In 1948, as civil war ravaged Greece, children were abducted and sent to communist “camps” inside the Iron Curtain. Eleni Gatzoyiannis, forty-one, defied the traditions of her small village and the terror of the communist insurgents to arrange for the escape of her three daughters and her son, Nicola. For that act, she was imprisoned, tortured, and executed in cold blood.
Nicholas Gage joined his father in Massachusetts at the age of nine and grew up to become a top New York Times investigative reporter, honing his skills with one thought in mind: to return to Greece and uncover the one story he cared about most: the story of his mother.
Eleni takes you into the heart a village destroyed in the name of ideals and into the soul of a truly heroic woman.
A powerful and immersive piece of work. Incredibly insightful into the values, roles, societal and cultural expectations of life in rural Greece at the time (pre to post WW2 and the following Civil War), and how they impacted on and constrained a woman’s desperate attempt to survive and protect her children from the barbarism, hardship, famine and persecution brought by civil war. At times an excruciating example of how jealousy, paranoia and power corrupt, and how the lust for power not only brings out the worst in mankind, but as is so often the case, enables the worst of mankind.
Eleni, Nicholas Cage, 0-345-32494-3
A Place for Us, Eleni’s Children in America, Nicholas Cage, 0-395-45517-0