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Oral history interview with Kostandinos Gounaris

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

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

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.

Interviewee
Kostandinos Gounaris
Date
2014 November 16  (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 10:43:04
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn607959