Greek and American/American and Greek


George and Helias Doundoulakis' grandparents.

Helias Doundoulakis was born to Greek immigrant parents in Canton, Ohio on July 12,  1923.


Portrait of Helias Doundoulakis' mother drawn by Helias Doundoulakis.


The Doundoulakis family in Canton, Ohio.

In the above photograph, Helias's brother George was two years old. When Helias turned two years old, the family returned to Greece to care for his blind grandmother. There, he and his brother grew up in their family's native village of Archanes, Crete, not far from the famed Minoan ruins at Knossos

The life of the Doundoulakis family was changed forever in October of 1940, when the Italian military launched their invasion of Greece. British forces had initially garrisoned Crete, Greece’s largest island, permitting the Greek government to deploy Cretan troops to the Greek mainland.

The Italian troops were initially repulsed, granting the Allies their first real victory of the war. We still commemorate the Greek refusal to surrender and successful resistance of Italian forces on Οχι Day.


This poster celebrates Οχι Day, and the banner at the bottom reads "Hurray for the 28th of October 1940."

While the Greeks were successful in ejecting the Italians, a subsequent German invasion in April of 1941 quickly overran mainland Greece. All eyes turned to Crete.

Greek and American/American and Greek