Old book dis­cov­ered in Mona­s­ti­raki flea mar­ket held World War II let­ters from the Al­ba­nian front

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY GELLI VOUR­VOULI

Stavros and Spyros were brothers liv­ing in Athens who set off for the Al­ba­nian front on Oc­to­ber 28, 1940. A col­lec­tion of let­ters they wrote to their fam­ily was found a few weeks ago inside an old book at the Mona­s­ti­raki flea mar­ket. They were pinned to­gether in or­der, with the first let­ter be­ing that sent from a base in Corinth, the day after Greece found it­self at war against Italy. The two in­fantry­men had ar­rived safely at the first stop on their jour­ney north and asked their par­ents and sib­lings to show “courage and pa­tience.”

The let­ters dis­cov­ered in the book are few and don’t tell us what be­came of the brothers, nor do they re­veal the de­tails of the fam­ily. What we do know is that Stavros and Spyros reached Al­ba­nia at the end of Novem­ber, and re­mained in good cheer through­out their jour­ney. Be­low are some ex­tracts of the let­ters that are still leg­i­ble:

Stavros and I send greet­ings from Corinth, where we will be stay­ing for the time be­ing. Things have been quiet here with the ex­cep­tion of two un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts to bomb the Corinth Canal.

We are well. We have been on the road for a few days, trav­el­ing over moun­tains and through gorges il­lu­mi­nated by the sil­ver light of the moon, in­ter­rupted now and then by a re­fresh­ing driz­zle. be­cause the things I have wit­nessed with my two eyes can­not com­pare with any­thing two cen­turies of films could of­fer.

Please send us the items we have re­quested, as well as en­velopes, cards and matches – hide the matches some­where in the par­cel as they are much sought after here.

the two brothers wrote to their fam­ily was found a few weeks ago inside an old book at the Mona­s­ti­raki flea mar­ket. ‘Th­ese fools are try­ing to deafen us with their shelling, they’re mak­ing so much noise they have twice in­ter­rupted me and made me lose my train of thought,’ says one let­ter. learn the skills to open her own fash­ion stu­dio in Ti­rana! I jest not!

Yes­ter­day, no the day be­fore, we had a huge air bat­tle in our area where the Bri­tish and Greeks brought down five Ital­ian planes and, from what we have heard, a to­tal of 35. Bad luck for them but you should see how our guys go after them. The rat­tle of the ma­chine guns and the way the ground shook as those steel birds came down and three para­chutes floated in the void was im­pres­sive but also shock­ing to be­hold.

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