Daisy Besso as a bride

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

This is a picture from the wedding of my aunt Daisy with Demis Komninos. Daisy was born in 1913.

Now she lives in Switzerland. She has quite a story. She was married with a Christian before the war and that is how she survived. You should have seen the trouble they caused by getting married.

Daisy was the daughter of my grandfather's second wife, Mathilde, from her first wedding.

Unfortunately, I have to say that grandfather Saltiel treated Daisy differently and that really upset Mathilde. He never saw Daisy like the rest of his daughters. He didn't feel the same way for her. And the bad thing was that he was showing this a lot.

One may feel it, but shouldn't really show it. In our family we would talk about it. While my parents loved Daisy like their sister, grandfather made the difference.

Daisy played the violin, she studied for many years with a private teacher who taught her at home. In my primary school years, Daisy would come and help us with our French. She mostly taught us grammar.

The International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki would last three weeks and it was a great event. This was the only fair at the time, there weren't any other specialized fairs. It was like a festival. Aunt Daisy used to take us when we were young. It was a chance for her to meet with her friends.

During the war Daisy's husband thought that it was better to leave and go to Athens. He had friends there. Daisy had no problem to go down to Athens because she had married a Christian. The Nazis had excluded the ones that had performed mixed marriages, but these were very few.

Daisy is still Christian even thought on her second marriage she married with a Jew from Corfu (who wasn't even saying that he was a Jew). His name was Besso.

Besso had established a big knitting and dying factory in Egypt. But when Nasser came in power, he managed to take his fortune out of Egypt.

At that time, my aunt Daisy was in Athens. Her first husband had a very good friend there who was a refugee. He was a fabric trader, an importer and he knew Besso because of the business.

That’ s how she met him. Besso wanted to leave for Canada, but he didn’t want to leave on his own, so they got married. In the meantime, Daisy had already split up with Demis.

They had split after the Nazi occupation because Demis had many girlfriends.

Interview details

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

KEY PERSON

Daisy Besso
Year of birth:
1913
City of birth:
Thessaloniki
Country name at time of birth:
Greece
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Gattegno
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1930
  • Previous family name: 
    Komninos
    Year of changing: 
    1949
    Reason for changing: 
    Remarriage

Additional Information

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

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