Papoulias claims Nazis committed "Greek Holocausts"
Earlier this month, Karolos Papoulias -- a founding member of PASOK -- demanded that Germany recognize and pay reparations for "Greek Holocausts" that allegedly were committed by the Nazis during the German Occupation. Papoulias claims that German reprisals against Greek civilians were systematic and, thus, constituted genocides.
However, these claims of genocide are completely baseless. There is no doubt that the Germans were responsible for inflicting many unjustifiable horrors against innocent Greek civilians (e.g. the massacre of Kalavryta which included the torching of an Orthodox church) but there was never a Nazi-orchestrated policy to exterminate Greeks. Although as deplorable as the massacre of innocent civilians is, such acts do not constitute genocide unless they are part of a wider campaign to systematically exterminate an ENTIRE population. And there is absolutely no such evidence to even SUGGEST that the Germans ever drew up such a plan.
In fact, all historical evidence refutes such a myth. If the Nazis wanted to exterminate the Greek people then why did Hitler greatly admire Greece? Why was Nazi Germany Greece's largest trading partner before the war? Why was the swastika flown at half-mast in Berlin as a symbol of mourning for Ioannis Metaxas? Why did Hitler, as he made clear to his staff, greatly dislike having to make war against Greece? Why did Hitler instruct his soldiers that he wanted to treat the defeated Greek nation honourably? Why did Goebbels read to the German Army of the East, in the name of the Fuehrer, that the fight on Greek soil was not a battle against the Greek people, but against England, and that only those Greeks supporting the British would fall with them? Why was the Greek Army the only allied army to be saluted by Hitler who acclaimed, "Only the Greeks have shown themselves to be equal in courage to the German soldier"? Why were all Greek prisoners of war released before the war's end, making them the only Allied soldiers to receive this grant? Why was the Poulos-Verband unit of collaborators outfitted in German Army uniforms and German weapons? Why were various Greek collaborationist units allowed to withdraw from Greece with the Germans? Why were Greek collaborators trusted to serve within SS Divisions outside of Greece? Why did the Axis import some food into Greece while the Germans assisted the Greek collaborationist authorities in distributing it to Greeks? Why did the Germans halt the export of food from Greece in 1942, thus alleviating some of the suffering from the famine that was ravaging the country? And why did Greeks in the Bulgarian-occupied zone flee to the German or Italian districts for safety?
As for the German executions and massacres, while there can never be any argument to exonerate German brutality against innocent civilians, these events should be placed in their proper context. The fact of the matter is that German massacres were in response to the
Marxist guerrilla activities of EAM-ELAS; the Nazis didn't just get bored and decided on whim to massacre entire villages. The Germans had made it perfectly clear that any resistance against the occupation that resulted in the deaths of German soldiers and especially of higher-ranking officers would have extremely serious consequences for civilians of that area. As such, it is no leap of the imagination to deduce that EAM-ELAS intentionally targeted higher-
ranking officers to trigger massive and bloodly reprisals against innocent Greek civilians. Such brutal reprisals would act as excellent propaganda to cultivate undying hatred towards the Germans and also aid the effort to recruit civilians seeking revenge into EAM-
ELAS units. With this in mind, the Communists were just as responsible for the Nazi massacres of Greeks as the German executioners themselves were. Of course, these are points that are
totally ignored by Greek history books (and PASOK politicians like Papoulias) as they discredit EAM-ELAS' heroic image.
Finally, it's worth noting how quickly PASOK -- and other Leftists -- will denounce non-existent genocides with shrill cries and righteous fury but will deny the irrefutable genocide of their own people at the hands of the Turks. Thus, PASOK, with its self-destructive attempts at Greek-Turkish rapprochement, attempted to overturn a law recognizing the Genocide of Asia Minor Greeks. After all, if the anniversary of the Hellenic Genocide was to be a well-known, recognized, and commemorated event, it might make Greeks dislike Turks. But for fictitious Nazi-orchestrated "Greek Holocausts" to be recognized and observed is ideal because then Greeks might hate nationalism. And, I guess, this is very reason Papoulias (as far as I know) has not spoken about the 1955 anti-Greek pogrom in Constantinople even though this month is its 50th anniversary.
-A Hellenic Nationalist Comrade
(Reproduced For Fair Use And Educational Purposes)
Macedonian Press Agency
PRESIDENT PAPOULIAS IN HORTIATIS FOR THE HOLOCAUST ANNIVERSARY
Hortiatis, 2 September 2005 (13:39 UTC+2)
The German state must satisfy the Greek demand for the recognition of the Greek holocausts committed by the Nazi occupation forces, stressed Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias in his speech during a ceremony held today in memory of the 149 victims of the Holocaust in the town of Hortiatis, near Thessaloniki. The ceremony was held in the presence of local authorities and the German consul general.
The reprisals targeting the Greek population during the Nazi occupation were not the result of an initiative by certain isolated fanatic officers or an expression of the wrath of the occupation
forces, said the President, adding that they were systematic and followed strict rules of reasoning serving specific goals. The occupation forces through the reprisals sought to terrorize the Greek people and force them to stop supporting the resistance fighters or even turn the people against them. For this particular reason, the German state must show in a tangible way its abhorrence for the Nazi atrocities. The issue of reparations has grounds and it is the
obligation of the Greek state to assist the efforts made by the families of the victims aimed at winning the recognition of the Greek holocausts by the German state.
Earlier, Hortiatis mayor Michalis Geranis referred to the historical facts of the Holocaust and stressed that the German occupation forces massacred 149 people in Hortiatis, among them small children, by way of reprisal because the resistance fighters had killed a German soldier.