Emmanuel I. Tsouderos was a lawyer, economist and prime minister of the Greek government who, after the German invasion, continued the war against the Axis, outside the country, in the years of Occupation (1941-1944) with assembled Greek military units (infantry, naval and aviation) until almost the end of the Second World War. Born in Rethymnon in 1882.
When he returned to Crete, he was elected a member of the Cretan Parliament. Later, with the accession of Crete to Greece in 1913, he was elected a member of the Greek Parliament. He was a member of the government of Eleftherios Venizelos and later became finance minister in the government of Themistocles Sofoulis. At the end of 1930, he became chairman of the National Bank of Greece.
On 21 April 1941, while the Germans occupied half of Greece, Tsouderos accepted King George’s proposal to take over the country’s prime minister in place of Alexander Korizis, who had committed suicide. Together with King George, they descend to Crete and organized the defense of the island. Later, he resorted to Cairo, Egypt, at the headquarters of the British alliance there, setting up the Greek Navy and Air Force units under the operational command of the British administration.
During his prime minister, he accompanied King George on a trip to America, where he met President Roosevelt.
In the first years after his liberation, Tsouderos served as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinator at the first Sofouli government. In October 1946 he was elected Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, with whom he participated in the founding of EPEK in 1950 as a Piraeus MP. In 1952, as an MP of Athens, he became a minister in the Papagou government.
Emmanouil Tsouderos died in the city of Nervi, Italy in 1956.
The office used by Emmanouil Tsouderos as Prime Minister in Crete is kept at the Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion. His archive, from 1948 to 1954, is kept in the Gennadius Library.