The occupation of Crete in WW II by German and Italian forces brought many hardships and great suffering to the local population. The rich cultural heritage of the island was not spared either. A number of the occupiers, both archaeologists and antiquities collectors, used this unbound opportunity to officially as well as privately “investigate”, “protect” and “liberate” known archaeological finds and sites as well as to excavate others.

On Monday, May 7th at 7:00 PM in the Library of the Institute Dr. Georgia Flouda, an archaeologist at the Archaeological Museum of Herakleio, will give a lecture entitled «Η αρχαιολογία στην εμπόλεμη ζώνη: ο August Schörgendorfer και η υπηρεσίαKunstschutzστην Κρήτη κατά τον Β΄ Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο».


Dr. Flouda discovered that there are various documentary sources relating to the archaeological activities of August Schörgendorfer, an Austrian archaeologist and officer of the Wehrmacht, during the German occupation of the island in 1941˗42. These sources are the archival documents of the Archaeological Service, of the German Archaeological Institute, and of the Austrian State Archives, as well as the photographic archive of Schörgendorfer himself on Crete. His ideological and archaeological backgrounds will be investigated, before and during his service in the “German Service for Protection of the Arts” (Kunstschutz). His participation in illegal excavations at Knossos and in the Mesara, the measures he took for the protection of the antiquities, as well as the establishment of the archaeological research by the occupation troops in Crete will reveal interesting and heretofore undocumented aspects of the archaeological research of the Wehrmacht. Furthermore, the political role of the members of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens during the war will be examined.

This is the final lecture in the 2017/2018 Lecture Program of the ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΦΙΛΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΚΟΥ ΑΡΧΕΙΟΥ ΤΗΣ ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΗΣ ΥΠΗΡΕΣΙΑΣ. The public is welcome to attend.

David Rupp