Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Turns Out The Ancient Greeks Were Quite The Grill Masters

NPR (blog)Turns Out The Ancient Greeks Were Quite The Grill MastersNPR (blog)For a long time, archaeologists couldn't figure out how ancient Greeks used the cookware found at excavation sites from the Mycenaean period, which lasted from 1600 to 1100 B.C.. The mysterious wares included ceramic trays for skewered meat — known ...and more »


Greek authorities investigating migrant boat sinking that left 2 dead, 10 feared drowned

Greek judicial authorities are investigating the deadly sinking of a migrant boat that was being towed by a coast guard vessel.


Greek Grill & Fry Co. in Chandler, 3 stars

Greek Grill & Fry Co. in Chandler, 3 starsazcentral.comThis Midwest take on the classic Greek dish is a staple at the Greek Grill & Fry Co., a little eatery that opened last summer in an older Chandler strip mall near Ray and Rural roads. Here, you can have your stuffed grape leaves and eat your fried ...


Diagnosing Mental Illness in Ancient Greece and Rome

Diagnosing Mental Illness in Ancient Greece and RomeThe AtlanticWilliam V. Harris, a professor of history and director of the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean at Columbia University, studies mental illness in the classical world—ancient Rome and Greece. Though the body of knowledge we have at our disposal is ...


Greece to face South Korea, Nigeria and Bolivia ahead of World Cup

KathimeriniGreece to face South Korea, Nigeria and Bolivia ahead of World CupKathimeriniGreece will face South Korea in a pre-World Cup friendly game on March 5 in Piraeus, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) confirmed on Thursday. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium and will be a dry run for the ...and more »


Is Greece on the Rebound?

Is Greece on the Rebound?CounterPunchMany economists, when we saw the plan, knew immediately that Greece was beginning a long journey into darkness that would last for many years. This was not because the Greek government had lived beyond its means or lied about its fiscal deficit.


Ancient Greek stories of ritual child sacrifice in Carthage are TRUE, study claims

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds called tophets ... Babies of just a few weeks old were sacrifice. Dedications from the children's parents ...


Greek pressure alters FYE

Greek pressure alters FYEDailybarometerGreek life was not consulted before OSU moved ahead with plans to implement FYE. Vice Provost of Student Affairs Larry Roper said the initial meetings were open to all campus community members, and reaching out to separate entities would have seemed ...


UN urges probe into migrants’ death off Greek island

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has called for an investigation after a boat carrying migrants turned over while being towed by a Greek coastguard vessel, leaving up to twelve people dead. The incident took place on January 20, near the Greek ...


Greek teacher 'got his class to beat boy, 8, who tried to leave early'

Daily MailGreek teacher 'got his class to beat boy, 8, who tried to leave early'Daily MailA Greek primary school teacher has been arrested after making a group of second graders beat up their classmate in Arta, Western Greece. The eight-year-old victim had attempted to leave class before the bell rang out and was punished by the teacher who ...


Greece denies blame in migrant drownings

January 23, 2014 11:51 PM ATHENS (AFP) - Greece on Thursday rejected claims that its coastguard was responsible for the deaths of at least two migrants in the Aegean Sea when the boat carrying them to Europe capsized.        


Greek Mosaics Discovered Inside Old Israeli Church

Impressive archaeological finds, including a magnificent mosaic featuring Greek inscriptions, were uncovered in a church some 1,500 years old during Israel Antiquities Authority salvage excavations, prior to the construction of a new ...


Marion goes Greek: County's large Greek Festival dances into its 14th year

NorthJersey.comMarion goes Greek: County's large Greek Festival dances into its 14th yearOcalaNow, the festival takes three days, and this year's 14th annual Greek Festival gets under way at 10 a.m. Friday at Belleview's St. Mark's Greek Orthodox Church in the Father George Papadeas Community Center that proceeds from the first 10 festivals ...Wyckoff first responders get local boostNorthJersey.comall 2 news articles »


Unbelievable oversight

One of the terms in the deal Greece signed with its international creditors in exchange for bailout funding is that the state must draw up a comprehensive list of all the property and real estate assets it owns on Greek soil, which would include details o... ...


