The Greek boy Ilialu

This is the Greek boy Ilialu. I don’t remember his family name. The year is 1943. The photo was taken in the town of Plovdiv. There is a barely readable seal of the photographic studio Agfa Lupex.

During the Holocaust there were boys from today’s Greek territories who were mobilized into Bulgarian labor camps and whose relatives were deported. My family decided to give shelter to such a boy. His first name was Ilialu. He had a brother who went to live with another Jewish family. Ilialu lived with us from 1943 to 1946. He ate with us, my mother washed, ironed and sewed his clothes. He worked as a tailor, I don’t remember where. He was already demobilized then. At first we spoke to him in Ladino, but he gradually learned Bulgarian.

Then my mother introduced him to a Jewish girl from Bulgaria, whose name I don’t remember, and they got married. The young family moved to live with the girl’s parents. They lived there until 1948 and then moved to Israel. He died, but we kept in touch for a long time after their departure.