[MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta

akis gavriilidis cr33396 at telenet.be
Sat Dec 27 15:06:07 PST 2014

Most of it is accurate. The only inaccuracy I found is in fact even more in favour of the argument: Maniatika was not settled by Maniot families in the 1950s, but much earlier (beginning of the 20th century). 
When the "bloko" of Nikaia (Kokkinia) took place in August 1944, the Nazi + collaborators invaded there from the Maniatika, which is immediately adjacent and was a much more favourable territory for them. Nikaia was the place where the late musician Pavlos Fyssas was murdered almost two years ago. 
In the 2014 elections, GD had its highest score in Lakonia (15,48%), the prefecture where Mani belongs to. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "DANIEL P. Tompkins" <pericles at temple.edu> 
To: "Christos D. Katsetos" <cd_katsetos at yahoo.com>, "MGSA MGSA List" <mgsa-l at uci.edu>, "DANIEL P. TOMPKINS" <pericles at temple.edu> 
Sent: Friday, December 26, 2014 11:11:32 PM 
Subject: Re: [MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta 

Thanks for this useful comment on Lakonia. I'm glad to have it. 

Checking back over the documents at the start of this exchange, I see that Cartledge and Hodkinson aren't nasty about the Mani. That is the work of Alexander Clapp , who gives specifics about Golden Dawn enrollments and reception, e.g. in elections. I've no idea whether these claims are accurate or inaccurate, and would welcome further information. 

A disproportionate number of those in the top ranks come from the Mani, a small spit of land in the southern Peloponnese, roughly half the size of Cornwall. Golden Dawn has close ties with the region. Michaloliakos is descended from a famous Maniot clan; a great-grandfather was a hero in the 1821 Revolution. Maniots have nicknamed the Dawn the Maniatiko Komma , the ‘Maniot Party’. Priests in Gytheio blessed the opening of the town’s Dawn chapter; the bishop of Sparta enjoins his parish to vote Dawn. When Dawn MPs travel to Areopoli, they are welcomed as celebrities; approving crowds attend their meetings; shots are fired from antique pistols. In some parts of the Mani, 50 per cent of the villagers have voted for the party. ‘Maniatika’, a section of Piraeus settled by Maniot families in the 1950s, is probably the most Dawn-heavy neighbourhood in the whole of Greece. No other far-right Greek party – LAOS, Independent Greeks – has a regional backing of this sort. 



On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Christos D. Katsetos < cd_katsetos at yahoo.com > wrote: 


The inference that the prefecture of Laconia, the birthplace of Nikiforos Vrettakos* and Yannis Ritsos, is the bastion of neo-Nazi thugs is overly exaggerated and utterly unfair. 

[*] Krokees (Levetsova), my ancestral home (on my paternal side), is a small town south of Sparta in Laconia and the birthplace of poet Nikiforos Vrettakos. 

Πικραμένος Αναχωρητής — Embittered Recluse 

Μια μυγδαλιά — An almond tree. 

Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD, FRCPath 

From: DANIEL P. Tompkins < pericles at temple.edu > 
To: MGSA MGSA List < mgsa-l at uci.edu >; Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group < CLASSICS-L at lsv.uky.edu >; DANIEL P. TOMPKINS < pericles at temple.edu >; dg < dg at list.fiscal-associates.com >; relay-57 < relay-57 at listserv.dartmouth.edu > 
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2014 2:27 PM 
Subject: [MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta 


To the long list of examples of historical fakery, we can now add the appropriation of Sparta by the neo-Fascist "Golden Dawn" organization that currently terrorizes immigrants and others in Greece. Alexander Clapp did a fine column on his experience with Golden Dawn in London Review of Books , December 14, and now Paul Cartledge and Stephen Hodkinson, major authorities, add their own expert comment. (The letter that follows, from Martin Sanderson, is also worthwhile.) 



lrb.co.uk http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n01/letters 
Letters [RE] I was a Greek neo-fascist [By Alexander Clapp]: 
As Alexander Clapp makes clear, Golden Dawn is indeed a neo-fascist party, which seeks to reinforce its electoral charm by appeals to myths about ancient Sparta ( LRB , 4 December 2014 ) . It is worth reiterating that at least one key element of Golden Dawn’s claimed ancestral connection is indeed a myth: ancient Sparta, though militarily proficient to an exceptional degree, was not as brazenly militaristic as Golden Dawn imagines or would like it to have been. But then, as Clapp points out, the party’s guiding ideology is rooted not in some fantasised antiquity but in the Greek Civil War of 1946-49, which afflicted Sparta and its wider region, Laconia, with particular bitterness and brutality, following on from the horrors of Nazi occupation. 

Paul Cartledge; Stephe n Hodkinson 
Clare College, Cambridge; University of Nottingham 
Golden Dawners ‘ambush immigrants about once a week,’ Alexander Clapp writes. ‘They call these raids krypteia, “secret things”.’ That is what krypteia means, but it was also the name of an alleged ancient Spartan practice. Plutarch describes it in his life of Lycurgus, citing Aristotle as his source: 
The magistrates from time to time sent out into the country at large the most discreet of the young warriors, equipped only with daggers and such supplies as were necessary. In the daytime they scattered into obscure and out of the way places, where they hid themselves and lay quiet; but in the night they came down into the highways and killed every Helot whom they caught. 
Martin Sanderson 


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