Greece – The Hidden War

Some short facts and the documentary about the massive Greek resistance, EAM/ELAS in WWII and the Civil War:

  • The first real act of resistance against Nazi-Germany in Europe, was on May 30, 1941, when Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climbed up on the Acropolis cliff next to the Parthenon temple and tore down the swastika, which had been there since April 27, 1941, when the Nazi forces had invaded Athens. When Adolf Hitler and his axis powers after 7 months of fighting in Greece finally defeated the National Greek Army (Norway offered the second longest fight against Germany in Europa after the Greeks, with 61 days fighting back), he declared that NOW there were no more resistance against him in Europe, Manolis and Apostolos act sent the message “No, now the resistance begins”. This encouraged all of the occupied Europe to a resistance.  See Manolis Glezoz talk about it himself
  • Greek population 1940 was 7 344 860 – Under normal circumstances population with 1,5% annual growth in 1951 should be around 8.5 millions, instead was 7,632,801, almost 900,000 less.
  • Greece lost 13% of its population in WWII (in precents the Soviet union had the second greatest losses with 3% of its population)

Main reasons


  1. Battles and bombardments
  2. The German occupation – prison camps in Greece and concentration camps in Germany
  3. German, Italian and Bulgarian retaliations for rebel sabotages and activities – pogroms, massacres, mass executions
  4. German caused famine in cities and remote areas, outbreak of diseases

Civil War

  1. Battle Casualties
  2. “Evacuation” of ‘sensitive’ areas by “National Army” (in reality, the hunt-down and killing off, of ELAS fighters after their disarmament)
  3. Atrocities and massacres on EAM/ELAS fighters by security squadrons, right wing royalists and nazi-collaborator militias
  4. Children were gathered and sent to the eastern block to survive the hunt-down.
  5. After “defeat” (under English command and support), hundreds of thousands of leftist resistance fighters fled to eastern Europe
  6. All remaining  leftists and communists outlawed and sent to concentration camps (mainly on islets)
  • EAM was founded in 27 September 1941 as a solidarity movement – On 10 October, EAM published its manifesto, and announced itself and its aims to the Greek people. During the autumn of 1941, its influence expanded throughout Greece, either through pre-existing  communist and leftist cells or through the spontaneous actions of local “people’s committees”. EAM’s military wing, the “Greek People’s Liberation Army” (ELAS) was ordered formed in December 1942. Aris Velouchiotis with a small group of 10–15 guerrillas entered the village of Domnista  in Evrytania in May 1942 and proclaimed in front of the surprised villagers that they had set off to “start the war against the forces of Axis and their local collaborators“.
  • Over 60% of all the Greeks were members of EAM in the beginning of 1943 – They fought against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces and in April 1944 they had liberated a big part of Greece from the forces of Axis. The only country in Europe that liberated itself.
  • October 1944 the Nazis marched out of Greece


Rebels from Kalavryta

This is a British political documentary produced in 1986 and shown for just one and only time in British television, thereby being BANNED. It is concerning the involvement of the British Government in Greece’s political affairs during and after WWII, that is argued to have been the main catalyst in the breaking out of the Greek Civil War, followed by American involvement in the Civil War Battle (in line with the Truman Doctrine).

It was originally shown in three parts on 6, 13 and 30 January 1986 on Britain’s Channel 4. People interviewed include:

  • Other Greek participants in the resistance, talking of their role in the resistance, their experience of the campaign of terror by the far-right which followed the dissolution of the resistance army, and of the subsequent civil war.
  • British players and commentators, such as Chris “Monty” Woodhouse, Eddie Myers, Richard Acland, Sir Geoffrey Chandler, Edward Warner, Nigel Clive, David Balfour, and British soldiers of various ranks.

The documentary consists mainly of interviews of Greek, British and American participants, soldiers, officials, politicians and folk people, that make up the two parts of the documentary:

The half, concerns the events in which the ELAS movement, the Greek resistance group (democratic, socialist, communist, liberal and progressive orientated, yet made up of people of widely different political views, thus of wide social base), clashes with Churchill’s plans for post-war Greece and with the Britain’s internal allies. The second half concerns the American involvement and the events of the Greek Civil War until its closure with the defeat of the Democratic Liberation Army in the mountains of Grammos and Vitsi.

One of very few internet references I found about it

It is a collective item to say the least.


About athenianvoice

Kosmas Loumakis - Sociological consultant, analyst, field operative and tactical field coordinator of national and regional social projects in Sweden. Was contracted for almost two decades by governmental bodies and NGO's, in governmental gang crime and extremism preventive efforts. Have produced a number of socio pedagogic action plans and developed methods, field tactics and strategies for gang crime and extremism preventive projects.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Articles in English, Documentaries, Videos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.


    Greek battle for World War ll Nazi war crime reparations

    A village in Greece is at at the centre of an international legal battle in a fight for reparations for a World War ll Nazi massacre.

    Residents in Distomo won a court case in Italy, but the German government is worried it will set a precedent and has appealed to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

    Malcolm Brabant in Greece spoke to Carsten Gerick from the Republic Attorneys’ Association.

    Watch the BBC video :


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