• Konstantinos Korkas,
    Athens, GreeceMORE...

    My name is Korkas Konstantinos. I was born in a village in Greece called Poullitsa, which is close to Vrachati, on January 7, 1921. I am now 93 years old. I attended high school at Kiato, also in my homeland of Greece.

    Our childhood years were difficult, because we had to walk one hour and fifteen minutes every day to get to our school in Kiato, and the same distance to get back home. After school, we would have lunch and then work in the fields. Our families used to produce olive oil and wine. After dusk we would then return home and do our homework for the next day, usually up until midnight. By the time we went to bed, we were already exhausted. It was a hard way of life at our village that made us strong. So, later on, the military was a piece of cake for us. But this is how we withstood the hardships of the war and its extreme circumstances, because war was an adventure to us.

    I joined the Hellenic Army Academy on October 2, 1940. War was declared on October 28, when the Italian Army invaded Greece from Albania. We were still students. But we were very happy. For we had no idea about the war, only that we were throwing our hats in the air shouting "WAR! WAR!" We were yearning to go to war, because we were young back then. Yes, we wanted to fight, but we did not know much about the war or fighting battles at all.

    Then, when the Germans attacked us on April 5, 1941, we had asked to go to Thermopylae, to fight where the ancient Greek leader Leonidas had fought the Persians centuries before with his noble Spartan army of 300. But the military leadership did not allow us to do so.
    On May 20, 1941, the Germans landed at Crete, and this was the first time we fought with the German paratroopers. We did not join the battle because we had to, but because we wanted to. Our military leaders had prohibited our involvement. But we joined the battle in spite of their orders, on our own. We had to commandeer buses and trucks, but we got to the island and fought.

    It was a difficult battle. Some of our classmates lost their lives. In truth, war cannot be described or comprehended. It is hard, weird, cruel. You have to keep on fighting the whole day without food, water or rest, while your mates are getting killed or wounded. Even I cannot properly describe it despite the 10 years of war I experienced.

    We tried to climb the White Mountains aiming to leave for Egypt, but we did not make it, because there were not many ships available. As a result, we got captured by the Germans at Sfakia at the end of May. And we were held for two and a half months at a concentration camp close to Chania. There were thousands of prisoners there, of various nationalities. The Germans treated us very well, however, and they kept us at a separate place from the other prisoners because we were students of the Military Academy. Then, in the middle of August, we were transferred to Piraeus, and the Germans had set us free.

    From there, I walked all the way home. One had to obtain a permission from the occupying Italian forces to travel to his village, because travel and movement within the country were restricted. But I was not granted the permission I needed, and I didn't have the money to pay for the transportation. So, as a result, I walked for twenty-four hours to arrive at my home.

    In December of 1941 I joined a technical college to become a civil engineer, but during that time there was a strike at the college. By that time, Greece had been taken over by the German Army. We had lost our freedom, and food was scarce. As a result, I decided to leave for the Middle East. So I got on a ship bound for Turkey. And from Turkey I made it to Cyprus and then to Haifa. All the countries that had been taken over by the Germans were organizing their armies at Haifa. There were Polish, French, Ukrainian and Greek army soldiers there. So, I joined the Greek Army.

    Later, the British Army began to hold seminars and organize training programs. And we were trained by them in such things as using British weaponry, strategy and army management. In the end, two Greek brigades were formed, with four or five thousand soldiers each.

    The leaders of the brigades were in constant conflict with each other, and this resulted in the punishment and restriction of a group of soldiers. This was due to a great extend to their hypothetical political affiliations. A number of volunteers from a group of soldiers formed the special unit called the Sacred Company, or "Ieros Lochos," on September 6, 1942. We were, in a way, simply volunteering to die, since paratroopers have to face grave dangers daily.
    Soon, all of us participated in the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt, where Montgomery and Rommel were the leaders of opposing forces. The battle lasted for 11 days, from October 22 to November 2. Then the Germans started to lose ground. Many battles followed El Alamein, in Tobruk, Benghazi, on the island of Sicily, and in Tunisia.

    We won the battle In Tunisia, but we were almost captured. The British, French and Greek soldiers participated in the battle,and it lasted for three day,s from March 10 to March 13, 1943. At the end of the battle we were waiting for the replenishments of food, water and fuel. But our supply truck drivers were captured through a mistake of their own. We had to endure two or three days without food or water. Then the Germans surrendered, but were subsequently set free.

    After this battle, we joined the Second Brigade of New Zealand. Together, we proceeded to liberate many major cities until the end of the war. We returned to Cairo, then went on to Egypt and Palestine, and arrived at Dodecanese. More than a thousand new soldiers joined our ranks on the way there, and we progressed to set the islands free one by one. On October 31, 1943, we landed on Samos a little bit after midnight. We were two hundred and two paratroopers. The rest arrived by ship.
    The weather was stormy and windy. The pilot made a mistake and released us over some rocks instead of a field. As I was falling, I could not see the ground and I wounded my head, my hip and my shoulders. I lost consciousness. When I regained it, I went on to search for my men. All of them, however, were lost. By midday, I had found none. Fortunately, I found them much later on.

    Then we left from Samos and got to Cairo through Turkey, because the Germans once again took over the islands we had liberated. Thus we kept on fighting. Personally, I was trained by the British in Haifa to the methods of the secret war, and subsequently I was transferred to Naxos on April 12, 1944, where I stayed until the end of the war.

    When the German Army surrendered at Symi, their leader left his weapon on the table. Then the British brigadier gave it to the leader of the Sacred Company, saying that this trophy belonged to the Sacred Company, the liberators of the islands.
    After that I was transferred to Kalymnos, to collect the hostages. They surrendered without resistance, and I collected their weapons. During the process almost 350 Germans marched before me, singing that Germany is above all. After a week, they were moved to the concentration camps in Africa.

    At Kalymnos, there was a reception party in our honour. During a toast, our brigadier said to the German general that he was sorry for all the pain and destruction Germany had to suffer. Then the German general replied that they should not be worried about Germany, because they would make it better than before.

    The mayor of the city called us to the town's cemetery, and he gave a speech to the dead. He called them to wake up and rise, because after all those years of occupation, we were all now free. I remember all of us there, crying like small children.
    In the end, the Sacred Company was dissolved on September 15, 1945, and we created the New Army, since during the occupation there was no Greek Army. I became a four-star general and retired as a leader of the Greek Army.

    I met my wife in the United Stated, while I was studying for the army. I knew her family from Naxos, and we met again in Washington, DC. After the end of the war, she returned to Greece to take care of her family's property. The next year, in 1955, we got married. We have a daughter who is an archaeologist. And we also have a grandson.

  • Rena & Ioanna,
    Chania, GreeceMORE...

    My name is Ioanna, and I was born on July 8, 1933 in Chania, Greece. My older sister Rena was born on September 8, 1926. We sisters had a wonderful childhood. Our parents were loving, giving people who always did the best they could to provide for us. We had a big house and a beautiful garden.

    Our life was carefree until the war started. The Germans were tyrants who were rapidly invading Europe. It was pretty clear that Crete was in line to be invaded by the Germans, especially after they occupied mainland Greece. At that time, our family leased our house to the British consulate. The British were here to protect us, as well as a lot of soldiers from New Zealand and Australia. Still, we all felt very uneasy about the possibility of war.

    In May 1941, my father took us to a village north of Chania, trying to find a safer place to live. Soon the German invasion began. There was heavy fighting and the British soldiers fought for our island like it was their own. Still, the Germans won and Crete was under occupation. We remember the first day of the battle. We were playing in the yard when out of nowhere a plane appeared right over our heads. We saw a German pilot pointing his gun at us. Our mom ran out of the house and dragged us inside. That plane was flying so low we still can remember the expression on the pilot's face.

    Later, when we returned to Chania it was already governed by the German administration. One day my mother walked me through our neighborhood. I saw our home and ran to go inside, but saw a strange man on the porch. I was very confused. My mother quickly grabbed me and told me it was no longer our house.

    The Nazi commanders were living there now. Thinking that it was British property, they took it over and made it their residence. We were afraid to say a word, so of course my family didn't even try to tell them that it was our house. We moved to our aunt's house and stayed there.

    Thus began the terrible, terrible times. Our childhood innocence was stolen by this worldwide conflict I had no understanding of. Germans would patrol through the town, banging on doors and screaming. My aunt had covered all of her windows with dark materials and paint so they couldn't see inside. Our parents would hold us tight during these contentious moments, protecting us with their very lives. My family had already lost their home, the last thing we needed was to lose each other, too.

