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Katoxi - The Axis occupation of Greece (cont'd)

The Germans believing they could strike fear into the hearts of the Greeks were very brutal towards them.  They killed many thousands, wiping out entire villages at times.  The massacres at Calabrata, Doxato, Distomo, Sparta, and Athens among others will speak for all time at what the Greeks suffered under the occupation.  It will also put light on what a people are willing to suffer in order to fight for their freedom from occupiers.

The occupation became extremely brutal in 1944 as the German forces withdrew Greece.  The Germans began massive retributions throughout Greece, murdering and wiping out entire villages.  Many Greeks have long passed relatives who were murdered during this period.

An example of the brutality of the Germans in their withdrawal can be clearly seen in the village of Kourkouli in Euboea, Central Greece.  The German soldiers asked to be fed by a couple in the village and they happily obliged.  When the Germans were finished eating the soldiers killed the ladies husband in front of her and her children's eyes! Other  women were then locked in their houses which were placed alit so that they burn alive.  The villagers recount how the Germans stud by laughing at these events as they occurred. The Germans then proceeded to burn the entire village to the ground as they withdrew!

It should be noted that the Bulgarian occupation of northern Greece was even crueler then the Germans  and the Italians in the other areas of Greece.  The Bulgarians had a plan of ethnic cleansing in northern Greece attempting to change the ethnic Greek character of the occupied area.  The end result were  massacres that were just as large if not larger then the other Axis powers.

As a result of the great sacrifices the resistance movement made towards the liberation of Greece, it is commemorated on November 25th in Greece.  This day is especially important in the resistance movement as it is the day when the bridge at Gorgopatomos was destroyed by the Greek resistance hampering the German supply lines in Greece.

The Axis finally withdrew all their forces from Greece in October 1944.  All throughout Greece the church bells rang and people danced in the streets in jubilation as the Axis flags were replaced by the flag of Greece, the occupation had finally come to an end.


Other Greek Historic Events:  

  • The Balkan Wars During these wars that occurred in the early 20th century Greece managed to double its' territory and population.
  • Oxi "No" - Greece's response to an ultimatum by Italy  in the second world war which would have resulted in the subjugation of Greece to the Axis. Greece enters the war against the Axis powers.
  • Article on the Asia Minor Disaster (by the New York Times) A great disaster for Hellenism, the forced expulsion and murder of millions of Greeks in Turkey in the early 20th century.


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