Τρίτη 7 Νοεμβρίου 2017

...Today we spin the old globe our way...

When I look for the grandest day of my life,
rummaging in all i 've gone through and seen. 
I name without doubt or internal strife
October 25, 1917...


I am writing these lines on the evening of the 24th. The situation is critical in the extreme. In fact it is now absolutely clear that to delay the uprising would be fatal.

With all my might I urge comrades to realise that everything now hangs by a thread; that we are confronted by problems which are not to be solved by conferences or congresses (even congresses of Soviets), but exclusively by peoples, by the masses, by the struggle of the armed people.

The bourgeois onslaught of the Kornilovites and the removal of Verkhovsky show that we must not wait. We must at all costs, this very evening, this very night, arrest the government, having first disarmed the officer cadets (defeating them, if they resist), and so on.

We must not wait! We may lose everything!

The value of the immediate seizure of power will be the defence of the people (not of the congress, but of the people, the army and the peasants in the first place) from the Kornilovite government, which has driven out Verkhovsky and has hatched a second Kornilov plot.

Who must take power?

That is not important at present. Let the Revolutionary Military Committee do it, or "some other institution" which will declare that it will relinquish power only to the true representatives of the interests of the people, the interests of the army (the immediate proposal of peace), the interests of the peasants (the land to be taken immediately and private property abolished), the interests of the starving.

All districts, all regiments, all forces must be mobilised at once and must immediately send their delegations to the Revolutionary Military Committee and to the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks with the insistent demand that under no circumstances should power be left in the hands of Kerensky and Co. until the 25th of October. The matter must be decided without fail this very evening, or this very night.

History will not forgive revolutionaries for procrastinating when they could be victorious today (and they certainly will be victorious today), while they risk losing much tomorrow, in fact, they risk losing everything.

If we seize power today, we seize it not in opposition to the Soviets but on their behalf.

The seizure of power is the business of the uprising; its political purpose will become clear after the seizure.

It would be a disaster, or a sheer formality, to await the wavering vote of October 25. The people have the right and are in duty bound to decide such questions not by a vote, but by force; in critical moments of revolution, the people have the right and are in duty bound to give directions to their representatives, even their best representatives, and not to wait for them.

This is proved by the history of all revolutions; and it would be an infinite crime on the part of the revolutionaries were they to let the chance slip, knowing that the salvation of the revolution,the offer of peace, the salvation of Petrograd, salvation from famine, the transfer of the land to the peasants depend upon them.

The government is tottering. It must be given the death blow at all costs.

To delay action is fatal.

Map of St. Petersbrug (then Petrograd) in 1917

The Petrograd Soviet Assembly meeting in 1917

This letter written on 24.10 by V.I.Lenin to the Central Committee members was the final call for the uprising. Few hours later, at 01.25am on 25th of October 1917 (7.11 according to Gregorian calendar) Red Guards, sailors and soldiers strormed and conquered the Central Post Office building of St. Petersburg....   

..."Today we spin the old globe our way"...

"They Attempted to Check the Revolution".
 Drawing bby V.Deni, 1935

And from that banner, from every fold
Lenin, alive as ever, cries:
"Workers, prepare for the last assult!
Slaves, unbend your knees and spines!
Proletarian army, rise in force!
Long live the Revolution with speedy victory,
the greatest and justest of all wars
ever fought in history!"

Vladimir Mayakovsky, "Lenin", 1924

One century after, the Great October Socialist Revolution still remains the bright example, 
the guide to the struggle of Man for social emancipation and liberation.

Πέμπτη 30 Μαρτίου 2017

L'homme à la fleur...

«Γερό μυαλό, γερή καρδιά.
Αυτοί νικούνε κι όταν πέφτουν».

Just before dawn, a Sunday 65 years ago, the post-civilwar Greek state executes the Communist Nikos Beloyannis and his comrades. May they sacrificed their own lifes but as the great French poet Paul Eluard wrote "Beloyannis is dead. He didn't sacrifice anything from our honour and hope for a bright tomorrow".

N. Kaloumenos, N. Beloyannis, E. Argiriadis, D. Mpatsis
during their second trial. Athens, February 1952.

Few days after the execution the following short letter was sent to his mother, Vasiliki, by the political prisoners of "Inzentin" prisons.

Beloved mother. We the 500 political prisoners of the medieval prisons of "Inzentin" on Creta, with endless love join our grief with yours for the death of our beloved friend Nikos. You lost your son, we lost our brother. Country lost the earnest patriot. People the hero. Humanity the great man.