    The family had a rice factory that the Germans pillaged, stealing all the food for themselves. They even had the audacity to barge into my aunt's home and taunt us, saying, "The war isn't over, we'll be back one day." And giving my parents a key to their own factory.

    I had a friend in a Jewish family a couple of homes over, and I remember one morning my father telling me the Nazis had taken them for prosecution. I never saw them again.

    It was a never-ending terror until the British Army came back into our town in 1945. We were relieved that the Nazi threat was being neutralized. The battle over Crete began again. Only now, our liberators were trying to kick our occupants out. And they eventually succeeded.

    The Nazis occupied one part of town, and the British had another. We didn't hear many gunfights, but I vividly remember a British soldier banging on our door one day. Rena opened the door, and he was huge. He told us there were many Nazis chasing him, and he just needed a glass of water. My family happily gave him something to drink.

    Once the British Army kicked the Germans out, the war was finally over! We were liberated, and things could go somewhat back to normal. On their way out of town, the Germans burned everything they could. I can recall seeing clouds of smoke billowing off in the distance.

    We returned to our family house in 1947. It wasn't in very good shape at all. The young soldiers hadn't been very respectful of our home. It was dirty and had minor structural damage. Both forces left behind things that we decided to keep and store in the basement as a mural. The British left a "British Consulate" sign, and the Germans left a drum. I guess there wasn't much time to play songs once the British were coming.

    We later turned the home into a hotel. One time, a German guy visited Chania and stayed with us. Once I saw him walking around the hotel and checking everything out, looking at things and inspecting door knobs, windows, frames, etc. I was curious as to why he was so interested in the details of our place. So he turned to me and said that he had stayed here during the war. I asked him why he hadn't told me before, and he said he wasn't sure at first. Had we known, I'm not sure if we would've let him stay. The Germans did a number on our town.

    After the liberation, we kept in touch with the British soldiers who we remembered. We got their names, and every time the town had an anniversary celebration, they were free to stay with us as our personal guests. We greatly appreciated them for their work in liberating us from the German rule.

    These days we still run our hotel. Our parents have passed on, but their memory lives on through us and our historical hotel.

  • Joseph Koen,
    Athens, GreeceMORE...

    My name is Joseph Koen. I was born in Athens on the 12th of December, 1938. I am 77 years old and I have lived a whole adventure with my family that started since the occupation of Greece by the German Army on the 27th of April, 1941.

    I remember the year the newspapers were reporting that the Germans had occupied Greece. The German Army had announced that all Jews living in Athens would be able to live in the city safely provided they reported their names at the synagogue for the German official records.

    Many Jews did not believe them and joined the resistance. My father did not believe them, either. As a result, we escaped to Marousi where we were protected by a resistance group called EAM. We also changed our name from Koen to Papadopoulos for our protection. We were changing hiding locations very often so as not to be traced by the Germans. One time we were all sleeping at a very small side building of a villa that was meant to be inhabited by the security guard. He used to give us every now and then a single potato for the family to eat. Most of the time we were starving.

    My parents could not work because if they did so, they were risking being recognized by the Germans. My father was pretending to be a tuberculosis sufferer to justify the fact that he was not working. When he had to go downtown he was always going on foot following side-paths. He was never using a bus because they were frequently stopped and checked by Germans with the help of informers in order to arrest more Jews. Sometimes these informers were giving false information to them, making them believe they were indeed turning in Jews and members of the resistance in order to win their favor.

    One day my father was too late for our lunch and we were very worried. When he got back he was pale and frightened and said that we should immediately leave the place because they had arrested the Jews at the synagogue. On Friday, the 24th of March, 1943, the Germans said they were going to distribute flour at the synagogue and called all the Jews there. Then they locked the doors and captured everyone present. In the afternoon a track showed up and they were all taken to a jail in Chaidari.

    Sometime later, we had to live to a house next to a horse stable and I contracted psora. My mother took me to the Christian priest of the town--who knew we were Jews--and he sent us to the hospital in the German military camp where one of his friends was working. The problem was that the doctor would find out about my circumcision and he would understand that we were Jews. He indeed found out, but he chose to ignore it and he went on to treat me with the suitable drugs.

    In spring 1943, I was walking with my sister on the street and a German truck stopped before us. A number of Germans got out of it and my sister panicked and screamed that we were arrested. Then one of them approached us, asked us to excuse them and informed us that they were performing a military exercise.

