‘The Courage of Zakynthos’ by John C. Ackerman

by Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE on September 11, 2018

in Featured, Featured News, News

John C. Ackerman

John C. Ackerman

John C. Ackerman – 11/9/18

Sept. 10, marked the 75th Anniversary of one of history’s greatest examples of community resistance in the face of evil: the courage of Zakynthos.

If this is the first you are hearing of the anniversary, do not feel unaware. If this is the first you have ever heard of the island of Zakynthos, do not think yourself uneducated.

Outside of Greece, too few today can recall the courageous actions taken by this simple fishing island community during World War II. This community did not witness an historic battle. Rather, this Greek Orthodox community gathered together in civil disobedience to save 275 Greek Jews who would have been sent to Auschwitz.

It is a story we need to know if we are to combat hatred, religious strife and intolerance in our own time.

As the Nazi regime took control of all of Greece in the Spring of 1943, leaders of Greece took action to protect their Greek Jewish neighbors. A major leader of this effort, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens, called the nation to action by creating thousands of false baptismal documents. He also called on his priests and parishioners to actively hide and harbor Greek Jews and organized the evacuation of the mainland Greek Jewish population to the many small islands of Greece, which were thought to be safer from the Nazis.

Damaskinos declared, “I spoke to the Lord, and made up my mind to save as many Jewish souls as possible.”

Acting on this request, Greek fishermen would by day fish to feed the population, and by night work to save the lives of the Jews of Greece by providing them passage to the islands.

But by late summer, the Nazi occupation forces began hunting these hidden Jews, going from island to island. On Sept. 9, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Zakynthos and the mayor of the largest village on Zakynthos, Loukas Karrer, were summoned to the Nazi SS commander’s office on the island.

He told them a major force of Nazi SS troops would be landing on the island the next day and demanded a list of every Jew on the island, to be produced within 24 hours.

Now by this point in the war, everyone had heard the stories of what happened to Greeks who disobeyed or challenged the occupying Nazis. Many had simply been shot in the streets. Entire villages had been massacred in retaliation for a Nazi soldier’s death.
With full knowledge of the risk they faced, the bishop and mayor returned on Sept. 10 with the demanded list.

When the Nazi SS commander opened the list, he found two names: Bishop Chrystostomos and Mayor Karrer.

The bishop said, “Here are your Jews. If you choose to deport the Jews of Zakynthos, you must also take me, and I will share their fate.”

Everyone on the small island of Zakynthos knew what was taking place. During the 24 hours the bishop and mayor had been given to produce a list, they had instead taken the necessary actions as a community to save the 275 Jewish lives by hiding them even more securely then before. They had all worked together to destroy any records or identification of the Jews amongst them.

The citizens of a small Greek island challenged the greatest evil of their time, saving 275 Jews from death at a hideous camp created by that demented regime. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, recognizes them as Righteous Among the Nations.

We will all draw different lessons from this legendary display of courage, but the question resounds: What are you doing to make a difference yourself within your community?

Ackerman is a small business owner, local politician and Greek Orthodox parishioner in Illinois.

Source:
John C. Ackerman

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

TomD September 15, 2018 at 7:58 am

Hi Mr. Ackerman: A question. You list the date this event happened to be in September 1943. The book Miracle at Zakynthos, which was reviewed on this web site, says it happened in December 1943, but it does not list the particular date; also, that book states that Metropolitan Dimitrios Chrysostomos was released from jail by the Germans on November 23, 1943. May I ask what source(s) did you use here? Thanks!

www.cokeacola.com September 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Niϲely, what does God ⅼike?? Lee added. ?I imply, we like coоkies and ϲartoons and toys,
however what kind of things are fun for Gߋd??
Ιt was ɑ qᥙery that for a minute Mommy and Daddy had to
assume aboսt.

flysx.cn September 29, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Ich besuchte mehrerde mehr Blogs aber jedoch die Audio Eigenschaft für Audio-Sonmgs vorhanddenen aauf
diese website ist wirklich ausgezeichneten.

(145) October 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Nor would it be as fun to play Age of Empires III against the computer
whether it was without a chance to beat you once
inside a while. There isn’t must fret if you find yourself in a
similar predicament. You can put in a keylogging program remotely
or directly onto a computer.

https://daiphuocanjsc.com/danh-muc/thiet-bi-chieu-sang/den-pha-led/ October 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Hi! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.
I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
If you have any recommendations, please share.
Cheers!

https://daiphuocanjsc.com/danh-muc/thiet-bi-chieu-sang/den-led-am-tran/den-led-am-tran-mat-kinh/ October 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm

You made some nice points there. I looked on the internet for the subject matter and found most people will consent with your site.

https://daiphuocanjsc.com/danh-muc/thiet-bi-chieu-sang/den-led-am-tran-asia/ October 4, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will certainly digg
it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited
from this web site.

https://edumesa.vn/hoc-thanh-nhac-co-ban/ October 5, 2018 at 1:28 am

I’d like to find out more? I’d want to find out some additional information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMh1b0ta_KE October 6, 2018 at 12:09 am

Every weekend i used to go to see this website, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, as this this web site conations in fact pleasant funny data too.

https://edumesa.vn/hoc-thanh-nhac-hieu-qua-ngay-tai-nha/ October 6, 2018 at 6:02 am

I feel this is one of the most important information for me.

And i’m satisfied studying your article. However want to statement on few normal issues, The website style is great,
the articles is in point of fact great :D. Good job, cheers.

www.gnyyw.com October 6, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Was ist Nachrichten ich bin nneu inn diesem, stieß iich auf diese Ich
habe entdeckte Es absolut geholfen und es hat dazu beigetragen, gestützte mich
Lasten. Ich hoffe bis geben einen Beitrag & Unterstützung andere Benuttzer wie
ihre gestützte me. Good Arbeit.

https://www.galvaltellinaleader.it October 9, 2018 at 10:27 am

Very interesting points you have mentioned, thanks for posting.

kanwar manoria digital October 17, 2018 at 10:31 pm

Wow! At last I got a website from where I know
how to really take helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Buy the new book from the house of OCP:

    The Orthodox Dilemma

    Paperback – April 16, 2016
    by George Alexander

    The Orthodox Dilemma consists of personal reflections on global Pan-Orthodox Christian Unity. The work focuses on the need for establishing sacramental communion between the Eastern, Oriental and other families of Orthodox Churches. The author calls to create a common conciliar platform for Orthodox Churches and to establish dialogues between Eastern, Oriental, Old Believes, Old Calendar, Non-canonical, Unrecognized and New Generation Orthodox Churches.The major aim of the work is to provide different and unique aspects of Pan-Orthodox Christian Unity.The book also sheds light on problems, challenges and scope of inter-orthodox dialogue. This may be the first book of its kind to call for the creation of a global platform for all Orthodox Christians.The book tries to provide unique aspects of Orthodox Christianity.The work is a combination of personal thoughts of the author, history, contemporary Orthodoxy, dialogue and Pan-Orthodox Christian approach.


    Buy now:
    Paperback