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The Bishop’s Gambit : The mayor and bishop of Zakynthos went to extraordinary lengths to protect the most vulnerable people of their island.
The Bishop’s Gambit

Based on ‘Here is the list of Jews you required’ on the website of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem.

In February 1943, the Italians, who had captured the Greek island of Zakynthos two years earlier, threw the island’s bishop, Chrysostom, in an Athens jail. Ten months later he returned home to find the island now in the hands of the Nazis.

Zakynthos on Google Maps.

IT was in December 1943 that the anxious mayor of Zakynthos, Lukas Karrer, came to ask Bishop Chrysostom’s advice.

The Nazi commandant had given him seventy-two hours to compile a list of all the Jews of the island, a distasteful task as Karrer guessed that they would go to the Polish concentration camps.

Karrer was fingering a list of 275 names, but Chrysostom told him to burn it at once.

Instead, the two men went to the commandant, and with a cold ‘Here is the list of Jews you required’, handed over a scrap of paper with two names scribbled on it. One read ‘Karrer’. The other read ‘Chrysostom’.

While the commandant fumed, the bishop hastily made plans for hiding the Jews in the island’s rural villages.

By the time a small German force came for them in August 1944, rounding them up was wholly impracticable, and their ordeal ended on October 14th when British Marines liberated the island.

Based on ‘Here is the list of Jews you required’ on the website of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem.

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Picture: Photo by Maesi64, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 1.0 Universal public domain dedication. View original
The Resistance Memorial in Zakynthos, with the stone to Bishop Chrysostom on the left, and that to Lukas Karrer on the right.

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