Below is an open letter from an elderly Greek citizen to the German chancellor, as published in the German-language Griechenland-Blog. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Open Letter From Greece to Angela Merkel
February 19, 2012
In Greece an 86 year-old woman wrote an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, which reflects the pain and troubles of an entire life.
The 86-year-old Poppi Kontis submitted her letter — written in German — at the German embassy in Athens on February 7 (that is, before the violent events) and asked that it be officially forwarded to the Chancellery.
It should be noted that the phrasing in the following is based substantially on the source named below, whose authenticity is not confirmed, especially as retro-translated versions published in diverse Greek online media deviate in some phraseology.
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Athens, February 7, 2012
100 Alexandra Allee
I am an 86-year-old Greek woman and you can surely imagine that I have had to experience many political and war events in my years.
We are unfortunately a people that has always had to be under foreign sponsorship or influence, because our politicians have sometimes been influenced, sometimes subjugated, according to their personal interests, and that continues today. They think of their own interests instead of those of Greece.
I know nothing of politics, but your behavior toward Greece and the Greeks is outrageous. You forget that there are many Greeks among the richest people in the world who started with nothing and became what they are.
To name just a few, just since WWII, we have two Nobel prizes, world-renowned directors, D. Mitropoulos, composers who have even won Oscars and many scientists everywhere in the world. Also famous actors (Katina Pazinou, Irini Pappas, Melina Mercouri) and Maria Kallas, and most important, the Greek merchant fleet, the first in the world.
The lazy Greeks have done all that!
And then I see you in the TV triumphantly kissing one another (Note: in other sources it says: “…as they are triumphantly embracing each other…”) and judging and determining Greece’s future.
And I think: Germany owes Greece (you know it already, but I am enclosing a copy of the National Organization for the Re-Payment of Germany’s Debts to Greece and the interview in Der Spiegel with Prof. Albrecht Ritschel on October 4, 2011 in which he says: “If the Greeks wanted to, they could take our underpants”).
So, Mrs. Merkel, we owe no one! You owe us, so please pay the allegedly “adapted” debts (Note: in other sources it says: “…pay the allegedly overdue debts…”).
Oh yes, can you please tell me how it is that suddenly all of Europe and especially we in the south are in debt? They say the banks are to blame (?). In Greece at this time there are 500,000 homeless and starving people who must go daily to the church, the state and other organizations to be fed.
No, Mrs. Merkel! Enough with the extortion of the Greeks!
Greece will never die, and it will survive as always. And note well: we forgive but we never forget.
— Poppi Errikou Konti