When writer-scholar N.J. Slabbert researched WWII literature for young
people in America, he was amazed to find a guide for schools and
teachers referring to Greece as “a minor theater of the war”.
“Minor? Definitely not!” was his response.
As a result of Mr. Slabbert’s perception of “a remarkable gap in
historical education about Greece’s role in WWII,” a new book is now
coming out that he and publisher Montagu House hope will help set the
record straight. MY FATHER HAD THIS LUGER ... A True Story of Hitler's Greece
tells the tale of Evangelos Louizos, a Greek child caught up in
the German occupation of Greece. Montagu House Managing Editor Em Saks
says the book paints a vivid picture of life in greater Athens during
WWII that will absorb readers of all ages.
It’s the first book in a series about Greece and WWII called The Sword
of Zeus Project. Montagu House has appointed Mr. Slabbert to helm the
series, whose advisors include Aris Melissaratos, senior advisor to
the president of Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Peter Yiannos, president
of the American Foundation for Greek Language & Culture in Delaware,
Pennsylvania and New Jersey; Dr. Alex Vavoulis, Professor Emeritus at
California State University; Gilbert Decker, former executive vice
president of Walt Disney Imagineering and chairman of the US Army
Science Board; and historian George.Harocopos, who fought in WWII with
the Greek Resistance.
Mr. Melissaratos says the Zeus series “seeks to promote understanding
of World War II not just as a military, strategic and historical event
but as a human event that impacted individual lives and continues to
do so to this day. By explaining the fortitude and heroism with which
ordinary Greeks survived Nazi occupation, this media program reminds
us afresh of the extraordinary things that even apparently ordinary
people can achieve when put to the test. It is a lesson from which
Americans and all nations can profit greatly today.”
Ms. Saks declares that MY FATHER HAD THIS LUGER... is written in a
contemporary style and is geared to “help bring the reality of WWII
Greece home to a new generation of young people.” And she believes the
book will also promote greater understanding of Greece’s current
financial struggles, including why some are arguing that Germans owe
Greeks billions in unpaid war reparations. It’s impossible, Saks
maintains, to read the tale without seeing a connection with what
Greece is experiencing today.
"The book's remarkably fair toward the German soldiers who seized
control of Greece. Still, it's hard to read about what Germany's
aggression inflicted on Greeks without feeling that there's definitely
unfinished business between the two countries."
The book is intended, she adds, to trigger a cross-generational
conversation. “Teenagers and young adults will discover a true and
compelling story about a youngster with whom they can identify.
Parents and teachers will quickly see how the book's descriptions form
a pertinent background to events in today's Greece and Europe.
Grandparents will rediscover much that they poignantly remember.”
The book recounts the childhood experiences of retired history teacher
Evangelos Louizos, who lived in the greater Athens area under German
occupation and today resides in Britain.
More information can be found at
http://www.theswordofzeus.info/ , or .e-mail Em Saks at