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New Politsani pictures posted May 2006

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    Posted: 30 May 2006 at 12:47pm
Greetings!  I recieved some great pictures from Stavro Nashi.  I will post them below.  More pictures are also on the way.  When I get them, I will post them as well.  Enjoy!  -Mike

This picture is of Politsani before World War II:



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Post Options Post Options   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2006 at 12:48pm
Here is a photo of some local boys who fought in the 1912 Balkan War:


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Post Options Post Options   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2006 at 12:49pm
Stavro Nashi sent in a picture of his Great Grandmother dates around 1935:





More on this photo at this link:

http://greekodyssey.typepad.com/my_greek_odyssey/2006/05/the _yiayia_sist.html

From this blog:

The Greek Woman:

Greek society is patriarchal.  That said, please don't  get the impression that Greek women are relegated to insignificant roles or that they occupy subservient positions vis a vis their husbands.  Greek women occupy an exalted position in Greek life because they are the mothers of our children.  They are  also the ones traditionally doing the heavy lifting when it comes to imparting religious faith to the young.  If you thought Greek women spent all their time baking baklava and doing embroidery, think again. Greek history for centuries is replete with frequent upheavals, violence and suffering.  It is responsible for forging women who were independent, able to adapt and persevere and most importantly able to rein in their fear in order to protect those they loved.  If you haven't read "Eleni" by Nicholas Gage, I highly recommend it as an introduction to the subject of the Greek woman and what makes her tick.  All Greek men have examples in their own life of the influence of a mother or grandmother, and they always speak of them in reverential terms.

Evdoxia was my maternal grandmother.  She came to live with us when I was born. I was her first grandchild and our bond was strong and remained strong throughout her long life. My family lived in Constantinople (Istanbul to all non-Greeks), part of a "protected" Greek minority that numbered over 100,000 at that time.  On September 6, 1955,  my grandmother, mother and I were spending the last weekend of the summer outside of the city.  We were staying in an old house that was  owned by my great uncle.  The house was built like a bank, bars on the windows and a heavy wooden door with a heavy crossbar.  My Dad had to work that weekend and was unable to join us that fateful day.  Although I was only five years old at the time, the events of that day are indelibly etched in my mind.   I  remember playing with a toy car on the floor that night.  Then we heard the sound of Church bells. 

My grandmother was immediately alerted, something was wrong but she had no idea what it was.

Little did she realize that anti-Greek riots had erupted on signal from the Turkish government. In the midst of turmoil in Cyprus with the Greeks there pushing for enosis (union) with Greece, Turkey decided to send a message.   As the police stood passively on the sidelines, riots began emanating from the center of the city at Taksim Square and moved out to its suburbs.  The destruction was systematic, thorough and would have made a barbarian horde proud.  Nothing Greek was spared, not even cemeteries. It would mark the beginning of the end of the historic Greek community in Turkey.  At that moment, those two Greek women had no idea what was in store for them.

Yiayia immediately barred the door and told my mother and I to go upstairs.  I still remember hearing shouting and the sound of breaking glass. My grandmother rushed upstairs and ordered my mother to hide herself  and me in a closet.  My mother balked at the idea of leaving yiayia to face her fate alone and grabbed me, shoved me under a bed and told me not to move or make a sound. An angry crowd  of Turks was loitering outside, shouting epithets and throwing the occasional cobblestone up towards the windows.  Years later yiayia described it as the sound of a pack of wolves.   Loud banging at that door began in earnest but the mob was unable to dislodge the wrought iron crossbar or crack the heavy oak door.  I can only imagine what must of been going through the minds of those two lonely women at the time.  It was yiayia who decided to sew.   They grabbed the heavy wool red blanket on the bed and began  sewing  a white star and crescent on it.  In what must have seemed an eternity to them they hung the makeshift Turkish flag out of the window.  The effect was dramatic, the angry milling crowd soon dispersed into the night.  We had survived a pogrom.   The next day my mother warily left the house to fetch water from a local fountain.  A young teenage boy strutted up to her and spoke in Turkish: " Yesterday you were lucky,  but soon we will cut your throats, giaour (infidel)."  A year later my family immigrated to America and never looked back.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mac E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2007 at 9:14am
Very interesting photos and descriptions.  Especially the story of YiaYia saving her family from a pogrom which accompanied a photo of singular strength and beauty.  I would like to contact her grandson.  From the material in his story I recognize him to be an old warrior, exceptional racconteur and valued friend.  If anyone can put me in touch with Stavro Nashi I would be very grateful.
Mac
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