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Oral history interview with Georgios Kamilakis

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.530.38 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0038

Georgios Kamilakis, born in 1930 in Chania, on the Greek Island of Crete, describes his experience as a Greek Christian during the German Occupation, 1941-1945; his family, including his father, mother, and eight siblings; living on Portou Street, very close to the Jewish neighborhood and the synagogue on Kondilaki Street; the good relations between Jews and Christians; his belief that there were no distinctions between the Jews and Christians and everyone lived harmoniously; attending an elementary school and having several Jewish friends, including Solon, Iakovos (Jacob), and Leon; his parents' Jewish acquaintances, such as Mrs. Reveka and Mrs. Sultana as well as the Minervou and Cohen families; how there was no indication of the German intentions towards the Jews until the early morning of June 7, 1944 when the Germans rounded up the Jews; the deportation two days later (June 9, 1944) on a ship called the "Tanais" of 314 Jews from Chania, 26 Jews from Heraklion (Ērakleion), 112 Italians, and 48 Christians; the torpedoing and sinking of the "Tanais" by a British submarine; how only a few Jews returned after the war, including two army veterans (Minervou and one other who had stayed in Athens at the end of the unsuccessful Greek military campaign) as well as a woman named Victoria, Joseph Cohen (who manage to slip past the Germans during the roundup in Chania), and Avraam (a port worker who happened to go to Piraeus (Athens) before the roundup); two other people who converted from Judaism to Christianity in order to get married to Christians and survived; how the houses of Jews were locked by the Church and local authorities and remained such until the survivors came back; and Jewish organizations dealing with the houses of people who did not return.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Kamilakis, Georgios
Nomikou, Anna
interview:  2016 March 07
creation: Chania (Greece)
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 19:51:54
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