June Samaras provided me with an extensive bibliography of books related to this period. Below, I review ones I've read.

Helen Vlachos, House Arrest (Gambit: Boston, 1970).

Vlachos was editor of the conservative newspaper, Kathimerini, when the colonels took over and imposed censorship. Rather than publish under censorship, she closed both her papers. As these were the 2nd and 5th largest circulation papers in Greece, this was a significant rebuke to the colonels. She was a staunch anti-communist, and the colonels probably felt she should be on their side, but she believed in the freedom of the press. The regime placed her and her husband under house arrest. She didn't budge. The regime allowed 'responsible' papers to publish. She didn't budge. Eventually she escaped to England. She wrote this book when the colonels were still in power. It recounts the daily problems and also is also a plea for the West not to support the junta. She reopened the paper in 1974.

By the way, she came by this attitude honestly, her father had refused to publish the paper when the Nazi's occupied Greece during WWII.

John Kenneth Galbraith said of the book: "A marvelous account of the political resistance of an extremely intelligent and totally stubborn Tory. The static on the line when she asked Phillips Talbot, our Ambassador, to assist her in leaving the country is alone worth the price."

She died in 1995 aged 83.

 

Mikis Theodorakis, Journal of Resistance, translated from the French by Graham Webb, (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc: New York, 1971).

Theodorakis (b. 1925), the popular composer (we know him the U.S. for the music of "Zorba the Greek" and "Z," but he is wildly popular in Greece for many albums), was forced to go underground when the colonels took over. He started a resistance organization. The colonels banned his music. After some time hiding, he was captured and sent to jail and then to internal exile. In 1970, after an international protest campaign, he was allowed to depart to France. After Greece returned to democracy, he became a member of parliament.

This book chronicles his time in the underground and his contempt for the colonels.

Theodorakis is leftist, with a long tradition of working on issues of disarmament and human rights, and he gives that perspective. The book includes a number of poems from this era.

"Art -- this art which is ours -- is our strength, our trump card. Our oppressors have chains. We have songs." p. 118

Last modified 3/4/13; posted 1/17/2000; original content © 2013, 2000 John P. Nordin