Nazi jokes, wrath at Germans highlight Greek despair

Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:42am EDT
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By Amie Ferris-Rotman

ATHENS (Reuters) - The dark shadow of German-driven austerity measures squeezing Greece has revived historical enmities and evoked comparisons to the massive destruction of the Mediterranean country at the hands of Nazi Germany over 65 years ago.

Cartoons have sprung up depicting the European Union's "troika" as ferocious soldiers in World War Two German uniforms, and some Greeks are beginning to resent the German tourists flocking their ancient sites.

The staff cartoonist for the liberal daily Eleftherotypia has drawn dozens of such cartoons in recent months, often showing Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos giving the Nazi salute "Sieg Heil" (Hail Victory) to a soldier.

"I used the German uniforms symbolically," cartoonist Stathis Stavropoulos told Reuters through an interpreter.

"They show that what Germany did not manage with weapons during World War Two, it is now trying to do through economic means," he said.

The war, during which Greece was occupied and suffered enormous losses, is still a touchy subject today despite Greece's fierce resistance movement at the time.

Some voices in the media have called the present Greek government 'dosilogos', a word meaning traitor and which referred to Greeks who collaborated with the Nazis during the war.

One of Stavropoulos' cartoons, published on October 15, shows a soldier in German uniform watching over Venizelos as he barks at a Greek citizen to cough up more money in taxes.   Continued...