Polish - Greek Hero
by Mikolaj ,from Poland.
Everybody knows Agent 007. James Bond did a lot of amazing things, but we have to keep in mind, he was only Ian Fleming’s imagination. Where are the real life heroes? I know one.
Polish mother, Russian father. George Iwanow was born in 1911 in Warsaw. His mother got married again. Her second husband was Greek, so young George moved out to Thessaloniki. There he became a respected swimmer and he represented the sport club “Iraklis” in water polo. Being a very good swimmer is redoubtable, but it is not breathtaking.
George Iwanow was 28 years old when WWII began. At the beginning, he was helping the Polish refugees in Greece, but he wanted to fight. Especially because a Polish army was forming in Syria. There was only one problem with George. He had Russian last name, and the headquarters were afraid that it could be a problem for other Polish soldiers. They found the solution really easily because George knew 6 languages. He became an agent in the Polish-British intelligence service.
He was transported to Greece in 1941 after his special training and he started the conspiratorial activity against the occupation. He relayed information about the movement of the German and Italian army, their bases and supplies. Iwanow’s group destroyed 400 Nazi planes in Malziniotti in Athens. Iwanow did not use special equipment to plant mines under German battleships and sometimes he did it alone using his swimming skills.
He was arrested three times. The first time, he stunned the guard and ran away. The second time, he got the guards drunk at a pub next to the road. During third arrest, he was judged. His punishment was triple death penalty. During the execution he screamed “Viva Greece! Viva Poland!”.
You can find his monument in Thessaloniki. The largest sport centre in this city has his name. He was real Greek and Polish hero.