The Long-Run Impact of Nazi Reprisal Massacres: Opportunities to Implement GIS Analysis in the World War II Reparations Debate


In the pre-dawn Athenian stillness of the 28th of October, 1940 the Italian ambassador roused the Greek Prime Minister, Ioannis Metaxas with a grim ultimatum. Metaxas was to concede to the presence of Axis forces on Greek land, or face their wrath, which would pour into Greece from the rugged northern border with Albania. Whether Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was envious of the territorial advances of his German Fascist counterpart’s wildly successful blitzkrieg campaign or engaged in an irredentist delusion of reincorporating Greece into “The Third Rome,” he was determined to extend the shadow of fascist influence into Greece. Metaxas, still in his pajamas, replied with a single word that would resonate into modern Greek history—“No!” Whether the Prime Minister’s refusal was in fact articulated in such laconic terms or not, this anecdote is seen as the quintessential affirmation of Greek resistance to foreign incursion, and has been celebrated as a national holiday annually since World War II.

What came next in this episode is a historical tragedy. The invading Italian army was ill-prepared for the brave guerrilla resistance it met in the mountains of Epirus, a region that saddles the border between Albania and Greece. Repulsing this first fascist invasion, however, provoked the ire of the Nazi war machine. Assisted by Bulgarian collaborators, the Nazis overwhelmed Greek and British defenses, storming into the country through Bulgaria and marking the beginning of what is considered by many to be one of the most brutal Nazi occupations, in which the strong resistance movement, coordinated by the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), provoked the Axis war machine to the resort to indiscriminate terror tactics in a desperate attempt to subdue the civilian population.

Today, with Germany at the helm of a European economic community that many Greeks resent for its control over their fiscal policies since the catastrophic economic collapse in 2008, the demand for World War II reparations is appearing with increasing frequency.

The argument is based on the premise that during the occupation, the Greek economy experienced a brutal dismantlement that has left a protracted legacy affecting Greece even until this day. Nazi policy included the general destruction of manufacturing and agriculture, the mass requisition of raw materials and foodstuffs, and, perhaps most importantly, a massive forced ‘war loan’ to the Nazi government. As a result of these policies, approximately 300,000 Greeks starved to death at the hands of German economic strangulation, not to mention the thousands killed in the some 1,700 villages were burned and approximately 1,500 of those targeted in massacres, whose surviving relatives are often those making the strongest case in favor of legal action against Germany.

Many Greeks feel that what is seen internationally as the “self-destruction” of their economy—through tax evasion, corruption, and fiscal mismanagement—is rendered irrelevant compared to the protracted legacy of Nazi plundering and suppression, which figures in at $24 billion dollars at the most conservative estimate and $677 billion at the highest, factoring in “stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to infrastructure, as well as bank loan and individual claims,” with $220 billion (factoring in infrastructural damage alone) considered the most reasonable estimate (Daley p. 1-2).

Those arguing for reparations are not simply the grieving relatives of those killed by the Nazis nor isolated voices seeking easy solutions to what is a multi-faceted structural problem and a crushing debt. The New York Times recently reported that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ government has sent a report on reparations to the Legal Council of State in possible preparation for a case that would oblige Germany to face its debt to Greece (Daley p. 1). Alexis Tsipras, head of SYRIZA, Greece’s left-wing majority opposition party, has also been tapping into a popular desire for reparations on his campaign around Greece (Donadio p. 1).


Geographic Distribution of Occupation

Historians now know that Germany was not keen to the idea of a military invasion of the Balkans. Not only did they fear drawing Russia into an alliance with Great Britain, they would also have to contend with the topographic and transportation difficulties that such a land invasion would engender. John Louis Hondros states that “poor weather conditions” coupled with the fact that “there were only five practical roads across the Balkan mountains and bridges were weak” contributed to the German desire for a “mediated truce” in the Balkans (Hondros p. 40).

All of this changed, however, when Mussolini’s invasion of Greece through Albania failed in the face of the stiff defense of the north by Greek resistance fighters. This failed attack forced Hitler to the aid of his ally, and Greece became part of Hitler’s grander plan for a southern flank in his invasion of Russia (Hondros p. 40).

