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July 18, 2008

Chania's German War Memorial - then and now

I've been looking for some time for an original photograph of the German War Memorial that stands near our house. We spotted some in the Naval Museum in the Old Chania Harbour, but I've just found a very clear photograph in a book.


The book in question is 'Documents From The Battle And The Resistance Of Crete' by George I. Panagiotakis. Apart from the Germaniko Pouli picture, there is lots of documentary evidence of the terrible time that the people of Crete endured during World War II. There are some brutal pictures of Nazi massacres and executions, as well as pictures of the military hardware, innocent Cretan by-standers, and German, Greek and Allied soldiers who fought on the island.

This isn't a romanticised story of what went on during the island, or one person's recollection, but a valuable archive of historical source material. It was published in Heraklion last year, and I'm pleased to see it on the book shelves in Crete.

I've tried to take a picture of the monument as it stands today from a similar angle so that you can see the difference after over half-a-century.


Incidentally, our site has had a couple of comments left by Piper Bill Jenkins, who, at the age of 74, will be visiting the island later this year to pay his respects to both fallen soldiers and the brave civilians of the island.

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how interesting to see the old photo with the bird in its full form. here is some info i have gathered of the bird site:
some friends of mine have built directly behind the site (their house is the one in your photo). they claim that the land the bird memorial is standing on is part of their plot, but it isnt permitted to build on it.
only two or three years ago, most of the bird was standing on the memorial. during a storm, the remains of the bird were shattered. no attempt had ever been made to reconstruct the bird, which is completely understandable, as the plaque on the memorial clearly implies the might and power wielded against the local people by the nazis.
it is interesting to see it as part of the history of hania. that it is in decline and was not maintained is also appropriate, as this shows the general decline of a power which reached its peak at one time on history after which it took a down turn. (sort of like the situation with the dollar...)
alhough i pass this site every day (i live close by), i havent bothered to walk up the steps in a long time. i shall do this very soon, and will write up a post about it, linking to your site.
thanks once again for the impressive old photo.

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