Georgios Yvanov was a big saboteur against the Nazis during World War II.
Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )
Ottoman era (1453- 1912)
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
Classical era (478-323 BC)
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
At the corner of Lagada and Agiou Dimitriou Streets we see a sculpture in honour of Georgios Υvanov (Jerzy Szajnowicz-Iwanow 1911- 1943). Originally from Poland and a Russian father, he lived since his childhood in Thessaloniki, after his Polish mother married a Greek man. He was a footballer, a champion swimmer and is considered a hero in Greece, Poland and the UK as he was a secret agent and saboteur of the Allies against the Axis. Υvanov is depicted in chains, between two columns, with outstretched chest and open palms, bravely awaiting his execution. It is a realistic sculpture with monumental intentions. On the south column, we can see the name of the sculptor Mieczyslav Welter. There are also two commemorative plates in Greek and Polish on the right of the sculpture’s base.
What I can't see
The sculpture was a gift from Poland to Greece. After the German invasion, Georgios Υvanov fled to Palestine, where he was trained as an agent and saboteur by the British. He then arrived in Athens, where he took action by destroying a munitions factory and German warships and planes. He attempted to assassinate the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, when he had visited Athens. After a price had been set upon his head, he was probably betrayed by an old friend of his and got arrested for the first time, but he escaped. He was later recaptured, along with his collaborators, and sentenced to death. He was taken to Kaissariani for execution, managed to overpower his captors and ran towards the forest. A bullet wounded him though and he was taken back. Before his execution, he exclaimed “Long live Greece! Long live Poland!”
- Address: Lagada & Ag. Nestoros St.