Kleisoura, Kastoria

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Kleisoura is located in Greece
Location within the regional unit
DE Klisouras.svg
Coordinates: 40°32′N 21°28′E / 40.533°N 21.467°E / 40.533; 21.467Coordinates: 40°32′N 21°28′E / 40.533°N 21.467°E / 40.533; 21.467
Country Greece
Administrative region West Macedonia
Regional unit Kastoria
Municipality Kastoria
 • Municipal unit 37.1 km2 (14.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Municipal unit 259
 • Municipal unit density 7.0/km2 (18/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Vehicle registration KT

Kleisoura (Greek: Κλεισούρα, also Βλαχοκλεισούρα, Vlachokleisoúra; Aromanian: Klisoura) is a traditionally Aromanian (Vlach) settlement and a former municipality in Kastoria regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality of Kastoria, of which it is a municipal unit.[2] The municipal unit has an area of 37.069 km2.[3] Population 259 (2011).

Kleisoura Massacre[edit]

On 5 April 1944, the German occupation forces under the command of Karl Schümers, commander of the 7th regiment of the 4th Armored Division of the SS, the same unit to later that year commit the massacre in Distomo, slaughtered the women and children of Kleisoura in retaliation for the execution of three German soldiers by ELAS close to the village. The ELAS guerrillas, led by Alexis Rosios from Siatisti ("Captain Ypsilantis"), who were active in the region, had attacked a German military phalanx at Daouli, close to Kleisoura, and had killed a vanguard of three motorcyclists.[4] According to testimonies, the male residents, fearing retaliation, fled to the mountains surrounding the village.

After finding the mutilated bodies of the Wehrmacht soldiers close to the local church, the German SS unit went to the homes, broke the doors of the majority of the houses, shot the people within, set fire to the buildings and also killed whom they found in the streets. Altogether 270 residents were killed, the overwhelming majority of them being women, children and elderly people. Involved in the atrocities was also a Bulgarian militia under German command, led by Andon Kalchev. Colonel Karl Schümers was summoned by the German administration for having ordered the slaughter of women and children. He testified that his soldiers were forced to kill the civilians because rebel forces were hiding and firing through the village, whereupon he was acquitted, despite the contradictory statements of his subordinates. After the war it was proved that his testimony was false.[5]

Prominent people[edit]

Army General Constantine Lianis (Κωνσταντίνος Λιάνης), a war hero, and one of the founders of the Greek secret services (KYP), originated from Kleisoura. His daughter is Dimitra Liani (Δήμητρα Λιάνη), who became first the lover, and then the third and last wife of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.