Disarmament, freedom, democracy, peace, progress, lost their hero, their militant and protector. On earth, your children are many millions. These children hold in their hearts Niko's memory. These swear in his name. Honour and glory to our hero brother. Cursed be the murderers,organizers of wars. No more blood. Peace and democracy in Greece and the whole world.

Political Prisoners of "Inzentin" prisons.
April 1952.

Παρασκευή 27 Ιανουαρίου 2017

We, the Dead, Accuse!

No crosses rot upon our graves,
No headstones gently lean
No lattice wrought or twined wreaths
No bowing angels screen. 

No willow tree or gold-writ rhyme
No candle never quenched 
We rot in pits, white-splashed with lime
With rain our bones are drenched
Our whitened skulls without defense
Trembled on barbed wire fence
Our scattered ash fills may an urn
Ans still the bodies burn.

A chain we are, which the earth wears
And the wind blows like seed,
We count the days and months and years
We know not time nor speed.
Our numbers grow by day and night
We swell beneath your ground
And upward press until our might
Will burst our earthly bound.
Then skull to skull and bone to bone
We 'll mount the judgment throne
And bring to all the fearful news:
Lo! We, the Dead, Accuse!

The following is one of two poems written on 8.3.1944 by an unknown female Jew prisoner of Czech nationality, on her way to crematorium in Auschwitz II - Birkenau. The note with the poems handed by a Sonderkommando prisoner and then smuggled out of the camp to Prague. 

Στο μνήμα μας επάνω δε θα βρεις σταυρό,
ούτε πολυκαιρίσιες πλάκες ραγισμένες.
Δε θα βρεις άνθη, μήτε κάγκελα από σίδερο χυτό,
ούτε και Χερουβείμ με παναγνές μορφές θλιμένες.

Κεριά δε στάζουν πάνω μας δάκρυ καφτό.
Κι ο ίσκιος του κυπαρισιού είναι μακριά μας.
Μ' άσβεστη ποτισμένοι λιώνουμε στους λάκκους μας σωρό
και μόν' ο άνεμος σφυρίζει αγριωπός στα κόκκαλα μας.

Άσπρα κρανία κρεμασμένα δω κι εκεί
πάνω στους φράχτες με το σύρμα τ' αγκαθένιο.
Κι η στάχτη μας σκορπά και χάνεται κι αυτή
στους πέντε ανέμους - σύννεφο ασημένιο.

Σ' απόκοσμη διαβαίνουμε αράδα σκοτεινή,
σπόροι που μας κυλά το φύσημα τ' ανέμου.
Κι όλο μετρούμε: μήνες - χρόνοι μακρυνοί,
καθώς, προσμένουμε το τέλος του πολέμου.

Στρώμα το στρώμα αυξαίνουμε και πιο πολύ
μέσα στου λάκκου τ' αγριο, πηχτό σκοτάδι.
Αδιάκοπα η σάρκα μας χορταίνει σας τη γή.
Θε να ρθει όμως η στιγμή να σπάσει η θύρα του Άδη.

Τότε θα βγούμε - λιτανεία φοβερή 
σκελετωμένα κόκκαλα. Κι όπως θα προχωρούμε
Θε ν' αντηχήσει βροντερή η άγρια μας κραυγή:
"Εμείς, οι τραγικοί νεκροί, κατηγορούμε!"

αποδοσή: Ν. Παπανδρέου, 1979

Noon, 27.1.1945. Units of the 322nd Rifle Division, part of the 60th Army, of Soviet Red Army reaches the main gate of Auschwitz I concentration camp. There they found 7000 inmates in unbearable condition and 600 dead bodies. They were all left behind as 9 days earlier (18.1.1945) the SS ordered the evacuation to the west of the aprx. 60000 prisoners of Auschwitz Complex camps. One of the greatest insult in the history of Man was over...

For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, 
where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women and children, 
mainly Jews, from various countries of Europe.
Auschwitz-Birkenau 1940 - 1945

Εις Μνήμειν. / In Memory.


ps. All photos are from the Auschwitz I & Auschwitz II - Birkenau Memorial site.
Taken on Sunday 9th of October 2016.

Παρασκευή 28 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Pour que la vie triomphe!

Λεύτερα 'σεις αγρίμια μου τα δόντια σας τροχίστε
και σεις πυκνά χιονόδεντρα σφίξετε τα κλαδιά σας
να μην πατήσει ο τύραννος το λεύτερό σας χώμα.
Κι όταν θε νά 'ρθει η Ανοιξη και λυώσουνε τα χιόνια
και θα φυσήξει δροσερό της λευτεριάς τ' αγέρι
αητέ μου δος μου τα φτερά κι ελάφι μου τα πόδια
και ρεματιά μου την ορμή για να χυθώ στον κάμπο
να δώσω βόλι στο φονιά και λευτεριά στο σκλάβο.

