Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Jewish Cemetery in Salonika

The cemetery? So it's...

Gorgeous . How can you see a gorgeous...

Oh this...

It's all around with uh, a uh, almond trees. Almonds. You know almond?


They grow there. And I don't know if I recall 'em they're sitting between two stones and this lady's crying. This is in '73 when I went back. And uh, I says, "My dear," I didn't know the woman. I says, "you can cry all you want, you can't bring them back." I just lost five buried people. But it was my family you know, and not the entire family. And it's nothing, I can cry and cry and cry, it won't bring them back. No, now it's very pretty, very, ve... If I knew you would have asked me this question... Uh, when I feel so depressed, I just take the pictures that... Because we didn't even have a picture. One picture in all my twenty-five years is here in this house. When I was twenty-five years. One picture.

When you went back in 1973 to the cemetery, what were you looking for?

Uh, it's just like a prayer, you know. Like when you go--it was near uh, uh, ??? and my birthday's around this time, June 15, whatever. And they always used to go a day before to visit.

So were you looking for particular graves there?


No, because ev...

No, just for everybody.

everything was dug up.

Right. No. I was just--first of all uh, we have believed to leave all your uh, uh, bad things you do you go and pray and the cemetery was one of it. Um, between us uh, uh, a Sefer Torah, this is what year on the stone.


And I, I am there talking to those people.

Was there... Can you, can you still in Salonika find tombstones in other places in the city that they had dug up, put in the streets?

They rip everything up. You know, we used to have uh, I don't know if you want to go from one uh, into the other. We have to have a, a washroom, a washroom


that you uh, we don't dress up the dead body. We mummy them you know, with gauze.


??? and this is it. You don't ha...and you have a sheet to you know, everybody, whoever wants to go see them. Like I went and saw my husband, he looked like he was alive. Alive. We don't do that.

You just... A sheet...

The dead person...

a shroud.

Yeah. A dead person is dead.

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