OXI Day: Iconic Images of Greece in WWII

OXI Day: Iconic Images of Greece in WWII

oxi1940okOn October 28th, millions around the world will commemorate OXI Day, a day honoring Greece’s courageous resistance during WWII.

On October 28th, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi delivered an ultimatum from Benito Mussolini to Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas. The ultimatum was demanding the entry of the Italian army and the occupation of Greek territory.

”Greek Soldier”, LIFE magazine front cover, December 16th, 1940
”Greek Soldier”, LIFE magazine front cover, December 16th, 1940

When Metaxas was faced with this demand, he delivered an unequivocal response in French, (the diplomatic language of the day) “Alors, c’est la guerre.” This brief phrase, “Then, it is war,” was quickly transmuted into the laconic “Oxi” by the citizens of Athens.

Ioannis Metaxas had begun his career in the Greek army, eventually entering politics as a staunch royalist. By 1936 he held the post of Minister of War. That same year, a deadlocked election led King George II to appoint Metaxas to the position of Prime Minister.

Greek soldiers on the frontlines
Greek soldiers on the frontlines

Within four months, Metaxas had declared a State of Emergency and suspended Parliament. For the remainder of his life, he ruled as a dictator. He is a deeply controversial figure in Greek history but his actions on October 28th contributed to the ultimate victory of the allied forces.

Metaxas addressed the Greek people with these words:
“The time has come for Greece to fight for her independence. Greeks, we must now prove ourselves worthy of our forefathers and the freedom they bestowed upon us. Greeks, fight now for your Fatherland, for your wives, for your children and the sacred traditions. The struggle is now for everything!”

Watch the gallery below:

In response to this address, the people of Greece spontaneously went out to the streets singing Greek patriotic songs and shouting anti-Italian slogans. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers, men and women, in all parts of Greece, headed to army recruitment offices to enlist. The whole Greek nation was united in the face of aggression.

Meanwhile, Italian forces entered Greece through a rough, wild terrain- the steep Pindos Mountains. There they met fierce and unexpected resistance. As Italian troops moved southward towards the city of Ioannina, Greek troops took to the heights, bombarding the Italians from above.

On January 29th, 1941, Prime Minister Metaxas died suddenly and unexpectedly from an inflammation of the pharynx that led to a toxic infection. Alexandros Koryzis, the Governor of the Bank of Greece, succeeded him in office.

In March of 1941 Mussolini personally supervised a ferocious counterattack designed to drive the Greeks from Southern Albania. Despite his leadership, the attack failed, further humiliating the Italian leader, leaving him humiliated and enraged. Hitler was also furious at what he perceived as Mussolini’s blunder.

In addition, on April 18th, Prime Minister Koryzis chose to shoot himself rather than face the German entry into Athens; German motorcycle troops entered the city, driving straight to the Acropolis where they tore down the Greek flag and replaced it with a Swastika.

The Greeks fought long and hard for victory; for six months they occupied the Italian army, preventing them from advancing. In the end, the Germans were forced to delay the invasion of Russia in order to subdue the Greeks when the Italians failed in their efforts. This delay proved fatal for the Germans, extending their campaign against the USSR into the brutal winter.

Metaxas’ response resulted in a fatal diversion and delayed the Axis powers in general, specifically the German army. British military historian Sir John Keegan describes the Battle of Greece as “decisive in determining the future course of the Second World War.”

Winston Churchill believed that Greeks were inspired by their own heroic past, to wage a fierce fight against all odds. He paid homage to the Greek resistance by claiming,
“…until now we would say that the Greeks fight like heroes. From now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.” Every October 28th, Greeks at home and abroad honor the past by celebrating “Oxi” Day.

  • MSMlies

    Former heads of state call on EU to set up state surveillance of ‘intolerant’ citizens

    The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a “tolerance watchdog” launched under the leadership of former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski and MOSHE KANTOR, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESS, called for the establishment of government surveillance bodies to directly monitor the “intolerant” behavior of identified citizens and groups.

    Sophia Kuby, spokesman for European Dignity Watch, said 
    “Faith-based groups and schools, adherents of a particular religion or even just parents who want to teach their children certain moral values would all be put under general suspicion of being intolerant. Even worse, this language could lead to the possibility that charges are brought on unclear or even without legal grounds.It would be a significant step backward, and would certainly be a dark day for European democracy.”

    EUSSR in action!
    State surveilance for peoples views on race, religion and politics? This type of surveilance ultimately leads to loss of freedom, and mass murder. If an indigenous White European objects to massive 3rd World immigration then this EU police state surveilance department will track them as if they are criminals. This is evil in the making, authored as usual by the Judeo-Khazar seed of Satan.

    All of Europe needs to say a massive OXI to this new Jewish authored initiative for an EU police state surveilance agency on citizens thoughts and attitudes.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/news/former-heads-of-state-call-on-eu-to-set-up-state-surveillance-of-intolerant

  • goldenshowers

    the village idiot is loose, you nazis need to just jump off a bridge and take a kke member with you.

  • Cypriot
  • MissB

    It’s quite ironic when Greece was getting attacked by the Nazi’s in WW2 but today honour them with Golden Dawns coat of arms, the Swastika

  • ShekelGoldbergstein

    The Greek Meander is a swastika?

  • Novus Ordo

    There are many wrongs in this article and mostly in the replies.

    1. It is the best student to hold the flag. This is honorary and not political. It seems that the Greek girls spent more time in the cafeterias an don lipsticks than the Albanian students who dedicate themselves in studies.

    2. It is a big difference between Arbanites and Albanians.

    Arbanites are people originating from the ancient Greek city Arban in to day’s seaside in Albania. So all the Arbanites are 100% Greeks. As for the Albanians are mixed.

    Albanians are people imported by Romans and Ottomans as mercenaries soldiers from Caucasian Albania. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_Albania
    and see the map too.

    3. Based on #2, the claim the Albanians say they are descendants of Illyrians is a fabricated lie and they have no proof at all. Why no proof? Simply because both languages, the Illyrian and the Albanian languages were only spoken and not written. How many ancient archaeological finding discovered in Illyrian or Albanian languages to support their claim? NONE.

    4. The same arguments as in 3 goes for the Skopjian that claim they are Macedonians. They are fake. How many finding the archaeologists brought to life and written in they so called Macedonian langauge? None so far, No Aleksandrosfski The Machedonofski epigraph in any statue. On the other hand, there are over 65,000 artifact items in the Museum of Thessaloniki, all with Greek inscriptions.

    5. It is a waste of time for the Greeks to deal such claims from low life countries but I can understand that sometimes this deems necessary as the gypsies will do the stealing if they are hungry.

  • Wise Greek

    I read Greek Reporter everyday and I’m sick of reading your Far-Right nonsense, just like I’m sick of reading the Far-Left nonsense on here! Have you not learn’t from the Civil War that both your actions and those of your ‘enemies’ will destabilise Greece and make things even harder for the Greek people?

    Greeks are above and beyond the Western political spectrum. We don’t need foreign ideologies to dictate how we live because if history serves me correctly, we have never accepted foreign occupations, segregation or the like.

    I am not going to call you a Nazi, because I don’t think you are. Perhaps you should put aside your conspiracy theories and read Aristotle? Greek Patriots can love, defend and fight for their country as well as show hospitality to all foreigners. This is the important thing to remember.

  • Polycrates

    Is freedom open to all political parties or should it be minimalized to just a few pre-approved and sanctioned by the Left, EU, EZ and UN.