It was these days, 70 years ago, when in the village Tsiouka (today known as Foteino -Φωτεινό, Τρικάλων-) of Antichasia region in central Greece, the various scattered guerrillas groups, which were active the last months all over the country,  would be unified under a central administration, the General Partisan Command.

It was exactly 70 years ago, on the 28th of October 1946, when the Democratic Army of Greece (Δ.Σ.Ε) (officially renamed on 27.12.1946)  was founded...

The following text was written by the great French poet Paul Eluard as a farewell to the fighters of the Democratic Army of Greece. Eluard was member of the French delegation who had visited the strongholds of the Democratic Army in the Greek mountains of northern Greece in June 1949. 

Vitsi and Grammos, these two summits of the free world, are not at all lower than i had ever imagined. Instead, there i saw the fighters who adorn them with their unimaginable courage, the fighters who are the fire of the mountains, the fire of whole Greece, a honor for the civilized world who refuses to die under the relentless pressure of a minority of exploiters, arsonists of war. The earth and sun completely belong to them.
My brothers & sisters with the kind and gentle smile, how many times i was moved to tears as i was listening to you singing, watching all of you united by the love for your country, your trust for the future. We hate war, but woe to those who will enforce it to us.
I am leaving and i keep as a treasure into my heart unforgettable memory of your physical and mental health, your enthusiasm, your brotherhood, your faith to victory. The future belongs to you. And just because you are united, your oppressed brothers tomorrow will stand by your side. Freedom and brotherhood are contagious. They can't do anything against a People who is united.  And the sea will patiently accept your enslaved!

Long live Greece, united and free!
Long live the brotherhood of the People!
Long live the Peace which being built!
With respect, i salute you! 

Paul Eluard, June 1949

Carved in wood. Drawing of Zizi Makri, 1949

To the living memory of all the Democratic Army's officers and fighters, as well as, civilians who got involved and contributed to this titanic but unequal struggle, so the Life would triumph! 

Τετάρτη 20 Ιουλίου 2016

Carlo Vive!

Carlo Giuliani. Forever Young!
Roma, 14.3.1978 - Genova, 20.7.2001

"Last 20th of July 2001
our mate, Carlo Giuliani, was brutally murdered
by the fascist Italian police
just because he demanded a more equitable distribution of the world economy
just because he acquired a conscience
just because he gave voice to the voiceless
just because he thought, just because he thought..."

Carlo Giuliani in the streets of Genova, 20.7.2001 
On August 25, 2009 the European Court of Human Rights notified
in writing its judgement in the case of Giuliani and Gaggio v. Italy.
It judged no excessive use of force was used and it was not established that Italian authorities
had failed to comply with their positive obligations to protect Carlo Giuliani’s life.

In 2005 the English band Chumbawamba dedicated the following 
cover of the famous Italian partisan song "Bella Ciao" to the memory of Carlos. 

The world is waking outside my window
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Drags my senses into the sunlight
For there are things that I must do

Wish me luck now, I have to leave you
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
With my friends now, up to the city
We’re going to shake the Gates of Hell

And I will tell them – we will tell them
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
That our sunlight is not for franchise
And wish the bastards drop down dead

Next time you see me I may be smiling
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
I’ll be in prison or on the TV
I’ll say, «the sunlight dragged me here!» 

Drawing of Latuff referring to Carlos Giuliani assassination. 

Κυριακή 24 Απριλίου 2016

Easter Rising

Children playing in a derelict site.
Maguinness's court, off Townsend Street,
Dublin, c. 1913
“You cannot conquer Ireland, you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed.”

This is what Patrick Pearse testified in front of the British Martial Court during the trial, in the aftermath of the Dublin's Uprising, which had been taken place in the Irish capital few days ago. Pearse, the man who, on Easter Monday 24th of  April 1916, read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from outside the General Post Office in Dublin, was proved right. His sacrifice and that of the others who were executed lit the flame of Irish resistance to British rule, which ended with the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. 

Weekly Irish Times.
May 1916
"We serve neither King nor Kaiser. BUT IRELAND".
Irish Citizen Army Group. Liberty Hall, Dublin 1914


IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom. Having organized and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organization, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organizations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory. We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades in arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations. The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past. Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people. We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonor it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valor and discipline, and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government:


The sixteen leaders of the uprising who were executed
in Kilmainham Gaol Dublin's Prison in May 1916
Kilmainham Gaol.
Dublin, February 2013

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell
rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in
the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze,
at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light
might shine through the foggy dew... 

