Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics of Memory

Paperback | November 28, 2011

byLoring M. Danforth

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At the height of the Greek Civil War in 1948, thirty-eight thousand children were evacuated from their homes in the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist Party relocated half of them to orphanages in Eastern Europe, while their adversaries in the national government placed the rest in children’s homes elsewhere in Greece. A point of contention during the Cold War, this controversial episode continues to fuel tensions between Greeks and Macedonians and within Greek society itself. Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten present here for the first time a comprehensive study of the two evacuation programs and the lives of the children they forever transformed.

Marshalling archival records, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, the authors analyze the evacuation process, the political conflict surrounding it, the children’s upbringing, and their fates as adults cut off from their parents and their homeland. They also give voice to seven refugee children who poignantly recount their childhood experiences and heroic efforts to construct new lives in diaspora communities throughout the world. A much-needed corrective to previous historical accounts, Children of the Greek Civil War is also a searching examination of the enduring effects of displacement on the lives of refugee children.

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At the height of the Greek Civil War in 1948, thirty-eight thousand children were evacuated from their homes in the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist Party relocated half of them to orphanages in Eastern Europe, while their adversaries in the national government placed the rest in children’s homes elsewhere in Greece. A...

Loring M. Danforth is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Anthropology at Bates College and the author of several books, including, most recently, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Riki Van Boeschoten is associate professor of social anthropology and oral history at the University of Thessaly, Greece, a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:November 28, 2011Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226135993

ISBN - 13:9780226135991

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I: Histories
One Framing the Subject 
Two The Evacuation of Children to Eastern Europe 
Three The Paidopoleis of Queen Frederica

Part II: Stories
Four Refugee Children in Eastern Europe
      Kostas Tsimoudis
      Evropi Marinova
      Stefanos Gikas
      Maria Bundovska Rosova 
Five Children of the Paidopoleis
      Efterpi Tsiou
      Traian Dimitriou
      Kostas Dimou

Part III: Ethnographies
Six Refugees, Displacement, and the Impossible Return
Seven Communities of Memory, Narratives of Experience
Eight The Politics of Memory: Creating a Meaningful Past

Epilogue
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Successfully combing archival research with extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Children of the Greek Civil War is a work of first-rate scholarship, grounded in original research and sophisticated theoretical analysis, that is often gripping as it ranges from historical prose to deeply moving personal vignettes. Given the contentiousness of the book’s subject—an understudied but highly significant episode—it is as courageous as it is informed. The time seems ripe for beginning the process of reconciliation, and Danforth and Van Boeschoten’s work will help us move down that difficult road.”