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.

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Exhibitions

October 24 - December 20, 2019
"The Hour of Greece"
Hellenic American University
Athens, Greece

Under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition was inaugurated in Athens by U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, President of the Hellenic American University Leonidas Koskos and Gregory Pappas.

1280D152646 Prince Nikolaos and Gregory C. Pappas
1280D152534 Greek War Relief Association posters
1280D152568 Foreign Min. Nikos Dendias and Pres. Leonidas Koskos
1280D152619 US Amb. Geoffrey Pyatt greets guests at the exhibition opening
1280D152545 Exhibition items
1280D152529 The personal diary of Ioannis Metaxas turned to the page for October 28, 1940
1280D152531 Exhibition items
1280D152682 Ribbon cutting w/ Amb. Pyatt, Pres. Koskos, FM Dendias and Gregory Pappas
1280D152551 Exhibition items

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 entire episode of Attica TV.

Click here to read the Kathimerini article (English)
Click here to read the Kathimerini article (Greek)

Watch Attica TV's Episode

Read more about the exhibition

1280D152511 copy

“The Hour of Greece” Exhibition Featured on Attica TV in Athens

An entire episode of Attica TV’s programming was dedicated to “The Hour of Greece” exhibition, which opened at the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece. The exhibition is comprised of more than 300 items that tell the story of the American response to Greece’s role during World War II. The items are from the private […]