During World War 2, all of Greece was occupied by the Germans and their allies, the Italians. In Dec 1942, Plessa was burned by Italian forces in retaliation for the ambush deaths of several Italian soldiers. The event has been documented by one of the eyewitnesses Athan. Manetas in his book “The Burning of Plessa”. In the book one there is one mention of the Kamoutsis family. What follows is a rough translation from the book.
“The day of the ambush, farmers in the area saw the fighting and by the same evening began to evacuate their flocks. Throughout this region, fear reigned. The 38 year old, Efthimios Dimitrios Kamoutsis having a sheep corral in Ntovrovítsas area, didn’t want to move nor did 75 year old Kostas Efstathios Tsellos and his 40 year old son Eustace. The latter, at the prompting of his father-in-law of George Theoch. Theocharopoulou and his brother-in-law law Theochari, finally agreed to move. He promised that he would move the herd west of Ntovrovítsas to Mesovoúni. By the next day, Saturday December 19, the entire village had learned what happened to them.
After the ambush, the Italian army, battalion strength, gathered nearby the ambush area. They came from Lidoriki and Amfissa. They also disembarked in Eratini and other Italian military forces were sent from Nafpaktos. At the battle site, they found nothing other than the dead and the destroyed car. Some investigated the area and surroundings and then they arrested Efthimios Kamoutsis outside his corral along with Kostas Efstathios Tsellos. Tending his flock was his 22 year old Efthimios John Baroúcho was located on the eastern slope of Mesovounou.
Some of the Italians approached them unawares. Efthimios Baroúcho who was nimble, and who had bitter experience with the Italians because they had captured him in Vounichora and had beaten him in Amfissa a few days earlier, escaped running. Efstathios Tsellos, not wanting to leave his flock, remained and was arrested by the Italians. Efthimios Kamoutsis and Efstathios Tsellos, both fathers of 3 small children were tortured and killed. The Italians left their bodies beside the highway that leads to Amfissa, a few meters after the intersection (Union Eratini).
In retaliation for the death of their ten soldiers, the Italians executed a total of ten innocent Greek citizens. They were Efthimios D. Kamoutsi and Efstathios K.. Tsellos (who were killed where they were captured), along with eight others* who were executed as a group outside Lidoriki at “Tragoudáki” next to the road leading to the field of Skaloula Andritsou….
The bodies of the two men executed in ltovrovitsa, Efthimios Kamoutsis and Efstathios Tsellos remained unburied and after the departure of the Italians their relatives were afraid to collect them. The brother of Efthimios Kamoutsis, Panagiotis Kamoutsis, went Monday to Lidoriki to ask the Italians for permission to receive their bodies, but fearing arrest he did not approach them.
On Monday evening residents of our village went to the village cemetery, but soon learned that P. Kamoutsis had not been authorized to transport the bodies back to the village. The next day, more adventurous villagers brought the bodies to the cemetery where they were buried.”
Several Kamoutsis families also lived in Vralia a few miles away. In 2013, the village erected a plaque in their community center that memorializes the complete burning of their village by Germans on July 24, 1943.
“Η ΒΡΆΙΛΑ ΜΑΣ ΚΑΗΚΕ ΟΛΟΣΧΕΡΩΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΟΥΣ ΚΑΤΑΚΤΗΤΕΣ ΣΤΙΣ 24 ΙΟΥ ΛΙΟΥ 1943
*The names of the other villagers who were executed by the Italians:
- Konstantinos E. Tsellos.They had arrested him as mentioned before in Ntovrovitsa, led him to Eratini and there the Italian police released him. Upon returning, he learned of the execution of his son and returned to Ntovrovitsa to receive his son’s body. But there he was arrested again by the Italians and taken to Lidoriki.
- Athanassios Panagiotopoulos from Malandrino, who was a prisoner of the Italians.
- Nikolaos Daskalopoulos community president, and 4. Anastasios Vlachos, rural constable from Tolofóna. These two were arrested on the grounds that they had not warned the Italians that rebels were staying at Tolofóna.
- Efthymios Leonidas
- Efthimios Kríkos
- Aristotle Pázasfrom Panormos and
- Efthymios Lalos,a native of the village Panormos, ranchers in the region who were, arrested for, supposedly feeding the rebels.