From: (LYNGOS 2)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.greek
Date: 14 Jan 1998 06:25:15 GMT
Lines: 282
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Today's fifth story by George MODIS, is the one with the particular title
<<Reversal of roles>>.

In this story, taking place on April of 1941, one can learn about the language,of our places those days,about the abuse by the Bulgars of the local population, their collaboration with the NAZI Germans and the fate of certain of them .The names are real the situations are real everything is real.For the ones of you who are reading for the first time those powerfull stories from Makedonia,they might serve as an eye opener of the realities of that-our-mine land.At the same time you can see and maybe understand the reason (s) for the perpetuation of hate till today .Enjoy it ,and again I have to apologize about the mistakes of the translation which usually is done in the middle of the night .

                                      REVERSAL OF ROLES

-----<<DOBRO UTRO>> ( Good morning) Vana, said Lampros to the girl, passing in front of their house,with her head down and a large handkerchief around it.

        He added in the Bulgaromakedonian dialect:      <<You don't feel likeanswering back >>?

------<<Good morning>>, she answered, without raising her head or stop walking.

      She came back sometime later going toward the opposite direction.On top of her head she was holding a pitta made for a sick old aunt of hers.
Lampros kept standing in front of the door and he was playing with a stick. Two Bulgarian flags were hanging from two windows and a small arch with pictures of Hitler and Mussolini and the picture of Czar of Bulgaria Boris was set-up proudly and challenging next to the door.

      He told her always speaking the local Bulgaromakedonian dialect:

------Eh Vana,still are you going to think in such a way ?
-----And which way do you wish me to think,poor Lampro? She answered to him speaking in Greek.
------My name is Lampo and not Lampro.
------And mine is Yiannoula and not Vana.
------Don't you see it Vana or Yiannoula that Greece died a dog's death and Bulgaria is coming in here ?
------If you are so sure that Bulgaria is coming,then why did you destroyed the school, the village's office, the police station?!
------They were talking, her in Greek, him in the Bulgaromakedonian.
-----We are going to re-build them better.Greece anyway died a dog's death,and they burried her with seven priests,seven meters deep.Put it down your emty head.
-----Greece did give lots to you.We remained with the land of the grand-father she said ,taking the pitta from the head to the waist. The agriculture-colonization office gave the same amount of lots to the locals as to the refugees.And because Lampro's family had very few land of their own they received a whole three lots of Turkish land.
------And how Greece got that land ? Did she bring it here from her dry islands ?!
------It was Turkish land.Wasn't yours.And you were going to be unable to buy them.Later your best man became the prefect TSAXSIRAS or TSAXSIR PASHA,as they call him now.And you were an officer of EON.Don't forget about it.
------We knew how to fool the smart-playing  Greeks.We are not stupid.
------You are with a mask,that means buffons.
------You are insulting us in addition ,you dirty Graikoman, he answered speaking in Greek himself now. Today, tomorrow is coming in here the Bulgarian army and all the Greeks and  Graikomans will leave for Greece to fill their stomach with raisins and rocks.And each family  is not going to be allowed to carry with them more then thirty  okades.Do you listen to me ?
------Thank you for the information.

And she left.

They were the last days of the terrible April of 1941.The German tanks had leveled the whole of  Greece.The Bulgars had arrived  to Monastiri which was near.Bulgarian soldiers were standing guards on the train line. All the authorities had left.Even the teachers received order to leave for Kastoria and Kozani,as if the Germans were released to stop at Florina!.....As only representative of the Greek state remained the major N.XASOS who had organize animprovised national-guard.The agents of the Bulgarian KOMITATO were on the loose, to divulge and assure that today- tomorrow the Bulgarian army were going to occupy the German-occupied Greek Makedonia.They exploited also the secret archives of the Gendarmery,that were left alone and un-protected because not a match was found to set them on fire.

And many opportunists   in order to obtain Bulgarian prices and offices or forgiveness papers for their actions so far,set-up arches with the flags and the pictures of Hitler, Mussolini, of Boris, they hang Bulgarian flags on their houses and they proclaimed Hitler as the liberator! etc.etc.

       Yiannoula and Lampros were neighbors,same age, were taking the same class in the school and they were sitting in the same bench.Both had a wish.Yiannoula wanted to go to high-school and study and become a doctor,like a microbiologist in the Florina hospital.But her father never let her.

       For Lampro an uncle from Sofia without children asked him to go and study.But his father didn't let him go because he didn't wanted to expose himself to the Greek authorities.

      When they were going to shool they were calling them the <<couple>> the <<fitting couple>>.They were the best students. They also kept a friendship which was erotic without realizing it.They would like to get married. But Yiannoula's father couldn't have as in-laws the KOSMANIDES who during the years under the Turks,they were Fanatic Bulgarians.Instead he gave her to be married to Phillip,a good boy from old GREEK family,a year older thanher.

       He was taken for his military service and was sent  with other G.I's in Peloponnisos for basic training .Some were saying that had transfered them to Krete.

