I conclude this text with a reference to something amazing that I had previously read in a magazine. It is written by a Greek-speaking German writer. It is a testament and a memorial for the Greek mothers of 1940 who among other things took ammunition up the mountain of Pindos for the few ‘boys who fought there, frozen to the bone’.
Around 1952 he visited Crete. He writes:
“At dusk as the sun was setting, I approached the German cemetery. It was deserted, with only the last sunbeams visible. But I was wrong. A single living soul was there, an old woman dressed in black. In my surprise I saw her lighting candles on the graves of the German war dead, methodically going from grave to grave.
I approached her and asked her:
‘Are you from here?’
‘And then why do this? These people killed Cretans.’
And the answer could be given only in Greece.
‘My child,’ she said, ‘by your accent I can tell that you’re a stranger and don’t know what happened here from 1941-1944. My husband was killed in the Battle of Crete and I remained alone with my only son. The Germans took him hostage in 1943 and he died in a concentration camp in Saxenhauzen. I do not know where my child is buried. But I know that all these were children to a mother like me. I light these candles in their memory, because I know that their mothers can not come down here. Surely some other mother is lighting candles in memory of my son … ”