"The Foggy Dew", Canon Charles O'Neill

Kilmainham Gaol.
Dublin, February 2013

In memory of the Irishmen and women who took up the arms in Dublin on the Easter Monday of 1916 (24th April 1916). Defying the might of an Empire, they stood up with true rebellious spirit, for an Independent Ireland...  

Tiocfaidh ár lá!

Κυριακή 10 Απριλίου 2016


Τα κλειδιά του Μεσολογγίου είναι στις μπούκες των κανονιών μας κρεμασμένα... 

"The Sortie of Mesolonghi".
Theodoros Vryzakis, 1853

"We ended up in a situation that we have to eat the most unclean animals. We are terribly suffering from hunger and thirst. We have been attacked from various diseases. 1740 of our brothers have already died. The enemy has sent more than 100.000 bombs against us, destroying our parapets and houses. We are feeling the cold so intense as we are completely out of wood. Despite our hardships the courage and the high moral of our guard is remarkable. In a few days from now all these brave men they will be only shadows of angels, martyrs, in front the throne of God, of the indifference of the Christian world as this is its case too. In the name of all our gallant men i announce, under the sight of God, that we swear to defend inch by inch the ground of Mesolonghi. Rather to be buried under the city ruins than to respond to any offer for surrender. We are living our final moments. History will give us right and the people after us will mourn for our disaster. The thought that the blood of a Swissman, offspring of William Tell, will be mixed with the blood of the heroes of Greece makes me really proud."

Letter of Johann Jakob Meyer, April 1826

"Greece expiring at the ruins of Mesolonghi".
Eugene Delaqroix, 1827
"Καταντήσαμεν εις τοιαύτην ανάγκην ώστε να τρεφόμεθα από τα πλέον ακάθαρτα ζώα. Υποφέρομεν φρικτά από πείναν και δίψαν. Προσεβλήθημεν από διαφόρους ασθενείας. 1.740 από τους αδελφούς μας έχουν ήδη αποθάνει. Περισσότεραι από 100.000 βόμβαι ριφθείσαι από τον εχθρόν, κατέστρεαψν τους προμαχώνας και τα οικήματά μας. Το ψύχος μας βασανίζει λόγω της παντελούς ελλείψεως ξύλων. Με όλας τας στερήσεις ταύτας είναι αξιοθαύμαστον θέαμα να βλέπη κανείς το θάρρος  και το υψηλόν φρόνημα της φρουράς μας. Εις ολίγας ημέρας όλοι αυτοί οι γενναίοι θα είναι σκιαί μόνον αγγέλων, μάρτυρες ενώπιον του θρόνου του Θεού, της αδιαφορίας του χριστιανικού κόσμου δι' υπόθεσι, ήτις ήτο ιδική του. Εξ ονόματος όλων των ανδρείων μας σας αναγγέλλω την ενώπιον του Θεού μεθ' όρκου ληφθείσαν απόφασίν μας να υπερασπίσωμεν σπιθαμήν προς σπιθαμήν το έδαφος του Μεσολογγίου και να συνταφιασθώμεν υπό τα ερείπια της πόλεως, παρά να ακούσωμεν πρότασίν τινα περί παραδόσεως. Ζώμεν τας τελευταίας μας στιγμάς. Η ιστορία θέλει μας διακιώσει και οι μεταγενέστεροι θα θρηνήσουν την συμφοράν μας. Εμέ καθιστά υπερήφανον η σκέψις ότι το αίμα ενός Ελβετού, ενός απογόνου του Γουλιέλμου Τέλλου, μέλλει να συμμιχθή με το αίμα των ηρώων της Ελλάδος."

Επιστολή του Johann Jakob Meyer, Απρίλιος 1826

"Daughter of Greece",
Garden of Heroes, Mesolonghi, Jan 2008

Memorial to the Heroes of Mesolonghi.
January 2008

The night of 10th to 11th April 1826, dawned Palm Sunday, the remaining inhabitants and defenders of Mesolonghi, having no other choice left after 12 months under siege, they will try to break through the enemy lines of the Ottoman - Egyptian army, seeking their own path to Freedom...
The Exodus of Mesolonghi, one of the brightest moments of the Greek War of Independence, will stay in history as a fine example of heroism, valor and self - sacrifice.

