Παρασκευή, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Pour que la vie triomphe!


Λεύτερα 'σεις αγρίμια μου τα δόντια σας τροχίστε
και σεις πυκνά χιονόδεντρα σφίξετε τα κλαδιά σας
να μην πατήσει ο τύραννος το λεύτερό σας χώμα.
Κι όταν θε νά 'ρθει η Ανοιξη και λυώσουνε τα χιόνια
και θα φυσήξει δροσερό της λευτεριάς τ' αγέρι
αητέ μου δος μου τα φτερά κι ελάφι μου τα πόδια
και ρεματιά μου την ορμή για να χυθώ στον κάμπο
να δώσω βόλι στο φονιά και λευτεριά στο σκλάβο.


It was these days, 70 years ago, when in the village Tsiouka (today known as Foteino -Φωτεινό, Τρικάλων-) of Antichasia region in central Greece, the various scattered guerrillas groups, which were active the last months all over the country,  would be unified under a central administration, the General Partisan Command.

It was exactly 70 years ago, on the 28th of October 1946, when the Democratic Army of Greece (Δ.Σ.Ε) (officially renamed on 27.12.1946)  was founded...


The following text was written by the great French poet Paul Eluard as a farewell to the fighters of the Democratic Army of Greece. Eluard was member of the French delegation who had visited the strongholds of the Democratic Army in the Greek mountains of northern Greece in June 1949. 

Vitsi and Grammos, these two summits of the free world, are not at all lower than i had ever imagined. Instead, there i saw the fighters who adorn them with their unimaginable courage, the fighters who are the fire of the mountains, the fire of whole Greece, a honor for the civilized world who refuses to die under the relentless pressure of a minority of exploiters, arsonists of war. The earth and sun completely belong to them.
My brothers & sisters with the kind and gentle smile, how many times i was moved to tears as i was listening to you singing, watching all of you united by the love for your country, your trust for the future. We hate war, but woe to those who will enforce it to us.
I am leaving and i keep as a treasure into my heart unforgettable memory of your physical and mental health, your enthusiasm, your brotherhood, your faith to victory. The future belongs to you. And just because you are united, your oppressed brothers tomorrow will stand by your side. Freedom and brotherhood are contagious. They can't do anything against a People who is united.  And the sea will patiently accept your enslaved!

Long live Greece, united and free!
Long live the brotherhood of the People!
Long live the Peace which being built!
With respect, i salute you! 

Paul Eluard, June 1949

Carved in wood. Drawing of Zizi Makri, 1949

To the living memory of all the Democratic Army's officers and fighters, as well as, civilians who got involved and contributed to this titanic but unequal struggle, so the Life would triumph! 

Τετάρτη, 20 Ιουλίου 2016

Carlo Vive!

Carlo Giuliani. Forever Young!
Roma, 14.3.1978 - Genova, 20.7.2001

"Last 20th of July 2001
our mate, Carlo Giuliani, was brutally murdered
by the fascist Italian police
just because he demanded a more equitable distribution of the world economy
just because he acquired a conscience
just because he gave voice to the voiceless
just because he thought, just because he thought..."

Carlo Giuliani in the streets of Genova, 20.7.2001 
On August 25, 2009 the European Court of Human Rights notified
in writing its judgement in the case of Giuliani and Gaggio v. Italy.
It judged no excessive use of force was used and it was not established that Italian authorities
had failed to comply with their positive obligations to protect Carlo Giuliani’s life.

In 2005 the English band Chumbawamba dedicated the following 
cover of the famous Italian partisan song "Bella Ciao" to the memory of Carlos. 

The world is waking outside my window
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Drags my senses into the sunlight
For there are things that I must do

Wish me luck now, I have to leave you
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
With my friends now, up to the city
We’re going to shake the Gates of Hell

And I will tell them – we will tell them
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
That our sunlight is not for franchise
And wish the bastards drop down dead

Next time you see me I may be smiling
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
I’ll be in prison or on the TV
I’ll say, «the sunlight dragged me here!» 


Drawing of Latuff referring to Carlos Giuliani assassination. 

Κυριακή, 24 Απριλίου 2016

Easter Rising

Children playing in a derelict site.
Maguinness's court, off Townsend Street,
Dublin, c. 1913
“You cannot conquer Ireland, you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed.”

This is what Patrick Pearse testified in front of the British Martial Court during the trial, in the aftermath of the Dublin's Uprising, which had been taken place in the Irish capital few days ago. Pearse, the man who, on Easter Monday 24th of  April 1916, read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from outside the General Post Office in Dublin, was proved right. His sacrifice and that of the others who were executed lit the flame of Irish resistance to British rule, which ended with the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. 

Weekly Irish Times.
May 1916
"We serve neither King nor Kaiser. BUT IRELAND".
Irish Citizen Army Group. Liberty Hall, Dublin 1914

POBLACHT NA hEIREANN
THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF THE IRISH REPUBLIC
TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom. Having organized and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organization, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organizations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory. We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades in arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations. The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past. Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people. We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonor it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valor and discipline, and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.


Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government:

THOMAS J. CLARKE, THOMAS MacDONAGH, SEAN Mac DIARMADA, EAMONN CEANNT
P. H. PEARSE, JOSEPH PLUNKETT, JAMES CONNOLLY 


The sixteen leaders of the uprising who were executed
in Kilmainham Gaol Dublin's Prison in May 1916
Kilmainham Gaol.
Dublin, February 2013

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell
rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in
the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze,
at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light
might shine through the foggy dew... 

"The Foggy Dew", Canon Charles O'Neill

Kilmainham Gaol.
Dublin, February 2013

In memory of the Irishmen and women who took up the arms in Dublin on the Easter Monday of 1916 (24th April 1916). Defying the might of an Empire, they stood up with true rebellious spirit, for an Independent Ireland...  

Tiocfaidh ár lá!

Κυριακή, 10 Απριλίου 2016

Exodus

Τα κλειδιά του Μεσολογγίου είναι στις μπούκες των κανονιών μας κρεμασμένα... 

"The Sortie of Mesolonghi".
Theodoros Vryzakis, 1853

"We ended up in a situation that we have to eat the most unclean animals. We are terribly suffering from hunger and thirst. We have been attacked from various diseases. 1740 of our brothers have already died. The enemy has sent more than 100.000 bombs against us, destroying our parapets and houses. We are feeling the cold so intense as we are completely out of wood. Despite our hardships the courage and the high moral of our guard is remarkable. In a few days from now all these brave men they will be only shadows of angels, martyrs, in front the throne of God, of the indifference of the Christian world as this is its case too. In the name of all our gallant men i announce, under the sight of God, that we swear to defend inch by inch the ground of Mesolonghi. Rather to be buried under the city ruins than to respond to any offer for surrender. We are living our final moments. History will give us right and the people after us will mourn for our disaster. The thought that the blood of a Swissman, offspring of William Tell, will be mixed with the blood of the heroes of Greece makes me really proud."

Letter of Johann Jakob Meyer, April 1826

"Greece expiring at the ruins of Mesolonghi".
Eugene Delaqroix, 1827
"Καταντήσαμεν εις τοιαύτην ανάγκην ώστε να τρεφόμεθα από τα πλέον ακάθαρτα ζώα. Υποφέρομεν φρικτά από πείναν και δίψαν. Προσεβλήθημεν από διαφόρους ασθενείας. 1.740 από τους αδελφούς μας έχουν ήδη αποθάνει. Περισσότεραι από 100.000 βόμβαι ριφθείσαι από τον εχθρόν, κατέστρεαψν τους προμαχώνας και τα οικήματά μας. Το ψύχος μας βασανίζει λόγω της παντελούς ελλείψεως ξύλων. Με όλας τας στερήσεις ταύτας είναι αξιοθαύμαστον θέαμα να βλέπη κανείς το θάρρος  και το υψηλόν φρόνημα της φρουράς μας. Εις ολίγας ημέρας όλοι αυτοί οι γενναίοι θα είναι σκιαί μόνον αγγέλων, μάρτυρες ενώπιον του θρόνου του Θεού, της αδιαφορίας του χριστιανικού κόσμου δι' υπόθεσι, ήτις ήτο ιδική του. Εξ ονόματος όλων των ανδρείων μας σας αναγγέλλω την ενώπιον του Θεού μεθ' όρκου ληφθείσαν απόφασίν μας να υπερασπίσωμεν σπιθαμήν προς σπιθαμήν το έδαφος του Μεσολογγίου και να συνταφιασθώμεν υπό τα ερείπια της πόλεως, παρά να ακούσωμεν πρότασίν τινα περί παραδόσεως. Ζώμεν τας τελευταίας μας στιγμάς. Η ιστορία θέλει μας διακιώσει και οι μεταγενέστεροι θα θρηνήσουν την συμφοράν μας. Εμέ καθιστά υπερήφανον η σκέψις ότι το αίμα ενός Ελβετού, ενός απογόνου του Γουλιέλμου Τέλλου, μέλλει να συμμιχθή με το αίμα των ηρώων της Ελλάδος."

Επιστολή του Johann Jakob Meyer, Απρίλιος 1826

"Daughter of Greece",
Garden of Heroes, Mesolonghi, Jan 2008

Memorial to the Heroes of Mesolonghi.
January 2008

The night of 10th to 11th April 1826, dawned Palm Sunday, the remaining inhabitants and defenders of Mesolonghi, having no other choice left after 12 months under siege, they will try to break through the enemy lines of the Ottoman - Egyptian army, seeking their own path to Freedom...
The Exodus of Mesolonghi, one of the brightest moments of the Greek War of Independence, will stay in history as a fine example of heroism, valor and self - sacrifice.

