Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsWhen the Heroic Greek Evzone Was Featured in Life Magazine

When the Heroic Greek Evzone Was Featured in Life Magazine

Greek evzone Life Magazine
The iconic image of a Greek evzone on the cover of Life magazine. Public Domain

A Greek Evzone was featured on the cover of the American magazine Life, honoring the heroic battles of Greek soldiers against the invading Italians in 1940.

The issue was published in mid-December 1940 approximately fifty days after Mussolini’s forces attacked Greece.

At that time, Life magazine was the leading American publication in photojournalism.

When photographs were relatively rare in newspapers and magazines, the team at Life managed to create this major new innovation of making photographs—rather than the text behind them—the focus of a story.

Each week during World War II, the magazine brought photographs of the war to Americans; it had photographers from all theaters of war. The magazine was imitated in enemy propaganda using contrasting images of Life and Death.

Not even two months after the unjustified aggression of fascist Italy against Greece, the entire free world was talking about the heroism Greece was showing against a powerful member of the Axis Powers.

Greek Evzone in Life was a powerful image

The Italians had not only not managed to conquer Greece by the time of the photo’s publication, but Greek soldiers were actually pushing the Italians back to Albania, liberating the lands of Northern Epirus, where the majority of inhabitants were ethnic Greeks.

American society, still not actively engaged in what was then widely viewed as just another endless European war, was beginning to hear about Greece’s heroic resistance against the darkness of Fascism and Nazism.

For many at the time, Greece was no less than a modern incarnation of David, who was courageously fighting against Goliath.

Featuring a Greek soldier wearing the traditional costume of the Evzones in front of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens playing the trumpet as a call to arms, the photograph was meant to become an iconic symbol for the Greek nation.

It was an ode to the soul of a country that never compromised—despite attempted fear and repression from the part of the enemy—fighting against all odds to retain its most valuable possession: freedom.

Life is no longer in circulation, having published its final issue in 2000, but its multitudes of iconic cover photos have lived on in various permutations ever since then.

During its golden age from 1936 to 1972, Life was a wide-ranging weekly general-interest magazine known for the quality of its photography, and was one of the nation’s most popular magazines, regularly reaching one-quarter of the population.

In the decades after the folding of the magazine, it has been published sporadically as a newspaper supplement, and its website is now a photo channel on the famous TIME magazine’s website.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts