Τρίτη, 8 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Οι Έλληνες γνωρίζουν πώς να λένε "Οχι"

Με αφορμή την εθνική μας επέτειο της 28ης Οκτωβρίου ο συγγραφέας του βιβλίου "Μυστήριο στην Μύκονο", Jeffrey Siger, μπλογκάρει και δημοσιεύει ένα κείμενο ως φόρο τιμής για την αντίσταση των Ελλήνων και την συμβολή τους στην τελική έκβαση του πολέμου. Αναδημοσιεύω το κείμενο από το πρωτότυπο χωρίς μετάφραση. 


Greeks Know how to say "No""Yesterday (εννοεί την Παρακευή), October 28th, was a Greek National Holiday.  One of two publicly revered ones to be precise.  The other, March 25, commemorates the day in 1821 that Greece declared its Independence from the Ottoman Empire and fought until 1832 to obtain it.   

But it was yesterday that carried a more relevant lesson for those of you who might think the omnipresent daily media frenzy over Greece’s financial situation fairly portrays the national character of the eleven million who live in Greece today.  And to those media types so quick to disparage the Greeks—or any culture for that matter—with a catchy phrase I say, ‘NO.” 

Which is only appropriate since the name of yesterday’s holiday is “Oxi Day” (pronounced “O-hee”), meaning “no” in Greek.

So what is this earth shattering revelation?

Thanks to John Pozadzides' blogsite for the photos.
On the morning of August 15, 1940, the Greek navel vessel Elli was in the harbor of the Cycladic island of Tinos.  It was peacetime and the light cruiser was anchored there to participate in a major Greek Orthodox holiday, The Dormition of the Theotokos (Assumption of the Virgin Mary).  Without warning the Elli was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine, killing nine and wounding twenty-four.  Although fragments of the torpedo clearly identified its source, the Greek government officially declared the nationality of the attacking submarine as “unknown.”  The Greek government may have been reluctant to declare the attacker as Italy, and therefore immerse itself in war, but the people knew who was behind it.

Ioannis Metaxas
Two months later, around dawn on the morning of October 28, 1940, after a party at the German embassy in Athens, the Italian ambassador approached Greece’s Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas and demanded that Greece surrender to the Axis powers or face immediate war with Italy.  He offered Greece three hours to decide.  Italy had seven times the population of Greece, seven times the troops, ten times the firepower, and total air superiority. 

The Prime Minister’s response was simple: “Oxi.”  And less than two hours later Italian troops stationed in Albania invaded Greece.  Occupation of Greece was critical to Hitler’s plan for isolating British troops in North Africa.  The Italians expected it to be a three-day war.  They learned otherwise. 

Oxi became the battle cry of the Greek people.  Within weeks the Italians were driven back into Albania, and repelled by the Greeks at every effort to occupy Greece.  It became clear to Hitler that Italy was not up to the task and on April 6, 1941 Germany invaded Greece, but it took even the Nazis five weeks to succeed.  Greek resistance had thrown off Hitler’s plans to capture Russia before the winter of 1941. 

The Greeks were the first people in Europe (outside of Great Britain) to stand up to the demands of Germany and its allies, but their one hundred eighty-five days of resistance took a horrific toll on their country:

One million of Greece’s citizens (13% of the population) are estimated to have died from battle, starvation, resistance, reprisals and concentration camps.

Greece’s infrastructure, economy and agriculture were destroyed.

Greece’s gold, works of art, and treasures were plundered.

Civil war followed and many emigrated.

On a purely economic basis, it is estimated that in standing up to the Axis’ threats Greece was left in financial straits twice as bad as it finds itself in today… and its societal costs were inestimably worse.

Oh, yes, and on that subject of catchy phrases attempting to capture Greece’s national character, let me offer a quote from someone who understood how the actions of the many, not the failings of a few, are what matters in any such sort of measure:“Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but Heroes fight like Greeks.”  Winston Churchill.

Jeff - Saturday
Πηγή: http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/2011/10/greeks-know-how-to-say-no.html

Εξίσου ενδιαφέροντα είναι και τα σχόλια των αναγνωστών τα οποία καταπιάνονται με την παρούσα κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα, δείχνοντας την αγωνία και το ενδιαφέρον για την πορεία της χώρας μας. Ενδεικτικά αναφέρω τα πρώτα 4 εδώ.




kathy d. said...







This is wonderful history about the courage, strength and principles of the Greek people against the heinous Axis powers.

It's making me cry thinking about the resistance they put up.

I have long known about the heroic Greek
resistance during WWII, and have read about
a few of the heroes, male and female.

But I didn't know this specific history, the three-hour deadline, and that they pushed the Italian troops out. Nor did I know about the depth of the destruction nor the horrendous loss of life.

I'll think of "Oxi" from now on when I think about Greece, and their completely admirable people.

And I know about the protests there against the austerity measures, including on Oct. 15 (and I'm disregarding the "violent" groups, whomever they are).

Everyone I've ever met over here from Greece, especially now middle-aged folks, are very proud of their history -- and incredibly politically astute.



Annamaria Alfieri said...







Jeff, thank you for informing/reminding us of Grrece's role in WWII. I intend to share this this widely. The press that is now giving credence to the current "Occupy" movement has been far less respectful of the Greeks' public refusal to knuckle under to the demands of Euro-zone bureaucrats. This reminder of who the Greeks really are needs broad attention. This time the world's economic structure, not its territory, that has been invaded by rapacious invaders.



kathy d. said...







Just checking in here again, I completely agree with the esteemed previous blogger's comments. 

I admire the Greek resistance to the "Euro-zone bureaucrats," "the rapacious invaders."



shrew said...







All of us who love Greece have invested our hearts and souls here. All our work(the most significant investment of all) has been in the cause of making this a good place to live, grow up, grow old and be proud of. We need..someone clean and ready to tell the truth...and act unselfishly...big order? I still believe there are Greeks capable of this...there is real gold here in the hearts of many...perhaps most...of the citizens. The northern euros just want a cheap vacation spot, and a market for their products at inflated prices. shame on them, to build this dream on the backs of the non-guilty. (which is not the same as the innocent. although there are lots of them too). Meanwhile the politicians vision is just as far as the next election, and winning is everything. And the bank workers, civil servants (neither civil nor serving,,,as usual), and unionists want the size of their piece of pitta (pie) to remain stable...while all the rest..native and immigrant alike get swept away.



Stan Trollip (of Michael Stanley) said...







I have to admit total confusion about my feelings for the Greek situation. I'm sure that the current situation is the fault of relatively few people, some of whom were elected, some not. The question I have for all of you is this, "What would YOU do to deal with the current financial situation Greece finds itself in?" Stan



Jeffrey Siger said...







Kathy, Annamaria, and Shrew (who's anonymity I respect, CJC), you are absolutely right in your observations. These are very difficult times for Greeks. The heroics commemorated by yesterday's national holiday involved decades of perseverance and recovery, and there is nothing to suggest that the country's current challenges will require any less of a commitment or international support.

After this piece was written I learned that yesterday's military parade in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, was cancelled for the first time when hundreds of austerity protestors blocked the military's way and police refused to disperse them. The Mayor of Thessaloniki and the President of the Greek Republic were said to be the only politicians or members of Parliament to attend what has been the country's most significant OXI Day parade. 

It is reported that politicians are now afraid to make public appearances in front of those who elected them. Yes, there is much more to come for the brave people of Greece.


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