Bloody Easter – Rhodes 1919
The style of a day that rose in this place 90 years ago.
The ether of the adiquated moment that hovered and was lost like a Christ angel. The voice of an unforgetable woman with such a prudency and labor. The shadow of an unconquered dressed in black… that fresh in the future. An end unforgettable – marbled at noon of 7th April of 1919
In the beginning of 1919 it was whispered that 17 Mayors of Dodekanisa guided by the Italian Mayor of Rhodes signed a document that forged the will of the residences presenting them as people that denied their own country and preferred a strange government. It was said that those document were presented during the conference in Paris in order to support the dominant claim of Italians.
During the period that the new constitution in Europe was in forced in 1919 Greece was not active. Eleftherios Venizelos undertook to lead the delegation in Paris. He was waiting to arrive and to send to the appropriate committee the results of the protests. With those proofs it would serve as a reply to the forgers of the will of the people of Dodekanissos. Opinions of Venizelos supported with the presence of Greek people in the claimed areas, i.e. to the nationality. Dodekanissa, he said are Greeks since thousand years and have to be returned back to Greece. However according to the announcement of dogma of nationalities and the rights for self determination of the people of American president Wilson every treaty that was against these opinions has power. According to the above the treaty of 1915 between Italy and the forces of ANTANT for the attachment of Dodekanissa have to be verified.
When the case of Dodekanissa was unsolved, the residents of the islands continue to feel unsafe. They understand that they have to take some actions in order to organize their nationality situation. For this reason a lot of decisions were issued and rallies were organized in order to promote any problem of the islands and to prove that they are Greek and to show they will be attached to Greece changing the Italian propaganda which they don’t care about as well as the change of their political life.
Centre of the declarations of Dodekanissos people for the attachment with Greece is the Holly Metropolis of Rhodes with leader Apostolo Trifonos and Dimogerondia who have got in touch with Dodekanissos Athens Corporation organizes rally of Dodekanissos for the attachment in the day of Easter on 7th of April of 1919. The Italian reaction was inhuman against the churches of the town and the villages. In the village Vilavoba, namely today Paradisi, during the second Easter the priest Loukas announced with trembling voice the declaration of Metropolitan Apostolos Trifonos :
The distinguished spirits of humanity are sitting today around the green table and are thinking about how to create human peace and the future to be better.
The brightest moment of the program of Wilson is the foundation of future piece on nations.
What else the Greek nation wanted; only the national arrangements in order to bring the several parts together to be one.
My dear children, although there is a common will of our nation there were some Greeks namely with the number 17 who dared to falsify the will of the Orthodox Greek People of Rhodes.
So, I think that people of Rhodes may declare which is the lonely and real wish without changing their duties towards the Italian government
I verify the referendum for the attachment with Mother Greece”
People applauded with continuous huzza saying
“We are Greeks and we want our Mother”
Greeks back the traitors
In order to silence the enthusiasm of people the Italians captured the teachers Konstantinos Pantazis and Nikolaos Magafas, something that exasperated the people who shouted for the freedom of these two people otherwise they would capture of the village inhabitants.
The conqueror did not last in showing its real face and in a simple remark of a Greek woman from Paradissi namely Anthoula Georgiou Manola or Zervou because someone had hit a child of 12 years old and she replied with a stub on the chest. The Italian killed her stubbing her in her back as well as the priest Loukas according to indications of the officer who was informed about the actions of the hero-priest.
Another bright page of the story was written in this place with the blood of heroes and they use to decorate the square of Paradisio to serve as a reminder.
When the cube hit the plate
When oblique hit the chest
When the eye knew the stranger
And love dried in the wholes of the soul
When looking around you find
A cycle with cut legs
A cycle with dead hands
A cycle with dark eyes
When there is nothing to choose
Your death that you are looking for
Listening to the shout
Even the shout from the pain
Leave your hands in order to travel
Unstuck from unfaith weather and climb on
Whenever climbing he elevate the weight.
Antonios Arfaras – Doctor