    One of the most traumatic experiences I had during the war took place in Neo Hrakleio in Athens. We had gone there with my father to find food and supplies and we ran across about six dead bodies of citizens who had been executed the last night.

    In general, we changed about six houses during the war. When the war ended we were informed by a man called Nikolopoulos that the occupation of Greece had come to an end. The end of the civil war that followed found our family financially destroyed. We had sold everything we owned to survive. I finished school and went on to study at the university to become an architect. I was taught and influenced by the best professors. When I finished my studies I got married and I now have two sons. The first one is an architect and the second one an artist. I have an incredible grandson, as well, and I live happily with my family.

  • Marios Sousis,
    Athens, GreeceMORE...

    My name is Marios Sousis. I was born in Athens on February 9, 1938. I had a good childhood. My father was quite wealthy. I had four siblings. I was the youngest.
    We sometimes went on trips to around the Acropolis. I used to hug the statues of gods in the Theatre of Dionysus below the Acropolis and think of them as my friends.
    The years of the war went quickly for me. When I was four or five years old, the war had already started. My mother and father were wondering where to hide; they were being looked for. I asked my parents if my grandfather was a Jew. When they asked me why I asked this, I said we should go hide with him, because as a child I felt very safe with my grandfather.
    My parents acquired fake identification cards. Where our name had been Sousis, we went by Giorgopoulos. We hid in different villages around Attica. One of my uncles didn't leave - he hid in Athens at the house of a seamstress. But his wife carried many valuables with her, and when the seamstress found out, she called the Germans and they were arrested on November 17, 1944.
    There was a law that if Jews were registered and were attending service every Saturday, they weren't going to be bothered. My father and his brothers tried to raise the funds to bail them out.
    Many Greeks collaborated with the Germans. They got into contact with some of them who offered to bail the family members out. Two of the collaborators were the Rekanati brothers and they were convicted after the war, as traitors to the country. One was executed, and the other exiled to Brazil. Worst of all, it turns out they were also Jews. Anyway, they negotiated with our family, that if the family members were registered as Jewish, they would set them free.
    So my grandfather and other relatives were declared. On March 25, 1944, they went to the synagogue and they were arrested by the Germans, and imprisoned in the building. On this day, several hundred Jews were arrested and locked in with them. It was all the same people who had declared their identities. After that, the Germans were arresting their families and going through their homes.
    My parents were attending that day. When my mother saw they were arresting people, she got word to the lady whose home the children were hiding in. My mother told her to take the children and leave because the Germans were looking for us. We hid at another house and the Germans arrived at the first house with our father and didn't find us. As they were leaving, a young girl named Daisy, also Jewish and in the house, approached them and asked, 'What did we do to you?' One of the Germans asked her questions, but she couldn't understand and shook her head. When my father saw her, he turned his back, pretending he didn't know her.
    That night, my mother showed up and took us to another house. I remember this night - my mother and grandmother walking behind a driver, and one of my brothers carrying me on his shoulders. We walked all night. When we arrived where we were going, my mother and I stayed at one home, and my brothers and Daisy stayed at a different home. We were resting by the fireplace and the old woman that lived there tried to console my mother. But she stared at the flames, crying the whole time.
    When I woke up the following day, I went outside and the sky was bright. This was the end of March, 1944. I saw everything outside, the sun and animals. Having been born and raised in the city - seeing nature this way was wonderful.
    Soon we found another home to stay in, which was just a room in the middle of a forest. We worked at a farm, taking on many of the duties. I remember being asked what I'd do when I grew up. I used to say I wanted to be a shepherd and raise animals. And that's because everyday the shepherd would get a big plate of food. I would work where they raised the cows. I used to clean the manure. And once a week I'd brush the cows for lice. I would also collect chamomile from the fields with my grandmother. She was teaching me how to pick it for tea. I asked her why we picked it. She said that when my father returned, he would be sick. We would fix him some chamomile to make him better. This made me very dedicated and focused on picking the flowers. There were other things I learned. How to capture birds with nets and other techniques. I learned everything about the fields.
    When my father was taken away by train, he gave a note to a member of the Red Cross to give to my mother. It said: 'Today, April 2, 1944, we left by train.' Listing the names of everyone with him. 'Kiss to the children. . .' The man from the Red Cross gave it to the doorkeeper of the building we had lived in, and that man got it to my mother. We heard nothing from my father after that.
    We were hiding in Halandri, and in October that year, we saw planes in the sky. And they were dropping what looked like silver papers. We were terrified, not knowing what these things were. We later learned they were messages of the liberation of Greece. People were coming out of their homes and cheering.
    We soon gathered our things and returned to Athens. But when we tried to get into our house, we couldn't - it was emptied of our possessions and belonged to the state. Luckily, a neighbor had kept all of our things and later returned them. The government had seized the building because of vagrancy. When a home was unoccupied, especially if it had belonged to Jews, the government would take it over and let others live there.
    There was the question of what had happened to my father. We asked a man who had returned from Auschwitz, but when he told us of the atrocities there, we thought he was mad. It was unbelievable. Then others returned and repeated the same things, and this was when we learned it was true. We never believed that my father died and we awaited his return. If you don't see a body, it's difficult to believe a person is gone. We were always expecting that someday the front door would open and he'd be there. But this never happened.
    After the occupation ended, civil war broke out. We stayed inside and rarely went out, mostly when my mother left to get supplies. There was a food shortage then. We had brought a pet rabbit back with us from Halandri. It was a beautiful rabbit. White with red eyes. When there was little money for food, my mother asked a police officer to kill it. We just couldn't. So the office picked it up by the feet and hit it.
    I attended school, and there I would be around children whose fathers were still around. I felt different. I used to cry all the time. My father's shop had been destroyed. Everything looted. So my family started to make undergarments to sell. And when the children finished school, we started to work for them. It turned into a big business. We exported throughout Europe. The company employed 270 people. But in 1986, there was a financial crisis and we went out of business.
    And I kept searching for my father. I continued looking for information on him. How he might have died. But when the Germans fled Auschwitz, they destroyed the records. So there's no way of knowing the full story. In 2007, I sent emails to Mauthausen, Austria, where they had marched prisoners. I got word back, finally, that my father died of pneumonia on February 17, 1945. This is because during the Death March, they made the prisoners shower with cold water, and they made them stand nude with their clothes at their feet.
    One day, I was at the Jewish Museum of Greece, searching through documents. I found one that mentioned my father, along with other names. It was a list of people who had revolted in Auschwitz on October 7, 1944. I felt very proud. And despite the attempts to exterminate us, in a way, we won by creating families. I'd met a beautiful woman at the business school I'd attended. I married her and we had three children. They went on to good schools, and they now have their own beautiful families. I have six grandchildren now, between two and fourteen years old.

