Forgotten Villages: The boy from Rethemnos and the Australian soldier | 31 May 2024, 13:00

Don’t miss the 15th episode of “Forgotten Villages” on Voice of Greece | Friday 31 May 2024, 13:00

Two brothers from Australia come to Rethymnon, Crete, to pay tribute to their late father, who died as a soldier in the Battle of Crete.

A 7.5-year-old boy who watched his mother, his grandmother, his aunt, and two other women being executed.

ERT’s crew records unknown stories from the Battle of Crete and locating the boy, now a 87 years old man.

All this makes up a fascinating canvas where the unique radio documentary unfolds. For the first time, the documentary sheds light on the shocking story of the martyr Vasilis Papadopoulos, who lived through the Nazi horror on his birthplace.

A few months after his interview to ERT journalist Thomas Sideris, Vasilis Papadopoulos passed away.



Thomas Sideris travels to Crete, the prefectures of Heraklion, Rethymno and Chania, searches for eyewitnesses and tries to document the chronicle of the Battle of Crete in May and June 1941, as well as all the events that followed in the following years, during the Nazi occupation.

Through the narrations and testimonies of the informants on the microphone of ERT, unknown facts come to light from the unparalleled resistance of the Cretan people and the greatness of the Cretan soul. Ten-year-old boys and girls back then, who did not hesitate to enter the struggle against their conquerors, who became the silent witnesses of unspeakable massacres, who grew up with lamentations and mourning for their fellow villagers.

Zacharenia and Giorgis Sbokos from Anogia, Kanakis Geronimakis from Kastelli Kissamos and all the other eyewitnesses from various corners of the Cretan land compose a unique canvas of narratives that comes to light for the first time.

* The 8-episode tribute to the Battle of Crete is a part of ‘‘Forgotten Villages” the radio documentary series by Thomas Sideris.

Forgotten Villages: A radio documentary series by Thomas Sideris

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 Distomo, Kalavryta, Mousiotitsa and Kommeno, to Viano, Anogia, Mesovouni 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.