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July 16, 2006

Germaniko Pouli War Memorial in Hania's Maritime Museum

One of the highlights for me of our visit to the Maritime Museum in Hania was that it had on display an old photograph of the German war memorial that still partially remains just metres from our house.


I'm sorry that these pictures are not the best, the original photograph was behind glass in a room full of reflections and sunlight.


The caption under the picture in the museum states that it is:

The German "diving eagle" monument just outside Hania on the road to Kalamaki as it was in 1945

It is fascinating to see it standing alone on top of the hill. Now it is over-shadowed by trees, and completely surrounded by housing developments, including the one where we live in.

One thing puzzles me about the picture though.

All the information I have seen, including the modern sign that stands at the foot of the monument today, suggests it was erected by German troops in 1941. However, the '1945' picture in the museum is clearly missing the iron cross and metal text that still exists to this day on the side of the memorial.



In fact, on closer inspection of my picture of the picture in the museum, it doesn't look as if the plaque on the monument had been engraved yet either.


Which either means that the memorial wasn't completely finished until some point in 1945 (and therefore possibly just before or after the liberation of Crete), or it means that the museum's attributed date of the photograph is wrong, and that it was taken earlier in the 1940s.

I'm intrigued, but not quite sure how to go about finding out which is actually the case.

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I'm very interrested by the History of German paratroopers during WW2... When i saw this memorial i wanted to find it on Google Earth to have another point of view of this memorial site... but i didn't find it on the road between Hania and Maleme ... Can you give me more information about that location ? (Longitude Latitude ? ...)

Thanks again


What happened to the eagle?
I understand it was blown over during a storm a few years ago



we lived in the house directly behind the statue for two years 84//85 i am sorry to see the damage to the memorial we like the statue but did not like what it stood for

I have always wanted to visit Crete and see this memorial. Too bad it is now in such a poor state, and the eagle gone (but I can imagine the people of Crete were not overcome with love for the Nazis). I was interested merely as a member of the worldwide Airborne brotherhood. Nice to finally find some photos (both old & new) of this forgotten monument.

Interesting reading but fitting in with my experiences over the past two decades-"Who Gives A Shit" I have to admire the Cretans for allowing the German graves to go without the vandalism that many suffer worldwide. Sure there were Germans who carried out orders that were against their own consience - no excuse ??????
Some that refused are buried in Meleme but no mention is made of their humanity. Now before any go off thinking I am pro German - forget it. My home was bombed, my father killed and my family scattered all over England to seek shelter. However who were the real casualties of The battle Of Crete? The innocent civilians. Each year veterans come from all over the Commonwealth to honour their dead. Quite rightly so.
This year as a 74 year old piper I will be travelling Crete to play a tribute to the CIVILIANS who stood up and shouted "NO SURRENDER" After traversing the island of Crete I will probably visit the allied war graves at Suda Bay but can I muster up the courage to play at the German war cemetery at Meleme? It will not be easy but after all the last words of Christ were "Forgive them ....."
We will see.
Piper Bill

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