Women in the Resistance

In the anti-fascist struggle against the foreign occupation a new factor appeared for the first time in the history of Greek conflict that was to prove important and decisive: the contibution of women. For four years the women of Greece gave everything to this struggle. They sacrificed their professions, possessions, health, children and life. School girls with the ideals of EPON and grandmothers from the countryside under the slogans of EAM-ELAS achieved unbelievable things. [...] We find her festooned with weapons fighting in the mountains. We find her as an ELAS guard defending the gates of Greece. [...] Waves of girls covering the tanks during a demonstration. The firing squads riddling her breast with bullets and she standing unbent shouting: Long live Freedom! We find her weaving, laundering, toiling night and day for our guerillas. Loading on her back ammunition for the guerillas in the untrodden thickets where no flying bird could reach. [...] Burying her first children and preparing quickly to throw the rest into the mortal struggle. [...] Women tearing up the only shirt they have to make a flag. [...] Women padding their non-existent breasts with illegal pamphlets and carrying them to us. [...] Women hiding, feeding, cleaning the wounds of the foreign men when our childen were no more. And women go-betweens going up and down the mountains to meet our fighters. [...] And the unforgettable squads of the old women, when 'drawn up', asking from the killers bread for their grandchildren. [...] The Earth will never forget the sacrifice of all these...

(Melpo Axioti, Apanta. Tritos tomos. Chronika, Athens, Kedros, 1980, pp. 195-198)

Οι γυναίκες στον αγώνα

'Aren't you ashamed you women to take to the pavements instead of staying home and looking after your children?' said some unscrupulous 'Greek' to a young woman. And she looked at him with contempt and replied:
'Greek women cannot be slaves and the mothers of slaves. Today our aim is the struggle for life and liberty for all the children of Greece.'
Through the mouth of this young woman, all Greek women reply.

('Iroides tou '43', Gynaikeia Drasi, 25-3-43, cited in: Tassoula Vervenioti, I gynaika tis Antistasis, Athens, Odysseas, 1994, pp. 275-276)

Women in villages and cities where guerilla warfare thrives must fling themselves with all their strength into this task. To form organized sections within the local organizations of ELAS, of EAM and the Thessalian Holy Company (?). To become active members in every field. To organize militant sections of young women who wish and are able to hold a gun in their hands. Their role is significant in a catholic uprising as they will stir up a frenzy of enthusiasm, touching the most sensitive chord in a Greek: his sense of honour.

('To Simerino mas kathikon', Gynaikeia Drasi, 1-5-43, cited in: Tassoula Vervenioti, I gynaika tis antistasis, Athens, Odysseas, 1994, p. 322)