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Oral history interview with Gregorios Kitsos

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.530.30 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0030

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

Gregorios Kitsos, born in 1928 outside the town of Argos in Eastern Peloponnese, describes his experience as a Christian in the town of Kastoria, Greece from 1940 to 1945 during WWII and the Italian and German occupations; his family’s move from Argos to Kastoria 40 days after his birth; his father Konstantinos, who owned the largest bakery in Kastoria; his three siblings, a sister (married name Jima) and two brothers (Euripides and Makis); how the bakery was repeatedly requisitioned by the Greek army, the Italians, and the Germans to produce bread for their troops; how he did not have any close Jewish friends, but he knew two Jews well (Benny Kalef, whose father owned a flour watermill, and his French teacher Eskenazi); Jews owning 90 percent of the fabric stores in Kastoria; the relations between the Jewish and the Christian residents, including the good business relations and the lack of social interactions between them; living in a neighborhood close to the Church of Agioi Anargyroi; the Italian occupation when things were mostly quiet; the arrival of the Germans in April 1942 and the forcing of Jews to mark their houses and stores with a red Star of David; the Germans gathering all the Jews in the yard of a large house belonging to the Valala family and putting the Jews in trucks and then trains to transport them to concentration camps around 1943; the few Jews who left before the deportation to join the partisans in the surrounding mountains or hide; the perishing of the great majority of Kastoria Jews; the pillage of Jewish homes and stores by both Germans and Greeks after the deportation; the Christians who were used as middle men when there were restrictions placed on Jewish businesses and how many of these individuals were left with a lot of merchandise that they sold for their own benefit after the deportations; and the local authorities forming the Organization for the Management of the Jewish Estates, which rented Jewish stores and houses and helped the few Jews who returned after the war to get their belongings back.

Interviewee
Gregorios Kitsos
Interviewer
Renna Molho
Date
2015 June 30  (interview)
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: 2018-01-22 10:48:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn601958