Problems on many fronts

The situation in Greece is looking very bleak indeed. On the one hand, the relationship between Athens and its international lenders is becoming increasingly tense, though the blame does not lie exclusively with the troika representatives, who have vastly... ...


Furor stirred by suggestions that archaeological sites be privatized

A recent article in Time magazine titled “Can Privatization Save the Treasures of Ancient Greece?” didn't not just sparked controversy; it brought to the surface two entirely different approaches to the issue of how the country's cultural heritage is mana... ...


Greece to face South Korea on March 5

Greece's national squad will face South Korea on March 5 in a friendly preparation match ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazi, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) has announced. The game will take place at Olympiakos' home ground in Faliro. Greece has ... ...


About 1 mln cars circulating without insurance

About one million vehicles are currently in circulation in the country without insurance, according to the Chairman of Car Insurance Companies Association in Greece Costas Bertsias. Speaking to Vima FM on Thursday, Bertsias said authorities will soon intr... ...


Varvitsiotis reacts to criticism following deadly boat incident in eastern Aegean [Update]

Merchant Marine Minister Militadis Varvitsiotis on Thursday responded to international criticism of Greek authorities following a deadly boat accident involving immigrants in the east Aegean Sea earlier in the week. The immigrant boat capsized off the isl... ...


Talks with Troika difficult, says Greek FinMin

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said that the negotiations with the Troika (representatives from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank) will continue until ...


A Greek Fugitive Terrorist's Call To Arms

Belfast TelegraphA Greek Fugitive Terrorist's Call To ArmsDaily BeastThe urban guerrilla organization went on to claim responsibility for the deaths of 23 people in more than 100 attacks on American, British, Turkish and Greek targets. They disbanded in 2002 when their leaders, including Christodoulos Xeros, were jailed.A convicted terrorist on the looseThe Economist (blog)Fugitive Greek extremist taunts governmentGlobalPostReward in hunt for Greek fugitivesBelfast TelegraphANSAmedall 90 news articles »


Greek Public Servants Escape Fraud Investigation

Following the practices of politicians and thanks to several provisions of the law concerning the accountability of ministers, Greek civil servants who were charged with serious disciplinary offenses took advantage of existing “loopholes” in the law and have escaped prosecution. The recent unanimous decision by the first instance disciplinary board of the Ministry of Tourism, […]


New Opinion Poll Gives SYRIZA Clear Lead

A Pulse RC opinion poll carried out on behalf of the newspaper “TO PONTIKI,” is set to be published tomorrow and gives SYRIZA a clear 3 percent lead over New Democracy. The opinion poll depicts the intention of the Greek voters for January. In particular, the opinion poll places the major opposition party first with 23 percent; following […]


Independent Greeks MP’s Immunity Lifted

Greece’s Parliament decided on Wednesday January 22, to lift the immunity of the Independent Greek MPVassilis Kapernaros, but not of the deputies Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Argyris Dinopoulos. According to Christos Markogiannakis, who presided at the voting, about 230 deputies took part. In more detail: -          For deputy Dinopoulos’ case, 20 MPs voted in favor of […]


Businessman Vovos Rearrested

Charalampos Vovos, 81, was rearrested Wednesday afternoon by police officers of Property Rights’ Protection Department of Attica Police Directorate, for 7 million Euros of debts to the Greek state. Vovos’ company board stated, “This arrest was made after several lawsuits from tax authorities concerning outstanding debts to the Greek State.” The company has made specific […]


Cuts to Armed Forces Wages ruled Unconstitutional

  The Greek Council of State has ruled that the cuts made to the wages of members of the armed forces, police, coast guard and firemen in August 2012, were unconstitutional and that the government must pay the salaries it withheld. This decision has stunned the Greek government and scuppered its plans for sharing the primary […]


Commissioners Reding and Malmström Visit Greece

The Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding, along with the Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, are visiting Athens, Greece, to join the two unofficial Councils of EU Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs. This takes place on January 23 and 24 at Zappeion and […]


