Beata Kitsikis (Greek: Μπεάτα Κιτσίκη; July 14, 1907, Heraklion, Cretan State – February 7, 1986, Athens), was a Greek feminist and a Communist fighter in the Greek Civil War at the end of the Second World War. She was born Merope Petychakis (Greek: Μερόπη Πετυχάκη). Her husband was Nicolas Kitsikis and her son was Dimitri Kitsikis. She also had two daughters, both University professors, Beata Maria Kitsikis Panagopoulos, an American citizen, and Elsa Schmid-Kitsikis, a Swiss citizen.
Her father, Emmanuel Petychakis (1842-1915) originated from a famous Cretan family from the cities of Heraklion and Rethymno. He was born in Heraklion and settled in Cairo as a businessman. He married in Egypt Corinna, daughter of a Greek-Italian count from Trieste, conte d’Antonio (David Antoniadis). Emmanuel died in Heraklion in 1915 and his widow, Corinna, 19 years younger than him, lived in Heraklion with the most famous lawyer of the city, Aristidis Stergiadis, 1861-1949, of the same age as her, who was sent to Smyrna by the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos as the high commissioner of the Greek Occupation of Smyrna, in 1919-1922.
In 1921, Nicolas Kitsikis,(1887-1978) the civil engineer and professor at the Polytechnic University of Athens, was building the new harbor of Heraklion and there he met with the then 14-year-old Beata who he took back to Athens and married her in 1923. Their son Dimitri was born in 1935.
Beata never adapted to the high society of Athens in which Nicolas belonged and revolted against what she considered a useless oligarchy. During the war of Greece against the Italian invasion of Albania, in 1940-1941, she volunteered as a nurse in the military hospitals in Athens, crowded with the injured soldiers brought back from the Albanian front. During the German Occupation of Greece (1941-1944) she joined the Resistance Movement National Liberation Front (Greece) EAM (Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο) as well as the Communist Party of Greece, the KKE. By the time Athens was liberated she had joined the communist militia OPLA (Organization for the Protection of the People’s Struggle).
On April 9, 1948, in the middle of the Civil War, a military tribunal in Athens undertook to judge accusations against Beata for espionage in favor of the outlawed Greek Communist Party, while her husband was still the President of the Greek-Soviet Association. Her courageous stand during the lawsuit impressed public opinion who started calling her the Greek Pasionaria. Her son Dimitri was sent to a boarding school in Paris, by Octave Merlier, the head of the French Institute in Athens, because his mother had been condemned to death as a communist fighter.
She was tortured but she never agreed to sign the usual declaration of repentance condemning communism. On May 1, 1948, Christos Ladas, the Minister of Justice who had signed her death penalty, was assassinated by a member of the OPLA militia and the newspapers accused Beata of having ordered the minister’s murder from inside her prison. Nevertheless, because of the influence her husband Nicolas Kitsikis still enjoyed in the upper circles of Greek society her execution did not take place and she was released from prison at the end of 1951, after the civil war was over.