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Oral history interview with Christina Petroulaki Solomoy

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.530.37 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0037

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

Christina Solomou, born in 1934 in Chania, on the Greek island of Crete, describes her experience as a Greek Christian during the German occupation, 1940-1944; her family, including her father, mother (Kleanthi), and two sisters; living in a very nice old house at the Enetiko Port of Chania; living very close to the Jewish neighborhood and the synagogue on Kondilaki Street, called Big Judaica; her father, who was a municipal employee, and her mother, who was a house wife; the outbreak of war in 1940 and her family escaping to the mountain village of Mouri, where they stayed for about a year; returning to Chania and finding their house intact; resuming their life there until the end of the war; not suffering during the war because of their family connections in the surrounding villages, where they could get enough provisions; how people who did not have village connections suffered a lot because food was very scarce; their Jewish next-door neighbors, a family of five that included a father, mother (Rebeca), two sons, and a daughter (Danda, who was a French teacher); her mother conversing with Mrs. Rebeca, but never scheduling visits; not knowing any other Jews; how Christians and Jews kept on their own and did not mix, even though there were no problems between them; her memories of how the Jews were viewed as good and honest merchants, well off, but also very stingy; knowing of one mixed marriage between a Jewish man, Mr. Minervos, and a Christian woman; Minervos staying in Chania and surviving the war (he is the only Jew Christina knows who survived); her memories of how Germans never imposed any restrictions on the Jews in Chania; the circulating news about the Jews of Salonica, which caused the Jews of Chania to be nervous; how on a very early morning in 1943, Christina and her mother were starting their daily chores, when they heard commotion from the street and saw Germans going to the Jewish homes and getting the Jews out; Mrs. Rebeca pleading with Christina's mother to look after their house, and after they were taken away, seeing a German guard posted in front of their house for a couple of hours; the plundering of their neighbors' house after it was left unguarded; the renting out of the house to a Christian family; the confinement of the Jews in a soccer stadium for a few days until they were put on a ship at the Port of Souda; and the sinking of the ship soon after it left the port.

Interviewee
Christina Solomoy
Interviewer
Anna Nomikou
Date
2016 March 07  (interview)
Geography
creation : Chania (Greece)
Language
Greek
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
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Record last modified: 2018-04-09 11:41:45
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn533551