It’s Not 1973 in Greece Anymore

Perhaps without really understanding what it means, Greek students today have appropriated the "Bread, Education, Freedom," slogan of the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising

– Antonis H. Diamataris – Publisher/Editor of The National Herald

The exploitation of the history and heroism of the Polytechnic uprising in 1973 continues. The evidence is the “fiery” statements of politicians bent on proving their devotion to democracy.

How sad!

I remember the thrill and pride with which we followed the events of the Polytechnic in The National Herald and in the American press. And I recall also our grief over the bloody crackdown of the junta.

Without a doubt, those youth – who were seeking “Bread, Education, Freedom,” were heroes and heroines.

Through the decades, however, various demagogues have appropriated the symbolism of the Polytechnic and the purity of the motives of the youth to alter the principles and morals that have led the country to the current impasse.

It is clear in retrospect that if the generation of the Polytechnic – our generation – had continued on the basis which guided its actions in 1973, they would have become the greatest generation of Greeks.

But, despite their good, romantic intentions, they went off track completely, and bear a lot of the responsibility for the bankruptcy of the country today.

So let’s not confuse today’s Greece with Greece in 1973, nor the situation faced by the current generation with the challenges that confronted that one.

There is no comparison.