Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics by Loring M. Danforth

By Loring M. Danforth

At the peak of the Greek Civil struggle in 1948, thirty-eight thousand young ones have been evacuated from their houses within the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist celebration relocated 1/2 them to orphanages in japanese Europe, whereas their adversaries within the nationwide executive put the remainder in children’s houses in other places in Greece. some degree of rivalry in the course of the chilly warfare, this debatable episode keeps to gas tensions among Greeks and Macedonians and inside Greek society itself. Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten current right here for the 1st time a finished learn of the 2 evacuation courses and the lives of the youngsters they ceaselessly transformed.

Marshalling archival files, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, the authors examine the evacuation strategy, the political clash surrounding it, the children’s upbringing, and their fates as adults bring to a halt from their mom and dad and their fatherland. in addition they provide voice to seven refugee teenagers who poignantly recount their formative years reviews and heroic efforts to build new lives in diaspora groups in the course of the global. A much-needed corrective to past old money owed, Children of the Greek Civil War can also be a looking out exam of the iconic results of displacement at the lives of refugee children.

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Extra info for Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics of Memory

Sample text

For of such is the Kingdom of God” (Royal Greek Embassy 1950, 21). The following day, “a two-gun salute from Mount Lykabettus woke Athenians at dawn,” newspapers appeared with “black framed front pages,” flags were flown at half-mast, church bells tolled all day, and theaters and nightclubs remained closed. ”14 The Greek government’s discourse on the children evacuated to Eastern Europe was dominated by two sets of powerful imagery: religious and nationalist. The first set of imagery contrasts the atheism of communist ideol- Framing the Subject / 39 ogy with the Orthodox Christianity of the Greek nation.

The National Liberation Front finally agreed in September 1944 to take part in a government of national unity led by George Papandreou. Efforts to ensure a peaceful transition to a democratically elected government lasted only a few months, as the tensions that had emerged during the Occupation gradually led to the development of a full-blown civil war (Close 1993, 1–31). The power vacuum that remained after the German withdrawal from Greece in October 1944 was filled by a government of national unity that lacked both the legitimacy and the military power to rule effectively.

Thousands, however, remained in the cities where they had been housed or joined the massive postwar population movements to the major urban centers of Athens and Thessaloniki. Thousands more emigrated to Western Europe, North America, and Australia in search of better lives for themselves and their children. High in the wooded mountains along the northern borders of Greece, the foundations of houses and abandoned churches stand in silent witness to the tragic events of the Civil War. The south central Balkans has long been an area of extraordinary lin- 34 / Chapter One 2.

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