Interviewee: Maurice Leon
Title: Maurice Leon and Marsel Natzari wearing the yellow star
Place and Date: Thessaloniki, Greece - 1943
This is a photograph of me with my friend Marsel Natzari, taken in 1943 in Thessaloniki.
I remember that when we were restricted by the Germans, wearing the yellow star, my friend Marsel Natzari and I went to a place not far from my house, on Allatini Street, and had our photograph taken. We didn't know what was going to happen and we wanted to have a memoir.
My friend Marsel Natzari and I decided to leave by train with the help of someone working at the Railway Station of Thessaloniki. We went to the station but for a reason that I cannot remember we didn't manage to leave. So we returned. This was the first, unsuccessful attempt.
My friend Marsel Natzari was caught by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz. There he was in the 'Sonderkommando' [commando responsible for carrying the dead out of the gas chambers and their cremation]. Fortunately he survived and came back. He stayed with us. For months we couldn't stop hearing what had happened there. We couldn't believe what he was telling us, things that one could never forget.
My son Sakis is married to Nelly Natzari, the daughter of my friend Marsel Natzari.