As Germans Push Austerity, Greeks Press Nazi-Era Claimstags: World War II, Nazi Germany, Greece
AMIRAS, Greece — As they moved through the isolated villages in this region in 1943, systematically killing men in a reprisal for an attack on a small outpost, German soldiers dragged Giannis Syngelakis’s father from his home here and shot him in the head. Within two days, more than 400 men were dead and the women left behind struggled with the monstrous task of burying so many corpses.
Mr. Syngelakis, who was 7 then, still wants payback. And in pursuing a demand for reparations from Germany, he reflects a growing movement here, fueled not just by historical grievances but also by deep resentment among his countrymen over Germany’s current power to dictate budget austerity to the fiscally crippled Greek government.
Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations, but before it goes too far down that road, it should pay off its own debts to Greece.
“Maybe some of us have not paid our taxes,” Mr. Syngelakis said, standing beside the olive tree where his father died 70 years ago. “But that is nothing compared to what they did.”...
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