Virtual Open Lecture | 8th Oct

VIRTUAL OPEN LECTURE: Famine and Death in Occupied Greece: A re-appraisal

Location: Zoom, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Twitter, Periscope

Date: THURSDAY – 8 Oct. 2020 @ 7:00pm AEST

Presenters: Professor Violetta Hionidou

Language of Presentation: English | No knowledge of Greek required.

Entry: FREE


Occupied Greece experienced a significant, deadly famine. Though the worst of mortality was experienced in the winter of 1941-2, extreme hunger was prevalent in many parts of the country until the end of the occupation in the autumn of 1944. This presentation will explore the reasons the famine occurred, the spatial and temporal variations of the famine but also the coping mechanisms that the population devised in order to survive. As my 2006 monograph challenged the earlier understanding of the famine, it argued against the centrality of Athens as the most affected-by the famine population but also against the earlier understanding of the Black Market. The seminar will also employ recent works to re-assess the validity of these findings.


Violetta Hionidou is professor of Modern European History at Newcastle University, UK. Her work is focused on Modern Greece. She has researched and published on Family History, Famines, Pontic Greeks, Historical Demography, and Reproduction, usually combining quantitative and qualitative methods. She has published widely in academic journals and edited collections. Her monographs include Famine and Death in Occupied Greece, 1941-44 (co-winner of the 2007 Edmund Keely book award); H κατοχική πείνα μέσα από προφορικές μαρτυρίες. Η περίπτωση της Χίου, της Σύρου και της Μυκόνου (The Greek Famine of the 1940s through Oral Histories. The cases of Hios, Syros and Mykonos) (Athens: Patakis publishers, 2020); and, Abortion and Contraception in Modern Greece, 1830-1967. Medicine, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). She has recently created a searchable database of Greek individuals and families that enables people of Greek descendancy to search for their ancestors. The database is situated within the Greek Family History website  which offers comprehensive guidance to anyone who would like to pursue their family History.

How To Participate

In order to keep everyone safe we have organized this seminar to be delivered online.
However, we are well aware that for some, a large part of the appeal of our seminars is the very active audience participation.

Therefore we are providing two ways for you to enjoy the seminar:

A. If you want to actively participate and ask questions at the end of the seminar you will need to join us through a Zoom Webinar – for which you’ll need to pre-register by following this link:

B. If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the show, just visit our Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Periscope pages where we’ll be live streaming the event.


We thank the following donor for making this seminar possible: Anastasia Sougleris.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: or call 03 9662 2722.

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