Forgoten Villages – Episodes 5 & 6: ‘Kanakis Geroninakis, an untamed Cretan soul’ | 08 & 15 Mar. 2024, 13.00

Kanakis Geronimakis was born in 1926 in Vouvas, Sfakia and, as he says, he often brings to mind the world as it was before the war, but also during it. He was one of the oldest survivors of the Battle of Crete unfolding before their eyes.

ERT journalist Thomas Sideris traveled to Sfakia and met Kanakis Geronimakis, shortly before he passed away, at the southernmost point of Crete, Panagia Thymiani, with Gavdos and the endless blue of the Libyan Sea in the background. In the radio documentary of the series “Forgotten Villages”, the 95-year-old Cretan remembers his childhood in his village and later, everything that unfolded during World War II.

His lively and vivid narration will take listeners to all those places where the people of Sfakia, from the Battle of Frangokastello to the formation of the resistance against the German occupiers, proved that the Cretan soul remains insubordinate over the centuries.

Forgotten Villages” is the new 20-episode radio documentary series by ERT journalist Thomas Sideris.

Small villages perched on the roots of rocks, but also head villages and towns that were full of life and became places of martyrdom and death during the fascist and Nazi era.

People caught in the maelstrom of history, unable to define their present and future, who lived through the horror and absurdity of war. Those who managed to survive, orphans and happy parents, relatives of the thousands of victims, lived the rest of their lives in endless silence.

Thomas Sideris opens the precious archive of the show “Unguarded Passage” and through his years of research he brings to light older and newer oral testimonies and narratives, which communicate with each other composing a dense canvas of parallel narrative axes about the massacres and holocausts that took place throughout Greece during World War II.

From the martyrdom of DistomoKalavrytaMousiotitsa and Kommeno, to VianoAnogiaMesovouni and Domeniko, the “Forgotten villages” come alive again through the oblivion of time and tell us about all these and about all those who must never be forgotten.


Research – Presented by: Thomas Sideris
Historical consultant: Dimitris Vlachopanos, philologist-writer
Research Assistant: Lena Anagnostopoulou, philologist
General Scientific Advisor: Sotiris Livas