Right-wing propaganda hidden under a mask of culture

A museum which counterfeits the historical truth and praises the Greek Junta is operating in northern Greece. The fact that it has been opened to school visits raises questions about the dangers of an undemocratic education.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
Right-wing propaganda hidden under a mask of culture - NewsMavens
Military uniforms, Vlachogiannion Museum, Facebook

Why this story matters:

The Association of Imprisoned and Exiled Officers of the Resistance (1967 – 1974) (aka SFEA) has filed a complaint with the Greek Ministry of Education concerning the “Vlachogiannion Museum” located in the town of Veria.

The museum has been transformed into a centerpiece of far-right propaganda with the blessings of the Church, since its inauguration in 2012 by the Archbishop Jeronimo. It operates, to this day, under the auspices of the Holy Metropolis of the town.

SFEA questions the legitimacy of this museum which, disregarding the Law for the “Lifting of the Consequences of the Civil War 1944-1949”, insults the fighters of the National Resistance and praises the torturers of the Junta and of Makronisos as "national heroes".  

What is mostly alarming though is that there have been school tours in this museum, where the students have been exposed to divisional messages from the time of the Greek Civil War. Therefore, questions arise on the content and the quality of the information the young students receive.

A few days after the news of the formal complaint, a nationalistic webpage posted a text under the title "Cholera communists, take your hands off the Vlachogiannion museum", which proves far-right's ties to the museum.

The article was accompanied by a photo taken during a school visit to the museum, which plainly shows children's faces, in violation of the law on the protection of the personal data of minors.

After a strong reaction by the public, the Metropolis of Veria decided to suspend of the operation of the museum. "The constant aim of the Holy Metropolis is that the Vlachogiannion Museum always operates within the framework of legitimacy, fulfills its scientific and pedagogical role and is not used for political exploitation in any case" emphasized the Metropolis. 

Details from the story:

  • On April 21, 1967, a coup in Greece brought a military junta to power that would be known as the "regime of the Greek colonels".
  • The Greek Military Junta of 1967-1974, or simply the Junta, the Dictatorship and the Seven Years, was a series of far-right military juntas that ruled Greece for that period. The dictatorship ended on July 24, 1974 and it was followed by the restoration of democracy (aka Metapolitefsi).
  • Makronisos is an island located close to the coast of Attica. During the time of the Greek Civil War, it was a place of exile and death. Today the island is uninhabited but at that time, it was used as a prison island, and were similar to Nazi concentration camps.
  • Because of its history, Makronisos is considered a monument of the civil war era. Therefore, the island and the original structures on it are protected from alteration. A request has also been made to UNESCO for its inclusion in the World Cultural Heritage.
  • The post on the nationalist site has now been removed, but evidence of the original post remains.

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