Tag: Archbishop Damaskinos

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

Athens, 1944: Some Lighter Moments in a Serious Situation

The Greeks are still not laugh­ing about their mid-1940s civ­il war, so lev­i­ty may be inap­pro­pri­ate. Nor was Churchill at the time. “There is a lot of ruin in any nation,” he once mused. In Athens, 1944, Britain was “respon­si­ble for build­ing up the nest of cock­a­tri­ces for EAM [com­mu­nist par­ti­sans] in Greece.” (His vocab­u­lary was broad: A cock­a­trice is a myth­i­cal, two-legged drag­on or ser­pent-like crea­ture with a cock’s head.)

Nev­er­the­less, the peace deal Churchill bro­kered between war­ring Greeks in 1944 had so many hilar­i­ous moments that, 75 years lat­er, we may be per­mit­ted to indulge in lighter aspects.…

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“Antithesis of Democracy” (Or: Winston Churchill & Portland)

“Antithesis of Democracy” (Or: Winston Churchill & Portland)

Churchill’s stunning relevancy

It is remark­able how we still encounter in Churchill words of astound­ing cur­ren­cy. A friend in Port­land, Ore­gon asked for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of a Churchill quo­ta­tion: “A love for tra­di­tion has nev­er weak­ened a nation, indeed it has strength­ened nations in their hour of per­il….”  (“The Tasks which Lie Before Us,” House of Com­mons, 29 Novem­ber 1944.)  A good, sol­id max­im, but not out of the ordi­nary.

AND THEN my eye fell across what Churchill said a week lat­er. Its cur­rent appli­ca­tion, to Port­land among oth­er places, is remark­able. December 1944 Only two months after Greece had been lib­er­at­ed from Ger­man occu­pa­tion, left­ist ele­ments of the gov­ern­ment resigned and began an armed rebel­lion.…

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