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Nikos Ploumpidis (also Ploumbidis) (Greek : Νίκος Πλουμπίδης) (31 December 1902 – 14 August 1954) was in the leading cadre of the Greek Communist Party during the Second World War and a famous member of the wartime anti-Nazi resistance.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The son of a poor farming family, he was born in Arcadian Langadia. As a young man he involved himself in politics and in 1926, as a teacher in the village of Milea, near Elassona, he joined the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). At the time he was a teacher and in 1930 became a member of the Executive Committee of the Central Union of Civil Servants. However, in 1931 he had to leave the position after he was sacked from his teaching position due to his political activism. He began to work full-time for the KKE. In 1937 he was responsible for the party in the Thessaly region, and in 1938, he was elected to the Politburo of the KKE.
Elassona is a town and a municipality in the Larissa regional unit in Greece. During antiquity Elassona was called Oloösson (Ὀλοοσσών) and was a town of the Perrhaebi tribe. It is situated at the foot of Mount Olympus. Elassona is bypassed by the GR-3.
The Communist Party of Greece is a Marxist–Leninist political party in Greece. Founded in 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece, it is the oldest political party in modern Greek politics. The party played a significant role in the Greek resistance and its membership peaked in the mid-1940s. It was the instigator of the Greek Civil War, but ended on the losing side and was banned until 1974.
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 1939 he was arrested by the secret police of the regime of General Ioannis Metaxas, and was imprisoned in Sotiria hospital until his escape in 1942. He then involved himself in the newly formed National Liberation Front (EAM) and in the communist youth organisation (OKNE). After the return of Nikos Zachariadis, the pre-war general secretary of the KKE, from his incarceration in Dachau Concentration Camp, tensions developed between him and Ploumpidis. Owing to poor health (he suffered from tuberculosis), in 1945 Ploumpidis resigned from the Politburo and took over the administration of the party's finances. Unlike many other KKE leaders, Ploumpidis remained in Greece after the Greek Civil War (1946–49) and was reportedly instrumental in establishing the United Democratic Left (EDA) party, essentially a proxy party of the now illegal KKE.
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.
The National Liberation Front, commonly known by its acronym EAM, was the main movement of the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation of Greece. Its main driving force was the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), but its membership throughout the occupation included several other leftist and republican groups. ΕΑΜ became the first true mass social movement in modern Greek history. Its military wing, the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), quickly grew into the largest armed guerrilla force in the country, and the only one with nation-wide presence. At the same time, from late 1943 onwards, the political enmity between ΕΑΜ and rival resistance groups from the centre and right evolved into a virtual civil war, while its relationship with the British and the British-backed Greek government in exile was characterized by mutual mistrust, leading EAM to establish its own government, the Political Committee of National Liberation, in the areas it had liberated in spring 1944. Tensions were resolved provisionally in the Lebanon Conference in May 1944, when EAM agreed to enter the Greek government in exile under Georgios Papandreou. The organisation reached its peak after liberation in late 1944, when it controlled most of the country, before suffering a catastrophic military defeat against the British and the government forces in the Dekemvriana clashes. This marked the beginning of its gradual decline, the disarmament of ELAS, and the open persecution of its members during the "White Terror", leading eventually to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War.
The Communist Youth of Greece is the youth wing of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
In 1952, he was arrested by the secret police. After a three-week trial, he was found guilty on 3 August 1953 and sentenced to death. At the same time, the exiled KKE Central Committee under Zachariadis expelled Ploumpidis from the party on the grounds that he was, supposedly, a secret police spy and British agent. These allegations were repeatedly broadcast on the party's Moscow-based radio station, Free Greece. On 14 August 1954, Ploumpidis was executed by firing squad in Agia Marina, near Dafni. The Greek government released a photo of his execution in the Greek press. Rizospastis and I Avgi , the two leading left-wing newspapers, refused to publish the photos following KKE's allegations that the execution was faked and Ploumpidis was actually now free and spending the money he took for his treason.
Dafni is a suburb of Athens, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Dafni-Ymittos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.
Rizospastis is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Greece. It has been published daily since its first issue in 1916. Liana Kanelli is currently one of the senior editors of the newspaper.
I Avgi is a daily newspaper published in Athens, Greece. It is called the "Morning newspaper of the Left" and is politically affiliated with Syriza.
In 1958, after the de-Stalinisation of the KKE, the party acknowledged the expulsion of Ploumpidis as a grave mistake and rehabilitated him with the following declaration: "Resolved that the General Meeting of the Central Committee restores the memory of comrades Giorgos Siantos, Nikos Ploumbidis (Barbas) and Kostas Gyftodimos (Karajorgis). There exists no documents to support the claim that the accused were provocateurs or spies, as the former leadership under N. Zachariadis claimed in relation to the above-mentioned comrades."
