Nico Saltiel with his family and in-laws

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This picture must have been taken in some restaurant in the 1960s. It shows my family with my in-laws. I am standing first from left. My wife Rosy is second from right. Our son Tony is in front of her, and our daughter Solita is second from left. Alphonso Levy, my father-in-law, is third from right, holding our youngest son. First from right is my mother-in-law, Sol Levy.

Before the war Alphonso was the director of the Community. My uncle advised him not to go back to this position, but to open a business. He opened an office and started dealing with his own representations. He was a very nice man, very active and very friendly with everybody. He tried to deal with various activities. He ran around all day. After the war he continued to be active in the Community. He also had friends who participated actively. He himself was vice president of a Jewish organization which had various activities, social, educational etc., the Keren Kayemet Leisrael, KKL, the Jewish National Fund. He had many friends in Israel with whom he corresponded. He went very often to Israel for trips to see his sisters and brothers. He had two sisters and two brothers. As a personality he was very pleasant. I had a very good relationship with him. The fact that he was a Zionist and that my relationship to Israel was very loose, did not create any problem. Alphonso died in 1995.

Sol was younger than Alphonso. She was very good, a very good cook and housewife. She was a different character than Alhonso, had a different disposition. Everyone has his own disposition. She was sociable, but not all that much. She didn't participate at all in social activities. Her company was mostly couples who liked each other and visited each other often, and mostly her sister. 

Alphonso and Sol spoke Judeo-Spanish with each other. When the four of us met we spoke in Greek. Alphonso's Greek was good, since he had been the director of the Jewish community before the war. Sol spoke very good French and Judeo-Spanish. Sol died around 1990, she was not that old.

We didn't think there were any elements of the Jewish tradition we had to transmit to the children as they grew up. Of course when my in-laws were still alive they had friends who were much more religious than us. And they often organized dinners twice or thrice a year with 10-15 people, where all traditions were strictly kept. So the children learned about Jewish tradition.

We didn't discuss the children's upbringing with my mother or my in-laws with regards to Jewish religion or the Sephardic heritage. Maybe there were discussions, but not intentionally so. We did what we had to do, and didn't abolish anything. We didn't have a reason to disagree because we did what we had to do. My in-laws or my mother didn't insist we ought to do something more or something less. My father-in-law kept the traditions and we, out of respect to them and to our religion, our nation, also kept them. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Nico Saltiel
Paris Papamichos-Chronakis
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Thessaloniki, Greece


Nico Saltiel
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Commercial representative

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Rosy Saltiel
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