Children of the Greek Civil War : refugees and the politics by Loring M. Danforth

By Loring M. Danforth

At the peak of the Greek Civil struggle in 1948, thirty-eight thousand kids have been evacuated from their houses within the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist social gathering relocated 1/2 them to orphanages in japanese Europe, whereas their adversaries within the nationwide govt positioned the remainder in children’s houses in other places in Greece. some degree of competition through the chilly warfare, this debatable episode keeps to gasoline tensions among Greeks and Macedonians and inside of Greek society itself. Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten current the following for the 1st time a finished examine of the 2 evacuation courses and the lives of the youngsters they endlessly transformed.

Marshalling archival documents, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, the authors examine the evacuation method, the political clash surrounding it, the children’s upbringing, and their fates as adults bring to an end from their mom and dad and their fatherland. additionally they provide voice to seven refugee youngsters who poignantly recount their early life reports and heroic efforts to build new lives in diaspora groups during the global. A much-needed corrective to prior ancient money owed, Children of the Greek Civil War can be a looking exam of the iconic results of displacement at the lives of refugee children.

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As the government gradually regained control over the state appa- Framing the Subject / 31 ratus, the persecution of the left took on a more institutionalized form. By the end of the Civil War, the government held 18,000 political prisoners and 31,000 detainees in concentration camps, while an estimated 8,000 leftists had been sentenced to death and executed (Panourgiá 2009, 98– 103; Voglis 2002, 59–63). Gradually leftists began to rearm, and in October 1946 leaders of the Communist Party established the Democratic Army of Greece.

In many cultures—and this includes rural Greek culture in the 1940s—even young children play an important role in family life and have to make independent decisions in looking after the family’s survival or in caring for their younger siblings (Mann 2004). Recent research with children affected by war has also shown that, even when severely traumatized, children frequently exhibit remarkable resilience and are able to play an active role in determining their own fate (Boyden and de Berry 2004, xvii; Panter-Brick 2000, 11).

Part 2, Stories, contains seven life-history narratives in which refugee children recount their own experiences in their own words. These narratives are an integral part of this book; they constitute a powerful refutation of the oversimplified, politicized master narratives that have dominated virtually all public discussion of this most controversial episode of the Greek Civil War. These individual life-history narratives demonstrate forcefully that refugee children are not passive, silent victims, as they are so often portrayed.

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