The Greek junta

It was a normal morning.
I woke up, got ready and left the house to go to school.
The street was strangely deserted. At the corner a guy in a dark trenchcoat asked me: "where are you going little one?"
I answered I was waiting for the school bus to pick me up.
"Go back home",he said,"there will be no school today"
"There was a military coup d'etat during the night, a military dictatorship",he said.

So I went happily back home and announced smiling to my mother that "we have a dictatorship,so no school today"
I was amazed that my mother didn't share my enthusiasm. Instead she burst into tears and run to wake my grandmother.

She knew what a dictatorship meant,I didn't.

My father returned home from out of town and he too collapsed and started crying like a child.
When he calmed down he gave me my first lesson of what democracy and dictatorship mean.

Then he and my mother purged their library of any book who could be even remotely considered "center left" ,even Bertrand Russell had to go, and dropped them in the sea.

21st of April 1967 it was when the tanks went rolling through the avenues of Athens and for the next 7 years we lived in a surrealistic deadly-dangerous military Kitsch reign of nobodies, complete with exile camps,torture and all the treats of a Junta. 

The Junta collapsed in the summer of 1974 after a student/youth uprising (November 1973) that had been savagely crushed. 

I wasn't happy with the photos I found in the Net.Too small and fuzzy. So take a look at the first 1,5 minute of the video to get the mood of the first few days after 21.4.67. 
The voice of the radio announcer reads the law of emergency...everyone found in the streets  after sunset will be shot without warning...police can arrest anyone,anywhere for any reason...etc etc.

PS. Notice that at that time Greece had a king and a royal family...soooo last century...:)


  1. Ηταν Παρασκευη πριν την Μεγαλη Εβδομαδα. Μεναμε στην Πλατεια Αμερικης, 50 μετρα απο την Πατησιων. Οπως καθε πρωι, ετοιμαζομοθνα να παω στο σχολειο, που ηταν 200 μετρα μακρυα. Πηγαινα στην πεμπτη δημοτικου. "Δεν εχει σχολειο σημερα" μου ανακοινωσε η μητερα μου, που ειχε παρει χαμπαρι τι γινοτανε απο πολυ πρωι, και δεν ειχε παει στο σχολειο οπου εδιδασκε. Ετσι περασαμε ολη την ημερα ακουγοντας τα εμβατηρια και τα γαυγισματα του Παπαδοπουλου και την αλλη μερα το πρωι πηραμε οι τρεις μας (η μητερα μου, η αδελφη μου και εγω το αεροπλανο και πηγαμε στη Ροδο για να κανουμε Πασχα με τον πατερα μου.

  2. Ακομα και τωρα,εξαδελφε,οταν ακουω εμβατηρια ο νους μου παει στο κακο για κλασματα του δευτερολεπτου :)

  3. Wow, Desi, that must have been so horrible. I have no idea how I would feel if my world became so dangerous overnight and then for the next 7 years. How terrible to have to get rid of all of those books too. :( I hope that nobody in your family was hurt and that you all got through this terrible period ok.

    One of the things I appreciate about you, Desi, is that you are from another culture which is so different from my own. There is so much to learn in the world, and I always like different perspectives of what I know, and to be introduced with things of which I am unfamiliar. Thank you so much Desi, for starting this blog, and giving me a glimpse into your world, and your life.

  4. You have said it all,Janet:"There is so much to learn in this world" and for me that's what makes this @#$%^ life so interesting,beautiful and worth living:)
    Thank you for sharing your perspective.