Second Divine Liturgy in Famagusta Church

On Sunday January 26, from 7.30 am to 10.30 am, a divine liturgy will be held in the church of Ayios Georgios (Exorinou) within the walls of Famagusta. The service, which will be led by the Bishopric of Constantia – Famagusta, is the second ceremony within the past few weeks held in Ayios Georgios, a […]


WWF: Four In Ten Greeks Throw Away Food

Despite the impact of the economic crisis on household budgets, four in ten Greeks admit to throwing away food at least once or twice a month, according to a new survey carried out by the WWF Greece conservation group. The same survey found that 9 percent of Greeks throw away food twice or three times a […]


Greek Scientists Propose New Tsunami Intensity Scale

Japan may have experienced major disasters from tsunamis, but the creation of a new integrated tsunami intensity scale came from Greece. According to an article in “Eleftherotypia” a research team from the Laboratory of Tectonics and Geological Mapping of the University of Athens, headed by Professor of Dynamic Tectonic and Applied Geology and President of […]


Greek Parents’ Dream Jobs for their Children

No matter if things have changed due to the Greek economic crisis and no matter if every major scientific field offers many related expertises. Parents in Greece remain constant and traditional as for the career choices they wish their children ...


Greece tells Macedonia it must 'accept European values'

Macedonia has been an official EU candidate since 2005 and received a positive recommendation by the European Commission to start accession talks but has failed to actually initial them due to a lack of consensus among the EU member states. To Skopje ...


Greece offers $5.4-million bounty for guerrillas after one goes on the run

Greece offers .4-million bounty for guerrillas after one goes on the runThe Globe and MailGreece offered a record €4-million (about $5.4-million U.S.) bounty on Wednesday for help in capturing five fugitives after one of them went on the run during a prison furlough, deeply embarrassing authorities. Christodoulos Xiros, 56, was serving ...


Talks with Greece awkwardly timed

KathimeriniTalks with Greece awkwardly timedEuropean VoiceEurozone finance ministers will on Monday (27 January) discuss the latest progress made by Greece in implementing the austerity policies and structural reforms that are a condition of a €240 billion bail-out granted to the country. Yet the debate with ...Stournaras: Europe Must Find Ways To Boost InvestmentMNI NewsTroika talks need more timeKathimeriniall 4 news articles »


The Battle For Ukraine Is Being Fought Using Ancient Military Tactics

Things got pretty hairy in Kiev, Ukraine, in the last week due in large part to the government banning protests.

As a result, riot police broke out their Roman army tactics.

This formation is called the "Testudo," or tortoise in Latin.

The tactic springs from ancient Greek warfare which relied on the Phalanx formation to slowly chew up the enemy.

Romans later adopted and modified the phalanx, which remained relevant for about 2000 years.

In the case of riot police, it's more about area denial and protecting police officers than killing an enemy.

Protesters, on the other hand, have actually gone so far as to build a a trebuchet.

(Small as it may be.)

The weapon appeared during the Middle Ages and is the precursor to long-range artillery. It uses a counterweight to sling much heavier objects much longer distances than a traditional catapult or, perhaps more importantly, than what a human could throw. 


Join the conversation about this story »



Greece announces 4 million euro reward for information on terror fugitives

CP24 Toronto's Breaking NewsGreece announces 4 million euro reward for information on terror fugitivesCP24 Toronto's Breaking NewsATHENS -- Greek authorities announced rewards totalling 4 million euros ($5.4 million) Wednesday for information leading to the capture of fugitives in four terrorism-related cases, days after an escaped convict posted a video statement on the Internet ...


Greek diversity: Why not socioeconomic too?

Greek diversity: Why not socioeconomic too?The University of Alabama Crimson WhiteOne of the reasons I chose the Capstone over other institutions of higher learning was my awareness and appreciation of the socioeconomic variety composed in its student body. I came to Tuscaloosa from a small town in rural Alabama where nearly half of ...Guest Column by Scott Reikofski | Commending our chaptersThe Daily Pennsylvanianall 2 news articles »


First world war: memories of the last survivors

In a special project with four other Europa newspapers, we talk to some of the few who still recall those momentous events

'God let me live so that I could tell the story'Ovsanna Kaloustian Turkey

The diminutive old woman does not go out in Marseille much any more. She hunches over a cane and is spoilt, mollycoddled by her daughter and grandchildren. Ask her about her childhood, and she becomes perfectly alert. Ovsanna Kaloustian is 106 years old, and one of the last survivors of the Armenian genocide of 1915. As a memory bearer, she is perfectly aware of the role she has to play almost a century later. "God let me live this long so that I could tell the story," she says.

