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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution II

Baskin, Virginia
Editorial comment: Greek intellectuals and the tradition of the resistance,   pp. 439-[446] PDF (8.1 MB)

Page 445

sociological subjects make the most
popular books. During the war people
were anxious to know, to read political
biographies. In fact, stories of the Civil
War are more widely read than novels."
Mitsos Dimitriou, the first Greek officer
to go over to the Resistance, spent seven
years in prison under sentence of death.
"I was a fighter not a writer," he said, "but
I became a writer because I feel the fire,
the drive to acquaint the public with our
Resistance movement. Now I am     ready to
publish my sixth book - my memoirs.
I hope I can give voice to this great
phenomenon of modern Greek history, which
was the Resistance."
Dimitriou discussed the EAM section of the
Resistance, which he called a genuine
peoples' operation and said it was purely
anti-fascist. Not only did the EAM
fight military actions, it was the only
group in the Resistance which handled
problems democratically and participated in
daily life. New laws were passed and
courts elected for territories it controlled.
High schools were organized to train
teachers for the villages. In May, 1944,
women voted for the first time in Greece
under the EAM government. Sometimes
elections had to take place secretly in
occupied country. But he points out:
Yet no partisan ever received a medal
for the fight against the Germans.
No amputee of the Resistance ever received
a pension. No parents of a Resistance fighter
ever received insurance or money from the
death of a son in battle. This seems to be
the great contradiction of our time.
The struggle for freedom was called a criminal
thing. Since the time of the liberation all the
officers of the Resistance have been without
jobs, without stripes, black-listed, while all
the collaborators remained in the army and
now form the ranks of the neo-fascists. (How
prophetic! V.B.)
Our songs from the Resistance are beautiful
and even our enemies admire them. I once
told one of the enemy, "How can you expect
good songs to come from a bad movement?"
Good songs - good ideals. Because in the
Resistance there were all the good characteristics
of our people - courage, love, our force, our
strength was in the Resistance, our future.
What do we envision for the future?
Democracy, peace, prosperity, friendship all
over the world between people. These are
the thoughts of all the Greek fighters of the
Resistance and we are still continuing the
Since the military coup in April 1967
Dimitriou's works are banned as well as
those of Nenedakis, Ritsos, Argyrakis and
Theodorakis. Lambrinou and Nenedakis are
refugees living abroad. Melina Mercouri
has been stripped of her Greek citizenship
for speaking out against the Junta.
Theodorakis and Ritsos have been
These are only some of the people who are
now opposing the regime of the colonels.
The others have had experience living
under reaction. Some have been toughened
by years of torture, imprisonment and
poverty. Even though fascist ideologies
often include ideas akin to the mysticism
of "the Greek spirit" and the trend toward
nationalism most of those interviewed stand
strongly against the present government.
But more dangerous yet to any dictatorship
is the fact that the country's artists and
thinkers have not lost their faith in the
future nor have they lost their humanity.
They have developed a new tradition of
revolution and fused it with the traditions
of their past.

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