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My grandmother always kept hidden in her brassiere the key to Michalis' suitcase. She opened it at night and cried as she lovingly stroked his belongings. She believed that her son was still alive and she waited for him. She died longing to find him but never did. In April 1943 young Michalis Koutlakis, son of the mayor of Kassos, was arrested by Italian soldiers and was imprisoned at Rhodes. It was the last time his family saw him alive. Everybody on the island knew why he was arrested but nobody spoke out. Michalis' undoing would be the best kept secret of Kassos. Seven decades later, newspaperwoman Sofia Papaioannou and Michalis' family opened a stolen box and started unravelling the story. They searched the Italian secret archives of the Dodecanese, the German military archives and various documents from that period; they met scores of people who knew Michalis… Finally, they found the truth about the hero of the Dodecanese. This is a story that involves the facts of a small island with the most important moments of modern Greece and the destiny of the world. The book is written with emotion for Greece, its sea and for a young man who, although he had it all, chose instead to fight for an ideal.
Sofia Papaioannou is a journalist. She was born in Athens in 1969. She studied English at the University of Athens, History at the American College and did postgraduate work at NYU. She has worked for municipal TV in New York (WNYC), for the program «Morning Frequency» (MEGA Channel), for the Athens Olympics Committee (with the International Press department), for the news program at Antenna TV, for the program «Black Box» (Mega Channel). For four years she was editor-in-chief for Alexis Papachelas' program «Files» (Mega TV); she is currently working for the «New Files» at Skai TV. She is married and mother of two children.