Title: Imerologio 1941-1945. Apo tin Athina sto Londino me tin exoristi kivernisi: enas ipallilos tis Trapezas tis Ellados afigite [Diary 1941-1945. From Athens to London with the governmentin-exile: an Bank of Greece employee narrates] in Greek
Series: TEKMIRIA apo to Istoriko Archeio [DOCUMENTS from the Historical Archives]
Author: Socrates Kosmidis
Introduction-transcription-notes: Angela Karapanou
Publisher: Bank of Greece (Centre for Culture, Research and Documentation)
Year of publication: 2019
Number of pages: 272
Dimension: 24 x 15 cm
Book type: History
ISBN: 978-960-703 2-94-2
a. National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (ΜΙΕΤ) in Athens (13 Amerikis Str., tel.: +30 210 3614143) and Thessaloniki (11 Tsimiski Str., tel.: +30 2310 288036)
b. Ι. Nikolopoulos & Co. SA – Ekdoseis tou Eikostou Protou (9 Ζaloggou Str., Athens, tel.: +30 210 3800520).
About the book
Socrates Kosmidis was one of the three Bank of Greece employees who, in April 1941, were called upon to take part in the evacuation of the Bank’s gold reserve from Greece, as it was about to fall in enemy hands. From Athens to Crete and from there to Egypt and South Africa, Kosmidis ended up in London, where he remained until the end of the war. Whilst in London, he also served as secretary to the Prime Minister, Emm. Tsouderos, and as an employee of the Ministry of Finance, charged with settling all financial obligations of the Greek government-in-exile. He returned to Greece in January 1945 and continued to work at the Bank until his retirement. For his “unconditional and unhesitant” decision to participate in this “difficult, perilous and risky
mission”,he was honoured with the Silver Cross of the Order of the Saviour. In his diary, which he begins on April17, 1941 – just few daysafter theGerman attackon Greece –and keeps till January 26, 1945, Kosmidis records this long adventure, along with all major military, political and social developments, ashe experiences them in the milieu of the Greek governmentin-exile. Many ofthe diary’s entries are filled with descriptions of the author’s own ex periences and the various key developments he witnesses or participates in: the evacuation ofthe country’s gold reserves, the government’s efforts to tackle famine in occupied Greece, diplomatic contacts and maneuvers in preparation for the a post-war government. Meanwhile, the war unfolds accurately on the pages, as Kosmidis keeps track and records – almost daily – the course of events on all fronts. This being a completely personal testimony, however, the narrative is intertwined with personal thoughts and emotions that grant the prose a more private, inner tone. Apprehension towards the future, concern about friends and relativesbackhome, nostalgia, fears and hopes, disappointment and optimism, delivered with honesty and directness, succeed one another, casting a clear light on the experience of war.
About the series “Documents from theHistorical Archives” of the Bank of Greece
Unpublished documents, confidential reports, business letters and personal testimonies co-exist in the new publication series of the Bank of Greece, which showcases the richness of its Historical Archives. Each book focuses on a historical event, a critical period or an important person, which are illuminated by unpublished archival documents. Specialised scientists select, combine and comment on the archival material, helping the reader to navigate through the sources and to experience his own, unmediated contact with the raw matter of history.