Chrysostomos (Dimitriou) of Trifylias

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His Eminence Chrysostomos of Zakynthos was the Metropolitan of the Metropolis of Zakynthos of the Church of Greece during the years of World War II who, with Mayor Loukas Karrer, defended the Jewish population of the Island of Zakynthos from deportation to Germany.

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Life

Metropolitan Chrysostomos was born in 1890.

He was the ruling hierarch of the metropolis that included the island of Zakynthos during World War II when the German army occupied the island after Italy surrendered to the Allies and left the war as an enemy combatant in 1943. The Germans arrived on the island on September 9, 1943.

Upon their arrival the German commander demanded a list of all the 275 Jews on the island with notation of their occupations and possessions. Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos, who spoke fluent German, began a one sided negotiation with the commander, noting that the Jews were small in number, poor, and that there was no reason to single them out. Unrelenting, the commander threatened them with death if they did not produce a list of the Jews.

After deliberating with each other for a time, the two decided to burn the list and give the commander another list that contained only their own names: “Metropolite of Zakynthos Chrysostomos and Mayor of Zakynthos Loukas Karrer.” Metr. Chrysostomos stated upon surrendering the list to the German commander, “You can arrest me, not them. If this does not satisfy you, then know that I will march together with the Jews straight into the gas chambers.” As this was happening, the Jewish population fled to the villages in surrounding mountains. There, without revealing their presence, the local people hid and fed them, and none of the Jews were deported nor died at the hands of the Germans.

Metr. Chrysostomos reposed in 1958.

Succession box:
Chrysostomos (Dimitriou) of Trifylias
Preceded by:
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Metropolitan of Zakynthos
?-1958
Succeeded by:
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