Manolis Glezos is a national hero of Greece, politician, writer and public figure. On the night of 30 May 1941, at the age of 19, together with his comrade Apostle Santas they climbed the Athens Acropolis and took down the Nazi swastika flag. This inspired the Greeks and other people to resist the occupation. The Nazi regime sentenced the perpetrators to death in absentia. During the Axis occupation of Greece, he worked for the Hellenic Red Cross, while actively involved in the resistance. In 1948, in the midst of the Greek Civil War, he was sentenced to death multiple times by the national government. Still imprisoned, Manolis Glezos was elected member of the Hellenic Parliament in 1951. In 1958, he was arrested again and convicted of espionage. The Soviet Union issued a postage stamp with Glezos's image and later awarded him the Lenin Peace Prize, and in 1962 he was released. He was arrested again after the US-backed coup d'état of the Black Colonels in 1967, was imprisoned and exiled until his release in 1971. Manolis Glezos spent total 11 years and 4 months in imprisonment, and 4 years and 6 months in exile. After the restoration of democracy in Greece, Manolis Glezos was elected to the National Parliament and the European Parliament, was among the leaders of principled left parties, was arrested by riot police while protesting in Athens in 2012. Manolis Glezos was born on the island of Naxos in 1922. He passed away on March 30, 2020.
The text below is the last Manolis Glezos authored. He said: "This is what I want people to know. I am as strong as the Soviet tank."
Russia's President Vladimir Putin sent this message of condolences to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: "Dear Mr. Prime Minister, please accept my deep condolences on the death of Manolis Glezos, a prominent Greek political and public figure and hero of the Greek Resistance. Manolis Glezos was a true friend of our country, a principled supporter of strengthening mutually beneficial Russian-Greek cooperation. He made a great personal contribution to the fight against falsification of history, against the rehabilitation of Nazis and their accomplices. The bright memory about him will remain in the hearts of Russians."
Manolis Glezos was buried in the First Cemetery in Athens on April 1. The flag on the Acropolis flew at half mast in memory of his daring act.