This is a bit of a different post but ANZAC day got me thinking. My parents emigrated to Australia in the 1950’s so there aren’t any ANZACs in our family background, nevertheless there is an experience of war.
My mother was 5 and dad was 9 when WWII ended. They both lived in the same little village on the island of Zakynthos, Greece.
Zakynthos was initially occupied by the Italians, whom my parents describe as not being too bad. Apparently they conformed to the cliche and were more interested in wine, singing and whistling at pretty girls than fighting. But this relatively benign state of occupation rapidly changed when the Germans arrived. My parents have memories of villages youths being killed in reprisals and of hiding in the olive groves when the village was shelled by the retreating Germans. My father’s house was destroyed by a mortar but thankfully no one was injured.
|Moonrise over Zakynthos town|
But in the horror of the German occupation of Zakynthos there is one wonderful story:
The first boat to arrivewith aid to the victims of the 1953 earthquake was from Israel, with a message that read, “The Jews of Zakynthos have never forgotten their Mayor or their beloved Bishop and what they did for us.” http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/greece/nonflash/eng/zakyntho.htm
Lest we forget.