March 30th, 2009 Headsman
Before dawn on this date in 1952, four Greek Communists were shot outside Athens for treason.
Nikos (Nicholas) Beloyannis (or Mpeloyannis), the most prominent among them, spent a goodly portion of his adult life in prison for his subversive opinions — first at the hands of the interwar Greek nationalist government, then the Nazi occupation, then the British.
His many years’ service to communism was, unbeknownst to him, even then being horse-traded away as Stalin and Churchill carved up post-World War II spheres of influence.
The Execution of Beloyannis, by Peter de Francia.
“The man with the carnation” — it was his signature prop at the mass show trial where he drew a death sentence for “conspiring to overthrow by force the present regime in Greece.”
The trial, and the outcry that greeted its swift resolution, helped establish an enduring international reputation among fellow-travelers.
Also on this date
- 1875: John Morgan, slasher
- 1883: Emeline Meaker, child abuser, first woman hanged in Vermont
- 1911: Joseph Christock
- 2011: Three Philippines drug mules in China
- 1938: Arkadi Berdichevsky, Jon Utley's father
- 1689: Kazimierz Lyszczynski, the first Polish atheist