Veria, Greece… 1942 – Mentes Mordechai, his wife Marie, and five children, Sara, Asher, Shmuel, Rachel, and Yossi lived in Veria, Greece. Germany occupied Greece on April 6, 1941. Nikos Axipoulos, a friend of the family, went to Thessaoloniki to obtain false identity cards for the Mordechai family, only to find that the Jews were being deported. Nikos warned the Mordechai family and built a false ceiling in the attic of the abandoned mosque where he was living with his family. The hiding place was very small, with no holes for air or sunlight. Marie and the children hid there for more than a year. The Mordechai family developed health problems and a new hiding place needed to be found, one that provided access to fresh air. Efthimia Gianopoulou stepped forward to help the family and arranged for the entire Mordechai family to move into her two-room apartment which she shared with her sisters, Melpomeni and Bithleem. Soon, they were denounced to the Germans. Relatives of the sisters helped the family to escape to the mountains. While they survived the war, more than seventy-five members from the Mordechai family were murdered in Auschwitz. The JFR reuinited Melpomeni with Yossi and Sarah in 2019.
Click here read more about the The Gianopoulou and Axiopoulos Families.