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Oral history interview with Silvia Sevi

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.171.6 | RG Number: RG-50.426.0006

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    Oral history interview with Silvia Sevi


    Interview Summary
    Silva Sevi (née Molho), born in Thessaloniki, Greece, describes her family; getting along well with the Greeks in the neighborhood; hearing the sounds of the attack when the Germans entered Thessaloniki; how the Jews were assembled in the city square and forced to stay there for a long time in the heat while they were beaten; how the Greek citizens wanted to help the Jews but were prevented from doing so by the Germans; how the Germans started taking young Jewish men, including her brother, for forced labor; her brother’s eventual death at Birkenau; being allowed to stay in their homes but experiencing many restrictions; being moved to the Jewish ghetto; having to give up their belongings, for which they received receipts; the organization of a Jewish administration to execute the German orders; the Jewish police force; how their rabbi told them that life in Poland would be better; being taken on the third transport with her family; enduring a torturous journey of seven days; arriving at Birkenau and how the Nazis were beating the captives; the removal of the dead from the train; giving up her jewelry, stripping, being shaved, and getting her number tattooed on her arm; the cruelty of the prison guards, including female guards; being taken with her sister, Ida, to a quarantine barrack for several weeks; witnessing the killings of newly arrived children; being sent with her sister to a block, where they were forced to do hard labor and were beaten; the conditions of the barrack and the other inmates; building steps and banks for the river; getting caught once drinking water from the river and being beaten; being transferred to Auschwitz, where she remained until January 2, 1945; going through nine selections; attempting to take food from a garbage bin with another girl, who was caught and beaten, while she remained hidden in the bin; the great kindness she received from a Russian kitchen worker; black market dealings in the compound; how her sister was taken to the hospital in Birkenau because she had typhus and died; being forced to march to a train, which they rode for three days without food or water; staying in Ravensbrück for a week then going to another labor camp, where she stayed until May; going into hiding for one night while all the Germans were running away; being liberated by Russian soldiers; how Russian soldiers raped many of the women she was with before a Yiddish-speaking Russian protected them; rummaging through German houses; being placed in a displaced persons camp; the three month journey back to Greece; being helped by Jews in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Joint; not finding any of her family; getting married to a survivor of Auschwitz; and her children and their success.
    Silvia Sevi
    Sylvia Prozan
    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

    3 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
    Sevi, Silvia.

    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 08:31:34
    This page:

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