Mark Mazower, one of the most famous historians with a special relationship with Greece, was granted Greek citizenship on Tuesday. The British historian received the honorary title of the Greek state for “promoting Greece, its long history and its culture to the general international public”.
Mazower studied classical literature and philosophy at the University of Oxford and international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in the early 1980s. Having written extensively on the two world wars and the emergence of Western democracy, Mazower developed a particular interest in Greek and Balkan history.
Mazower was born in Golders Green and spent most of his youth in North London. Her mother was a physiotherapist and her father worked for Unilever. During his youth he enjoyed playing the French horn and composing classical music. Mazower’s father was of Russian Jewish descent and during his youth he enjoyed reading classical literature and philosophy.
Mazower’s interest in Greece and WWII
His book The Balkans won the Wolfson History Prize and Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-1944, both won the Longman History Today Award for Book of the Year. Salonika, Ghost Town: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 was a winner of the Runciman Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize and was shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman Prize.
In addition, Mazower is interested more broadly in European history of the twentieth century. His book Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century argued that the triumph of democracy in Europe was not inevitable but rather the result of chance and political action on the part of citizens, subjects and rulers. In Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occuped Europe, Mazower compared the Nazi German occupation policy in different European countries.
Mazower has also written for newspapers since 2002 such as the Financial Times and for The Independent, contributing articles on international affairs and book reviews. He was appointed to the Advisory Board of the European Association of History Teachers (EUROCLIO).
Mazower: Greek history and awards
Among his many accolades, Mazower received the Dido Sotiriou Prize from the Hellenic Authors Society in 2012, the Society of Columbia Graduates Great Teacher Award in 2011 and an honorary doctorate from KU Leuven (during the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Master of Studies European) in 2019
Mazower was particularly interested in the Greek War of Independence of 1821 against the Ottoman occupation, which led to him being a member of the “Greece 2021” committee, which coordinates the events celebrating the bicentenary of the Greek struggle for the ‘independence. The committee’s mission is to reintroduce the country to the world by celebrating its contemporary history.
Mark Mazower’s act of honorary Greek citizenship was initiated by the Greek government and signed by Greek President Katerina Sakelaropoulou and Interior Minister Makis Voridis.