By Lasse-Marc Riek and Constantin Gröhn
Speakers: Rolf Becker, Laura Cisneros, Julia Kümmel, Nikos Ritsikalis, Sabine Waffender, Sylvia Wempner
Teenager: Emil Görtz, Lucia Grope, Jorina Happke, Anna von Hippel, Simon Jungnickel, Pascal Laakmann, Ntiimi Mwakalambo, Jana Winneg
Host: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Hamburg
Length: 33'45

The radio play "Kalavryta" focuses on a massacre disguised as a "campaign of revenge" by the German Wehrmacht in the area of Kalavryta, a small Greek town in the north of the Peloponnese, in 1943. Many hundreds of civilians aged 14 and over were murdered there. In October 1943, around 80 German soldiers were captured near Kalavryta and later shot. The 117th Jäger Division then began "harshest atonement measures" and retaliatory actions against the civilian population. As a result, Kalavryta, a further 22 villages and three monasteries were destroyed, including the Hellenic national shrine of Agia Lavra, where, according to tradition, the war of liberation against the Ottoman Empire had been proclaimed in 1821. According to counts by the Wehrmacht, 676 civilians were executed. The looting and destruction left disease and famine in its wake. The traces of this are still alive today, which was also the reason for a trip by young people from Hamburg in 2017, whose experiences and some clichés are also heard in the radio play. With soundscapes and various eyewitness accounts, the radio play recalls the events during the Second World War. The narrative framework is provided by Franzeska Nika, who experienced and survived the massacre and poetically put her experiences into words.

The Greek town of Kalavryta is representative of the Nazi crimes that were carried out as "reprisals" during resistance, particularly in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and were a widespread instrument of Nazi occupation policy.

Supported by the Förderverein St. Johannis-Harvestehude, the Kirchliche Gedenkstättenarbeit Neuengamme|Ev.-Luth. Kirchenkreis Hamburg-Ost and the St. Nikolai Memorial in Hamburg.

Acknowledgements and recognition
The project group would like to thank the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Förderverein St. Johannis-Harvestehude for funding their stay in Greece from 17-21 October 2017.

For open conversations and discussions during her stay: Jesuit priest Prof. Michalis Roussos, historian Prof. Dr. Hagen Fleischer, Monika Frank from the German Embassy in Athens, the chairman of the Kalavrytans in Athens Sotiris Tsenes, the mayor of Kalavryta Giorgos Lazouras, the contemporary witnesses of the events in Kalavryta and Roji Nikos Koliopoulos, Christos Antonopoulous and Michalis Grintzas, the Abbot of the Ajia Lavra Monastery Mr Evsebios, the Deputy Abbot of the Mega Spileon Monastery Mr Kalinikos, the Chairman of the Kalavryta Cultural Association Alexis Lechouritis, the Chairman of the Kalavryta Holocaust Museum Christos Fotinopoulos.

We greet all additional speakers of the live performances: Felicia Bandilla, Elisabeth Fussell, Ava Gebhardt, Suleiman Hussein, Felix Marx, Albert Koch, Sarah Laakmann, Magdalena Rahtgens, Oscar Rehders, Lasse Stiefel, Marlene Schellong and Simon Luthe.

Our special respect goes to Ehrengard Schramm, née von Thadden, who travelled to Greece and Kalavryta as a historian as early as 1952, although the German legation in Athens refused to provide any information about the events. Later, with the organisational support of the German Women's Association, she set up an aid organisation. She was able to bring 70 young Kalavrytans to Germany for training.

Alice Jenckel is remembered by the participants of the 2017 youth exchange in Kalavryta for her cheerful and energetic nature. She died in an accident shortly after returning from Greece.

Project Site via Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Hamburg (German)