Partisan activity marked in yellow as indicated by Sara Fortis
Born in Chalkis, a small town near Athens, Greece, Sara Fortis never knew her father, who passed away when she was only two months old. Raised by her mother, Sara and her sister enjoyed a happy childhood. Though they identified as 100% Greek, they also celebrated being Jewish by lighting candles every Friday and attending temple on holidays.
Sara knew it was time to leave her hometown when the Germans arrived in 1941. She had heard about Jews in other small Greek towns being deported by the Nazis, and never returning. Sara and her mother escaped to the small village of Kuturla and hid there for a short while. When it was no longer safe for Jews, Sara was told to go, although the villagers agreed to hide her mother.
Sara Fortis in partisan uniform. Date unknown.
Leaving her mother, Sara decided to become an andarte (resistance fighter). Wanting to play a significant role in the group, she decided to go from village to village to recruit other females who wanted to fight.
Sara formed a band of female partisans that became indispensable to the male fighters, transforming young village girls into women. On their first mission, they were ordered to throw Molotov cocktails to distract the enemy and allow the partisans to attack. Impressed by their skills, the male partisans invited the all-female group to join in many missions. They burned down houses, executed Nazi collaborators, and aided the men in a way no group of females had before.