Greece’s Junta of April 21, 1967 Missed By Some

ATHENS – While April 21 is a day of infamy for many Greeks who remember it for tanks occupying the nation’s capital and a coup led by plotters known as The Colonels overthrew the government and established a brutal dictatorship, its supporters will come together in fond remembrance.
The unrepentant defenders will commemorate what they believe was a great period in Greek history, featuring junta apologist Paraskevas Bolaris, from the so-called Pajamas Movement, with speeches from Aristides Dimopoulos, a close colleagues of the late dictator George Papadopoulos, and a greeting from Papadopoulos’s cousin Angelos Papathanou, who was director of the political office.
There was also to be a presentation of the book Comparative History August 4 – April 21, with writer Manos Hatzidakis talking about the regime that plunged Greece into seven years of a dark history and isolated from much of the international community although supported by the United States, which wanted to build a bulwark against Communism and backed the military leaders.
The junta lovers also planned to show audiovisual material and Papadopoulos’ widow, Despina, was also invited.
The 1967 coup and the following seven years of military rule were the culmination of 30 years of national division between the forces of the Left and the Right that can be traced to the time of the resistance against Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. After the liberation in 1944, Greece descended into a civil war, fought between the communist forces and the now returned government-in-exile.
Papadopoulos is still revered by some Greeks, including the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which adores the dictatorship period. He was a Nazi collaborator who worked for the CIA, which provided a Greek-American agent, Gust Avrakotos, who had urged the dictators to kill Andreas Papandreou, whose father had been prime minister and whose son, George, later would be one too. George, then 14, had a gun held to his head by soldiers who invaded the Papandreou house to convince Andreas to give himself up.
The junta tortured and exiled many people and stifled free speech and was backed by the United States which wanted to keep down Communism, for which many Greeks have never forgiven American leaders.
After a student-led rebellion in 1973 brought down the dictatorship the next year, he was later sentenced to death, which was commuted to life imprisonment. He died in 1999 at 80, unapologetic for his actions.

1 Comment

  1. I have spoken to friends in Greece who would welcome a Junta ….. considering the mess they find themselves in
    today living in Greece.

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