Mesolonghi Lagoon, January 2008

Και βλέπω πέρα τα παιδιά και τες αντρογυναίκες
Γύρου στη φλόγα π’ άναψαν, και θλιβερά τη θρέψαν
Μ’ αγαπημένα πράματα και με σεμνά κρεβάτια,
Ακίνητες, αστέναχτες, δίχως να ρίξουν δάκρυ·
Και αγγίζ’ η σπίθα τα μαλλιά και τα λιωμένα ρούχα·
Γλήγορα, στάχτη, να φανής, οι φούχτες να γιομίσουν.

Είν’ έτοιμα στην άσπονδη πλημύρα των αρμάτων
Δρόμο να σχίσουν τα σπαθιά, κι’ ελεύθεροι να μείνουν
Εκείθε με τους αδελφούς, εδώθε με το χάρο.

Πέμπτη, 31 Μαρτίου 2016

Ψυχή Βαθιά

Memorial dedicated to Democratic Army (Δ.Σ.Ε).
Lykorachi, Ioannina, July 2009 

Τα θεμέλια μου στα βουνά
και τα βουνά σηκώνουν οι λαοί στον ώμο τους
και απάνω τους η μνήμη καίει 
άκαυτη βάτος

Στα 70 χρόνια από τη νύχτα που "βρόντηξε" ο Όλυμπος και πάλι...

Σάββατο, 12 Μαρτίου 2016

The Last Letter...


"Εσύ απόδειξες, Νίκο,
πόσο μικρά είναι αυτή την ώρα τα όνειρα,
η ψάθινη πολυθρόνα του περιβολιού,
το πράσινο τραπεζάκι, 
η σιγουριά από τα κάγκελα του κρεβατιού τις νύχτες 
πόσο μικρά μπροστά στο μπόι της χαράς 
να πεθαίνεις για τη χαρά του κόσμου"...

Γ. Ριτσος. 30.3.1952

Nikos Beloyannis.
"The man with the Carnation"
Athens, February 1952

Nikos Beloyannis, born in 1915 in Amaliada Peloponnese, was one of the most iconic figures of the Greek communist, resistance and revolutionary movement during the 20th century. Beloyannis became a global symbol after his execution, as an example of militant attitude and communist integrity.

Beloyannis was send back to Greece in June 1950 with the mission to reorganize the illegal underground organisations of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Few months later, in December 1950, secret police managed to arrest Beloyannis. Two trials will follow. The first in October 1951 and the second in February 1952. Their outcome was the conviction of Beloyannis and 28 of his comrades. Six of them, with him among them they will be sentenced to death (only four will be executed) by the permanent Athens court-marshal, when tens of others will be sentenced to life imprisonment. The main accusation of the first trial, this of the violation of the law N.509/1947 according to which KKE consider as a criminal organisation and is declared illegal, was replaced by the charge of spying in favor of Soviet Union. Earlier in November 1951 wireless apparatuses were discovered in the Athens neighborhoods of Faliro and Kallithea, providing the military judges with an opportunity to use the espionage law against the accused. 

Nikos Beloyannis during his first trial.
October 1951
During the trials but as well as after convictions were published, a huge international solidarity movement was developed and tried to prevent the execution and save Beloyannis and his comrades. Hundreds of thousands anonymous and famous people (hundreds MPs from France and UK, Charles de Gaulle, Paul Éluard, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nâzım Hikmet, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin among others) from all over the world set pressure on the Greek government in order to cancel the execution. Despite the efforts, it was Sunday, 04:12 am, on the 30th of March 1952, Nikos Beloyannis, Nikos Kaloumenos, Dimitris Mpatsis and Elias Argiriadis were finally executed by the Greek state.

Nikos Beloyannis became a hero because he did his duty 'til his very end. He knew what fate was waiting him, he knew that he could save his life if he wanted to, but he didn't take that risk, because the only thing concerned him was to keep his consciousness and dignity until the end, in front of the firing squad...


Nikos Beloyannis' party booklet as it is saved today

Nikos Beloyannis as political commissar
during the Greek Civil War. 

The last letter of Nikos Beloyannis.

Ancient mythology narrates us that Olympian gods were set on trial in front of ancient Athens' tribunals when they had to. This was told in order to dictate the high value and meaning the ancient tribunals should have had. If these gods existed nowadays and mend to be political opponents of the postwar Greek governments then for sure they would have to run far away in order to get saved from the expediency courts which act like factories by issuing standardized convictions against the democratic citizens.

Within five years, 1945 – 1950, about 50000 convictions were issued and more than 5000 people sentenced to death! From them almost 2000 were executed with many of them being women, old women or even 17 years old girls! Courts of this kind could show tolerance to some common crook, thief or murderer but for their ideological opponents they show no mercy. Here is an example. Two teachers, Sotirs S and Nikolaos K were sentenced to death. They managed though to achieve revision of their trial by a common criminal court and they were found innocent! There are many other cases like this!

A question is born: What cause such brutality? Greece is a poor country, because the ruling classes up to our day depended mainly to the parasitic external loans and not to the development of our natural resources. This fact had as result the living standard of the working people to not been improved at all. And as far as the economical backwardness was back to back with political backwardness, it was quite easy for the oligarchy to govern and exploit the people without facing any kind of social turbulence. More or less the same thing happened in England just before the appearance of Chartists movement. (…)

(…) when i and Ioannidou were under strict detention since 1950! Even this fact didn’t prevent them to sentence us to death because we were not denied our ideology when only one word would be enough, as Galileo did, in order to avoid trial!

