First World War: The Beginning of a New World

A Series of History Talks in Athens

University of Athens
Law School
Paparigopoulos Ampitheater

The commemoration of the centenary of the First World War gives us the opportunity to embark upon a series of talks under the general title “Why does the world change? The Left in the 20th century: Strategic choices and historical conjunctures”. The talks are organized by Nicos Poulantzas Institute and Archives of Contemporary Social History.


he contemporaries of the First World War deemed it as “the war to end all wars”. The belief to the prospect of dealing by the war with the conflicts of interest between the states, on the basis of the emerging Principle of Nationalities, was enforcing these hopes. With the privilege of hindsight, we can now say that these beliefs have been proven unrealistic. The War brought about the dissolution of the Empires, the development of an anti-war sentiment to the people and the dynamic emergence in the historical scene of one of the fundamental actors of its change: Socialism.

Instead of the end of the wars, the outcome was the emergence of new opposing fronts, both outside and inside the states, the definition of new conflicts and forwarding of developments that would change forever the world’s outlook. Especially in Greece though, the First World War occupies a rather small place in the collective historical memory. Events that preceded the War, like the Balkan Wars, and mainly followed it, like the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922, even though they are fundamental parts of the collective historical memory in Greece, are being perceived by the people not in the context of the First World War, to which they are fully attached.

The first part of the talks aims to present the developments leading to the War, emphasizing to the European and Greek Left in a wider perspective that wishes to examine the Greek situation as a part of the worldwide changes that convulsed the world. In the first talk, on the National Question issue, the key speaker will be Walter Baier, coordinator of the transform! network, which is supporting the history talks.


The First World War: The Beginning of a New World



The National Question in the European Left and the First World War: Lenin, Rosa, Austromarxists and Stalin

Walter Baier, Vienna, economist and coordinator of transform! europe

Grigoris Ananiades, associate professor of political theory, Panteion University

Coordinator: Kirkos Doxiades, professor of political theory, Panteion University



The War and the end of the old world

Sia Anagnostopoulou, associate professor of history, Panteion University

Tasos Sakelaropoulos, historian, Historical Archive of the Benaki Museum

Coordinator: Menelaos Charalampides, historian, University of Athens



In the overtone of the October Revolution: The breakup of the socialist movement

Ioanna Papathanasiou, historian, Archives of Contemporary Social History, National Centre of Social Researches

Elias Nikolakopoulos, professor of social theory and sociology, University of Athens

Coordinator: Theodoros Paraskevopoulos, economist



The National Division in Greece (1914-1917): Political dimensions and social extensions

Procopis Papastratis, professor emeritus of history, Panteion University

Despina Papadimitriou, assistant professor of history, Panteion University

Coordinator: Loudovikos Kotsonopoulos, political scientist, Panteion University



The Greek Left in the First World War: From the first socialists to the Asia Minor front

Kostas Paloukis: PhD student of history, University of Crete                

Mihalis Liberatos, historian, Panteion University

Coordinator: Stavros Panagiotidis, PhD student of history, Panteion University