Written on the Knee: 01/16/09
Helen Electrie Lindsay originally published her father's diary in Greek but was encouraged to translate the diary when she found her mother's collection of letters. Her friend Dru Sweetser served as her editor for the translation and acutely observed that Greece's participation in WWII isn't taught in American schools. The publishing of Dr. Theodore Electris's diary Written on the Knee strives to teach about the Greek experience.
Dr. Electris served a six month tour as a reservist officer in XI B Artillery Division and served on the front line of the Italian / Greek conflict. His diary covers the entire tour from the mundane of meals, weather and homesickness to the brutalities of war: the injuries, the shelling, the fear, pack animals driven to death and so forth.
By itself, Dr. Electris's diary would be a short and deeply personal look at one small piece of WWII. Helen Electric Lindsay fleshes things out with photocopies of letters from her mother and photographs that Dr. Electris took. There are also photographs provided by Hellenistic War Museum and and other sources to bring the diary to life.
After the last entry dated May 4, 1941 in which the doctor has returned home to have his house occupied by German soldiers and all he wants is a return to normalcy but doubts that will ever be possible, the book continues with an Epilogue with new of the house and a poem by an aunt, and then a very informative (but gut wrenching) Appendix. My favorite piece of the book is all the ephemera. There are maps, letters, permits and political cartoons.
Comment #1: Sunday, January, 18, 2009 at 00:04:48
This sounds like such a good book! A real life account of WWII and how it affects family etc.
Comment #2: Monday, January 19, 2009 at 21:35:24
It is a good book. Thanks for stopping by. Happy reading.