Historical story

75 years have passed since the liberation of Athens from the Nazis

Unlike most European countries and cities, Greece does not celebrate the end of the Second World War, as would be more logical, but its beginning (October 28, 1940, the declaration of war on Greece by Italy).

However, in recent years, especially with the "Athens Free" events, something has begun to change in the public space. The city not only celebrates its liberation from the Nazi occupation which lasted 3.5 years and had disastrous consequences for the majority of the population, but learns, informs, remembers events that perhaps have not been illuminated as much as they should by historical research.

So the last Germans left the Greek capital on October 12, 1944. They had arrived in April 1941 and had plunged the city into despair and immense poverty, phenomena that culminated in the fatal winter of 1941-1942 when, according to calculations, they died of the starvation of over 40,000 Athenians.

On the morning of October 12, 1944, the Germans, led by General Felmi, laid a wreath at the monument to the Unknown Soldier and then began their orderly withdrawal after 1264 days of occupation.

Athens was declared an unfortified city and evacuated by German troops. Spontaneous manifestations of joy and enthusiasm of the Athenian people took place in the center and the suburbs of the city, while angry crowds destroyed the wreath that the Germans had placed on the Unknown Soldier.

The Nazi flag was also taken down from the Acropolis, while after clashes between ELAS forces and the remaining Nazis, the total destruction of the electricity plant in Keratsini was prevented.

Six days later, on October 18, the members of the Government of National Unity led by Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in Athens. They were accompanied by an echelon of the Allied Headquarters under British Lieutenant General R. Scobie.

All of them went to the Acropolis, where the Greek flag was raised, and then to the Metropolis of Athens for the relevant eulogy.

Immediately after, a huge gathering took place in Syntagma Square in which G. Papandreou delivered the "Liberation Speech" with the crowds shouting "Popularity".

Unfortunately for the country, the celebratory atmosphere was short-lived. The intense oppositions in the ranks of the government led to a rupture that culminated with the Decembers, with which the country entered the trajectory of civil war. This would officially begin in 1946 and end in 1949, five years after the end of the German occupation.

With information from the website of "Athina Eleftheri".

The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 12.