New diary salutes ‘wordless friendships’

The subject of the bilingual (Greek and English) diary issued this year by the War Museum of Athens is animals, friends in hard times. The domestic animals that found themselves in the paths of the soldiers on the Albania front in 1940-41 and stayed with them, sharing their crusts of bread and water, as did the donkeys and horses that carried war supplies through the Pindus Mountains along with the drinking water that was so valuable in the trenches. There was always someone with a camera to immortalize these friendships and the results have been captured in this lovely diary. The chairman of the board of the museum, Lt Gen Andreas Z. Papaspyrou, writes in the prologue that the diary is dedicated to the «true and faithful friends» from the front. «We are obliged to them,» he added. The historian Barbara M. Balabaneris-Xanthi also refers to these «wordless friendships,» the four-legged friends that went by the names of Psaris, Otto, Kitsos, Hara, Gekas and Tarzanakos.

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