Alcibiades Diamandi

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Alcibiades Diamandi (in Greek: Αλκιβιάδης Διαμάντης) (sometimes spelled Diamanti or Diamantis) (August 13, 1893 in Samarina, Greece – July 9, 1948 in Bucharest, Romania) was an Aromanian (Vlach) political figure of Greece, active during the First and Second World Wars in connection with the Italian occupation forces and Romania. By 1942 he fled to Romania and after the end of the Second World War he was sentenced by the Special Traitor's Courts in Greece to death. In Romania jailed by the new Communist government and he died there in 1948.

Samarina Place in Greece

Samarina is a village and a former municipality in Grevena regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Grevena, of which it is a municipal unit. Its population primarily consists of Aromanians. It attracts many tourists due to its scenic location and beautiful pine and beech forests. The population was 378 people as of 2011. The municipal unit has an area of 97.245 km2.

Bucharest Capital of Romania

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57″N26°06′14″E, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.

The Aromanians are a Romance ethnic group native to the Balkans, traditionally living in northern and central Greece, central and southern Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Kosovo and south-western Bulgaria. The term Vlachs is used in Greece to refer to Aromanians, but this term is internationally used to encompass all Romance-speaking peoples of the Balkans and Tatra Mountains regions.

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From Samarina to Bucharest

Alcibiades Diamandi was born in 1894, in Samarina, into a wealthy Aromanian (Vlach) family. He studied at the Greek Gymnasium in Siatista, continuing his studies in Romania where he became involved in the Aromanian separatist movement. During the course of World War I he served as a non-commissioned officer in the Greek army. In 1917, he formed an armed Aromanian separatist band that operated in the Pindus mountains, then part of the Italian protectorate over Albania. With the tacit approval of the Italian authorities he proclaimed the foundation of the Principality of the Pindus centered in Samarina, with himself as prince. Following a diplomatic protest by Greece, Italian troops departed from Epirus as did Diamandi who was charged with sedition. Returning to Romania in the early 1920s he entered the Romanian diplomatic service and was appointed consul at Sarandë in order to influence the local Vlach population. It is believed that in 1925 he became an agent of the Italian intelligence services. Diamandi's involvement in illegal economic activities led to his removal from the Romanian diplomatic corp. In 1927, Diamandi received a pardon from the Greek government. [1]

Siatista Place in Greece

Siatista is a town and a former municipality in Kozani regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Voio, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It lies 28 kilometres southwest of Kozani. The municipal unit has an area of 158.524 km2, the community 94.426 km2. The 2011 census recorded 5,490 residents in the town and 6,247 in the municipal unit. It was built on the austral slope of the Velia mountain on an (average) height of 930 metres. The first name of the city was Kalyvia, because the city was known for its huts. This name is referenced in the archives of the Zavordas Monastery.

Romania Sovereign state in Europe

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

The Athens years

Shortly after the presumed amnesty, he arrived in Athens [2] as the "vice president of the National Petroleum Company of Romania", as an oil importer. This was coupled with importing lumber from Romania to Greece and some other business ventures. He rented a flat in the fashionable Kolonaki district, and frequented the bars and cafes of Piraeus, where he was involved in a brawl with a Greek navy captain. During the squabble, Diamandi was wounded by a bottle flung in his direction by his adversary, and the resulting scar was used to identify him later on when he was on the run.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Kolonaki Neighborhood in Athens, Attica, Greece

Kolonaki, literally "Little Column", is a neighborhood in central Athens, Greece. It is located on the southern slopes of Lycabettus hill. Its name derives from the two metre column that defined the area even before a single house had been built there.

Piraeus Place in Greece

Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.

Diamandi frequently traveled to Rhodes (which was at the time an Italian possession), managing to attract the attention of the Greek Counter-intelligence Services. It is widely assumed that the Greek government was aware that Diamandi was an undercover Romanian agent who was trying to incite the Aromanians against the Greek state. During Ioannis Metaxas's regime, Diamandi was served with an expulsion order, but he managed to avoid being forced out and continued his activities.

Rhodes Island and Municipality in South Aegean, Greece

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.

Ioannis Metaxas Greek politician

Ioannis Metaxas was a Greek military officer and politician, serving as Prime Minister of Greece from 1936 until his death in 1941. He governed constitutionally for the first four months of his tenure, and thereafter as the strongman of the authoritarian 4th of August Regime. On 28 October 1940, he denied an ultimatum imposed by the Italians to surrender Greece to the Axis powers, thus bringing Greece into World War II.

2nd World War: The "Roman Legion" of Diamandi assists the Italian occupation forces while he promotes the idea of Vlach Autonomy

When the Greco-Italian War started, at the end of October 1940, Diamandi was already in Konitsa on the Albanian-Greek border. The invading Italians offered him the rank of Commendatore, and he served as translator and assistant to the Italian Chief of Staff General Alfredo Guzzoni. After Italy's initial defeat, Diamandi was forced to seek refuge in Tirana (at that time under Italian rule) and re-entered Greece with the Italian armies five months later in the spring of 1941.

Greco-Italian War 1940 and 1941 conflict between Italy and Greece

The Greco-Italian War took place between the kingdoms of Italy and Greece from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. This local war began the Balkans Campaign of World War II between the Axis powers and the Allies. It turned into the Battle of Greece when British and German ground forces intervened early in 1941.

