- Ioannis Rallis
Ioannis Rallis (Ιωάννης Δ. Ράλλης) (1878,
Athens- 26 October 1946) was the third and last collaborationistprime minister of Greeceduring the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, holding office from 7 April 1943to 12 October 1944, succeeding Konstantinos Logothetopoulosin the Nazi-controlled puppet governmentin Athens.
Rallis was son of the former Greek Prime Minister,
Dimitrios Rallisand he came of a family with a long tradition in political leadership.
He studied law at the
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, as well as in Franceand 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
4th of August Regimeunder Ioannis Metaxas.
*Minister of Navy (
4 November 1920to 24 January 1921). Under Prime Minister Dimitrios Rallis, his father.
*Minister of Economics (
August 26, 1921to March 2, 1922). Under Prime Minister Dimitrios Gounaris.
*Minister of Foreign Affairs (
November 4, 1932to January 16, 1933). Under Prime Minister Panagis Tsaldaris.
After the victory of the People's Party in
Greek legislative election, 1933, he served the new government under Tsaldaris 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 Greek legislative election, 1935he campaigned with Ioannis Metaxasand Georgios Stratoson the Freethinker's Party ticket, but he failed to get elected.
Greece was in a time of great political instability and new elections were held, the
Greek legislative election, 1936. This time Rallis joined with Georgios Kondylisand Ioannis Theotokisand he was elected. Parliament was fractured with the Liberal Party under Themistoklis Sophoulishaving 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. [ Mark Mazower, "Inside Hitler's Greece. The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44."(Greek translation), Athens: Αλεξάνδρεια, 1994(1993),125.] The Germans hoped that Rallis would gain some support from the pre-war Greek political elites, that he might be able to restore order to the country and that he could manage to form an anticommunist front against the
Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo(EAM) and the Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos(ELAS).
EAM was the main movement of the
Greek Resistanceand had been initially formed by an alliance of Communist Party of Greece, the Socialist Party of Greece, the Greek Popular Republicand the Agricultural Party of Greece. ELAS was its military arm. Since anti-communismserved as a common ground between the Liberal Party and the People's Party, the idea of a united front seemed plausible.
Rallis changed the ministry council and was instrumental in creating the so-called "
Security Battalions" - collaborationist paramilitary groups equipped by the Wehrmachtand dedicated to the persecution of resistance groups (mainly ELAS) .Being more experienced in politics than his predecessors, he was more respected by the Germans and proved more effective against the resistance movements. [ "Ibid"., 146 ]
All three administrators during the occupation (
Georgios Tsolakoglou, Konstantinos Logothetopoulosand 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 faminethat according to the Red Cross, cost the life of about 250,000 people (mainly in the urban areas of the country). ["Ibid".,67] They also did not react to the annexation of the northern territories of Thraceand Eastern Macedonia to the Axis partner Bulgaria.
Life sentence for treason
After the liberation of Greece, Rallis was sentenced to
life imprisonmentfor collaboration. He died in jail, in 1946.
Ioannis Rallis's son
George Rallisbecame prime minister during 1980-1981. In 1947, George published a book entitled "Ioannis Rallis speaks from the grave", which consisted of a remorseful text written by his father during his imprisonment.
*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).
Axis Occupation of Greece during WWII
History of Germany during World War II
Military history of Italy during World War II
Military history of Bulgaria during World War II
Military history of Greece during World War II
Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II
List of foreign ministers of Greece
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