Georgios Siantos ( _el. "Γεώργιος" or "Γιώργης Σιάντος",
1890- May 20, 1947) was a prominent figure of the Greek Communist party (Greek: Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommunistiko Komma Elladas) who served as acting general secretary of the party and as a leader of the EAM/ELAS Resistance movement during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.
Siantos was born in
Karditsa, Thessalyin 1890; his parents were farmers. When he graduated from primary school, Siantos started working as a tobacco worker. He served in the Greek army as a sergeant during the Balkan Warsof 1912-1913 and World War I. By 1916 he had gone over to the liberals of Eleftherios Venizelos. Siantos also became involved in the labor movement, and, soon after his demobilizationin 1920, he was elected president of the trade unionof the tobacco workers in Karditsa.A. Zenakos, [http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=13876&m=Y02&aa=1 The Opponents] ]
Political career until World War II
In 1922, Siantos was elected Secretary General of the Greek Confederacy of Tobacco Workers, while, during the same period, he became a member of the "Socialist Labour Party of Greece" (Acronym: SEKE, Greek: Σοσιαλιστικό Εργατικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Sosialistiko Ergatiko Komma Elladas), the forerunner of KKE. [The party changed its name from SEKE to KKE in 1924.] In 1927 Siantos became member of the
central committeeof the politburoof the party. During the internal ideological struggle of 1929-1931, Siantos as a leading member of the "left faction" was called to Moscow, where he accepted the admonitions of Cominternfor unity in KKE. After his returning to Greece, Siantos participated in the administration of General Confederation of Greek Workers, and in 1934 he was reelected in the central committee and the politburo of the party.
In 1936 Siantos was elected member of the
Greek Parliament, but he was arrested for Communist-related activities after the declaration of the 4th of August Regime. He was displaced in Anafi, but he managed to escape. [A. Zenakos, [http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=13876&m=Y02&aa=1 The Opponents]
* M.E. Kenna, [http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathglobal_2_16/11/2003_1281058 The 4th of August Regime] ] A year late, in 1939, he was re-arrested and served time in prison in
Corfu, from where he escaped in 1941.
Role during the Resistance and the Civil War
The same year
Nikolaos Zachariadis, the General Secretary of KKE was transferred by the Germans to the Dachau concentration camp, and Siantos undertook the leadership of the party as acting Secretary General. During the German occupation of Greece from 1941-1944, Siantos led the Communist-dominated Greek National Liberation Army, and he also palyed an important role in the establishment of the Political Committee of National Liberation in 1944. The same year representatives from all political parties and resistance groups came together at a conference in Lebanon, seeking an agreement about a government of national unity. According to another agreement signed in Casertaof Italy in September 1944, all the resistance forces in Greece were placed under the command of a British officer, General Ronald Scobie. Siantos opposed the signing of both agreements, but he then was one of those who argued for their full implementation.
During the Dekevriana Siantos undertook the conduct of the military forces of EAM.cite encyclopedia|title=History of Greece|encyclopedia=Encyclopaedia The Helios] After the intervention of the
British forcesin Greece led by Scobie in favor of the government, EAM was defeated, and Siantos faced a fierce criticism by his own comrades for his choices; even Zachariadis called him "agent of the British". In February 1945 Siantos led the delegation of KKE and EAM that negotiated the with the Greek government and the other political parties. He signed the Treaty but after only four months he turned the command of the party over to Zachariadis, who returned to Greece. He typically remained member of the politburo, but had no leverage on the party; the defeat of 1944 had casted a slur on his reputation within the party.
Death and legacy
Siantos died of heart attack on May 20, 1947, in the private clinic of the prominent Greek communist doctor, Petros Kokkalis. In 1957 a special committee of KKE rehabilitated Siantos in the party's esteem.
* cite news
title = Dekenvriana, the Opponents: Giorgis Siantos, Ronald Scobie (in Greek)
last = Zenakos
first = Augoustinos
url = http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=13876&m=Y02&aa=1
date = 2003-07-01
accessdate = 2007-01-21
* cite news
title = The 4th of August Regime (in Greek)
last = Kenna
first = Margaret E.
url = http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathglobal_2_16/11/2003_1281058
date = 2003-11-16
accessdate = 2007-01-21
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