Nobody could have ever imagined that a handful of revolutionaries - members of a Communist Party of a small country - would be the first ones to stand up against Krushchevian revisionism. The party of this small country is the revolutionary KKE and the handful of revolutionaries were the heroic, battle-hardened partisans of the Democratic Army of Greece (DA), members of the Tashkent Party Organisation (KOT) living then in the faraway Asian city as guests of Stalin’s Soviet Union. Their struggle against Krushchevian revisionism passed into the history of the Greek and world communist movement as the “Tashkent events” (September 1955).
Earlier - shortly after the prevalence and strengthening of his treacherous faction in CPSU – as the renegade and agent of imperialism, Nikita Hruchev, was making approaches to the secretaries of the Communist Parties, he found out that the Secretary of KKE, Nikos Zachariades was not willing to abandon the revolutionary Stalinist line. He requested that he revise his attitude in three fundamental questions of the world communist movement: 1) to consider the capitalist Yugoslavia a “socialist” country, 2) to turn against Stalin by writing articles in Pravda on the “cult of personality” - the infamous, Krushchevian myth of idealist origin, and 3) to assent to the liquidation of Comniform. The reply given by the great and unwavering communist leader on all the above requests was negative.
When later the Krushchevian revisionist clique became sure that this kind of pressure will not have any effect, it proceeded with the formation of a faction in the Tashkent Party Organisation, but there a was a lack of support for it save for a few opportunists. The Party leadership unmasked the faction and removed the factionists.
Nikos Zachariades, delivering a speech in a Party cadres meeting in the theatre Mu Ki Mi in Tashkent, said the following among other things: “comrades, several speakers launched an attack on Demetriou and more or less they consider him the head of the revisionists. Demetriou, comrades, is only the end of the tail of a very clumsily camouflaged elephant. The serious and historic duty allotted to all of us is to pull this tail so that the whole world will see the elephant, that is, Hruchev” (K. Karanikola, Mia lefki selida tou KKE, p. 59).
When even the formation of a sizeable faction failed, the Krushchevian revisionist group, employing a few Greek opportunists, organised on the 9th of September 1955 “the open provocation against the delegation of the CC of KKE: the violent and gangster assault on the offices where the delegation was based and injury of three of its members” (5th Plenum, December 1955). On the 9th of September, about 200 opportunists, under the direct guidance of the soviet revisionists, headed by Ipsilantis, Demetriou, Barbalias and others, carried out an assault on the offices of the Tashkent Party Organisation, but they failed to capture them. This act raised an outcry among the thousands of party members who rushed immediately to defend the KOT offices. What followed were violent clashes with the factionists, the police and the army. Many hundreds of Greek communists were arrested and thrown into jail.
At the end of December of `55 (26-28.12 1955) the 5th historic Plenum of the CC of the KKE was convened. It was historic because: 1) it condemned the anti-communist Krushchevian revisionist intervention in KKE and 2) it was the last convened body of our heroic party before its final liquidation.
Next year, in the middle of February 1956, during the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the show trials of the Greek communists began in Tashkent. In this travesty of justice, battle-hardened DA veterans, like Giorgos Kalianesis (general), Demetres Vyssios (lieutenant-kernel) and others, were tried for hooliganism and vagrancy. Following their convictions, they were exiled to Siberia and, in fact, into concentration camps “that were intentionally adjacent to concentration camps of German war criminals sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment, the maximum period according to the Soviet criminal law. The Germans didn’t work because of their ‘prisoner of war’ status, and, apart from having the meals of a Soviet soldier, they received parcels of medicine and foodstuffs by the West German Red Cross every ten days. The sentenced refugees were fed with rotten potatoes and mouldy crushed grain. This “diet” was followed under conditions of heavy and exhausting labour” (D. Vyssios: “Open letter to M. N. Panomariof, former Head of the Department of International Relations of the CC of CPSU, January 1991).
The opposition of the Greek communists to Krushchevian revisionism was expressed en masse. The overwhelming majority (95%) of the members of the Tashkent Party Organisation came out against the Krushchevian intervention in KKE and defended the revolutionary party line and the CC headed by Nikos Zachariades showing a stunning decisiveness and unparallel courage. The opposition of the captive communists in jails and concentration camps was similar.
It was exactly this overwhelming opposition by the Greek communists (ranging from 85% to 95% in Tashkent and in the People’s Republics) that prevented KKE from being transformed into a bourgeois party of social democratic type.
When, a few months later, the renegade Hruchev set up the infamous “International Committee”, Nikos Zachariades, addressing its “president” Georgiu Dez, said the following regarding his interference in KKE internal affairs: “who granted the right to examine the problems of heroic KKE to you, who slept in August of 1944 under fascism and woke up next day under People’s Republic, brought by the Red tankists from Stalingrad when they crashed the fascist Romanian Division and offered it to you as a present. What experience do you have to judge the struggle of Greek communists who, to their credit, through their struggle, did not allow not even a single Greek citizen to fight in the Eastern Front against USSR” (K.Karanikola, p. 70-71).