Ovsanna has kept a whole host of images and details that she describes energetically, of the terror, the massacres and the deportation of her people from the Ottoman empire. She was born in 1907 in Adabazar, a city about 100km east of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). She grew up in a beautiful house opposite the neighbourhood church, with three floors and a garden. The city was an important centre of trade and craft for the Armenian population, which numbered some 12,500 people in 1914, almost half of the inhabitants. "Even the Greeks and Turks spoke Armenian," says Ovsanna. She herself only picked up Turkish during deportation. Her father owned a bar that was also a hairdresser's and dentist's. She went there every morning before school to have tea.

Ovsanna was eight years old in 1915, when the Young Turks government ordered the deportation of Armenians. "It was Sunday and Ovsanna's mother was coming back from church; the priest had just announced that every neighbourhood in the city had to be emptied in three days," says her grandson Frédéric, who has preserved the family story. Groups set off on foot towards the south and east. Ovsanna and her parents, brother, uncles, aunts and cousins arrived in Eskisehir, where they were crammed on to a livestock train carriage; that's how thousands of Armenians were sent to the deserts in Syria. However, the train was stopped along the way in Çay, in the Afyonkarahisar province, and they were ordered to build a makeshift camp. The triage centres further ahead were already congested.

It was not until two years later that they were finally dispersed, and ran to hide in the countryside. Ovsanna remembers being worried about the young girls who were kidnapped by the brigands who served as auxiliaries of the Ottoman army. After the armistice in 1918, Ovsanna and her family returned to find their house burned to the ground, and were driven back out by the city's new Turkish occupants. The exodus first took them to Constantinople. In 1924, Ovsanna's uncles, aunts and cousins emigrated to the US. Four years later, she emigrated to Marseille by boat. "We arrived under the snows of December," she remembers. Today, 10% of the population of Marseille is descended from survivors of the Armenian genocide.

Ovsanna earned a bit of money by working in textiles and married the sole survivor of a massacred family, Zave Kaloustian. They opened an oriental shop, bought a patch of land and settled down.

"She taught us Armenian, but the stories of her history came later," says Frédéric. Ovsanna works in cultural associations and takes part in community protests. She is a tireless voice in fighting the denial of the Armenian genocide. "Denying the genocide is denying the words of my grandmother," says Frédéric.

Guillaume Perrier Le Monde

'I'm terribly, terribly proud of Wilfred'Dorothy Ellis UK

The subject of the first world war did not come up during their courtship. It was only after they were married that Dorothy Ellis noticed a scar the size of a 50p piece on her new husband Wilfred's lower leg. "We didn't talk about the war to begin with," she says. "We had lots of other things to talk about. And like many men back then, he wasn't keen to speak of what went on. But then I saw the wound and asked him about it. He told me: 'That's a bullet hole' and things began to come out, bit by bit."

Now aged 92, Dorothy is the last surviving widow of a British first world war soldier. She was born three years after the war ended and married Wilfred in 1942. But her memories of him, their conversations and the few souvenirs she has of his time as a teenage soldier in the muddy horror of the western front provide an extraordinary, fragile and precious link with the great war.

"He told me he had got shot in the ankle and could hardly walk," says Dorothy. "He leant on a friend's shoulder and was helped across no man's land. There were bullets coming all over but they managed to get to the other side. The friend told him: 'There you are, that's all I can do for you.' Wilfred replied: 'Thanks very much.'" The wounded were being loaded into wagons; Wilfred managed to scramble up. "He got the last place on that wagon," says Dorothy.

