Interviewee: Mario Modiano
Title: Mario Modiano in the Salonica ghetto
Place and Date: Thessaloniki, Greece - 1943
This is a picture of me, Marion Modiano, at the age of 16. The picture was taken on the back balcony of the house in the Salonica ghetto in 1943. Here, I am reading the Nea Evropi newspaper, which was the sort of pro-German newspaper of the time during the occupation.
My father, Sam Modiano, had had to take the Greek nationality because of the 1933 law. So, when the racial laws came into force in Salonica, unlike the other Modianos who as Italian nationals were exempt, we were forced to abandon our home and go and live in one of the two 'ghettos' where the Germans confined the Greek Jews. So we went and lived in the apartment of one of Father's fellow-journalists in Analipsi. We weren't allowed to go outside the boundaries of the ghetto, or to use any means of transportation, or telephones. We stayed there for about three months.
It was from this backside balcony, I saw my best friend, Hugo Mordoh, leaving with that small convoy of people carrying things to go to the Baron Hirsch camp where he and his would be put on a train and - end of story. I was crying. He was my best friend; we were at school together and we were very close.