October 28, 2012 - Ohi Day in Cyprus and Greece

World War II was an awful time to be a European. Hitler famously ruled Germany, and Benito Mussolini ruled Italy; the two made a pact with Japan that made them allies (nations acting together in a war) called the Axis powers. Hitler had already taken over Austria and had attacked and occupied Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and even France. The Axis powers were at war with Britain.

On this date in 1940, Mussolini gave an ultimatum to Greece: Allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain strategic locations, or else.

That's what an ultimatum is: an “or else.”

And of course, in this case, the “or else” means “we will attack you, we will kill your people and burn your buildings, we will occupy you you, we will take over your country.”

The Greek ruler, Ioannis Metaxas, is widely believed to have answered the ultimatum by simply saying, “No,” but he really said, “Then it is war.” And sure enough, Italian troops attacked just about an hour later. Greek people took to the streets yelling the Greek word for “No!” – which is spelled “ohi” (or "oxi" or “ochi”) in the English alphabet.

During the war, Greece's brave refusal to cooperate with the Axis powers was celebrated in Greece and Cyprus and in Greek communities around the world. 

Ohi Day became a public holiday after the war was over. It is commonly celebrated with parades and exhibitions.

Also on this date:

1 comment:

  1. The post is very nicely written and it contains many useful facts. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand. Home Insurance Riverside, CA