Dr. Alex Bebler

Peace and Greece


A Merry Christmas in Greece

A particularly violent wave of terror swept over Greece — as we were informed by the whole Athens press — on Christmas day, December 25, 1947, i.e. only three weeks after the Second Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations had terminated its work, which is certainly not a mere coincidence. On that day the Athens police, armed to the teeth, blockaded entire districts of Athens and blocks of houses and, according to the Greek press, made 600 arrests.

It appears from the news published daily in the press that in January (1948) 3,000 persons were arrested in Athens and the Piraeus in the course of only three nights. On the one day of February 27, 700 persons were arrested in Athens. In the month of February, in the village Kale, near Grevene, 160 persons were imprisoned in three days. In March the police undertook the mass arrest of tuberculosis patients in a sanatorium under the Parnassus; during the first week of May 1,500 persons were jailed in Athens and the Piraeus; and during the week from May 1 to May 21, 600 more were rounded up. Early in June several hundreds were apprehended at Kavala; in August, all inhabitants of the village of Kolivati near Koliviroti on the Halkidic were arrested, according to Mr. Souphulis' newspaper Vima of August 10. During the night of September 5-6, 600 persons were taken into custody in the Piraeus, and on September 8-9, 875 more were arrested in Athens. Mass arrests took place early in October at Larissa and Sparta. The police have during the last few months continued to make many arrests, especially on the Peloponnesus in Southern Greece. The total number of prisoners exceeds 70,000 persons.

The police forces of the Athens Government are using incredible methods of torture against those who fall into their hands. Mrs. Brantok, the British Labor MP, declared with regard to the information she had on these terroristic methods: "Horrible news reaches us from Greece and shows us that Fascism has not been destroyed by World War II, which has cost so many millions of human lives. What is happening in Greece at present is only a repetition of the events which rendered the triumph of Fascism in Italy and Germany possible. The working class of the whole world must concentrate all its attention on Greece, otherwise we shall head for a World War III." (See also the "Blue Book" of the Provisional Greek Democratic Government, page 29).

Imprisonment is usually followed by deportation, summary judgment by court-martial, or shooting without trial. The death camps", as they are called by the Greek people, are becoming the usual place of sojourn of the democratic inhabitants of Greece. The best known camps to which the democratic citizens are sent, as we are told nearly every day by the Athens press, are situated on the following islands: Makronisos (on the eastern coast of Attica), Jura, Ikari, Samothrace, Chious, Siros, Agios Stratis. In the Makronisos camp, which is typical, according to the Greek and world press more than 20,000 officers and soldiers of the armed forces of the Athens Government are imprisoned for their democratic sentiments.

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