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Politics of forgetting – the New Zealand/Greek relationship: 1941-1945

altDr Martyn Brown, an honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland and a lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, will present a lecture on the “Politics of forgetting - the New Zealand/ Greece relationship: 1941-45”, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered for the sixth consecutive year by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

New Zealand public commemoration and published histories speak of a “special relationship” between the Pacific and Mediterranean nations. Shared sacrifice and resisting the German invader in early 1941 dominate the memories. Aid given by civilians to New Zealand soldiers escaping or evading capture receives a special mention.

But the reality was much more complex and filled with contentious politics. At its worst Greeks and New Zealanders killed each other. Examining this “hidden” history sheds light not just on New Zealand but also some of the controversies involving the Greeks and Britain at the time. How did New Zealand’s government and military leadership navigate a path through the quagmire of Greek-related politics? The situation became publicly acute when sections of New Zealand society began taking sides in Greek-related politics.

Dr Martyn Brown is an Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland. He is also a Lecturer in Information Systems at the University of Southern Queensland. He has been researching the Greek-New Zealand wartime connection for 12 years.

His investigations have involved interviews and archives research in New Zealand, Australia, England, Greece, Germany and the United States. He has been published in Australian, New Zealand and German academic journals and an American-Greek newspaper. In addition he has made public and conference presentations in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, England and Germany.

When: Thursday, 21 April 2016, at 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
More info: or +61 3 9662 2722