Παρασκευή, 22 Αυγούστου 2014

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Hello everyone. 
As i promised, here is the second part of my summer adventures.
 If you want to check my first post click here

Remains of Kerdylia after Germans burned the villages.

This time i will take you to a small village called New Kerdylia 
(Nέα Κερδύλια - Municipality of Amphipolis) in Serres, Macedonia, Greece. 

But since i love history i will take you also many many years back. 
In the past there were two villages, the Upper and the Lower Kerdylia. 
Known from ancient times (Thucydides - Athenian historian) the two villages were located 
in high and panoramic mountain called Vertiskos (current Kerdylio) beside the river Strymonas 
(you can spot it in the above picture) and opposite from Amphipolis (post is coming!).

The modern history of the town is just as important as the ancient. 
Kerdylia was the village that began an organized armed resistance against the Germans and 
placed one of the biggest executions in Northern Greece during WW2. On the hill between
 the two villages stands the Monument of the Fallen
an impressive tribute for the executed people in 17 October 1941.

Strymonas river (Greek: Στρυμώνας) Serres, Macedonia, Greece. 

Chronicle of the tragedy
Morning of October 17 , 1941, two battalions of the 220th Sapper Battalion of Wehrmacht 
with a force of 250 men under the command of captains Ventler (Wendler) and Srainer 
Srainer started by Stavros (village), for Kerdylia having with them prisoners from Kerdylia. 
Arriving near the villages, they left their cars behind and they surrounded  the Upper Kerdylia 
village from Strovolos and the Lower Kerdylia village from Livadia.

 The timing of the event and the fact that they left their cars away from the villages shows 
that German soldiers wanted to surprise the villagers. 
And indeed almost all the residents of the two villages were arrested. 
Nobody tried to escape because the residents, as there was no similar event in the past, 
did not take seriously the German threats.

The soldiers of the Wehrmacht gathered the male inhabitants between 16 and 60 years 
in positions Alonia and Koutres. Women and children first gathered in schools and then, 
after they had removed the men, allowed to gather some of their belongings and leave 
for Castri and Eukarpia while Germans locked in the Community building 23 elders 
(who later risked get burned while Germans set the villages on fire.)

At 09.00 in the morning German soldiers execute all the male villagers. 
They did not include in the execution about seventeen people over sixty years old,
 including the priest and the teacher. They used those people to bury their dead afterwards. 
The buildings of the villages except the churches were burned...

 The reports from the police and then the General Administration of Macedonia said 
for about 211-212 executed people. The report of the post-war 
Greek National War Crimes Office reported that the dead was 222. 
Finally John Papasymeon publish a list of 230 people

The two villages are not repopulated since then and the remaining inhabitants built later in 1955
 the present village of New Kerdylia. The slaughter of Kerdylion recognized by the Greek State 
in 1998. The Holocaust of Kerdylia considered the first mass execution of civilians 
by the occupying forces in northern Greece during the Second World War.

This is the monument and the massive grave (with the cross) 
in the abandoned Upper Kerdylia village. At this point Germans executed the inhabitants 
of Upper Kerdylia.

At least is peaceful now up there...

Execution spot of the villagers of Lower Kerdylia and the massive grave.

Aside all the historical facts, the books and the story tallers, the witness, 
the photographs and the inhumanity of the war, yes life still goes on for the living. 
But the least we can do while we are breathing some peaceful days, is to pay our deepest respects 
to those who gave their lives during war. We need to learn from our mistakes, learn from history 
and try not to repeat dreadful things again... 

We will learn one day? 

Take care everyone.

7 σχόλια:

  1. It's sad to see the Nazis spread their black wings of death not only above Eastern Europe, but also above Greece... it's so far away from Germany! Sadly, I had no idea about the Nazis invading Greece and trying to settle their rule of terror there, I knew only about bloody Turkish regimes. Very sad, the smaller and weaker countries always fall between gears of the war machine...

    Poland has long and tragic relationship with Germany, monuments like this are in most cities and towns and Germans are not being liked here, but despite it I'm far from condemning them. Maybe that's because not even a part of my family suffered during the 2 World War, nobody was killed and nobody was sent to the concentration camp (and nobody fought for the freedom of the country, to be honest... My great-grandmother even helped the Germans, a group of simple soldiers camping near the village she was living in, so the villagers were bringing them food, and the Germans in turn connected all houses to the power source. I have unpleasant thoughts if the Germans wouldn't do this, then this tiny-tiny village wouldn't have access to electricity for many next years.).

    1. Hello there. Oh yes, we suffered from Germans for a while as well The occupation of Greece by the Axis Powers (Greek: Η Κατοχή, I Katochi, meaning "The Occupation") began in April 1941 after Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany invaded Greece, and lasted until Germany and its satellite Bulgaria withdrew from mainland Greece in October 1944. German garrisons remained in control of Crete and other Aegean islands until after the end of World War II, surrendering to the Allies in May and June 1945. We do share some huge problems with many countries around us and also some far away from us. To be honest is because they "love" my country so much and they actually lust Greece's place on the map. Governments are brutal and war is the result of their brutality! I know Poland and how much your city suffered from Germans... Is dreadful (the least i can say.) And also, thank you for the info about your family. It's a good thing your family did not suffer!!

  2. That is fascinating, tragic history; thank you, as always, for sharing. I love the quote, as well, and unfortunately, it is true! The parasol peeking out from the top looks quite similar to mine... (I'm not surprised. :P)

    1. You are more than welcome my dear, thank you so much for reading it ^-^ Oh my that's amazing, among other things we share awesome taste :D Thank you :) I bet is the same. Those parasols are really beautiful! And I am probably the only one in my city who is caring a parasol like this during summer. Many stare and even ask from where i bought..

  3. Hello beautiful,

    Hopefully you are fine, it seems ages since i commented anything, but i've been keeping up with your beautiful posts, they always make me smile.

    I love that first photo with the parasol, it gives it such a good frame. I do hope that you have loads of fun this summer. I am already quite ready for it to be over, but i guess i still have one month and half of heat.


    1. My dear lady, hello there beautiful, i really missed you! I'm doing great, life is great no complains :) Hope the same goes for you! And thank you so much for reading my posts, it means a lot to me and you know it! Yes it was one very artistic move i actually liked a lot :) One month at least.. Mediterranean summers will be the death of us :P

  4. info for kerdillia serron




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