The full-scale Axis occupation of Greece began in June 1941, as the country was divided up between German, Italian, and Bulgarian spheres of occupation. At first, Germany was in control of “only the most strategically sensitive areas,” which included Athens—the administrative, political, and economic capital of Greece and the nearby port city of Piraeus, Salonica—today known as Thessaloniki and “its hinterland between the Aliakhmon and Strymon rivers,” the islands of Cythera, Anticythera, Melos, Lemnos, Mytilene, Chios, and Skyros, and a ribbon of land separating Greece from Turkey that had been annexed for them by Bulgarians forces (Clogg p. 138, Hondros p. 55). The island of Crete in the southern Aegean also fell to the Germans in 1941 after an aggressive German airborne attack against New Zealand, Australian, British, and native Greek defenses. Bulgaria claimed much of Macedonia, administering an area that stretched from Salonica’s Strymon river in the east through Thrace to the German buffer zone on the Turkish border (Hondros p. 55). Italy was left responsible for the remaining areas until their 1943 withdrawal, at which point the administration of their zone of influence fell to Wehrmacht. [i]


Axis Strategy in the Interior

The areas controlled by the German army were originally claimed on a strategic basis, the prevention of a British-Russian alliance that would threaten Hitler’s aspirations in Russia, however in 1942 the reinvigorated British and American initiative in North Africa caused Hitler to fear of a seaborne invasion of southeastern Europe through Greece that would be supported by popular uprisings, and his policy shifted from one of strategic occupation to a full-scale military administration. This anxiety spurred Hitler to issue a directive that functionally turned the Peloponnesian pennisula, Crete, and the Dodecanese islands into “fortresses,” as well as ordered the engagement of the strong anti-partisan campaign, a task mostly undertaken by Italy until their 1943 Italian withdrawal (Hondros p. 85, 153). In the wake of this directive, German strength in the Balkans doubled, and changed the face of the occupation from one of authoritarian neglect to a paranoid and aggressively violent imprisonment of the Greek people.

The Germans, faced with unnerving geopolitical circumstances as well as an increase in guerrilla activities in Crete and the interior of the country thanks to their recent consolidation under the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), began pushing farther into the remote regions of the country, where the partisans were able to exploit their knowledge of the rugged local topography as well enjoy the support of relatives and sympathizers in local communities. Because Hitler’s army was unable to occupy and closely guard every small village and town, the Germans attempted a Stuetzpunkte (Strong Points) strategy that had been developed in the administration of rear areas during the invasion of Russia (Hondros p. 154). This strategy concentrated on key strategic positions along communication and supply lines consisting of “a squad or a platoon but at times a company,” and refrained from pushing into the countryside, where the guerrillas had a clear advantage (Hondros p. 154). As the Stuetzpunkte outposts were inefficient in preventing acts of sabotage and vulnerable targets to repeated guerrilla attacks, the German military shifted strategy late in 1943, resorting to terror tactics in an attempt to cut off the guerrilla’s havens of support and supplies.


Policy of Civilian Massacres

The German strategy in countering the resistance in Greek rural areas has been characterized by historians as “incoherent,” a result of the impossible terrain, unsympathetic civilian population, dizzying heat, lack of adequate communication and resources, and of course, the aggressive resistance movement led by the ELAS [ii], EDES [iii], and EAM [iv] (Mazower p. 173). Resorting to reprisal massacres in an attempt to discourage resistance, the German command standardized the expected punishment of civilians for the presence of insurgency in the area as “fifty executions for every German death and ten for every German wounded,” a modified version of a directive received elsewhere in Europe, where German soldiers had to ensure that “50 and 100 hostages [were] shot” in reprisal for aggression against the German military (Hondros p. 154). In extreme cases, such as in Yugoslavia and later in Crete and the Greek interior, soldiers received orders to “shoot all male civilians in any area of armed resistance” (Mazower p. 173). On the mountainous island of Crete, General Kurt Student standardized the use of “Revenge Operations” to counter resistance and its civilian network of sympathizers early in the German occupation of the island, which included “1) Shootings; 2) Forced Levies; 3) Burning down villages; 4) Extermination of the male population of the entire region” and resulted in 2,000 civilian deaths in reprisal massacres during the first month of the occupation (Mazower p. 173). This policy of indiscriminate violence against civilians was modified in December of 1943, as it had not been shown to stem the wave of organized and effective resistance that was sweeping throughout Greece. At that point, a directive from the Southeast Command of the German military outlined that reprisal massacres should not come before a formal investigation that would seek to find the actual perpetrators of acts of sabotage or aggression. Rather than randomly arresting and detaining citizens, which was clearly alienating the citizenry from cooperation with the Nazi occupation, an attempt was made to capture and detain actual communists, proven supporters of the resistance groups, and citizens that were “uncooperative with the occupation authorities” (Hondros p. 154). This “idealistic” policy, however, was never fully implemented, and the indiscriminate use of violence against civilians became standard operating procedure. It did not help the implementation of the above policy that multiple German officials had the power to direct reprisal massacres, an authority that eventually rested in the hands of each divisional commander (Hondros p. 157).

