Volos in crisis

On 28 October 1940, the Greco-Italian War was declared. From November to April, Volos was bombarded 12 times by the Axis forces (Italy, Germany), suffering heavy casualties. Embarrassment followed the declaration of war, and the short-lived general elation felt after the victories of the Greek troops on the front lines was cut short by the capitulation.

In April 1941, German troops marched into the centre of Volos. The defeated Italians were tasked with the administration of the occupied city until 1943, when Germans took over. From the early months of occupation, hunger was a major cause of mortality for the population, even taking a toll on the privileged classes. Wages constantly fell, money lost its value due to inflation and, as a result, transactions were mainly carried out in black-market exchanges.

By 1942 the Resistance was established; in addition to armed struggle, it organised massive rallies, especially in 1943 and 1944.

Volos was liberated from German occupation on 19 October 1944. The joyful mood did not last long: A divisive Civil War weighed heavily on the city’s inhabitants. Many left to escape the consequences; by the time it ended, in 1949, many others were either exiled or imprisoned.

In the aftermath of the War, Volos found itself in economic recession, as most factories had been shut down. The 1955–57 earthquakes only completed the destruction of the city’s pre-war topography, destroying much of the building stock and infrastructure, and leaving thousands of people homeless.

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