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Oral history interview with Kostandinos Gounaris

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.530.12 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0012

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    Oral history interview with Kostandinos Gounaris


    Interview Summary
    Konstantinos Gounaris, born on October 5, 1929 in Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece, describes his experience as Greek Christian during the German occupation (1941-1944); how his family was well to do and did not suffer much because they had a flour mill and could keep a small portion of their production for themselves; his father Vasilios, who also owned a grocery store in Salonika and a vineyard in Nea Mesimvria (Nea Mesēmvría), which was where the family was originally from; his younger sister and brother; his mother, who kept house; living in the area of Filippou and Makedonikis Aminis streets, where there were a lot of Jews; going with his family to Nea Mesimvria during the war with Italy (October 1940 to April 1941); returning to Thessaloniki when the Germans arrived in Greece; his father’s death in 1949 and taking over the family business; attending a high school with a lot of Jewish students and the deportation of many of those students during the German occupation; his and his father’s Jewish friends, including Saltiel, Beniko Kapon, Avraham Nehama (Nehama, Kapon & Co.), and Mosiko; rationing and forced labor during the German occupation; the Germans requisitioned their house at the beginning of 1943 and moving to a house on 4 Stamatopoulou Street, which originally belonged to a Jewish family; his memories of the Jews selling their belongings to survive and the looting of Jewish houses after Jews were moved to the ghetto and deported; the Germans gathering all the male Jews in Eleutherias Square during the summer of 1942 and forcing them to do calisthenics for hours in the hot sun; the round up and deportation of Jews in 1943; seeing the columns of people walking towards the train station; his questions regarding the reluctance of the Jews he saw to escape; and how after their defeat, the Germans set fire to the warehouses by the port and destroyed the jetties, trains station, airport, and their ships.
    Kostandinos Gounaris
    interview:  2014 November 16
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation

    Physical Details

    1 digital file : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Administrative Notes

    This is a witness interview of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Perpetrators, Collaborators, and Witnesses: The Jeff and Toby Herr Testimony Initiative, a multi-year project to record the testimonies of non-Jewish witnesses to the Holocaust. The interview was directed and supervised by Nathan Beyrak.
    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 09:33:37
    This page:

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