Dozens of Greek prisoners held at Auschwitz took part in a historic revolt— the only known revolt by prisoners to have taken place at the Nazi death camp.
The revolt, organized secretly by prisoners with help from four Greek women who were also prisoners and working in the nearby munitions factory, ended in the death of hundreds of prisoners by the Nazis— but also with the complete destruction of one of the crematorium that the Nazis used to burn bodies.
The unity of the Greeks inside the camp and the remarkable methods they used to communicate with each other in order to set the plan in motion is outlined in the documentary produced by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009.
This solidarity of the Greeks was highlighted by prominent Holocaust survivor and prolific writer Primo Levi:
“The solidarity of Greeks, their repulsion for violence, their consciousness for survival and their effort to preserve human dignity made them the most united national group in the camp. Thus, the most civilized.”
The bloody revolt began on October 7, 1944– just a few months before the camp’s liberation.