Hellenes Worldwide Urged to Share WWII Memories in Book, Film, Web Project

Hellenes around the world are being invited to share their family World War II anecdotes and memories in writer N.J. Slabbert’s new multimedia project - THE SWORD OF ZEUS: THE HIDDEN STORY OF HOW GREECE SHAPED WORLD WAR II.

Since the project was announced several months ago “a steady stream of international history” has poured into the office of SWORD OF ZEUS Project Director, Em Saks, from enthusiastic supporters eager for their WWII recollections and memorabilia to be included in the project. “We have been moved and honored by the material people have shared with us spontaneously,” she says. “We have received some truly emotional and heartfelt communications and have been humbled by the gratitude that strangers have expressed on learning of the project.

“It’s clear this is just the tip of the iceberg and that there is a great need for WWII feelings and fragments of personal history to be given voice, and an enduring home. So a web page has now been set up to inform people about the ZEUS Project and to help them submit material if they wish to. If possible we would prefer contributions to be in English please.

Details can be found at http://www.theswordofzeus.info/.

The first book version of ZEUS is scheduled to be published in summer 2010 by Montagu House, Ms Saks notes, "so people who would like to contribute memories, photos, family stories or other items are encouraged to do so soon. E-mail is quickest, although we have also been receiving much posted material in hard copy form."

Ms. Saks explains that the first book will be a prose narrative of WWII that will shed fresh light on Greece’s part in the war. The second will be a graphic novel “using illustrations to tell the tale of Greece’s role in a way that will appeal to a wide band of age groups.” The film will be shot in Greece and other European locations. Plans are also under way for a ZEUS educational web site and / or interactive DVD. All these elements will highlight the drama of Greece’s heroic experience in WWII.

"We want to use as much independently submitted historical material as we can in the print and screen versions of ZEUS," Ms Saks says, "but our plan is that what we can't get into book or film form will eventually be placed online as an international educational resource about Greece's remarkable part in WWII, and/or used in an interactive DVD for schools. Mr Slabbert believes that the Greek role in WWII has yet to be fully appreciated by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His hope is that online, on the screen and in print, ZEUS will contribute to that greater appreciation."

The project's advisors include former Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Vice President Gilbert F. Decker, who has also served as Chairman of the U.S. Army Science Board; former NATO liaison expert and Greek Army Brigadier General Stergios Smirlis; and industrialist Dr. Peter Yiannos, a prominent leader in Hellenic cultural affairs. Chairing the advisors is industrialist Aris Melissaratos, senior advisor to the president of Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Melissaratos has described the project as “a major Hellenic event.” He previously collaborated with Mr. Slabbert on the acclaimed book INNOVATION. The key funder of ZEUS's core development work is entrepreneur Jimmy Stavrakis, CEO of Adcor Industries, an aerospace and manufacturing concern.

(Posting date 2 February 2010)

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