The Politics of Hunger:Economic Aid to Greece, 1943-1945

αναδημοσίευση από: Pella Publishing Company. 1980-07,


This paper is based to a large extent on material collected at the Military Archives Division of the National Archives in the course of research for a larger study. Mr. John E. Taylor of the Modem Military Branch gave me invaluable help and advice, for which I am grateful. I also wish to thank the American Philosophical Society for a grant which financed part of this research.

The Last Year of the Occupation

As the fortunes of the Second World War changed decisively in 1943, the preoccupation of the Allies with the postwar settlement in Europe began to emerge with increasing clarity. In the case of Greece, as is well known, the major issue came to be the political order which would follow the inevitable withdrawal of the Axis forces. It was an issue in which Great Britain played a particularly active role, using all possible weapons to promote its interests in Greece. Greece was a country which had been devastated by the war; it soon became clear that one of the ways of influencing the development of its politics was through the control of provisioning, primarily of food and medicines. Thus, economic aid became one — and not the least important — of the weapons in the struggle for the fate of Greece[1]. This essay examines the political aspects of the aid program to Greece from 1943 to 1945.

In order to understand the power inherent in the control of grain ships, one must recall the condition of Greece during the last stages of the German occupation, that is, in the fall of 1944. All the available information speaks to the misery of a people which was starving, cold, homeless, and in poor health[2].

Ολόκληρο το άρθρο εδώ:

[1] There is no reason to review here the large and increasing bibliography on British policy toward Greece during the Second World War. I shall only cite Elisabeth Barker's British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War (London and Basingstoke, 1976) for the British viewpoint and P. Roussos, I megali pentaetia (Athens, 1976, 1978) and Thanassis Chatzis, I nikifora epanastasi you chatbike (Athens, 1978, 1979) for Greek viewpoints.

[2] See, for example, Ravitaillement de la Grece pendant ?occupation 1941-44 et pendant les premiers cinq mois apres la liberation. Rapport final de la commission de gestion pour les secours en Grke sous les auspices du Cornité international de la Croix-Rouge (Athens, 1949), passim.