Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Life Under German Occupation II

Let me uh, just, I want to go back a little bit and ask a couple, couple questions, do you remember Liberty Square in Salonika? Liberty Square?

SK: Liberty Square in Salonika? ???

Yeah. It's a--I'm sure it's ???

SK: I know ???, I know ???, the shopping, the shopping uh, stores.

It was a square where they called everybody when they introduced forced labor the first day in 1942.

SK: It--maybe it's another name.

The German--I'm sure it's another name. Do you remember when they first demanded the, the Jewish stars and...

SK: Yeah. Soon, soon the Germans they come over there after a couple weeks--as a matter of fact went-- the Germans, they went--the SS they went to the Jewish rabbi.

Do you remember his name?

SK: Yeah, Rabbi Koretz, yes, Rabbi Koretz. They went and they asked him all the names from the Jews, where the Jews they are. No, I'm sorry I take it back. They went to the, to the Orthodox priest and they ask him the names of all the Jews that are living in Salonika they want to leave. And the Orthodox priest, they told 'em, "I'm sorry I can't give you not one name." "Why?" "Because they are Greek citizens, they serve the army, they do everything according to law and I can't give you not one name." And then they told 'em, they went to the Jewish rabbi, Rabbi Koretz from Germany, and he's the one who give every details to the Germans-- all--how many Jews they live in this area, how many in the other area and they were--the Germans they knew where to go.

How did, how did the Jewish community feel about it?

SK: As a matter of fact...

LK: Can you imagine?


SK: As a matter of act, we kill him. Not me, some other ones, they kill him, the rabbi.

Were you still there?

SK: Mm-mm.

You were already gone.

SK: Gone.

Um, do you remember a name...

SK: It was put by the Germans, this rabbi, in Salonika.

LK: He thought he was taking ???.

SK: Yeah.

Do you remember Max Merton, Merton? A German--he's a German officer. I, I think he worked, worked with the rabbi, Rabbi Koretz. Now when they began to mark passports and they marked stores, did they mark houses too, do you remember?

SK: Oh yeah, they were putting the German, uh...


SK: Yeah, you know, where the Jews they live.

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