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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #259 - History: There are 70-year civil war tipped Greece west (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 4 May 2016 11:22:04 +0300


March 30, 1946, an attack on a police station marks the beginning of a civil war between forces from the anti-Nazi resistance, grouped around the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and government troops controlled by the right ( a block of fascists, royalists and bourgeois), allied with Britain and the United States. More than three years later, at dawn on August 30, 1949, falls Hill Kamenik who was the last bastion of the Democratic Army of Greece (DAG), military training ???. If the loss is definitely spend the country into the Western bloc, this struggle remains a fundamental reference for the current Greek left. ---- On 28 October 1940 the Greek monarchy, under the influence of his English ally, rejects the ultimatum of fascist Italy and goes to war. During this period, the "dictatorship" of Prime Minister Metaxas, several Communist Party members mainly and small Trotskyist groups, are imprisoned or exiled. Among them is the general secretary of KKE, Nikos Zakhariadis who, from his cell in a letter dated 31 October 1940 invited the members of the Communist Party and the Greek people to participate in the war of national liberation - led by government Metaxas - against the Italian invasion. Greece resists the Italians and stop the invasion, but it is not able to achieve the same thing when Germany attacked.

In April 1941, Greece was occupied by Nazi troops. The German occupation will dissolve all dominant political institutions. The Greek government went to Egypt and no traditional political group appears to favor the option of the conflict with the occupiers. In September 1941, the KKE initiates the creation of the National Liberation Front (EAM), which in turn in February 1942 creates armed resistance groups, called the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), under the command of Thanassis Klaras, better known under the alias Aris Velouchiotis. The ASM is the largest organization of resistance in the country, developing an action both political and military against the Nazi occupation.

Greece is finally released in October 1944. The race to succeed has already begun. In early December 1944 a violent government crisis occurs: December 3, Athens, during a protest against the marginalization of EAM in politics, the police shoots, kills 21 people and injures one hundred. The seven ministers of the EAM in the government resign. Fights start between Elas and the English, who landed in Athens in autumn, and especially hope to get rid of the Communists. The English come out victorious. The Varkiza agreement in February 1945 provides for the disarmament of Elas and pardons for political crimes committed after December 3, 1944.

Immediately after disarmament begins the period of "white terror", where the fascist elements, Germans collaborators and reactionaries persecute and murder of members and supporters of EAM and the KKE. The government does not intervene to stop these terrorist acts, which are ideological purges and political and sometimes reprisals by the families of staff killed by Elas (usually members of the security battalions [ 1 ]) . The period of the White Terror will open the way to civil war. While partisan groups spontaneously leaving the cities to resume the maquis, the Communist Party finally chose the military action to end the political stalemate, but also to protect the members and supporters of the ASM. A policy statement also announced the selection of abstention for the elections of 31 March 1946. On the eve of elections, the Communist partisans attacked a police station in Litochoro Pieria in Macedonia. During the following three years of war, the monarchist troops and fascist methods use a "dirty war" to deprive the ADG supports: sweeps of the civilian population, deportation, murder, torture, etc.

Anarchists facing war KKE

Anarchist ideas were aired before all political and ideological currents of the nineteenth century socialists in Greece. But anarchist groups set up at that time were not able to last in time. The anarchists of the nineteenth and early twentieth part in some of the first wildcat strikes, which sometimes lead to uprisings, such as that of minors in 1896 or that of Serifos in 1916. The leader of that rebellion was Kostas Speras the union, which later led a group of independent trade unionists within the General Confederation of Greek workers (GSEE) on a line that had a lot in common with the anarcho-syndicalists, especially against the political action of workers. The group, which brought together some anarchists fought to prevent addiction of GSEE vis-à-vis the Greek Socialist Workers Party, which after some time in the 1920s, turned into the Communist Party. This minority has been removed from the GSEE. It's the end of attempts to establish a real anarchist pole within the workers' movement in Greece.

From the middle of this decade anarchist presence is completely eliminated in the country and will not reappear until the 1970s, in the last years of the military dictatorship. It will develop especially during the period of the new regime in 1974 [ 2 ]. The dominance of the Communist Party and Stalinism from 1930 is complete on the labor movement and the revolutionary movement in the country. The texts on anarchist resistance and civil war following two axes: on one side a narrative that is clearly influenced by veteran Stinas Agis, and the other a positive vision of the struggle of the popular fighters for what they believed to be a better future.

Army Stalinist criminals ...

Stinas and small Trotskyist group, in which served for a time the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis before fleeing to France, represented the period of Nazi occupation according to the Leninist model of "revolutionary defeatism" of the First World War. Transposed to the Second World War, this perspective is German soldiers of the Third Reich workers, so class brothers of local workers, who must together transform the war into a revolution against capitalism. Stinas had the opportunity to develop his ideas in his book EAM-ELAS-Opla [ 3 ], published in 1984. He criticized the national liberation organizations, presented as Stalinist criminal organizations that kill innocent people for no reason, apart the thirst for power. At the same time, he denounced the ASM as the main responsible for the rescue of capitalism and the political system of domination. From his perspective, ASM has saved the national unity and laid the foundations of a new national development when there was no one to do it. Finally, it insists that ASM does not have a social discourse but favors only national liberation, with a deeper goal of taking power to transform Greece into a protectorate of the USSR, another imperialist power.

