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    Like nails must the words be hammered

    The Oral History Archive of the Jewish Museum of Greece (OHA)

    The OHA today contains a total of 125 interviews, 69 by men and 55 by women, 14 in audio and the rest in audio-visual format. The interviews constitute a record of the lives of members of the Jewish communities of Greece. There is more than 200 hours of material....

    The Testimony

    Every testimony contributes to an anthropocentric view of history, providing narratives “from below”, through experiences and impressions of the people themselves. The existence of a collection of testimonies allows a social history of the persecution of Greek Jewry during the Second World War to be written, with emphasis more...

    Iakov Maestro (1927)

    Biography: Iakov Maestro was born in Thessaloniki in 1927. His father, Isaac Maestro, died in 1934, leaving the family with no means. The whole family, therefore – his mother Gratsia, née Soures, his brother Daniel, and his two sisters – were forced to work to get by. Iakov worked from...

    Naki Bega (1927)

    Biography: Esther (Naki) Matathia-Bega was born in Trikala in 1927. She was the youngest child of the family and had two older sisters, Anna and Allegri. Her father, Matathias Matathias, had several professions. He was a street vendor, threadmakerand more. Her mother was called Myriam (Marika). Her family house was...

    Mordochai Mayo (1928)

    Biography: Mordochai Mayo was born in Kastoria in 1928. Both of his parents, Iakov and Rifka, née Faratzis, were Jews from Kastoria. He had two younger sisters, Lily and Esther. His father was a cloth merchant and his house was in the “Toumba” area. Mordochai’s life was turned upside down...

    Zanet Nachmia (1924)

    Biography: Zanet Nachmia was born in Ioannina in 1925, daughter of Haïm and Rebecca, née Mordochai. They had six children and lived inside the kastro (the old city walls), opposite the synagogue. Her father had a taverna. Zanet went to school until the age of 11 at the Alliance Israélite...

    Cohen sisters: Paloba Matathia and Riketta Cohen (1937), Vida-Veta Mioni (1939)

    Biographies: Paloba (Pavlina) Matathia (PM) was born in 1937 in Thessaloniki, with her twin sister Riketta (Rina) Cohen (RC). Two years later the family had another daughter, Vida-Veta Mioni (VM). The family was well-off and lived in the centre of the city, on Tsimiski street. Their father, Sabetai Cohen, was...

    Zakis Hatzis (1931 – 2018)

    Biography: Zakis Hatzis was born in Ioannina in 1931. Even before the war, however, his family had settled in Athens. His father Leon was from Ioannina, and his mother, Sarina, née Samuel, from Trikala. He had two younger siblings, Chrysoula and Maurice. After the commencement of anti-Jewish measures in Athens,...

    Esther Florentin (1932)

    Biography: Esther Florentin was born in Thessaloniki in 1932. Her father was Benzion Altsech and her mother Kleri, née Matalon. She had a younger brother, Solomon. Before the war the family lived in the centre of Thessaloniki and her father had a fabric shop. Soon after their internment in the...

    Sabetai (Mimis) Bezas (1931 – 2019)

    Biography: Mimis Bezas was born in Thessaloniki in 1931 to Moys and Sarina, née Barouch. His father sold bicycles and also had a small spare parts factory. The family lived in the centre of the city. Even though the family were trapped in the ghetto, they managed to flee just...