Partisan activity marked in yellow as indicated by Jack Kakis
Jack Kakis was born in the Greek town of Thessaloniki in 1920. The oldest boy, his mischievous nature made him the black sheep of the family. He remembers that while he received high grades in school, every report card included complaints from his teachers about his behavior. After completing high school he earned a spot in officers’ school, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the war. He went to Athens to fight, but when the Germans invaded he was sent home.
As the occupation of Greece dragged on, the situation
became more and more dire.
Jack Kakis in Arta Greece, 1950
People were starving to death as a national famine took hold, and with the arrival of SS forces the systematic roundup of Greek Jews began. Jack was sent to a labor camp. Meanwhile his family posed as Christians and moved to an island occupied by sympathetic Italians. Jack escaped the labor camp and returned to Athens where he became involved with the underground movement, bombing factories and writing anti-German slogans on the city streets at night. Eventually he joined the National Liberation Front, or EAM, and took to the mountains.