May Panou Papoulia was born in Athens in 1938. Her mother was from
the island of Lemnos and her father from Epirus. Her father, a naval
architect, was a naval officer and taught at the Hellenic Naval Academy.
He retired with the grade of Admiral. Her mother was involved in social
work and worked voluntarily as a nurse at the Red Cross.
May Papoulia attended the Arsakeion School of Athens and then graduated
from the University of Sorbonne with a degree in psychology and
filmology. In 1963 she left for Germany with her husband and two
daughters Fanny and Vicky. Their third daughter, Anna, was born
During the military dictatorship, Mrs Papoulia was at the editing
board of the "Socialist Route", a magazine published in
Germany for the struggle against the Greek junta. While in Cologne,
she completed her studies in psychology and worked at the psychosomatic
clinic of the University of Cologne and as an academic consultant
in two research programmes.
From 1987 to 2001 when she retired, Mrs Papoulia worked as a psychologist
at a German social service offering support to families of Greek
emigrants. She also set up educational programmes for Greek women
and she was involved in a programme for mental health of foreigners
Having lived in Cologne for forty years, she is very much attached
to the Hellenic Community in Germany whom she considers an important
part of the Hellenic Diaspora.
Her three daughters reside in Germany. Fanny is a historian, Vicky
is a social educator and Anna is a photographer.
Mrs Papoulia enjoys reading, theatre, art, music and she travels
She is fluent in English, French and German.