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The Germans execute a patriot on the beach of Rethymno because he defended his village.

The Germans execute a patriot on the beach of Rethymno because he defended his village. After the battle of Crete, paratroopers recognized him and led him to the detachment.

If a photo is a thousand words, then 3 photos that evoke shocking moments 78 years later, say a lot. The reason for the photos that capture the execution of a Rethymno resident on the beach of Missiria. Of similar interest, however, is the search - research carried out by Dimitris Skartsilakis to establish the identity of this patriot, through testimonies of people who may have heard, seen or known him. Documentary photography is arguably the strongest "paper" in historical research....

The arrest of Dimitris Drosakis, an employee of the Agricultural Bank. He is being executed for defending his village from the Nazi invasion.

The search for facial recognition began with the observation of what is seen in the photo, namely the orchards and Missiria. After all, the majority of the victims came from that area. The information given to us by the photographs is that: 1. This is an individual execution 2. This is a young man, probably not a farmer 3. The incident takes place in June due to the clothing and equipment of the Germans, as well as the retaliation order issued immediately after the battle. The search led to Stavromenos, where the information matched the description of this man. The comparison with a pre-war family photo helped a lot in the identification of the victim. It is about Dimitris Drosakis from the village of Hamalevri.

The confrontation with the paratroopers The testimonies of Mr. Dimitris Antonogiorgakis, Mrs. Stella Gouliermaki as well as the cross-referencing of information were decisive for this research. Drosakis came from the village of Hamalevri and was an employee of the Agricultural Bank. The drop of the paratroopers found him in Hamalevri. There he fought as a citizen with Lieutenant N. Katsirakis in the battle of Stavromenos in Rethymno. After a fierce battle, many Germans fell into the hands of Greeks and as prisoners pass through the village.

It is said that during the surrender of the Nazi paratroopers, D. Drosakis, having seen his house in Stavromenos destroyed by the battle, furiously snatched a stick and started beating the captured Germans. This event would cost him his life later.

The last words of the prisoner before his execution on a beach near Rethymno.

The Germans recognize him In June 1941 everything is over. Allied forces have left Crete, the Germans are reorganizing, and after retaliation and disaster, civilians are slowly returning to their homes. The German administration now orders the return of all civil servants to their posts. Drosakis decides to return to work and so goes down to the city of Rethymnon. While sitting in the cafe of "Zolotas" (Arkadiou Street) a group of Germans passed in front of him. One of them was staring at him. The coffee man, realizing the danger, warns Drosakis to leave. But he did not catch up, soon the team had surrounded him. It is not known if any of them recognized him or if his actions betrayed him.

German Nazi soldiers line up to execute Dimitris Drosakis.

The Basel Moutafi 12 years old then, was a few days ago had lost her father (performed at the same point) watched with fear the procession passes in front of her house. "Who is this;" was heard by word of mouth. "Drosakis is…. Aren't they full of blood yet? " The frightened residents were locked inside the houses. Shots were soon heard. The bad news spread quickly. The evil manta reaches his family. The dead must be buried, but fear does not allow such a thing. However, in September 1941, friends of the deceased went to the execution site, retrieved the rough body, and transported it to the village.

Rumors were heard later that D. Drosakis had opened his own grave and that he had even hit a German with a shovel. But this does not seem to be true because it is not documented by the photos, his clothes show clearly and in addition if something like this happened he would be killed on the spot. Interesting are the rumors that the Germans wanted to photograph the Cretans while they were fighting. So they said about this man. Of course, this is not true, but it shows the extent to which this mythology about German soldiers and their cameras was developed, which in the end was based on. Let us not forget that this man's last moments were immortalized by them. ...

One of the many Greeks who gave their blood against the Nazi beast and in favor of freedom.

Dimitris Drosakis was one of the many Greeks who paid with their lives for the resistance to the conqueror. After so many years this search is probably the best memorial for a witness as well as for the other 109 executed in Missiria.

The text and photos are by the historical researcher Dimitris Skartsilakis and were first published in the local media of Crete. This research could not be completed without the help of: Dimitriou Antonogiorgakis, Stellas Gouliermakis, Vassilias Moutafis, Vangelis Hatzikonstantinou (nephew D. Drosakis), Georgios Polioudakis, Maria Archontakis and Andreas Fessass. Republished by


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