Of Wisdom and War: Women Trapped in Hitler's Greece
2008, by Ida Rae Egli
In 1940, when Mussolini's swaggering army marches into Northern Greece and is instantly repelled by fierce Greek ground units, Hitler is furious. He must revenge the Axis army's first defeat. He reroutes his seasoned 12th Army, adding advance air bombardment and tank support, and by April of 1941 German and Italian troops are drinking champagne at the Acropolis.
Anthi Skambilis, a young mother of two, watches German Wehrmacht divisions high-step through Athens' Plaka district near her home, wondering if her husband Yorgoes is one of the thousands rumored to be dead, his body bloating on a muddy battlefield in the North. Whether or not Yorgoes lives, Anthi knows by the sound of the pavement-pounding boots that her life will never again be what it was.
Winter brings food shortages and starvation: 50,000 Athenians perish. Malnourished, Anthi bears a stillborn daughter. Months later, passing through a checkpoint, Anthi is confronted by a German lieutenant both attracted to her spunky beauty and repelled by her "fallen race." When she outwits him, the lieutenant promises to hunt her down. Days after, Anthi runs into her pursuer at the outdoor market. Running for her life away from him, she knows she must flee Athens immediately.
Of Wisdom and War, based in large part on the true stories of women and men who lived to tell about the war in Athens and on Rhodes, takes you deep into the lives of three strong and determined women and their families, who learn by way of death and war the meaning of commitment, family, and love.
Read a review by James Minahan, author of Stateless Nations and Miniature Empires
Winner of Best Fiction Award at Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference (2004). Conference judge John Dufresne, noted that "Here is a writer with a graceful and lyrical prose style, a brave heart, and a remarkable gift for metaphor. I admired [her addressing] the role of writing and storytelling in honoring those we have loved and keeping them alive."
Micra Poulakia: Little Birds, A Collection of Contemporary Greek Stories
A work in progress - which included the following stories - by Ida Rae Egli:
The Age Old Story
A middle-aged Rhodian businessman, driving friends through the old Turkish quarters just off Rhodes' harbor region, remembers an elderly Turkish couple who lived across the street when he was a child, and the rite of passage he experienced by way of realizing these people were not like the people of his family. More....