Rare pictures from the everyday life of people in Greece in 1950-1965, in hard economical times after the WWII and the Civil War and before the military dictatorship.
The Civil War was just over. The society is in a chaotic situation, trying to organize their lives, bring back normality.
The struggle was for the daily meal and a plate of food, for a hole in trousers or a dress, for a pair of shoes tired of going in and out the shoemaker.
But in order to fix these issues, the struggle was mainly for work, for the daily wage in a country without social structures.
The various guilds, gathered in well-known places, were waiting since the dawn for the contractors as well as ordinary individuals, to give them work.
The negotiation is tough, relentless, inhumane at times! The unskilled and the children, in the footwork.
At the same time, thousands of domestic “immigrants” arrived every day by trains and buses, leaving their villages behind, with the hope of a new and better life in Athens and other urban centers.
The roads are dirt, water for the households is collected from the community taps on the corners of building blocks, electricity is available only for a third of the Greeks!
A traditional Christmas and Easter custom, the offering of gifts/daily products from various companies to the Greek traffic police. Their trucks unloaded the goods around the traffic policeman.
The store is closed.
Closed 2:30-4:00: time for a midday nap for the owner of a moveable store, where one can buys goods much cheaper than in a shop.
Street vendors: The chestnut man fills a paper cone with hot chestnuts, while the coal-seller is trying to balance his scale with coal, for the customers yet to come.
Outside a football stadium, the little girl shows off her business, which is none other than “Sports Echo.” The apron protects his dress from the ink, which the newspapers of the time produced lavishly!
Fresh milk every morning by the milkman. Payment every Saturday as was custom also for pay weekly debt at the groceries store.
Employee’s payday was usually on Saturdays.
Shoe-shine and lottery sellers.
Home built over night for the family. It was usually illegal on an empty land plot without any fence to declare ownership..
Bath usually on Saturdays and on holiday’s eve.
Child labor was a …must and by all means. Main thing, children could aid their needy families.
American aid in form of US-dollars and goods often landed in the pockets’ of those in charge.
Thousands of “2. Category citizens” left Greece and migrated to USA, Australia, Argentina, Germany and Belgium.
Together with two other couples of friends, my family was planning to migrate to Argentina, as well. But they didn’t do it after all. The one couple that left Greece, returned after a good decade due to the political developments in the South American country. They didn’t return “rich” but they managed to feed their children in that difficult times.
I don’t know the origin of these pictures, but I found this wonderful selection on website tilestora.com. where you can see more pictures.
UPDATE: Source found!
Much appreciated help regarding the source of the photographs archive came from Twitter via @emerson
“The Other Greece: 1950-1965” was compiled by Aris Maragopoulos through a difficult selection of hundreds of photographs based on the photographic archive of Konstantinos Megalokonomos.
It is, in essence, a little film noir, just as the crucial fifteen years it captures were: a harsh post-civil war era, where some people in Greece firmly believed that they could fundamentally change the world, while others shuddered at the idea that the Communists might one day “to take their houses.”
“The Other Greece: 1950-1965″, a dark Greece visibly present at the time of the Crisis, is a bold proposal for the re-reading of modern History through the re-reading of the images of our past.
The first edition of this album sold out in a short time. The present reprint has been revised by the author.” – Book Presentation here.