Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Lazaros Kyritsis, Greek communist resistance fighter, dies at 102

Lazaros Kyritsis, veteran member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), guerrilla fighter and politician, died in Athens at the age of 102. Kyritsis was a member of the generation of communists who were persecuted, exiled and imprisoned by the bourgeois state in the post-war years.

In a statement published on 902 portal, the Central Committee of the KKE pays farewell to comrade Lazaros Kyritsis, calling him a “firm and unwavering communist, an unbending participant of the class struggle who stood for the people's rights, the high ideals of the struggle for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, for socialism-communism”. 
Born in Haravgi, a small village close to the northern city of Ioannina in 1920, he enrolled in the Law School of the University of Athens, but the beginning of the Second World War forced him to stop his studies in order to join the ranks of EAM-ELAS, the National Liberation Movement and its armed wing, the Greek People's Liberation Army.

In 1946, within the framework of the anti-communist persecutions, Kyritsis was arrested and exiled in Makronissos, the island which served as a site of a political prison for communists and dissidents for more than 40 years. He was among the eye-witnesses of the massacre of 350 prisoners by the National Army, a crime that took place on 1 March 1948.

Kyritsis was released in 1950 and returned to Athens where he joined the underground network of the KKE. In the following years he participated in local and national politics through the ranks of EDA, the United Democratic Left. Following the imposition of the military Junta in 1967, Lazaros Kyritsis was imprisoned for six years. After the fall of the dictatorship, in 1974, he continues his political and social struggle, being a candidate of the KKE for the municipality of Zografou and the Parliament. Kyritsis played a leading role in the foundation of the National Union of Makronissos Confined Combatants (PEKAM).

On September 2020, aged 100, Lazaros Kyritsis participated in a deeply emotional event held by the KKE in Makronissos, laying a wreath in memory of his comrades.