International poet, artist and musician Lucien Zell will be in Goerlitz for one night only
Tuesday, October 18 at 7 PM – 10 PM performing Echoes of Shadows – Performance/Lesung/Musik
on Brüderstr. 3.
If you can make only one event this year, make it this one!
This video deals with the content of the book with the same title.
The IV Army Corps was established by Royal Decree on 23 December 1913 (O.S.) at Kavala, East Macedonia, during the reorganization of the Hellenic Army following the Balkan Wars. When East Macedonia was occupied by Bulgarian and German forces during World War I, the entire Corps, under its commander Col. Ioannis Hatzopoulos, demobilized and forbidden to offer resistance by the government in Athens, was carried by rail to Görlitz, Germany, as “guests” of the German Government, where they remained for almost three years.
In the summer of 1916, the First World War reached the northern Greek border. August 18, 1916, the Bulgarian Army escorted by German officers suddenly invaded in Eastern Macedonia. On the same day the ambassadors of Germany and Bulgaria in Athens gave official notes of their governments about the goals of the attackers. It was assured the invasion was motivated only militarily and directed against the Entente forces in the region alone. Simultaneously it was intended to provide safeguards for the territorial integrity of the country and preservation of local authorities in their posts. Their invading armies were not intended to occupy the cities of Serres, Drama and Kavalla, as it was stated, and their occupation forces would pull-out when no longer any military reasons to remain whatsoever exist. The guarantees given by the Germans to King Constantine of Greece reassured him, so he instructed the HQ of IV Corps to withdraw to the main cities and to remain there waiting for further orders (never to be issued). It is worth mentioning, that a short time before by claim of the Entente, the Greek General Staff had demobilized all the reservists and the Greek Army was segmented. Back in Kavalla, the commanders of the -abandoned to its fate- IV Corp, had chosen voluntarily to surrender his troops to the Germans (as a place euphemistically “hospitality”) at the very last minute, thus avoiding a rather painful Bulgarian captivity. Commander Dimitrios Hatzopoulos, an officer loyal to King Constantine, thought best leading his troops in captivity rather than joining the pro-venizelist “National Defence” troops that followed the Entente. The surrender of the IV Corp to the Germans was the result of intense pressure between the two belligerent sides.The German and Bulgarians from one side and the Entente, with the latter having intervened armed in “neutral” Greece. Greece was dragged with a gun pointed to her head, so part of the pro-royalist military and the Royal Court entourage directed that there would be no armed resistance of any kind. The German town Görlitz was selected by the Staff of the IV Corp and the Germans as the hosting location for the Greek POWs. The population of Görlitz in the German state of Saxony, was 90000 then. The transport from Kavalla to the German town of the 6400 Greek soldiers and officers was held by a series of rail transports. Documents from the Görlitz Council archive, record the special conditions existed in the camp. Among the 170 prison camps of the German Reich at the time, Görlitz has been and still remains unique. It featured an extra-territorial status, his own Greek police patrols with the soldiers permission to move freely in the town. In fact it was a peculiar captivity. Absolutely no one of those Greek POWs had the right to leave the German territory throughout the War. Save for the privileged portion of royalist and pro-German Greek officers, the pro-venizelist officers, a minority in the camp, suffered brutal persecution. By the beginning of 1918, 25 Greek officers were taken to the concentration camp of Verlan in Westphalia, while other 17 in KL Königksberg accused as Venizelist propagandists, the soldiers suffered a long martyrdom of hardship, poor diet and the unbearable cold in the camp barracks, which resulted to the death of approximately 270 soldiers, most of tuberculosis. In April 1918 Colonel Hatzopoulos him self died leaving his soldiers and officers to immense suffering. A representative of Emperor (Kaizer) Wilhelm II attended the colonel’s funeral. After the abtication of the Kaiser in November 1918, German soldiers arriving in Dresden revolutionized the people with massive demonstrations. The Greek royalist officers, fearing that there would be retaliation on their return to Greece, refused to ‘repatriate the Corp to what had become a “Venizelist” Greece. The Greek soldiers in Görlitz along with German workers, sailors and soldiers, revolted joining ranks with the Spartacus movement of Rosa Luxemburg. The Greek commander, Colonel Karakalos, called for the protection of the German Administration. The soldiers chafe by the action of Karakalos, shifted command