The World War II Pappas Collection

On long-term temporary loan to the Greek America Foundation is the private collection of Gregory C. Pappas which features more than 300 items pertaining to Greece’s role during World War II and the American response.

Assembled over 20 years, the collection includes the largest known collection of original Greek War Relief posters dating to the 1940s, as well as newspapers, cartoons and photographs — all of which have been lent gratis to the Foundation by Gregory Pappas
in order for proper display and awareness to both the collection, as well as the Foundation.

Pappas began collecting the items when he learned of his own family’s role during the invasion and ensuing occupation of his parents’ native Crete.

“This collection of items was sparked by decades of family stories told by my father who was a teenager when the Germans invaded his native Crete with thousands of “umbrellas” falling from the sky in May 1941, as well as my mother who, although born after the Germans capitulated, remembered growing up drinking “American milk” and receiving boxes with various food items.” Gregory C. Pappas, Founder & President, Greek America Foundation

“Greece’s entry into World War II on October 28, 1940 stands out as one of the finest hours in the country’s 20th-century history. That date was also a major turning point in the relations between Greece and the United States and the status of the Greek immigrants in America. It brought about a newfound, stronger appreciation of both modern Greece and the Greek Americans on the part of the American public and its government. The news that the Greek people were enthusiastically going to war against Fascist Italy was greeted with great enthusiasm in the United States.” Dr. Alexander Kitroeff, Professor of History, Haverford College

The Collection

The collection is comprised of more than 300 items including original news photographs, various ephemera, original posters and a collection of hundreds of pages of de-classified war reports.

Exhibitions

“The Hour of Greece”

October 24 – December 20, 2019

Hellenic American University

Athens, Greece

Under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition wasinaugurated in Athens by U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, Foreign MinisterNikos Dendias, President of the Hellenic American University Leonidas Koskos andGregory Pappas.

Press

The exhibition opening in Athens received extensive coverage in the national media,including front page stories in the Greek and English editions of Greece’s most widely-circulated newspaper, Kathimerini, and extensive television coverage via an entireepisode of Attica TV.