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ELAS officers. General S. Sarafis, ELAS Military Commander, fifth from right



Greek Civil War

In February 1945, with the support of all the Allies, the various Greek parties came to the Varkiza pact which provided for:

• the complete demobilization of ELAS and all other paramilitary groups
• an amnesty only for political offences
• a referendum on the monarchy
• a general election as soon as possible.

12 February 1945: signing of the Varkiza peace agreement. From left to right: St. Sarafis, military leader of ELAS, R. Scobey, commander of the British forces in Athens and N. Zervas, military leader of EDES - The Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive, AthensThe Varkiza pact transformed the KKE's political defeat into a military one. ELAS's existence was terminated. At the same time the national army and the right-wing extremists were free to continue their war against the ex-members of EAM. The amnesty was not comprehensive because many actions during the German occupation were classed as criminal and so excepted from the amnesty. Thus, the authorities captured approximately 40.000 communists or ex-ELAS members. As a result, a number of veteran partisans hid their weapons in the mountains and 5.000 of them fled to Yugoslavia.

George PapandreouDuring 1945-1946, right-wing gangs killed about 1.190 pro-communist civilians and tortured many others. Entire villages that helped the partisans were attacked by those right-wing gangs. According to the right-wing citizens, these gangs were retaliating for what they had suffered during the reign of ELAS. This so-called by the communists "White Terrorism" wave led many of persecuted ex-ELAS members to form self-defence troops, without any KKE approval.

When relations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies deteriorated, the KKE soon reversed its King George II of Greeceformer political position. With the onset of the Cold War, communist parties everywhere moved to more militant positions.

In July 1945, George Papandreou informed the government that the dissolution of the Comintern Comintern (the Communist International Organisation, that was founded in 1919 and was claimed to have been dissolved in 1943) was a fraud. In February 1946, the KKE leadership decided to go ahead with the, "organization of a new armed struggle against the Monarcho-Fascist regime." The KKE boycotted the March 1946 elections, which were won by the monarchist United Patriotic Party (Inomeni Parataxis Ethnikofronon), the main member of which was the People's Party (Laiko Komma) of Konstantinos Tsaldaris. Although the KKE disputed the results, a referendum in September decided to retain the monarchy and King George returned to Athens. Top



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