      Lampros was engaged to be married with somebody from a different part of the village, less beautifull and no smart at all.But Lampros and Yiannoula kept the old friendly relations and kept teasing each other.

      Lampros was going around with an automatic rifle on his back.The agents of the Komitato took care to collect the guns from the fighting places around the  passes of KLEIDION  and to carry them in Monastiri as spoils of the Yugoslavian army,that has been dissolved without any glory. The Germans made it pretty clear that they  were  going to execute everybody that was going to hide a side by side shotgun or a small pirtol.But they were closingtheir eyes when they were seeing rifles and automatic guns in the hands of the fresh Bulgarian <<allies>>.

      One day Yiannoula told him:

------Against whom are you going to fight with that gun that you have Lampro ?
-------Whom ?..............GREECE.............THE GREEKS.

     Now they were both talking in Greek,like other times.

------But you said that Greece died a dog's death and they burried her seven meters deep with seven priests.There is war going now against RUSSIA.How come you are not going in there to fight ?
------AH !      RUSSIA........RUSSIA is our friend.
------But you are allies with the Germans without a fight. Germany now is fighting against Russia.Then HOW come are you friends with Russia ?!
------- Us.........That's ..........How we are.........We have double entry.

     Lampros was repeating what was hearing from the agents of the Komitato and from KALTSEF, the Bulgarian officer <<connection>> with the German garrison, which were trying to relax them and encourage them.

     Finally authorities were placed in Florina and few  gendarmes in the villages.

The court of misdemeanors gave Lampros two months in jail because he went armed and plowed-under a field already planted belonging to a refugee, but according to him belonging to his father thru a private contract that his father has done in 1923 when the Turks were leaving.! But two weeks later visited the jail the German commander with KALTSEF and they released him,together with few others like him .

     Yiannoula told him:

--------Eh you ,Lampro ,Greece died a dog's death as you said. But then how come put you in jail ?!
-------But did you see ?!  KALTSEF run and took me out of it.
-------Let's see later on, if he is going to be able to save your head.*
  *  Kaltsef, a reserve- lieutenant-officer of the Bulgarian army,  speaking German and   <<connection>> of the German garrison of Florina,was executed in 1945 with a decision of the High Court for the  Accountables and Criminals of War in Thessaloniki.

     America entered the war.

--------I'll tell you something  Lampro,Yiannoula told him.Our people took the decision to send you to Bulgaria with only ten okades on your back per family.

    They kept fighting the two young ones in Greek now.

------Oh you ,we are going to send you away.Can't you see that the Germans now run over the Russians,and took millions of prisoners ?
-------Russia is endless as we were seing in the map in school. And now the Americans entered the war;
-------Ah ! The Americans...........Pouf.......The only thing they have is dollars. The GIapanese people are going to destroy them .
-------Don't you ask better your uncle about how America is,he was living there.
-------He was the one who told me about it. The Americans are not made for war.Anyway ourselves we are in good relations with both,Germany and Russia.
-------Smart buffones that you are.

    They had arrived a bunch of officers from the Bulgarian staff,to make war plans against windmills,sound like. A lieutenant-colonel and two majors arrived in the village with a car.They saw Yiannoula ,who was standing in front of the door and they greeted her.She greeted them back the way she was ,willing and polite. The lieutenant-colonel who was from SKOPIA and was speaking the local dialect,asked her how was life ,if they are all-right, etc.

     Yiannoula invite them to enter in the house to take a look and have a coffee. The lieutenant-colonel entering the house said in German to one of the majors,who most likely was from the OLD-Bulgaria.

------You see how good Bulgars are and how willing are the people in here ?

     The father made faces as soon as he saw them from the window and he went to a side small room. Yiannoula close her eye to him. Her mother came out to give them the welcome. She grab their hands and told them : <<Welcome ....are you O.K.? How are your children and your wifes?>>. They placed them in the <<good>> room. Her mother went to make the coffees.
-------Our house is poor.A village's house,Yiannoula said.
------Ourselves are from villages. But your house is very good and nice,said the lieutenant-colonel.

    They were bidding in compliments the other ones too. A major said in German:

-------Houses like this are the exceptions even in our villages.

     Matter of fact it was a two story house,big and nice.They had built it a  few years back,with money that an uncle of hers who died ,brought from America. It was well furnished  the <<good>> room too. Yiannoula told them:

------Ax! We suffered a lot.And now we had war.
-------We know.You have suffered a lot ,you ,here........Those Greeks are unbearable tyrrants. But things are going to be O.K. now. Big Bulgaria like rightfull mother,is going to look after you with affection,and is going to pay you back for the damages.
-------But could be done it ? Is she going to have the time ?
-------Be assured.The Bulgarian border will go much farther down.

     Their eyes fell toward the picture of a priest.They asked:

-------Who is this clergyman ?
-------An uncle of ours,the priest of the village.And they killed him.
-------Who ? The Greeks ?
-------No. The KOMITATZIDES !.............

     The three of them look at each other.One major pointed to some pictures in the end of the room . Were representing GREEK ANTARTES. They jumped -up in the air all three of them and started to leave.

