Drowning of 4,100 Italian POWs commemorated in Athens on Sunday

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Drowning of 4,100 Italian POWs commemorated in Athens on SundayThe sinking of the Norwegian steamship "ORIA" is considered one of the greatest naval tragedies in world history, claiming three times as many victims as the Titanic

An event commemorating the deaths of 4,100 captive Italian WWII soldiers on the Norwegian steamship "ORIA" will take place this Sunday at 11:00, 76 years after the major naval tragedy, at the 60th km of Athens-Sounio coastal road, ANA reports.

The event is jointly organized by the municipalities of the Saronic Gulf and Lavreotiki, the association "Chryssi Tomi" of Keratea, the Italian Embassy and is held under the auspices of President of Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos. The Catholic Archbishop of Athens, Sevastianos Rossolatos, will officiate a memorial service followed by the laying of wreaths.

In the fall of 1943, after the German invasion of the Dodecanese, the Germans had to transfer tens of thousands of Italian prisoners of war over the sea. These transfers were often carried out in unseaworthy vessels, with prisoners crammed into the hull of the ships, and without any safety standards. Several ships sank, by an allied attack or by accident, causing the death of thousands of prisoners.

The Oria was one of the vessels elected to transport Italian prisoners. On 11 February 1944, it sailed from Rhodes bound for Piraeus, carrying 4,116 Italian prisoners (43 officers, 118 non-commissioned officers, and 3,955 soldiers), 21 Germans soldiers and a crew of 22 Greeks. 

The steamer was requisitioned by the Germans and collided with the islet Patroklos, also known as Gaidouronisi, due to a combination of mistaken handling and bad weather conditions, near Cape Sounion in southeast Attica.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: FocalPoint

 

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