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Heraklis Arnaoutis


Heraklis Arnaoutis (Protagoras)

Arnaoutis, Heraklis. (ΠΡΩΤΑΓΟΡΑΣ, ΠΕΤΡΟΣ; Arnaoutis, Petro Protagoras; Amaoutis, Hercules M.); b. November 20, 1907, (September 18, 1904); Kitta Laconia, Greece; Greek American; High school education; Prior military service in the Greek Navy; Single; Radio operator and employee of the Greek newspaper Empros; CP 1935 (1934); Sailed June 12, 1937 aboard the Georgic; Arrived in Spain on July 6, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, MacKenzie-Papineau BN in training; Lincoln-Washington BN, Squad (Peleton) Leader in 2nd Company, WIA, during Ebro Offensive he was with the Lincoln-Washington Estado Mayor; rank Sargento; Returned to the US on September 20, 1938 aboard the Vito; WWII: US Navy, 1943-45; November 2, 1970, NYC; was a member of the Spartacus of New York.

Source: Cadre, Mac-Pap, Pay, Greek I, D. Paleologopoulos Greek Antifascist Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), Athens 1986; Steve Tsermegas and L. Tsirmirakes, No Pasaran. Greek Antifascist Volunteers in Spain, Athens 1987, VALB Memorial Tribute, December 6, 1970.


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Protagoras in the concentration camp in Le Havre, France, where he was detained after Spain.

Protagoras (back row, far left) in Spain, 1939.

Full Database Record

Last Name Arnaoutis
First/Middle Name Heraklis
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
DOB 9/18/1904
Foreign Nation Greece
Foreign Nation City Kitta Laconia
Alt Pob State, City
Family: Name
Family: Relationship Married to Sophie Protagoras
Family: Begin Date
Family: End Date
Family: Comments Daughter Dolores Protagoras, MD
Education HS
Education College / Univ 1 Naval Radiotelegraphists' School
Education College/Univ Notes
Education College/Univ 2
Graduate or Doctoral Work
Graduate or Doctoral Work Notes
Prior Military Service
Passport #
Passport Series
Passport Reported Lost in Spain
Passport Age
Passport Date
PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
PP or Known Address State
ALT City
Alt State
Sail Date
Marital Status
Marital Notes
Vocation 1
Vocation 2
Vocation 3
Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
ALT Affiliation
ALT date
ALT affiliation 2
Arrival (in Spain) Date
Units served with
Battle action
Returned Date
Returned other
WWII Service
Place Died City
KIA/MIA/Died other
KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
Additional Notes Heraklis Arnaoutis was born on September 18, 1904 in Kitta, Greece. After graduating from Radio-telegraphists' School in Pireus, he served in the Greek merchant marine and was active in the radio-telegraphists' union. During the Metaxas dictatorship which commenced 1936, his life was threatened and he illegally entered the United States. He then volunteered for the Lincoln Brigade and departed for Spain as a stowaway. In Spain, he served as a political commissar and fought in the battles of Jarama and the Ebro, among others. He sustained a head wound and thereafter suffered from the effects of embedded shrapnel. At the end of the civil war he was detained in a camp in Le Havre, France. After returning to the United States he voluntarily enrolled in the US Navy and served from March 18, 1943 to July 25, 1945. Thereafter, he served on the board of the eastern United States coast branch of the militant, Communist-led O.E.N.O. (Federation of Greek Seamens' Organizations). O.E.N.O. organized many strikes and actions which led to the improvement of the deplorable work conditions aboard Greek merchant ships as well as becoming the target of arrests by U.S. police and attacks from shipowners' henchmen. For these activities, he received, in absentia, a death sentence from the Greek government, was deprived of Greek citizenship and banned from Greek ships. He consequently adopted the name of Protagoras, to protect the relatives in Greece who were regularly harassed by the police because of his activities. He was an active member of the Greek workers' organization Spartakus in New York and served on the editorial board of its publication Empros (Forward). His wife Sophie, a Communist Party USA member, was unwaveringly supportive, assuming the main burden of family responsibilities. Because of harassment during the McCarthy era, the family moved to Poland in 1953 and remained there till 1967. Upon returning to New York he was active in the "Committee for Freedom and Democracy in Greece" during the reign of the junta (1967-1974). He died on November 2, 1970. - Biography submitted by daughter Dolores Protagoras.