Adina Alvo

Adina Alvo
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This is a picture of my mother, Adina Alvo, nee Saltiel. It was taken in Thessaloniki but I don't know when.

My mother was born in 1901 in Thessaloniki. She went to the Gattegno school, I think, or to the Alliance, or both. Maybe she went first to the Alliance and later to the Gattegno. She went to elementary and secondary school for twelve years. Maybe high school was fewer years back then - I don't know if it was six years then or three. She knew Ladino, French and Greek very well. She spoke French very well. She learned Greek by practicing it. Maybe they did learn some Greek at school.

My maternal grandfather Saltiel was a Spanish citizen. My mother was Greek, but she had Spanish citizenship. When she got married to my father, because my father had Greek citizenship, she also became Greek.

My mother never worked apart from doing the housework. But at the beginning, because her mother had died, and before my grandfather got married again, she took care of her two sisters, who were younger than her. She brought them up. My mother loved her husband very much. I think that she loved her husband first and her kids after.

My mother read in the evening. It was the only time that she could read. Or a friend of hers would come and visit. There was the Germanos family and there were also the relatives. She would go and visit them and they would come and visit us, too. And our sister Lily, who also lived nearby, she would come very often. In fact, two months after my sister was born, Lily gave birth to her daughter. And they were both named Rosa. And because my mother didn't have a lot of milk and she did, I remember my aunt breast-feeding both babies. One baby was hers and the other one was our sister.

From what I have heard, she was a very beautiful woman. She was very shy. She wasn't a snob, she didn't show off, or move about. My mother was very modest. Modesty is the perfect word to describe her, and she was also a very good soul. She was very hospitable. She helped all the girls that were working in the house. We had two girls in the house. They regarded her as their own mother. She wouldn't let us ask them even for a glass of water. We had to do everything by ourselves.

Interview details

Interviewee: Mico Alvo
Paris Papamichos-Chronakis
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Thessaloniki, Greece


Adina Alvo
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before WW II:
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Additional Information

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