Because the real reason of our conviction is our ideology. The charge of spying is (invalid?) and slanderous and is not based on any real evidence. My life itself contradicts them. Since the age of 17, still a student, i believed in the socialist ideals and since then, for more than 20 years, my life is dedicated to the struggle of democratization, independence and prosperity of my country. For my ideology they expelled me from the University of Athens, exiled me and sent me to jail during the Metaxas dictatorship. I could easily follow a career path and a comfort life; I chose instead a life full of hardships, prosecutions, pain and tears. Italian and German occupiers sent me to concentration camps. I manage to escape and i fought them with all my strength, often cooperating with the English delegations. After liberation i continued the political struggle. At the same period i was editor in the political economical magazine “Eleutheros Morias”. The break of 1945 gave me the opportunity to continue my studies and finish two books “The economic development of Greece” and “The history of contemporary Greek Literature” which still remain unpublished, as new prosecutions didn’t allow it.

Since the end of 1940s i am once again under persecution. My whole family perished. And now the same fate awaits me. My case is not unique. There are countless more. This one side civil war against the left wing citizens will bring Greece in front of new calamities. If the right wing side had good will, the salvation of our misfortune land and its people it could be really simple, because it’s included to the following words: Democracy, general amnesty, peace and measures for the improvement of peoples living conditions. But which government has the will to apply such a program? That’s the question as the great English writer says.

Nikos Beloyannis
12.3.1952

PS. These lines are written in rough from the death row cell which i am isolated, waiting my death. Maybe when you are reading these lines i will not be alive. I wish our blood to contribute to pacification of our suffering land. Unfortunately the result will be the opposite. And this because the right-wing side never wanted the pacification and reconciliation of our people.  Anyway whatever happens i will remember until my last moments with infinite gratitude the gentle efforts of all the people who tried and still try to save us from the executioner.

The last letter. Written on 12.3.1952

Το τελευταίο γράμμα του Νίκου Μπελογιάννη

Η αρχαία μυθολογία μας διήγείται ότι οι θεοί του Ολύμπου κατέβαινουν να δικαστούν στα δικαστήρια της αρχαίας Αθήνας. Αυτό λεγόταν για να εξαρθεί το ύψος στο οποίο έπρεπε να βρίσκονται τα αρχαία δικαστήρια. Αν όμως αυτοί οι θεοί συνέβαινε να υπάρχουν σήμερα και να είναι πολιτικοί αντίπαλοι των μετά την απελευθέρωση Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, τότε ασφαλώς θα έφευγαν πολύ μακριά από την Ελλάδα για να σωθούν από τα δικαστήρια σκοπιμότητας τα οποία λειτουργούν σαν εργοστάσια και βγάζουν τυποποιημένες αποφάσεις εναντιών των δημοκρατικών πολιτών.

Μέσα σε 5 χρόνια, 1945 – 1950, εκδόθηκαν περίπου 50000 καταδικαστικές αποφάσεις και γυρώ στους 5000 ανθρώπους καταδικάστηκαν σε θάνατο! Από αυτούς περίπου 2000 εκτελέστηκαν μεταξύ των οποίων πολλές γυναίκες, γρηές, ακόμα και κοπέλλες 17 χρονών!΄Αυτού του είδους τα δικαστήρια θα μπορούσαν ίσως να δείξουν κατανόηση σ’ εναν κοινόν απατεώνα, δολοφόνο, κλέφτη κλπ. Αλλά για τους ιδεολογικούς τους αντιπάλους δεν υπάρχει έλεος. Ιδού ενα πρόχειρο παράδειγμα. Δύο άριστοι εκπαιδευτικοί της χώρας μας, οι Σωτήρης Σ. και Νικος Κ. καταδικάστηκαν σε θάνατο. Κατάφεραν όμως να γίνει αναθεώρηση της δίκης των από τα ταχτικά ποινικά δικαστήρια και αθωώθηκαν! Τέτοιες περιπτώσεις είναι πάρα πολλές!

Γεννιέται όμως τώρα το ερώτημα: Ποιά είναι τα αίτια της πρωτοφανούς αυτής αγριότητας; Η Ελλάδα είναι φτωχή, γιατί οι ηγετικές τάξεις που κυβέρνησαν ως τα σήμερα τη χώρα βασίσθηκαν κυρίως στα παρασιτικά δεκανίκια των εξωτερικών δανείων και όχι στην ανάπτυξη  των πλουτοπαραγωγικών πηγών μας. Το γεγονός αυτό είχε σαν συνέπεια να μην βελτιωθεί καθόλου το βιωτικό επίπεδο του εργαζόμενου λαού. Και όσον καιρό η οικονομική καθυστέρηση εσυμβάδιζε με την πολιτική καθυστέρηση των λαϊκών μαζών, η ολιγαρχία του πλούτου μπορούσε να κυβερνά και να εκμεταλλεύεται το λαό με μια σχετική άνεση, χωρίς σοβαρούς κοινωνικούς τρανταγμούς. Περίπου όπως συνεβαινε στην Αγγλία πριν αρχίσει το κίνημα των Χαρτιστών. Στην περίοδο όμως της Χιτλερικής σκλαβιάς (...)

