Deep in the heart of Crete, in the forever wonderful Amari Valley high in the hills south of Rethymno there are five or six villages on the western side of the valley on the slopes of the Kedros mountains. These villages, in 1944, were attacked by the occupying Germans and each one was razed to the ground by explosives. All the men were killed as well as several women. Just ordinary people going about the difficult business of farming for food for their families. No-one knows what zany reason the German troops had for decimating these peaceful villages. Some say it was reprisals for the kidnapping of the German General Kreipe, others suspect that it was to cover the German withdrawal. Perhaps there is no truth.
Outside the main village, Ano Meros, there has been erected a memorial to the many dead children, adults and old people that had nowhere to run and died by bullets in the terror that happened there. The memorial consists of a woman carving the names of the dead in stone.
This is a beautiful memorial in the middle of nowhere, so to speak. It attests to the immense courage and the long memories of the people of Crete. I, and I hope you too, will never forget them.