Friday, 28 October 2016

Καλό Όχι Μέρα - Χρονια πολλά! ...

A very happy Oxi Day to all our readers ...

Is a national holiday today in Greece, a day to celebrate a moment of national pride. Lets hope the weather is kind. The celebratory bunting was installed earlier this week in readiness for the parade this morning (Not for the name day of Dimitris and Dimitra as someone said earlier this week) ...

A day for a parade, to fly the flag, and feel good, whatever the weather. I know the junior and the school children taking part, will all very eager to wave their flags today, as they proudly march along the Paralia, passing by the mayor, and assembled island dignatories ...

The church bells will be very busy, as the commemorative service, progresses at Tries Hieraches, before the parade this morning, at 11am. Following which, the ouzerias will be packed to the rafters, for one of the best days of the winter to meet up with friends, and wish each other Καλό χειμώνα  - 'Good Winter' one more time ...

Not sure what its all about, well I wrote this last year, It may not be up to a GCSE History level of competency (or whatever they call it this year) but I think it may help - and anyway, I think its quite good :) ...

The history:

At 3 a.m. on the morning of October 28th, 1940, Emanuele Grazzi, the Italian ambassador to Greece, delivered an ultimatum from Benito Mussolini to Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas.  Il Duce demanded that Metaxas allow the Italian army free passage to enter and occupy strategic sites in Greece unopposed.

Faced with this demand, Metaxas delivered an unequivocal response in French, the diplomatic language of the day, “Alors, c’est la guerre.”  This brief phrase, “Then, it is war,” was quickly transmuted into the laconic “Oxi,” the Greek for no, by the citizens of Athens. 

The Ultimate history project website gives an excellent explanation here



I have read over the years, that the actions of the Greek forces, pushing the Italians back into Albania, and continuing the battle in the mountains, disrupted the war to such an effect that German troops were sent to the Balklans. This ensuring that the Eastern front campaign slowed, then stopped and froze.

Hitler’s Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel admitted during the Nuremberg Trials:

“…the unbelievably strong resistance of the Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia;  if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different in the Eastern Front and the war in general.”

Churchill paid homage to the Greek resistance by claiming,  “…until now we would say that the Greeks fight like heroes. From now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.”

However the German troops invaded Greece through the border with Yugoslavia, Greece endured three years of occupation - We cannot imagine what it would have been like to hear a broadcast like this ...

 

Enjoy the day, wherever you are ...

Later update: Rain and strong winds, meant it was not a good start to Oxi day. The weather continued through the parade, so a quieter turn out than usual, many choosing to keep warm and dry indoors ...

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