Telling the stories of Post-war Cretan Female Migrants in New Zealand

An oral history and digital storytelling project

Telling the stories of Post-war Cretan Migrant Women in Aotearoa New Zealand

An oral history and digital storytelling project

Argyro Pendaraki

Argyro talks about her birthplace in Agia Erini of Selinos in Crete, her conflicting birth dates in different documents, and her family. She mentions the German occupation of their village, and the arrest of her father and recalls the fear and trauma she experienced during this time, resulting from the destruction of their house and their imprisonment by the Germans. She also talks of the difficult conditions after the war and her decision to become a dressmaker.

Argyro also shares memories of hiding New Zealand soldiers during World War II in Crete. The soldiers were taken in by her father, who provided them with food and shelter. The soldiers stayed in a cave in the mountains during the day and came to the house to eat and rest at night. Argyro recalls how how they helped with household chores. The family took precautions to hide their presence from the Germans, who were stationed nearby. The soldiers eventually left and made their way to Africa. The conversation also mentions finding a button belonging to the soldiers and the risks involved in hiding them. Read more here…

Oral History Project- Audio Interview


Oral History project – Audio interview transcript

Click here for the English version of this interview transcript

Photographic Archive

A New Zealand Cretan
war connection

A micro-study of Greek female immigrants to NZ in the 60s

by Associate Prof. Evangelia Papoutsaki