  • Themistoklis Marinos,
    Athens, GreeceMORE...

    My name is Themistoklis Marinos; my friends call me Themi. I was born in Zakynthos on February 8, 1917. My father was working for the Cable and Wireless company in Zakynthos and we had a big family: four brothers and one sister. I finished my school in Zakynthos and then moved to Athens in order to study economics. To finance my studies I was also working odd jobs. When Italians attacked Greece, I was called to arms and thus I stopped studying.

    When the war was declared we were very enthusiastic and we were looking forward to fighting against the invaders. The Germans and Italians took over Greece, and I left for Crete which was still free.

    With no practical experience in the military, I took part in the Battle of Crete. The Germans attacked from the air on May 20th 1941. We fought alongside the British soldiers and for a while we thought we were not going to let Germans take over the island. But after 10 days and a lot of casualties on both sides, Crete was surrendered.

    I had to flee to Cairo, where I joined the Greek Army again. I was an officer in the department that was the official link between the Greek and the British Armies. When the British Army created the office of Special Services in Palestine, I was transferred there. Thus I became a member of the Special Operations Executives, the department responsible for the creation of the Sacred Band: a new special forces regiment, which was entirely Greek.

    During September 1942, before the battle of El Alamein, the General Office formed a group of soldiers in order to sabotage the Bridge of Gorgopotamos because the Germans were using it to supply weapons and provisions for the occupying troops. The group consisted entirely of British personnel and myself. I was the only Greek. It was one of the most important operations of the war for us because it managed to give hope to the Greek resistance.

    And what an operation it was! Like I said, all the command was British, and I was the only Greek who took part in arranging and organizing the sabotage. We were parachuted in the central Greece around the Gorgopotamos River in three groups, and established connection with the local resistance and guerillas. The viaduct itself was heavily guarded and we couldn't just go there, put the explosives under the bridge and walk away. It needed to be meticulously planned and perfectly executed.