Wilfred, who was still a mere 19, was not allowed to linger in hospital. "So many men lost their lives that even if you weren't really fit enough they got you back out there."

Wilfred noted the injury in the front page of his tiny Bible, now a delicate, dog-eared relic of his service. He wrote simply: "Wounded March 1918." The next entry, made during the second battle of the Somme, is equally brief: "Gassed August 1918".

"That was phosgene," says Dorothy. "There was such a fight going on. Again, one his pals helped him and got him down into a trench. Wilfred told me: 'I just lay down in the trench, hoping and praying the battle would stop.' After a while a German soldier jumped down into the trench with a fixed bayonet. He pointed it at Wilfred's stomach. Wilfred thought he was finished. But for some reason the German jumped out again. Wilfred told me that the German probably thought he was a poor devil not worth the effort. Our soldiers took over that trench and he was saved."

One of Wilfred's big regrets is the delay before the soldiers realised the war was over in November 1918. "At first he didn't know anything about it," says Dorothy. "They were still fighting, the war was still going on for them. It was the next day they found out. That was a dreadful thing really, because there were men who were injured or died when the war was over."

Wilfred's final entry in the Bible reads: "Returned home December 1918" and the rest of his life began. "His idea was to put it behind him and get on with his life. He held no malice. He went on. He was a person that had got strong faith and I think prayer helped him."

Back in England, Wilfred's family helped nurse him back to health. He was a talented musician and spent happy days as first violinist in the orchestra on the ocean liner the Empress of Britain, believing that the sea air helped him recover from the effects of the gas, though he always suffered bouts of bronchitis. Despite the ankle wound, he was a fine dancer.

He moved from London to Devon, where he met and fell in love with Dorothy, though he was twice her age. They married and set up an antiques business together. One of their neighbours was the author Michael Morpurgo, who based elements of his book War Horse on the stories Wilfred and other villagers told.

Over the years Dorothy continued to question Wilfred. She once wondered why he had signed up before his 18th birthday. "I asked him what made him do it?" said Dorothy. "The thing was he was tall – 6ft 3in – and slim. He looked older than he was and in those days the ladies would hand a white feather to men in England who were not in uniform as a sign of cowardice. He said: "I made up my mind that no lady would hand me a feather. I will sign up and go."

He was never angry that he went to war. "A lot of his friends were killed and injured but he wasn't angry," Dorothy says. "And he never held out any antagonism against the Germans. He believed there was a terrible loss of life on both sides and nobody was any better off.

"He took some Germans prisoner one time. He said they were doing what we were doing; they were fighting for their country and we were fighting for our country. When it come to being hurt you are the same."

After what Dorothy calls a "long, lovely love story", Wilfred died in 1981, aged 82. She has given his trenching tool to a museum but has hung on to the Bible and an embroidered remembrance card Wilfred sent to his mother, Lavinia, from France reading: "God be with you, till we meet again" with a tiny pressed flower inside picked on the battlefield.

She will not be parted from the photograph of a teenage Wilfred looking confident and contained in his uniform. "I think it's a beautiful picture. He looks kind, determined. Of course I'm proud of him, terribly, terribly proud of him and what he achieved. He was such a wonderful person."

But was he scarred mentally as well as physically by what he experienced on the western front? "He always said the loss of men made you feel sometimes it should never have been. At the end of the day nobody wins, you're all losers someway or another. Wilfred always said it was supposed to be a war to end all wars. But it wasn't. Wars are still gong on."

Steven Morris the Guardian

'We were so pleased to have Father back'Gertrud Dyck Berlin

Gertrud Dyck springs from one anecdote to another when she tells stories from her life. The small room in an old people's home in the suburbs of Munich, where she has lived for years, is quite forgotten. "There is music in Rixdorf," she sings, remembering her childhood in Berlin. "There is a stable. That horse can't move, that other horse is lame." When Gertrud was a young girl, these were some of the favourite tunes of the day that you could hear in kitchens and pubs alike. That was more than 100 years ago. The popular Berlin neighbourhood of Neukölln was still called Rixdorf. Germany was ruled by Emperor Wilhelm II.

