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Resistance hero Apostolos Santas dies at 89

Apostolos Santas, one of the two men that famously pulled down the Swastika flag that was flying over Athens during the German occupation in the Second World War, has died at the age of 89.

Santas and Manolis Glezos evaded German soldiers to climb up the Acropolis on the night of May 30 1941 and tear down the Nazi flag, which had been raised a month earlier when Athens fell to invading forces.

It was one of the first and most significant moments in the Greek resistance and made folk heroes of both men.

Santas fought in the resistance but was imprisoned after the war due to his leftist political beliefs. He escaped from the island of Makronissos and fled to Canada where he was granted political asylum. Santas lived there until 1962, when he returned to Greece.

His family issued a statement on Saturday, shortly after his death was announced, to thank the doctors at the intensive care unit of Sotiria Hospital in Athens, where he was being treated.

Political parties issued statements of condolences, which praisesd Santas, also known by the nickname ?Lakis?, for his heroism.

?Our country has lost part of its living history,? said the head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras. ?It is with deep regret that we bid farewell to a man who was a symbol due to his bravery, his humility and his values. He was a point of reference and a source of inspiration for the next generations.?