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OXI Day-WWII: Did Greeks fight “fascism and Nazism” or “populism” as EduMin claims?

Greeks are kind of confused: Did they fight “fascism and nazism” or “populism” during the World War II? Reason for the confusion is the official statement by Education and Religion Minister, Niki Kerameos, on the occasion of the national holiday on October 28 when Greeks celebrate the Greek NO –Oxi Day– to the powers of the Axis on 28. October 1940.

The Minister simply refrained of mentioning “fascism and nazism” as it is common in statements on Oxi Day.

“Nowadays, when the extreme voices of populism seek to empower, that individualism and alienation plague humanity, it is more critical than ever to revive values ​​such as self-denial, altruism and solidarity that allow us today to live in a free, democratic country,” she said in her message.

28. October 1940 is “a day that carries particular weight for our collective identity, for three particular reasons,” the Minister of Education stresses and claimed that the WWII had not started yet on 28. October 1940.

The day “it reminds us of the achievements of Hellenism. On the eve of World War II, perhaps the darkest page in world history, adverse conditions and disproportionate power towards the conqueror did not deter the Greek people. Defying any difficulty, the Greeks decided to stand up and oppose the forces of hatred and violence, defending our freedom.”

Lack of history knowledge or intentional distortion of history? Does the Education Minister really believes that the World War II was just between “Greece” and “occupation forces”?

As reasons 2) and 3) she mentioned the Greeks’ “innate tendency” and the importance of Education for the “national memory.”

“Our people’s innate tendency to bravely confront the forces that threaten them is a recurring pattern in our centuries-long history. This power stems from our ability to rally around a common goal when our fundamental values ​​are at stake,” she said.

Interpreting social behavior and historical events based on “innate tendency”, that is the “Greek DNA”?

The Day highlights “the importance of education in trying to preserve our national memory, as well as cultivating a more interactive relationship with our past. The search for historical truth and acquaintance with our historical identity, the ability to identify and evaluate reliable historical sources, are the knowledge and skills that a modern school must develop for students.”

In this sense, one can understand that for Education Minister, Niki Kerameos, the WWII started after 28. October 1940 because only with this interpretation “our national memory and historical identity” can be cultivated.

What if the WWII started on 1. September 1939, when nazi-Germany invaded Poland? That’s irrelevant for the Greek Education Minister who seems to promote the idea that the WWII was about “Hellinism” and some “vague occupation forces” – from outer space, maybe?

I don’t know what’s the ideological problem of the arch-conservative Education Minister and the conservative government of New Democracy all together, what’s their fears, especially after the collapse of the Sovjet union and the death of communism. Right after she assumed office, Kerameos had declared to rewrite “history textbooks” in order to shape “national conscience.”

Thank goodness, the President of the Hellenic Republic put things right. On his message on the eve of 28. October, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos urged “not to be complacent because the danger of the nostalgic for nazism and fascism emerges again in our continent.”

Inaugurating the new wing of the Jewish Museum in Thessaloniki, Pavlopoulos  stresses among others that “the Holocaust was the most atrocious crime against humanity because it insulted the human existence in its core and totally discredited the value of man, of his life and freedom and of his dignity.”

“We should not believe that the nightmares of WWII are finally over as long as the conditions that may lead to its re-appearance have not been eliminated,” he underlined mentioning social inequalities.

PS replacing “Nazism and fascism” with “populism” is just an understatement and even beautification of  the deaths of millions of people. And that’s a sheer shame and a falsely perceived “patriotism”!

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2 comments

  1. „Death of communism“? That is bourgeois propaganda – the same as „The End of History“ (Fukuyama, 1989). The slogan should be: Stalinism is dead – long live communism! Unfortunately, Stalinism isn‘t dead…

  2. Well, “populism” is what is threatening our beloved EU, right? At least that’s what Brussels tell us. Also that populism = fascism, as both Brussels (and Varoufakis also) tell us. So we can’t have populism, oh dearie me no, we must have Unpopulism instead…..