(..) ενώ εγώ και η Ιωαννίδου βρισκόμαστε σε αυστηρή φυλάκιση από το 1950! Και  όμως αυτό δεν τους εμπόδισε να μας καταδικάσουν σε θάνατο επειδή δεν αποκηρύξαμε την ιδεολογία μας ενώ θα αρκούσε μια μόνο λέξη μας, όπως έκανε ο Γαλιλαίος, για να μη μας δικάσουν!

Γιατί η ιδεολογία μας είναι η πραγματική αιτία της καταδίκης μας. Η κατηγορία για κατασκοπία είναι (ακυρή?) και συκοφαντική και δε στηρίζεται σε κανέναν πραγματικό στοιχείο. Και η ίδια η ζωή μου τους διαψεύδει. Από ηλικία 17 χρονών, σπουδαστής ακόμα, πίστεψα στα ιδανικά του σοσιαλισμού και από τότε, 20 ολόκληρα χρόνια, η ζωή μου είναι αφιερωμένη στον αγώνα για τον εκδημοκρατισμό, την ανεξαρτησία και την ευημερία της πατρίδος μου. Για την ιδεολογία μου οι αντιδραστικοί μ’ έδιωξαν από το πανεπιστήμιο των Αθηνών, με εξόρισαν, με εφυλάκισαν τον καιρό της μεταξικής δικτατορίας. Αντί να διαλέξω τη ζωή της καριέρας, και μπορούσαν εύκολα να δημιουργήσω τέτοια, προτίμησα μια ζωή γεμάτη διωγμούς, στερήσεις, πόνους και δάκρυα. Οι Ιταλοί και οι Γερμανοί καταχτητές με έκλεισαν σε στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσεως. Κατάφερα να φύγω και τους πολέμησα μ’ όλη μου τη δύναμη, συνεργαζόμενος συχνά με τις αγγλικές αποστολές. Μετά την απελευθέρωση συνέχισα τους πολιτικούς αγώνες μου. Συγχρόνως εχρηματισά διευθυντής στο πολιτικό οικονομικό περιοδικό «Ελευθερός Μωριάς». Η ανάπαυλα του 1945 μου δώσε την δυνατότητα να συνεχίσω διάφορες μελέτες μου και να τελειώσω και δύο βιβλία μου. «Η οικονομική ανάπτυξη της Ελλάδος» και «Η ιστορία της Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» που όμως είναι ακόμη και τα δύο ανέκδοτα, γιατί οι νέοι διωγμοί εμποδίσαν την έκδοσή τους.

Από τα τέλη του 1940 με καταδιώκουν πάλι. Η οικογένεια μου όλη εξοντώνεται. Και τώρα η ίδια τύχη περιμένη και μένα. Η περίπτωση μου δεν είναι μοναδική. Είναι και άπειρες άλλες. Αυτός ο μονόπλευρός εμφύλιος πόλεμος κατά των οπαδών της αριστεράς θα φέρει νέες μεγάλες συμφορές στην Ελλάδα, ενώ αν υπήρχε καλή θέληση από την πλευρά της δεξιάς, το πρόβλημα της σωτηρίας της άτυχης χωρας μας και του λαού μας θα ήταν αρκετά απλό, γιατί περικλείεται στις λέξεις: Δημοκρατία, Γενική αμνηστία, ειρήνευση και μέτρα για την βελτίωση του βιώτικου επιπέδου του λαού.  Αλλά ποιά κυβέρνηση θα εφαρμόσει ένα τέτοιο πρόγραμμα? That is the question, όπως λέει και ο μεγάλος άγγλός συγγραφέας.

Νίκος Μπελογιάννης
 12.3.1952


Υστερόγραφό: Οι γραμμές αυτές γράφονταί πρόχειρα και βιαστικά, από το κελί των μελλοθανάτων όπου βρίσκομαι απομονωμένος, περιμένωντας το θάνατο. Ίσως όταν τις διαβάζετε να μη ζω πιά. Θα ευχόμουνα το αίμα μας να συντελέσει στην ειρήνευση της πολύπαθης αυτής χώρας. Δυστυχώς όμως θα συμβεί το αντίθετο. Κι αυτό γιατί η δεξιά ποτέ δεν θέλησε την ειρήνευση κ την συμφιλιωση του λαού μας. Εν πάσει περιπτώσει ότι και να γίνει θα θυμάμαι μέχρι τις τελευταίες μου στιγμές με απέραντη ευγνωμοσυνη τις ευγενικές προσπάθειες των ανθρώπων που προσπάθησαν και προσπαθούν να μας σώσουν από τον δήμιο.

