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The teachers and Aris: A Civil War story | Sunday 21 May 2023

The Greek Civil War (1944-49) was one of the bloodiest civil conflicts of the modern era, and grew out of the various resistance movements of World War II, during which Greece was under direct Axis occupation. Known in Greek as the “Emfylios,” the Civil War saw the Greek Government army (backed by The United Kingdom and the United States) fight against the Democratic Army of Greece (backed by Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria), as the latter tried, ultimately unsuccessfully, to take over Greece. The losses on both sides were enormous, with tremendous violence inflicted upon civilian as well as military populations. In villages, the corpses of brutally-murdered victims were left on public display to “teach” passers-by and to warn them against taking the wrong side. In this interview, we travel with a young girl, Sophia, from the village of Dafno Fokidas as she goes with her mules to buy supplies in a neighboring town. What she sees along the way will remain etched in her memory forever. On the night of Easter, she comes face to face for the first time with Aris Velouchiotis (b. Athanasios Klaras), the Communist leader of the Greek People’s Liberation Army — known by its acronym, “ELAS.” A figure who was larger than life, Velouchiotis struck her with both fear and awe

Interviewee: Skreki Sofia
Field Reporter: Moschos Dimitris
Producer: Daphne Matziaraki
Sound Designer: Iasonas Theofanou, Dimitris Palaiogiannis
Sound Editor: Spyros Lymperopoulos
Video Director: Stefanos Bertakis
Music Composer: William Ryan Fritch
Voiceover: Daphne Remoundou

Istorima is the bigest project of recording and preserving oral histories of Greece. Over 1,000 young researchers find narrators, listen, collect and save stories of people from all over Greece : Stories of their place, stories of love, stories that changed us or defined us, stories modern or old. Stories that are not recorded in the history books and that could be lost in time. Istorima is the co-creation of the journalist Sofia Papaioannou and the historian Katherine Fleming and is implemented with a founding donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of his Youth Reboot and Empowerment initiative (learn more at The more than 20,000 stories are being published in their entirety in stages at Excerpts of the stories are published in the form of podcasts, videos or written stories at


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