Commandant von Bleukum,
Fallschirmjägern Officer, Sphakia, Crete
He defended his actions by stating that:
On the day I ordered the burning of the houses, the war was turning against us. It was my decision to undermine the morale of the enemy, so I ordered the burning.
Felice takes Pitre in her arms and holds him close saying, there was a rally in the main square and Nikolaos Zachadis was shouting about fighting and he always speaks loudly when he is strong and the people are behind him.
You mustn’t go into town anymore, she whispers urgently. They are talking of war criminals.
Pitre sits upright staring into the empty space beyond the stove, his mind on the coming conflict, but his heart in the separation from his family. I am not a criminal, he says.
German Officers sent back to Greece to face local justice
Von Bleukum walks along the same cobbled streets and around the same tight corners he had once marched his own troops in their frightening goose-stepping formations. He had ruled over the Island with an iron fist showing no mercy to any civilian taking up arms against him. Then, he had commanded respect and sown terror in the hearts of the people. Now, they all know who he is and what he did and what is going to happen.
An old woman steps out into the street and spits
Von Bleukum holds his head up high and his shoulders square not once losing the beat of his wounded walk. Had his army been victorious he would now be executing the very men he sees in front of him.
Instead, the woman lifts the pistol as she would a poisonous snake.
- Hellenic Army recognises Australian WWII veterans who served in Battle of Greece and Battle of Crete (abc.net.au)
- Crete’s Incredible Hospitality and History (greece.greekreporter.com)