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Apostolos Santas

The German War Flag is raised on the Acropolis of Athens, April 1941.

Apostolos Santas (Greek: îπόσ„î¿î»î¿ς îîî„îς, born 1922) is a Greek veteran of the Resistance against the Axis Occupation of Greece during World War II, most notable for his participation, along with Manolis Glezos, in the taking down of the German flag from the Acropolis on 30 May 1941.

Apostolos Santas was born on 22 February 1922 in Patras, Greece. His family moved to Athens in 1934. He completed his secondary education in Athens and was accepted to the law school of the University of Athens, completing his law studies after the liberation of the country from Nazi occupation in 1944.

On the night of 30 May 1941, he and Manolis Glezos climbed on the Acropolis of Athens and tore down the Nazi flag, which had been there since 27 April, when the Nazi forces had entered and occupied Athens, replacing it with the Greek flag. That was one of the first resistance acts in Greece, and possibly among the very first in Europe. The act inspired the Greeks to resist occupation, and made the two into folk heroes. The Germans responded by sentencing Glezos and Santas to death in absentia.

In 1942, he joined the fledgling National Liberation Front (EAM), and a year later the guerrilla force ELAS, with which he participated in several battles with the Axis troops throughout Central Greece. After the Occupation, because of his leftist beliefs, he was sent into internal exile to Ikaria in 1946, then to Psyttaleia in 1947 and finally to the infamous Makronisos island in 1948. He managed to escape to Italy, from where he went to Canada where he was granted political asylum. He lived in Canada until 1962, when he returned to Greece, where he still resides.

Apostolos Santas has received numerous awards from various institutions in Greece and other Allied countries.




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