Ο ίδιος


σ.σ: Στο Ελληνικό γράμμα έχει τηρηθεί η πρωτότυπη ορθογραφία. Από το γράμμα λείπει ένα μικρό κομμάτι.


Statue dedicated to Nikos Beloyannis
Karlshorst, East Berlin, Germany


Αγωνιστήκαμε δίχως να γνωρίσουμε ύπνο,
 για να προφτάσουμε την αυγή και το αύριο
και να δημιουργήσουμε νέους χρόνους και εποχές
στο μπόι των ονείρων μας, στο μπόι των ανθρώπων. 

Τετάρτη, 10 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

Lob der Dialektik


Today, injustice goes with a certain stride,
The oppressors move in for ten thousand years.
Force sounds certain: it will stay the way it is.
No voice resounds except the voice of the rulers
And on the markets, exploitation says it out loud: 
I am only just beginning.

But of the oppressed, many now say:
What we want will never happen

Whoever is still alive must never say ‘never’!
Certainty is never certain.
It will not stay the way it is.
When the rulers have already spoken
Then the ruled will start to speak.
Who dares say never?
Who s to blame if oppression remains? We are.
Who can break its thrall? We can.
Whoever has been beaten down must rise to his feet!
Whoever is lost must fight back!
Whoever has recognized their condition - how can anyone stop them?

Because the vanquished of today will be tomorrow’s victors
And never will become: already today!

Bertold Brecht, In Praise of  Dialectics, 1931


Το άδικο βαδίζει σήμερα με σταθερό βήμα.
Οι καταπιεστές προετοιμάζουν τα επόμενα δέκα χιλιάδες χρόνια.
Η βία διαβεβαιώνει: έτσι όπως είναι η κατάσταση, έτσι θα μείνει.
Καμιά φωνή δεν ακούγεται, πέρα από τη φωνή του εξουσιαστή.
Και στις αγορές φωνάζει η εκμετάλλευση: τώρα μόλις αρχίζω.

Αλλά πολλοί από τους καταπιεζόμενους λένε τώρα:
Αυτό που εμείς θέλουμε δεν θα γίνει ποτέ.

Εσύ που ακόμα ζεις, μην πεις: ποτέ!
Το σίγουρο δεν είναι σίγουρο.
Έτσι όπως είναι η κατάσταση δεν θα μείνει.
Αν μιλήσουν οι εξουσιαστές θα μιλήσουν οι εξουσιαζόμενοι.
Ποιος τολμά να πει: ποτέ;
Από ποιόν εξαρτάται αν η καταπίεση μένει; Από εμάς.
Από ποιόν εξαρτάται αν θα τσακιστεί; Επίσης από εμάς.
Εκείνος που έπεσε, στέκεται πάλι όρθιος.
Εκείνος που έχασε, παλεύει!
Εκείνος που συνειδητοποίησε τη θέση του, πως τον κρατάς τώρα;

Επειδή οι σημερινοί νικημένοι είναι οι αυριανοί νικητές
Και από το ποτέ θα γίνει: Σήμερα κιόλας!

Εγκώμιο στη Διαλεκτική, 1931


In honour of the poet, playwright, theatrical director, thinker.  
In honour of the Communist Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht. 
He was born in Ausburg, Bavaria, Germany on a day like this in 1898

Κυριακή, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Against the Dust of Time, we continue...

Theodoros Angelopoulos.
27.4.1935 - 24.1.2012
Theodoros was used to say that his relationship with the cinema started as a nightmare. When he saw a nightmare the night after he watched his first movie. It was a movie of Michael Curtis. In fact his relationship with the cinema, but his life too, came to an end in a truly horrific way at 18:45, the 24th of January of 2012. However it really impressed me, it was a life lesson, how he was facing such an end, because we had already experienced the same thing, in a different way, during the making of another film of his. 
Theo Angelopoulos during the shooting
of the film Ulysses` Gaze. Magnum Photos, 1994
It was December of 1994, during the filming of Ulysses’ Gaze (Το Βλέμμα του Οδυσσέα), when in the room 206 of the hotel Ligos in Florina the room service opened the door and realized that a half-naked mad was lying dead right behind it. We heard her scream. This man was Gian Maria Volontè. The famous Italian actor who was about to play the role that was given afterwards to Erland Josephson in Ulysses’ Gaze and who had just arrived in Florina in order to participate in the filming. The day before, Volontè, in the hotel’s lobby had started to sing old left-wing revolutionary songs. From Avanti Popolo and Bella Ciao ‘til other songs of the resistance and the partisans. His last salute just before leave us late at night... he raised his fist and said: “We don’t surrender, we continue…”  He was referring of course to all these extraordinary changes that took place few years ago and had a tremendous impact internationally, but had affected as well the image and the character of the militant left around the world.

