The penultimate day of October ’44 was not just the last of the German military presence in Thessaloniki. There was also a day of celebration for all the inhabitants of the city. As of noon, as soon as the danger was removed from the retreating Germans, the crowd poured into the city and enthusiastically welcomed the parading guerrillas of the 11th division of ELAS. Many flags were raised in all the houses, Greek, allied, English, American and Russian. In a short time, honorary arches and wreaths were prepared for the liberators, who appeared in the streets of the city in the afternoon. ELAS units entered the coastal boulevard of Nikis and paralyzed, together with political units of the reserve ELAS, EPON and EAM resistance organizations for 2.5 hours in a frenzy of spontaneous enthusiasm.
The photographic material extracted from the rich archive of the Museum, presents in detail the above scenario. Writing a thorough research study without political staining and documenting the photographs through the diligent search for eyewitnesses and personal testimonies has not been an easy task. The very nature of the photographic material, paves the way for thorough research, as the faces of the time, are illuminated as a whole, in captured images of crowd, action and impressions, with the background of the houses and the streets, the emerging organization and the protagonists of those days. The past had not yet dried up while the uncertain future is reopening full of fears and hopes. The aim of this publication and the presentation of the photographic documents that accompany it is to present simply and without specialized alluvium, the context, the before and after the days of liberation, leaving for the liberation itself and the festive events a sufficient space to capture the lens the events of those hours. Dozens of survivors, of those unforgettable days, are among us, in old age. Many have testified, others are silent. It is a project that will be undertaken by the younger ones, based on the pages of this historical photo album.