On This Day: Greek heroine of the resistance, Ilektra Apostolou, was born


On this day in 1911, little-known Greek heroine of the resistance, Ilektra Apostolou, was born. To mark the occasion of her birth, we take a look back at her incredible life.

Early Life:

Ilektra Apostolou was born in 1911 in Iraklion-Attikis, a suburb of Athens. She received her secondary education in a German-language school in Athens.

At age 13, she became a passionate Communist and joined the Greek Communist Youth League, a decision that shocked her middle-class parents.

Revolutionary sentiments were strong in her generation, and her brother Lefteris Apostolou (1903–1981) became an important Communist leader at the same time.

Ilektra formed a small group that sent financial assistance to exiled Communists and their families.

Greek Communist Leader:

From 1931 to 1933, Ilektra gained organisational experience as director of a factory workers’ club. Remaining a Communist, she devoted virtually all her time to revolutionary political activity.

Ilektra Apostolou was born in 1911 in Iraklion-Attikis, Athens.

In 1935, she represented the Greek Communist movement as a delegate for Greek women at the International Conference against Fascism held in Paris. She traveled to several European countries to meet with Communists and other anti-Fascist youth leaders.

Back in Greece, she spread the message that the growing threat of Fascism was an enemy all working men and women must fight.

In 1936, General Metaxas established a Fascist dictatorship in Greece, promising its conservative supporters to crack down hard on the Marxist menace. The anti-Communist intelligence office in Athens regarded Ilektra one of the most potentially dangerous leaders of the younger generation of Communists.

Shortly after Metaxas came to power, she was arrested and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for disseminating subversive “anti-Greek” literature.

Unbroken in captivity, she gave lectures to her fellow inmates. Ilektra had newspapers smuggled into her cell so that she could remain informed of the worsening political situation in Greece and the world at large.

After a short period of freedom, she was arrested again in 1939 and sent to the distant town of Anaphi. She had been married briefly to a doctor who renounced his Communist beliefs after arrest, ending their marriage.

Ilektra with her daughter Agni in exile in Anafi.

Her daughter Agni was born in Anaphi during the end of that relationship. The harsh conditions of her imprisonment exacerbated her deteriorating health, and Electra was eventually transported to a prison hospital in Athens. In 1941, she made a bold escape from this hospital.

Actions during the Greek Revolution and Death:

By this time, German forces occupied Greece, and it was difficult for Ilektra to evade capture. In the spring of 1941, patriotic Greeks—incensed by their harsh treatment at the Nazis’ hands—began to actively resist.

From June 1942 to February 1943, Ilektra led a resistance organisation of young Greek anti-Fascists who called themselves the “New Freedom” group. A militant Marxist revolutionary, one of her tasks was to weed out individuals likely to succumb to Fascist blandishments or torture.

In 1943, Ilektra was instrumental in founding EPON, the youth movement of EAM or National Liberation Front. The Communist Party created this liberation organisation to lead Greeks of all political sides in a broad-based struggle against Nazi occupiers and their Greek stooges.

In 1944, Ilektra’s luck ran out and she was arrested by the Greek version of the Gestapo. Despite horrendous torture, she revealed nothing about her organisation or its members.

When it became obvious that she would never provide intelligence of any value, Ilektra was executed on July 26, 1944.

Her brother Lefteris, himself a leader in the Communist resistance movement, was also arrested by the Germans. He escaped and was never recaptured, living until his death in Athens in November 1981 at the age of 78. In honour of his martyred sister, Lefteris Apostolou named his daughter Electra.

Source: encyclopedia.com.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Second year, same spirit: Zeibekiko Festival Australia returns by popular demand

The second Zeibekiko Festival Australia will return with a bang from September 27 this year thanks to Ventouris Productions.

Psihosavato: Remembering loved ones with prayers, prosphora and kolyva

Devout followers of the Greek Orthodox faith will attend a special church service known as ‘Psihosavato’ on Saturday, June 22.

South Australians commemorate Cretan battle with proud cultural display

The Cretan Association of South Australia commemorated the 83rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete with a proud cultural display.

Samian Brotherhood of Sydney acquire new Kingsgrove property for $3.9 million

The Samian Brotherhood of Sydney & New South Wales ‘Lykourgos’ have acquired a dual-level property located at Kingsgrove for $3.9 million.

Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia & NZ to hold 15th Biennial Conference

The Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand will hold their 15th Biennial Conference from December 6 - 7 this year.

You May Also Like

Melburnian Nektario Zafiratos charged with fraud and rape

Nektario Zafiratos, who is facing fraud and rape charges, is defending himself against claims he assaulted several women.

‘I’ve never done a show like this’: Christos Dantis takes to the stage in Australia

Iconic Greek singer-songwriter Christos Dantis will take to stages in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney this January. Read his interview here.

Anthony Albanese: ‘Today, is a proud day to be Greek’

The Leader of the Opposition and the Australian Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, has sent a message to the Greek Australian community to mark the...