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Culture

Oxi Day Exhibition Opens at the Greek Consulate in NY

October 21, 2017

NEW YORK – The Consulate General of Greece in New York presented the opening of the photographic exhibition Faces of War, Greece 1940-1944: From Occupation to Liberation, on Wednesday, October 18.

The exhibition consists of a selection of original and unpublished photos from the archives of the Greek Secretariat General for Media and Communications and the Greek National Broadcaster ERT. Covering the War, the German occupation and the Great Famine, the National Resistance and the Liberation, the exhibition offers a glimpse into history and reminds us of Greece’s pivotal role in turning the tide of World War II beginning with that fateful “Oxi.”

As noted in the news release, “It is our ultimate duty to honor in total the Greek people for their heroism, the sacrifices they endured, the fights they fought for independence, freedom, democracy, and justice.”

In his speech at the event, Consul General Konstantinos Koutras, noted that the “Oxi” (no) of the Greeks in 1940 surprised the Italians and the whole world. He continued, “The Greek Army fought under extremely difficult conditions against the Italian divisions and drove them back 60 kilometers across the border into Albania. With the same heroism, the Greeks faced Hitler’s forces in 1941, but in the end were forced to retreat.

After the occupation of Greece by the Germans, the terrible period of occupation followed, which the Greek people faced with courage and the National Resistance. During the occupation, our country suffered all sorts of disasters, from the dissolution of the productive fabric of the country, the compulsory lending by the Bank of Greece, the plundering of our cultural heritage, to the culmination of the atrocities of the occupying troops with the recognized holocausts throughout the Greek territory, the executions of innocent civilians and children, as retaliation for the acts of resistance of our people. But on October 12, 1944, it was the time of our much-deserved and costly liberty. The Germans left Athens and Greece was unified. So ended a four-year war that wrote pages of glory in the history of our country.”

Consul General Koutras said in conclusion, “Although 77 years have passed since that time, the dangers remain, as the war today is economic, spiritual, moral. The heroes of the 1940s epitomize the ideals that characterize the Greek for 3,000 years: love for freedom, generosity, philotimo, dignity, consistency in the performance of duty, debt to history, love to God and the homeland. With these resources, Greece will once again be victorious in this modern war, it will again win its honor and its place in History.”

The Director of the Press Office of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN, Ioannis Bouboukis, who thanked the Consul General for the beginning of a new collaboration with the Consulate General of our country in New York, as well as the services and the staff of the General Secretariat of Information and Communication, which provided the valuable material for this exhibition. He briefly quoted from the five sections of the exhibition: The Front, Famine, Resistance and the Armed Opposition, Effects of War, and Liberation, while pointing out that the exhibition also includes an 18-minute long documentary and a 12.5-minute slide show.

Lana Zochiou, the new Consul of Greece in New York was also introduced by Consul General Koutras at the event. Those in attendance all wished Zochiou the best in her new position. Among those present were Ambassador Vasilios Philippou- Consul General of Cyprus in New York, Fr. Robert Stephanopoulos and his wife Nikki, Nancy Papaioannou- President of Atlantic Bank, Dr. Marinos Petratos, Dr. Miranda Kofinas, and James Demetro, among many other members of the community.

The photo exhibition Faces of the War. Greece: 1940-1944: From the Occupation to Liberation is open to the public at the Greek Consulate General in New York until Friday, November 3. Exhibition hours: MondayFriday, 9 AM to 2:30 PM.

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