March 4, 2015

New story of two Jewish Greek survivors and their saviors is presented to Yad Vashem

Moise Battino and Esther Mallah are two siblings who were hidden by two local Greek families during the German occupation in Greece in World War II. They told their story to the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and for the first time to anyone outside of their immediate family.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, IRWF, is a global-reach NGO, based in New York, with the mission to preserve, divulge and promote the legacy of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and other courageous women and men who, during the Holocaust and in other conflicts, helped save the life of persecuted people. More than 300 members from all religions, nationalities and walks of life, among them Heads of State and Nobel Laureates support the IRWF mission.



Moise Battino and Esther Mallah were interviewed by Mr. Zvi Kichel from the IRWF. The Foundation found their story relevant and is preparing a file to be conveyed to Yad Vashem Department of Righteous among the Nations (Jerusalem), to have their saviors awarded the title of Righteous.

At the age of 10, Moise Battino was left alone. His father Solomon was arrested by the Germans and then deported to Auschwitz where he died. After his father was taken away, the Peraki family from Piraeus kept and hid him from the German Nazis for almost a year and a half, from August 1943 until the end of the war. During that time he became part of their family. Katina Peraki was a friend of Moise’s mother and she treated him in the same way she treated her own kids; Moise was sent to school with his “brothers and sisters” and even was allowed to work at the family business.

Esther was relocated to a house of Christians in Athens and was sheltered by the Dimopoulo family. Her name became Loula Avyerinou. She was at that time 13 years old. She was hidden for a few months in Athens by Dimitra Dimopoulou.
When the Germans left Greece, both Moise and Esther reunited with their sister Ketty and went back to their old apartment in Athens until their older sisters Stamo and Rita came back from Germany. Their mother Rebecca perished in Auschwitz.

Later they went to Israel where Moise met his wife, got married and started a family. After a few years they moved to USA, where Esther met her husband and started her family. Both Moise and Esther live now in the US, spending their time between New York and Florida. Both have kids and grandkids. Moise is still in touch until today with the family of his rescuers.