Much of the 1974 anarchist adopted this discourse, at least in part. In the book's publication period, the first democratic government of Andreas Papandreou acknowledged national resistance and granted a pension resistant to integrate citizens left in the state and representative institutions after decades of exclusion. The anarchist movement at the same time chose the global conflict with the political parties and the state, which entailed stay beyond and outside of "national unity" manufactured. So national resistance that inspired previous generations was nothing for anarchists of the 1980s, a matrix for some veterans who will integrate insidiously left to representative democratic system and heteronomy. Conflicts with members and supporters of the KKE and intolerance of the past to the anti-authoritarian left incite hatred for the Communist Party, associated with this story. At the same time, the brutality with which the KKE members attack anarchists and autonomous, creates a compelling image of "criminal Stalinist". Finally, the anarchist movement, very young, essentially derivative of May 68, ignores the previous generation of anarchists in Greece, lost in the mists of time, and looks for historical roots and an imagination that shapes history.

The movement therefore has partly adopted this narrative, which he nearest feels ideologically, like any story that condemns the KKE, and has developed organic links with the perpetrators, as Stinas or Giannis Tamtakos former Trotskyite activist who joined the anarchist movement.

... Or popular resistance betrayed?

Unlike narrative, another approach considers national resistance as "popular resistance of the poorest against foreign oppressors and local." This approach praises armed action of the Greek rebels, making history, almost epic of liberation. At the same time, it criticizes the leadership race that betrayed the honest struggle of people for a better life by the KKE. The British, who wanted to totally eradicate EAM use the same criticisms Stinas. For Churchill, the resistance of Elas were thieves and brutal murderers. On the contrary, the criticism of the absolutist Communist Party leadership is not so much on his "criminal action" as told Stinas but rather on its "criminal inaction". KKE's policy has proven to be the best ally of the English and Greek bourgeoisie: the signatures of Lebanon agreements [ 4 ], of Kazerta [ 5 ] and Varkiza [ 6 ] played a perfidious and destructive role in the movement People in Greece, paving the way for the final defeat in the civil war. The KKE has been accused of not wanting to give to the fight against the Germans a class content, subversive, to maintain the balance with the local bourgeoisie and the British. In other words, the KKE did not make the struggle for social liberation, but for national liberation.

This second view has been formed and developed mainly in the anti-fascist culture of the antiauthoritarian movement, which caters to a wider audience and while practicing violent confrontation with neo-Nazis, to create a common imaginary origin, common action. We can then associate anarchists in rebel National Resistance of EAM. The criteria to support the action of the rebels are not ideological (which controls the fight or what kind of society are we going to build?), But are pragmatic: the resistance is violent conflict "natural" with the fascist invaders and their local partners. By the same argument justified the civil war, which is seen as a way for EAM-ELAS fighters against terrorism paramilitary groups. Their crimes are not comparable to the resistance. Finally the legitimacy to use similar means to achieve through the revolutionary overthrow the claim of the fight that took place in the 1940s.

National Cold War and Liberation

The establishment of several national liberation fronts with Marxist-Leninist deserves special mention, not only because it presaged a new fragmentation of the world into nation states, but also because it was decisive for the historical development the world revolutionary movement. The attitude of the Communist Party, who had under his dominion EAM and Elas, during the German-Italian occupation of the kingdom of Greece, is typical of all Stalinist parties. The leaders of the Communist Party led the people of that era left in a bloody struggle for the realization of "national independence", the restoration of the nation-state, controlled by a dictatorship of the proletariat established and protected by the Union Soviet. The ultimate goal was not reached, because Greece is now in the camp of England, thus remaining outside the eastern bloc. We note here that this aspect is reinforced by the argument that the ASM and the national liberation movements are the last savior of the nation state, which defends Stinas but while avoiding the verbal excesses enthusiasts Stinas, which reconciles the right. It is clear that these issues are complex and that a closer analysis, he has to make, would be useful to better understand the revolutionary movement.

Aris Tsioumas Translation Natasa Panagou

[ 1 ] The security battalions are paramilitary groups recruited from the army, created in April 1943 by the Greek government employee to quell the resistance.

[ 2 ] In 1974, after the fall of the dictatorship of a military junta (the "dictatorship of the colonels"), the Third Hellenic Republic is established on the model of Western liberal democracies.

[ 3 ] Opla is the acronym for Organization for the Protection of the struggles of the people, urban vigilante KKE, which was also used to suppress opponents Trotskyites or councilists.

[ 4 ] In May 1944 to provide a national unity government after the Liberation

[ 5 ] In September 1944, ASM accepts the British landing after the German withdrawal and the placement of the Elas under British command

[ 6 ] In February 1945, following the Yalta conference, under pressure from Stalin KKE accept a truce and a regency until the return of the monarchy.

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Histoire-Il-y-a-70-ans-la-guerre
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