Mesolonghi Lagoon, January 2008

Και βλέπω πέρα τα παιδιά και τες αντρογυναίκες
Γύρου στη φλόγα π’ άναψαν, και θλιβερά τη θρέψαν
Μ’ αγαπημένα πράματα και με σεμνά κρεβάτια,
Ακίνητες, αστέναχτες, δίχως να ρίξουν δάκρυ·
Και αγγίζ’ η σπίθα τα μαλλιά και τα λιωμένα ρούχα·
Γλήγορα, στάχτη, να φανής, οι φούχτες να γιομίσουν.

Είν’ έτοιμα στην άσπονδη πλημύρα των αρμάτων
Δρόμο να σχίσουν τα σπαθιά, κι’ ελεύθεροι να μείνουν
Εκείθε με τους αδελφούς, εδώθε με το χάρο.

Πέμπτη 31 Μαρτίου 2016

Ψυχή Βαθιά

Memorial dedicated to Democratic Army (Δ.Σ.Ε).
Lykorachi, Ioannina, July 2009 

Τα θεμέλια μου στα βουνά
και τα βουνά σηκώνουν οι λαοί στον ώμο τους
και απάνω τους η μνήμη καίει 
άκαυτη βάτος

Στα 70 χρόνια από τη νύχτα που "βρόντηξε" ο Όλυμπος και πάλι...

Σάββατο 12 Μαρτίου 2016

The Last Letter...

"Εσύ απόδειξες, Νίκο,
πόσο μικρά είναι αυτή την ώρα τα όνειρα,
η ψάθινη πολυθρόνα του περιβολιού,
το πράσινο τραπεζάκι, 
η σιγουριά από τα κάγκελα του κρεβατιού τις νύχτες 
πόσο μικρά μπροστά στο μπόι της χαράς 
να πεθαίνεις για τη χαρά του κόσμου"...

Γ. Ριτσος. 30.3.1952

Nikos Beloyannis.
"The man with the Carnation"
Athens, February 1952

Nikos Beloyannis, born in 1915 in Amaliada Peloponnese, was one of the most iconic figures of the Greek communist, resistance and revolutionary movement during the 20th century. Beloyannis became a global symbol after his execution, as an example of militant attitude and communist integrity.

Beloyannis was send back to Greece in June 1950 with the mission to reorganize the illegal underground organisations of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Few months later, in December 1950, secret police managed to arrest Beloyannis. Two trials will follow. The first in October 1951 and the second in February 1952. Their outcome was the conviction of Beloyannis and 28 of his comrades. Six of them, with him among them they will be sentenced to death (only four will be executed) by the permanent Athens court-marshal, when tens of others will be sentenced to life imprisonment. The main accusation of the first trial, this of the violation of the law N.509/1947 according to which KKE consider as a criminal organisation and is declared illegal, was replaced by the charge of spying in favor of Soviet Union. Earlier in November 1951 wireless apparatuses were discovered in the Athens neighborhoods of Faliro and Kallithea, providing the military judges with an opportunity to use the espionage law against the accused. 

Nikos Beloyannis during his first trial.
October 1951
During the trials but as well as after convictions were published, a huge international solidarity movement was developed and tried to prevent the execution and save Beloyannis and his comrades. Hundreds of thousands anonymous and famous people (hundreds MPs from France and UK, Charles de Gaulle, Paul Éluard, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nâzım Hikmet, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin among others) from all over the world set pressure on the Greek government in order to cancel the execution. Despite the efforts, it was Sunday, 04:12 am, on the 30th of March 1952, Nikos Beloyannis, Nikos Kaloumenos, Dimitris Mpatsis and Elias Argiriadis were finally executed by the Greek state.

Nikos Beloyannis became a hero because he did his duty 'til his very end. He knew what fate was waiting him, he knew that he could save his life if he wanted to, but he didn't take that risk, because the only thing concerned him was to keep his consciousness and dignity until the end, in front of the firing squad...

Nikos Beloyannis' party booklet as it is saved today

Nikos Beloyannis as political commissar
during the Greek Civil War. 

The last letter of Nikos Beloyannis.

Ancient mythology narrates us that Olympian gods were set on trial in front of ancient Athens' tribunals when they had to. This was told in order to dictate the high value and meaning the ancient tribunals should have had. If these gods existed nowadays and mend to be political opponents of the postwar Greek governments then for sure they would have to run far away in order to get saved from the expediency courts which act like factories by issuing standardized convictions against the democratic citizens.

Within five years, 1945 – 1950, about 50000 convictions were issued and more than 5000 people sentenced to death! From them almost 2000 were executed with many of them being women, old women or even 17 years old girls! Courts of this kind could show tolerance to some common crook, thief or murderer but for their ideological opponents they show no mercy. Here is an example. Two teachers, Sotirs S and Nikolaos K were sentenced to death. They managed though to achieve revision of their trial by a common criminal court and they were found innocent! There are many other cases like this!

