WOMEN IN THE RESISTANCE

Cretan women responded eagerly and passionately to the national trumpet-call to arms.

Terpsichori Chryssoulaki-Vlachou. She was born in Sitia and was operator of a wireless hidden in the monastery of pl during the occupation. She was arrested and sentenced to death by the Germans. She was taken to Ayia Jail and executed in June 1944. Before her execution she manifested unprecedented courage. n the wall of her cell she wrote, I am 8 years old and sentenced to death. The firing squad will be here in a minute. Long live Greece! Long live Crete!.

Their housekeeping duties extended beyond the confines of their homes to acquire nation-wide significance. Women were quick to catch up and adjusted fast to their new role. On many occasions they took up arms and fought side by side with their husbands and sons. Others, risking their lives, provided shelter to British stragglers and Greek guerrillas wanted by the occupation army. They used their cooking skills to supply the guerrillas and the allies hiding out in caves with food. They nursed the wounded fighters and encouraged them to continue their resistance activity.

Naturally, we should bear in mind that the entire population of Crete played a role, either in minor or major, in the Resistance. Even children resisted in their own inconspicuous way by running errands for the supply of the allies and the guerrillas, or acted as messengers (runners). The shepherds used their own codes (whistling) to warn of danger. Resistance activity was acknowledged not only to people who took part in fights and sabotage. There were those who did not succumb to pressure and torture by the enemy. Others were put to hard labour but performed the least to serve the needs of the enemy for improved facilities. Still others printed and circulated information with the aim to boost the morale of the population and the resistance groups.