In Athens

Richard Clogg

On 26 April 1941, the day before the German army raised the swastika over the Acropolis, Homer Davis, president of Athens College, was entrusted by the Greek War Relief Association with changing two million dollars into drachmas – money raised by his fellow Greek-Americans. Warned that the money would be delivered in small denominations, he was accompanied to the Bank of Greece by three helpers bearing a steamer trunk and two large suitcases, only to discover that the bank’s supply of currency had been taken by the government when it evacuated to Crete three days earlier. Davis waited while the bank’s board deliberated whether to validate obsolete notes stored in its vaults. They eventually agreed to do so, but such was the volume that the trunk and suitcases proved inadequate and some of the notes had to be bundled up in the party’s raincoats. The haul was deposited, in the nick of time, in the US Legation.