During the first world war, Dyck survived hunger and cold and desperately awaited news of her father from the front. She spent the second world war fearing for her husband's life in Norway. How did she go through this twice? Today, at the age of 105, Gertrud is so full of life, and giggles and makes jokes, as if none of this could ever have happened to her. Is it selective memory? Perhaps it's the only way to get on with life.

When the war broke out in 1914 Trudl Bandow, as she was called, was still at school. Two months later her younger brother, Heinz, was born, and their father, Fritz, was called up to serve in Belgium. Their mother, Lina, was alone with four children to care for. She still wonders how her mother did it, although they never spoke of it. Fritz Bandow was a painter who went to the capital of Prussia to make his fortune. Like many other handymen from East and West Prussia, Brandenburg, Silesia or Pomerania, he moved his family to the worker's district of Friedrichshain, which was not far from the factories. The neighbourhood was a stronghold of the Social Democratic party (SPD) and also of the communists in 1918. For the children, the courtyards of the buildings at 7 Cotheniusstrasse were like giant playgrounds, and they played in the parks with their neighbours, built huts from leaves, lived in a world of fairytales and visited relatives to pick berries. Times were not easy, but the children were free.

Then came the war. Father Fritz was at the front and Mother Lina rented rooms in their apartment to earn money. These tenants had fled from the east, where the front was. The war was traumatising. One of the tenants would scream in her sleep, and dreamed of burning coals raining on her head. The children were irritated when doors would suddenly remain locked and they could not roam through all of their flat any longer. A Polish man with annoying eating habits lived in the big room with the balcony. He would mix liver sausage and bread with marmalade. "Brr, that was weird, but we were cheeky little kids. We still wanted to be able to go out on the balcony," says Dyck.

Money was tight and hunger was a constant companion. The children would often wait with rumbling stomachs for their mother to come home. Dyck's worst memories are from 1918, shortly before the war ended, and of bad brown bread (Schwarzbrot). "It was the most hideous thing ever and stuck to the tongue where you bit into it." Her future mother-in-law would eat coal when she woke up to try to fill her stomach. The children were always prioritised when it came to food. By the time the family realised that the older woman was severely undernourished, she had already developed a hunchback from the nutrition deficiency. Cold was also a mainstay of her childhood; Lina had to manipulate the numbers on the gas meter.

Father's letters from Belgium told stories of grown men who played marbles on the streets. Dyck shakes her head happily; they didn't have boules in Friedrichshain. Once a year the soldiers came home on leave, and the family were pleased to see their father in November 1918. The day before he was due to return to the war, the guns fell silent on the fronts. The chaos on the streets of Berlin was almost like a civil war, but Dyck says family was more important to the then 10-year-old. "We were just so pleased to have Father back."

The family had no money for a carpet, so her father painted a Persian rug on to the living room floor. Dyck still idolises "Papa" despite her grand age. The walls in the old people's home are covered with his pictures.

"We even had a naked young woman coming out of the water in a picture in the corridor," she says, looking amused. He might have survived the war, but he died in an accident when she was 14. Ninety years later, she still can't hold back her tears. The death effectively ended her childhood, and she left school. "I just wanted to earn money and help Mother out." She met her husband, Gerhard, at 18 and was married at 22. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Anna Günther Süddeutsche Zeitung

'The letters stopped. I never saw him again'Emma Morano Italy

"Augusto and I dreamed of a life together. We were young and in love. Like me, he was born in 1899. When they called the soldiers to war, he went off to fight in the mountains with the Alpini [mountain troops]. We said goodbye and, for a while, I got letters from him. They spoke of love. And of war. Then they stopped coming. I never saw Augusto again."

Emma Morano is 114 years old. She is the oldest woman in Europe and still has many memories of a life that has straddled centuries. By the time of the great war, she had already moved with her family from her home in the Piedmontese village of Civiasco to the town of Villadossola, where her father had found work in a steel plant.

