Memory of Trauma Series Starts with Discussion on Greek Civil War
October 12, 2010
Assistant Professor of Political Science Petros Vamvakas discussed "Lotus-Eaters of a Bitter Country: The Political Effects of Forgetting the Greek Civil War" as part of the first installment of "The Memory of Trauma and the Trauma of Memory. The Spanish Civil War and its Aftermath. Insights for Spain and Beyond" lecture series on October 7th in the Janet M. Daley Library Lecture Hall. The lecture covered the division that existed in Greece after the country's Civil War, which occurred during the same time as World War II.
"In March, when I was asked to speak, I thought that it was a great place to present a topic near and dear to my heart," said Vamvakas. "Greece's troubles were not an economic issue, but political issues that dates back to the resurrection of democracy."
Two different types of government in Greece and a financial problem brought back the exiled king, King George II, until 1941 when Italian and German crusaders overcame tough Greek resistance. The war was divided into three parts: from 1942-1944, when Greece fought to determine leadership of the country; from December 1944 until October 16, 1949, when Communists fought against the government; and 1946 - 1949, when the Democratic Army of Greece tried to gain control of the country. During the second part of the war, Greece received help from the United States.
Vamvakas ended his lecture by offering insight into the powerful political divide that exists in Greece still to this day. "In Greece, there are 23 daily newspapers," he said. "You can tell where a person stands [politically] by the paper that they are holding."
"The Memory of Trauma and the Trauma of Memory. The Spanish Civil War and its Aftermath. Insights for Spain and Beyond" lecture series is organized by Emmanuel's Department of Foreign Languages with the support of the Spanish Consulate at Boston.