Friday, November 28, 2008

Exhibition about the Press in German occupied Greece

On November 15th, at the exhibitional space of the Educational Institute of the Union of Daily Newspapers of Macedonia-Thrace Editors (1 Morgenthau Str., Thessaloniki), the exhibition of documents titled "National Resistance 1941-1944, Illegal Press in Northern Greece" was inaugurated.

During the extraordinary conditions of the triple occupation (German, Italian and Bulgarian), the resistance newspapers were set up under absolute secrecy and plotting. Underground spaces were turned into secret printing shops and within the most impossible circumstances, reporters and typographers worked endangering their lives. With spare materials and improvised machinery, they produced varied resistance material like leaflets, brochures and declarations.

The distributors were important too, thinking of every possible method to avoid discovery. The information for the news content of the publications were derived from voice radio and foreign radio broadcasts and the articles aimed at improving the people's morale and reporting the criminal activity of the occupation forces. Two of the most important newspapers of the era in Macedonia were "Eleftheria" (Freedom) and "Laiki Foni" (Popular Voice), and many were the personalities that contributed to the resistance press.

The visitor of this exhibition is transported not only in the era but also the conditions into which the people of illegal printing shops worked. An underground atmosphere, small and under-lit spaces, separated with improvised structures, and in a corner, under the lamp light, an illegal printing press continuous its work in silence.

On the ground, a table set up with printing tools, the worn out shoes and a newspaper hidden in the jacket of a distributor. The colours red, black and brown, rough and worn materials, raw pictures and words. On the opposite side of the resistance press stands the other side: the Nazi-friendly press. And all this taking place under the shadow of the conqueror...

The show will stay open for two months. And you know what? It is free!!! So do not miss it! I had a small part in all of this: One of the displays is about Manolis Anagnostakis, the famous Greek poet, as he played a part in the resistance and particularly the press. So I had to watch an interview he gave to Greek National Television many years ago, find the parts of it relevant to the exhibition and supervise the final video, which is looped on the only screen on display:

Organizing committee: Christos Zafiris, Elias Koutsoukos, Dimitris Dozis, Yiannis Kotsifos
Design and execution: Tetragon Ltd. - Supervisor: Eleni Vretzaki
Graphic Design: Thanassis Georgiou
Texts: Christos Zafiris

The text above was originally written by architect Zoi Evangelopoulou and translated by me.

All photos by the wonderful Dinos Mihail.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful

  2. really nice... Pity we don't live in your city to enjoy the exhibition (and your work particularly)



    Καλημέρες Στράτο μου!
    Τι κάνεις;
    Όλα καλά; Κάποια στιγμή (να δω ΠΟΙΑ στιγμή θα είναι αυτή) θα σε πάρω να τα πούμε... ελπίζω να μην με παρεξηγείς που ψιλοχάνομαι-τρέχω και δεν φτάνω ρε συ...

    Άστα να πάνε.
    Είδες τι παθαίνει ο κόσμος όταν ΔΕΝ έχει τι να κάνει τα απογεύματα;!