Ravaged life: Occupation, resistance, civil war and then
Phaedon Yagiosi, journalist
The film of the dear friend Phaedon briefly presents in a very vivid but also, critical way the historical aspects of the occupation, the resistance during the civil war and the subsequent years, mostly without taking a position in favour of either side. After all, these shocking events are very recent and the memories are still fresh. The oral testimonies of the various events mentioned cannot be disputed. Thus, the reader can draw his own conclusions, even from the details that are recorded.
The German occupation left many victims of starvation, cold, but also from diseases, especially tuberculosis. There were two categories of resistance groups: EAM-EPON-ELAS on the one hand and EDES-PAO-EKKES on the other hand.
In addition to the geostrategic, there was also an economic interest of the Germans in Thessaloniki. Recognized–Recorded–Ensured-Confiscated-Transferred, they were all terminologies used by Wehrmacht for products such as oil, textiles, tobacco, cotton, leathers and minerals of all kinds. 11 out of Macedonia’s 15 active mining operations supplied minerals mainly to the KRUPP military industry. In the autumn of 1942, they had a shortage of staff in these mines because the Greeks refused to work due to the very low pay. Also, there was the typical intervention of the Wehrmacht Economic Office for the mines of Vavdos Chalkidiki (they produce magnesite), where wages have increased five times. During the occupation, there were three lignite power plants in Thessaloniki. In the winter of 1941-42, more than 120.000 thousand Thessalonians were fed from breadlines. It was 50% of the city’s population.
In chapter 16, Phaedon presents facts on the subject of Macedonia. Tito’s partisans covet Macedonia led by General Vukmanovic. With the tolerance of the KKE, a Balkan Headquarters is created, subject to the equal participation of Greeks and Serbs, but it was not respected afterwards. At the end of 1943, the KKE consented to the creation of the Slavo-Macedonian People’s Liberation Front (SNOF). At the same time, the Bulgarians set up their own EMEO organization. Before 1943, there was no historical source for the existence of a Macedonian ethnic group. The KKE changed its position after 1974: There is no Slavic minority in Greece. There are bilinguals with a Greek conscience. The sermons of the 1903 Iliden revolution form an ideological basis of the current EMEO-DKMEE party in FYROM (now Northern Macedonia). One of the fighters of this revolution was Gotse Delchev, of Bulgarian origin. He was born in Kilkis in 1872 and was killed in battle with the Turks in Banitsa (Mountain region) of Serres in 1903. Today he is a common national hero in northern Macedonia and Bulgaria, where cities were named after him (Delchevo and Gotse Delchev, respectively). At the end of chapter 16, Phaedon notes: “We must not forget that the way out in the Aegean is the dream of all South Slavs and Bulgarians and not just Slavo-Macedonians”.
The book consists of 257 pages and its contents are divided into 25 chapters. Here are 85 pages of selected photos accompanied by very informative explanations.
Ananias Tsirabides, Emeritus Professor AUTh, Member of the Board of Directors of HARH