“The Fight” was the official newspaper of ELD (Union of People's Democracy), the only genuinely socialist political organization ever in existence in Greece. With a lifespan of almost a decade, it had in its ranks leading personalities of journalism and politics and was instrumental in the evacuation of the Makronisos camp.
Richardos Someritis, Tassos Sakellaropoulos, Agamemnon Farakos and Giorgos Leontaritis
This picture is essentially an “offshoot”, a very interesting derivation from the documentary I had made on Makronisos. It revolves around a story, which (like many others) I was unable to fit into the picture, but had always had the desire to tackle.
I was given that chance in the summer of 2011.
So what was the “Fight” really?
It was one of the most outstanding newspapers ever in circulation in Greece. I would go as far as to say that it was the greatest.
There are many reasons for that.
Initially, it came out illicitly during the German occupation. It maintained a moderate outlook, calling out for unity and resistance, but conscious of the impending civil war.
Right after the war, and while bigotry was prevalent, the “Fight” in a straightforward, dynamic and firm manner advocated for prevention against the civil war.
And when the war finally broke out, the “Fight” was the only newspaper to rise up (in mid war) pleaing to shut down the camp on Makronisos.
This is just plain inconceivable. At a time when civil strife was raging all over the countryside, quelling forces controlled the capital, executions were routine and strict censorship was exercised against all independent voices, the “Fight” put up an exhausting struggle and won.
Throughout numerous trials, the men of the “Fight” provided evidence on all the practices that took place on Makronisos, and after 1950, the closure of the camp of shame was legislated. In the early stages, torture was banned but Makronisos kept running and eventually, in 1955, it shutdown altogether.
Who were the men of the “Fight”?
Some of the brightest minds in politics and political science Greece has ever known; Alexandros Svolos, Stratis Someritis and Ilias Tsimokos, the gifted politician, who was later on stigmatized for his involvement in the Royal Coup of 1965.
On their side was an array of great journalists, who were starting out at the time, and among them, the great novelist of detective fiction, Yannis Maris or Yannis Tsirimokos, a cousin of Ilias Tsirimokos.
The “Fight” was affiliated to ELD (Union of People's Democracy), the only genuine socialist party ever established in Greece, which was smashed, in the post civil war era, between the dominant forces of the Greek Communist Party and the right wing, both of which contested it fiercely.
I am certain that had the ELD thrived, Greece would have taken an entirely different course and today’s crisis would have definitely been avoided.
The “Fight” embraced a utopia that got very close to become a reality, but its course was interrupted.
What was left of it, provided the starter which later evolved into PASOK and the debasement of socialism.
This documentary is an intrinsic portrait of a newspaper and attempts to size up a great opportunity that was lost to all of us; a vision that never came to take shape.