Theodorakis - Chronology (II)

 War 1941-1944

by Guy Wagner and Asteris Koutoulas

 Structure and pictures: Guy Wagner


 General Metaxas refuses with one word »Ochi« (No) Mussolini's ultimatum: War between Greece and Italy.

28.10. Italian troops enter in Greece and are defeated. Greek forces thrust deep into Albania.

As a member of the Nationalist Youth Organization, Theodorakis cares for the wounded in the town hospital.



05.04. The German »Wehrmacht« comes to the aid of their Italian allies heavily beaten by the Greeks and invade the country.

German soldiers in Athens

27.04. The Germans reach Athens. The country is divided into three zones of occupation: German, Bulgarian and Italian. Tripolis is in the Italian zone.

31.05. Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas tear down the swastika from the Acropolis, a symbolic act calling for resistance to the occupation forces.

 27.09. The Communist Party sets up the National Liberation Front (EAM). In 1943, the Front sets up an armed organisation, the National Liberation Army (ELAS) and the Unitarian Organisation of the Greek Youth (EPON).

 1941/42 Winter: Greece is hit by famine, especially Athens and Thessalonika. 300.000 people die of hunger.


 Siao»Siao« publish under pseudonym Dino Mais


Theodorakis publishes his first volume of poems »Siao«.

He composes the liturgical hymn Kassiani and earns a great success in Tripolis. He writes songs on well known poems, and »The Song of Captain Zacharias« from a poem by A. Valaoritis becomes the song of the Greek maritime resistance. With his friends he forms a circle.

 Mikis - MakisWith friends (on the right: Makis Karlis)



25.03. Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770-1843), the hero of the war of Greek Independence, lies buried in the town of his birth, Tripolis. During a demonstration on his tomb on the first anniversary of the beginning of the present war of independence, Theodorakis is arrested for striking an Italian officer. In prison, he is tortured for the first time. His fellow prisoners introduce him to the marxist theory. Theodorakis becomes member of the Communist Party. He sees his duty as being to join the resistance.

 Theodorakis is arrested again, this time by Festuccio, the Italian police chief in Tripolis. Festuccio warns him: the Italians are soon going to capitulate, and the Germans will take control of the region. Theodorakis and many others will be arrested. His family send him to stay with an uncle who lives in the Nea Smyrni district of Athens.

In Athens, he becomes a member of EPON. The director of the Athens Conservatoire Philoktitis Ikonomidis, takes Mikis on as a student.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "myrto altinoglou"Young Myrto Altinoglou

He meets Myrto Altinoglou, an ardent militant of EPON, in her parents' house, where he goes to listen to the BBC's Greek broadcast: Ten years later, she becomes his wife.


Mikis' parents and his brother come to Athens. His father finds a job in the Ministry of Interior. Theodorakis is arrested while carrying clandestine documents. His friend, who was helping, is tortured and killed before his eyes, but miraculously Mikis is freed: Although he was still only a student he had written in his identity card »composer«, and this title had impressed the Germans.
Mikis becomes a member of a Reserve Unity of ELAS.

 © Guy Wagner and Asteris Koutoulas, 1996-2002. Pictures © Archives FILIKI et Mikis Theodorakis