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Oral history interview with Evangelos Vafias

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.530.4 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0004

Evangelos Vafias, born in 1921 in Ioannina, Central Western Greece, describes his experience as a Greek Christian during the Italian/German occupation (1941-1944); his family, which was comprised of his mother, two sisters, and himself (the youngest); never knowing his father because he died before Evangelos was born; living on Manoliasas Street; starting work very young as a stable hand; becoming a farrier and later owning his own stables and small inn (he stayed in that business for 25 years); not having any Jewish friends, because their house was far from the Jewish area, which was in and around the Ioannina Castle; his family knowing many Jews who were peddlers and merchants, including Giako (Jacob) and Tavoula; his uncle who was in a partnership with a Jew (Antzel) in a vegetable shop outside the Castle; his grandfather, who was a shoemaker on Anexartisias Street, where a lot of Jews had their stores; the good relations between Christians and Jews, however old Christian women would warn children that if they didn’t behave, they would be given to the Jews to put them in barrels with nails to extract and drink their blood, but nobody really paid attention to it; the German occupation when life became very difficult; the marking of Jewish homes and stores; the roundup and deportation of the Jews in March 1944 on a very cold Saturday morning; seeing the action from the distance with binoculars, as the Germans rounded up the Jews, put them in 30-40 military tracks and transported them out of the city; the pillaging of the Jews’ homes and stores after the deportation; specific cases in which Christians benefitted financially from the deportation of the Jews; and the unheeded warnings some Christians had given to their Jewish friends to escape before the German occupation.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Evangelos Vafias
interview:  2014 November 12
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 19:52:17
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