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Oral history interview with Josephine Becker

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.151.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0260

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

Josephine Becker (née Josephine Velelli), born on May 5, 1936 in Patras, Greece, discusses her childhood; her father Emanuel, who owned a fabric business; her mother Emily Osmo; living in a neighborhood with no other Jews; going to the beach and theater; only speaking Greek; visiting cousins on the island of Corfu; celebrating Passover at her grandparents’ home; the dangerous during the occupation, especially in 1942; going to a house in village owned by Katherine and Elias Michaelis who was a friend of her uncle, walking for hours to get there; the brutal murder of her uncle Victor; the murder of her uncle Joseph, who was killed by Germans and Greek collaborators; her grandparents’ devastation over the loss of two of their sons; hiding with a priest, who let her family sleep on with the horses; the loss of the first house she hid in; going with the Michaelis’ daughters to study with the priest; staying in hiding in the village for one and a half years with no radio; returning to her grandfather’s house in Patras in the fall of 1943; attending an all-girls private school and being the only Jewish student; finishing high school; cleaning up the synagogue before the Sabbath every week; moving to Athens and working for her uncle; having little money; immigrating to the United States in October 1956; being helped in Baltimore, MD by Jewish Family Service and Greek friends; working in a slipcover factory; getting married in August 1957 and having three children; visiting Greece three times but not to the village where she was in hiding; receiving reparations; not belonging to any survivors’ groups; her lack of interest in visiting Germany; and how she still thinks about her time in hiding.

Interviewee
Josephine Becker
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2017 March 26  (interview)
Geography
creation : Chevy Chase (Md.)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : WAV.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:11:31
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn559283