The imposition of German power

The Fascist occupation regime established a climate of terror to break the resistance and the morale of the Greek people. The prospect of the death penalty for the slightest act that deviated from the commands of the occupation administration (such as listening to radio), the daily execution of hostages and the mass eliminations of the inhabitants of whole villages as reprisals for sabotage at the expense of the occupation army, the executions on the spot of citizens thought by Greek collaborators to have taken part in the so-called resistance 'blockades', imprisonment and torture, and the deportation of Greeks to German concentration camps, constituted the Germans' suppression mechanism towards any act of resistance. This terrorism on the part of the Germans was assisted by the so-called 'Security Batallions' which consisted of
Greeks, initially formed by the occupation government of Ioannis Rallis. Equipped and supervized by Germans, they collaborated with them against their resisting compatriots and became associated with bitter and horrific memories for the rest of the Greek people.
Camps such as that in Chaidari, places of torture such as the Gestapo building in Merlin Street and places of execution such as the Shooting Ground of Kaisariani in Athens and Eptapyrgio in Thessaloniki, are now linked symbolically in the national consciousness to the places of torture and sacrifice of patriots during the Occupation, while incidents such as the burning down of Kalavryta, Kandanos and Distomo and the elimination of their populations
represent some of the worst examples of German atrocities in Greece.
Moreover, as in the rest of Europe, the Nazis carried out in Greece the elimination of the Jewish element. In 1943, between March and August, almost the entire Jewish community of Thessaloniki (around 50,000 people) was deported to Auschwitz from where few survivors returned. The Jewish community of Thessaloniki was exterminated. It is estimated that a total of 60-65,000 Greek Jews (out of a total of approximately 80,000) were deported to Nazi camps and the vast majority fell victim to the Final Solution. Greece lost one of the greatest percentages of Jews in Europe while some of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe, living in Greece, vanished. It must be noted that, with few exceptions, no anti-semitic movement has ever taken root in Greece and many Jews were helped to survive in various ways by their Christian fellow countrymen. The contribution of the Church to the salvation of the Jews of southern Greece was significant. Archbishop Damaskinos organized the escape of many of them, while EAM/ELAS also contributed to their rescue.