A question is born: What cause such brutality? Greece is a poor country, because the ruling classes up to our day depended mainly to the parasitic external loans and not to the development of our natural resources. This fact had as result the living standard of the working people to not been improved at all. And as far as the economical backwardness was back to back with political backwardness, it was quite easy for the oligarchy to govern and exploit the people without facing any kind of social turbulence. More or less the same thing happened in England just before the appearance of Chartists movement. (…)

(…) when i and Ioannidou were under strict detention since 1950! Even this fact didn’t prevent them to sentence us to death because we were not denied our ideology when only one word would be enough, as Galileo did, in order to avoid trial!

Because the real reason of our conviction is our ideology. The charge of spying is (invalid?) and slanderous and is not based on any real evidence. My life itself contradicts them. Since the age of 17, still a student, i believed in the socialist ideals and since then, for more than 20 years, my life is dedicated to the struggle of democratization, independence and prosperity of my country. For my ideology they expelled me from the University of Athens, exiled me and sent me to jail during the Metaxas dictatorship. I could easily follow a career path and a comfort life; I chose instead a life full of hardships, prosecutions, pain and tears. Italian and German occupiers sent me to concentration camps. I manage to escape and i fought them with all my strength, often cooperating with the English delegations. After liberation i continued the political struggle. At the same period i was editor in the political economical magazine “Eleutheros Morias”. The break of 1945 gave me the opportunity to continue my studies and finish two books “The economic development of Greece” and “The history of contemporary Greek Literature” which still remain unpublished, as new prosecutions didn’t allow it.

Since the end of 1940s i am once again under persecution. My whole family perished. And now the same fate awaits me. My case is not unique. There are countless more. This one side civil war against the left wing citizens will bring Greece in front of new calamities. If the right wing side had good will, the salvation of our misfortune land and its people it could be really simple, because it’s included to the following words: Democracy, general amnesty, peace and measures for the improvement of peoples living conditions. But which government has the will to apply such a program? That’s the question as the great English writer says.

Nikos Beloyannis

PS. These lines are written in rough from the death row cell which i am isolated, waiting my death. Maybe when you are reading these lines i will not be alive. I wish our blood to contribute to pacification of our suffering land. Unfortunately the result will be the opposite. And this because the right-wing side never wanted the pacification and reconciliation of our people.  Anyway whatever happens i will remember until my last moments with infinite gratitude the gentle efforts of all the people who tried and still try to save us from the executioner.

The last letter. Written on 12.3.1952

Το τελευταίο γράμμα του Νίκου Μπελογιάννη

Η αρχαία μυθολογία μας διήγείται ότι οι θεοί του Ολύμπου κατέβαινουν να δικαστούν στα δικαστήρια της αρχαίας Αθήνας. Αυτό λεγόταν για να εξαρθεί το ύψος στο οποίο έπρεπε να βρίσκονται τα αρχαία δικαστήρια. Αν όμως αυτοί οι θεοί συνέβαινε να υπάρχουν σήμερα και να είναι πολιτικοί αντίπαλοι των μετά την απελευθέρωση Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, τότε ασφαλώς θα έφευγαν πολύ μακριά από την Ελλάδα για να σωθούν από τα δικαστήρια σκοπιμότητας τα οποία λειτουργούν σαν εργοστάσια και βγάζουν τυποποιημένες αποφάσεις εναντιών των δημοκρατικών πολιτών.

Μέσα σε 5 χρόνια, 1945 – 1950, εκδόθηκαν περίπου 50000 καταδικαστικές αποφάσεις και γυρώ στους 5000 ανθρώπους καταδικάστηκαν σε θάνατο! Από αυτούς περίπου 2000 εκτελέστηκαν μεταξύ των οποίων πολλές γυναίκες, γρηές, ακόμα και κοπέλλες 17 χρονών!΄Αυτού του είδους τα δικαστήρια θα μπορούσαν ίσως να δείξουν κατανόηση σ’ εναν κοινόν απατεώνα, δολοφόνο, κλέφτη κλπ. Αλλά για τους ιδεολογικούς τους αντιπάλους δεν υπάρχει έλεος. Ιδού ενα πρόχειρο παράδειγμα. Δύο άριστοι εκπαιδευτικοί της χώρας μας, οι Σωτήρης Σ. και Νικος Κ. καταδικάστηκαν σε θάνατο. Κατάφεραν όμως να γίνει αναθεώρηση της δίκης των από τα ταχτικά ποινικά δικαστήρια και αθωώθηκαν! Τέτοιες περιπτώσεις είναι πάρα πολλές!

