June 1, 1948 a communication from K. Avalisiu, who accompanied the Government Army during its operations in Rumelia. He wrote among other things "Someone might say that the fury of all these Vourlakises and Tsamadiases is directed against the Communists, but I have checked many facts in connection with this...
"Approximately two months ago this band entered Elva, on the Timfristos, and extorted 1,500,000 drachmas from a certain Georgakopulos. About the same time it demanded the payment of 1 million drachmas from Dondos, who lives in the village of Stirfaka. Six months ago this band took from various sheep farmers in the village of Daokli about 350 sheep, and about 800 cows and sheep from those in the village of Oreli. From the village of Kuznovo they took 700 sheep. The result is that all the fields in the vicinity of Stirfaka and Zilevto remain uncultivated, while Vourlakis changes his plunder into gold currency which he shows off when he goes to Lania for a good time. When I asked why are these individuals not arrested, I was told that they have powerful protectors. Under these conditions it is ludicrous to say that the power is in our hands."
In order to intimidate the Greek population from aiding the Democratic Army and showing their sympathy with it, the units of the Athens Government Army are making use of the system of hostages. Menelaos Pandelidis, commander of the 1st brigade at Kilkis, on April 21, 1948, published the following proclamation: "If the Democratic Army does not cease to lay mines, I shall massacre the unarmed population, the relatives of the partisans, and all democrats."
The commander of the 22nd Brigade in the District of Tsotilliou declared that for every soldier killed by a mine he would execute 20 inhabitants ("Blue Book" of the Provisional Greek Democratic Government, page 72). A particularly inhuman and ferocious measure of mass terrorization, let loose upon the country toward the end of 1947, i.e. after our Second Session, was the forcible evacuation of hundreds of thousands of the Greek population, and their removal to locations under the control of the Athens Government. These monstrous measures of a government against its own people have no precedent in history and have been undertaken hitherto only in countries under Nazi occupation.