LONG ISLAND CITY– The National Herald (TNH) celebrated the release of André Gerolymatos’ latest book with a reception at the Long Island City offices of TNH on December 13. The book, An International Civil War: Greece, 1943-1949, is an important account of one of the most pivotal moments in Greek history and indeed in the history of the world.
André Gerolymatos is a Professor of History and Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University (2011) as well as a National Herald columnist.
Professor Gerolymatos also holds the Hellenic Canadian Congress of B.C. Chair of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University. He graduated from Loyola College and Concordia University with a B.A. Honors in Classics. While at McGill University, he completed his M.A. in Classics and subsequently was awarded his Doctorate in History. His recent books include: The Balkan Wars: (Basic Books, 2002), Red Acropolis Black Terror: The Greek Civil War And The Origins of Soviet-American Rivalry, 1943-1949 (Basic Books 2004), Castles Made Of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage And Intervention In The Middle East (St. Martin’s Press, 2010). A specialist in military and diplomatic history, Dr. Gerolymatos serves as a member of the Canadian Advisory Council on National Security. He is also a member of the board of the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation (USA).
Among his awards and honors, Dr. Gerolymatos received the 2011 Hellenic Republic Order of the Phoenix Officer or Gold Cross (Χρυσός Σταυρός), in 2010 as, in 2010 the AHEPA Achievement Award in Education at the 88th Annual Convention, Montreal, the American Hellenic Professional Society and the CSUS Hellenic Studies program Certificate of Appreciation. As an Olympic ambassador, he ran with the Olympic flame for the 2010 Vancouver Games.
In attendance at the event were Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, Chief Financial Officer Vasili Tsamis, and Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives Stelios Vasilakis. Dr. Gerolymatos’ wife Beverley, Dr. George Liakeas-President of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, Sia Papatriantafyllou- Director of the Greek Press Office, Sia Papatriantafyllou, Nikos Mouyiaris- Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce Director, Olga Alexakos- President of AGAPW, educator Stella Kokkolis, Nick Andriotis, artist Philip Tsiaras whose work is on display in the Greek Light exhibition currently at TNH’s offices, curator of the exhibition Irene Vantaraki, Constantine E. Scaros- Contributing Editor, and TNH staff also attended the event.
Antonis H. Diamataris- TNH Publisher-Editor gave the opening remarks, welcoming all those present to the event, including Dracopoulos who he said “honors Greece and Hellenism internationally with his efforts and those of the SNF”. Diamataris offered congratulations for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, encouraging all to visit and experience the great structure for themselves.
He then introduced Ambassador Loucas Tsilas who spoke movingly about his long association with Dr. Gerolymatos as a friend and colleague, noting that few experts have the courage to tackle the subject of the Greek Civil War and write objectively about it. It’s easy, he said if you want to take sides, but it’s difficult to be objective about the Civil War “which has left, not scars, but open wounds on the body of Hellenism even today. The inability to reconcile and have discourse on the subject, Ambassador Tsilas observed, continues to affect Greece today. Dr. Gerolymatos’ book will help many to understand what happened”.
Dr. Gerolymatos then thanked all those in attendance, noting that the book would not have been possible without the support of the SNF whose scholarship for a PhD student from New Brunswick, Canada with an interest in Greece and the Civil War brought the book and its subject into focus.
The international aspects of the Civil War are perhaps not as well-known as the personal stories from village to village, of brother fighting against brother, but the United States, the then-Soviet Union, Britain, and Yugoslavia were among the countries involved in the conflict. Dr. Gerolymatos mentioned an interview he read in The Guardian of a young girl protesting, throwing Molotov cocktails, when asked why she was doing this, said she wanted to fight the grandchildren of Winston Churchill. Dr. Gerolymatos observed that in the aftermath of the brutal occupation, famine and then Civil War, Greece stayed with the West. If the Communist forces had won, Greece would be another Albania, he said. He also noted that the situation in Greece today is the result of the inability to reconcile after the Civil War.
A Q&A session followed the presentation and then Dr. Gerolymatos signed copies of his book for those present at the event.
The fascinating history, An International Civil War: Greece, 1943-1949 by André Gerolymatos is available online and in bookstores.
At the conclusion of the presentation, TNH Publisher-Editor Antonis Diamataris announced the generous donation of $25,000 made by Andreas Dracopoulos and $10,000 form the SNF employee matching fund to The National Herald Foundation to help families in need.
The event concluded with refreshments and lively discussion on the book, history, and art as the guests viewed –and bought- the works on display in the Greek Light exhibition.