Mikis Theodorakis and his songs were with us for quite a bit of our student years, so we received the news of his death with great sadness. He died at 96 and is buried near Chania, Crete.
Mikis was not only a composer, he was a fighter for freedom and social justice, already in the resistance against the Nazis. Later, in the 1960s to the mid-seventies, there were still military dictatorships in Europe with conditions like today in Belarus, who remembers? In Greece Papadopoulos, in Portugal Salazar, in Spain Franco. Mikis Theodorakis actively fought the military dictatorship in his country, politically - and with songs, for which he went to prison and was tortured, under the Nazis and also later in the sixties. His songs were very popular in the political West Germany of the student movement and also later, we all heard them in the seventies.
He became world famous as early as 1964 with the film music for "Zorba the Greek", in Germany it had the title "Alexis Sorbas", to which Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates danced in the film - Sirtaki. The female lead role: Irene Papas. The film impressively embodies the Greek attitude to life. But Mikis also wrote the music for political films directed against military dictatorships, "Z" and "Phaedra".
He wrote over 2000 pieces, even some of them operas, that are still performed today.
He and his music were part of our political culture at the time, and we are still grateful to him for that.