Revenger’s Tragedy

Julietta Harvey

  • Eleni by Nicholas Gage
    Collins, 472 pp, £9.95, November 1983, ISBN 0 00 217147 3

Those Greeks who grew up in the Civil War knew there was an enemy – but didn’t know who the enemy was or where he would come from. The memory, from my own childhood in Salonica, of my father’s shop being taken over by a Communist group is crosscut with memories of hush-hush accounts of police tortures suffered by my uncle for supporting the Communists. For a long time after the Civil War ended, our street games re-created it in all its tactics – prisoners, hostages, raids: but if one of us said, ‘I’ll tell my father the officer,’ the fear was real. As tangible as the preposterous iron bar guarding the door of a modern Salonica flat well into the Sixties, and as preposterous as the convoy of tanks in the peaceful streets of the city in the dawn of 21 April 1967.

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