Thursday, December 2, 2021

Greek-American resistance fighter Kostas Lekkas dies

Comrade Lekkas in his 100th birthday.
Kostas Lekkas, also known as Constantine "Gus" Lekas, a fighter of the Greek Resistance during World War II and a long-time member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), died in New York aged 102.

Comrade Lekkas was born on 7 July 1919 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. At the age of one, alongside his mother and siblings, he moved to Greece, settling at a village in Peloponnese. His father stayed in New York in order to work for a period of time but he was later killed in a car accident.

On November 1941, Kostas joined the National Liberation Front (EAM) and participated actively in the resistance against the Nazi occupation of Greece. He joined the ranks of the communist-led Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) and fought in the mountains of Taygetus and Parnon. Following Greece's liberation Lekkas became a member of the KKE and worked in the – then illegal – Party organizations until 1954, when he returned to New York.

In the following years Kostas participated actively in the struggle of the Greek diaspora against the 1967-1974 military Junta, while he supported the activity of the Greek Cultural Center.

In his 100th birthday, the KKE Friends Club of New York honored comrade Lekkas for his long-time activity in the communist movement. Until the end of his life he remained devoted in his ideology. “I want to live more years to see this barbaric system called capitalism being torn down”, he used to say.

In a statement issued on Monday the Central Committee of the KKE bids farewell to comrade Kostas Lekkas.