Γεννιέται όμως τώρα το ερώτημα: Ποιά είναι τα αίτια της πρωτοφανούς αυτής αγριότητας; Η Ελλάδα είναι φτωχή, γιατί οι ηγετικές τάξεις που κυβέρνησαν ως τα σήμερα τη χώρα βασίσθηκαν κυρίως στα παρασιτικά δεκανίκια των εξωτερικών δανείων και όχι στην ανάπτυξη  των πλουτοπαραγωγικών πηγών μας. Το γεγονός αυτό είχε σαν συνέπεια να μην βελτιωθεί καθόλου το βιωτικό επίπεδο του εργαζόμενου λαού. Και όσον καιρό η οικονομική καθυστέρηση εσυμβάδιζε με την πολιτική καθυστέρηση των λαϊκών μαζών, η ολιγαρχία του πλούτου μπορούσε να κυβερνά και να εκμεταλλεύεται το λαό με μια σχετική άνεση, χωρίς σοβαρούς κοινωνικούς τρανταγμούς. Περίπου όπως συνεβαινε στην Αγγλία πριν αρχίσει το κίνημα των Χαρτιστών. Στην περίοδο όμως της Χιτλερικής σκλαβιάς (...)

(..) ενώ εγώ και η Ιωαννίδου βρισκόμαστε σε αυστηρή φυλάκιση από το 1950! Και  όμως αυτό δεν τους εμπόδισε να μας καταδικάσουν σε θάνατο επειδή δεν αποκηρύξαμε την ιδεολογία μας ενώ θα αρκούσε μια μόνο λέξη μας, όπως έκανε ο Γαλιλαίος, για να μη μας δικάσουν!

Γιατί η ιδεολογία μας είναι η πραγματική αιτία της καταδίκης μας. Η κατηγορία για κατασκοπία είναι (ακυρή?) και συκοφαντική και δε στηρίζεται σε κανέναν πραγματικό στοιχείο. Και η ίδια η ζωή μου τους διαψεύδει. Από ηλικία 17 χρονών, σπουδαστής ακόμα, πίστεψα στα ιδανικά του σοσιαλισμού και από τότε, 20 ολόκληρα χρόνια, η ζωή μου είναι αφιερωμένη στον αγώνα για τον εκδημοκρατισμό, την ανεξαρτησία και την ευημερία της πατρίδος μου. Για την ιδεολογία μου οι αντιδραστικοί μ’ έδιωξαν από το πανεπιστήμιο των Αθηνών, με εξόρισαν, με εφυλάκισαν τον καιρό της μεταξικής δικτατορίας. Αντί να διαλέξω τη ζωή της καριέρας, και μπορούσαν εύκολα να δημιουργήσω τέτοια, προτίμησα μια ζωή γεμάτη διωγμούς, στερήσεις, πόνους και δάκρυα. Οι Ιταλοί και οι Γερμανοί καταχτητές με έκλεισαν σε στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσεως. Κατάφερα να φύγω και τους πολέμησα μ’ όλη μου τη δύναμη, συνεργαζόμενος συχνά με τις αγγλικές αποστολές. Μετά την απελευθέρωση συνέχισα τους πολιτικούς αγώνες μου. Συγχρόνως εχρηματισά διευθυντής στο πολιτικό οικονομικό περιοδικό «Ελευθερός Μωριάς». Η ανάπαυλα του 1945 μου δώσε την δυνατότητα να συνεχίσω διάφορες μελέτες μου και να τελειώσω και δύο βιβλία μου. «Η οικονομική ανάπτυξη της Ελλάδος» και «Η ιστορία της Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» που όμως είναι ακόμη και τα δύο ανέκδοτα, γιατί οι νέοι διωγμοί εμποδίσαν την έκδοσή τους.

Από τα τέλη του 1940 με καταδιώκουν πάλι. Η οικογένεια μου όλη εξοντώνεται. Και τώρα η ίδια τύχη περιμένη και μένα. Η περίπτωση μου δεν είναι μοναδική. Είναι και άπειρες άλλες. Αυτός ο μονόπλευρός εμφύλιος πόλεμος κατά των οπαδών της αριστεράς θα φέρει νέες μεγάλες συμφορές στην Ελλάδα, ενώ αν υπήρχε καλή θέληση από την πλευρά της δεξιάς, το πρόβλημα της σωτηρίας της άτυχης χωρας μας και του λαού μας θα ήταν αρκετά απλό, γιατί περικλείεται στις λέξεις: Δημοκρατία, Γενική αμνηστία, ειρήνευση και μέτρα για την βελτίωση του βιώτικου επιπέδου του λαού.  Αλλά ποιά κυβέρνηση θα εφαρμόσει ένα τέτοιο πρόγραμμα? That is the question, όπως λέει και ο μεγάλος άγγλός συγγραφέας.

