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Oral history interview with Sam Ackos

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0126.3 | RG Number: RG-50.156.0003

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Sam Ackos (Semanto Menachem Ackos), born November 10, 1931 in Breveza (possibly Preveza), Greece to Menachem Semanto and Rebecca (Chaim Vitalis), discusses his family’s move to Athens circa 1936; his father, who was a merchant buying and selling anything and everything, and later became a taxi driver; his mother, who worked as a seamstress; having four sisters; his family only speaking Greek; having limited education; attending synagogue on holidays, but not on Shabbat; the good relations with non-Jewish Greeks, except during Pesach/Easter when Greek children were told that Jews put them over barrels on pins and needles and used the blood to make matzah; his father’s care for various aunts and uncles who later died in Auschwitz; the Italian invasion of Greece; the German occupation of Greece; the food scarcity during the occupation; hiding with his family in various basements around Athens; the dismantling and hiding of his father’s taxi (it was reassembled and driven after the war); living on beans and bread and other food bought on black market in villages outside of Athens using gold his father had accumulated; his father’s activities as a partisan; the roundup of Jews on March 25, 1944 and detainment in camp Chaidari; the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz; not being taken during the roundup; participating in acts of sabotage with other teens; being unsure of the fate of his father, but hearing a rumor that he was involved in a plot to destroy a crematoria in a camp; life after the war; his family’s desire to immigrate to Israel, and their decision to go to the United States; arriving in New York in January 1951 with the help of the United Jewish Appeal; settling in St. Paul MN where they lived in a Jewish neighborhood; living near two other Greek families, Nathan Asher and Ira Rosenbaum; getting married, but not having children; and not being active in the Jewish community.

Interviewee
Sam Ackos
Date
1987 January 31  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-12-10 10:34:44
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510654