Greece of a different era!

" October
28 is a National holiday in Greece, celebrating the ΟΧΙ (NO) Day – the refusal of Greece in 1940 to accept the Italian ultimatum advanced by Benito Mussolini, to allow the Italian troops and the forces of the Axis entering the country.

Due to Mussolini's defeat by the Greeks in Albania, Hitler was compelled to capture the Balkans, mainly Yugoslavia and Greece, thus, delaying his Barbarossa plan to invade and capture the Soviet Union before the winter of 1941. The Greek resistance, both in Albania and in the other famous battle in Crete altered, favorably for the allies, his Barbarossa time table by at least three months (and possibly six). Having at least half of his 9000 outstandingly-trained paratroopers destroyed in Crete was another fatal blow for Hitler; with a decision never to use the paratrooper approach again in the war, for this element of surprise he had hoped to use in the USSR. These elite paratroopers were eliminated by the defending Cretan peasants, who showed no mercy on them during and after landing; to the point that the exasperated Fuhrer said that it-is illegal for civilians to fight our soldiers."

Was, Sir Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time) who said in an interview for BBC when the Italians invaded Greece on October 28, 1940. “Until now we were saying that Greeks fight like heroes. From now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.”

The great politician in a speech in front of the British parliament on April 24, 1941 said:
“I am afraid that the word heroism gives a weak impression of the Greek self-sacrifice, which played a determinant role for the successful end of the battle of all nations against World War Two, for human freedom and dignity… Without the Greek manhood and bravery the course of World War Two would have been unclear”

In Greece, during the years of occupation by the Axis, many remarkable musicians of rebetiko lost their lives, due to suffering and starvation.

One of them, was Kostas Skarvelis ( Istanbul, Ottoman Empire 1880 – Athens, Greece 8 April 1942). A talented Greek composer of rebetiko music. He also wrote the lyrics for his songs and was an excellent guitar player, having participated in many recordings.

"Skarvelis grew up in Istanbul, which at the time still had a significant Greek population.
Following the defeat of the Greek Army in Asia Minor in 1922 and the expulsion of most Greeks from Turkey (and eventually a formal exchange of populations), Skarvelis was reunited in Greece with many musicians from those areas who arrived as refugees and with whom he shared a musical background. Notable among them: Antonis Diamantidis (Dalgkas), Kostas Karipis, Spyros Peristeris, Rita Abatzi, Grigoris Asikis. It was then that he started his professional career, initially as a guitarist and later as a composer as well.
He died of hunger on 8 April 1942 as a result of the occupation of Greece by the Axis during the Second World War, sharing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Greeks."
(Source from Wikipedia)

One of my favorite songs from the pre-war era, is Kostas Skarvelis song "Μη μου λες γιατί ξεχνάω"( Do not tell me- (ask me) why I forget), recorded on 1937.
Was the great musician Ioannis Papaioannou, who sang this song and made it famous in 1960s.

Here is the authentic recording sang by Kostas Roukounas and Giorgos Kavouras

Posted on youtube by Afthentikos42


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