Richard Capuano

This picture of my husband, Richard Capuano, was taken in Athens in 1949.

My husband had many commercial representations, medicals and other things too, but most importantly, he was the first importer of cellophane in Greece.

He would tell me that when he first brought cellophane to Greece he went to Flocas and asked for the owner.

He knew the family, as they also came from Thessaloniki. ‘Let us have a coffee,’ he proposed to Flocas. ‘Yes, certainly.’ ‘Could you please bring some chocolates.’ And he brought some, wrapped in a golden piece of paper.

My husband had a piece of cellophane in his pocket, took the chocolate and wrapped it in cellophane. ‘What is this that shines?’ ‘Cellophane.’ This is how my husband got his first order before the war.

I finished medical school and in 1954 I got married, but I had not sat my exams for my medical specialization. I became a microbiologist and I studied it at the Evagelismos Hospital.

I was a Greek subject while my husband, Richard Capuano, was a Spanish subject. He belonged to one of the approximately two hundred families that were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella, and the Greek state refused to make them Greeks.

I don’t know the reason. We asked for the Greek citizenship many times. We even had a client at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and another client at the Department of the Interior and their response was: ‘We cannot do anything and we don’t know why.’

We applied and reapplied as my husband wanted very much to become Greek and he wanted our son to go to the army. The final result was negative and my son didn’t go to the army as he is Spanish subject. There are still a number of Spanish subjects in Greece.

Of course I couldn’t have a free profession, and then comes a law that says that a Greek woman can be married to a foreigner but retain her citizenship and therefore can be employed in a free profession. That made us decide to get married.

Photos from this interviewee