Friday, October 25, 2013

The anniversary of Greece’s entry into World War II - October 28, 1940 - will be commemorated during the weekend with customary parades and festivities across the country. The events will culminate on October 28 with the annual military parade in Thessaloniki, in the presence of the country's political and military leadership.

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will attend the celebrations in Thessaloniki, while the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will attend the celebrative service at Agios Dimitrios church on October 26.
  • War Iconography
Greece’s involvement in WWII began with the rejection of Italy’s ultimatum that prompted the Italian invasion in the mountains of Epirus.

The whole Greek nation united in the face of aggression and reacted enthusiastically to the calls for resistance, with hundrends of thousands of volunteers enlisting.

This all-embracing rally atmosphere was depicted in the era’s popular iconography. Many important artists of the era created fervent and compelling works to support the war effort, which have since become some of the best known images for Greeks of all generations.

Kostas Grammatopoulos was among the most prolific poster artists for the Greek campaign: his "Onward, Children of Greece" poster illustrates the enthusiastic Greek soldier with the era’s main motto, while the spirit of defiance was depicted in another famous poster "Come and take them," along the famous Leonidas quotation.

The women’s war efforts were also a popular theme: Ector Doucas' "Epopee of Pindos" and Grammatopoulos' "The Heroines" are both dedicated to the heroic local women of Epirus, who carried desperately needed supplies to the front under grueling conditions. Vasso Katrakis' work "For the Soldiers," portraying a woman knitting for the soldiers, is a call to women across Greece. The religious feeling was also present: Yorgos Gounaropoulos' lithograph "May Virgin Mary Be with Him" is a much-beloved image of hope and devotion.