December 7, 2017:
There seems to be almost no public memory of the resistance to Nazi occupation.
Odd, and shameful, given its extraordinary heroism. In May, 1941 two students secretly climbed the Acropolis and tore down the swastika flag. Yet you don't find this mentioned in the Acropolis Museum.
Not only its heroism but also its mass character. By 1944, one quarter of the population of Greece belonged to the National Liberation Front. Armed guerrillas controlled much of the mountains and decimated the German withdrawal at the end of the year.
There's no mention of the Holocaust in Greece, of Nazi collaboration, or of the horrific mass reprisals which wiped out whole villages. No Museum of the Occupation, no Tomb of the Unknown Guerrilla. No discussion of the horrific British repression following their occupation of Athens, or of their massacre of partisans in partnership with Nazi collaborators — who they armed for this purpose. Despite the historical fact that it was British occupation which prepared for and enabled the dictatorship of the Colonels.
Perhaps the movement's domination by the Communist Party led to embarrassment during the Cold War. Maybe the tourist authorities wish not to antagonize Germans — or Brits. One wonders if the Colonels succeeded in erasing both institutional and popular memory.
Whatever the reason. We encountered just one public reference to the Occupation: a very brief mention that art treasures were hidden inside the misnamed "Prison of Socrates".