Manolis Glezos (09/09/1922 - )
He was born in 1922 at the island of Naxos. His family moved to Athens in 1935, where he completed his secondary education. In 1939, he founded an anti – fascist youth group against the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese as well as against the Metaxas dictatorship. In 1940, he enrolled at the University School of Financial and Commercial Studies.
When World War II broke out, he asked to enroll at the Greek army in order to be dispatched to the Albanian front, but he was rejected, because he was younger than the minimum recruitment age. Instead, he volunteered at the Greek Ministry of Finance and continued his studies at University. During the German Occupation, he worked at the municipality of Athens and the Hellenic Red Cross, while he also participated in various liberation youth groups, such as OKNE, EAM and EPON. As a result, he was often arrested and incarcerated. During the night of the 30th of May 1941, along with Apostolos Santas, they sneaked in Acropolis and managed to lower the German flag of the Third Reich, under the nose of the German troops.
This caused excitement all over Greece as well as abroad. Charles de Gaulle said that Glezos was the first partisan of Europe. However, the German authorities condemned Glezos and Santas to death in absentia and started a search to find them; they managed to do this one year later and they were imprisoned at the Averov prison. During his incarceration, Glezos was submitted to torture and was infected by tuberculosis, so he was left free.
After Greece was liberated, Glezos worked as a journalist at the Communist newspaper Rizospastis, and in 1947, he became Chief Editor until the newspaper was closed down by the Greek authorities. In 1948, he was arrested because of his political beliefs, and several more arrests followed; once he was condemned to death, but because of protests in Greece and abroad, the penalty was never carried out.
In 1958, Glezos and his colleagues were arrested for spying for the USSR. Once again, the protests of the people resulted in his eventual release. There was international mobilization on the matter of Glezos and spying, and when the trial began in July 1959, foreign lawyers, organizations and journalists had arrived. The president of the Soviet High Command sent a message to King Paul, expressing his concern on Glezos. After a 14 – day trial, Glezos was condemned to 5 – year imprisonment. He was released in December 1962.
During the Regime of the Colonels in 1967, Glezos was arrested and detained for four years until 1971, when general amnesty was offered. After 1974, Glezos was elected member of the parliament with PASOK and Synaspismos.