2nd World War; Foreign Occupation; The Resistance Movement;
The Civil War(1941-1949)

During the second World War, Samos was occupied by Mussolini’s Army. In May 1941, the CUNEO division arrived and occupied the island, meeting no resistance at all. A horrid winter followed, a winter of hunger and abject poverty that spread all over Greece. The population hadn’t got enough time to prepare itself with alternative types of cultivation, the trade declined and the conquerors took advantage of the largest part of the production.

However, soon enough the people of Samos developed a powerful resistance movement against the fascist occupation. There were many casualties and sufferings, while many of them took refuge in the Middle East, fighting against Romel’s Germans on the allies’ side. The biggest resistance movements of Samos were the “National Liberating Front” (EAM) and the “National Liberating Army” (EAS).

In September 1943, Samos was the first part of Greece that got liberated. After the capitulation, the guerrilla forces, the metropolitan bishop of Samos, Erenaios, and the Italian forces agreed on a system of administration. The bishop Erenaios became president of the Temporary Government. But the liberation didn’t last long. On 17 November, 1943, the German air force bombarded the capital city and other towns of the island, which suffered a heavy blow.

The majority of the guerrilla and Italian forces left for the Middle East through Turkey and the island fell under the German occupation for one year. The liberation finally came in 1944 and a destructive civil war followed in 1947-1949. Samos was one of the few islands that developed a powerful guerrilla force of the Democratic Army. The aftermath of the civil war, which lasted from 1947 till July 1949, was particularly painful.

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