The Brotherhood of Man

It is not my purpose to suggest these actions are unique. However it is the case that signatures can be read by those with eyes to see.

Here is an extract from the book ‘Lament from Epirus’ by Christopher C King. A thoroughly gripping read about the folk music of north-western Greece. For me this tradition of dance and music goes back to the Minoan maritime empire of 1500 BC if not further than this. The extract is concerned with some of the tragic history of the region. It relates to events in 1943.

“In September a dispatch had been issued to all troops in north-western Greece that “There must be no hesitation, even toward families…suspects must be executed on the spot. Weakness would cost German blood.” Lyngiades did not contain suspects. Rather on October 1 General Hubert Lanz released a general command for “ruthless retaliatory action” for a twelve mile radius around an area where a German officer had been killed by partisans. Here was vengeance, a blind lashing out.”

“The Edelweiss [crack German Mountain troops] waited until late afternoon when the shepherds and farmers had returned from the fields. Vehicles surrounded the small settlement. All ninety-six villagers were herded together. A variety of machine guns were levelled at the Greek peasants and fired for about fifteen minutes. Before leaving, the Germans burned most of the town. The only four survivors were those who fell underneath the ninety-two that had been murdered.” p.185

We see, as the Russians are pushed back from regions they have occupied for weeks in Ukraine, that same cruelty and ruthless destruction of civilian populations. The claim is the same – the greater ethnic region – of the occupier. Union of ‘our people’. But in the name of brotherhood and relationship with others the lie is shown for the simple greed for power it is.

I have attempted to contact Christopher King to ask permission to use this and other extracts, but so far without success. I would be happy to reach out to him for fuller understanding, and to remove this post if he feels it is inappropriate.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.