Due to partisan activity around the town of Kalavryta in southern Greece, a unit of the German army ‘Kampfgruppe Ebersberger’ the 117th Jager Division, under the command of General Karl de Suire, surrounded the town on the morning of Monday, December 13.
All the inhabitants were herded into the local school. Females and young boys were separated from the men and youths, the latter being marched to a hollow in a nearby hillside. There the soldiers took up positions behind machine-guns. Below, they witnessed the town being set on fire.
Just after 2pm a red flare was fired from the town. This was the signal for the soldiers to start firing on the men and youths who were huddled in the hollow.
Only eight houses out of nearly five hundred, were left standing.
It was not until late afternoon that the women and young boys were released to face the enormity of the tragedy.
Today a memorial stands on the site of the massacre on which are carved the names of 1,300 men and boys from Kalavryta and 24 nearby villages who were murdered that day.
The next day the Nazis also looted and burnt down the Monastery of Agia Lavra, otherwise known as the birth place of the Greek War of Independence.
A LUDICROUS and SMALL price to pay for killing hundreds of people, destroying hundreds of years of history and the wealth of this area. And to this day, Germany has yet to compensate the few survivors…
villages were completely destroyed and approximately 60,000 men, women
and children were massacred during the occupation of Greece. They want us to forget… but the wounds of WWII for the people of Kalavryta, and for all Hellenes, are still too fresh…