Konstantinos Isychos
Konstantinos (Costas) Isychos was alternative Minister of Defense of the Hellenic Republic in the first Syriza government in 2015 and co-president of Greek-Russian ministerial working group. He was a Syriza deputy at the Hellenic parliament, but resigned in protest to the government's not respecting the referendum results in August 2015. He later co-founded the Popular Unity party along with other ex-ministers and ex-members of the Syriza Party. Earlier he headed the department of international policy and defense at Syriza. Costas Isychos is currently deputy general secretary of international association Friends of Crimea. He served as Vice President of Federation of civil aviation trade unions in Athens, and Vice President of Athens Labor center. He studied political and economic sciences at York University in Toronto, Canada and in Havana, Cuba. Costas Isychos was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a Greek family.
XXI century agenda: constant struggle of humanity against barbarity
Nazism and fascism in Greece
On October 28, 1940, fascist Italy declared war on Greece.

The Greek government headed by dictator general Ioannis Metaxas was a fascist regime, vacillating in its foreign policy between Nazi Germany and the strong British economic and political influence in Greece in the previous years. The Greek people’s antifascist feeling and love for freedom had pressured the Greek regime to defend the country and its people against Mussolini’s invasion in October 1940, which produced a relatively quick defeat of the Italian fascist military by the Greek army six months later. This victory was the feat of heroic Greek soldiers and won the admiration of the world at that time.
As a result of Greeks indomitable fighting, Hitler and his generals had to postpone his invasion of the USSR and come to the aid of his Italian ally and invade Greece in April 1941
The staunch resistance by the Soviet Union, in addition to the cold Russian winter, proved to be catastrophic for the Nazis in 1941. This is recognized by friends and political enemies alike today.

Greece then had to fight on three fronts: the Italian, the Bulgarian and the Yugoslav, as German divisions defeated the Yugoslavian army and were coming in from the north. Greek resistance ended after a month, with the fall of the island of Crete. Fighting in Crete, marked by a massive German paratrooper assault, had a tremendous impact on Hitler’s elite troops who counted heavy losses because of the heroic resistance of the Cretan people and the remnants of the Greek army posted in the island. This was the first and only time the Wehrmacht used paratroopers in their war effort.

Finally they divided Greece into three occupation zones — German, Italian and Bulgarian. From April 1941 until the autumn of 1944 we had the "Occupation period", as simple people from across Greek society call it today.

Among the many sufferings that the Greek people went through during the Occupation, the most terrible was the great famine, especially the first year.
More than 50,000 people died from hunger and cold in the first winter of the occupation in 1941−1942
The occupying fascists forces were seizing from the country everything that was useful to them in their war effort against other countries: food, raw materials, factory production, nickel and aluminum alloys, gold reserves. A lot of it went to the war effort in Africa.

Nazi ideology basically relied on racism and "the Arian race superiority" in the way they used conquered peoples and countries. They truly believed that other peoples under their "boot" had to serve them and sacrifice themselves, if this was necessary for the needs of Nazi Germany.

So they plundered Greece, even stealing some of our country’s archaeological treasures. Many of these artifacts are still hidden in private museums and collections around the world. Even today government and social groups continue to investigate the "route" of these archaeological treasures, and UNESCO plays a vital part in this search. Fortunately a few days before the occupation a number of Greek patriots, archaeologists, historians, museum employees hid many well known artifacts — including the golden mask of Agamemnon and statues of Apollo and Aphrodite — in secret crypts to prevent Nazi plundering. Returning the historical memory is extremely important to a country like Greece.

Reprisals were common. When resistance inflicted losses on the invaders, Nazi orders followed immediately: for every Nazi soldier killed, 100 hundred Greek civilians would be shot. More than 250 villages and cities were burned to the ground with their populations being massacred. Distomo and Kalavrita villages were among the "martyr" symbols of Greek resistance, where women, children and even babies were not spared by the Nazi reprisals.

The famous Greek communist partisan leader Aris Velouxiotis, the founder of the first group with just a handful of men, took this bold decision. His constant feats in battles against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupational forces made him a local hero.
By 1944 the resistance force rose to an incredible number of 60,000 fully armed men and women and more than 2 million members in the political wing of National liberation front, EAM — this is for a total population of 7,5 million people
The Communist Party of Greece, along with other left and democratic forces, was in the vanguard of these historical moments for the history of the country.

When the Red Army pushed the Nazis back on their Eastern front, the Wehrmacht pulled almost half of their divisions from Greece. Thus the Greek national liberation front spread resistance units and fighters to every Greek province. This meant the beginning of the end of Nazi occupation of Greece: in early 1944 the Nazis started their evacuation out of Greece in order to bring more troops to the Eastern front and the defense of Germany.

Tragically, 1944 marked the beginning of the Greek civil war which lasted until 1949. The British armed contingents immediately invaded Greece, with mechanized units brought from North Africa, in order to bring back the exiled monarch, his family and political entourage who had been comfortably "watching" the Greek peoples long, hard and bloody resistance from their villas in Egypt.

We must remember that King George's wife Queen Frederica, German born and daughter of the late Kaiser Wilhelm, had been member of League of German Girls and her two brothers were SS officers until the end of the war fighting on the Eastern front. The British plutocracy and political establishment had no problem in establishing a puppet regime of the royal pro-Nazi family, who switched sides at the opportune time when "winds of change" brought the smell of military defeat. During the years before the war it had comfortably relied on their blood ties to the British royal family and followed strict "allied protocol".
In effect a second round of social and physical genocide against the communist party was conducted by British occupational forces, backed up by the US "Truman Doctrine," exterminating tens of thousands of resistance fighters who had driven the Nazis out if Greece in 1944
This Greek tragedy is still vivid in younger generations.

The Greek people are very much proud of their political and armed resistance against Nazism and fascism. The bonds of Greece and the USSR were not just symbolic, but rivers of blood had flooded the earth of both nations and peoples. To this date, regardless of political controversies, the proportion of sacrifice in Soviet Union and Greece is inconceivable to many who are "outside of the picture". We share this historical experience with proudness and sorrow, still in our minds today.
History distorted
The Civil war in Greece was followed by a blunt and hard neo-colonialist historical phase by British and American hegemonism when the political establishment still "nurtured" the Greek collaborators of the Nazi occupation.

Many of them rose to be ministers and high profile political figures in the turbulent decades of the 1950s-1960s. At the time there were still concentration camps where thousands of Greek resistance fighters, pictured as communist "rapists and murderers", were imprisoned. Executions by the hundreds were still taking place. A state of terror reined over nonexistent political and social freedoms until the early 1960s. A revival of these experiences came again in 1967 when the Greek military junta, under American guidance, seized power on the pretext of "reborn communist danger." That continued until 1974.

Historical distortion had its greatest day under the victorious British and American establishment that relied on a nucleus of Greek political elite, which had no problem in switching from Nazi collaboration to enthusiastic support of "western democratic values."

Greek society today does have a few "antibodies" left because of its antifascist history, but the younger generations are not immune to systematic Hollywood type propaganda. The current media, political, educational, recreational, cultural establishment enriched by neoliberal values are in a constant attack on real freedom.
Freedom is somehow pictured today as the reality and possibility of free movement of capital within the world
It is restricted to just that and creates an everlasting false reality of constant, never ending consumption of goods and devices. Of course, fewer and fewer people have access to that, as neoliberal policies continue its systematic destruction of civil and trade union rights, wages, state education, health security, etc.

Extreme right-wing ideologies and neo-Nazi tactics and policies are disguised in the XXI century as "cultural barriers" against anything that is not "pure" and does not belong to a nationalist heritage.
Today’s hegemony of neoliberal policies can contribute to creating a "greenhouse" where political engineering of disguised Nazi and extreme right ideas would operate
Tolerance is regarded as a sort of philanthropic uniqueness. Intolerance is the general directive and experienced from early school where bullying of the "weak" is the trend today, even at the youngest ages.

This intolerance in this XXI century in our "brave new world" is exercised in all domains — scientific, political, religious, social, cultural and economic. In other words its a new class war between those few who not only hold the power of production, but also dictate how to consume, act, work, how to think and behave. Collective social conscience has given in to neo-darwinistic trends of the true neoliberal model. Not only the strongest and fittest should survive, but it’s the logical answer to social inequality.

Between neoliberal cultural trends and extreme nationalistic actions, progressive social and political forces must combine their historical memory against neo-fascist and neo-Nazi ideas and strategies. This drives us towards the necessity to design a democratic counterattack with mass innovation in cultural and educational strategies for younger generations.
We should create the social tools to fill the void of human emptiness with a new renaissance where values such as solidarity, equal rights for all, and democratic participation are introduced in the most simple and complex ways
The victory of the Red Army and the Soviet Union contributed to destroying the beast. Nazism was seen in the West as a chance of getting back what was lost to the socialist experience in the USSR.

Historical revisionism started from the first day after World War II ended. The recruitment of Nazi scientists — Operation Paperclip — to enrich the military arsenal of the US in the Cold War was a reality. In all fields of education, cinema, culture the role of the Soviet Union had to be undermined; it had to be erased from history books.

The historical revision today is performed openly and cynically even by governmental actions and policies. We see this in today’s Poland, Ukraine, the Baltics.
From anti-communism in the Cold War to Russophobia today, the principal objective is to rewrite history
The celebration of the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism could be the beginning of internationalization — events could take place in every corner of the world to increase the universal importance of this victory in the future.

Let us commemorate every day with our actions and ideas that the sacrifices of so many millions of women and men was not a historical parenthesis. But a constant struggle of humanity against barbarity that is always present today in many ways.
On the use of information

All materials on this website are available under license from Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.

Demonstration of Nazi and fascist paraphernalia or symbols on this resource is related only to the description of the historical context of the events of the 1930−1940s, is not its propaganda and does not justify the crimes of fascist Germany.