Chaidari


In the northwest of Athens there is an area called Chaidari, where was the largest German concentration camp established in Greece. Chaidari had belonged to Italy between may 1941 and september 1943 but when Italy surrendered in september 1943 it was taken over by the germans. Until September 1943, Greece had been divided into two occupation zones, the northern part occupied by Germany and the southern part of Italy. By the summer of 1943, Italians had moved their prisoners to other camps, and when the Germans took over the camp, it was abandoned and not even completed. During the first period, the Germans mainly imprisoned political opponents, but at the end of 1943 even Jews began to be imprisoned. The political opponents were deported as they went north to other camps in. Germany and Poland.

In the spring of 1944, Chaidari became the central transit camp for Jews to be deported to Poland and Auschwitz. The Jews had been arrested at raids in southern Greece and from the Greek islands, among others. Rhodes, Kos and Corfu. In Chaidari, as a rule, they had to wait for weeks before being deported and then in miserable conditions. The camp existed until October 1944 when the Germans began to withdraw from southern Greece. Between 1943 and 1944, about 21,000 people were put in the camp and out of these, about 2,100 died in the camp itself. About 1800 were executed while about 300 died from other causes such as illness, ill-treatment or torture. The others were evacuated at various times north.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with museum (2017).

Location: 38° 01'09" N 23° 39'56" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The museum (Block 15) is located within military area and can only be visited if you have applied for and been granted a written permission. An officer then accompanies the visitor to the museum for a short tour. Trying to enter the area is thus not possible without a permit, especially if you are a foreign citizen. How much of the former camp, except Block 15, still remains, I don’t know.

Follow up in books: Gilbert, Martin: The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (1987).