    Our operation began on the night of November 25, 1942. One of our groups cut the telephone lines and almost at the same time about 100 people from the Greek resistance launched an attack on the garrison that was set up to guard the bridge. We were waiting for the signal to set the explosives under the base of the viaduct, but it wasn't coming. The attack on the fortresses was delayed and taking longer than we planned. Eventually our command sent us anyway. There was a fear that Italians guarding the bridge would somehow call for reinforcements and we wouldn't be able to complete the mission. There were a few explosions and the mission was a success. All of the people who took part in the operation survived, I think we only had but a few wounded. Later, I found out that the reinforcement was on its way, and if we didn't lay the charges in a timely manner, the mission would have failed.

    I also have to note that this was the only battle where the Communist Greek resistance group ELAS would fight alongside the EDES, the National Republican Greek League. Later, these groups became enemies and clashed in the Civil War.

    After this incredible mission our group stayed in the area to support and train various guerrilla groups. In July 1943, when the allied invasion of Sicily was about to take place, we were organizing some operations to trick the Germans into believing that the landings were going to take place here in Greece. Great battles took place at the western part of Greece, and Germans were sending additional troops to strengthen their defenses there instead of sending them to Italy.

    One of the most memorable fights was the one that took place in the mountains of Makrynoros. Our group stopped a whole armored division that was heading to Sicily to support the Italian army during the invasion, and delayed them until it was too late. During the battle I was calm and serene. In these cases you don't feel or think about anything else other than how to succeed.

    Already at that time we were in confrontation with the Greek leftist resistance movements. They thought we were working for the Germans, but we knew they are getting help from the Soviet Union and wanted to establish a Communist regime in Greece. One time I got caught by some partisans from the Greek People's Liberation Army. Aris Velouchioti, the leader of ELAS, interrogated and tortured me himself for a whole night to make me claim that Fotios Zambaras, the leader of the opposite group, EDES, was cooperating with the Germans. He wanted me to say that so he could spread this false information. But I managed to escape. The moment I broke free was one of the happiest moments of my life.

    At the end of 1943, I got back to Cairo. I was the instructor at the Secret Services Department. We were training Greek soldiers undercover without informing the related official department. As a result, one day our British superiors arrested us and I had to prove to them that I was training Greeks to fight on the side of the Allied forces. It got me into some trouble. Everyone was suspicious of everyone back then, and for a good reason.

    In April of 1944, I was transferred to the General Headquarters located at Argostoli in Kefalonia. Through the Ionian Islands the Germans were controlling one of the main entrances to the Peloponnesus and the Greek mainland, and our main goal was to kick them out of there.

    In September of 1944 we tried meeting the Germans for peace negotiations. The only condition was that we wouldn't attack each other during the day of the meeting. We agreed on the time and place, and when we met, we offered them to surrender unconditionally and in exchange we would guarantee them a safe passage while they were vacating Greece. They refused and also said that once they concluded these talks they would attack us immediately. They were upset that the British RAF bombed them the night before, even though we agreed for a seize-fire on that night. Thankfully, nothing like that happened and we went our separate ways.

    But soon after that meeting, the Germans started retreating anyway. Not without a fight, but still. The Soviet Union was making a strong advance from the east, and the Italians by that time became the enemies of the Greeks, and the Bulgarians didn't have any power at all. On October 14 the British and Greek Armies liberated Athens. Greece was free at last!

    I stayed on the island for two more months after the Germans left. We were there to take care of the civilians with the help of the Red Cross. Then we returned to Egypt in December of 1944.

    I came back to mainland Greece in the beginning of 1945. Greece was liberated from Germany, but the civil unrest was starting to boil over. The Communists wanted to take over. And soon, with the help of the newly created Communist governments in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, the Greek Communists started a civil war. But that's a different story.

    After the Greek Civil War, I tried to work various jobs but then decided to finish my studies that were interrupted by the war. So I enrolled at the London School of Economics for a master's degree. When I finished my postgraduate studies, I worked both in Greece and abroad for the World Bank, the United Nations and for other organizations. I also got married to my wife whom I met in Bulgaria where she was a cipher officer. We have been married for thirty-six years now. I was using her services frequently, but it seems that I overused them! The most important thing that came out of this war was that I met my wife!