|Born||3 Mar 1891|
|Died||20 May 1949|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOriginally born Dimitrios Papandreou in Dorvitsa, Greece, he enlisted in the Greek army during the Balkan Wars. He became an ordained priest of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1917, and was made bishop of Corinth in 1922. In the 1930s, he spent some time in the United States to help organize the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In 1938, he was elected Archbishop of Athens with the new name of Damaskinos. He was briefly ejected from the position due to his disagreements with the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas, but was reinstalled after the fall of Metaxas' government after the German invasion. During German occupation, Damaskinos voiced his positions against the anti-Semitic practices of the Nazi Party. He was many times threatened with arrest and execution by the German occupation government in Greece, but the threats did not deter the archbishop. Quietly, he ordered the churches under his jurisdiction to distribute fake baptismal certificates to Greek Jews, thus saving countless Greek Jews from being deported to concentration camps. Near the end of the war, he proclaimed himself regent of Greece until the return of King George II, and was able to restore some peace to the country at the face of vicious in-fighting between the loyalists and the communists. He returned the power the king on 28 Sep 1946.
Last Major Revision: May 2006
|3 Mar 1891Â||Damaskinos was born.|
|31 Dec 1944Â||Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens was invested with the royal powers of Greece pending his regency and called upon General Nikolaos Plastiras to form a Government.|
|20 May 1949Â||Damaskinos passed away.|
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