Tribute to the Anzacs on ‘Oxi Day’
“Oxi Day” marks the beginning of the arrival of Greek migrants after WWII in Australia and also underlines the strong bond between the two countries as Anzac troops defended Greece during the war.
In honor of those Anzac troops who assisted Greece during the conflict, Nick Andriotakis, secretary of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Anzac in Crete and the Greek Campaign issued the following statement :
âThe annual Oxi Day commemoration on October 28 with Anzac Day is one of the most relevant days of commemoration.
Greece gave the Axis Powers their first defeat with Italy’s defeat in Epirus and Albania. This war known as the Albanian Front began on October 28, 1940 when the Greeks shouted OXI (No) to the Italian ultimatum for passage through Greece. In 1940, Greece and Great Britain were the most stubborn countries that continuously defended themselves for many months against the incursions of the Axis powers.
Britain took inspiration from the victory of Oxi and sent Commonwealth forces including the Second Anzac Corps to defend Greece before the impending Nazi invasion in April 1941. The Second Anzac Corps consisted of proportion roughly equal to 34,000 Australians and New Zealanders of which 1044 Anzacs have fallen and are in Greek sacred soil holds ancient and modern Greek heroes.
After defeating Italy, Greece came under the combined assault of Germany, Bulgaria, Albania and again Italy. The Greek military succumbed to these crushing obstacles, but its soldiers were so courageous that Hitler, in his admiration for their courage and bravery, ordered that the Greek prisoners of war be released to return to their families. Throughout the 4 years of Axis occupation, the Greeks never gave up, culminating with the kidnapping of the German commander in Crete in 1943 and despite fierce Nazi retaliation such as mass executions and the burning of entire villages.
After World War II, a civil war broke out due to the political vacuum that gave way to the Cold War. Many of our parents were children who grew up during World War II and the Civil War. This period of loss of life, destruction and poverty had a great effect on them. Some of them, their fathers and their uncles fought in Epirus and Albania. Some of our parents were also orphans and harder some of them were robbed as the civil war unfolded.
During World War II, Greece lost around 10% of its population, or over 800,000 people, to the ravages of war and famine. During the civil war, some 158,000 were killed and 1,000,000 were temporarily relocated.
The first Greek immigrants to Australia left following the Balkan wars, the Greco-Turkish wars and the First World War which destroyed their communities and their social fabric. Thus, after nearly a decade of war with some 950,000 people killed, the destruction of towns, villages and towns, the dislocation of families and the economy in tatters, hundreds of thousands of Greeks decided to migrate to many countries including Australia.
Greek Australians are encouraged to deepen their family and community heritage which may contain many heroes of Oxi, including direct ancestors and others from our heritage communities. We also encourage them to engage with other Australians who may be descendants or related to the descendants of the 34,000 Anzacs who defended Greece.
The Oxi Day is very relevant and many of us, the children and grandchildren of Greek immigrants in Australia, enjoy a happy life, but also make a significant contribution with the responsibility of this wonderful country. Our beneficial reality rests on the sacrifice and the emotional cost paid by our parents who left behind their families and communities in search of a better life.
This emotional cost lasted for decades as our parents tried to assimilate into a new country and are part of the human cost paid by the Greek people for the courage and bravery in defending the oldest land and the Greek way of life. with freedom and freedom.
The cost to our parents and the benefit to us started from Oxi Day on October 28, 1940.
Letâs not forget it â
Nick Andriotakis BE (Hons)
Joint committee for
Commemoration of the
Anzac Battle of Crete and Greek Campaign