Today (9 October) I attended an historical walking tour of Athens, excellently guided by Menelaos Haralabidis, of sites and buildings in central Athens connected to the wartime occupation of the Greek capital from 1941 to 1944 and the resistance of the Greeks against the German, Italian and Bulgarian occupiers and their Greek collaborators.
Athens was liberated on 12 October 1944, an event that is only now being marked, largely due to the efforts of Haralabidis and other historians. 2015 saw the first official commemoration of the city’s liberation.
I was aware that a few days earlier in October 1944, the Germans evacuated my adopted city of Corinth. The wonders of Google led me to a fascinating report in the Sydney Morning Herald of 16 October 1944, filed by Terry Southwell-Keely, the paper’s war correspondent in Greece. I’m posting it here in full below as, whatever the average Athenian remembers about the liberation of their city in 1944, the average Corinthian knows even less about the liberation of theirs.
Accounts differ as to when Corinth was liberated: some say 7 October 1944 but Southwell-Keely suggests it was three days later.
His report describes the destruction and privation the Germans left in their wake and the euphoria of the population that they were finally rid of the Nazis. Here’s his report: