World War II on Zakynthos

“Life Will Smile” (Vimeo) is an interesting video about the amazing actions of the Zakynthos community during the Second World War to protect the island’s Jews. It was the only place in the whole of Greece where no Jews died; a monument in Athens pays tribute to this. Basically, the locals hid the substantially large Jewish community in the countryside and the Priest and Mayor of Zakynthos, when asked to give a list of the Jewish inhabitants, gave a list with just two names – his own and that of the Greek Orthodox bishop. When I first learnt of this by watching a documentary many years ago, I asked my local friends on the island about it, and they had no idea of what their parents and grandparents had done. There is something about this in the guide (page 47), and I also list various remains from that period that are found on some of the walks. (Gail Schofield)”