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“Volunteering” & “Social Contribution”: Greek Gov’t narrative of Oxi Day, War against Italy

High-ranking members of conservative New Democracy are determined to drive Greeks nuts with regards the history of the country. In the new narrative of the new government, on 28. October 1940, Greece did not fight fascists, Nazism and the Axis powers but ‘populists‘, and the Greeks were not soldiers but “volunteers” fighting in the context of “social contribution.”

Greek volunteers fighting to death against Mussolini’s fascists?

Unbelievable? Yet, true. A new narrative of real Greek history has been invented by New Democracy, a distortion of real history and the Greeks’ fight for independence and democracy, a rewriting of history textbooks in order to shape “national conscience.”

Epic? Resistance? Fascism? Nazism? Pride? There words in the context of the so-called Albanian Epic, the Greek Italian War 1940-1941 are apparently a No-No for the new Greek government.

Deputy Labor Minister, Doman Michailidou posted on her Facebook account on the anniversary of the Oxi Day:

“Happy Anniversary! Today our national holiday reminds us more than ever of the values ​​of social contribution and volunteering. Deeply touched we recall the sacrifices of our grandparents for their family, for the next generation, for their homeland. Sacrifices that have provided us with a framework of daily living where offering to the whole fortunately does not require violence and blood.

So let’s honor them in turn reminding everyone that volunteering is not just a social contribution but a national responsibility.

It is every man’s obligation to give back to the world at least the equivalent of what he has received from it.” Long live Greece! # 28october #parelasi @ Syntagma Square ”.

Following a public outrage on social media, the deputy minister made some editing on her original post like deleting the hashtags #volunteering and #Einstein hashtag. However, some some internet users had already secure screenshots.

Majority of internet users criticized Michailidou telling her that downgrading the tough battles to “volunteering” she “insults the memory of the thousands of people who lost their lives in the Greek fight against Italian fascists and German Nazis, the occupation forces of the Axis during the World War II.

Irony was again on top of Greeks’ comments:

“Michailidou will lay a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Volunteer.”

“At the Film Club tonight, Michailidou presents ‘Schindler’s List’ with a speech about volunteering and entrepreneurship.”

To tell you the truth I have not much of a clue what new Democracy tries to achieve with its new narrative. A new, political correct ‘patriotism”? Or is it an effort to “wash out” fascism and Nazism? Of course, there are are also two other aspects linked to the Greek WWII history: 1) the EAM/ELAS Communist resistance fighters against the occupation forces 2) the official and unofficial collaborators of the occupation forces, politicians whose grandchildren sit in the Greek Parliament.

New Democracy has mysterious ways….

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