The Oral History Archive of the Jewish Museum of Greece

An exhibition Installation of the JMG

The Oral History Archive (OHA) of the Jewish Museum of Greece had a small, simple beginning, just like many other things in life. The original core of the first twelve interviews was gathered in 2001-2002 for our temporary exhibition “Hidden Children in Occupied Greece”. With this first documentation, the Jewish Museum laid the foundations for the OHA, without realising then how much and how fast it would develop in just a few years.

As the survivors are gradually taken from our midst by time, the recording of their living image, expression, words, memories and thoughts take on a crucial role in the Museum’s attempt to narrate history “from below”, passing on the historical narrative from yesterday to today. Today’s visitor inevitably experiences both the immediacy and the subjectivity inherent to every testimony.

Alongside testimonies published in book form, we now also have audio and audiovisual sources, digital impressions, and the holographic representations of witnesses. The future no doubt holds more possibilities – and we are thankful for that, since these testimonies are an invaluable legacy of humanity; a repository of memory for the generations to come, and as such will always remain relevant and current.

Zanet Battinou
Director of the JMG

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The Oral History Archive of the Jewish Museum of Greece...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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

77Biographies: Paloba (Pavlina) Matathia (PM) was born in 1937 in Thessaloniki, with her twin sister Riketta (Rina) Cohen (RC). Two years later the family had...

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...

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,...

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...

Panagiotis Tziortsas (1926)

Biography: Panagiotis Tziortsas was born in Tithronio, a village in Phthiotis, in 1926. His father was Leonidas and his mother Despo, née Koutsobelis. He had...

Sara Yesoua-Forti (1927)

Biography: Sara Yeshua, wife of Marcello Fortis, was born in Chalkida in 1927. Her father diedyoung and her mother, Zafeira, made men’s hats to provide...

Alvertos-Avraam Amon (1925)

Biography: Alvertos-Avraam was born in Volos in 1925. His father was called Samuel, owner of a bed factory and a shop. His mother was Julia,...

Greek Jewish Survivors from the Holocaust, by Artemis Alcalay

This is a series of photographic portraits of Greek Jewish survivors of the Nazi camps, who after the war resettled in Greece. Aged between...

Exhbition Contributors

EXHIBITION CURATOR Zanet Battinou CURATΙΟΝ ΟF ARTΙFACTS Mary Kapotsi, Christina Meri RESEARCH - TEXTS Alexandra Patrikiou TEXT TRANSLATION Joshua Barley TEXT EDITING Alexandra Patrikiou, Maria Vassilikou EXHIBITION DESIGN Mary...