Ilektra Apostolou: A Greek female resistance fighter and a heroine of the left

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2023 Number 25

Ilektra Apostolou: A Greek female resistance fighter and a heroine of the left


The Greek resistance fighter Ilektra Apostolou was executed on 26 July 1944, by the collaborationist security forces in Greece during the Second World War. Apostolou was a member of ?ommounistiko ?omma ?llados (KKE, Communist Party of Greece) and of Eniaia Panneladiki Organosi Newn (EPON, United Panhellenic Organisation of Youth), and was involved in pre-war antifascist action. During the resistance, she tried to pass on the mentality she had developed from this early involvement to young women in EPON and Lefteri Nea (LT, Free Young Woman): that women would be liberated only by actively participating in social struggles. Her biography is examined with a critical eye, taking into consideration that it was largely written after the war. This means that it not only provides a factual representation of Apostolou: it also functions as a lieu de memoire, a site of memory. The politics of memory influences how her biography is constructed. The second part focuses on the memorialisation of Apostolou, examining it through the lens of intersectionality. Identity criteria – such as gender, race, age and political identification – and the changing relative significance attributed to them are important both for shaping and understanding, memorialisation processes. An intersectional approach seeks to reveal the hidden dimensions behind the memorialisation process. The last part focuses on Apostolou’s post-war legacy and explores how her memorialisation was intertwined with political developments from 1944 to the present, with a particular focus on the contestation over Apostolou’s memory between the right and the left at various points in modern Greek history. The article draws on a combination of secondary and primary sources, the main primary sources being those found in the Educational Centre of Charilaos Florakis (Archive of the Greek Communist Party) and the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI).

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To cite this article
CHRISTINA CHATZITHEODOROU (2023) Ilektra Apostolou: A Greek female resistance fighter and a heroine of the left, Twentieth Century Communism, 2023(25), 22-51

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