Konitsa Place in Greece

Konitsa is a town of Ioannina in Epirus, Greece, near the Albanian border. It is located north of the capital Ioannina, and northeast of a group of villages known as the Zagorochoria. The town was built amphitheatrically-shaped on a mountain slope of the Pindos mountain range from where it overlooks the valley where the river Aoos meets the river Voidomatis.

Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction between translating and interpreting ; under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

This time he discussed a so-called "Autonomous State of the Pindus" (Αυτόνομον Κράτος της Πίνδου) or "Autonomous Vlach State" (Αυτόνομον Βλαχικόν Κράτος) in the territory of Epirus, Thessaly and parts of Macedonia, which was supposed to constitute a "Vlach Homeland". This planned state or canton is sometimes called "Principality of Pindus" (the name used to mainly refer to the events in Pindus in August 1917). Diamandi's deputy and right-hand was the Larissa-based lawyer Nicolaos Matussis, while the third in the hierarchy of the nascent state was Rapoutikas Vassilis.

In development or moral, political, and bioethical philosophy, autonomy is the capacity to make an informed, un-coerced decision. Autonomous organizations or institutions are independent or self-governing. Autonomy can also be defined from human resource perspective and it means a level of discretion granted to an employee in his or her work. In such cases, autonomy is known to bring some sense of job satisfaction among the employees. Autonomy is a term that is also widely used in the field of medicine. As a matter of fact, personal autonomy is greatly recognized and valued in health care.

Epirus Historical region in Divided between Greece and Albania

Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south. It is currently divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, and Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus.

Thessaly Place in Thessaly and Central Greece, Greece

Thessaly is a traditional geographic and modern administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey.

In June 1941, Diamandi found himself in Grevena and then he went to Metsovo, where he founded the "Party of the Kοutso-Vlach Community" (Κόμμα Κοινότητας Κουτσοβλάχων) which was part of the "Union of Romanian Communities" (Ένωσις Ρουμανικών Κοινοτήτων). A "Vlach Parliament" was summoned in Trikala, but no laws were adoptedsince the meeting was mostly for show; the Italians were not keen on sharing power in the region.

A Vlach Manifesto in occupied Greece

On March 1, 1942, Diamandi issued an ample Manifesto which was published in the local press and republished by Stavros Anthemides in 1997 (in his book on the Vlachs of Greece; see bibliography). The Manifesto was co-signed by leading Aromanians (Vlachs) intellectuals such as:

Two Vlachs of Albania and Bulgaria, Vasilis Vartolis and the Samarina born writer Zicu Araia, also endorsed the Manifesto. In Romania, it was co-signed by the Veria-born George Murnu, a professor at the University of Bucharest. Diamandi travelled to Bucharest shortly after he met Murnu, and together they attended a meeting with the then Leader (Conducător) of Romania Marshal Ion Antonescu, and the Foreign Minister Mihai Antonescu. The status of the Principality of Pindos was discussed.

One option favoured by Diamandi was to put the Principality under the sovereignty of the Romanian Crown (as an associated "free state"). Another option was to link the principality to the ruling Italian House of Savoy. None of these options was to be realised.

Refuge in Romania

Towards the second year of the Italian occupation, guerilla actions broke out in the area, between the Greek Resistance supported by the Allied Forces and the Italo-German side. The chaos that ensued drove Diamandi to leave (either that or he was ordered back) to Romania. Diamandi was arrested by the Romanian Communist Secret Service ”Securitate” on February 21, 1948. He died in the Prefecture of Police in Bucharest some months later supposedly under torture by Soviet Agent Mihail Dulgheru. [3]

Matoussi escaped, first to Athens then to Romania too, while Rapoutikas was shot dead by one of the Greek factions involved in guerilla activities just outside Larissa (the Greeks then tied his corpse on the back a donkey and paraded him through the Vlach villages of the Pindus - this was intended in order to scare the local populace and as a final proof that the so-called Roman Legion had reached its end).

Mysterious Diamandi's incomplete life story

There are many gaps in the biography of the secretive Prince Diamandi, and he is scarcely mentioned in most of the few books that deal with the period. According to the German scholar Dr. Thede Kahl (see bibliography), Diamandi was for a while Kingdom of Romania's Consul in the Albanian port Vlorë just opposite across the strait of the Italian town of Otranto. The Greek historians usually avoid mentioning him altogether, while other scholars who give vague reference to him (such as "Lena Divani". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2013-09-24.  or Mark Mazower) make sure that they clearly distance themselves from Diamandi hence bestowing upon him apelatives like "extremist" and "shameful", failing to bring to the surface new data or impartial information as to the personality of Diamandi.

Alkiviadis Diamandi is given mention in 1995 by the British author Tim Salmon in his book about the Vlachs of Greece (see bibliography) as follows:

A pro-Mussolini teacher called Dhiamantis who returned to Samarina during the Occupation and tried to set up a fascist Vlach state the Principality of Pindus. It is possible that the idea of autonomy struck a chord in some nationalistic Vlach breasts but they certainly were not the collaborators he accused them of being.

The author finds the precedents of Diamandi's movement in the Vlachs' desire of separateness, which he sees as a sign of "strength". Other passages of his book emphasize this aspect as well.

He writes:

Up to the 1920s the Vlakholoi - the Vlach clan as it were- had been so strong that the government could not really interfere with them. There had been Romanian schools (financed from Romania from around the Treaty of Berlin in 1881 which forced the Turks to cede Thessaly to Greece, drawing the frontier through Metsovo and thus dividing the Greek Vlachdom in Yannina, Thessaloniki and Grevena up until 1940. In fact, there was one in Samarina itself.

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