Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli presented the collective work, “Poland-Cyprus from the country of Chopin to the island of Aphrodite”, edited by the Modern History Professors of the University of Cyprus, Giorgos Georgis and Giorgos Kazamias.
The publication was materialized with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a symbolic contribution to the Polish Presidency of the Council of the EU. This is the third book of a series that deals with the relations of Cyprus with other EU member states and it is published in the framework of the research program «Eurodaktylios», which is carried out by the University of Cyprus in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The aim of this program is to create an information database on the relations of Cyprus with the other EU member states with the purpose of highlighting these relations in the framework of a wider historical, political, economic and cultural understanding, cooperation and creativity.
The information and new facts brought to light by the Cypriot and Polish historians and researchers taking part with their texts in this book are really impressive. This is indeed a historical panorama, dating from the Middle Ages to the present, which demonstrates that although far apart, the two countries are at the same time so close to one another.
The Second World War started with the fascist invasion of Poland and Cyprus was the first European country, after England, that entered the war, as part of the British Commonwealth. Thousands of Cypriots fought as volunteers in that war, some died in Poland, while others were imprisoned in concentration camps set up by the Germans in Poland. Amongst them was Glafkos Clerides, who later became President of the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover, hundreds of Polish refugees were transported to Cyprus and enjoyed the warm hospitality of the island. Through the pages of this book one can learn about their hardships and memories from Cyprus.