Παρασκευή, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2010

A WHILE HAD PAST

After a long while the locals had become used to the tyrany , as the months and years past things were getting harder for everyone .No food was avalable and the entire family had arrived from Athens so? my Grandfather had to produce more food but nothing was growing .Luckily for him right before the war he had produced enough grain for several years cause he had heard the dictator Metaxas on the radio telling people that difficult days are to come . Every day his Mother was making a small package with food and my Grandfather or another member of the family would take it across the mountain to the Newzealenders that were hiding in the caves, along with the family members that had arrived from Athens were two guys that you could refer to them as mangies a mangas is something like a small time gangster who really enjoys his life by spending every evening what he earned in the day .These two were musicians one played violin and the other baglama a small kind of bouzouki ,all day long they were making my Grandafather mad they would not stop banging their instruments .For them it was joy time and not time of war,for my Grandfather on the other hand ,was a huge responseability to take care of so many people. For that reason he was out in the field every day working puting his life on the line ,today I will tell you two of those situations where he was captured, by the Germans, the first time he was outside Azogires cutting wood and cleaning a field by the area we call Avoratos .As a possy was coming by he did not take notice they saw him with the axe for some reason he was asked to put the axe down and walk towards them and he did.He slowed down to pick up the sharpening stone but they thought he was reaching for a weapon so they shot towards him he put his hands up and continued to walk .They roped his hands and took him down the road towards Paleochora then turned and stoped as other German officers were coming by .The highest officer asked my Grandfather how old he was he lied and told them he was 16 they believed him since he was skin and bones .Then the officer asked him what he was doing out on the curfew hour he said he has a family to feed for some reason the officer felt sympathy and released him .The following situation took place some months later, as he was above the village in an area called Pakeliana .He went there to cut figs ,in order to change the diet back home. He placed his rifle under the fig tree ,put his basket in his arm and climbed up as he was cutting them off the branches .He hears the German possy coming down the path from the village Ahladiakes . Jumps down from the tree and then makes a terrible mistake instead of running down hill he starts running uphill and they saw him as he was coming on the breech to the top. In that moment he hears a voice of good friend of his that they had captured from the village Temenia ,and he shouts to him Eftihi stop they are aiming to kill you.He froze imediately and turned around two soldiers walked towards him ,searched him and led him down the mountain.One of them spoke Greek and said to him who are you and why are you running ,he replied I wasnt my Goats ran away and I was trying reach the top . In order to see where they are. then the man said to him when we reach headquarters ill make you talk .He started a small conversation with his friend from Temenia and proposed to him that they escape but he refused ,as they went over the mountain they turned for Kandanos to ,and once more a miracle ocured,?The officer in charge was the same officer that reaesed him the time before ,he said to him,esi pali edo,you again here.And my Grandfather replied ii was chasing after my Goats and they stopped me .The officer asked the others if this was true and they said they dint see any Goats but they took him in cause he was running uphill.When asked my Grandfather replied cleverly if I was running I would run down hill not up .The officer thought for a minute then said to him I will release you for the last time,and i dont know why there is something about you that makes me feel guilty to arrest you.And my Grandfather said thank you but please let my friend go too. He did nothing wrong they only found him walking on the road he had no identity and they took him.The officer went mad ,with the German soldiers and then said to my Grandfather they are useless,they cannot make a proper arrest .He released both of them gave them cigarretes and a note each and told them if you are ever arrested again just show this note ,they thanked him and went away.as they were back to were all this started my grandfather said to his friend come lets cut some figs you can take some home with you.While approaching the tree he picked up his rifle and checked it ?and his friend went mad you had a gun they could have killed us ,and my Grandfather said i go nowhere without it you are crazy Eftihis but clever at the same time you saved my life thank you once more.To be continued ,no one has the right to copy write or duplicate this story without the written permission of the author

