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Oral history interview with Georgios Nestorakis

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.530.15 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0015

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

Georgios Nestorakis, born in December 1928 in the village of Roditis (formerly known as Proktio, now part of the town of Komotini), describes his experience as a Christian in Greece before and during the Bulgarian occupation (1941-1944); his family, who were refugees from Eastern Thrace (Turkey) and moved to Greece in 1922; his father, who was a farmer and shepherd; his two sisters (one older and one younger) from his biological mother and three step-siblings; attending elementary school in Roditis and starting high school in 1939 in Komotini; being the first from his village to attend high school; the good relations in Komotini between the diverse populations, which included Muslims, Jews, Armenians, Christian Greeks, and refugees from Turkey; the German occupation for a month around April 1941; the Bulgarian control of the area after the Germans left until the end of the war in Greece (September 1944); the Bulgarians’ attempts to absorb the northern part of Greece into Bulgaria, forbid the use of the Greek language, close Greek schools, and bring in Bulgarian Orthodox priests; how the citizens who adhered to the Bulgarian rules were given extra rations of food; his memories of the Bulgarians taking people’s stores, houses, farms, and livestock, including his family’s land and sheep; the Jews, who lived around the crossroads of Maccabi and Athanasiou Diakou Streets in Komotini and worked mostly as merchants; the absence of Jews in the village of Roditis; remembering a Jewish man named Levy who had a novelties store; seeing Jews wearing yellow stars on their chests and arms; hearing from his friend Mihalis Xatzis about the deportation of Jews after they were detained in a tobacco warehouse for a week; the Bulgarians taking the best Jewish houses and moving Greek families to the remaining houses; and the Bulgarian relinquishment of control to the Greek Partisans in September 1944.

Interviewee
Georgios Nestorakis
Date
2014 November 17  (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 10:44:05
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn610296