Today, she lives in Pallanza, Verbania, a stone's throw from the banks of Lake Maggiore and near the monument that contains the remains of General Luigi Cadorna, the Italian army's chief of staff from 1915-17. "They called him the prince of war," says Morano. Inside the mausoleum, Cadorna is watched over by 12 statues of soldiers cut from the stone of the Val d'Ossola. It is in stark contrast to a modest plaque nearby which lists the names of 102 soldiers who died in battle: lieutenants, captains, corporals. Young men whose stories may not have been so different from Augusto's.

"He was from Villadossola," says Morano. "We used to live in one of the workers' houses behind the steel plant. I was young; I liked to sing and when people used to pass beneath my window they would stop to hear me. I had a nice voice. Augusto, too, fell in love with it.

"I used to often listen to the radio with my sister Angela. It brought us news from the front. Even if there was the war, those were the years of dreams. We would go dancing. We ate rice, a bit of bread and cheese, and we warmed ourselves on the stove. I also brought home money; I started work at 13 years old at the Ossolano jute factory. We used to make jute bags with a long sewing machine – and woe betide you if you broke something; you'd have to pay for it.

"My health, though, was not good at all, and the doctor advised me to move to Pallanza, where I found work at the Maioni jute factory. By then the war was over. Another chapter of my life had begun."

Carlo Bologna La Stampa

'Our boys jumped the train as it approached. The Germans seemed surprised'Józef Lewandowski, Poland

Józef Lewandowski recalls the first world war as a surprisingly calm period in his life. But then as a Pole this was the war that allowed a nation to be reborn. It has a different cachet than elsewhere in Europe.

"I cannot remember a shot fired, battles, or any bloodspilling whatsoever. And the end of the war? Well, we simply went to sleep in Germany and woke up the next day in Poland. There were no big celebrations. The authorities had changed; so had the flag and all the administration officials."

"At that time, I lived with my parents [in Bydgoszcz] in a house near the railway tracks. I liked watching the trains through the window. Once I witnessed the Polish army ambush a German draisine (a light auxiliary rail vehicle). It had left the Bydgoszcz train station with soldiers who were probably going to support their colleagues in battles around Nakła [near Bydgoszcz in northern Poland].

"Our boys jumped the train as it approached. The Germans seemed surprised. They surrendered without a fight. The Poles disarmed them, but I don't know what became of the German soldiers after that."

The German influence remained after the war. "My teacher in school was a German. He spoke poor Polish but I remember him as a very good person and a good teacher. We laughed a lot during our lessons. Thanks to him, I also learnt to speak good German. When he decided, many years after the war, to go back to Germany, the pupils accompanied him to the train station in tears. Nobody viewed him through the lens of his nationality."

"Of course, there were Germans who did not feel comfortable in an independent Poland. They got into quarrels and wanted revenge. As a child I had an altercation with the son of a butcher who was named Wolf. He wanted to beat me up for speaking Polish. Luckily, he and his family quickly moved to Gdansk.

Most of the Germans however, stayed in Bydgoszcz. And so we lived in peace until the outbreak of the next great war.

Wojciech Bielawa, Gazeta Wyborcza

First world warEuropeFranceGermanyTurkeyItalyPolandGuillaume PerrierSteven © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Pope John Paul II's notes to be printed after aide saved them from burning

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz says he was ordered to burn notes by late pope but kept them, motivated by 'despair of historians'

Pope John Paul II's secretary "did not have the courage" to burn all of the pontiff's notes after his death, and is now having some of them published, he has said.

The book, Very Much in God's Hands: Personal Notes 1962-2003, comes out on 5 February in Poland, where the pope is still a much-loved authority. It contains religious meditations that Karol Wojtyla recorded between July 1962, when he was a bishop in Poland, and March 2003, when he was pope.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz told a news conference that in preserving some of the notes he was motivated by the "despair of historians" when the letters of Pope Pius XII were burned after his death, as he had wished.

In his last will, John Paul commissioned Dziwisz, his personal secretary and closest aide of almost 40 years, to burn his personal notes. Instead, Dziwisz kept them and is having them published before John Paul is declared a saint on 27 April in Rome. They were made available to the Vatican in the pope's fast-track beatification and sainthood processes.