Σάββατο, 2 Μαΐου 2009

THE DAY AFTER


Early next morning he was siting ,on a near by mountain top with another man waiting for a looter to come by ,so they can give him a lesson about taking other peoples property .But the looter took another pathway from the otherside of the mountain ,that is when they realised that they would not get their chance of revenge,then my Grandfather said I must go home and protect my family ,beaucause there isn't going to be another resistence and they are going to make it to Paleochora very quick .The other man suggested that my Grandfather take his family on to the mountains for a while just to be sure .As he was climbing over the Mountain he could see the people in Paleochora going mad running up the hilsides with their belognings thinking that the town would have been wiped out and on the other side the Germans were afraid to enter the town yet ,just in case it was a trap again .My Grandfather sat there watching the outcome the Germans did not use the main road into the town instead they came from the Mountain as if they were attacking .Then night fall came and he walked up the road to his surprise?? All the mountain sides were full of lights like it was a party everyone had taken their Families out of the village and into the mountains trusting the safety of the Caves .He came home and told his Mother to gather everyone and so they did he lead them into the mountains above the village,by this time his older brother Leonidas had returned from Kandanos also making the family complete once more .Their life was now diferent they could not go out and work in the fields, they could not go to the local cafe, to their Animals or home to tend to the gardens, in the evenings my Grandfather went out and came back with food and walked in the dark to go and do his chores. Then one morning came a mesenger ,saying that everyone could return to their homes ,it was safe. The Germans said they would not harm anyone .For a while he went home on his own the slowly slowly brought his mother ,brothers ,and sisters back .About this time came a notice from the comunity of Paleochora every family had to turn in their weapons ,if not they would be executed so he took his fathers old musket and stumbled down to Paleochora and gave it in .They then asked him if he had anymore weapons and he replied no we are a peaceful Family and the German Officer Hans Vahter replied I am sure you are ,as matter of fact you are all so?? peaceful that we have lost our best man trying to reach your shity town. My Grandfather did not know what to reply so he said we were told that invaders were coming to make slaves out of us, like the Turks once did and as humans we reacted to this threat. Then the German said to him, react anymore? and ill burn your houses with you inside them .My Grandfather angerly said can I go now?? the Officer looked at him and he said you can go for now but know this Idont' like you ,I can see the flames in your eyes, you smell of danger, so I'll tell you once more tell all your friends up there to be quiet or else???? .My Grandfather left with his heart pumping so hard and full of anger he wanted to take this man down ??? 'cause in Crete you never threaten a mans family, that meant your instant death ,but he could do nothing about it.A short while passed by with peace and then again a notice was posted in the village telling each family to send someone to work in slave labour for the Germans to prepare ditches and resistence positions if that was not enough they asked for a certain percentage of animals from each family ,my Grandfather said ill go take a goat down and ill do the slave labour the rest of you stay home and the brothers replied it could be a trap they allready executed some people in town what if they do the same to you.My gradfahter not wanting to cause stress to his family replied dont worry there is no reason to kill a peasent like myself but deep inside knowing it could happen he left anything of value home so they would not have it while arriving in town with the Goat he said I brought an animal as reqouested and they said to him only one animal how many do you have only 4 he replied and they believed him then ha said I've also come to do the labour on behalf of my family you can start by helping the Butcher slauchter some animals .So the first day he worked with butchers their butcher had one eye and he was huge I dont remember if he was Greek or German but my Grandfather said he never saw a scarrier looking man in his life. He would skin the animal in less then four minutes he told me they were even collecting the blood perhaps for somekind of food, he slept in town and for the next 3 to 4 days they had him digging trenches and building walls then he saw the president of Paleochora and he said to him why are they making us do all this work and he said to my Grandfather because when allied powers will come they need somekind of defense then my Grandfather said you mean we are helping them to keep us under their thumb.Yes Eftihi we are helping the Germans but we have no choice they will kill us other wise as they were talking 2 airplanes came over the town and started bombing the Germans one of them got away but the second one was shot down by the sandy beach .Then my Grandfather said I will not be a part of this masacre they are making us dig holes for land mines along the beach and set up their weapons on forteza to kill our allies I am going home, then the president of Palechora said to him if you leave they will kill your family and he replied I dont care if they do? I'd rather know we died heroic for our Country rather than having people say thats the man who dug those holes for the land mines that killed our allies and he walked away. Luckily for him the Germans had more important things to do then chasing after a deserting Cretan from slave labour .Time passed My Grandfather joined the resistence Group EOK the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF CRETE and started to take part in diferent operations for our freedom ,but in the same time he had to come down from the Mountains and do farm work and look after his younger brothers , and of course all the relatives that came down to the village from Athens due to starvation .They created a code between them in the Villages so they knew when someone was coming to the area one of the most common was the Goats are coming, meaning the Germans are coming an early morning my granfather came home and put his rifle inside his Mothers big treassure chest ,as he was trying to make himself breakfast someone snuk up to him from outside ?? it was a German soldier he then thought to himself ,shit they got me. For a second his head started spining but than he realized the soldier had a smile on his face and no rifle on his shoulder my Grandfather said to him hallo and he replied ehis Raki do you have Raki yes said, my Grandfather come in and he brought the bottle over and let the man drink all he wanted. There was only one problem the soldier was sitting on top of the treassure chest not knowing what to do my grandfather was thinking if he opens the chest and he sees the rifle Ill stab him with the kitchen knife but this never took place .The man got drunk and peacefully went away. To be continued no has the right to reproduce any of this story or photos without the written permision of the author The photo above is My Grandfather in Florina on the 10-of July 1949 ,he is on the right side next to the Radio

