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World War II, occupation, and the civil war in Greece, 1940-1949 : records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files.


The Axis occupation of Greece during World War II began in April 1941 after the German and Italian invasion of Greece was carried out together with Bulgarian forces. The occupation lasted until the German withdrawal from the mainland in October 1944. The occupation brought about terrible hardships for the Greek civilian population. Over 300,000 civilians died in Athens alone from starvation, tens of thousands more through reprisals; minorities, particularly Jews, were deported to concentration camps; and, in the Bulgarian and German occupied areas, ethnic cleansing attempted to eradicate generations of Greek residents. The country's economy was ruined and the food situation desperate. When liberation came in October 1944, Greece was in a state of crisis, which soon led to the outbreak of civil war. The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the pro-Western Greek governmental army and the Communist Democratic Army of Greece. It was the result of a highly polarized struggle between leftists and rightists which started in 1943 and targeted the power vacuum that the German-Italian occupation during World War II had created.

Archives unbound
Archives unbound.
Online resource
Farmington Hills, Mich. : Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, 2010
Record last modified: 2016-05-10 15:16:00
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