metaxas quotes

Selected quotes by Ioannis Metaxas (Part II)

“The Greece which was born in 1821 is not my motherland, because as a Greek I belong to that race which existed before this motherland and which belonged to another, greater, motherland….I belong to that aristocracy which has been fighting for its King and for the State a long time before modern Greece was born.”

“Since all nations live apart from each other, every citizen should be benevolent to his own nation. I, therefore, because I was born in Greece … must work for the good of Greece. It is immaterial to me if Greece be the least of nations; my obligation is not to find in her virtues she does not possess, or to ignore vices that she does. My obligation to Greece derives from the fact that I was born a Greek and I therefore have to be useful to Greece.”

“Greece cannot exist socially if its society consists of unhappy and miserable people. The Greek people have reached such a point of degradation and indifference that they have endangered the fate of the Nation and the Country …Thus I repeat: Regeneration from a national point of view: because you cannot exist but as Greeks: as Greeks who believe in the power of Hellenism, and through it you can develop and create your own civilization.”

“Our Nation is the Hellenic Nation: our Motherland is Hellas and we constitute Hellenism”

‘We Greeks are for the over-whelming most part Orthodox. Of the roughly eight million Greeks who belong to the kingdom, just two hundred or at the most two hundred and fifty thousand are of other faiths, and aren’t Orthodox. So all of the Greeks are Orthodox.”

“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 to seek anti-religious aims: even the parliament of 1927, when there was such an inclination, did not dare to undermine the special position of the Orthodox Church. One of the conditions that gave rise to the 4th of 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 the depths of my soul, the Aristocratic ideas always exist”

“My children, in this world nothing is possible to be achieved without faith! Deep faith! Without deep faith it is impossible for a scientist to exist! Without deep faith it is impossible for an artist to exist! Without deep faith there is not a man who is able to create something. And the most common man, if he does not deeply believe in something, is unable to do something really great. As you understand, because you are well educated, faith excludes either rationality or discussion. The faith comes from the bowels of the soul and prevails, as the sunlight does, over all of your thoughts, over your souls, and it is impossible neither to be posed under discussion, nor to be subjected to the rational rules. Anyone who has not such feelings deep inside him, but what am I saying? All the people here have these feelings inside them. All the people have these emotions, and with these we start our lives”

“Let not our [Greek] previous civilisations intimidate you … You will perfect [the Hellenic Civilisation] … And you, modern Greeks, do you not have the ambition to create your own civilisation derived from these two other civilisations [ancient and medieval Greek]? Do you not like such a supreme ideal and a paramount objective?”

“Our new civilisation will not be concerned with extension but with intensity, not with the acquisition of territory but with the strength of our spirit”

“Democracy, the system of the ancient Athenian society, is characterised by mediocrity. The leaders of democratic regimes are only mediocre human beings, servants of the sovereign masses, while what societies need are superior beings to lead their nations. Democracy derives its strength from amorphous and misguided masses.”

“The moment has come that we will fight for the independence of Greece, its integrity and its honor. Even though we kept the strictest neutrality and equal distance to all, Italy does not recognize that we should live as free Greeks and asked us today at three in the morning to surrender part of our national territory of their choice otherwise they would start military moves against us at six in the morning. I replied to the Italian ambassador that I consider the request and the manner the request was made as Italy’s declaration of war against Greece. Greeks, now it is time for us to prove if indeed we are worthy of our ancestors and the freedom that our forefathers secured for us. Our nation as a whole will rise united as one body. Fight for our Homeland, our women, our children and our sacred traditions. Now we fight for everything”