Today is the 71st anniversary of the death of the First Captain of the People's Army (ELAS) Aris Velouchiotis (1905-1945). Velouchiotis was a partisan, KKE member and guerrilla leader during the Axis occupation in WW2. Aris, who was born in Lamia, central Greece in 1905, was a cadre of the Communist Party of Greece and at the decision of the party he undertook the formation of the People’s Army (ELAS) during the fascist occupation, the armed wing of the National Liberation Front (EAM).
Aris opposed the Varkiza Agreement, which disarmed ELAS, and returned to the mountains. In June 1945, his small armed group was surrounded in Mesounda (Arta) and killed by the bourgeois army, which desecrated their corpses, cutting off the heads of Aris and his comrades, which were hung in the central square in the town of Trikala. The then leadership of the party disowned him.
However, after 1957, the KKE in essence gradually rehabilitated him, something that was confirmed by the decision to politically rehabilitate him during the discussion on the 2nd Volume of the History of the Party, 1949-1968, at the Nationwide Conference in 2011.
On 9 October 2011, an event was held by the CC of the KKE for the presentation of the Decision of the Nationwide Conference concerning the official political rehabilitation of the first captain of ELAS, Aris Velouchiotis. A large delegation of the CC of the KKE headed by the then GS of the CC, Aleka Papariga, was present. Speaking at the rally, Telemachus Dimoulas, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, made extensive reference to the essay on the history of the KKE approved by the National Conference of the KKE and the special decision concerning Aris Velouchiotis. "In the consciousness of the people, Aris Velouchiotis is identified with the heroic history of the KKE, the struggle for the overthrow of imperialist barbarity”.