-------Wait Yiannoula told them.Coffees will be done.Why are you leaving?
--------NO. NO. We are leaving.
-------As you wish. You did realize that we are not ALL Bulgars ,as some buffons are telling you.

     The village learned about what took place.Our people run to congratulate Yiannoula. But Lampros told her :

------It was not right what you did. With your Graikomanian head something is going to happen to you.KALTSEF and the German Commander are very upset at you.
-------Why ? Because I accepted to take care of them and offered them a coffee ?!
------My self told to Kaltsef. It was the officer's mistake that entered a home without knowing what kind of a home it was.

     Suddenly in the village Phillip showed-up. He was hit really badly in the foot during the battle of CRETE. The people from Crete took good care of him. Somebody from LAKKOUS who was ANTARTIS kept him for many months in his house,while sick.

He was limping still lightly.

     It was wedding day.Lampros got married.  But the skirmishers were continuing.

-------ANTARTES came out.The KASTORIA mountains are full of them .Do you know it ?
-------We know it.
------And where are you going to hide ?
-------Us ?!  Xa ......Xa........From those Gyftous ? They are all COMMUNISTS.
-------Do you know what i say Lampro ? To go and kiss the hand of our priest and that of the Prefect and declare repentance.

--------Oh you, we are going to eliminate them. Kaltsef said that now we are going to have plenty chances to clear things with the Graikomans. So ,be carefull.

     Matter of fact few weeks later Lampros showed up with few more men, fully armed and dressed with special uniforms.

     Together with the Germans they took an expedition  on top of VITSI  to <<destroy>> the ANTARTES.

      But one night the ANTARTES came into the village.They talked about freedom and democracy,for harmony and collaboration. They took supplies and left. But they came back, much worse. They rang the bell and called everybody in the center of the village. Two of them talked <<about freedom >> and for the << struggle against the conqueror>>.  The leader stood-up last and with his strong voice  started crowing:

-------Listen brothers.Now we are all one,Greeks,Makedonians,Vlachs,Albanians. We are going to fight all ,hand by hand for our freedom,for a new better world. Like in ILINTEN.We are going to make a new ILINTEN*.
* Note: ILINTEN,the Bulgarian revolt of 1903.

      As soon as they returned at home the old man said:

-------Were those ugly faces ,Greek ANTARTES ?! Did you hear that ?! They are going to have a new ILINTEN !
-------And who are the Vlachs and the Albanians ?!   said the oldest son.  They are our villages who speak VLACHIKA and ARVANITIKA; Aren't GREEK ?
-------And <<Makedonians>> who are they ? added the youngest son.He never mentioned the BULGARS. That means that <<MAKEDONIANS>> are the BULGARS!......
-------God protect us children ! said the old man making the sign of the cross.

    Next day the Germans came ,and the old man and few others found themselves,all of them <<Graikomans>>,in the camp of PAYLOU MELA in Thessaloniki,while few more Graikomans together with the older son found themselves in Germany as workers of the fighting machine.

     The Antartes were multiplying and they were coming more often in the village. They didn't care about the Germans and their reprisals.

     Now they were talking clearly for a new, more just world, without exploiters and capitalists,and they were claiming the Communistic Russia as Holy mother.

 They never bothered any of the new baptized Bulgars with their arches and the pictures of Hitler and Mussolini,or the families of the ones who took the arms against them. But still were able to take many on their side with their slogans of the struggle for freedom.

     But the big surprise took place one night when Lampros and his company showed up with the Antartes.!!!!!!Yiannoula took him on the side and asked him:

-------With the Antartes, you too, who took the arms from the Germans and the KALTSEF in order to <<eliminate >>them ?!!
-------Now we are allies.
-------And you are going to fight against the Czar Boris,and Hitler the liberator ?!!!!!
-------Times turned like this.
------Collaborators and companions in the arms with EAM and ELAS ?
------We have our own EAM,the SNOF and our own ELAS the <<Makedonian>> battalion.
------Now you became <<MAKEDONIANS>> ?!!!!!!  What are you  anyway ?!!!!!!!!!
-------I told you  we are not stupid.

    Another night the Antartes took with them in the <<Free Greece>> in order to make officers out of them of the ELAS ,PHILLIP the younger brother of Yiannoula and two of her cousins.But everybody knew that were going to burry them in some canyon .

     And the carnage was verified by the testimonies of eyewitnesses. Yiannoula was inconsolable,crying constanly,and locked herself in the house.Lampros went, in order to comfort her.He told her:

-------I swear Yiannoula.In the name of God, in the name of my dead mother. I did try. I did a lot to save them. I told them: They are good Greeks. Fanatic Graikomans. They never got near the Germans and KALTSEF. They destroyed the arches with the flags and the pictures of Hitler and Mussolini. But in  vane. The <<KAPETANIOS >> of the Division said:
-------They are enemies of the people.Traitors of the nation .

Regards to all...............L.

George Sofoklis Tsapanos.
Regards to all.......L.

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