Giannis Karageorgiou
*Image courtesy of Stonisi.gr

Having escaped from Gestapo camps, Pavlos Melas concentration camp in Thessaloniki and the concentration camp in Stein, Austria, Greek war veteran Giannis Karageorgiou celebrated his 100th Birthday this week.

Born on January 13, 1920, Barba Giannis tragically witnessed over 700 of his fellow soldiers being killed during a WWII massacre on April 6, 1946. Giannis survived by faking his own death and falling down shortly before the machine gun rattle began.

And last Wednesday, 15th of January, Barba Giannis celebrated his special milestone birthday saying, “My mind is still working at 100%.”

In April 1942, Giannis with his brother Lambros and 18 other young people from the northwest part of Lesvos decided to flee and go to the Middle East to fight the Axis. In the chapel of Agios Fokas, where they were looking for a way to leave, they were arrested by the Germans and taken to the prison of Gestapo.

Out of the 20 young men who fought the Nazis in Mytilene, only 14 survived and Barba Giannis was one of them.

And last Wednesday at noon, at the “Demosthenes” tavern in Lesvos, the local community celebrated the war veteran’s special birthday and thanked him for his bravery and commitment to fight for his country.

Barba Giannis also had the opportunity to speak with his two daughters, Georgia and Niki, who live in Sydney, Australia, via Skype as they watched the celebrations taking place online.

Xronia Polla Barba Giannis!

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