Remembering the victims of the Distomo massacre

·

Regarded as one of the most heinous crimes committed by the Nazis in occupied Greece, 228 residents (114 women and 104 men) were executed inhumanely in the Greek town of Distomo on June 10, 1944.

After suffering a defeat to the Greeks at Katavothra, leaving 15 German soldiers dead and as many wounded, the Germans took revenge on the innocent residents of Distomo.

Ordered by German Lieutenant Hans Zambel, Distomo was set on fire and 218 residents were executed, including 45 children and 20 infants.

According to survivors, SS forces “bayoneted babies in their cribs, stabbed pregnant women, and beheaded the village priest.”

The barbaric brutality received international outcry at the time, yet the German administration in Athens blamed the residents of Distomo for not complying with military orders.

Following the Germans’ withdrawal from Greece, the Greek War Crimes Bureau was able to find and arrest Zambel, who had taken refuge in Paris.

In August 1949, he confessed to the extent of the German atrocities in Distomo.

A film about the tragic massacre, titled ‘A Song For Argyrishas’, has since been made and follows the perspective of four-year-old survivor Argyris Sfountouris.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

The Larcos family: Navigating generational trauma from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Larcos family could never have anticipated the upheaval that awaited them when they made the decision to relocate from Australia to Cyprus.

A lifetime of diplomacy: A conversation with Prokopis Vanezis

It was an afternoon full of stories—many untold—poetry, dragons, and a single fairy unfolds as the present meets the past to discuss the future.

Cyprus’ cultural heritage is not for sale

For centuries, ancient artefacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

Beyond sheftalies: Cypriot Australian youth keep reunification flame burning 50 years on

Young Cypriot Australians, born decades after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, are grappling with the conflict’s enduring legacy.

50 years of occupation: Who remembers Cyprus?

At the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, Cyprus stands a red and white sign that reads: ‘TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS FOREVER.'

You May Also Like

Watchdog fines Greek Interior Ministry, MEP over diaspora email data breach

A data breach watchdog has imposed fines on the Greek Ministry of Interior and MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou.

Gladys Berejiklian: “Our message is simple – get the COVID vaccine”

"It's not a matter that we have to protect our lives and health, we have to protect our society, we have to protect our country," Archbishop Makarios said.

Holy Saturday Hymn dedicated to the Burial of Christ

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and Lent. This day is dedicated to the Burial and Descent of Christ into Hades.