National Union of Greece

National Union of Greece

The National Union of Greece (Greek: Εθνική Ένωσις Ελλάδος, Ethniki Enosis Ellados or EEE) was an anti-Semitic nationalist party established in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1927.

Registered as a mutual aid society, the EEE was founded by Asia Minor refugee merchants. According to the organisation's constitution, only Christians could join. Its members were opposed to Thessaloniki's substantial Jewish population.

It was led by Georgios Kosmidis (Γιώργος Κοσμίδης), an illiterate Turkish-speaking trader[1] and D. Charitopoulos (Δ. Χαριτόπουλος), a banking clerk.

The party's leaders were the main defendants in the trial held after the Campbell Riot of 29 June 1931, in which Greek nationalist mobs attacked the Jewish "Campbell" settlement in the city. (A co-defendant was Nikoloas Nikos Fardis (Νίκος Φαρδής), editor-in-chief of the Makedonia newspaper.)

Estimates put the party's strength at 7,000 members in 1932, and in 1933, it had 3,000 members march to Athens, in apparent imitation of Benito Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome.[2] However, it polled miserably in the 1934 city elections in Thessaloniki, and in 1935, the party imploded as a result of in-fighting. It was revived by the German occupation authorities in 1942, during the Axis Occupation of Greece; many members of EEE became prominent collaborators of the Nazis and many more joined the Security Battalions and helped in the identification of Greek Jews.

Owing to its paramilitary uniforms and organisation, the party was commonly referred to as "The Three Epsilons" (τα Τρία Εψιλον) or "The Steelhelmets" (οι Χαλυβδόκρανοι), in allusion to the German paramilitary Stahlhelm.


  1. ^ Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430-1950, London: HarperCollins, 2004, p. 413. ISBN 0-00-712023-0
  2. ^ Victor Roudometof (2002). Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict. Praeger/Greenwood. p. 115. ISBN 0275976483. 

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