Damasta

Damasta

The mountain village of Damasta is about 27 kilometers from Heraclion and under the Malevizi municipality. Damasta is built on the northern sides of the Koiti hill, in the Psiloreitis Mountain, 730 meters above the sea level.

Administratively, the very small Astrinos settlement is under the Damasta district. Over 300 people live in Damasta and their main occupations are agriculture, livestock and bee keeping.

The Memorial and the graves of the people from Damasta, who were executed by the Nazis during the German Occupation, are in Keratidi, in the east of the settlement. A cupressus has been planted there for every young man that was executed.

HISTORY

Damasta was stated in the catalogue of Kastrofilakas, in 1583. After that, it is referred in various censuses.

During the Nazi Occupation, sabotage was organized in Damasta by the partisans from Anogeia. Every morning, at 8-9 o’clock, a lorry passed through Damasta, going from Heraclion to Chania, with 30 armed German soldiers and an armored vehicle with a machine-gun. The blocking was a kilometer in the west of Damasta. The partisans attacked, killed many Germans and, then, disappeared.

The Germans thought the residents of Damasta as associates, as they didn’t speak in order the sabotage to be prevented, and, in reprisal, they chose the 30 more active men of the village and executed them in Keratidi, on the 21st of August 1944. Damasta was evacuated and destroyed completely.

PLACE NAME

According to the historian Nikolaos Platon, the name came from the words “Da Ma” that mean Mother Earth. The Mother Earth was a pre-Hellenic divinity.

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