Collector info

Kourouniotis Vyron

Vyron Kourouniotis, son of Ioannis and Ourania (1924-2008)

He was born in 1924 in Athens and lived his childhood and adolescence in Kallithea.

He finished high school at the German School in Athens. His dream was to study at the Agricultural School of Germany. However, when the German Occupation took place, he joined the resistance, the guerrilla movement and then ELAS. At the age of 19 he went on the mountains and fought in the Roumeli guerrilla group and then in the Peloponnese.

During the German Occupation he lost 2 of his 3 brothers. The eldest, Mikes Kourouniotis, was executed by the Germans while the youngest, Antonis, died of tuberculosis a few months before the tuberculosis vaccine was found.

After the liberation and the December 1944 events, he was arrested and sentenced to death for high treason. He was not executed but from 1945 to 1949 he "visited" all of our beautiful islands (places of exile then) as a political prisoner: Aegina, Corfu, Syros and ended up in Gyaros where together with his inmates, while living in rudimentary tents, they built with rocks who carried themselves, the "hellhole" of Gyaros as he always called it, saying: "when we entered this hell we longed for our tents…" After 1949 he continued to be an active member of the Greek Communist Party and the United Democratic Left later. He married Vasiliki Zacharia and they had a daughter, Ourania.

During the Dictatorship of 1967 he escaped arrest because he was hidden for a year, maybe even longer, at the risk of their lives, by two "pro-royal" and therefore, beyond any doubt, aunts (on his wife's side), who loved him very much.

He managed to escape illegally to Europe where he lived for some years.

As he was disappointed with the disintegration of the Greek Communist Party in 1968, he was gradually moving away from active political action.

When he returned to Greece, he was involved in the film trade and cinema, together with his only surviving brother, Dionysis.

He may not had been able to study agriculture but he managed to buy a small piece of coastal land in Aegina and a fishing boat. He devoted almost all his free time to them until the end of his life, fishing and loving nature and his plants. He managed to transform a barren and sandy land into a small paradise by the sea. His work is continued with more devotion and zeal by his son-in-law Giannis Lazaris until today.

He had the time to see his grandson Alexis Kotsopoulos and his two great-grandchildren Vyron and Angelos but he did not have time to meet his great-granddaughter Anna.

While he endured all the hardships and tortures as a young man, he could never, until the end, hold back his tears when he remembered the "shameful", as he called it, "Varkiza Agreement" and the surrender of ELAS weapons.

He died in 2008 deeply saddened by the "downstream", as he put it, and the fragmentation of the movement.

- Ourania Kourounioti

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