by electing the popular veteran Colonel Lambros Sinaniotis as their new commander. The Germans trying to protect Karakalos surrounded the camp of the Greeks with machine gun troops and issued an arrest warrant for Sinaniotis but he managed to flee towards Berlin. With Karakalos reinstated to his former position, thousands of soldiers panicked and several even attempted by any means to flee to the border of Bohemia and from there to Greece. The Germans were upset by the disobedience of the Greeks. In their attempt to prevent any more incidents from happening, opened fire, killing five Greek soldiers and injuring others. The frustration of Greeks from the behavior of the Germans was evident. After negotiations with the German Administration, the Greeks were deported and the last 600 soldiers, escorted by American officers, transferred in February 1919 from Görlitz to Rijeka by rail and then by ship to Greece. Their reception in the pro-venizelist Greece was not so friendly. Privates and NCOs were free to return to their homes, but the officers were to be court-martialed as anti-Venizelists. Eight of those were sentenced to death (among them Karakalos) but the sentence was not carried out, while others were imprisoned in Crete and other islands. Venizelos was defeated in the elections of 1920 and when King Constantine was restored, the officers of Görlitz got promoted and were transferred to the front of Asia Minor (experienced of the Balkan Wars but lacking any WW I combat experience defeat was eminent with the well known results…).
The number one international artist in Görlitz is Fabian Bonig, whose famous Bone Haus on Obermarkt 26 has inspired countless travelers as well as the movie Eine Gute Geschichte which was filmed partially within the house.
The house in itself is a masterpiece, so the movie didn´t require any changes within the house to make the house more unique than it already is.
Görlitz is the city of extreme weather changes. In summer you experience tropical heat and in winter a taste of Siberia. Regardless how brutal the cold can feel, the view of the city underneath the blanket of snow is breathtaking. Here are a few images captured by Räubertochter Meets to give you an impression of what you might be missing out on:
Many of you may not be aware of the pearl of the far east of Germany.
There is a city called Görlitz, which is actually a city within two nations.
One is Poland, the other Germany.
Both were once one enjoying the same rich history still resonating through the unique vibe each visitor experiences once entering its premises.
For the first time since before World War II, the town experiences an influx of international interest.
So why are so many international investors now focusing their financial potential towards this as of recently not so well-known Eastern end of Germany?
So what does the future hold for the little-known goldmine?
1) After Germany´s reunification, the number one focus of the German government was Berlin. Then the focus, once Berlin started booming, was Leipzig. Then Dresden. And guess who is on the center of the dartboard now?
2) The city of Görlitz was once the center of Europe until communism divided this continent. The strong history of the city is still present today within the spirit of the people and its around 4,000 registered monuments making Görlitz the most monumental city in Germany.
3) Görlitz is in a perfect location connecting other popular tourism spots in Central and Eastern Europe such as Prague, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Wrazlaw and Cracow. An ideal town for visitors to stop and enjoy while travelling throughout the already very well-known cities that Europe has to offer.
4) Cost of living is still low. Anything you do now is bound to grow in value. So do not delay your decision to make Görlitz your next investment.
5) Many young people are moving to Görlitz as in the international artist community the city´s reputation is growing as THE place to move to. From India to Ireland they are coming in. Young people are starting to make a huge difference here and you can feel and see it on a daily basis. Young people are the future. So the future is Görlitz.
6) Building on the tradition of Silesian tolerance, Görlitz is open and welcoming to people from all over the world. Including Syrian refugees who in other parts of Europe have experienced lots of hatred. But not here.
7) Over 70 movies have been filmed here, because the town has been preserved as it was a long time ago. It looks as it did back in the 20s for many parts and the last few centuries depending where your feet are stepping.
Everytime your turn a corner at night, you are entering a different century.
While many tourists come to see the Untermarkt and the Obermarkt, they are missing out on the size of the city which has the best preserved medievil squares in all of Central Europe. In the surrounding areas is where you find the hidden gems. From villas, to castles to individual apartments.