Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Festering anger, Nazi war crimes and the £60bn the Greeks believe the Germans owe them"

From the Daily Mail:
The SS indulged their bloodlust on men, women and children alike. While homes and shops blazed around them like some hellish inferno, women were violated and those who were pregnant were stabbed in the guts. Small babies were bayoneted in their cribs. The village priest was beheaded.

By the time Hitler’s men had left the Greek village of Distomo near the ancient town of Delphi on that bloody day in June 1944, 218 people were dead. The Waffen-SS was pleased with its work: the local partisans who had dared to attack a German unit had been taught a bitter lesson in revenge.
The slaughter at Distomo was such an outrage that, in 2003, even a German Federal Court judge described it as ‘one of the most despicable crimes of World War II’.

But he refused to grant the families of the victims any compensation for their suffering, and not a single German soldier was ever punished for what he and his comrades had done.
The Distomo massacre is just one example of the terrible suffering endured by the people of Greece during World War II and, some would say, of the German government’s reluctance to pay for the crimes committed against the Greeks in their nation’s name.Countless other villages could tell of similar atrocities. Some 60,000 Greek Jews — more than three-quarters of the nation’s Jewish population — were rounded up and sent to their deaths in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka.
Yet, neither the massacres of villagers nor the ethnic cleansing of the Jews was the deadliest of torments inflicted on Greece. For the worst Nazi war crimes of all were essentially economic.

Hitler’s troops helped themselves to everything, stealing goods and food to such a degree that hundreds of thousands of Greeks were left destitute and starving. At least 300,000 Greeks died as a result.

Hitler’s men even raided the Greeks’ central bank, forcing them to give Germany a massive ‘war loan’ — one that has never been paid back, more of which later. Economists estimate that if it were repaid today, it could cost the German government £60billion. The memory of that travesty has been reignited this week by Greeks angry at the austerity measures being imposed on them — primarily by Germany as it seeks to stop the euro crisis spinning out of control....MORE