Dimitrios Holevas

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Photo of Papa-Holevas during his time with ELAS

Protopresbyter Dimitrios Holevas (Greek: Δημήτριος Χολέβας), more commonly known as Papa-Holevas (Παπαχολέβας, "Father Holevas"), was a Greek Orthodox priest who was a notable member of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), set up by the National Liberation Front (EAM), a leftist resistance movement against the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II.

Holevas was born οn January 26, 1907 in Tsouka (a village in Phthiotis), and grew up in Makrakomi. He studied Literature and Archaeology at the University of Athens and the University of Thessaloniki. In 1938 he was ordained a priest. He joined ELAS in 1942, with the nom de guerre of "Papaflessas". He became military priest of ELAS' 13th Division, and later became a deputy in the EAM-sponsored parliament of the PEEA. In 1943, he organized a council of priests at Spercheiada. He also founded the Pan-clerical Orthodox Clergy Union, which came to number 4,000 members, and was elected as its General Secretary.

After the end of the war, he was persecuted for his collaboration with ELAS: the Synodal Court suspended him from the clergy for three years, and in 1947 he was sent into internal exile in Ikaria. As a philologist and a priest he taught in schools in Lamia, Lavrion, Leros, Archangelos in Rhodes and Nikaia. In 2001 he was honoured by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece with the Gold Cross of St Paul for his activity during the Resistance.

He died on 16 July 2001. He was married and had five children.

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