Hellenic Nationalist Page
Dr. Michael Matsas
On January 24, 1998 an article appeared on the Hellenic Nationalist Page titled "Zionist Mythology, and the "Crimes" of Hellas!", where our editor commented on and analyzed the work and presentation of Dr. Matsas.
Dr. Matsas has sent us the following e-mail in response to our report:
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From: "Albert Levy" <email@example.com>
Subject: The Illusion of Fairness
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 12:56:03 -0500
December 18, 2000
From: Dr Michael Matsas
To: Editor of the Hellenic National Page
I believe you are the nice young man with whom I had a cordial conversation after my lecture at Hunter College. If it were not for your, difficult for me to understand, dislike of Jews, you are like my very close Hellenes friends with whom I still maintain a 60 year old friendship.
We all love Greece, its people and its ancient culture. And for myself, I don't mind telling you that I feel in this country like an "uprooted Hellinico tree."
Therefore if you are like my friends I will appreciate it if you have the honesty, for the sake of fair play and filotimo, to publish my letter on your web site.
As for me, the people who knew me in Hellada, like my school principal Pantazis and the later Chief of the Greek General Staff, General Laspias, treated me with love and respect. (See pages 405 and 406 of my Book The Illusion of Safety.) Please don't disappoint me
Dr Michael Matsas
RE: "Zionist Mythology and the "Crimes" of Hellas!"
Today, November 29, 2000, this article was brought to my attention.
It is surprising how anyone who knows how to read has the audacity to talk about "Zionist lies, that the Jewish people have been victimized by just about any ethnic group."
But let's limit our subject to Hellas and the "myth," as the anonymous editor of the Hellenic Nationalist Page writes about ancient Jewish communities in Greece.
For him, most probably, the sermons of apostle Paul to the Jews of Corinth, Veria etc are also a myth, since he believes there were no Jews in Greece at that time.
I love Greece and the Greek people with the exception of those who persecuted the Jews in the past, those who collaborated with the Germans in World War II, and those Greek Americans who cannot hide the fact that they represent some form of neonazism.
There are historic facts that cannot be ignored. In 1821, the Turks killed the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Konstantinoupoli and forced some Jews to throw his body in the sea. When this became known in Greece, the Greek Jews were massacred. The great historian Spyridon Trikoupis wrote "Christians and Turks during the revolution proved to be students of the same school, but a Turkish school, which teaches that innocent people should suffer, for crimes committed by others."
A righteous gentile of that period, and a leader of the Hellenic revolution of 1821, Kanellos Deligiannis, saved 12 Jews and hid them in his house in Tripolitsa. He kept them hidden for 3 years and in 1824 he secretly moved them to Zakynthos which was not then under Greek control.
During World War II, the Greek Security Battalions collaborated with the Germans. Many Jews who were in hiding were betrayed. There were even six Greek Jewish traitors. Therefore, when I write that there were "thousands of Greek traitors," it is a true statement. It is also true that the Italians helped the Jews, while the Bulgarians in Greece were as brutal as the Germans and their collaborators, as I write in my book. No Jew could find "protection" in the Bulgarian zone of occupation. This was true only in the Italian zone, until September 1943, and in the free mountains.
What surprises me is that my speech which was related to the tragic loss of 67,000 Greek Jews, was seen by some people as "anti-Hellenic" propaganda. Also in dispute seems to be the fact that the Jews of Greece felt like "proud Greeks," of whom I am one through my education and my service as an officer in the Greek Army.
I have met some of these Greek-American "Hellenic Patriots" with neonazi motivations. They never received any Greek education, they don't speak Greek, and they never served in the Greek Army! Yet they have the audacity to be sarcastic about Jews who served in the Greek Army 1940-41, 87% of whom were dead by 1945.
These are the official statistics. 12,800 Greek Jews served in the Greek Army. This number includes 343 officers. Over 500 were killed and some 3,700 were wounded. In addition, 1600 Jewish volunteers from Palestine served in Greece with the British Army.
I have a question for the editor of the Hellenic Nationalist Page. How would he feel if other neonazi American bigots would question his American patriotism, or worse, would ask him to go back where he came from? Something which I know has happened in the past.
There is only one thing that I believe the anonymous writer is right about. There should be a memorial for the more than 700,000 Orthodox Greeks, Catholic Greeks, Jewish Greeks, Gypsy Greeks, whatever Greeks who died at the hands of the enemy.