Theo Angelopoulos with Maya Morgenstern
during the shooting of the film « Ulisses`gaze», Magnum photos, 1994
Theo Angelopoulos with Harvey Keitel
during the shooting of the film « Ulysses`gaze», 1994
Theo Angelopoulos with Harvey Keitel and Gian Maria Volonté
during the shooting of the film «Ulysses`gaze», 1994
The reaction of Angelopoulos when he viewed the dead body of Volontè was a silent inner pain and hours of isolation in his room. He didn’t speak; he didn’t want to see anyone. Sometime after many hours called us, his main collaborators, and put to us a simple question. What are we doing now? 
I remember Takis Katselis, his right hand in many of his movies, responding to him in third person despite the fact that was answering straight to him:  I know that Theodor Angelopoulos the day his father died he decided to go filming. So did we back then in Ulysses’ Gaze.  This fact is “wish & curse” and has been transmitted to every one of us who had the chance to make some steps next to him either in weeping meadows or in other seas but for sure for an eternity and a day. THIS. We don’t surrender, we continue! We continue the journey. This is what we learned the most by being next to him. To travel… 

Alexandros Lambridis 

Small Prespa Lake, 7.1.1997
"The journey, the borders, the exile. The human fate. The everlasting return. And not only that. 
All my persistences come in and out in my movies, as come in and out, as they silent in order to reappear later on the instruments of an orchestra." 

 The Prespa Lakes and their surroundings were
 used as background in many of Angelopoulos films 
In memory of the great Greek film director Theodoros Angelopoulos. He lost his life in an accident οn a day like this 4 years ago during the filming of his latest film "The Other Sea"... 

Σάββατο, 7 Νοεμβρίου 2015

The Funeral...

Victory!
Workers and Soldiers outside the winter Palace, the day after the battle.
Petrograd, 8.11.1917
...Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the base of the wall. Climbing these we looked down into two massive pits, ten or fifteen feet deep and fifty yards long, where hundreds of soldiers and workers were digging in the light of huge fires.
A young student spoke to us in German. “The Brotherhood Grave,” he explained. “Tomorrow we shall bury here five hundred proletarians who died for the Revolution.”
He took us down into the pit. In frantic haste swung the picks and shovels, and the earth-mountains grew. No one spoke. Overhead the night was thick with stars, and the ancient Imperial Kremlin wall towered up immeasurably.
“Here in this holy place,” said the student, “holiest of all Russia, we shall bury our most holy. Here where are the tombs of the Tsars, our Tsar -the People- shall sleep….” His arm was in a sling, from a bullet-wound gained in the fighting. He looked at it. “You foreigners look down on us Russians because so long we tolerated a medieval monarchy,” said he. “But we saw that the Tsar was not the only tyrant in the world; capitalism was worse, and in all the countries of the world capitalism was Emperor…. Russian revolutionary tactics are best….”

"Fighting by a Police Station" Drawing by Ν. Samokish
 From series "Events of the February Revolution" ,1917
 "July in Petrograd. Machine Gunners Call on the Workers of the Pulitov Plant
to Support Their Protest Against th Provisional Government"
P. Shillingovsky, 1935
...Already through the Iberian Gate a human river was flowing, and the vast Red Square was spotted with people, thousands of them. I remarked that as the throng passed the Iberian Chapel, where always before the passerby had crossed himself, they did not seem to notice it….

We forced our way through the dense mass packed near the Kremlin wall, and stood upon one of the dirt-mountains. Already several men were there, among them Muranov, the soldier who had been elected Commandant of Moscow, a tall, simple-looking, bearded man with a gentle face.

Through all the streets to the Red Square the torrents of people poured, thousands upon thousands of them, all with the look of the poor and the toiling. A military band came marching up, playing the Internationale, and spontaneously the song caught and spread like wind-ripples on a sea, slow and solemn. From the top of the Kremlin wall gigantic banners unrolled to the ground; red, with great letters in gold and in white, saying, “Martyrs of the Beginning of World Social Revolution,” and “Long Live the Brotherhood of Workers of the World.”

Revolutionary forces occupy the Kremlin, November 1917.
Painting of I. Mashkov. 
A bitter wind swept the Square, lifting the banners. Now from the far quarters of the city the workers of the different factories were arriving, with their dead. They could be seen coming through the Gate, the blare of their banners, and the dull red -like blood- of the coffins they carried. These were rude boxes, made of unplanned wood and daubed with crimson, borne high on the shoulders of rough men who marched with tears streaming down their faces, and followed by women who sobbed and screamed, or walked stiffly, with white, dead faces. Some of the coffins were open, the lid carried behind them; others were covered with gilded or silvered cloth, or had a soldier’s hat nailed on the top. There were many wreaths of hideous artificial flowers….

Through an irregular lane that opened and closed again the procession slowly moved toward us. Now through the Gate was flowing an endless stream of banners, all shades of red, with silver and gold lettering, knots of crepe hanging from the top and some Anarchist flags, black with white letters. The band was playing the Revolutionary Funeral March, and against the immense singing of the mass of people, standing uncovered, the paraders sang hoarsely, choked with sobs….

Between the factory-workers came companies of soldiers with their coffins, too, and squadrons of cavalry, riding at salute, and artillery batteries, the cannon wound with red and black forever, it seemed. Their banners said, “Long live the Third International!” or “We Want an Honest, General, Democratic Peace!”