The revolutionary KKE is the only communist party of a capitalist country that was never transformed into a counter-revolutionary, bourgeois, social democratic party. This fact compelled the Krushchevian revisionists to create a completely new party that replaced the old liquidated one. They summoned an illicit party body, the so-called “6th Plenum”, that decreed the arbitrary removal of the lawfully elected Party’s leadership, the arrest of Nikos Zachariades and massive expulsions of dissident members. In ideological-political level, the 6th Plenum adopted the counter revolutionary, social democratic line of the 20th Congress (“peaceful” transition to socialism, etc). The new party took the false name of “K”KE (shamelessly usurping the name of the revolutionary KKE) and it has been, from the very beginning, a bourgeois social democratic party that bears no relation whatsoever with the revolutionary KKE because the latter was guided by the revolutionary Marxism, i.e. Leninism-Stalinism, while the former - by the counter-revolutionary trend of Krushchevian revisionism, a variant of bourgeois ideology.
The overwhelming and militant opposition of the Greek communist political refugees, headed by Nikos Zachariades against the Krushchevian clique in September 1955 in Tashkent, was chronologically the first in the history of the international communist movement’s struggle against Krushchevian revisionism, and, also, a culmination of the revolutionary KKE (1918-1955) heroic struggle. If one takes into account the unheard-of disaster that inevitably followed the enforcement of Krushchevian revisionism to the communist parties (destruction of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, breaking-up of the capitalist Soviet Union, liquidation of the communist parties), it can be said that it was not just a culmination of the long struggle of the stalinist-zachariadist KKE, but was at the same time a great and unique moment in the struggle of the international communist movement (Komintern-Komniform) against the new counter-revolutionary treacherous trend of Krushchevian revisionism which emerged in its lines in the mid-1950s: it was precisely this moment that marked the beginning of the most fierce ideological-political struggle against Krushchevian revisionism in international level, a struggle that has been going on for half a century now, is still going on and it will be going on in the future until its final victory.
From the above, it becomes obvious that the “Tashkent events” of 1955 assume a triple historical importance:
First, they constituted the first open and brutal intervention of the Krushchevian revisionists in KKE internal affairs aiming at its liquidation.
Second, they marked the beginning of the resistance and struggle of the Greek communists against Krushchevian revisionism before its emergence as a complete ideological-political trend in the 20th Congress of CPSU (February 1956).
Third, they raised the banner of struggle of the communists of all countries against this counter-revolutionary trend. The rising and battle of the Greek communists in Tashkent, in September of 1955, ushers in the period of struggle against Krushchevian revisionism on international level.
But what is the reason for the resolute opposition of the Greek communist political refugees (95% in Tashkent and 85-90% in the other People’s Republics) against Krushchevian revisionism, of people who had been brought up in a spirit of deep trust and devotion to the Socialist Soviet Union?
First of all, it is the guiding and decisive role played, in this extremely difficult struggle, by the courageous, unyielding and uncompromising revolutionary Nikos Zachariades, in order KKE not to abandon its revolutionary line. Besides his opposition to the Krushchevian group, in the beginning of 1956, he replied thus to some Greek revisionists, members of the CC of KKE, when they asked him to resign: “I won’t grant you this favour now, I won’t allow you to convert KKE into a bourgeois party” (D. Votsika: Portreta koryfeon stelexon tou KKE”, Athens 1999, p.21)
Secondly, it is the fact that the members of KKE were battle-hardened partisans who had given everything to the armed revolutionary struggle against the indigenous monarchist-fascist reactionary forces and the imperialism, having almost a decade (1940-1950) of armed struggle to their credit. This long revolutionary experience helped them to show the necessary political-ideological maturity, firmness, consistency and decisiveness in this critical moment.
Comrade Nikos Zachariades had predicted the disaster that would come in case Krushchevian revisionism dominated, and it is this prediction that allows for his historical eminence as a great communist revolutionary leader to be assessed: “watch out comrades, these are international provocateurs, they are going to cause a great damage to the world’s communist movement and their Greek collaborators will cause great damage to our country” (Tashkent, September 1955).
Not only did he predict the disaster, but he was the first in the world’s communist movement who stood up and fought against the counter-revolutionary trend of Krushchevian revisionism, a fight for which he paid with 17 years of exile and finally with his own life: he was murdered by the treacherous social-democratic clique of Brezhnev-Florakis in August of 1973 in Sorgut, Siberia, the place of his exile.
Thus, without a doubt, Nikos Zachariades, through his revolutionary struggle, rises to eminence as a giant revolutionary, Bolshevik and great communist leader, as “one of the most important figures of the world’s communist movement” (Niyazof, Tashkent 1955) and remains until the end of his life a devoted disciple of Joseph Stalin who, during the proceedings of the 19th Congress of CPSU (1952), had said about him: “Do you see this one? He is a great leader. He will start the revolution not only in Greece but also in Europe” (P. Demetriou, “Ek vatheon”, Athens 1997, p. 202-203).
The revisionist group of Hruchev-Brezhnev quite naturally saw him as a serious, capable, powerful and very dangerous ideological-political opponent whom therefore they had to forcefully remove from the leadership of KKE at all costs, and to destroy politically and physically; so dangerous was he considered, that one of Hruchev’s fervent supporters, the French poet Louis Aragon, saw fit to mention him in his two-volume “History of the Soviet Union”: “The charge for personality cult resulted in the removal of Nikos Zachariades from his post as General Secretary of KKE” (L. Aragon, “History of the Soviet Union”, v. 2, p. 268, Athens 1963).