short drive from Argostoli along the road to Sami a left turn
leads through the village of Prokopata, a short distance further,
on a hill stands Faraklata. The scene before
me of olive trees with goats wandering around in the fields
made it feel like time had stood still. It was hard to believe
the atrocity which occurred here during WWII, could have happened
in such a peaceful place. However, it was here that the son
of the then priest of Faraklata was hanged from an olive tree
by the Germans. His father had helped one of the wounded
Italian soldiers from the 'Acqui'
Division, who had refused to surrender their arms,
and had fought with the islanders against the Germans. A cross
was put on the tree to mark this terrible tragedy.
As I walked around the village trying to find this particular tree, I asked one
of the villagers who after seeing my sign language realised what I was looking
for pointed out that I happened to be standing right opposite the tree.
Whilst taking photographs a local man and his wife came out to speak to me. With
hand gestures and a little Italian he explained how he had fought in Albania. He
proudly showed me scars of the bullet wounds he had received and gestured that he was the one who had made the cross. Luckily for me their granddaughter came out to translate
as his wife began to recount how she witnessed the events that occurred here
all those years ago. She then recounted in great detail how the son of the then
priest of Faraklata, Dionisis Konstantakis was led out and hung from this tree.
I felt a poignant moment as I drove out of this very peaceful village with my
family to continued my journey around the Island.
I have decided
that it would be inappropriate for me to publish photographs of these Islanders
. . .
My heartfelt thanks for making me so welcome . . .
and for sharing your painful memories with me.