French communist poet Paul Éluard (1895-1952) was part of the delegation which visited the strongholds of the communist-led Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) in Vitsi and Grammos mountains of northern Greece in June 1949.
Back then, DSE was in the midst of a fierce battle against the National Army and its imperialist allies, namely the United States.
At the end of his visit, Éluard dedicated the following message to the heroic fighters of the Democratic Army:
"Vitsi and Grammos, these two summits of the free world, are not at all lower than i had ever imagined. Instead, there i saw the fighters who adorn them with their unimaginable courage, the fighters who are the fire of the mountains, the fire of whole Greece, a honor for the civilized world who refuses to die under the relentless pressure of a minority of exploiters, arsonists of war. The earth and sun completely belong to them.
My brothers & sisters with the kind and gentle smile, how many times i was moved to tears as i was listening to you singing, watching all of you united by the love for your country, your trust for the future. We hate war, but woe to those who will enforce it to us.
I am leaving and i keep as a treasure into my heart unforgettable memory of your physical and mental health, your enthusiasm, your brotherhood, your faith to victory. The future belongs to you. And just because you are united, your oppressed brothers tomorrow will stand by your side. Freedom and brotherhood are contagious. They can't do anything against a People who is united. And the sea will patiently accept your enslaved!
Long live Greece, united and free!
Long live the brotherhood of the People!
Long live the Peace which being built!
With respect, i salute you!"
Paul Éluard, June 1949.