The combination of approval of this deadly strategy at the higher echelons of the German military hierarchy and the diffusion of authority regarding the initiation of massacres down the ranks meant that reprisals varied wildly both in their intensity and their focus on either property damage or civilian deaths, though they oftentimes involved a combination of both. For example, the death of a German noncommissioned officer near Naousa resulted in the death of twenty-five civilians suspected of communist sympathy on the June 20th, 1943, while the death of a Nazi General in an ambush inspired a reprisal in which two hundred hostages died in reprisal on March 28th, 1944 (Hondros p. 157). In rare cases, the German military retaliated for the assassination of right-wing Greeks by communist resistance forces, such as when ten civilians were killed for the assassination of a Greek executive on January 21, 1944 (Hondros p. 157). Reprisals also came as in response to sabotage of cable lines, railroads, and other German military resources. Though exact data on the total number of civilians killed in reprisals are incomplete, historians know that from the period of March 1943 to October 1944, 21,255 Greeks were killed and another 20,000 seized or imprisoned (not counting mortalities resulting from starvation and disease). Furthermore, some 1,700 villages were reportedly destroyed, with 1,500 of those experiencing significant loss of civilian life (Hondros p. 162).

Certain high ranking members of the German military were opposed to these measures, which they correctly perceived as alienating the civilian population from cooperation, and encouraging participation in the resistance. Furthermore, they pointed to the historical associations Greeks held in relation to the use of massacres as a terror tactic, as such means had been employed by the Ottoman Empire against the Greek independence movement in the 1820’s. German Minister-President Rallis made this connection in his observation of the counter-productivity of destroying Kalavryta, which was the site of an infamous massacre by Turkish troops in the War of Independence (Hondros p. 158). Accounts of the German occupation of Crete also highlight the German inability to recognize the historical context of the Greek resistance, with one Greek writer mocking the Abwehr [German Bureau of Military Intelligence], who had “failed to evaluate the past history of Crete in its bitter struggle against another oppressor—the Turks” (Kriakopoulos p. 18). Despite these protests, which flared after the massacre at Kalavryta, in which the entire male population was shot in retaliation for supposedly assisting in the abduction of Wehrmacht soldiers, the massacres did not abate until the liberation of Greece in 1944 (Mazower p. 180). A series of Greek presidential decrees from 1998-2005 lists 72 “martyred towns,” a designation that takes into consideration “the percentage of homes destroyed, as well as the loss of human life” [v] (Fouka, Voth p. 3).


Compensation for War-time Suffering

The argument surrounding the idea that the systematic violence implemented during the Axis occupation of Greece inflicted long-term economic damage pervades political and civic discourse in Greece today. The relatives and surviving townspeople in villages that experienced retaliatory massacres at the hands of the various factions of the Axis occupying force are particularly vocal in their demand for economic and moral justice (Daley p. 1). Many have received little to no compensation or reparations for their suffering and the damage inflicted upon their communities (See “Legal Background of the Greek Reparation Claims,” Tzanos, “Are the Greek Claims for War Reparations Justified?”). Various German representatives, in response to allegations of neglect in due compensation for Greek losses during the Axis occupation of the country, have rebuked these charges repeatedly, stating that “there is no legal base for Greece to claim reparations from Germany” and that “the question of reparations is no longer an issue” (Papaioannou, “German Ambassador Wolfgang Dold: EU needs to keep its eye on the competition,” Tzanos, “Are the Greek Claims for War Reparations Justified?”). German officials have, however, acknowledged these atrocities. In 2000, Former German President Johannes Rau traveled to Kalyvryta during his tenure in April of 2000, professing there the official German “mourning and shame” for these atrocities but stopping short of responsibility for reparations, despite the fact that “nobody [in Kalavryta has received any damages from Berlin” (Lowen, “The war claims dividing Greece and Germany”).


