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Dr. George C. Papavizas

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Dr. George C. Papavizas

George Papavizas was born in Krimini, Kozanis, and graduated from the historic Gymnasion of Tsotyli. Leaving his idyllic village to begin university studies in Thessaloniki on October 17, 1940, he experienced the patriotic fervor that brought rare unity to the Greeks and euphoria that swept the Hellenic nation to victories against Mussolinis’s army. For the young Papavizas, the first half of the 1940s consisted of the horrors of the triple occupation that meant ruined villages and towns, including two deadly burnings of his village and his own house; and the reappearance of the old curse of the Hellenic race --- dissention and distrust --- that eventually subverted the harmony that prevailed during the fall of the 1940s, the nation’s finest hour.

After graduation with a B. S. degree in biology in May, 1947, and during the second half of the 1940s, Dr. Papavizas experienced the terrors and hardships of the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 as a Second Lieutenant of the Greek National Army. His orders took him all over Greece and he fought in some of the bloodiest conflicts in Grammos and Vitsi. Two weeks before the civil war’s end, he was severely wounded, lost his leg, and spent five months in a military hospital. He was nominated twice for the Military Cross and in 1949 he received the Golden Medal for Bravery, the army’s highest award.

In the fall of 1951, Dr. Papavizas, the son of an American citizen, emigrated to the United States and immediately joined the graduate school at the University of Minnesota where he obtained his M. S. degree in Plant Pathology and Microbial Genetics and in 1956 his Ph.D. degree in Mycology and Biochemistry. After teaching Mycology for a year at the university, he joined the Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Station. During his last 22 years of his professional career, he organized and directed the Pioneering Research Laboratory on the biological control of plant diseases. He lectured in many countries around the world, published over 200 scientific publications and two books, and edited two books. He received The Superior Service Award in 1964, The Outstanding Scientist Award from ARS in 1988, The Distinguished Scientist Award from ARS in 1993, and The Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota in 1995.

Retirement in 1992 allowed Dr. Papavizas to devote all his time to his favored subject, history, especially that of his native Macedonia. In 2002, he published his first book, "Blood and Tears, Greece 1940-1949" (American Hellenic Institute). The book is a powerful and thrilling account of Greece’s turbulent 1940s. It is the author’s autobiography interwoven with tumultuous historical events --- war, occupation, resistance, civil war, utopias, ruined villages and towns, and his misfortune in battle. He translated the book into Greek and published it as "

Αίμα και Δάκρυα, Ελλάς 1940-1949» (Εκδόσεις Δωδώνη 2002).

In 2006, Dr. Papavizas published his second historical work, "Claiming Macedonia, the Struggle for the Heritage, Territory and Name of the historic Hellenic Land, 1862-2004" (McFarland Publishers of North Carolina and London). The book, based on 233 foreign and Greek publications, argues the Macedonian question from a Greek perspective. It examines the origins of the dispute between Hellenism and Bulgarism, the Balkan Wars, and the pivotal role of international communism that brought on the "Macedonian" ethnogenesis to FYROM. He translated his second book into Greek and published it in Athens as "

Αγώνες στον Ελληνικό Βορρά, Μακεδονία 1862 -2007” (Εκδόσεις ΣΥΜΜΕΤΡΙΑ, 2007).

During the last two years Dr. Papavizas published four articles on Macedonia in The National Herald of New York. Also, his extensive article entitled "FYROM: Searching for a Name and the Expropriation of History" will appear in the September 2010 issue of the "Mediterranean Quarterly."

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 June 2010 04:11  
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