The Women Partisans Burn Down a House | Facing History & Ourselves

The Women Partisans Burn Down a House

Learn about partisan tactics with this retelling of an all-female unit's torching of a perpetrator's home.
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At a Glance

reading copy


English — US


  • History
  • Resistance
  • 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 with the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, Sara describes her pride in the work of her unit.

Once we girls received orders to torch a house. It was the only house in the village. It was very orderly. We were responsible for torching it. They gave us the means, and we went dressed not like partisans—we had other clothes, we had villager outfits. One girl took the left side, one took the right; we threw whatever it was that we were supposed to, burned the house down, and I gave them the location where we would meet up. No one guessed that girls were responsible for that. That was the squad's greatness. The next day the partisans were blamed, or in conversations, [people said,] ”The partisans were here at night, torched the house, luckily the fascist wasn't taken, he wasn't at home.” Things like that happened often, and we assisted [with] them often. I was satisfied and my girls were satisfied that they as women could help, be alongside partisans. Very proud. 1

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

How to Cite This Reading

Facing History & Ourselves, "The Women Partisans Burn Down a House," last updated May 12, 2020.

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

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