Memories of the Occupation in Greece

The extent of the destruction

The Gorgopotamos railway bridge destroyed by the german troops during the evacuation of Greece, October 1944. Private collection George Chandrinos

The Gorgopotamos railway bridge destroyed by the german troops during the evacuation of Greece, October 1944. Private collection George Chandrinos

Kalavrita, the next day of the destruction. Municipal Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust

Kalavrita, the next day of the destruction. Municipal Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust

When the German troops evacuated Greece in October 1944, the country was devastated. The Greek population had paid a very heavy price. During the winter 1941/42 tens of thousands of people had succumbed to famine and malnutrition. Between 30.000 and 50.000 had lost their lives as a consequence of the partisan warfare, mainly civilians killed in German reprisal actions. About 60.000 Greek Jews had been deported to the concentration camps and murdered. At least 800 villages and towns laid in ruins. The material losses are not to be neglected. Most of Greece was subjected to the side-effects of hyperinflation and the enormous damages to its infrastructures, caused by the occupation policy of exploitation and the systematic destruction of the industrial facilities and the transport network. All railway bridges as well as 80% of the rolling stock was destroyed. 73% of the shipping tonnage was lost, about 200.000 houses were destroyed. One out of three Greeks, especially the children, suffered from epidemics, like Malaria, TB and Typhus; in some regions the percentages rose up to 70%.