September 16, 1943 – Germans perpetrate the Viannos Massacres in Crete

Viannos massacres germans

During the Nazi German invasion and subsequent occupation of Greece during World War II, they committed many many war crimes on Greek soil.

In September of 1943, the Germans launched their campaign of extermination against civilians on Crete, in areas located between Viannos and Ierapetra, now known as the Viannos Massacres (Greek: Σφαγές της Βιάννου ή Ολοκαύτωμα της Βιάννου).

The invaders destroyed harvests and crops, looted properties and burned 20 villages to the ground, using dynamite to completely destroy those villages.

September 16, 1943 - Germans perpetrate the Viannos Massacres in Crete 1
Amiras memorial designed by sculptor Yiannis Parmakelis to remember the victims of the massacre.

The attacks from the bloodthirsty Germans did not end there, as they went on to execute 500 civilians, in one of the worst massacres committed in Greece during World War II, second only to the massacre of Kalavryta.

The massacre was ordered by Generalleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller, in retaliation for the support and involvement of the local population in the Cretan resistance.

Müller, who earned the nickname “the Butcher of Crete”, was executed after the war for his part in this and other massacres.

READ MORE: World War II reparations: Greece DEMANDS €377 billion from Germany in ‘compensation.’

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