My second main character of an imaginary novel (I confess, I never wrote it, but that was Hannah’s fault), was thus Athina Onassis. The Onassis story is worth a small detour, because it is horibly interesting although quite sad.
During the ottoman empire, the Greek populated not only the actual Greek regions but also great parts of the actual Turkish Mediterranean coast. Many were in Istanbul and also in actual Bulgaria, Macedonia or FIROM, and even upper to the north and east (Georgia, actual Armenia, Ukrania, even Albania, etc). Greece freed itself in two historical moments: the first, almost without help, about 1830, freed Athens and the country around. The other 1914/1922 fixed the actual borders. After 1918 towns at the Mediterranean coast and eastern Thrakia belonged to Greece, even European Istanbul. Agreements not respected between Turkey and Greece, the allies (France, England, Italy), ‘invited’ the Greek to make it be respected. (I was told this by a highly ranked Catholic priest, father Corinthio, born in Turkey from French/Greek origins, studied in Greece and became responsible for the oecumenical relationship between Vatican and the orthodox church, what he was when I got to know him.) This invitation was at the origin of one of the most desastrous campaigns ever launched: having arrived to Istanbul, the Greek decided to go further to Ankara while Thessaloniki born Ata Türk was gathering Turks in the far East in the Pontos mountains as the Sultan had no power of response anymore. Ata Türk fell on the exhausted Greek at the so called Kokkini Milia (the red mile) and eliminated the hungry and thirsty soldiers. The Turk thus reconquered lost territory and arrived quickly to the coast, and almost all Greek living there were pushed into the see and drowned in front of the eyes of the ‘neutral and indifferent’ observing ships of the allies. Eastern Thrakia and Istanbul fell into Turkish hands again.
One of the towns that were mostly affected was Smyrne, most ancient Greek town mentioned already in Apocalypsis. (Traditionally, already at the times of Herodotus, Greek populations lived on the coast, cause and origin of the Persian wars, when some decided to push their adventurous spirit a little bit too far and affronted Persian Kings.)
(Smyrne, actual Izmir)And Aristotelis Onassis was born in Smyrne from a rich merchant’s family. He saved his life, lost though all his family and wealth, left for a while to Greece and decided to migrate to Argentina. There, he got a job as a telephonist (well, as you say in English), and the following story is told which could be partly a myth (heard in a Greek tv program on family Onassis): He listened to a converstion where someone told to someone else that there would be this and that movement in a great company and that shares would be very cheaply sold. He went to a friend of his and borrowed some money he invested immediately in the given shares. Little after, he became extremely rich. He went back to his friend and gave him back his money telling him his extraordinary success. His friend asked him why he had not shared the information, and thus the fortune. Onassis answered:”For what is not sure, I can take the responsibility for myself, though not for someone else. If I had made a mistake, I would have become your slave for the rest of my life, but how may I have taken the responsibility of your ruin?” He bought ships, got married to a woman belonging to one of the oldest Athenian families, whose sister was married to his ‘enemy’ Niarxos (another ship owner), had two children, a boy and a girl, Cristina. He quarreled with then Prime Minister Karamanlis (uncle of actual Prime Minister Costas), when he wanted to make prevail economical interests on political balances, and was kindly pushed back by a historical sentence of Karamanlis saying: “Politics should not be under the influence of particular economical interests.” He fell in love with Opera singer Callas, (’The’ Callas) further divorced his wife who would become Niarxos’s second wife after a strange death of the first wife and sister of the second, (Onassis and Callas) deeply suspected by many of having been a murder, did though not marry Callas but Kennedy’s widow Jaqueline. His son died in an airplane accident. His daughter Cristina would marry several times without ever managing to get a child.(Cristina Onassis) Finally Athina Onassis was born from a short encounter with French Roussel (*). She divorced little after and died in Argentina, someone saying of an accident, others, committing suicide, others, that she was murdered. Little Athina was at that time not more than two or three years old and would stay from then on with the Roussel familiy. Aristotelis Onassis would die alone without male inheritor surrounded by emptyness.
If Onassis’s story seemed so attractive to me, it was because not only it described in a flashing image what we may still call destiny, but also because Athina’s mother’s testament would confront our contemporary world with gravest dilemma. Roussel was forbidden access to the fortune, left in Greek hands. In order for the girl to be allowed to take over the fortune at 21, she was obliged to learn Greek and keep the name Onassis, which is to say, she was to be considered inheritor Onassis and not Roussel.
Athina though was forbidden contact with the Greek familiy members and never learned Greek. Thierry Roussel almost manages to make her change the name. On top of that, he accuses the Greek of bad administration of the fortune and manages about 1999/2001 to transfer the fortune to Switzerland. Last attempts to appear sympathetic to the Greek shows him visiting twice or three times Greece accompanied by his daughter.
The question arising concerning what I used to call a ‘violent rape of testament’ was linked to the fact whether it is possible to make prevail second and third arguments in order not to respect a testament’s clauses. In no case is it written in the testament that bad administration of the fortune may have as consequence that the fortune be given over to others. Which right, which law could be imposed on given testament’s clauses? French? Swiss? International?
Although Roussel makes efforts to make appear his relationship with Athina as perfect, an ancient maid of Athina’s mother publishes a book in Greece alerting of the fact that the girl’s life is in danger. Being the only Greek left in Athina’s surroundings, her sayings seem, though a little exaggerated, quite near to reality. Athina leaves her parental house and quarrels deeply with Roussel. As far as I know, she gets married to a Brazilian horse rider.
Herodotus says that children do wear parent’s psychic inheritance even if they have never known them, and links the fall of the Babylonian empire to this fact: the king having had a dream where his daughter’s son will cause his ruin, sends an officer to kill the boy. The officer though feels pity for the child’s life and gives it to some shepherds. Growing up, the child shows incredible aptitudes of command, and the people, surprised, do alert the Palace. After a little time the King discovers that he is his own grandson, and feeds the officer with his own child. (Cruelty said at the origin of his ruin.) As his daughter has been sent to some kind of exile, to the regions of former Persia (actual Iran: Ekbatana), the child is sent to his mother. He groups all the populations of the region, attacks his grandfather and becomes the first King of Persia.
The latter was confirmed to me by a Colombian psychologist, Rocío Calvache, who told her sister who had never known her mother, behaved and spoke exactly as the mother had done.
The theoretical question which was of such importance to me, was to know whether it could be true, that Athina’s mother had left much more than a testament in favour of her daughter, and thus, whether the observations concerning a quite well known individual could give a light on how deep psychic inheritance may influence not only a life but the relationship among nations. Would the Greek defeat the French? And if, how?
(*) Gene Carrier claiming to the fathership of Athina Onassis, as exposed below, here some picture which help establishing whether there is factually some kind of ressemblance, or not.
(**) For more information on his claim and factual data concerning the Onassis will, please refer to http://double2up.wordpress.com/tag/athina-onassis-affair/