Theodorakis - Chronology (VII)

Greece under the Junta 1967 sq.

by Guy Wagner and Asteris Koutoulas

 Based on Ole Wahl Olsen

 Structure and pictures: Guy Wagner



21.04. Immediately after the putsch, Theodorakis goes underground. At six o'clock he and a friend make the first appeal for resistance. It later transpires that it is the secret service officer, George Papadopoulos, and some other colonels who have made the coup and not the king's generals. Their coup was planned for the 23rd.

An emergency state of martial law is proclaimed and thousands of people are arrested and deported to islands, among them several who had been in prison in the forties and fifties. Censorship and torture become the expressions of the new regime. The junta's seizure of power took place in accordance with Nato's Prometheus Plan (mobilisation against the enemy within in the event of conflict with an enemy without}.

23.04. Theodorakis publishes his second statement.

28.04. Greek Good Friday. The colonels prepare the »feast of the resurrection« of Greek Orthodox civilisation. Theodorakis comes out of hiding for a first meeting with the Lambrakides who have escaped the first wave of arrests. They decide to publish a resistance newspaper, Nea Ellada (New Greece).

12.05. The junta publishes its first list of banned works. There are several hundred titles, among them classical tragedies and a Bulgarian-Greek dictionary.

Theodorakis' music is banned

01.06. Army Order No. 13: 1. We have decided and we order that throughout the country it is forbidden (a) to reproduce or play the music and songs of the composer Mikis Theodorakis, the former leader of the now dissolved communist Organisation, the Lambrakis Youth because this music is in the service of communism;

(b) to sing any songs used by the communist youth movement which was dissolved under Paragraph Eight of the Decree of 6 May 1967, since these songs arouse passions and cause strife among the people.

2. Citizens who contravene this Order will be brought immediately before the military tribunal and judged under martial law.

General Odysseas Angelis

(The German composer Paul Dessau has set this document to music for narrator, mixed choir and nine instruments in honour of Theodorakis.)

Drawing by a prisoner

21.07. Theodorakis is arrested.

He is taken to the headquarters of the Security Police at 18 Bouboulinas Street. The next morning he is transferred to Cell No. 4 on the fourth floor.

02.11. Theodorakis begins a hunger strike in protest at not having been accepted as a witness in the trial of his Patriotic Front friends who have been arrested. Ten days later he is taken unconscious to the Averoff prison hospital. The authorities refuse to allow Theodorakis to take part in the trial because they are seeking to create the impression that his arrest is due to the betrayal of his friends and that he himself has betrayed the Patriotic Front.

15.11. The trial begins at the Athens military tribunal of 31 people-15 men and 16 women-members of the Patriotic Front. It is like a trial of Theodorakis without Theodorakis being present. Captain Lambrou of the Security Police pretends that Theodorakis has simply been exploited by the extremists in the Greek Communist. From the cross-examination of the accused it becomes clear that they have all been tortured.

13.12. King Constantine tries to effect a coup d'état in order to establish a distance between him and the junta. He fails and flees from Greece. When it is found out who the instigator of the coup is, panic spreads among the prisoners: they fear a large-scale massacre.

14.12. Papadopoulos nominates himself Prime Minister.

 24.12. On Christmas Eve, the prisoners are allowed to be together. They hear songs written by Theodorakis in jail. Papadopoulos grants a Christmas amnesty for a hundred prisoners; Theodorakis is one, but he is not freed.


Drawing by a fellow prisoner

 He conducts »Epiphania-Averoff« in jail.


27.01. After a series of legal complications Theodorakis is freed. »If he renounces all involvement in politics the ban on his music will be lifted«, says Sideratos director-general of the Ministry of Information. He implies that an agreement has already been reached. »I accept no compromises,« Theodorakis tells a Reuter correspondent.

28.01. After five months' imprisonment without trial Theodorakis receives the world press at his house. His so called »freedom« becomes residence under surveillance for the next few months in their summer residence at Vrachati.

24.02. Archbishop Mgr. Makarios reelected president of Cyprus.  

12.06. The director-general of the Ministry of Information announces at a press conference that the ban on Theodorakis' music is in force again. It had never been lifted.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "alekos panagoulis"The tortured Panagoulis

13 08. A young student, Alekos Panagoulis, fails in an attempt on Premier Papadopoulos' life.He is awfully tortured and risks death penality.

 Daily walks through Zatouna between two policemen

21 08. One year after his arrest, Theodorakis and his family are transferred by the Security Police to the mountain village of Zatouna in Arcadia.

29 09. A »92 per cent« vote for the New Greek Constitution confirms the dictatorship.

03.11. At the funerals of George Papandreou half a million people shout: »Down with the junta!«, »Democracy!« and »NO to the Constitution!«

 Résultat de recherche d'images pour "theodorakis in zatouna"

Shot of the movie. At the left of Mikis: his daughter Margarita (10 years old)

November A German TV-team returns from Zatouna with tape recordings by Theodorakis and film shots of Theodorakis.



16.03. John Barry discloses in the Sunday Times thathe has been to Zatouna and has succeeded in smuggling out several tapes recorded by Theodorakis and letters,some of which are addressed to U-Thant, secretary-general of the United Nations. On the tapes Theodorakis has recorded some new songs and describes the conditions of his internment.


 A secretly taken photo in Oropos

19.10. It is officially announced that Theodorakis has been transferred to the Oropos prison, north of Athens. The reason given is that it will be easier to lookafter him there. Photos taken secretly are published world-wide and show a sick man: Shostakovitch and Bernstein launch movements of solidarity.


26.03. A Scandinavian parliamentary delegation goes to Greece with a Danish lung specialist with the aim of giving Theodorakis medical help, but they get no further than Athens airport.

09.04. Theodorakis is admitted to the Sotira prison hospital because of the recurrence of his tuberculosis.

13.04. The French politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber lands at Paris- Le Bourget airport at 5:30 p.m., accompanied by Theodorakis.


© Guy Wagner & Asteris Koutoulas. All rights reserved