Speaker: Prof Violetta Hionidou
Occupied Greece experienced a significant, deadly famine. Though the worst of mortality was experienced in the winter of 1941-2, extreme hunger was prevalent in many parts of the country until the end of the occupation in the autumn of 1944. This presentation will explore the reasons the famine occurred, the spatial and temporal variations of the famine but also the coping mechanisms that the population devised in order to survive. As my 2006 monograph challenged the earlier understanding of the famine, it argued against the centrality of Athens as the most affected-by the famine population but also against the earlier understanding of the Black Market. The seminar will also employ recent works to re-assess the validity of these findings.
Violetta Hionidou is professor of Modern European History at Newcastle University, UK. Her work is focused on Modern Greece. She has researched and published on Family History, Famines, Pontic Greeks, Historical Demography, and Reproduction, usually combining quantitative and qualitative methods. She has published widely in academic journals and edited collections. Her monographs include Famine and Death in Occupied Greece, 1941-44 (co-winner of the 2007 Edmund Keely book award); H κατοχική πείνα μέσα από προφορικές μαρτυρίες. Η περίπτωση της Χίου, της Σύρου και της Μυκόνου (The Greek Famine of the 1940s through Oral Histories. The cases of Hios, Syros and Mykonos) (Athens: Patakis publishers, 2020); and, Abortion and Contraception in Modern Greece, 1830-1967. Medicine, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). She has recently created a searchable database of Greek individuals and families that enables people of Greek descendancy to search for their ancestors. The database is situated within the Greek Family History website which offers comprehensive guidance to anyone who would like to pursue their family History.