A 17-year-old boy named Mathios Potagas from the village of Vytina in the Arcadia province of the Peloponnese stared the advancing Nazi Germans in the face, becoming one of the first-known resistance fighters against German oppression during World War II.
As the Nazi caravan of trucks was approaching his village on May 2, 1941, Mathios grabbed his father’s old hunting musket and fired as many bullets as he could.
He stood at the beginning of the Koutroubi Bridge which led to his village and began firing one shot at a time at the German trucks.
“Stop. You won’t enslave us,” he screamed.
The Nazis shot, killed and beheaded the young man, but his legend has lived throughout the region to this day.
Today, a statue of the defiant Potagas (pictured above) stands in the village square.
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