Video Transcript: Leon Idas



Trying to join the partisans


Jewish, and you know what happened to the Jews, I said, they round them up and we come here, we didn't care if it is Communists or Royalists or Democratic, Conservative, we come here to become Partisan, to fight the common enemy, the Nazis. Now, you want to take us to the free part of Greece, they call it Partisan country, I appreciate it.


German strategy on destroying villages


The reason to come to these villages, to enter it, is because they knew there was a Partisan movement up in the mountains. And in order to survive these people, they had to have the help of these villages and the villagers. Have to sleep, they have to cook, they have to, to, you know, get provisions or anything. So therefore, they said that we're going to burn them up, when they killed these guys there at the village, then this way we eliminate the action of the Partisans against us. And where they were coming, they were burning up all the village. Destroy everything. So there won't be anything. People cannot live, so they cannot stay there. And the same time to create animosity among the villages, they said because you were helping the Partisans, see what happened, they burn up our they kill up our animals, they take whatever we have. So the other villagers found out that to help Partisans.


The uncertain future


…and was the uncertainty what is going to happen. Are they going to win, are we going to win, what's going to happen, the uncertainty. But when you are young, you think that you're going to go and you're going to live and everything's going to be alright.


“Baptism of Fire”


It's a funny thing, I was listening many times, the baptism of the fire, have you ever heard this? Once I heard bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, then I got in my senses and I got in my baptism, and I was not afraid ever anymore. Of course, I you would see the guy that he was next to you, he was shot, killed, this happened to me many times.


The bomb in the fountain


I will never forget. I was entering a town, that's up in the. It's big mountains. And Germans, they had all town to, everything destroyed. And I was so tired, and I said to my friend, I was, I say get some water from the, from the that they had in the center of the city. Said give them my canteen, had a canteen. So he goes down there, and hear all of a sudden, bam, the Germans, when they left the mine under the water because they knew that we would be thirsty, we'd go down there, and two days, I could not eat for two, three days, I was scared to death.


Tomorrow never comes


I had another friend, I would talk sometimes, that was helpful. I said we have to carry on, you have to hold on, you have to hold on, we're going to make it, we're going to go back home, we're going to go back home. And the Italians, I had some friends Italian, that said to me, [speaks in Italian], when are you going to finish the war, Italia. He said, domani. What is that? Domani means tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes, see, tomorrow never comes.


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