Speech to EON’s parents and teachers
19 October 1939
“It is important to us here in Greece, and we are not particularly interested what other societies and foreign countries think of it. Here it is simply linked to the very existence and survival of Greek society.
For many centuries, having suffered so many catastrophes and enslavements, the Greek national identity was not really encompassed in a territorial state, so that all the cultural heritage of the Greek Nation was concentrated in and transmitted from generation to generation by the family.
Then, we Greeks are mainly Orthodox in religion, so that of 8 million Greeks in the modern state, barely 250,000 belong to other religious rites or sects. And the Church emphasizes the two sacraments of marriage and baptism! The family therefore is the cell of Greek society. And the Nation for Greece is the same as society. So the family must participate in the education of the children; the major forces of the society other than the Nation are the Polity or the State and the Church.
In the West there is a total separation between Church and State, and the Church is denied a role in education. Here in Greece, Church and Nation constitute one whole. The Greek Nation and the Greek Church share the same history since the rise of Christianity. Thus the state in Greece never dared seek anti-religious aims; even the parliament of 1927, when and where there was such an inclination, did not dare undermine the special position of the Orthodox Church. So that one of the conditions that gave rise to the 4th August Regime was the period of irreligion preceding it.
But now Family, Nation and Church are the new pillars of the Greek society, nation and the state. State and Church work each in its own way towards the same national goals. In these circumstances, the State has the right to interfere in the education of children for national purposes. School, parents, EON and the State are involved in this important national endeavour.
It is the duty and role of the State and the new national structures (institutions, such as EON) to ensure that no teacher or professor promotes ideas for the overthrow of our society, our state, and our nationalism: no intellectual has the right to do that, and EON in particular has a special role of vigilance against such threat.”