Political Committee of National Liberation
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Political Committee of National Liberation
Free Greece


Eleftheri Ellada
1944-1944
Motto: "Eleftheria i Thanatos"
? ?
"Freedom or Death" "Thanatos sto Fasismo"
? ?
"Death to Fascism"
Anthem: Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían
?
"Hymn to Freedom"
?
"Hymn of ELAS"
Location of Greece
StatusNational Liberation Front and Communist Party of Greece dominated government (unrecognized internationally)
CapitalAthens (official), Koryschades (Evrytania) (headquarter of PEEA)
Common languagesGreek/Demotic Greek
Religion
Greek Orthodox
Chairman of PEEA 
o March 10, 1944–April 18, 1944
Evripidis Bakirtzis (KKE)
o 18 April 1944–9 October 1944
Alexandros Svolos (SKE)
LegislatureNational Council
Historical eraWorld War II
o Established
10 March 1944
o Disestablished
9 October 1944
CurrencyGreek drachma (?)
ISO 3166 codeGR

The Political Committee of National Liberation (Greek: ? ?, Politiki Epitropi Ethnikis Apeleftherosis, PEEA), commonly known as the "Mountain Government" (Greek: Kivernisi tou Vounou), was a Communist Party-dominated government established in Greece in 1944 in opposition to both the collaborationist German-controlled government at Athens and to the royal government-in-exile in Cairo. It was integrated with the Greek government-in-exile in a national unity government at the Lebanon conference in May 1944.

Background

Establishment

The PEEA was established on 10 March 1944 by the leftist National Liberation Front (EAM)/Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) movement, which was then in control of much of the country. Its aims, according to its founding charter, were, "to intensify the struggle against the conquerors ... for full national liberation, for the consolidation of the independence and integrity of our country (...) and for the annihilation of domestic fascism and armed traitor formations".

The PEEA's authority was significantly reinforced after the establishment of the National Council (Greek: ) in 1944. The National Council was an assembly elected by secret elections organised by the PEEA in late April 1944 in both the liberated parts of Greece and the still-occupied cities, mainly Athens. Between 1.5 and 1.8 million Greeks voted in these elections, which are notable for the fact that for the first time in Greece, women were allowed to vote. The Council first converged in Koryschades, a mountain village of Evrytania, from 14 to 27 May 1944. Its main act was voting a resolution, an extract of which is quoted:

The PEEA's first president was Evripidis Bakirtzis, the former leader of National and Social Liberation (EKKA). On April 18 Alexandros Svolos, a prominent professor of constitutional law of the University of Athens, took his position and Bakirtzis became vice-president. Not only communist leaders but also many progressive bourgeois, who had nothing to do with communist ideas, participated in the PEEA.

ELAS not only resisted German and Italian occupation forces but also re-organised life in Free Greece, the mountainous areas (i.e. the biggest part of Greece) it controlled. EAM, with the co-ordination and organization of the PEEA, helped the local people organise schools, hospitalise refugees from the big cities and protect the crops from German looting. Amateur actors and musicians created travelling theatres and bands, something that most rural communities had never seen or heard before. Another achievement of ELAS (due partially to the progressive ideas and partially to the lack of men) was to promote women's rights. Young girls, who until then were working at home or the fields, had the opportunity to educate and express themselves. There were also improvised telecommunications either by telephone lines or by messengers and systems of re-distribution of food-resources, so that no village would starve.

Mountain Government

Interim Government

Minister Portfolio Party Dates
Evripidis Bakirtzis President
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Communist Party 10 March 1944 - 10 April 1944
Evripidis Bakirtzis Secretary of Military Affairs Independent 10 March 1944 - 10 April 1944
Georgios Siantos Secretary of the Interior Communist Party 10 March 1944 - 10 April 1944
Ilias Tsirimokos Secretary of Justice Socialist Party 10 March 1944 - 10 April 1944
Kostas Gavriilidis Secretary of Agriculture Agricultural Party 10 March 1944 - 10 April 1944
Office Incumbent Party Dates
President of the Cabinet Alexandros Svolos Socialist Party of Greece 10 April - 9 October 1944
Deputy President of the Cabinet and Secretary for the Food Evripidis Bakirtzis Communist Party of Greece 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Justice Ilias Tsirimokos Socialist Party of Greece 10 April 1944 - 9 October 1944
Secretary for the Interior Georgios Siantos Communist Party of Greece 10 April 1944 - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Military Affairs Manolis Mantakas Independent 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Transport Nikolaos Askoutsis Communist Party of Greece 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Finance Angelos Angelopoulos Independent 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Social Welfare Petros Kokkalis Independent 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for Agriculture Kostas Gavriilidis Agricultural Party of Greece 10 April - 9 October 1944
Secretary for National Economy Stamatis Hatzibeis Independent 10 April - 9 October 1944

Sources

  • Clogg, Richard (2013). A Concise History of Modern Greece (Third ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-10761203-7.
  • Papastratis, Procopis (2006). "Local Government in Liberated Areas of Occupied Greece". In Bruno De Wever, Herman Van Goethem and Nico Wouters (eds.). Local Government in Occupied Europe (1939-1945). Gent: Academia Press. pp. 205-220. ISBN 9038208928.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  • Skalidakis, Yannis (2015). "From Resistance to Counterstate: The Making of Revolutionary Power in the Liberated Zones of Occupied Greece, 1943-1944". Journal of Modern Greek Studies. 33 (1): 155-184.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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