Athens - Korai 4

A few days after the Germans occupied Athens on April 27, 1941, the Germans took over the building of the Greek interior ministry on Korai 4 in central Athens. Several German military authorities were placed in the building as well as the German command. On the basement level, about six meters below the ground, there were shelters and these took the German commandanture and turned into a prison. To Korai 4 was brought Greeks suspected of belonging to the Greek resistance movement or suspected of anti-German activities to be interrogated, often under torture and ill-treatment. From Korai, prisoners were sent to other prisons, concentration camps, labour camps or directly to execution. The prison was abandoned by the Germans in mid-October 1944 when they retired from Athens.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2019).

Address: Korai 4, 105 64 Aten.

Get there: Metro to Panepistimio station.

My comment:

Korai 4 is an interesting museum in central Athens that for obvious reasons ends up in the background of other museums and places in Athens. Athens is, as you know, better known for a historical era that is much further back in time than the second world war. What makes this museum interesting and different from other similar museums is that the walls are full of carvings made by the prisoners while they were imprisoned. It is not only text but also motifs that have been discovered in the years after the war. It has been found that some of the carvings were painted over already during the war but that these were found after the war when the prison was examined more closely. The disadvantage is that it is not allowed to photograph because the museum wants exclusive rights on the carvings.

Follow up in books: Höhne, Heinz: The Order of the Death’s Head: The story of Hitler’s SS (1969).