The Alvo family in Ipati

The Alvo family in Ipati

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This picture is taken in Ipati in 1940.

My father is first from the left, my mother fifth from the right, and my step grandmother Mathilde fourth from the left, with my brother Danny behind her.

My sister Rosa is second from left. I am not there. At that time I was in Athens, preparing for the Polytechnic entrance examinations.

I only went to visit them for a weekend, because Ypati was very close to Athens. I took the train and went.

My father didn't have many friends, but he had some very good friends. One was Mr. Nehama, who was a professor of his. He was also friends with the brother of Mr. Nehama.

He was a manager in a bank and he later got married to a Christian woman. He had some other friends that were called Hassid. These were family friends.

Because there were many brothers and sisters, they would meet up every Sunday in one house, or another. They didn't have any time during the week. They only went to the cinema, since they loved it. At the time, the cinema was considered as the best entertainment.

My grandfather and grandmother didn't go, but mother and father would go at least once a week. We had four or five cinema theatres then. They used to say that the "Dionysia" was the best cinema and that it brought the best films.

Good films were produced at the time. German films were quite good, but mother and father preferred the French ones which they could understand better.

They didn't have to read the subtitles. No American films were brought at the time. We had just French and German films and that was it. The most famous film was "Émperio Argentino".

This film wasn't famous only among the Jews; the entire Thessaloniki loved it. Of course, another big hit was Eduardo Bianco, when he first came. He was the one that played tango. Thessaloniki went crazy.

In the summer, my parents after dinner would go out to the "Luxembug". It was on the sea side, close to the shipyards. They would go out there, listen to the music and dance.

Sometimes they would also go to "Flocas". Flocas was regarded as a luxury restaurant. When there was some theatre play being staged, they would also go to the "White Tower". Some good plays used to come. They would also go out and eat at the Olympos-Naoussa.

Us children, they would not take us together; it would be mostly the two of them. They would leave us at home. They mostly went out on Saturdays and on Fridays almost never, because my father opened the shop on Saturdays.

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Interviewee

Mico Alvo