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

Angeliki (Kiki) Polichronaki

Angeliki was born in Crete, in a village called Dris, Sellinos district, on September 29, 1939. Her parents were Spiros Polichronakis and Athina Xsanthoudaki. She was the youngest of nine siblings, four of whom were from her father’s previous two marriages.

Her father was a farmer who owned a large property, which he bought with the money he earned while working in America before the First World War. He grew a variety of crops, but his main income came from olive oil, chestnuts, and wheat.  Angeliki recalls her childhood as a happy one, despite the hardships of the war. She remembers her father bringing home small treats for her and her siblings, and her half-sister Alexia taking care of her.

During the war, her family had to hide from the Germans. Her mother was once kicked by a German soldier for not revealing the whereabouts of her husband and sons. In retaliation, her father shot a German soldier, but made sure to do it far away from the village to avoid reprisals. The allied soldiers would hide in a hut on their hills and the family would provide them with food while ensuring their safety. Angeliki also recalls a Christmas when German soldiers came to their farm and had a picnic with them. They left behind Christmas decorations, which the family kept and used for many years…. Read more here…

Digital Storytelling Project – Video Interview

Oral History Project – Audio interview


Oral History Project – Audio interview transcript

Click here for the English version of this interview transcript

A New Zealand Cretan
war connection

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

by Associate Prof. Evangelia Papoutsaki