Ioannis Rallis

Ioannis Rallis (Ιωάννης Ράλλης ) (1878-1946) was the third prime minister of Greece during the Nazi occupation, from 7 April 1943 to 12 October 1944, succeeding Konstantinos Logothetopoulos in the Nazi-held puppet government in Athens.

Early life

Rallis was son of the former Greek prime minister, Dimitrios Rallis and he came of a family with a long tradition in political leadership. He studied law at the University of Athens, as well as in France and Germany. Upon his return to Greece he became a lawyer. In 1905, he was elected as an MP for the first time; he remained in parliament until 1936, when democracy was abolished in Greece by the Metaxas regime.


Political career

Rallis originally belonged to the Greek conservative, monarchist People's Party. As a member of this party he served in various administrations as Minister of Navy (4 November 1920 to 24 January 1921), Minster of Economics (August 26, 1921 to March 2, 1922) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (November 4, 1932 to January 16, 1933). In 1933, after the electoral victory of the People's Party, he served the government from various posts. In 1935, he had a disagreement with the Prime Minister Panagis Tsaldaris, the leader of the People's Party, and at the ensuing elections he campaigned with Ioannis Metaxas and Georgios Stratos on the Freethinker's Party ticket, but he failed to get elected. Greece was in a time in of great political instability and new elections were held in 1936. This time Rallis joined with Georgios Kondylis and Ioannis Theotokis and he was elected. Parliament was fractured with Sophoulis' Liberal Party having a one seat majority and the opposition divided between monarchists and Communists and every philosophy in between. When the Metaxas dictatorship was declared later that year, and parliament was dissolved on August 4, 1936, Rallis expressed disapproval of this political coup, despite his personal friendship with Metaxas.


Collaboration with the occupying forces

Rallis was the first eminent Greek political figure to collaborate on a political level with the German occupying forces.[1] The Germans hoped that Rallis would gain some support from the pre-war Greek political elites, that he might control the anarchy that prevailed in the country and that he could manage to form an anticommunist front against EAM and ELAS. Rallis changed the ministry council and was instrumental in creating the so-called "Security Battalions" i.e. collaborationist paramilitary groups equipped by the Nazis and dedicated on the persecution of resistance groups (mainly Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos, or ELAS.) Being more experienced in politics than his predecessors, he was more respected from the Germans and proved more effective against the resistance movements. [2]


Greek collaborators

All three administrators during the occupation (Georgios Tsolakoglou, Konstantinos Logothetopoulos and Ioannis Rallis) presided over what was in effect a puppet government (1941-44) completely subordinate to the Nazi occupation authorities. Thus, they all failed to prevent the Nazis from imposing heavy "reconstruction" fees on Greece, eventually paid by the confiscation of all kinds of crops and precipitating a terrible famine that according to the Red Cross, cost the life of about 250,000 people (mainly in the urban areas of the country).[3] They also did not react to the annexation of the northern territories of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia to the Axis partner Bulgaria. After the liberation of Greece, Rallis was sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration and died in jail in 1946.

Ioannis Rallis's son George Rallis became prime minister during 1980-1981. In 1947, George published a book entitled Ioannis Rallis speaks from the grave, which consisted of an apologetical text written by his father during his imprisonment.


Sources

  • Georgios Ghikas, Encyclopedia Πάπυρος-Larousse-Britannica, vol. 51, entry Ioannis Rallis, Athens: Πάπυρος, 1992.
  • Mark Mazower,Inside Hitler's Greece. The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44.(Greek translation), Athens: Αλεξάνδρεια, 1994(1993).


Notes

  1. ^ Mark Mazower, Inside Hitler's Greece. The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44.(greek translation), Athens: Αλεξάνδρεια, 1994(1993),125.
  2. ^ Ibid., 146
  3. ^ Ibid.,67


Preceded by: Konstantinos Logothetopoulos

Collaborationist Prime Minister of Greece April 7, 1943 - October 12, 1944

Succeeded by: George Papandreou , Liberation of Greece

Axis occupation of Greece during World War II

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