German WWII compensation to Greece

The town of Kalavryta, in Western Greece, is now chiefly known as a mountain resort. On December 13, 1943, it was the site of the greatest massacre perpetrated by the occupying German troops in Greece.

A few days earlier, Greek partisans operating in the area had executed 78 German soldiers they had held captive since October.

More than 500 males aged 12 and over were machine-gunned, while the women and children only managed to escape a school set ablaze reportedly because a German soldier disobeyed orders and allowed them to get out. Including operations in nearby villages, about 700 civilians were killed, 1,000 houses looted and burned and 2,000 livestock seized.

A memorial has been built on the site of the massacre. On April 18, 2000, then German president Johannes Rau visited the site to express his peoples’ feelings of sorrow and remorse for the massacre. Years earlier, German schoolchildren had visited and helped clean up the memorial.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Monday, has revived the issue of German compensation for crimes like these. The Germans have responded that the issue of reparations has been conclusively settled.


Text by Petros Giannakouris


Follow Petros Giannakouris | Twitter: @PGiannakouris


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Nat Castañeda is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. A California native, Castañeda works primarily in video and collage, with an emphasis on tactile intimacy with her materials remaining an important aspect of all her projects. Common issues in Castañeda’s work are the conflating of iconography and pornography, the questioning of traditional gender binaries, and the role of technology within personal narratives. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and has shown at venues such as El Museo del Barrio and Electronic Arts Intermix. In addition to her art practice, Castañeda currently works at The Associated Press where she leads a team that curates AP's online archive of historic and contemporary photojournalism. Castañeda’s photography has appeared in the New York Times,U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.