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Makronisos (In Greek: long island) is an island in the Aegean sea, in Greece and is located close to the coast of Attica, facing the port of Lavrio. It has an elongated shape (3km north to south, ca. 500 m east to west) and its terrain is arid and rocky. In ancient times the island was called Helena. It is part of the prefecture of the Cyclades but it is not part of that island chain. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Kea. The island is currently uninhabited. However, from the time of the Greek Civil War up until the restoration of democracy following the collapse of the Regime of the Colonels, it was used as a place of imprisonment for Greek communists, hosting hundreds of prisoners. Because of its history, it is considered as a monument of the civil war era; therefore the island itself and the original structures on it are protected from alterations. The straits between Makronisos and neighbouring Kea are the site of the sinking, in 1916, of HMHS Britannic, sister ship of the RMS Titanic.When one sails from Lavrion to the island of Kea much of the journey is spent going around a long barren island where you can see the ruins of some old buildings and little else besides rocks. This is the island of Makronisos, Greece's equivelant of Alkatraz. But these were not hardened criminals, murderers and thugs. Makronisos was where many people who had fought to liberate Greece from the Germans during World War Two, met their fate at the hands of their countrymen, tortured and killed because of their political beliefs. The men who lived and died here were the first victims of the Cold War. In October 1944 the German army which had been occupying Greece retreated. Their stay in Greece was not a pleasant one, for even though the Greek government and the army had themselves retreated from Greece when the Germans first arrived, the Greek resistance, which was predominately communist, harassed the occupiers from their camps in the mountains as well as in the cities. When the country was liberated, the Greek government returned with George Papandreau (father of Andreas) as Prime Minister sharing power with the left in a government of national unity. Unfortunately for the left it had been decided beforehand in Yalta by the leaders of the USA, Great Britain and The Soviet Union, when they divided up Europe, that Greece was not going to be allowed to fall under the influence of the communists. The possibility that the left would have any place at all in the Greek political system was disturbing to the leaders of the free world, despite the fact that the left had been the main resistance against the Nazis. General Scoby under orders from Winston Churchill initiated political intrigues against the communists and forced them to resign from the government. On December 3rd a peaceful demonstration in Syntagma Square was fired upon by police snipers which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians. This led to the Dekembriana, the December uprising which lasted until January 5th. With the treaty of Varkiza in February the communists turned in their weapons which made them easy prey for the right-wing criminal militias, who had been colaborators with the Nazis but were now backed by the British, who hunted down members of the resistance and their families. The first elections were held in March of 1946 but was boycotted by the communist party, a fatal mistake because from that point on they were outsiders and non-participants in the Greek political system. Since the treaty of Varkiza the atrocities committed by the right against the left rivaled the crimes of the Nazis. There were 1289 murdered, 31,632 tortured, 30,000 imprisoned and many raped as well as the looting and destruction of property. So in 1946 while the rest of Europe was celebrating the peace after World War Two and trying to get back on their feet, Greece had entered another period of misery as Civil War erupted with the British backing the most reactionary of the Greeks. The leftist parties of the KKE, ELAS and EPON were outlawed. Military tribunals were set up all over the country. Thousands of leftists were executed. 50,000 were imprisoned and tens of thousands were exiled to remote islands. In 1946 under a government directive from Prime Minister Sofoulis, communists of draft age were sent to the barren island of Makronisos off the coast of Attika, between the town of Lavrion and the island of Kea. The future prime minister Kannelopoulos (who was overthrown by the Junta) had called Makronisos