Theodorakis - Chronology (I)

 Childhood and Youth 1925-1941

by Guy Wagner and Asteris Koutoulas

 Based on Ole Wahl Olsen

 Structure and pictures: Guy Wagner




During the war between Greece and Turkey (1919-1922), the Greek troups are defeated by the soldiers of Kemal Atatürk. It is this the »Catastrophe of Asia Minor«. The Peace Conference of Lausanne (1923) forces 1,5 millions of Greeks to leave their homeland on the Asiatic continent (Smyrne, Oriental Thrace ...). They bring the Rebetiko music to the European continent.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "rebetes"Rebetes in Piraeus 1937

 But already before the signature of this agreement, thousands of Greeks, - among them Aspasia Poulakis, Mikis Theodorakis' mother and her family - flew to the Greek Islands. King Constantin resignes.



 Mikis' Cretan family 

25.03. Proclamation of the Republic.



Mikis as a baby with his mother

29.07. Mikis (in fact Michail) Theodorakis is born on the island of Chios. His father comes from the village of Galata in Crete, his mother from Tschesme. Yorgos Theodorakis, an admirer of Elefteros Venizelos, is moved from post to post as often as the governement changes.

During the same year, the family settles in Mitilène, the county town of the island of Lesbos.


 Résultat de recherche d'images pour "venizelos"Eleftherios Venizelos, the strong personality of his time

Venizelos is again Prime Minister (until 1932). The Theodorakis family moves to the island of Siros in the Aegean Sea.
Mikis with his father

In Mitilini, Mikis gets three.


The Theodorakis family goes to Athens.


Yorgos Theodorakis is forced to move to Ioannina (Ianena, Epirus)


Mikis' brother Yannis is born. Venizelos is defeated in Septembre. The Popular Party of Tsaldaris forms the governement.


Yorgos Theodorakis has to settle in Argostoli (island of Cephalonia in the Ionian Sea). Theodorakis goes to school (4th - 6th class), learns to sing Byzantine hymns and, thanks to his parents, grand parents and aunts, he gets to know the varied tradition of Greek folk song.


Putsch. Restoration of the monarchy. George II becomes king.


Yorgos Theodorakis has to move back to Ianena for some months.

09.05. The police and the gendarmerie kill thirty people and wound several hundreds during a meeting in Thessalonika. This prompts Yannis Ritsos to write a series of poems entitled »Epitafios«.

04.08. King George II grants dictatorial power to General Ioannis Metaxas. Yorgos Theodorakis must go back to Argostoli.

 Metaxas with King George II