Antonis Kakoyannis was born and raised in Skepasto, Kalavryta, Greece. As a teenage boy, he was an eyewitness to many of the events that took place in Kalavryta during the years of Axis occupation. His later experience as a reserve officer in the Greek Army provided him with an understanding of military matters. After receiving his B.S. in Economics and Business in Athens, Greece, he won a Greek state scholarship to earn his Masters of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics. During his career, he originally worked for the Greek government and later, after emigrating to the United States, became a successful small business owner in Florida. Antonis Kakoyannis has published several articles in Greek magazines and his related book The Nazi Savagery in Greece was published in Greek in 2000 by Kastanotis Editions. He and his wife have four children and currently divide their time living in the United States and Greece.
In December 1943, after months battling resistance fighters, Nazi units marched through the mountains of the Greek Peloponnese,conducting reprisalsagainst Greek civilians. The operation reached its brutal conclusion with the massacre of 438 civilian men and boys in Kalavryta. On that cursed day in December, Kalavryta became one of the martyr towns of World War II.
As the years passed, the need to record eyewitness accounts became increasingly urgent. Driven by the need to document the true stories, the author interviewed over seventy people who lived through those tumultuous times. The author himself witnessed much of this conflict firsthand as a teenager living in the region. He now brings these events to life through the personal narratives of his own family and other townspeople and villagers. This book recounts the terror and confusion of that period and the war’s impact on ordinary Greek citizens trying to persevere through the cruelties of war.