Manolis Glezos, the great Greek and European leftist guerilla and politician passed away today at the age of 98.
Well known and respected from his participation and passionate action in the World War II resistance, and the symbolic move of great courage to climb on the Acropolis hill in Athens together with his comrade Apostolos Santas and to tear down the swastika. The flag was there since the Nazi forces had entered Athens. They both became figures of the international antinazi struggle. For this initiative, Glezos was characterised by Charles De Gaulle as “the first partizan of Europe”.
Prominent figure of the communist movement after the War, Glezos was the target of numerous unjust prosecutions and punishmets by the post-war oppresive establishment and he was condemned to death no less than three times for his ideas and his political activity and he spent many years in prison and in exile. The world-wide recognition of his antinazi action resulted in the formation of a massive mobilisation for his release, that included personalities such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso – who also painted a famous sketch for this purpose. Glezos also played an important role in the leftist press during the difficult post-war period, as he was the director of the newspaper Rizospastis as well as the editor in chief of the newspaper Avgi.
He has been an active political being his whole life. He was elected in almost all public offices, including the Greek and the European Parliament, a sign of the wide recognition he enjoyed amongst all the democratic, progressive and leftist political spectrum in Greece. His dignity, integrity and passion in socialist politics will always be remembered.
He was perhaps the last greatest political figure of the Greek Left, part of its history and its pride. Many people in Greece, unable to attent his funeral due to restrictive measures against the coronavirus pandemic, paid their repects to Manolis Glezos by applauding from their balconies in the night of March 30th.
Goodbye comrade. Θα νικήσουμε!
Applaus echoing the streets of Athens in honor of Manolis Glezos: