|Naousa Family circa 1928|
"In the first daylight, young Mayor Theofilou was seized at home, dragged and kicked through the streets to Truman Square, backed up against a white marble monument. Said a rebel capitanos: 'You've got a lot of experience lately making speeches to your American friends. Why not make one for us?' Theophilou straightened and started to answer: 'I am the mayor of this town and --- ' A spatter of bullets from rebel Tommy guns cut him off. For three days his body stayed there, propped against the bloodstained marble."
Nikos Theofilos had days earlier welcomed American General James A. Van fleet to town, when during a special ceremony the mayor had thanked him for U.S. aid and the town square was renamed Truman Square. All-in-all 75 civilians were shot, clubbed or burned to the death; the town was plundered totally and 700 townspeople were taken captive. Thankfully, Soula, her mother, brother George, and sister Boula had been sent to Athens earlier.
While living in Greece (1968-78, including seven years under the infamous Junta), I became well-aware of the the trials and tribulations of the Greek people during WWII, the Civil War, and then the tough times that followed -- this in addition to the oft-brutal military dictatorship of that time. Perhaps, this is why I now feel the pain of the Greek people as they endure yet another terrible time in the 21st Century. And why it is so important to know your family's history in Greece, as well as in Stockton. Zoi se mas!