The experiences and memories of Greek immigrants who lived in Greece during the World War II and the Civil War, was the subject of the lecture held in “The Greek Club” in Brisbane by the renowned Historian from the University of Melbourne, Joy Damousi. The lecture was organized by the cultural committee of the Community in memory of the distinguished figure of the Diaspora, the late Alexandros Kontos.
Professor Joy Damousi, head of the School of Historical Studies at Melbourne University is studying the experiences of migrants who grew up in Greece during the war years of the 1940s. Professor Damousi is an award-winning historian whose parents migrated from Florina in the 1950s, in the years following one of the most turbulent periods in Greek history.
A while ago she stated to “Neos Kosmos” that in Greece the study of that period has been “polarised” as it focuses on the actions of the two sides. “The actual everyday experiences of the people have not been researched” Professor Damousi said. During her recent fieldwork in Greece she spoke to survivors of WWII and the Civil War. She found “emotional and challenging” the interviews with mothers whose children were removed from their families.
Around 22,000 children were taken into bordering communist nations by Greek left-wing rebels during the Civil War. There is bitter argument as to whether these children were forcibly removed or handed over by their parents in order to save them from the horrors of war. “Some of those children migrated to Australia and it’s important to tell their story,” said the professor.