Mico Alvo's family house in Thessaloniki

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  • Photo taken in:
    Thessaloniki
    Country name at time of photo:
    Greece
    Country name today:
    Greece

This is a picture of our house. It was at the corner of Kritis and Papakyriazi Street.

My father built it in 1922, before he got married, together with his brother. They built it together. When he bought the land there, it was regarded as countryside, it was the countryside area. There were very few houses.

When he built his house, there was only one more house on the same street. The plot was 900 square meters, of which the house occupied 200. It was on the corner of the two streets and the rest of the plot was a garden.

My father had an ardent passion for flowers. He had a gardener from the time before he got engaged, who remained with him after the war.

He was a Christian from Asvestohori and his name was Charitos. The house had two floors. His brother lived at the top floor and my father lived on the ground floor so that he could be closer to the garden.

When he first built it, grandmother and grandfather lived with him in his appartment. Later on, when he got married he rented another apartment because he didn't want to tell his parents to "leave the house".

Neither I, nor my brother, were born at the house that my father built. We were born in another house, again at Koromila Street.

A couple of years later he said, “now that I have children, I want to live in my own house”. He then rented his parents a house, also in Koromila Street, where they lived with their daughter.

My sister Rosa had her own room in our house. I shared one with my brother. My parents had one room, and the maids had the other one.

The houses used to be like this: the lounge in the middle all the bedrooms around it, and the dinning room and the kitchen separately. The cookers used to work with coal. There was no electricity, we cooked with charcoal.

Around the neighborhood, there lived mainly Christians. We didn’t have Jewish neighbours. It was a wealthy area. It was full of detached houses, of one or two stories, with very nice gardens, and they would be very competitive about who had the prettiest flowers.

Three or four houses, we would have the same gardener, Harito, barba-Harito. We had really good relationships with the neighbours, with all the Greeks. They had the same economical situation as us, maybe slightly lower.

We had really good relations with the family of Germanos, who also spoke French. It was an Athenian family, very aristocratic. Nikolaos Germanos was the one who founded the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.

I remember the first time that the Fair opened, Germanos took on the same taxi with him my mother and father. He went on a taxi to open the Fair.

His younger daughter, Alexandra, loved my mother very much and she would come around the house very often.

Interview details

Interviewee: Mico Alvo
Interviewer:
Paris Papamichos-Chronakis
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2005
Thessaloniki, Greece

KEY PERSON

Mico Alvo
Jewish name:
Haim
Year of birth:
1922
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Thessaloniki
Country name at time of birth:
Greece
Occupation
after WW II:
Merchant

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
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