Sara Trains Her Army of Women | Facing History & Ourselves

Sara Trains Her Army of Women

Learn about the necessity to recruit and train women for an all-female partisan unit.
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At a Glance

reading copy


English — US


  • History
  • The Holocaust
  • Resistance

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.

So we have a squad of 13 girls, [and] it was up to me to teach them how to behave. At first the partisans would tell me what they required, and I taught them [the girls]. We weren't given heavy arms, just pistols. Every day I was taught something new, and then I taught it to them. My approach was different. At the beginning they would giggle, “Ooh, will we hold that?” You should have seen them after a month went by. It was like they were completely different girls. They took it more seriously than I did. Let's do this, let's help, let's ask about what needs doing. At first our job was to train. Afterward it was to learn how to be girls alongside the men. It was difficult teaching them to behave as equals among them. We learned to use pistols. We did whatever the partisans asked us to. The partisans saw that we were successful in performing our tasks. 1

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

How to Cite This Reading

Facing History & Ourselves, "Sara Trains Her Army of Women," last updated May 12, 2020.

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

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