28th August 1940 "I place the dignity of Greece above everything else. I will not yield to the Italians " 28th October 1940 "We shall be victorious! But for the Greeks Glory is even more important than Victory" 30th October 1940 Announcement of Prime Minister, Ioannis Metaxas,to the owners and chief editors of the Athenian Press, at the General Headquarters, on 30 October 1940 5th January 1941 "I am overwhelmed by the situation. But I am determined. Abandoned by the English, attacked by the Germans. A devastating winter. Courage-Courage! Let us die like brave Men!" 7th January 1941 (on his name day) "I receive such love from the people. How can I describe these feelings and dedication. But I remain humble, since the only great Being is God and for Greece it is its People" (all taken from his personal diary)
IOANNIS METAXAS Greek Army Officer - Statesman - Intellectual Prime Minister of Greece 1936 - 1941
Franklin D. Roosevelt, US President 1933-1945 “On the 28th October 1940 Greece was given a deadline of three hours to decide on war or peace but even if a three day or three week or three year were given, the response would have been the same.
The Greeks taught dignity throughout the centuries. When the entire world had lost hope , the Greek people dared to question the invincibility of the German monster raising against it the proud spirit of Freedom”.
The heroic struggle of the Greek people...Against Germany’s attack, after she so thunderously defeated the Italians in their attempt to invade the Greek soil, filled the hearts of the American people with enthusiasm and moved their compassion.
Winston Churchill “Until now we used to say that the Greeks fight like heroes. Now we shall say: The heroes fight like Greeks”. (From a speech he delivered from the BBC in the first days of the Greco Italian war).
Joseph Stalin “I am sorry because I am getting old and I shall not live long to thank the Greek People, whose resistance decided WWII”. From a speech of his broadcast by the Moscow radio station on 31 January 1943 after the victory of Stalingrad and the capitulation of German 6th Army Field Marshal Von Paulus). “You fought unarmed and won, small against big. We owe you gratitude, because you gave us time to defend ourselves. As Russians and as people we thank you”. (Moscow, Radio Station When Hitler attacked the U.S.S.R).
Adolf Hitler “For the sake of historical truth I must verify that only the Greeks, of all the adversaries who confronted us, fought with bold courage and highest disregard of death”. (From speech he delivered to Reichstag on May 1941)
Benito Mussolini “The war with Greece proved that nothing is firm in the military and that surprises always await us”. ( From speech he delivered on 10/5/1941)
Sir Robert Antony Eden “Regardless of what the future historians shall say, what we can say now, is that Greece gave Mussolini an unforgettable lesson, that she was the motive for the revolution in Yugoslavia, that she held the Germans in the mainland and in Crete for six weeks, that she upset the chronological order of all German High Command’s plans and thus brought a general reversal of the entire course of the war and we won”. Minister of war and the Exterior of Britain 1940-1945, Prime minister of Britain 1955-1957- Paraphrased from a speech of his to the British Parliament on 24/09/ 1942). Charles de Gaul “I am unable to give the proper breath of gratitude I feel for the heroic resistance of the People and the leaders of Greece”. From a speech of his to the French Parliament after the end of WWII. Maurice Schumann “Greece is the symbol of the tortured, bloodied but live Europe. Never a defeat was so honorable for those who suffered it".
Minister of the exterior of France 1969-1973, member of the French Academy 1974. (From a message of his he addressed from the BBC of London to the enslaved peoples of Europe on the 28 April 1941, the day Hitler occupied Athens)
Sir Harold Leofric George Alexander “It would not be exaggeration to say that Greece upset the plans of Germany in their entirety forcing her to postpone the attack on Russia for six weeks. We wonder what would have been the position of the Soviet Union without Greece”. (British Field Marshal during WWII- paraphrased from a speech of his to the British Parliament on 28th October 1941).