On This Day September 2, 1944: Innocent Civilians Burned Alive in Hortiatis by Nazis


Yet another brutal massacre took place— only weeks before the departure of the Nazis from Greece, when 146 civilian villagers in Hortiatis, outside Thessaloniki, were rounded up and brutal shot, or burned alive.

Amongst the victims were dozens of children and entire families. 51 victims were under 18 while 128 were women and children.

More than 300 houses and shops were destroyed and pillaged on that day in what they claimed was in retaliation for a single Nazi soldier that was shot by rebels in the mountains, although research after the events has revealed that the Germans had planned to destroy the village and used the soldier’s death as an excuse.

Hortiati Massacre from a documentary on ET3

The Germans were aided by a team of “Souberites” or Greek Nazi collaborators who wore German uniforms and aided them in their murderous campaigns, including the village of Hortiati.

This clip discusses the Greek collaborators who took part in the campaign.

Based on numerous survivor accounts that were recorded and passed down, about 20 Nazi trucks under the command of Friedrich (Fritz) Schubert encircled the village, ordering all villagers into the central square.

The Nazis, together with Greek collaborators, began burning homes and pillaging shops. Many accounts of rape were also recorded during the events.

Villagers were assembled into numerous buildings— the home of Evangelos Daboudis and the bakery of Stefanos Gouramanis, and burned alive.

According to accounts, a Nazi soldier played joyful music on his violin while the massacre was taking place.

*Special thanks to our reader SG from Horiatis who shared information about these events and helped us gather materials to share with our readers, thus, keeping the memory of those sacrificed, alive.


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