Women Resistance Fighters of WWII

Originally published at: http://timeghost.tv/women-resistance-fighters-of-wwii/

On occasion of International Women’s Day 2018. During WWII women were still forbidden from taking active part in many jobs, one of them was the defence of the their own state. Defeat and desperation changed that and helped set us on a path of more gender equality. After the standing armies of Europe failed to…


Don’t forget about the Russian 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment, the 587th Bomber Aviation Regiment (later known as the 125th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment), and the infamous Night Witches (Nachthexen) of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment (later known as the 46th “Taman” Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment).

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Examples of Women Resistance Fighters of WW2 in Greece

Ilektra Apostolou

Despite being born in 1912, she was already a veteran communist. She was jailed and deported in an Aegean island by the Metaxas fascist regime (1936-1940), where she gave birth to her only daughter . She escaped in 1942, during the German occupation, while her husband died from malnutrition in a german prison. She became the main organizer of Resistance propaganda in the United Panhellenic Organization of Youth. She became, as well, the first feminist activist in Greece. She was captured from collaborators on July 25,1944 at 7:30. Ηer interrogation was as follows

– Where are you from?
– From Greece!
– Where do you live?
– In Greece!
– What’s your name?
– Greek!
– Who are your collaborators?
– All Greeks!
– What’s your profession?
– I serve the Greek people!
– Who do you get orders from?
– Only from my country!

Ηer mutilated body was thrown out of the hotel where she was tortured, on July 26. Her death cause a revenge killing spree from the Resistance to every collaborator and German on sight.

Iro Konstantopoulou

Born on July 16, 1927 in Athens from a wealthy family, originating from Sparta. She became a member of the Resistance during High School. Her father managed to bribe the Germans on her first arrest, but she participated in the blowing of a train carrying ammunition and was captured again on July 31, 1944. That day she had finished her High School examinations. For four nights she was tortured to testify her associates. But neither the torture nor the tempting suggestions made her talk, as she was able to insult her torturers in their language. She was executed by firing squad on September 5, 1944, along with 49 other detainees, almost a month before the liberation of Greece. She was 17 years old.

Lela Karagianni

Lela Karagianni, born June 24, 1898, was a housewife, married to a pharmacist and mother of seven children. During the occupation, she turned her home into the headquarters of her own resistance organization. The organization was created and funded by herself in 1941. In October 1941, she was arrested and after 7 months she was released. The organization’s goal was to fend off British soldiers (it had set up a network of 150 soldiers) in Cairo, as well as sabotaging the enemy. The organization was rigorously prosecuted by the Germans and Collaborators. Karagianni also set up an espionage network which, among other things, gathered information on the movement of German ships, airport plans, and information on Greek collaborators of the occupation authorities. She was arrested again during the summer of 1944, along with 5 of her children and they were tortured by the Gestapo. She was executed by firing squad on September 8, 1944 along with 59 other prisoners, most of them working with S.O.E.

Julia Mpimpa

A maidservant, who was a teacher in a Sunday school, despite having only elementary education. A member of the Resistance Organization Panhellenic Union of Fighting Youths since March 1942, she manufactured and placed the bomb which blew up the offices of the Collaborationist fascist organization “Hellenic Socialist Patriotic Organisation”, on September 22, 1942, while the latter was forming a Greek volunteers corps for fighting along the Germans in the Eastern Front. The Collaborationist Organisation ceased to exist, and every effort of forming a volunteers corps stopped.
She was betrayed by a double agent in the Panhellenic Union of Fighting Youths and she was arrested on November 11, 1942. She was tortured and confessed that she was involved in the blast, but she took the whole responsibility and did not reveal the slightest for anyone else. Her confession and the fact that the Germans discovered the other explosives in her house, sealed her fate.
On December 31, 1942, the German Military Court of Athens sentenced her three times to death “by ax”. She was transported to Vienna ans she was executed at the Guillotine of the Court of the 8th Vienna Region (Vienna 8, Landesgerichtsstraße 11) on February 26, 1943, along with eight anti-fascist fighters from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. She was 32 years old.

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