Τρίτη, 11 Μαρτίου 2008

WAR PHOTOS


In May 1941, my gradndfather, Eftikis Koukoutsakis went to help repel the German invaders. However, on reaching Kandanos he realized that he had no weapon and so he took one of a policeman who said that he did not want to fight because Athens the capital of Greece had already fallen. So grandfather went off to fight with a Lee Enfield and ten rounds in the magazine. After the battle started, the bullets in his magazine finished very quickly and he was asking others to lend him some. But no one was giving him any and all he could do was stand around waiting for someone to get shot, so he can get he could get his gun. In the meantime the main machine gun broke down obliging the Greeks to withdraw into the mountains.
So he went also, feeling very useless and for him it was rather sad in the next days watching from above the village being burned, but also watching the looters who were stealing things from peoples' homes.
To be continued.
The top photo above is my grandfather Eftihis Koukoutsakis on the right and a fellow soldier by the name of Aristotelis on the left. The photo is taken in Komotini 1948.
The second photo is in the training center in Iraklion Crete in 1948.
The third one is also in Iraklion the same year.
The fourth is also in Iralklion and on this one you can see some of my grandfathers best friends, 22-09- 1948.
The fifth is at a hill of Florina Greece in 1948 my grandfather is the third from right.
Stay tuned for more.

Πέμπτη, 6 Μαρτίου 2008

THE FIRST CHAPTER


The top photo below is from 1948 . My grandfather on the right and a fellow soldier on the left.
The picture below is my grandfather, his wife Sofia and 3 of his four children the photo must be early 1960s.
My grandfather was born in 1920 to Antonis and Alexarndra Koukoutsakis in the beautifull village of Azogires. He had 8 more brothers and sisters. He was baptized in the church of St. Eftihis, his Godfather was one of the most powerful lawyers in Chania but a very old man and as a result, my grandfather never had a chance to meet him.
He grew up in Azogires working as hard as possible in order to support his family, and by the mid 1930s he had full responsibility for the whole family. In the early 1940s the Second World War caught up with him.
Fortunately he had planted enough crops to feed his family for several years, storing them in the cellars of his house, when, in May 1941, the Germans parachuted into Crete: invading the island and also ruining his first plans of marriage. In response to the invasion he went along with others to his first battle - at Kandanos.
And the story continues

MILITARY PHOTOGRAPH

In the photograph below, my grandfather, Eftikis Koukoutsakis, is third from the right.

The photo was taken in a training camp in Heraklion, Crete, in 1948 during the Greek Civil War, a conflict which began in Greece as the Second World War ended.

And here our story slowly starts. In the following photos on this blog, I will tell you the full story of his life. I will tell you the suffering he went through and I will also tell you the good memories of him.

Stay with us, have some patience, and the story will slowly unfold itself before your eyes.

Κυριακή, 2 Μαρτίου 2008

PHOTOS AND STORIES OF A TRUE HERO


Over the following weeks though this blog, I hope you will learn a little about my grandfather Eftikis Koukoutsakis.
He was indeed a true life hero; a man who went through a lot of suffering in his life but still remained a true gentlemen.
A man with a heart of gold. My hero