George Psychoundakis (1920-2006), The Cretan Runner: His Story of the German Occupation
, tr. Patrick Leigh Fermor (1955; rpt. New York: NYRB Classics, 2015), page number unknown:
Not many days passed before four Germans arrived from Argyroupolis with an
interpreter. They sat down at the coffee-shop, summoned the Mayor of the
village, and at once began asking him questions. The first thing they asked was,
had the villagers taken part in the battle against the parachutists? The Mayor
answered that our village was so far away that we hardly knew that a battle had
taken place. Then they asked if the village possessed any arms, but once more
the Mayor said that the villages had given up all their arms to the country at the
time of the Albanian war, and that only a fowling-piece or two still remained.
The Germans said they must all be handed over, even fowling-pieces, and that
for each gun that was withheld ten men would be shot and their houses burnt
'You must collect them all at the village police-station and the police will
bring them to us at Argyroupolis,' they said 'and the wireless set must be handed
over as well.' So the owner was called and told where and when it should be
taken. Meanwhile some of the villagers had collected and were gazing at the
Germans with curiosity. And the inquisitive ones were not a few, because many
thought they were beholding some kind of strange animal.
The villagers thought it would be wise to hand over a few rotten and harmless
guns — any old iron to deceive the Germans with — in case they had learnt that
we possessed any arms. It would be best, they said, for the sporting-guns to be
handed over as well lest the Germans should learn the owners' names from the
list of licences in the records at Canea. So about a dozen sporting-guns were
collected at the police-station, and about the same number of totally useless
rifles. The good ones were hidden away as carefully as sacred relics — holy
things to be used at the right time, when the signal of liberation should be given;
and there were plenty, because, when the English retreated to Sphakia, even
small boys had gone down to the seashore and the valleys bringing rifles back
The days followed each other and news came from all over Crete of the daily
brutalities committed by the Germans. Every day we learnt of new burnings and
shootings and fear grew inside us but also strengthened the hatred in our souls.
From Simon Steyne's obituary of Psychoundakis
But when I asked George why he had immediately joined the resistance in Crete, he looked at me as though I was from another planet and replied with one word: "philopatria" — love of my country.