The Dark Years: Greek Historians Share Stories of Torture At Greek ‘Dachau’ On Makronissos Island

The Greek Civil War began in 1946 between the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), the military wing of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), backed by Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, and Hellenic Army, backed by the United States and Great Britain under then-President Harry Truman.

The Civil War period began after the end of the Nazi occupation period from 1941 to 1944 in World War II, where the US-backed Greek state was funded by the Marshall Plan, with the state joining NATO in 1952.

The DSE was defeated due to a lack of support from the Soviet Union, creating a major split between then USSR general secretary Joseph Stalin and former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito, where the former had agreed not to back Communists in Western Europe under the Percentages Agreement 1944, which divided Eastern European countries under Soviet influence and led to the Warsaw Pact in 1955 as a reaction to NATO.

During the fighting, with both sides enduring a bitter struggle, ordinary Greeks were subject to a campaign of torture, indoctrination and hard labour on Makronissos island, a black site political prisoners, regardless of political affiliation, due to the Hellenic government’s crackdown on left-wing movements across the country.

Makronissos: The Blueprint for Political Oppressions

Kostis Karpozilos, historian and director of the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI), discussed the legacy of Makronissos as an instrument of state oppression, as well as his organisation’s role…

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