Νίκος Μπελογιάννης

Υστερόγραφό: Οι γραμμές αυτές γράφονταί πρόχειρα και βιαστικά, από το κελί των μελλοθανάτων όπου βρίσκομαι απομονωμένος, περιμένωντας το θάνατο. Ίσως όταν τις διαβάζετε να μη ζω πιά. Θα ευχόμουνα το αίμα μας να συντελέσει στην ειρήνευση της πολύπαθης αυτής χώρας. Δυστυχώς όμως θα συμβεί το αντίθετο. Κι αυτό γιατί η δεξιά ποτέ δεν θέλησε την ειρήνευση κ την συμφιλιωση του λαού μας. Εν πάσει περιπτώσει ότι και να γίνει θα θυμάμαι μέχρι τις τελευταίες μου στιγμές με απέραντη ευγνωμοσυνη τις ευγενικές προσπάθειες των ανθρώπων που προσπάθησαν και προσπαθούν να μας σώσουν από τον δήμιο.

Ο ίδιος

σ.σ: Στο Ελληνικό γράμμα έχει τηρηθεί η πρωτότυπη ορθογραφία. Από το γράμμα λείπει ένα μικρό κομμάτι.

Statue dedicated to Nikos Beloyannis
Karlshorst, East Berlin, Germany

Αγωνιστήκαμε δίχως να γνωρίσουμε ύπνο,
 για να προφτάσουμε την αυγή και το αύριο
και να δημιουργήσουμε νέους χρόνους και εποχές
στο μπόι των ονείρων μας, στο μπόι των ανθρώπων. 

Τετάρτη 10 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

Lob der Dialektik

Today, injustice goes with a certain stride,
The oppressors move in for ten thousand years.
Force sounds certain: it will stay the way it is.
No voice resounds except the voice of the rulers
And on the markets, exploitation says it out loud: 
I am only just beginning.

But of the oppressed, many now say:
What we want will never happen

Whoever is still alive must never say ‘never’!
Certainty is never certain.
It will not stay the way it is.
When the rulers have already spoken
Then the ruled will start to speak.
Who dares say never?
Who s to blame if oppression remains? We are.
Who can break its thrall? We can.
Whoever has been beaten down must rise to his feet!
Whoever is lost must fight back!
Whoever has recognized their condition - how can anyone stop them?

Because the vanquished of today will be tomorrow’s victors
And never will become: already today!

Bertold Brecht, In Praise of  Dialectics, 1931

Το άδικο βαδίζει σήμερα με σταθερό βήμα.
Οι καταπιεστές προετοιμάζουν τα επόμενα δέκα χιλιάδες χρόνια.
Η βία διαβεβαιώνει: έτσι όπως είναι η κατάσταση, έτσι θα μείνει.
Καμιά φωνή δεν ακούγεται, πέρα από τη φωνή του εξουσιαστή.
Και στις αγορές φωνάζει η εκμετάλλευση: τώρα μόλις αρχίζω.

Αλλά πολλοί από τους καταπιεζόμενους λένε τώρα:
Αυτό που εμείς θέλουμε δεν θα γίνει ποτέ.

Εσύ που ακόμα ζεις, μην πεις: ποτέ!
Το σίγουρο δεν είναι σίγουρο.
Έτσι όπως είναι η κατάσταση δεν θα μείνει.
Αν μιλήσουν οι εξουσιαστές θα μιλήσουν οι εξουσιαζόμενοι.
Ποιος τολμά να πει: ποτέ;
Από ποιόν εξαρτάται αν η καταπίεση μένει; Από εμάς.
Από ποιόν εξαρτάται αν θα τσακιστεί; Επίσης από εμάς.
Εκείνος που έπεσε, στέκεται πάλι όρθιος.
Εκείνος που έχασε, παλεύει!
Εκείνος που συνειδητοποίησε τη θέση του, πως τον κρατάς τώρα;

Επειδή οι σημερινοί νικημένοι είναι οι αυριανοί νικητές
Και από το ποτέ θα γίνει: Σήμερα κιόλας!

Εγκώμιο στη Διαλεκτική, 1931

In honour of the poet, playwright, theatrical director, thinker.  
In honour of the Communist Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht. 
He was born in Ausburg, Bavaria, Germany on a day like this in 1898