Paul Kalavryta Huegel

Municipal Museum of Kalavritan Holocaust

The small town Kalavryta is located 30 kilometers from the northern coast of the Peloponnese in a mountainous region characterized by tourism. This area is known for many ski slopes and beautiful hiking paths.
Kalavryta is one of the recognized martyr communities of Greece. In mid-October 1943, the Greek Ressistance succeeded in capturing a reconnaissance force of the 117th Hunter Division of the German Wehrmacht near Kalavryta. As an “atonement measure” almost all kalavritan men and boys over the age of 12 were shot. The houses of the town were robbed and set on fire. More than twenty surrounding villages were destroyed as well. In the course of the “Unternehmen Kalavryta” almost 700 civilians were murdered.
Today, a memorial on the outskirt of Kalavryta commemorates the massacre. In the center of town there is the “Municipal Museum of Kalavritan Holocaust” since the year 2005. The museum has been housed in a former school where women, children and elderly people were imprisoned during the massacre of the male population in 1943. It documents the history of crime with photographs, film and literature. Many information are also available in German.

The Orthodox Church runs a nursing and senior citizens’ home. Residents are also descendants of the victims of the massacre and many elderly people from the region who don’t have families or whose families don’t have the possibility to accompany them at home.

Activities for volunteers:

Visitor service, reception, guided tours in the museum
Archive and library work, translation
Assistance in the preparation of the exhibitions and events
Probably one day a week: assistance and visitation services for the elderly people at the Kallimanopouleio nursing and senior citizens’ home

Requirements:

The memories of the massacre and the demands for reparations from Germany are very present nowadays and also controversially discussed in the community. The mayor of Kalavryta has also been Chairman of the Association of Greek Martyrs’ Communities for many years. Some people are still skeptical to work about working with Germans. But the museum and the senior citizens’ home, on the other hand, show great interest in working together.
The volunteer needs to be respectful, sensitive and reserved to the breaks and lines of conflict in the community. They should endure any aversions without taking them personally.
We are looking for a communicative, historically-politically interested person to work in the museum. A large part of the wok is office work ( with computers, scanners etc.). Volunteers can be used to accompany visitors an groups – this requires people who like to speak in front of groups. For the visiting services in the senior citizens’ home it is essential to be patient and to have the ability to listen to the life experiences of elderly people.

Report by the first ASF volunteer Paul who is working in Kalavryta:

“After my arrival, I was slowly introduced to the theme of the museum and had to do simple tasks such as putting up posters, small translations and everyday work in the museum. Gradually, I became more involved in the work. After a short time I was able to prove my knowledge of the local history and gave my first guided tour for a group of German educational travelers.
But also inter personally, I had very good experiences and was welcomed by everyone with open arms and a lot of helpfulness. I get along very well with my colleagues and we also do leisure activities together, such as trips to the seaside, or to Patras, the nearest city, as well as evenings in the local bars or eating together.”

Paul giving a tour in the museum

In cooperation with:

REPORT FROM JONATHAN IN KALAVRYTA

Jonathan in Kalavryta

Comments are closed.