Street Artist KLE
“Solidarity” by KLE at Zakinthou Street in Patras, Greece.
Mayor Carrer, with the help of Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetrius, refused to hand over even one person
My last mural with the title “solidarity” was completed at 36 Zakinthou Street, in Patras. The impetus for me to create this work was a historical event that took place on the island of Zakynthos in 1943.
In December 1943, during the occupation, the German authorities demanded that the mayor of Zakynthos, Luca Carrer, and the metropolitan, Chrysostomos Demetriou, hand over all the Jews of the island within 72 hours, with the aim of leading them to concentration camps. The Jewish community of Zakynthos numbered 272 members.
Mayor Carrer, with the help of Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetrius, refused to hand over even one person. With the help of the Christian inhabitants, the Jews fled or hid. Although all the inhabitants knew what was happening, no one revealed anything to the Germans. When the deadline expired, Metropolitan Chrysostom handed over the list of names to the Germans. It included only two: his own and Carrer’s. Thus the 272 Jews were saved.
As a token of gratitude, the state of Israel in 1978 honored the metropolitan and the mayor for their heroic stand against the Holocaust. “Righteous of the Nations” and Zakynthos were declared “Island of the Righteous”. Today, the heroic act of the two men is taught in Israeli schools.