The 1st of August marks the 43rd anniversary of the death of Nikos Zachariadis, General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) from 1931 to 1956. He was born to ethnic Greek parents in Ottoman Empire's Edirne (Andrianoupolis) in 1903. At the age of 16, Nikos moved to Istanbul where he worked in various jobs, including as a dockworker and sailor. It was there when he started having his first organised relationship with the working-class movement.
In 1919-1922 he travelled extensively to the Soviet Union. In 1923 he became a member of the Communist Party of Turkey. He studied in the newly-founded "KUTV" (Communist University of the Toilers of the East), also known as "Stalin School", in the Soviet Union. After the Greco-Turkish War and the exchange of populations, the Zachariadis family moved permanently to Greece, during a period of severe political and economic crisis.
On summer 1924, after finishing his studies in the Soviet Union, Nikos Zachariadis travelled secretly to Greece where he undertook duties at the Young Communist League of Greece (OKNE). In 1926, during the dictatorship of General Pangalos, he was arrested and imprisoned in Thessaloniki. He managed to escape and worked secretly in various party positions. He was re-arrested and re-imprisoned in 1929, but once again he escaped and fled to the Soviet Union. During his stay in the Soviet Union he became a member of the All-Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks).