Interviewee: Lily Arouch
Title: Haim Pardo with friends
Place and Date: Thessaloniki, Greece - 1920
This picture was taken in Thessaloniki in 1920. You can see my father standing on the left, wearing a bow tie. I don't know the names of the other people in the picture, but I know they were his friends. You can see that his clothes and his friends' clothes were very European and contemporary for the times. They were no different than other people of that time.
My father was born in 1898 in Monastir. His mother tongue was Spanish. In addition to the German language, which he probably learnt at the German school he attended, he spoke French fluently and also Greek. I don't know if he went to school for that, I think he learnt Greek by himself, but he spoke and wrote it very well. He was also very keen on learning, he was a philomath.
My father was tall and thin. He wasn't very talkative, but he was gentle and decisive. He was always helping different charity institutions. I know he was a big patron of the Jewish institutions of Thessaloniki, but I don't think he was ever a member of any political organization.
He was a self-made man; he came to Thessaloniki from Monastir with his parents during World War I, probably around 1916-1918, and started working on his own. I guess his father was sick because he started working and fighting for survival very early on. He started off as an employee and then founded his own business, a commercial shop named 'Pardiko,' on 28 Tsimiski Street. It was an electrical shop that sold electrical appliances and items, wires, leads etc, and even bathrooms and sanitary ware.