White Rose Greece - Theodora honors her great grandfather's memory.
Written by JoAnne Miller Edited by Jonathan Wolfman April 6, 2019
Now and then we find opportunities to meet remarkable people halfway around the world through the power of social media, people who are of like mind...heart-filled souls who are descendants of war heroes. They, as we, wish for our shared world only peace. This is the story of one of those descendants.
The History: The Axis countries were Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. The Allies were the US, Britain, France, the USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, and Yugoslavia. On October 28, 1940, the Italian army invaded Greece through Albania launching what is known as the Greco-Italian War. The Greek army, although temporarily, halted the invasion by forcing the Italian army to retreat back to Albania.
Operation Marita--Nazi Germany invaded Greece through Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. At the time, most of the Greek army was already heavily involved in the Greco-Italian War on the Albanian front. The Battle of Metaxas Line (Known in Greece as The Battle Of The Forts) April 6, 1941 The Germans were able to capture individual forts but were unable to breach the Metaxas Line in general. Yet when when the Panzer Division invaded across Yugoslavia, and captured Thessaloniki on April 9, the Greek East Macedonia Army Section surrendered (April 10) and the Battle of Metaxas Line was over.
The determination and bravery of the Greek Soldiers impressed Nazi General Wilhelm List so much that he ordered his soldiers and officers to salute the Greek Soldiers and took no prisoners.
In Memoriam of Ioannis Dellios, Honorable Greek Soldier
"I was three years old. I hardly remember his last goodbye." “Don't expect me to return alive. It rains fire and steel up there."
"I, then a child, with my mother (Fotini) and my unborn sister, escorted him from Neo Petritsi until we were where we could walk, since Belles Hill reached up 1339 meters. During our way back, I asked, "Mom where is Dad going?"
It was impossible for her to answer, to talk out her thoughts. What could she say to me? That, amidst the terror of war, she was left alone with two babies, that she did not know how to feed us? Or that a few minutes ago she said ‘goodbye’ to her one and only love, her husband, the person who supported her most, because he had to go to one of the most terrible battles of the war?
After a short time the news reached our family in a formal announcement that my father, Ioannis Dellios, was dead. He was just twenty-nine. A few days before my mother had given birth to my sister, Evaggelia, so we had to wait forty days to be able to identify my father's body, as prescribed by Greek Orthodox tradition.
During that time, a young soldier visited our house. He held my father’s military identification. "I am sorry for your loss!", he began. "Ioannis died right before my eyes, but before that, when a bullet from a German Stuka hit his leg, he gave me this and said to me, ‘Please, if you survive, give this to my wife.’ The order we used to hear was run and hide, the fort is about to fall! He was taking off his wedding ring to give it to me, running from one spot to the next, he was wounded, and then one last bullet from a fighter plane hit his ribs, killing him instantly. He was fighting for his country, at a place called Aspri Petra.”
(White Stone) Katerina Delliou Charalambidou -- Those were my Grandma's words that I kept to my heart, and I promised that as long as I am alive I will remember and honor the name of her father. My Grandmother never married again. A few days before she died, she said that she'd been dreaming of her husband who was smiling and saying to her: "Come." She died, unexpectedly, from a stroke at fifty-two.
Each year on or near April 6 the memorial at Belles Fort, a religious and military ceremony takes place at the monument etched with their names, where many heroes fell fighting against the evil that once threatened Greece, and all of humanity.
Adolf Hitler -- In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill paraphrased a 1905 quote by George Santayana saying, “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and a few friends were the original White Rose Society. Sophie was executed by the Nazi regime in February 1943 after her conviction on charges of High Treason for distributing flyers, (The Leaflets) at the University of Munich. A Nazi guard marvelled at her courage and calm.