In his notes, contained in two bound notebooks, the pope "reveals a part of his soul, of his meeting with God, contemplation and piety and that is the greatest value", Dziwisz said in the southern city of Krakow, where he is archbishop and where Wojtyla was also bishop and cardinal.

He said he burned "those letters and notes that required burning", but it would have been a crime to burn all the notes that gave insight into the pope's soul. "In keeping them I respected his will," he said.

At first, Wojtyla made notes only in Polish, but later also in Italian and Latin with Greek and Spanish inclusions, according to Henryk Wozniakowski, head of the Catholic publishers Znak.

The book's editor, Agnieszka Rudziewicz, said the notes were an "extraordinary record of a spiritual path" and a record of Wojtyla's "self-development and road to sainthood", but readers should not expect "sensation".

John Paul died in 2005 at the age of 84 after 26 years as pope.

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Greece offers reward for information on extremist Christodoulos Xiros

Greek authorities have announced rewards totalling €4m (£3.2m) for information leading to the capture of fugitives in four terrorism-related cases, days after an escaped convict posted a video statement online vowing to resume attacks.


Greece to put 4-million-euro bounty on extremists

Greece to put 4-million-euro bounty on extremistsGlobalPostGreece will offer a four-million-euro ($5,4-million) reward for the arrest of several wanted extremists, the minister in charge of the police said on Wednesday. "During the day, a reward of four million euros for terrorists' arrest will be announced ...


'I am inspired by Greece, not the crisis,' says photographer Eirini Vourloumis

Kathimerini'I am inspired by Greece, not the crisis,' says photographer Eirini VourloumisKathimeriniOn the day Greece officially assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, Eirini Vourloumis's photographs depicting the country's financial crisis appeared in the pages of The New Yorker and on the American magazine's website. Published under ...


Eurostat: Greece’s Debt Increased

Despite the recession and the austerity measures, the Greek public debt increased in the third quarter of 2013, with a 19.5% total increase in a year. According to Eurostat, Greece is the champion of debt as far as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is concerned. In absolute value the debt increased only 5.7%, from 300.1 billion […]


Confused Greeks Favor SYRIZA, Coalition

On the heels of an earlier poll this month that showed the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) taking a big lead in Athens and Attica over the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, another survey shows voters both support and reject both the parties and their leaders. Unable to […]


Teacher Accused of Urging Students to Slap Classmate

A 50-year-old teacher is detained in the Police Department of Arta, central Greece, following a complaint made ​​by the mother of an 8-year-old student. The mother reported that the teacher urged her son’s classmates to slap him, as a punishment for being noisy in the class. According to the report of the 8-year-old student, the […]


Hellenic Postbank Fugitives Caught in London

British authorities said that Kyriakos Griveas and his wife Anastasia Vatsika, who were subjects of a worldwide hunt and being sought with the help of Interpol as Greek officials said they had absconded with as much as 17 million euros in bad loans as part of a scandal enveloping the failed state-run Hellenic Postbank turned […]


OECD: Greek Students Are Unhappy

A study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) asked school children from 65 different countries to note their level of happiness and unhappiness in school by providing an answer to the question “Do you feel happy in school.” According to the performance-oriented study which focused on the students’ performances in mathematics, […]


Reimbursement to Civil Servants Puts Greek Budget at Risk

Following the decision of the Council of the State, Greece’s highest administrative court, that the wage cuts imposed on members of the armed forces and emergency services in 2012 were unconstitutional and should be fully reimbursed, the Greek government fears that this decision would eradicate this year’s budget and that other groups of civil servants would claim […]


Fomer Greek Football Star in Custody

Former Greek AEK Athens’s player who was also briefly chairman, Thomas Mavros is in custody due to the debts of the football club. Mavros is regarded as having been one of the best professional football players in Greece, having scored a record number of goals for AEK. He was also the fan’s favorite with whom he […]


Bad Loans Bury Greek Banks

ATHENS – Overwhelmed by harsh austerity measures that have brought record unemployment and deep poverty, so many Greeks are unable to pay their loans, credit cards and mortgages that four in 10 will have non-performing loans by the end of the year, even as the government is pressing for them to meet their obligations. That […]

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