Iwas just a year old when the tanks rolled ominously down the streets of Athens one morning, announcing the beginning of one of Greece’s darkest chapters. At dawn on 21 April 1967, after a period of political and economic uncertainty, the colonels seized power in an intimidating but bloodless coup, and remained in government for seven years. For most of that period I was too busy learning to walk, talk and read to concern myself with what was going on in the big world beyond our front door. I have snatches of memories of the dictatorship: the national anthem being played on the black and white TV every evening before the news; the hectoring tones and frowning facial expressions of the leader, George Papadopoulos; the long and impressive military parades that often marched through the capital. It was only later that I came to learn what lay beyond the quiet safety of our house in the suburbs: a world of people being taken away in the middle of the night because of their politics and their convictions; a world of intimidation, oppression and torture.
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