Manolis Glezos Dies at 97; Tore Down Nazi Flag Over Athens

Manolis Glezos Dies at 97; Tore Down Nazi Flag Over Athens

“That was my first act of resistance, and I knew there would be others,” he said.

His death sentence was commuted, but his younger brother, Nikos, who was also part of the resistance movement, was executed by the Germans in 1944.

Mr. Glezos was imprisoned in 1943 by Italian occupation forces and again in 1944 by Greek collaborators with the Germans, enduring a beating when he tried to escape.

After World War II, during the four-year Greek civil war between the government and Communist revolutionary forces, Mr. Glezos, a Communist partisan, received two more death sentences. But an international outcry pushed the authorities to grant him life imprisonment instead. He was released in 1954.

Manolis Glezos was born on Sept. 9, 1922, in Apeiranthos, a village on the island of Naxos in the South Aegean Sea. His father, Nikolaos Glezos, died two years after Manolis was born; his mother was Andromachi Nafpliotou.

His family moved to Athens a few years later, where he attended the School of Economics.

Between his times in jail, he worked as a journalist and ran for office.

While still in prison he was elected to Parliament in 1951 and again in 1961. In 1959 he was sentenced to another five years in prison for “helping to get Communist spies into Greece,” The Times reported at the time. The Soviet Union responded by putting Mr. Glezos’s face on a postage stamp.

After a military government came to power in 1967, Mr. Glezos, now out of prison, was arrested yet again and this time exiled. But he returned to Greece when a democratic government was restored in 1974. He was returned to Parliament in the 1980s, this time under the banner of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, and again in 2012, representing Syriza, the leftist party that governed Greece from 2015 to 2019.


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