The issue of the Izvestia of October 27, 1917 (9.11.1917)
carrying the text of the Decree on Peace
Slowly the marchers came with their coffins to the entrance of the grave, and the bearers clambered up with their burdens and went down into the pit. Many of them were women -squat, strong proletarian women. Behind the dead came other women- women young and broken, or old, wrinkled women making noises like hurt animals, who tried to follow their sons and husbands into the Brotherhood Grave, and shrieked when compassionate hands restrained them. The poor love each other so!

All the long day the funeral procession passed, coming in by the Iberian Gate and leaving the Square by way of the Nikolskaya, a river of red banners, bearing words of hope and brotherhood and stupendous prophecies, against a back-ground of fifty thousand people, under the eyes of the world’s workers and their descendants forever….

One by one the five hundred coffins were laid in the pits. Dusk fell, and still the banners came drooping and fluttering, the band played the Funeral March, and the huge assemblage chanted. In the leafless branches of the trees above the grave the wreaths were hung, like strange, multi-coloured blossoms. Two hundred men began to shovel in the dirt. It rained dully down upon the coffins with a thudding sound, audible beneath the singing….



The lights came out. The last banners passed, and the last moaning women, looking back with awful intensity as they went. Slowly from the great Square ebbed the proletarian tide….

I suddenly realized that the devout Russian people no longer needed priests to pray them into heaven. On earth they were building a kingdom more bright than any heaven had to offer, and for which it was a glory to die….

John Reed, 
Moscow 16.11.1917

K.Yuon, "A New Planet"
To the 98 years of the Great October...

Παρασκευή, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Leaving Home...


I always found the name false which they gave us: Emigrants.
That means those who leave their country.
 But we did not leave, of our own free will. Choosing another land. 
Nor did we enter into a land, to stay there, if possible for ever.
Merely, we fled. We are driven out, banned. 
Not a home, but an exile, shall the land be that took us in.

Restlessly we wait here, as near as we can to the borders,
awaiting the day of return, observing beyond the boundary 
every smallest alteration, zealously asking
every new arrival, forgetting nothing and giving up nothing.
 Not forgiving anything which happened, forgiving nothing.
Ah, the silence of the sound does not deceive us! 
We hear the shrieks from their camps even here. 
Yes, we ourselves are almost like rumors of crimes, 
which escaped over the frontier. 
  Every one of us, who with torn shoes walks through the crowd
bears witness to the shame which now defiles our land.
But none of us will stay here. 
The final word is yet unspoken.

B. Brecht,  Concerning the Label Emigrant, 1937 
(orig. Über die Bezeichnung Emigranten) 

 Immigrants on line leaving Ellis Island waiting for ferry to N.Y. Photo ca 1900
Immigrants crowd together on the deck of the "Kroonland".
 Manhattan, New York, September 1920
Immigrants stand on the dock of Ellis Island waiting to be transferred.
New York, ca 1920

Λαθεμένο μου φαινόταν πάντα τ’ όνομα που μας δίναν: «Μετανάστες»
Θα πει, κείνοι που αφήσαν την πατρίδα τους. Εμείς, ωστόσο,
δε φύγαμε γιατί το θέλαμε, λεύτερα να διαλέξουμε μιάν άλλη γη. 
Ούτε και σε μιάν άλλη χώρα μπήκαμε να μείνουμε για πάντα εκεί, αν γινόταν.
Εμείς φύγαμε στα κρυφά. Μας κυνήγησαν, μας προγράψανε.
Κι η χώρα που μας δέχτηκε, σπίτι δε θα ‘ναι, μα εξορία.

Έτσι απομένουμε δω πέρα, ασύχαστοι, όσο μπορούμε πιό κοντά στα σύνορα, 
προσμένοντας του γυρισμού τη μέρα, καραδοκώντας το παραμικρό
σημάδι αλλαγής στην άλλην όχθη, πνίγοντας μ’ ερωτήσεις
κάθε νεοφερμένο, χωρίς τίποτα να ξεχνάμε, τίποτα ν’ απαρνιόμαστε,
χωρίς να συχωράμε τίποτ’ απ’ όσα έγιναν, τίποτα δε συχωράμε.
Α, δε μας ξεγελάει τούτη η τριγύρω σιωπή! 
Ακούμε ίσαμ’ εδώ τα ουρλιαχτά που αντιλαλούν απ’ τα στρατόπεδά τους. 
Εμείς οι ίδιοι μοιάζουμε των εγκλημάτων τους απόηχος, 
που κατάφερε τα σύνορα να δρασκελίσει. 
Ο καθένας μας, περπατώντας μες στο πλήθος με παπούτσια ξεσκισμένα,
μαρτυράει τη ντροπή που τη χώρα μας μολεύει.
Όμως κανένας μας δε θα μείνει εδώ. 
Η τελευταία λέξη δεν ειπώθηκε ακόμα.

Μπ. Μπρεχτ, Για τον όρο Μετανάστης , 1937 



In memory of all those who died assassinated
seeking a better future away from home...