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Oral history interview with Luisa Salem

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.171.4 | RG Number: RG-50.426.0004

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    Oral history interview with Luisa Salem


    Interview Summary
    Luisa Salem, born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1926, discusses her family; her father, who was a businessman and her mother, who was originally from Monastir, Macedonia; her brother Isaac; her childhood and speaking Spanish, French, and Italian; attending an Italian school, where most of the children were Jewish; living in a residence, where the Spanish Vice-Consul (Solomon Ezratty) lived on the first floor; the arrival of the Germans in April 1941; experiencing little fear at the beginning of the occupation and the absence of general antisemitic laws; an increasing number of reprisals against individual Jewish families; the horror in July 1942 when all men were forced to perform physical exercise for the entire afternoon in the Plateia Eleftherias at gunpoint; the requirement for Jews to register and wear the Star of David; the roundup and enclosure of her family in Kalamaria at the end of February 1943; living in a house with two stories and two families on each floor; the first deportations of Jews from Thessaloniki in March 1943; the growing fears about the families’ fate; the departure of her cousin Luis Pardoe and his family for Brazil; her father securing forged papers, providing family members with Greek names; departing from the ghetto to the old house of the Spanish consulate; receiving help from Rachel Ezratty; traveling by bus to Katarini (Katerine) and going on to Leptokaria, where they waited for a train to go to Athens; receiving help from Greek resistance members, who led them to Mt. Olympus, over Kissavos Mountain (Mount Ossa) to Larissa; staying in Larissa for three weeks, protected by partisans; going across the Pineios River to reach Italian-occupied Greece, led by smugglers who remained on the German side of the river because they were forced to register with the Nazis; finding their family members in Athens in May-June 1943; being relatively safe, but being forced to change residences several times because of betrayals; the liberation in December 1944; their difficult living conditions; returning to Thessaloniki; and her marriage in 1946 to an Auschwitz survivor who lost most of his family.
    Luisa Salem
    Peter Ryan
    interview:  1996 June 18
    creation: Thessalonike (Greece)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation

    Physical Details

    2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Salem, Luisa, 1926-

    Administrative Notes

    This was an oral history project sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during 1996 to interview Holocaust survivors in Saloniki, Greece. It was conducted in cooperation with the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Greece.
    Funding Note
    The production of this interview was made possible by Jeff and Toby Herr.
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:31:33
    This page:

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