I doubt, however, that this man would have anything in common with the Greek martyrs if he had been in Greece at that time. I suspect that he, if he harbored then the same ideals that he does today, would not have been my friend. He would have been a German collaborator and another Greek traitor.
Dr. Michael Matsas
Our editor, Mr. Dionysios Pilarinos, responds:
Dear Dr. Matsas,
Despite the courtesy shown to you both in person and through these here pages, that seems to not have prevented you from launching unfounded personal attacks. Regardless of your inability to express yourself in a civil and cordial manner, I feel compelled to stand by my principles and express myself within the confines of a civilized and educated discussion.
First off, I would like to dispel your unfounded characterizations, your ill-mannered assumptions, and your gross lies. In the more than 5 years that the Hellenic Nationalist Page has maintained a presence on the Internet, never have I been characterized as an "anonymous writer". I identified myself to you at your Hunter College presentation, as I do throughout numerous documents on this site.
Furthermore, I wish to inform you that I am not an American (or "Greek-American"), hold a Hellenic passport and Identification Card, and have served my country's armed forces. I didn't expect you to get any of these facts right judging from the numerous historical errors and conclusions you have recorded in your book. As for your "neo-nazi", "German collaborator", and "Greek traitor" remarks, I will not even honor them with a response.
There are more historical facts you most certainly are not aware of. The Apostle Paul preached his sermon to all the children of God that wished to listen. Gone was the racist and chauvinistic Jewish belief of the "chosen people". The fact that the Apostle spoke and recorded his work in Hellenica and quite clearly addressed it to a Hellenic audience, is evident in his epistles.
You also go on to talk about "Greek traitors" and even "six Greek Jewish traitors"! You might fail to realize that at least two factions existed in war-torn Hellas, and each one has a different view on the events. The fact that even Jews of Hellas sided with the Security Battalions against the Communist-led forces of ELAS, speaks volumes about the complexity of the conflict. Yet you ignore these historical truths as yet another sign of "Jewish persecution".
But allow me to focus on the subject of your book and the facts that you obviously avoid. Patriarch Gregory V was killed in 1821 by a Jewish mob, and not because of your unfounded claim that they were "forced". Prior to the annexation of Thessaloniki to Hellas in 1912, the Zionists in the city attempted to establish a Jewish state. Years of rioting and violence between in the Hellenic and Jewish community followed, where large parts of the city were destroyed in events like those of 1931 and 1934 (and those followed the great fire of 1917). The Metaxas government curbed this kind of unrest by suppressing all popular expressions, but could not end resentment. And yet you will have us believe that by 1940 the Jews in Hellas (especially Thessaloniki) were ready to sacrifice themselves as "Hellenic patriots"?!
When war came in 1940 there were some 75,000 Jews in all of Hellas, of which 50,000 lived in Thessaloniki. Many Jews returned to their home countries and about 700 Jews of Spanish nationality were transported in August 1943 to Bergen-Belsen and in December to Spain. These Jews had obtained their Spanish nationality while Hellas was still under Turkish rule.
The Germans did not do anything about the Jews in Hellas until July 1942 when they made them wear the yellow star, and this only in the German zone. In the Italian zone, nothing changed. It was only in February 1943 that the policy of collecting them into the ghettos of Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas began. The Jews did of course have the ability to leave the German zone and enter the Italian one - and many did just that.
From March 15 and until the end of May 1943, the Jews still living in Thessaloniki were transported to Auschwitz. Supposing that they all died in Germany or on their way there, I still fail to see how you come up with the "tragic loss of 67,000 Greek Jews". And I don't wish to argue the figure as much as I do the conclusions you have drawn from the events in the past.
All historical evidence indicates that the Jews in Hellas (especially those in Thessaloniki) were not integrated into the social fabric of the nation, and maintained a very adversarial relationship with the Orthodox majority. Furthermore, the Jewish population in Thessaloniki formed a minority that numbered about 50,000 prior to the war. With the events and actions that I have already mentioned, the minority had decreased in size by the time the 1943 relocation was decided. Plainly put, your math simply doesn't add up.
As for your attempt to perverse my statement about the creation of a monument for those Hellenes that died in that period, I will again refrain from violating my principles. Those that died for Hellas are Hellenes Dr. Matsas, regardless of your wish to fracture the homogeneity of the nation. And I assure you that as a proud nation and one that wishes to learn the truth about the past, we will not resort to inflating the death count, fabricating torturous ordeals, inventing treason and persecution where none exists, or classifying those that died from malnutrition, starvation, disease, or intra-ethnic and political conflicts as "victims of execution".
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