This week, Greeks Patriots honour the fighters of the Nationalist army that defeated the communist insurgency in the mountains of Gramos. The mountain range lies near the Albanian boarder, and served as the battle ground for the last few weeks of the Greek Civil War between 1946-1949.
Following WW2, the Marxists in Greece attempted to set up a pseudo-communist government by force, which was to serve as the Southern Frontier of the Iron Curtain. The so called ‘Socialist Revolutionaries’ had no respect for Greece’s national identity, and the brigades of Muslim Slavs, Cham Albanian, and self-hating Greeks sought to use civil war to turn Hellas into another Atheistic, Communist, totalitarian state.
While terrorising the country side for years during the Axis occupation of WW2, the Communists had no qualms in butchering entire villagers to achieve their political goals. After years of brutal assaults on the legitimate Greek state, even Stalin was quick to abandon and distance himself from the blood-thirsty, self-proclaimed ‘revolutionaries’. The communists soon suffered a series of military defeats at the hands of a far more tenacious, and ideologically driven Nationalist force that was fighting to keep Greece Greek, a concept far beyond the understanding of the artificially created alliance of the Slavo-Albanian insurgents.
While Stalin withdrew his support, Tito’s Yugoslavia, and the Communist regimes in Bulgaria and Albania still openly provided support for the Communist insurgents. The final battles took place up near the Albanian boarder at the Gramos mountains, which saw intense fighting as it was also the headquarters of the insurgents.
In March 1948, as it became that the Communists would lose in Greece, the insurgents orchestrated one of the largest cases of mass abduction in Greece since Ottoman times. Just as the Turks abducted young Greeks Christians, who were forced to convert to Islam and made to serve in the Sultan’s army, so did the Communists kidnap young children on the fringes of Northern Greece for Marxist indoctrination. Up to 30,000 abducted Greek Children between 1948 & 1949 were then forcibly taken to Eastern Bloc cities, in order to become products of the socialist state.
It became increasingly clear that the Communists, with no respect for the family, nation or traditions of the Greeks, would have to abandon their operation in the Southern Balkans, and surrender to the Nationalist forces.