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Oral history interview with Nikolaos Theodorou

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Nikolaos Theodorou
interview:  2014 November 15
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-02-26 12:53:18
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