The Greek Communist Party (KKE) has commemorated its late wartime leader Nikos Zachariadis, whom it had denounced in 1957.
During a ceremony in Surgut, in Russia’s Siberia region, where Zachariadis had spent the last years of his life, a KKE delegation headed by the party’s former General Secretary Aleka Papariga unveiled a commemorative plaque at the Department of Water and Forests where he was working as a clerk.
Zachariadis was the General Secretary of the KKE from 1931 to 1956. As a leader of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), he was a prominent personality of the Greek civil war.
After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, Zachariadis clashed with the new Soviet leadership. In May 1956, during the 6th Plenum of KKE’s Central Committee, the Soviet Union Communist Party ordered his expulsion from the post of General Secretary. In February 1957, Zachariadis was also expelled from KKE.
He spent the rest of his life in exile, in Siberia, initially in Yakutia and later in Surgut. Zachariadis committed suicide in the age of 70, in 1973.
In 2011, KKE’s National Conference fully rehabilitated Zachariadis as General Secretary.
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