The Story of Service 5-16-5
and the events surrounding it in Occupied Athens and
the Middle East 1940-1945
Award of the Academy of Athens
as an amalgam of history and literature
by Rigas Rigopoulos
Reviews and Comments
Nicholas Gage, Author of Eleni and Greek Fire
In Secret War Rigas Rigopoulos tells a shattering story of how Greeks fought and suffered to free their homeland from Nazi occupation. It is a stirring account of resistance from the German invasion to the liberation told by an active participant in the struggle. Rigopoulos was one of a small band, many of whom were captured, tortured and shot by the Germans, who risked everything to collect crucial information about the enemy and transmit it to the allies. After almost being captured, he escaped to Cairo, where he was cynically manipulated by British intelligence agents with their own postwar agenda. At the end of the occupation, he returned to Greece only to find it plunging toward civil war as Communists tried to seize power by force. His memoir of those turbulent times is a powerful story of courage, sacrifice and betrayal that makes compelling, and at times overwhelming, reading.
Professor André Gerolymatos, Chair, Hellenic Studies, Simon Fraser University
Rigopoulos’s memoir offers a rare, first-person insight into the clandestine world of covert operations and exposes an intriguing aspect of the resistance that took place in occupied Athens. For the historian, the occasional anachronisms of language and unfashionable patriotic sentiment are useful in understanding the motivation of men such as Rigopoulos and why they chose the covert war in the cities rather joining the partisans in the mountains. Rigopoulos represents a significant element of young Greeks who were less concerned with ideology and more with fighting the Axis. In this respect, Secret War is a testament to the unsung heroes of the resistance and a unique perspective on the role of covert operations in the Second World War.
Jesse M. Heines, English Edition Editor
Secret War is the true story of a Greek espionage organization during the Nazi occupation, written by its founder and leader. Although six of Rigopouloss closest companions were caught and executed, cunning, heroic friends, and no small amount of luck helped him escape and survive to write the story of Service 5-16-5 and the surrounding events.
Secret War captures the struggle of an enslaved people and the spirit of those who resisted. Its pages paint vivid images of the character of the people who lived it and the love and humanity of the man who tells it.
- Foreword by Prof. André Gerolymatos
- Introductory Thoughts
- Short Synopsis
- Table of Contents
- Complete Book (as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file)
Press and Media References to Rigas Rigopoulos and Secret War
On May 14, 2004, Jesse Heines was interviewed by Tony Accardi on Lowell Sunrise on WUML radio in Lowell, Massachusetts. If you are running on a Windows system and have the Windows Media Player installed, you can listen to Windows Media Audio (WMA) files of that broadcast by left-clicking the links below. Right-click the links to download them for better audio performance.
On December 18, 2003, Jesse Heines was interviewed about Secret War on WCAP radio in Lowell. Once again, if you are running on a Windows system and have the Windows Media Player installed, you can listen to a Windows Media Audio (WMA) file of that broadcast by left-clicking here. Right-click the link to download the file (2,479,620 bytes) to your system for easier access.
- On August 26, 2001, the Boston Globe published Part VI of their series on the Secret of World War II. This installment focuses on resistance in occupied Europe. Rigas is quoted on page 9 of that article, in the section on the resistance in Occupied Greece.
- On August 22, 2001, the Hellenic Communication Service published an article on Secret War on their Web site at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/secretwar.html.
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Copyright © 2001-
by Jesse M. Heines. All rights reserved.