Joseph Hansen

Greek Dictatorship Continues
Brutal Terror Against People

(19 May 1945)

Source: The Militant, Vol. IX No. 20, 19 May 1945, pp. 1 & 6.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2018 by Einde O’Callaghan.
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British-supported reaction in Greece is methodically continuing its suppression of the Greek people who drove out the Nazi conquerors. Since the February 12 “accord” that ended the Allied-instigated civil war, more than 7,500 have been slaughtered, according to EAM (National Liberation Front) figures published in the May 5 Nation.

“EAM adherents, republicans, and sometimes just plain people who neglect to adorn their homes with the King’s portrait are being arrested, beaten, and even murdered,” declares the Nation correspondent. “When the guardsmen themselves do not join the man hunt, they and the local gendarmerie look the other way while illegal pro-fascist bands smash printing presses, burn organizational headquarters, and torture non-converts ... Peasants are taking to the hills as in the days of the Germans.”

“Greece ... is torn by complex feuds which may explode at any moment into fresh hostilities,” observes the Nation. In preparation for these “hostilities,” the British are reconstructing the Greek army “and the British are furnishing first-rate modern equipment ... The Greek General Staff is methodically welding this army into a political weapon, loading it with royalists from the ranks to the top command.”

“Quisling security battalions and monarchist mountain and sacred brigades are being incorporated en masse. Eighteen to twenty-six of the brigade colonels of the National Guard are royalists. Conscripts suspected of an ELAS (Greek National Liberation Army) taint are rejected for ‘medical’ reasons; former ELAS officers are not given even that excuse.”

Terror in Greece

Headlines in the Stalinist Daily Worker of May 12 declare: “TERROR IN GREECE! PERIL ELAS CHIEF.” The Daily Worker reports a warrant has been issued for the arrest of General Seraphis, Stalinist head of the ELAS.

The Daily Worker lists specific acts of the counter-revolution, including “persecutions of the press, illegal raids in residential neighborhoods, maltreatment of the wounded, hoodlumism, murders, destruction of printing plants, newspaper offices and EAM headquarters, illegal searches, kidnappings, pillage, violation of women and attempts at violation, bullying and intimidation during the trade union elections, judicial infringements,” etc.

The Stalinists, however, are themselves largely responsible for the unbridled terrorism of the Greek counter-revolution. It was Stalinist leaders, including General Seraphis, who betrayed the Partisans to the Allied invasionarmies. This can be proved by quotations from The Militant, written when the Partisans still controlled all Greece and were defending themselves against the British in Athens.

On December 9, shortly after the outbreak of the civil war, The Militant warned:

“The main obstacle between the Greek working class and the advancement of the proletarian revolution is now Stalinism ... Instead of opposing Allied imperialism and warning the masses, the Stalinists supported the Allied conquerors, accepting posts in their puppet cabinet.”

What We Said

The Dec. 30 Militant predicted: “The Greek revolution will end in a horrible blood-letting if the Stalinists succeed in their designs.”

The Militant warned again on January 6 of Stalinist treachery:

“Since the civil war broke out, the Kremlin has not said a word against Churchill’s use of force and violence. Moscow did not even withdraw recognition of the Glucksburg dynasty as the official government of Greece. Churchill, Eden and Bevin have all declared that British troops entered Greece with the approval of Moscow. Churchill emphasized this fact again on December 26 during his Athens visit: ‘We British ... came here with approval of President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin ...’”

The same issue of The Militant continues:

“The Stalinists were the first to call for the regency. On the day the British provoked civil war, the Stalinist newspaper Rizipastis published an article by the Stalinist leader, Jean Zevgos, demanding the establishment of a regency.”

When General Seraphis and others under Stalinist domination signed the January 12 “truce,” The Militant of January 20 warned:

“The truce is a victory for Allied counter-revolution ... The severity of Allied regulations in Athens indicates they have little confidence in the permanence of the truce ... The truce does not at all signify that Churchill has given up his policy of blood and iron ... The regency established by the British is carrying out Churchill’s brutal counter-revolutionary policy to the letter ... Plastiras ... prepares to act the role of butcher for the British ... Although the truce went into effect Jan. 15, the British are still mopping up in the Athens area. When they have consolidated their positions they will probably move against the areas to which ELAS retreated. The civil war provoked by the Allies is far from ended.”


Last updated on: 7 November 2018