Sofoklis Venizelos

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Venizelos (standing right) with his father and Ms. Kathleen Zervudachi, 1921

Sofoklis Venizelos (Greek: Σοφοκλής Βενιζέλος, also transliterated as Sophocles Venizelos) (3 November 1894 – 7 February 1964) was a Greek politician, who three times served as Prime Minister of Greece – in 1944 (in exile), 1950 and 1950–1951.

Life and career[edit]

Venizelos was born in Chania in Crete (then an autonomous state under Ottoman suzerainty and the protection of Russia, Britain, France and Italy). He was the second-born son of the politician Eleftherios Venizelos.

During World War I he served with distinction in the Greek Army and in the initial phases of the Asia Minor campaign, reaching the rank of Captain of Artillery.

He resigned from the Army and was elected as a MP with his father's Liberal Party in the 1920 elections.

In 1941, after the Axis occupation of Greece, he became ambassador to the United States, representing the Greek government in exile based in Cairo. He became a minister of that government in 1943 under Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsuderos, and briefly its Prime Minister in 1944 (April 13–26).

After the end of the war, he returned to Greece; where he became Vice President of the Liberal Party (led by Themistoklis Sofoulis) and a minister in the first post-war government led by Georgios Papandreou.

In 1948 he assumed the leadership of the party and became a minister in a number of short-lived liberal governments led by Papandreou and Nikolaos Plastiras; he was also the Prime Minister of two such governments.

In 1954 his longtime friendship with Georgios Papandreou was shaken, and he formed the rival Liberal Democratic Union coalition.

The rift was bridged in 1958, and in 1961 he became a founding member of Papandreou's Center Union party, which he served until his death in 1964.

Venizelos died on the passenger ship Hellas in the Aegean Sea, en route from Chania to Piraeus. His grave lies next to his father's on the island of Crete.[1]

Bridge[edit]

Venizelos was a contract bridge player "of international stature" during the 1930s, as a voluntary exile in France.[2] He played for France in the European IBL Championships (later incorporated in the history of present-day European Bridge League championships).[3] France won the 1935 tournament and a version of the team[a] traveled to New York City late that year for a match against the Four Aces, "an unofficial world championship match" that the Aces won.[2]

Venizelos was second in skill to Pierre Albarran among contemporary French players, according to Alan Truscott. Beside the national teams at contract bridge, they both played on a 1933 team that hosted an American foursome led by Ely Culbertson in a long match at "plafond, the French parent of contract bridge, which differed only in the scoring details."[2] The two teams played 102 deals to a draw;[2] Albarran and Venizelos cooperated on a book reporting and analysing the match:

  • Les 102 donnes d'un grand match, by Pierre Albarran, Adrien Aron, and Venizelos, preface by Ely Culbertson (Éditions Grasset, 1933), 188 pp., LCCN 33-38010

Albarran, Aron, and Venizelos were three of six players on the 1935 European champion team.[4][a]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aron and Joseph Broutin did not make the trip to New York, and only one substitute replaced them: "Emanuel Tulmaris, retired Trieste banker and a bobsled enthusiast". The American star Oswald Jacoby missed at least the opening night.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sophocles Venizelos at Find a Grave
  2. ^ a b c d "Bridge: Venizelos's Death Recalls Prowess as Bridge Player". Alan Truscott. The New York Times. 26 February 1964. Page 32.
  3. ^ "European National Teams Championships". European Bridge League (eurobridge.org) [EBL]. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  4. ^ "Team Members" (France open team). 4th European Team Championships: Brussels, Belgium, 1935. EBL. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  5. ^ "Jacoby too Ill to Play". The New York Times. 12 December 1935. Page 33.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Emmanouil Tsouderos
Prime Minister of Greece
April 13, 1944 - April 26, 1944 (in exile in Cairo)
Succeeded by
Georgios Papandreou
Preceded by
Ioannis Theotokis
Prime Minister of Greece
March 23, 1950 - April 15, 1950
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Preceded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Prime Minister of Greece
August 21, 1950 - November 1, 1951
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Preceded by
Philippos Manouilides
Minister for National Defence of Greece
21 August - 9 September 1950
Succeeded by
Konstantinos Rendis
Preceded by
Alexandros Sakellariou
Minister for National Defence of Greece
10 April - 24 July 1952
Succeeded by
Georgios Mavros