Thursday, 23 August 2012

23rd August 1944


Is a date steeped in island history the date that German armed forces shelled, and burned the island and of much of the town in reprisal for resistance activities. They also executed seven young men in reprisal for the resistance, who had captured the officer who was Head of the Sporades German forces.

Betsy Barnard in the 'Skiathos Calendar' describes what happened ...

The Greek resistance on the island captured a German caique lying in the inner harbour and took a German officer prisoner. Reprisal was inevitable. The Germans returned and shelled the town and set fire to it. In all 30 houses were burnt down and another 177 were either burnt or damaged. The bay at Koukounaries was also burned as a reprisal. 

The locals fled to the hills and prayed to a saint for help in their time of need, and a great storm ensued which helped extinguish the fires, and the German forces departed for Volos

In the Town hall, there is a framed letter of thanks from general Freyburg to the people of Skiathos, who suffered the burning of their town in August 1944 as well as Koukounaries bay, in reprisal for their resistance activity. 

Todays message from Evangelistra remembers these times ...

Who can forget the brutality of Germans, something has changed since then?

How sweeping miraculous intervention of Virgin Mary of Eikonistrias saving the island and its inhabitants from the organized slaughter?

Let us not forget and let us all hail to the glory of our island, Oh Eikonistria!!! 

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