Why “To Vima”
It is the early 1950s and on one of the city’s major roads, Alexandras Avenue, some of the most characteristic…
It is the early 1950s and on one of the city’s major roads, Alexandras Avenue, some of the most characteristic scenes from the “theater” of our modern history are being played out. Queen Frederica and Nikos Belogiannis on death row are the protagonists.
As you go down Alexandras Avenue, on your right-hand side, a few hundred meters from the Panathinaikos stadium one would come across the Averof Prison, where Nikos Belogiannis was “accommodate” prior to his execution.
The children from the neighborhood would gather around as a “mob” and watch the prisoner behind bars ask for help: “Oh people of Athens, tomorrow they will execute me…”
From his cell Belogiannis have view of a plot of land, belonging to “Margaritis” – which was nearly an entire city block, between Loukareos, Paraschou, Boukouvala streets and Alexandras Avenue.
In this plot of land, the childish “mob” watched Queen Frederica set the foundation to a two-story building, the First Aid Station of IKA. The Queen was the protagonist in the ceremony, who was distinguished by her mobility and wonderful fur coat.
The years went by and the accidental “meeting” of the two is documented in the “footnotes” of History. The Greek people will never know what hides behind the actions, conflicts and ceremonies, which appear to be unsolved enigmas.
Occasionally, some protagonists in History decide to talk. That is their opportunity to explain the actions and omissions of leaders who “went down in history”.
It will take many years to fully and objectively document the history of Greece during the second half of the 20th century. Eventually light be shed on the Civil War, the dark period, the parastatal groups, the relentless struggle, the Apostasy, the junta, the coup in April of 1967 and the tragedy in Cyprus.
The autobiography of the former King Constantine is for self-evident reasons a historical document of exceptional value.
“To Vima” is offering its readers the whole three tomes, which can be read as a historical narrative or placed on a bookshelf for future use.
Stavros P. Psycharis
Originally published in the Sunday print edition