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By Loring M. Danforth

At the peak of the Greek Civil battle in 1948, thirty-eight thousand young children have been evacuated from their houses within the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist get together relocated 1/2 them to orphanages in jap Europe, whereas their adversaries within the nationwide govt put the remaining in children’s houses in different places in Greece. some degree of competition in the course of the chilly warfare, this arguable episode maintains to gas tensions among Greeks and Macedonians and inside of Greek society itself. Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten current the following for the 1st time a finished learn of the 2 evacuation courses and the lives of the youngsters they eternally transformed.

Marshalling archival files, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, the authors learn the evacuation approach, the political clash surrounding it, the children’s upbringing, and their fates as adults bring to an end from their mom and dad and their place of origin. additionally they provide voice to seven refugee little ones who poignantly recount their formative years reviews and heroic efforts to build new lives in diaspora groups through the global. A much-needed corrective to earlier ancient debts, Children of the Greek Civil War is additionally a looking out exam of the iconic results of displacement at the lives of refugee children.

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The Axis occupation of Greece was a period of great deprivation and hardship. In Athens nearly 300,000 Greeks starved to death (Mazower 1993, 41), while in the countryside German and Italian troops burned hundreds of villages to the ground and massacred thousands of villagers. The social and political divisions that developed in Greece during the Occupation contributed directly to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1946. 30 / Chapter One Leading roles in the resistance were played by the National Liberation Front (EAM) and its armed wing, the Greek Popular Liberation Army (ELAS), both of which, although controlled by the Greek Communist Party, enjoyed broad popular support among Greeks with a wide range of political views.

Toward the end of the Civil War, when most of the fighting was taking place in border areas inhabited by Slavic speakers, the latter constituted approximately 30 percent of the Democratic Army (Clogg 1979, 163). While the support of the Macedonians of northern Greece was invaluable to the partisans, it also made the partisans vulnerable to charges of treason on the grounds that they supported ceding Greek Macedonia to the Slavs (Close 1995, 95). In the villages of western Macedonia, the majority of Asia Minor refugees, as well as many Slavic speakers who had developed a Greek national identity, supported the Greek government.

The image of refugees as innocent victims is even more compelling when the refugees are children. The vast international legal system for the protection of children that exists in the early twenty-first century was still in its infancy in the early 1940s. Many of the basic ideas concerning the rights of children that would later be enshrined in humanitarian law played a significant role in public debates about the fate of the refugee children of the Greek Civil War. ” For this reason, the family “should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community” (preamble).

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