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Old 09-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
TrueMacedonian
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Default Greece: Made in Germany



The new state did not attach itself to its immediate past, as it had been preserved in the popular memory, but rather adapted itself to the popular image of the ancient Greek past already created in the West. Otto's father, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, was obsessed with ancient Greece and brought up his children with the aspiration that one day one of them would reign over this glorious land(1).

The German obsession with the ancient Hellene city-states all began in the 18th century and began to trickle through socialite circles and educational systems. Eventually this new cult of personality would take affect in the new land mass that would become known as Greece in 1821. In other words the Germans in effect created modern Greece and the modern Greeks on Romantic German aryanist philology(2). It's the same Aryanism that Martin Bernal questioned in 1987 in which public passions were aroused by modern Greeks and scholars from around the world(3).

Writer Nikos Dimou states the following in a recent NY Times interview;

“It’s the fault of a German,” Mr. Dimou said about Greek pride in this cause. He was referring to Johann Winckelmann, the 18th-century German art historian whose vision of an ancient Greece “populated by beautiful, tall, blond, wise people, representing perfection,” as Mr. Dimou put it, was in a sense imposed on the country to shape modern Greek identity.(4)

He also goes on to say;

“We used to speak Albanian and call ourselves Romans, but then Winckelmann, Goethe, Victor Hugo, Delacroix, they all told us, ‘No, you are Hellenes, direct descendants of Plato and Socrates,’ and that did it. If a small, poor nation has such a burden put on its shoulders, it will never recover.”(5)

What eventually led to the wide-spread phenomenon of these Aryanist values was through the Science of Antiquity a school where the study of classical civilization forged the discipline of the fictional Hellenic model. Scholar Stathis Gourgouris wrote the following in his book Dream Nation;

In practical terms, however, the historical absurdity of declaring Hellenic civilization the expression of a culture uncontaminated by foreign elements can be explained by a simple fact that usually tends to be disregarded-namely, that Hellenic civilization as we know itwas in fact the invention of the "Science of Antiquity", of classics. As such it could have been (and was) endowed with whatever signification the discipline found useful.(6)

With western help modern Greece won its independence and was put under Bavarian monarchical rule under the newly crowned King Of Greece, King Otto.

If we go back in time to a place called Athens before it was made into the new German made kingdom what would we find hanging around the ruins? According to Edmond About close to the mid-nineteenth century "Athens, twenty five years ago, was only an Albanian village" and that "Athens has been rapidly peopled with men of all kinds of nations". He also goes on to say; "The Turkish village which formerly clustered round the base of the acropolis has not disappeared; it forms a whole quarter of the town....an immense majority of the population of this quarter is composed of Albanians.(7)

Eventually the new Bavarian monarchy would remedy this situation in not just Athens but all of German made modern Greece. The Albanians of Athens and whatever else the other rabble of races were did not fit the mold of what Wincklemann's fantasy manifested in Germany and Western Europe. In 1834, it was decided to make Athens the new capital of the Kingdom of Otto's Greece. A German architect, Schaubert, was employed to create wide streets, the squares the boulevards: and so Athens, which in 1834 was a village of 5000 inhabitants had become in 1936 a city of over four hundred and fifty thousand(8). In essence we see that Germans literally created Modern Greece from the ground up. But Athens was only one area. What about Sparta?
According to our source, Edmond About, "New Sparta is a creation of King Otto, who has formed the useless project of rescusitating all the great names of Greece."(9) Of course Sparta was at one time not only an Albanian stronghold but a major settlement for the Slavic tribes that entered the balkans in the 6th century AD. Traveller Peter Edmund Laurent made his way through SlavoSparta before the war for independence broke out. He said; "From their manners, their features, and the names of many of the neighboring places, I should be tempted to regard them as proceeding from Sclavonian blood:many travellers pretend, however, to have discovered in these barbarous hordes traces of a Spartan origin.(10).
We can see why King Otto wanted to create New Sparta. Because Slavo-Sparta did not fit the Aryan German Hellenic ideal with all its Slavic name places and uncouth manners.

But re-creating a dead ancient civilization from the ground up was not the only task King Otto had in mind. The Bavarian masters had the church of Greece declared independent from the ecumenical church of Constantinople. The newly found church of Greece was from the beginning a prisoner of the autocratic, Bavarian ruled Greek state(11).

According to historian William St.Claire German Made Greece "was essentially a Bavarian colony. (That Greece Might Still Be Free)

....to be continued

1-Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770-1945) Volume II, page 308, written by Mary Kitroeff, edited by Balazs Trencsenyi and Michael Kopecek

2 & 3-Cultural Intimacy: Social poetics in the nation-state, pages 106-07, by Michael Herzfeld

4 & 5- Elgin Marble Argument in a New Light By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN Published: June 23, 2009 NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/ar...=2&sq=Albanian Marbles&st=cse&scp=1

6- Dream Nation, page 134, by Stathis Gourgouris

7- Greece and the Greeks of today, pages 32 and 160, by Edmond About

8- In the Steps of St.Paul, page 304, by H.V. Morton

9- Greece and the Greeks of today, pages 21-22, by Edmond About

10- Recollections of a Classical tour, page 182, by Peter Edmund Laurent

11- Salonica Terminus, page 43, by Fred A. Reed
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