When you drive through Greece you are always on the move on historical ground. Some things are old, some are even older, some are so old that no one can say how old they are. But on the road to Galaxidi, in the middle of a beautiful landscape that looks like the dreamland of every person who wants to go on a road trip, you suddenly come across a piece of recent history. At the roadside, slightly elevated on an artificial hill, stands a pithy monument: a man with a gun, his face clenched in a fist, angry, angry, merciless.
After our hike through the Enipeas Gorge (read here) and the climbing of the giants of the Olympus, now follow me on the rest of the path. We ride to the Oracle of Delphi and to Athens. This is the story about the urban art - the unknown side of greece.
It is the memorial to the victims of a massacre by German soldiers in Karakolithos, a place very close by. One hundred and thirty-four men were executed by the German Nazi occupiers on April 25, 1944, when the whole of Greece was occupied by the Nazis and there was resistance to the foreign rulers everywhere. As a “reprisal” for partisan attacks, the Nazis again and again cruelly killed innocents, according to eyewitness reports even pregnant women and clergy.
During the Second World War, Greece, which was by no means on any of the main front lines, lost 13 percent of its population, part of it in combat, many to starvation, but many also to German war crimes. 89 villages were attacked and residents were executed, 1,700 villages were burned down on the killing fields were a solar plant is nowadays.
The monument to the dead of Karakolithos, created by the sculptor Aggelika Korovesi, is a particularly impressive reminder of the suffering of the people at that time, including that of the village of Distomo very close by. There, at the foot of the Parnassus Mountains, the occupiers raged particularly badly. The gaps that can be seen behind the angry defender with the rifle are supposed to show how the victims are missing to this day.
Her surviving dependents have been on compensation to this day. Although greece received money many years ago, the families' further claims are still at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Germany defends itself by stating that the retaliatory measures were "a measure in the context of the war", not war crimes.
How terrible this must be for the bereaved can only be understood once you have seen the documentary 'A Song for Argyris' by Stefan Haupt. Or once stood in front of the memorial of Karakolithos, which is not a memorial of mourning, but expressly dedicated to national resistance.
A few more pictures for you: