«The Hope» - Article by Ilias Kasidiaris

12/03/2015 21:35


On last Saturday night I watched a small miracle, like those that appear rarely and offer you strength to stand up and continue the hard Struggle of your life. The cells of the prison had already been closed and the time was passing slowly and painfully, as always, when you live in conditions of miserable and suffocating restriction. News broadcast in the channels of interweaving I watch just a little. Just to analyze the systemic propaganda and to check if the announcements of Golden Dawn are displayed. Very rarely a headline of the news attracts my interest. On last Saturday night I got the exception to this rule.

Accidentally I saw a nice tribute entitled: “Rizokarpaso – The last trapped Greeks”. I have great love for the Cypriot Hellenism. In that played role my military service in the 35th Commando Squadron (nestled in the legendary Stavrovouni in an ideal location to cover Special Forces Unit, somewhere between Larnaca and Nicosia). But I know Rizokarpaso only from TV, books and military maps. It is located at the northernmost point of the island at the tip of the peninsula, which is the imaginary stalk of the golden green leaf of Cyprus. I did not know that there are still Greeks living in Rizokarpaso. I “stuck” when I saw the title of the tribute. Unfortunately, at the time of memorandum, even we Nationalists forget the Unredeemed Hellenism. We forget the brothers of blood, who live their lives under foreign yoke, in a land occupied, but eternal Greek.

The first pictures of the tribute were depressing. A middle-aged woman, terrified, was trying to avoid the questions of the journalist on the conditions she experiences and the ferocious Turkish occupation. But what followed was truly breathtaking. An unexpected awakening of the wounded pride of Greece. The surprise, the emotion, the pride awoke inside me, as soon as the word was given to the children. The children are the inextinguishable flame of this world. The live picture of rebirth. The children are the Hope. The only reason to fight with courage for a better tomorrow. The children of Cyprus, who spoke that night from the occupied Rizokarpaso were two. Giannis and Vaso Prodromou (apparently siblings), junior high school students, were very similar to the Greek children who grow up here, in occupied by other forces Greece. They were similar, but they also had something so different, something so great, that made me at once to dedicate myself in their words and keep thinking of them till today. That something different, this divine gift, this immortal value, that gives you strength in the most difficult times to stand up and move forward, is the Hope, that awakens Greece in you at once.

Listening to the first words of the children I detected an original “Greek voice”. The language flowed so beautifully, so harmoniously, that resembled in nothing my own generation – here in main Greece – that has so cruelly abused the most beautiful language in the world. The two Cypriot children spoke Greek much better than most of our fellow citizens, even the political players, who traduce our country internationally. The content of their speech was simple, mild and hard as a diamond, scratching the submissive consciousness of the modern Hellenism:

  • Journalists: “Do you have Turkish friends?”
  • Giannis Prodromou: “No. They invaded our Homeland. They have trapped us. Why should they be my friends?”
  • Journalist: “Do you guard yourselves?”
  • Vaso Prodromou: “Yes, we do. We do our feasts discreetly. Without flags, parades, slogans”
  • Journalist: “Why don’t you leave?”
  • Vaso: “We are the ones who keep our place alive”
  • Giannis: “We have to stay, we have to support it… we are here with the hope they leave (the Turks)”

From the old days, remains stuck in my mind a picture of the days of the legendary Fight of the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters. This Fight was identified with the most well-organized guerilla movement of the 20th century. It had it all: sabotage, assassinations of enemy’s leaders, fights with elite groups of SAS, political extension with great massive base and continuous interventions in big cities, full support by the civilian population, leading information network. On the other hand, they had to face the largest empire of the world, special commando units that won the Second World War, endless money and inexhaustible material resources, the anti-Greek activities of the Turks, terrorism, mass executions and hangings of young Fighters. The picture that came in my mind listening to the children from Rizokarpaso is not a war picture. It is a picture of poverty and deprivation, which does not create sadness, but Hope. The picture of three kids of Cyprus from the tempestuous years of EOKA. On the wall behind them there is a slogan: “We want Greece even we eat stones”. These words belong to the greatest Theodoros Kolokotronis and are timeless. They pass from 1821 through the mountains of Peloponnesus to 1955 and the hideouts of Digenis in Cyprus. And from ther, with a secret jump through time, come to today, in occupied Rizokarpaso and the two Greek children who insist to “eat stones and want Greece”.

In recent times we live our lives in prisons, paying the price of Resistance against those who are fighting Greece. In a way, therefore – we also – “eat stones”. We may not fight in the mountains, we may by insignificant in comparison with the Heroes of the Liberation Fights, but we also do small sacrifices, serving the great purpose of the Homeland. We eat stones, because we want Greece. If we did not want it we would have compromised, we would have kneeled, we would have been bribed, we would have snitched on innocent people, we would cry in the parliament, we would have been absorbed by the system of corruption and foreign rule. There were many ways, but we chose to eat stones. Along with the children from Rizokarpaso, I think that the children of Golden Dawn” (young and old) do everything they can to keep alive the Hope, that in difficult times, such as recent times, marches with Greece.

Korydallos Prison,

11 March 2015

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