I don’t think I have shared some necessary info about some historical facts regarding nazi-occupied Athens here, so I will now. It will help you enjoy the comic more if you know what Fotis and his gang are 😛

So, here goes: LEAPERS! This is a direct translation from the Greek term “σαλταδόρος, saltaDOros” which means ‘one who leaps’ in a slightly slang version of the time.

Leapers were young people (mostly very young kids and up to teens) who, instead of allowing themselves to starve, would leap upon Nazi trucks and steal anything that there was to be stolen, mainly food, but also other items they could trade in the black market for food.

During the Nazi occupation in Athens and Greece in general, hunger spread to the level of mass famine, because the Nazis requisitioned all food, and food/aid donated by the Red Cross did not reach Athens (mainly to sustain Rommel’s regiments, but pretty much all occupying forces), causing a huge amount of the non-fighting population to die of hunger during the years 1942-45 (450,000 perished in just one year). Everyone was reed-thin if they were lucky (many had swollen bellies and/or looked skeletal), and anyone who was not was immediately suspect or known to be a black marketer or a collaborator of some sort, because only those had regular access to food.

Leapers, therefore, stole back their food rations at direct risk of their lives, since Nazis shot to kill without preamble when the leapers attempted their leaping. They also shared their spoils with their neighbourhoods as much as they could dare (lest they be betrayed/snitched upon) and often were part of the resource for neighborhood commons that were the main food source of people at the time.

And thus, the Chapter name, and here we see leapers’ plan at work to get what they need- Fotis’ plan who is the leader. Plus the attitude that characterised these guys. 😉

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