An Overview of Possible GIS Applications

It is my belief that the application of Geographic Information Systems software and analysis can assist in the separation of fact from fiction in the debate over World War II reparations to Greece. The first function of GIS in untangling the reparations debate could be visualization and spatial analysis of the policy and practice of Nazi reprisal massacres. The following information could be extracted using GIS distance measurements, Euclidean or functional, which in the mountainous terrain of the North of Greece could be substantially different:

  • Distance of the martyred town[vi] from the “point of provocation,” which we can consider to be ambushes, kidnappings or assassinations by Greek resistance forces (the largest being EDES, ELAS / EAM) (Hondros p. 99, 157, Mazower p. 179), the uncovering of a cache of ammunitions or weaponry (Hondros p. 97), shots fired from a nearby location, (Mazower p. 212), acts of sabotage on cable wires, railroads, or outposts (Hondros p. 99, 157, Mazower p. 178), permitting even a brief guerrilla presence in a civilian town (Mazower p. 174), selling wares or foodstuffs to guerrillas (Mazower p. 192), or actual civilian participation in hostilities (Kiriakopoulos p. 18-19).
  • Distances from the point of provocation to other, nearby towns and villages that could have been targeted in Nazi reprisals but were spared.
  • Distance of martyred town to nearest main road, railroad, water source, trading hubs, trading routes, or ports.
  • Distance of martyred town to military fixtures such as the series of Stuetzpunkte (Strong Points) utilized by the Germans to attempt to control the mountainous Greek interior, so as to understand the town’s relation to the German military presence (Hondros p. 154, Mazower p. 169-170).
  • A town’s “degree of isolation” based on aggregating the distance of martyred town to a fixed number of surrounding villages or towns so as to create a uniform measurement of this characteristic.

GIS could also assist in the analysis of various characteristics of towns and villages so as to ascertain their vulnerability to Nazi retaliatory massacres and enhance our understanding of the selection process for massacres by occupying forces, as well as a means of visualizing these characteristics:

  • Wartime population [vii]
  • Relative administrative importance, as measured by pre-war presence of courts, administrative offices, prisons, government buildings, or state infrastructure. [viii]
  • Pre-war economic indicators such as fertility and land use, which, though difficult to ascertain, can be pieced together based on historical accounts and mapped onto areas surrounding villages and towns. [ix] 

These applications of GIS work toward an empirically substantiated understanding of Nazi policies regarding massacres, and a functional definition of “vulnerability” to acts of terror against civilians. The data visualized and catalogued in these applications also offer a baseline of understanding pre-war economic health, a vital piece of the puzzle if we are to accurately “match” towns that experienced massacres with those that did not in order to compare their long-run effects.

The second, more consequential function of GIS in understanding the Greek-German reparations debate is the visualization of the relationship of Axis retaliatory massacres on later economic development in areas targeted with massacres. GIS could assist in this by calculating and visualizing the correlation between the severity of Axis massacres in Greece and long-term economic development in martyred villages and the surrounding area. First of all, GIS functions as a platform for analyzing indicators of economic development [x] when the data is readily available and proxy economic indicators in remote areas of the country where economic data may be scarce or incomplete—a projected concern in certain remote areas of interest for this study. Using the precedent for studying the long-run impact of systematic war-time violence established by Miguel and Roland in their 2011 paper for the Journal of Development Economics titled “The Long-Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam,” the long-run effect of Nazi reprisal massacres in Greece can be measured using indicators that could be visualized, analyzed, and compared across “matched” towns using GIS, and include:

  • Poverty Rates
  • Consumption levels
  • Electricity infrastructure
  • Literacy
  • Population Density 

