70 years ago today, in 25/3/1944, Nazis and their Greek counterpants anihilated the whole Jewish community of my home town, Ioannina. 1700 Jews were trasported to Auschwitz and 95% of them were murdered within the next 7 days.
Below is a captured passage from Mark Mazower’s thrilling work called Inside Hitler’s Greece. Pages 252 – 253 describe the holocaust of the Jewish in Ioannina.
Today, 70 years later, Greek goverment is openly antisemitic, anticommunist and homophobic. Amongst others it promotes illegal detention of migrants in concentrations camps, murders refugees in their effort to escape war zones, violates basic human rights of vulnerable parts of the society (HIV postitive, victims of trafficking, mentally ill), suppresses resistance using any means and shamelessly propagandises as people’s success story the most cruel, cynical and devastating policies that western world has seen since WWII .
Sad and disgusted, sitting here, observing history fiercely coming back…
This is lovely snapshot from the anti-nazi demo held in Athens on 19.1.13 which unfortunately coinciding with the attack against a Pakistani migrant who was stabbed to death by two Greeks members of the neonazi gang of Golden Dawn. More details about its circumstances here:
The older brother holds a placard which slogans “out with the neo-Nazis.” I wonder how much he actually knows about the Nazis, how much he actually learnt at school, or how much time his father had to say to him about it. The little one holds a balloon in hand, how much more compatible this with his age and what he is able to register in his developing consciousness !
For these two boy trying to understand would be titanic. Too mnay things to come to terms with. There was a death: premature, sudden, violent. And there is hatred: racist, revengful, targeted. And then it’s this recurrent discrimination against them. Their diversity which has become violently guilty. Their color. Their religion. Their command of greek language and the audacity for it being their second language. Their accent. Their very identity. Who they are. Their very existence. There is so much for such a young age to undesrtand that I wonder if they will ever be able to allow themselves to dream again.
And their father, whom they may see little in the day, and whom when they finally meet they need to succumb to this unconscious obligation to become his carers in this regime of terror and violence against him, this father, on that day, a day of mourning and solidarity, this father had them wear their best pieces of clothes, a nice little suit with a tie for the older one and this great three pieces suit for the little one.
As if they were going to a fest.
Shining with dignity.