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Oral history interview with Nikolaos Theodorou

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.530.11 | RG Number: RG-50.855.0011

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    Oral history interview with Nikolaos Theodorou


    Interview Summary
    Nikolaos Theodorou, born in 1929 in Salonika (Thessaloniki) in the North Central part of Greece, describes his experience as Greek Christian during the German occupation (1941 -1944); his parents, grandparents, and his mother’s sister; living on Karpoula 6 Street, Salonika; his father, who was a government employee at an agency responsible for draining swamps and turning them into cultivable farms; his father being able to maintain his employment during the occupation because the Germans were afraid of malaria and were interested in draining mosquito breeding grounds; attending the University of Salonika in 1948 and earning a degree in chemistry; his neighborhood (around the intersection of Filippou and Elefteriou Venizelou Streets), where there were a lot of Jewish families; having a number of friends and playmates as he was growing up, including Leoniko, Ino, and Jacko; his mother, who was friendly with Ino’s mother as she lived in the back of their house; his father’s Jewish acquaintances through his work; a Jewish classmate of his, Andreas Sifiha, who was saved because he was a Spanish citizen; Sifiha’s return to Salonica and leadership of the Jewish Community; a Jewish-owned store on Venizelou Street (between Filippou and Olimpou Streets), where they used to buy candy, magazines, and other novelties; how very few Jews returned from the Holocaust; the reopening of Molho Bookstore; the bombing of Salonika by the Italians on October 20, 1940; the two bombs that fell in his neighborhood and the families living in his building using the basement as a shelter; German soldiers moving into the empty apartment above them around April 20, 1941; the general good behavior of the Germans living in their building, except for one of them who was rough, especially towards the Jews; noticing that all the Jewish homes and stores were marked with a yellow star and the Jews were made to wear a similar star on their breasts; the restrictions placed on Jews; Jews being forced into ghettos; how the Christian were worried, but never imagined that the Jews would be taken to concentration camps and exterminated; the deportation of the Jews and the looting of their homes afterwards; and the Christian immigrants from Asian Minor who moved into Jewish homes after the deportations.
    Nikolaos Theodorou
    interview:  2014 November 15
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation

    Physical Details

    1 digital file : MPEG-4.

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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
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