Haidari concentration camp – Block 15. Walk, public discussion and performance

Haidari concentration camp (Greek: στρατόπεδο συγκέντρωσης Χαϊδαρίου, stratópedo syngéntrosis Chaidaríou, German: KZ Chaidari) was a concentration camp operated by the German Schutzstaffel at the Athens suburb of Haidari during the Axis occupation of Greece in World War II. Operating from September 1943 until it was shut down in September 1944, it was the largest and most notorious concentration camp in wartime Greece, becoming known as the “Bastille of Greece”.It was a transit camp established on the grounds of a Greek Army barracks, and it is estimated that in the one year of its operation, some 21,000 people passed through it, including Jews, Italian POWs and Greek political prisoners. The majority of these was transported north, to Auschwitz in the case of the Jews, or to forced labour in Germany, while others were detained for questioning by the Gestapo. It is estimated that ca. 2,000 inmates were executed there during the camp’s operation.

Block 15 is located to the east of the headquarters. Built before the war as a military prison, it became the camp’s strict solitary confinement building, with the camp guard’s quarters and mess room. Cramped conditions, absence of basic sanitation, isolation from the outside world and the guards’ brutality affected the inmates’ health and sanity.

 

Microgeographies participated at the Memorial held by OIKOPOLIS Cultural Association. Within Block 15 Microgeographies held the performance “The Return of Orpheus in Hades” by Angelos Skourtis in collaboration with Hariklia Hari, with the contribution of Maria Bourdaki, Sofia Dimitriou, Konstantinos Foteinakis and other members of OIKOPOLIS.

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