Mehmet Ismail Shehu was an Albanian communist politician who served as the 23rd Prime Minister of Albania from 1954 to 1981. As an acknowledged military tactician, without whose leadership the communist partisans may well have failed in their battle to win Albania for the Marxist-Leninist cause, Shehu exhibited an ideological understanding and work ethic that singled him out for rapid promotion in the communist party. Mehmet Shehu shared power with Enver Hoxha from the end of the Second World War. According to official Albanian government sources, he committed suicide on December 17, 1981, after which the entire Shehu clan were arrested and imprisoned while Mehmet Shehu himself was denounced as "one of the most dangerous traitors and enemies of his country". Persistent rumors remain, however, that Shehu was actually murdered on orders from Hoxha.
Alexandra "Aleka" Papariga is a communist Greek politician who served the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) as its General Secretary from 1991 to 2013. She is the first woman who has taken on the office of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of KKE, and thus becoming the first woman to head a major political party in Greece.
Nikos Zachariadis was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) from 1931 to 1956, and one of the most important personalities in the Greek Civil War.
Markos Vafiadis was a leading figure of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) during the Greek Civil War. His family came originally from the island of Chios.
Nikos Beloyannis was a Greek resistance leader and leading cadre of the Greek Communist Party. He was born in Amaliada in 1915. He came from a relatively prosperous family and went on to study Law in Athens, but before being able to graduate he was arrested and jailed in the Akronauplia prison (Nauplion) by the Ioannis Metaxas regime in the 1930s and transferred to the Germans after the Axis occupation of Greece (1941). He escaped in 1943 and joined the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) in Peloponnese in the side of Aris Velouchiotis. After becoming Political Commissioner of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) during the Greek Civil War he was one of the last to leave the country (1949) after its defeat.
Polina Semyonovna Zhemchuzhina was a Soviet politician and the wife of the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Zhemchuzhina was the director of the Soviet national cosmetics trust from 1932 to 1936, Minister of Fisheries in 1939, and head of textiles production in the Ministry of Light Industry from 1939 to 1948.
Charilaos Florakis was a leader of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). He is best known for establishing the dominance of the KKE over other left-wing elements, and for his flexibility and forming alliances with the conservatives.
Georgios Siantos was a prominent figure of the Communist Party of Greece who served as acting general secretary of the party and as a leader of the National Liberation Front (EAM)/Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) Resistance movement during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.
Apostolos Grozos was a leader of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
The Democratic Army of Greece, was the army founded by the Communist Party of Greece during the Greek Civil War, 1946–1949. At its height, it had a strength of around 50,000 men and women.
Athanasios Klaras, better known by the nom de guerreAres or Aris Velouchiotis, was the most prominent leader and chief instigator of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), the military branch of the National Liberation Front (EAM), which was the major resistance organization in occupied Greece from 1942 to 1945. Aris Velouchiotis was appointed military leader of ELAS.
The Organization for the Protection of the People's Struggle was a special division of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) during the Axis Occupation of Greece in World War II. Officially, ιt was semi-autonomous part of the broader National Liberation Front (EAM). In actual fact, it was not controlled by EAM, but directly by the Politburo of the KKE. It can be described as a paramilitary security force. It operated in the cities, and its purpose was the "self-defense" of the members of the National Liberation Front and its affiliated organizations from the German occupation authorities and the collaborationist government and its organs, the Police, the Gendarmerie and the Security Battalions. It proved to be very successful in assassinating commanders of the Security Battalions and other armed governmental forces. However, it also became involved in political assassinations of political opponents of the then-Stalinist KKE on both ends of the political spectrum, such as Trotskyites and Archeio-Marxists. As a result, the activities of the OPLA are a subject of heated debate even today.
Paskal Mitrevski(Macedonian: Паскал Митревски) (1912–1978), also known as Paskal Mitrovski or Paschalis Mitropoulos, was a Greek-born communist partisan from the Greek province of Macedonia and former President of the Macedonian National Liberation Front.
Τhe Greek Civil War was fought in Greece from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army — backed by the United Kingdom and the United States — and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) — backed by Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria. It is often considered the first proxy war of the Cold War, although the Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. Founded by the Communist Party of Greece and supported by neighboring and newly founded Socialist States such as Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria, the Democratic Army of Greece included many personnel who had fought as partisans against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces during the Second World War of 1939–1945.
Andreas Tzimas, known also under his World War II-era nom de guerre of Vasilis Samariniotis, was a leading Greek Communist politician, best known as one of the leading triumvirate of the Greek People's Liberation Army during the Axis occupation of Greece. After the war, he fell into disfavour and died in obscurity in exile in Prague.
Alexandros Rosios, also known by the nom de guerre Ypsilantis (Υψηλάντης), was a member of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and officer of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), and later the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE). On the night of 30 March 1946, he led the attack on the Greek Gendarmerie station in Litochoro, an event traditionally regarded as the starting point of the Greek Civil War.
Operation Peristera was a military campaign for control of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece during the Greek Civil War.
Kostas Karagiorgis was the alias of Kostas Gyftodimos, a prominent Greek communist who played an important role in the Greek Resistance and in the Greek Civil War.