Dimitrios Ioakimidis

* 1933

  • “Apparently our priest fought against Bulgarians long time ago. He ran from the soldiers, with small children. He thought they would not do anything to him as he was the priest, so took a stick with a white flag and went back home. They caught him, he had to kneel down at the square and they shot him in front of the children. Bulgarians were barbarians. I experienced it myself. The evening they came in we were hiding at a Wallachian family of the step-mother of my brother Ilias. I, my mother and brother, otherwise they all ran away. We were waiting for what was going to happen and suddenly many heavily armed Bulgarians rushed into the village riding horses. And they knocked on the door asking where the centre was. We all were shaking with fear. As children we were curious so another day we went out to have a look at the square. There were Bulgarian soldiers with machine guns all around.“

  • “We joined the people running from our village and went to the South to my mother´s siblings, who lived in Episkopi about seventy to hundred kilometres far away. We had nothing with us, not even food and we went on foot. The first night we slept in a church. We had to avoid the main roads guarded by the Germans. We went across the field and at night we got to a certain village. There were twenty or thirty families; mostly women and children. We remained at the cemetery and in the morning we took off again. We travelled for three days on foot before we got to our relatives. The bridges and main roads were guarded by the Germans and we tried to avoid them.“

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    Jeseník, 25.04.2017

    duration: 04:08:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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A man was not born to get killed

Dimitrios Ioakimidis
Dimitrios Ioakimidis
photo: archiv pamětníka

Dimitrios Ioakimidis was born on the 4th June, 1933, in a small mountain village in Langadia, Northern Greece, He is the youngest of six children. His family suffered much through the events of the 20th century. One of his grandfather’s was murdered in Georgia by the Turks, and the other died of typhus during the family’s resettlement from Georgia to Greece in the 1920s. There, they settled in the village of Langadia nearby the state border with former Yugoslavia. During WWII, they repeatedly experienced attacks of Bulgarian soldiers, who shot several civilians in the village. The family fled from home and returned back only after three years. Dimitrios’ older brothers, Kiriakos and Ilias, being the Greek soldiers and partisans, participated in fighting with Italian, German and Bulgarian invasion units. In the burgeoning civil war of that time, the family experienced raids of government troops. The brothers fought within the left-wing Democratic Army of Greece (DSE). As a result of the civil war, Dimitrios’s family completely separated. Dimitrios, together with his parents, lived in Czechoslovakia; his brother, Kiriakos, found himself in Tashkent in Uzbek SSR; Ilias to Bulgaria; and his sister, Elisabeth, lived in Poland and later in Rumania. After arriving to Czechoslovakia, Dimitrios and his parents moved to the borderland in Zálesí, Czechoslovakia. In 1950, they were sent to Karviná to join in building the mining town. For fourteen years they lived there together with another two families in a flat with four rooms and common bathroom and toilet. At age sixteen, Dimitrios was sent to a children´s home in the village of Běstvina in Chrudimsko, and then to Vítkovice iron plant, where he apprenticed a metal roller and worked for three years. He would soon return back to his parents to help them in a difficult economic situation. First, he worked in the national company, Železárny Karviná, then in national company, Bytostav, and later in Rudné doly. He was married twice and had three children. In 1990, Dimitrios Ioakimidis moved to Greek Thessaloniki, but due to high financial costs, returned to Czechoslovakia in 2003 and settled down in Jeseník, where he lives currently.