Excerpt: Lt. Col. C.A.S. Palmer’s report: Visit to Northern Greece, 9-14 April 1945

5. In a discussion with Major Sara[n]dis the latter admitted that the alleged massacres had taken place in March by certain elements from Corfu, approximately 60 people being killed. He admitted in general to previous actions taken by the Greeks against the Albanian minority. While affirming that actions, particulary those in March 1945, were taken against all orders by General Zervas and others in authority, he stated that the Albanians had richly deserved everything they had got by reason of their collaboration with the Italians and Germans against the Greeks. He gave as his opinion that should the Albanians return now to their homes similar action against them by the Greek population would take place, and could not be prevented by the authorities. Such was the hatred of the Greeks for this minority that elements of ELES and EDES would unite and drive them out again.
6. Major Sarandis reported that General Zervas had in Athens documents relating to the crimes committed both by the Albanian minority and by his Andartes.
7. EAM are claimed by Major Sarandis to have come to an agreement with the FNC at the time of their taking over control of Epirus in December 1944 about the return of the Albanian refugees.

COMMENTS ON COURSE OF EVENTS IN CAMORIA.
1. It is probable that the Albanian minority did collaborate with the Italians during their war with Greece. This collaboration may have been caused by
(a) a desire to see Greek Camoria incorporated within the Greater Albanian border and/or
(b) the opportunity presenting itself of paying off old scores with the Greeks.
It would not appear possible to reach any conclusion as to who was initially responsible for the series of clashes.
2. The area in which this minority lived is Filiates, Paramythia, Margarillom, Egoumenitsa. They are stated to have lived in the richest parts of this area.
3. Consequently there has always been a feeling of hatred and envy on the part of the Greeks of that area towards the Camorians.
4. The number of the Albanian minority was claimed in 1919 by the Albanians to be 54,000. A total of 20,000 to 25,000 is probably a more accurate figure.
5. During the German occupation there is no doubt that many (Force 399 estimated the number at 2,000 to 3,000) of the minority collaborated whole-heartedly with the Germans throughout the area.
6. The Albanian Camorians claim to have had a battalion of 400 to 700 fighting with ELAS. This was probably so but their efforts are likely to have been directed more against EDES than against the Germans.
6. The local EDES followers, however, suffered considerably from the minority both as collaborators and as ELAS bands.

Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tirana: 1945 dos. 11

Published in: Book on Greece. Yugoslavia. Direkcija za informacije, Yugoslavia. Office of Information. Published by the Office of Information attached to the government of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, 1948.

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