A small town of Distomo is just 150 kilometers from Athens, positioned in the heart of Greece, literally squeezed between two great world heritage sites: Delphi, the cradle of the European democracy, and a stunning Byzantine monastery of Hossios Luckas.
But Distomo is much more than some picturesque village surrounded by mountains and history. Here, On June 10, 1944, according to Greek government records, but also according to Western mass media sources like the BBC, “for over two hours, Waffen-SS troops of the 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Lautenbach went door to door and massacred Greek civilians as part of a ‘retaliation measure’ for a partisan attack upon the unit. A total of 214 men, women and children were killed in Distomo. According to survivors, SS forces “bayoneted babies in their cribs, stabbed pregnant women, and beheaded the village priest.”
Distomo was not the only place where German troops performed despicable crimes against humanity. During the WWII, Greece lost around 8% of its population.
But Distomo became one of the symbols of Fascist madness on European soil, not unlike Guernica or Lidice.