Sunday, October 10, 2021

Greek communists honored the exiled martyrs of Gyaros

Hundreds of communists, members and friends of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) participated in an emotional event in Gyaros island (also known as Gioura), honoring the memory of the thousands of exiled communists and left political dissidents who were imprisoned there from 1948 to 1974.

The event, which took place on Saturday 9 October, was organized by the KKE Party Organization of Attica. 
“We came to this “island of death” to honor and “talk” to the martyrs and heroes of the struggle. To tell them that we do not forget them. We do not forget what happened in Gioura. That we are proud of their invaluable contribition, their heroism, their unwavering faith in the KKE and its aims, for their sacrifice. To tell them that their sacrifice was not in vain. They live and will always live in our hearts”, stressed among others in his speech Dimitris Gontikas, member of the CC of the KKE.

From his side, Iasonas Fanos, member of the Central Council of the Communist Youth (KNE) underlined: “We, the members of KNE, stand with deep emotion, modesty and absolute respect”.

Wreaths were laid by Nikos Sofianos, member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the KKE, Nikos Abatielos, Secretary of the CC of KNE and other KNE Organizations from Athens.

The event also included by a short music tribute with Mikis Theodorakis' songs.

Gyaros, also known as Gioura (Yura), covers an area of 17 square kilometres is an arid, deserted island in the northern Cyclades, situated 9 nautical miles from the closest island of Syros. It is not accidental that Gyaros has been named the “Island of Death” or, otherwise, the "Island of the Devil".

For 21 years, this small island, alongside Makronissos, became the place of exile, imprisonment and inhumane torture for approximately 20,000 communists and leftist political dissidents during the period 1947-1952, 1955-1961, 1967-1974. 

The first 551 prisoners arrived in Gyaros on July 11, 1947 and until September, there were more than 7,000 inmates. It is characteristic that in the first years of the island's operation as a prison, there was no infrastructure at all, with the exiled prisoners living in tents, under severely miserable conditions.

In 2019, a monument called "Rogmi" (Fracture), designed by the sculptor Manolis Myrodias, was unveiled during a special event organized by the KKE.