April 28, 1953

11TH LABOR CONFERENCE: Mr Stavridis (of the Thessaloniki Labor Center) said that the communists had attended the conference just in order to spread poison (…). «You have seen,» he continued, «how enthusiastically they applauded for the Union of Cyprus with Greece, which we all would dearly like to see. But if they are true Greeks, then let them applaud the following proposal that the conference pass a resolution calling for the return of the children from Greece and northern Epirus who were abducted during the war with the outlaws.» (All delegates stood up and applauded warmly). Mr Stavridis, noting that five or seven of the delegates had not stood up, pointed to them and said: «Look at them gentlemen, this resolution bothers the Cominform!» (…) There were cries of «Shame, shame!» At that point, the uproar spread throughout the hall and Mr Mangos, along with other like-minded colleagues, left the auditorium. After which Mr Patsantzis announced the results of the vote. He said that 316 Greeks had voted in favor of the children’s return and five, all non-Greeks, did not vote. (Applause). At that point all the delegates stood up and sang the national anthem with great emotion. Mr Patsantzis said, «Fellow delegates, because both you and the entire country should know who these people were who refused to vote, I will reveal them to you (…) to be castigated and stigmatized by all Greeks.»