A book that is a tribute to saving the history of the Lion Family. Foreword by Marisa DeCastro.
A book – the author's tribute to her husband, Maurice, who was her lifelong companion, and to all those who managed to overcome the dramatic situations they lived through the Nazi horrors. The book begins with the sentence: "Many of what I am going to tell you I did not experience or see in person. I have heard them said by members of my family, so I believe they are true." The incidents that Yvette Leon narrates are not just talk of a family mythology, they have historical value.
Early 19th century. Two Jews from Smyrna, father and son, arrive in Thessaloniki and settle there. They start working, get married, start families and businesses. They learn from island oil merchants how to make soap and become lifelong friends. Their descendants progress and expand their business in the Balkans, specifically in Skopje.
World war II. German invasion of Greece. Starvation, persecutions, executions and deportation of the Jews to the Nazi extermination camps. The Leon family, consisting of fourteen people, escaped to Glossa Skopelos and was saved thanks to their deep friendship with Georgios Mitzeliotis, the president of the village. A mountain hut hid them for a year and a half...
After the end of the war, they return to Thessaloniki and the new normality. But they never forget their saviors who saved them at the risk of their lives.
A few words about the author
Yvette Beza-Leon was born in Thessaloniki. She grew up until the age of 10 in loving families, her father's and her mother's. Her native languages are Greek and Spanish-Hebrew (Ladino). During the Greco-Italian war, at the age of 5, she knitted socks for the Soldier's Shirt. In 1943, he wore the yellow Star of David and entered the ghetto of the Monastery Synagogue. From there, the flight from the Nazi persecution began, with her father Mous, her mother Sarina and her brother Mimi. Two years later they returned to their hometown where they found no family. They had all been exterminated in Auschwitz. He went to elementary school in "Korai", then in 1947 in the American "Anatolia". In 1952 at the "French Academy". In 1956 she married Maurice Leon, shareholder of the I. Leon and V. Giacou soap factory. They had two sons, Sakis and Andreas, and four adorable granddaughters.
In 2017 he published the book A Story. Ours, with the story of the Beza family and now she has published the second one with the story of the Leon family for her grandchildren to learn, after they first had the luck to meet their saviors Mitzeliotis and Korfiatis.
He was for many years the president of the charity organization WIZO Greece.