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Oral History

History > Oral History > The deaf man's escape

7359: History > Oral History

submitted by Rowan Parkes on 07.05.2005

The deaf man's escape

When the Germans first came to the island of Kythera they realized that they would need working hands to build barriers, bases, and various other constructions wanted in times of war. They therefore began the procedure of rounding up local men to be made use of in construction projects. One of the places they decided to recruit from was an olive oil factory to the south of the island. The people working in the factory spied the Germans coming and scattered into hiding, leaving the factory dark and only a few very young boys and very old men milling around. The soldiers peered into the dark recesses of the factory, sure that workers must be manning the machines, but all was dark, and they themselves were afraid to go in. In a rage they opened fire into the surrounding fields, perhaps as a warning, perhaps in the hope of shooting a hide away in the grass.
When they had left everyone came out of hiding and a count was made to see that all had returned safely and no one was injured. All were accounted for except one man, who was in fact deaf. Realizing he was missing search parties were sent out to all the surrounding areas to look for him, but he was no where to be found and everyone began to feel very afraid for his safety, as it was whispered that he had failed to hear the Germans and been shot in the grass trying to make his retreat. The day progressed and he remained unaccounted for.
Then suddenly, just when everyone had begun to fear that he really was lost for good, they all turned to see him climbing down from the loft, yawning, having just woken up. It turned out he had slept through the whole incident!

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