Mark Mazower, one of the most celebrated historians who has a special relationship with Greece, was granted Greek citizenship on Tuesday. The British historian received the honorary title from the Greek state for “the promotion of Greece, its long history and its culture to the international general public.”
Mazower studied classical literature and philosophy at Oxford University and international relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1980s. Having written extensively about the two World Wars and the emergence of Western democracy, Mazower developed a particular interest on Greek and Balkan history.
Mazower, who was born in Golders Green, spent most of his early life in north London. His mother was a physiotherapist and his father worked for Unilever. During his youth, he enjoyed playing the French horn and composing classical music. Mazower’s father was of Russian Jewish descent and during his youth, he enjoyed reading classical literature and philosophy.
Mazower’s interest in Greece and WWII
His book “The Balkans” won the Wolfson History Prize and Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941–44, both won the Longman History Today Award for Book of the Year. Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430–1950 was the Runciman Prize and Duff Cooper Prize winner and was shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman Prize.
Additionally, Mazower is more broadly concerned with 20th-century European history. His book Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century argued that the triumph of democracy in Europe was not inevitable but rather the result of chance and political agency on the part of citizens, subjects and leaders. In Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe, Mazower compared Nazi German occupation policy in different European countries.
Mazower has also written for newspapers since 2002 such as the Financial Times and for The Independent contributing articles on international affairs and book reviews. He has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO).
Mazower: Greek history and awards
Among his many accolades, Mazower has been awarded the Dido Sotiriou Award of the Hellenic Authors Society in 2012, the Society of Columbia Graduates Great Teacher Award in 2011, and an Honorary doctorate from KU Leuven (during the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Master of European Studies) in 2019
Mazower has been particularly interested in the 1821 Greek war of independence against the Ottoman occupation, a fact that earned him a membership in the “Greece 2021” committee, which coordinates events celebrating the bicentennial celebration of the Greek struggle for independence. The committee’s task is to reintroduce the country to the world by celebrating its contemporary history.
The act of the honorary Greek citizenship to Mark Mazower was initiated by the Greek government and signed by Greek president Katerina Sakelaropoulou and Interior minister, Makis Voridis.