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December 19, 2000
Conversations With Dr. Matsas
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
Received: from default ([220.127.116.11]) by prserv.net
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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".
For the Hellenic Nationalist Page,