Mike Capuano and his classmates at Jewish elementary school

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This photo was taken in Summer 1970 at the end of the school year. My son Mike Capuano is in the left row, sixth from the top.

My son Mike attended the Jewish school from kindergarten to the third class of elementary school. Every afternoon a French girl, a very nice girl would come to teach him French.

Every summer, after he turned four, I would take Mike to Switzerland. It was to give him the opportunity to speak French, to learn languages.

As he was a good pupil, my husband would say, ‘Why worry? He will learn languages.

Every language is a different human being.’ And he was right. First he went to Switzerland, twice, the next three summers to France, the next three or four times to England.

He went to Chantilly where there was a chateau, belonging to the Rothschild family that had given it as a donation; it was used as an orphanage for the children that lost their parents in the Holocaust.

Mike went there for three years, and it was very good. One year I went there too. In the first year he was crying. He had not yet finished the first grade of the elementary school.

He went together with the oldest daughter of Vetta, my niece Sofie.

One day I called them on the phone. It was very funny. ‘Why are you there at this hour of the day?’ I asked and Mike said, ‘We didn’t go for the walk.’ You see, every afternoon they went for a walk in the woods.

‘And why did you not go?’ ‘We cannot, we want to come back home. We are crying and don’t participate in order to save the money, the cost of the walk.

If we don’t go they won’t charge us for the walk.’ Charging the cost of the walk, just listen to that!

For the last grades of elementary school, Mike went to the private school of Andonopoulos.

This is contrary to what I did as a kid; I went to public schools and this turned out to be very positive for me, so for high school I decided that my son should do the same.

He went to the 5th Gymnasium and all my relatives were against me. However, I still insist that this is what I should have done, as he got in contact with all kind of people and doesn’t make distinctions.

Interview details

Interviewee: Yvonne Capuano-Molho
Vivianne Karagouni
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Athens, Greece


Mike Capuano
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after WW II:
Working in the humanities

Additional Information

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

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