Two further indicators of economic health and development could also be:

  • Real-estate prices, as average house and land prices offer a proxy measure of the affluence of a spatial area
  • Luminosity data[xi]

Furthermore, the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), developed in 1990, was designed to “show how well the management of economic growth and human development is actually improving human well-being” (Costanza, Hart et al. p. 18). The economic development data outlined above could be cross-referenced with the Human Development Index, standardized in the following three criteria:

  • Longevity [xii]
  • Knowledge [xiii]
  • Access to a decent standard of living [xiv]

Once the above data is visualized and mapped onto the areas of interest in occupied Greece, GIS offers creative ways for testing the correlation between economic development and severity of massacres:

  • A measure of the severity of massacres, calculated by dividing the number of deaths by 100 Greek residents, could be integrated into the attribute table of point data showing the location of martyred villages and towns. [xv]
  • Upon integrating this measure of the severity of massacres into the point data, buffers could be generated emanating out from the location of martyred villages and towns based on a decided measure of geospatial magnitude corresponding to the severity of massacres. [xvi]

Finally, in preparation for a “natural experiment” to test the question of the long-run economic impact of retaliatory massacres, GIS could help conduct a matched analysis in which towns and villages that experienced retaliatory massacres are matched to a comparison group of towns and villages that did not experience retaliatory massacres, though were functionally identical in all other variables, such as population, size, number of houses, agricultural footprint, and so on. Once matched, the determined buffer zone surrounding the martyred village would be then applied to the matched non-martyred village, and the areas encapsulated in either analysis group could be compared. The aggregate-level results could either confirm or deny the widely held belief that Nazi retaliatory massacres have had a long-run economic impact on the surrounding area.


Concerns and Projected Difficulties

It is important to note that because some of the most vocal demands for reparations come from ancestors of victims of Axis massacres, I am assuming, for the sake of testing this claim, that massacres are the fundamental variable in long-term economic development. Since the victims of these massacres were overwhelmingly males of productive age, it is quite possible that this assumption is not completely inaccurate. 

Another issue in this proposed research design stems from the historical chronology engaged in this study. The Axis Occupation of Greece, our era of interest, occurred from 1941-1944 and until 1945 in Crete and various other Aegean islands, however, immediately after the cessation of World War II Greece was plunged into a violent Civil War in which many of the same villages affected by the Axis Occupation were occupied and administered either by the EDES [Royalist-Pro-British Forces] and ELAS [Communist-Pro-Soviet] forces, oftentimes being tossed back and forth between the two. 80,000 Greeks were killed during the Civil War, with 20,000 sentenced for offences against the state, and 5,000 of those receiving death or life sentences (Clogg p. 164). Furthermore, 700,000 civilians—10 per cent of the Greek population—became refugees at this time (Clogg p. 164). The violence that occurred during these turbulent years of 1946-1949 makes a difficult task of separating those towns and villages that were affected solely by the Axis Occupation from those affected by both the Axis Occupation and the violence of the Civil War. [xvii]

There are two fundamental dilemmas facing the theoretical foundation of this project. One is the equation of the loss of human life with a spatial component. The other, which is a general problem with reparations, is the equation of human life with a monetary value. The latter dilemma is not necessary to untangle for the sake of this project, though I believe that working through the former dilemma may shed some light on an empirical method for doing so. Because the towns that experienced massacres were predominately rural and agrarian and therefore dependent on the land and able-bodied men to work the land, I do not feel that it is totally unjustified to equate the loss of human life with the loss of economic security via focusing on a spatial component. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that land use in certain areas affected by massacres changed significantly because of reprisal massacres, such as in the region around the town of Servia, where more than sixty villages were burned in an attempt to root out the guerrillas operating from the region. According to a resident of Servia, “not even one-tenth of the prewar area is cultivated” (Mazower p. 183). Therefore, the use of buffer zones could simulate the effect of a village’s loss of ability to work the land, an effect that this project could explore empirically and visualize using GIS.


