KASTELLI MILITARY AIRFIELD 1941-1944. EVACUATION OF SKLAVEROHORI AND GALENIANO (UNPUBLISHED ARCHIVE SOURCES)
The purpose of this research is to focus on the fact that, during the years 1941-1944, the inhabitants of the villages surrounding Kastelli airfield were suffering in an atmosphere of violence and terrorism and experiencing a daily struggle for survival, away from their homes and property.
From June 1st 1941, Kastelli and its military airfield were the focal point of the German occupying forces in Crete. Every day, thousands of inhabitants were forced to work on the airfield in the local plains, under cruel and inhuman conditions.
In the first quarter of 1942, Kastelli airfield was ready for the incoming German airplanes. It became fully operational, with multiple daily flights.
The occupying army’s need for housing for soldiers, services and ammunition depots, led to the order for the evacuation of the villages of Sklaverohori and Galeniano which were located next to Kastelli airfield.
The inhabitants became refugees until the end of the war, finding shelter in neighbouring villages, in stables, in warehouses, in huts. The area was declared a dead zone.
We have approached this research through unpublished documents, contemporary photographs and testimonies by survivors from the villages of Sklaverohori and Galeniano.