Photo taken in:ThessalonikiCountry name at time of photo:GreeceCountry name today:Greece
This is a picture of myself (on the right), my cousin Toris Modiano (center), and my brother Danny (on the left). It was taken in Thessaloniki in the 1920s. My mother's sister Lily was married to an Italian Jew. His name was Dario Modiano and he was an Italian citizen. They had two children. Tori, whose full name was Salvador, and a daughter, Rosa, who now lives in America. Lily had a maid for 15 years who came from a village in Chalkidiki, Katina. She would protect Rosa and scold Tori. Whenever they would argue she would protect Rosa. My brothers' name is Daniel. He is one year younger than me and he was born in October 1923. Usually in Sephardic families the first child that is born would be named after the paternal grandfather and the second one would be given the name on the maternal grandfather. I got named after Haim Alvo, while my brother was named Danny after Daniel Saltiel. My mother was taking care of me at home until I went to school. At home we used to have a woman who was like a teacher, a governess, as we used to call her. She used to come at around ten in the morning and leave at night. We had one for two years; others had one for more years than we did. We grew up learning three languages. Our maids were usually Greek, and they were the ones that we would speak Greek with. We spoke French to our parents and they spoke Spanish to each other. With Grandmother and Grandfather we spoke Spanish. Our mother was strict. I used to fight with my brother when we were young, because we were jealous of each other. If Mother came out, she wouldn't ask whose fault it was, she would give us both a couple of slaps and that was it, we would sit down and be calm. When my mother had things to do in the kitchen, we would play in our room. We didn't have many toys then. We had some books and we had started to read. But we didn't have many toys. Later, when we grew up we had a Meccano set, which was a very interesting toy.