Call Me Captain Sarika | Facing History & Ourselves

Call Me Captain Sarika

Sara Fortis recollects how the partisans addressed one another and the significance of her title captain.
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At a Glance

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English — US


  • History
  • The Holocaust

Sara Fortis was born in Chalkis, a small town near Athens, Greece. When the Nazis invaded in 1941, Sara fled. While on the run, she agreed to join the resistance. In her new position, Sara recruited other women and formed an all-female partisan unit. 

In the following excerpt from an interview for the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, she remembers that the partisans addressed her by her rank.

I was “Captain Sarika.” If anyone needed anything, they would say, “Tell Captain Sarika and she'll take care of it.” Tell me and I'd do it. If they forgot my name they said, Here's the [female] comrades' captain....'Comrades' in Greek is [Greek], and they used a word in Greek meaning the girls' Capitan. The rest of the girls were called by their names. If they wanted to say, There's a girl from Eretria, they called her Maria of Eretria; they would say her name and the name of her village. But I was called Captain Sarika, [female] Captain Sarika. 1

  • 1© Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

How to Cite This Reading

Facing History & Ourselves, "Call Me Captain Sarika," last updated May 12, 2020.

This reading contains text not authored by Facing History & Ourselves. See footnotes for source information.

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