1941-The rescue of the 20 gendarmes of Lemnos, Certification

During the German occupation of Greece, 700 Germans disembarked in the northern part of Lemnos (April 25, 1941) and proceeded to Myrina.

A detachment of 20 Greek gendarmes, led by Lieutenant Colonel Giannopoulos, had been ordered to resist and set an ambush at the 7th kilometer from Myrina at the “Therma” location. They shot and killed the first German motorcyclist.

The Germans then tried to surround the gendarmes, but they managed to escape on a footpath and reached the place “Ano Zemata” (Nevgati) at the farm “Petraderi” owned by Leonidas Gerontoudis.

His mother Chrysanthi and his wife Maria welcomed them and hid them. The 20 men buried their weapons on the west side of the farm and remained hidden from the Germans for two days.

In the meantime, the Germans had informed everyone that anyone who provided shelter to the gendarmes would be arrested and executed on the spot. Leonidas Gerontoudis was in Myrina. As soon as he heard the news, he immediately sent from the capital 20 of his own personal men’s costumes and all the other necessary items of clothing and footwear for everyone, so that everyone could move around as an ordinary citizen.

On the evening of April 27, 1941, Leonidas Gerontoudis, assisted by the President of the Community of Myrina, Mr. Panagiotis Laskaridis, sent a boat to the beach “Nevgatis” (400 m. From the farm).

Commander Giannopoulos and two others went to Lesvos, others left for the Middle East and some stayed in Lemnos and hid in the houses of acquaintances or friends, until the end of the war.

This is how the entire detachment of gendarmes was saved from the Germans.


The undersigned 1) Lieutenant Commander Sotirios Sotiriou, serving at the “Kastron Limnou” Police Department and 2) Gendarme Emmanouil Voskakis, also serving at the “Kastron Limnou” Police Department, certify that we were part of the 20 men strong gendarmerie detachment, which immediately after the clash at “Therma,” (against the Germans, who occupied the island of Lemnos that day 25-4-1941), knowing the patriotic feelings of Mr. Leonidas Gerondoudis, took refuge in his farm named “Petraderi”, about seven kilometers from Therma.

There we received excellent care and treatment from his mother Chrysanthi and his wife Maria, who had also taken refuge on the farm, because it was rumored that German planes would bomb Lemnos if she resisted.

We also certify that the very next day, Mr. Leonidas Gerondoudis, as soon as he received a letter from the commander of our detachment Lieutenant Colonel Giannopoulos, informing him that we all were hiding at his farm, sent to us from the capital 20 costumes of his own clothing and all the other necessary items of clothing and footwear for everyone, in order to get dressed as normal citizens.

Mr. L. Gerondoudis was thus in great and certain danger, not only he but also his large family, as the German Troops were looking for our Detachment on the whole island, threatening (with wall stickers) to execute any person hiding us and to exile his extended family.

The present certification is granted to Mr. Leonidas Gerondoudis, to keep it as the ultimate proof of his courage and self-sacrifice, for the sake of our Greater Greece.

Kastron Limnou, July 25, 1949

The certifiers,

Sotirios Sotiriou & Emmanouil Voskakis

Τhe authenticity of the signatureς are certified by the Officer on duty of the “Kastron Limnou Police Department” and duly stamped on the 25th of July 1949.

The “Petraderi” farm, where the detachment of twenty men of the Lemnos gendarmerie took refuge on April 25, 1941 (the day the Germans occupied Lemnos).