Time: 1800(VFP) / 1830(Public) / 1900(Start)
Location: Housman Books, 5 Caledonian Road, N1
New Zealand’s ‘comfortable’ official memory of its Mediterranean Military Ventures.
Starting in the 1940s the New Zealand government deliberately began shaping a ‘comfortable’ historical/commemorative version of the Second World War for its citizens and veterans. It wanted a united population that only saw inspired leadership, common good and a small idealistic nation entering the world stage. In doing so, it justified military disasters, the non-democratic Mediterranean regimes the major allies were willing to support with the help of New Zealand regular troops and servicemen on loan to British special forces. But the state also hid efforts where it had sought to imbue popular democracy in one of those countries, why? Similarly, the official version neglected an iconic New Zealand officer/writer who is now presented as being the embodiment of the New Zealand national identity.
This presentation seeks to offer answers to these questions as well as illustrating the strategies applied by New Zealand decision-makers in shaping an official version of the war.
Speaker: Dr Martyn Brown is an Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland, Brisbane. He has also held an honorary position at the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
He has published academic papers and newspaper articles on the wartime New Zealand-Greek relationship. Recently he researched, wrote and co-produced a radio documentary/podcast on the mass Greek political mutiny of April 1944. He is in London to carry out more historical research.