Greek English
Greek English


Block 15

Block 15 was initiated as an area of strict isolation in December 1943. Its architectural form, with large rooms
and few windows, suggests that it had been built to house some military prison. It was close to Blocks 3 and 4.
Th. Kornaros writes that it was the only unplastered building, so as to look old, mouldy and hence have a psychological effect. It had two floors. The first floor had a large room for more than 50 prisoners. Around it there were holes, like dog-shelters, with iron doors and no ventilation at all, surrounded by walls. These were the strict isolation chambers. The same arrangement was repeated on the upper floor. The prisoners were not able to look out. The living conditions were miserable, as there was no heating, little water and air. Food was kept to the minimum and so was space. Prisoners were obliged to stand for over twelve hours. A. Zesis stayed in Block 15 for five months and has described a day in the isolation chamber. Prisoners got up at a quarter to five. Washing was allowed for five minutes only in groups of three. There was bread distribution at six and the only meal of the day at twelve. The prisoner received them from the half-opened door of the cell and the meal consisted of five spoonfulls of chickpeas or plain water-boiled pasta.
Outside the isolation chambers there was a second


The horrible Block 15 during the 1950s.

meal in the afternoon. The prisoners were allowed out only once at half past four for a five-minute wash and sleeping time was at five. Windows were kept open at all times, regardless of the weather and prisoners had to stand constantly. The penalty for any rule violation was whipping till bleeding and passing away.
The sleeping hours were tormented by cold, as prisoners had to lie down on concrete or wooden boards with only one blanket. Hence, they woke up tired. Bugs and the ferocity of the guards completed their torment. Prisoners were in constant agony and seclusion was catastrophic to their psychology. The journalist A. Saousopoulos, then a prisoner, mentions that Block 15 was more of a psychological torture than a physical one. The constant isolation, the inability to exchange a word with another person and the ignorance of the outside world exhausted the nervous system and brought people to the edge of madness.
The prisoners of Block 15 were allowed out only during walking time and isolated prisoners came out every
two to three and even five days. The walk lasted about twenty minutes. They formed a circle and kept a distance of 1 m from each other, so that they were not able to speak to each other. They paced fast under the eyes
of the guards. Walks were gradually reduced and were finally forbidden. An interrogator visited Block 15 every Tuesday after the midday meal.

Block 15 was initiated as an area of strict isolation in December 1943. Its architectural form, with large rooms
and few windows, suggests that it had been built to house some military prison. It was close to Blocks 3 and 4.
Th. Kornaros writes that it was the only unplastered building, so as to look old, mouldy and hence have a psychological effect. It had two floors. The first floor had a large room for more than 50 prisoners. Around it there were holes, like dog-shelters, with iron doors and no ventilation at all, surrounded by walls. These were the strict isolation chambers. The same arrangement was repeated on the upper floor. The prisoners were not able to look out. The living conditions were miserable, as there was no heating, little water and air. Food was kept to the minimum and so was space. Prisoners were obliged to stand for over twelve hours. A. Zesis stayed in Block 15 for five months and has described a day in the isolation chamber. Prisoners got up at a quarter to five. Washing was allowed for five minutes only in groups of three. There was bread distribution at six and the only meal of the day at twelve. The prisoner received them from the half-opened door of the cell and the meal consisted of five spoonfulls of chickpeas or plain water-boiled pasta.
Outside the isolation chambers there was a second


The horrible Block 15 during the 1950s.

meal in the afternoon. The prisoners were allowed out only once at half past four for a five-minute wash and sleeping time was at five. Windows were kept open at all times, regardless of the weather and prisoners had to stand constantly. The penalty for any rule violation was whipping till bleeding and passing away.
The sleeping hours were tormented by cold, as prisoners had to lie down on concrete or wooden boards with only one blanket. Hence, they woke up tired. Bugs and the ferocity of the guards completed their torment. Prisoners were in constant agony and seclusion was catastrophic to their psychology. The journalist A. Saousopoulos, then a prisoner, mentions that Block 15 was more of a psychological torture than a physical one. The constant isolation, the inability to exchange a word with another person and the ignorance of the outside world exhausted the nervous system and brought people to the edge of madness.
The prisoners of Block 15 were allowed out only during walking time and isolated prisoners came out every
two to three and even five days. The walk lasted about twenty minutes. They formed a circle and kept a distance of 1 m from each other, so that they were not able to speak to each other. They paced fast under the eyes
of the guards. Walks were gradually reduced and were finally forbidden. An interrogator visited Block 15 every Tuesday after the midday meal.