Review of Literature on Economic Effects of Systematic Violence

While common knowledge would suggest that systematic violence does indeed have a long-run negative economic impact on the afflicted region, this sentiment has been inadequately substantiated empirically, and even disproved in certain conditions (Miguel, Roland 2011). Miguel and Roland cite a study by Davis and Weinstein (2002) that showed that “the U.S. bombing of Japanese cities in World War II had no long-run impact on the population of those cities relative to prewar levels” as well studies with similar findings that engaged the question of the long-run impact of systematic violence in postwar Germany (Brakman et al., 2004). However, while Miguel and Roland’s results in their examination of the effects of U.S. bombing on various districts of Vietnam corroborate the results of these studies, their study is particularly pertinent to the discussion of Greece in World War II as it deals with an extremely poor, rural country, and focuses on a more comprehensive array of effects of systematic violence, encompassing “variables that are central to leading economic growth theoretical models” as well as “variables that relate directly to human welfare” (Miguel, Roland p. 3). Miguel and Roland ultimately find, surprisingly, “no robust long-run impacts of U.S. bombing on local poverty rates, consumption levels, or population density in Vietnam over 25 years after the end of the ‘American War’” (Miguel, Roland p. 14).



Whether Greece will actually pursue a case for reparations from Angel Merkel’s Germany is difficult to predict, as it would mean straining relations even further with the country that is bankrolling much of their recovery. Receiving this massive sum of reparations in such a contentious political and economic climate would also pose the extremely daunting task of fair dissemination of reparation funds through a Greek bureaucracy that has proved itself incapable of handling funds for redistribution.

What would perhaps be the safest and most effective way to make the case for reparations would be to wait until Greece reaches a point of relative economic, social, and political equilibrium before pressing legal action against Germany. At that point, Greece could confidently make the legal case for reparation funds with the renewed faith of the international community as well as the necessary checks and balances instated into its institutions so as to ensure that the money arrives where it is due. Laying out such a program would also accelerate the implementation of reforms essential to Greece regaining economic autonomy. On the other hand, waiting to act may mean that witnesses of the mass murder, starvation, and enslavement of Hellas may die longing for justice.



i. To see a map of the Axis zones of occupation from 1941-1943, see Appendix (1)

ii. Greek People's Liberation Army (Ελληνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στρατός)

iii. National Republican Greek League (Εθνικός Δημοκρατικός Ελληνικός Σύνδεσμος)

iv. National Liberation Front (Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο)

v. To see a map of the geographic distribution of the “martyred towns,” see Appendix (2)

vi. “Martyred Town” refers to the 72 villages that experienced a substantial retaliatory massacre at the hands of Axis occupation forces, as determined in presidential decrees no. 399 (1998), 99 (2000), 40 (2004) and 140 (2005) (Fouka, Voth, 2013)

vii. Data available in the 1940 Greek Census

viii. Data to substantiate this measure can be extracted from historical records.

ix. Mark Mazower describes the region around the town of Servia as being “turned into a ‘dead zone’ or ruined property and rotting harvests: ‘In these areas not even one-tenth of the prewar area is cultivated,’” and furthermore on the other side of the Pindus mountains, in Epirus, “By the side of roads used regularly by the Germans, the fields lay deserted, clogged with water and weeds,” a state of decay that caused a desperate scarcity of food for the terrified residents of the area (Mazower p. 183-184).

x. It is important to note that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) cannot be used in this scenario as it is meant to measure a country’s economic progress and therefore cannot be trusted as a measurement for the micro-level comparisons between towns that this project proposes. Furthermore, GDP has been shown to be a poor indicator of true economic wellbeing, and other measures, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) have been proposed as “a way of measuring the economy that will give better guidance than the GNP to those interested in promoting economic welfare” by using “the same personal consumption data as GDP but [making] deductions to account for income inequality and costs of crime, environmental degradation, and los of leisure and additions to account for the services from consumer durables and public infrastructure as well as the benefits of volunteering and housework” (Daly and Cobb p. 401, Talberth, Cobb et al.).

xi. Based on findings by Chen and Nordhaus, 2011, luminosity can be used as a proxy economic indicator in countries or areas with low-quality statistical systems. In this paper, Greece is rated as a B, putting its statistical system on par with South Korea, Spain, Singapore, Liechtenstein, and New Zealand. This method could be misleading in the Greek case, however, as they find that “luminosity is likely to add value as a proxy for output for countries with the poorest statistical systems, those that receive a D or an E grade, but has very limited value added for A, B, and C countries.” However, as many of the regions discussed in this proposed study are remote and rugged, luminosity could possibly be pursued as a means of gauging economic health.

