a trauma, a secret and a legend

I am not a historian, nor a specialist of greek history.
But I have in my bones, in my genes and in my mind, the memory or the non-memory, the feeling of a family trauma, a secret and a legend.
The legend of a grand-father killed during the civil war in Greece.
The trauma of my mother who was put in an institution soon after.
The secret of 3 lives, my grand father´s, my grand mother´s and my mother´s.
Constantinos was a monarchist; he was killed by the communists in 1947. This is how my mother barely met her father . She was 2 years old; and her baby sister was just born some month before. The whole family knot is there: in a terrible sudden violent death, but also in what had happened around this event, since while he was at war, my grand father had a mistress up there in the north, in Drama (!) where he was killed. Is this what led my grand mother to get rid of one of her children (my mother) and send her in a board school and why not her sister ? Was she devastated? Was she too poor? Was my mum a difficult child? some other reason?
There is probably more than this to these stories: some things mix in a very strange blend with strange echoes in my mind and in my soul. The lifestyle of my grand mother, her beauty and her strength and the half said half silenced stories about a “violent” police man she was dating for long, the poor neighbourhood she was living in the center of athens where prostitution was at every corner, her disease and her death, and some other mystery for sure.
Reality is revealed in the details and in the traumas secrets are feeding themselves ferociously.
These photos have nothing to do with my grand father, but I chose them because they are moments of this past of legend and secrets, they are from that period and from the war. I wanted to be here illustrating this post of hatred, betrayals, abuse and violence.
Because the truth is revealed in the details.
Steel-helmeted Elas troops use a corner building as a shelter as they fire at police headquarters during a civil uprising in Athens. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). Circa 1944

Monarchist soldiers armed with a machine gun guarding a mountain garrison at Karpenisi during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Getty Images). 1948

A mule train carrying ammunition near Papades on Euboia during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Getty Images). 1948

Officers plan the assault on Mount Kiapha at Mount Lyoku during the Greek Civil War, while a Greek Orthodox priest drinks coffee. Each brigade has a chaplain who travels with them. (Photo by Federico Patellani/Getty Images). 1947

One exhausted guerrilla fighter surrenders to the Greek army during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Getty Images). 1948

Greek regular soldiers search a peasant and his wife for arms, which are being smuggled to the Andartes rebels during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). October 1947

Greek soldiers climbing ropes during training by British officers in the Greek civil war. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images). 1947

A class of recruits in the technical training wing of a Greek training centre are given advice from a British instructor during the civil war. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images). 1947

Greek government commandos near Karpenisi, equipped with British berets and American fur-trimmed jackets. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A sentry on guard on Mount Likebetos, overlooking the city of Athens. Military forces were employed to guard the city against possible attacks from communist paratrooper guerrillas. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images). 1947

Refugee children in a filthy cellar at Piraeus during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). 1st November 1947

Greek National Guards bring prisoners from guerilla-occupied territory to Drama in northern Greece. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A Home Guard at Goumenissa, Macedonia, after an Andartes raid during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). August 1947

The Greek army opening fire on guerrilla troops during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A group of soldiers loading a wounded man on a stretcher into a van during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A Greek soldier surveys the surrounding mountainside from his tank during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A pair of Greek soldiers make contact with their troops on a field radio during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A Greek commando soldier, wearing a fur-collared jacket supplied by the Americans, waits for a guerrilla target to emerge during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

During the Greek Civil War, government troops are instructed to cease travelling and fortify their position during the night, when the guerrilla army is more likely to attack. The last transport of the night makes its way along a lonely mountain road. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

An old Greek woman takes her most precious possession, a calf, loads it onto her donkey and heads away from the battle zone during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A band of Greek army commandos on the move during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 1948

A Greek woman checks in with the village patrol for the evening curfew during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

Greek commander General Vadzis holds a conference with General Van Fleet (centre) of the US and Major-General Down (left) of Britain during the Greek Civil War. The interest of the western powers in the conflict lies mainly in preventing the communist forces of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia from gaining a stronghold in Greece. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A Greek soldier keeps his machine gun at the ready, on the lookout for guerrilla troops during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948

A truck carries a band of government soldiers along a rocky mountain pass during the Greek Civil War. (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images). 22nd May 1948
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One Comment

  1. Ciao! Vorrei solo dire un grazie enorme per le informazioni che avete condiviso in questo blog! Di sicur diverr un vostro fa accanito!

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