An amazing story to come from the island of Rhodes took place during World War Two and involved a lady known as Maria Malandri.
Very much like Anastasia of Rhodes, Maria Malandri is considered even today as a true heroic figure on the island.
Now, it is sad for me to say, that through all my research for this amazing lady, I was not able to locate anything at all on the internet. Sometimes a true hero can go unnoticed in many ways. I relied on my Greek friends and a little outside help to get this brief information.
So, Who Was Maria Malandri?
Maria Malandri was born in Monolithos, Rhodes in 1909 and remained in this area all of her life.
She was a simple farm working girl and took care of various animals. It is also said that she was illiterate and not so well-educated.
One day she accidentally discovered a cave while looking for one of her missing goats. This cave later became known as The Cave Of The Spies. It is here where Maria Malandri did her amazing work.
Maria Malandri’s Story
During war time, I believe a lot of us do not know how we would react. We all like to think we are strong and would stand up to our enemies, but would we? Really? If it really came to it, could you honestly say you would be ready to play your part?
Well Maria was, and she did.
From this cave she went on to accommodate and secretly keep a group of Partisans. For those people that do not know, a Partisan group is a team of people who secretly fight their opponents. From here, and with use of radio, the partisans were able to assist their allies in defending against the German forces in World War Two.
With a daily risk to their own lives, they managed to help the fight against the enemy.and were able to offer information as to the whereabouts of the German Forces to the resistance.
This offered a massive boost to allied troops as they were able to fight with a plan of action.
Maria Malandri: After The War
The German Forces finally surrendered the island of Rhodes to the British in May 1945. On September the 2nd of the same year, World War Two came to a close after 6 years of conflict.
Just before the end of the war was declared, Maria got married. She went on to have 2 children. 5 Grand Children followed and then 4 Great Grand Children.
Maria was later awarded by Greece with a medal for the part she played during the war.
Later in 1986 she was also awarded The Partisan Cross by The British Government. This is a very fitting military decoration for the role she played and she was the 24th person to be awarded this honor.
Before her death in 2000 at the age of 91, she was asked what made her do what she did. What persuaded her to get together these partisan and operate the way they did.
She simple answered, “I just did my duty, as any other soldier would.”
Would You Stand Up?
In my opinion, this lady played a very important role during the war. She stood up and had a plan. She organized and helped get critical information on the enemy forces (along with her Partisans) and used this for the defense of her country.
Would you do the same? Do you think you would have the courage and ability to do something similar?
I would love to hear all your thoughts. In my opinion, she is well deserving of the military decoration that was awarded to her. Please leave your point of view in the comments below.