xii. Longevity is a measure of “life expectancy at birth,” and is also “a proxy for other aspects of well-being such as adequate nutrition and good health” (Costanza, Hart et al. p. 19).

xiii. Knowledge is a measure of “literacy rate and school enrollment,” and could also be enhanced using a GIS measurement of the functional distance of the martyred town from the nearest school (Costanza, Hart et al. p. 19).

xiv. Access to a decent standard of living is a measure of “GDP adjusted to reflect purchasing power parity,” however, as GDP is a poor indicator of the micro-dynamics of economic health, this measure would not be particularly useful for this study (Costanza, Hart et al. p. 19).

xv. See Appendix (3)

xvi. For explanations, see Appendix (3) and (4)

xvii. Historian Richard Clogg writes that Greece “was to experience the ravages of war far longer than the rest of Europe” due to the almost immediate sequence of international conflict flooding into domestic conflict from 1940-1949 (Clogg p. 164).



1. Zones of Axis Occupation, Greece, 1941-1943 (Zander Abranowicz, 2013)

Zones of Axis Occupation [ArcGIS Document by Zander Abranowicz]

2. Geographic Distribution of Massacres (Zander Abranowicz, 2013)

Geographic Distribution of Martyred Towns [ArcGIS Document by Zander Abranowicz]

3. Measurement of “severity of massacre” [Measurement and demonstration forthcoming]

4. Demonstration of mapping the “massacre buffer zone,” which, for the sake of demonstration, will consider the “decided measure of geospatial magnitude corresponding to the severity of the massacre” to be ______ [Map and demonstration forthcoming]

5. A tree used by the Nazis to hang civilians as a warning to passerby’s stands alongside a country road in Lia, a small town in Epirus that saddles the Greek-Albanian border (Zander Abranowicz, 2013)

Hanging Tree in Lia, Epirus - Zander Abranowicz

6. A memorial to a Greek civilian killed by German troops in Lia reads “Grigrios S. Loli, who was killed by the Germans 4.21.1944” (Zander Abranowicz, 2013)

Gravestone in Lia - Zander Abranowicz

7. The Pindus Mountains in the northern Greek region of Epirus. The topography of this region made it a hotbed of resistance against the Nazis, and, correspondingly, the location of many brutal reprisal massacres against civilians (Zander Abranowicz, 2013)

Pindus Mountains


I would like to thank Vasiliki Fouka and Hans-Joachim Voth for providing me with invaluable GIS data that helped me to construct the maps found in Appendix (1) and (2).


Print References

Clogg, Richard. A Short History of Modern Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979. Print.

Daly, H. E. and J. B. Cobb, Jr. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989, Print.

Hondros, John Louis. Occupation and Resistance: The Greek Agony, 1941-44. New York, NY: Pella Pub. Co., 1983. Print.

Kiriakopoulos, G. C., The Nazi Occupation of Crete, 1941-1945. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995. Print.

Mazower, Mark. Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. Print. 

Talberth, D. J., C. Cobb, et al. 2007. The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006: A Tool for Sustainable Development. Oakland, California: Redefining Progress.


Scholarly Works Referenced

Chen, Xi, and William Nordhaus. "Using Luminosity Data as a Proxy for Economic Statistics." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 16 (2011): 1-6.

Costanza, Robert, Maureen Hart, Stephen Posner, and John Talberth. "Beyond GDP: The Need for New Measures of Progress." The Pardee Papers 4 (2009): 1-46.

Davis, Donald R, and David E Weinstein. "Bones, Bombs, And Break Points: The Geography Of Economic Activity." American Economic Review 92.5 (2002): 1269-1289.

Fouka, Vasiliki, and Hans-Joachim Voth. “Reprisals Remembered: German-Greek Conflict and Car Sales During the Euro Crisis,” 2013.

Miguel, Edward, and Gérard Roland. "The Long-run Impact of Bombing Vietnam." Journal of Development Economics 96 (2010): 1-15.