Today I start a new series of posts, on objects that tell a story.
The first object is a carved rosewood sofa that I inherited from my mother, who died almost two years ago, on 5th August 2009. Her memory brought back to my mind this storyof the sofa.
The sofa was bought by my maternal grand father, Spiros, at the beginning of the 20th century. It was hand made in France and imported in Greece, where it took a prime position in the seating area of my grandfather’s house in Athens.
When the Germans occupied Athens in 1941, a Jewish family of friends came to my grandfather’s house in Koukaki, a neighbourhood near the Acropolis in Athens, and asked for help as they were persecuted by the occupying Germans.
My grandfather and grandmother both decided to help their Jewish friends. The Jewish family stayed with my grandfather’s family until the liberation of Athens in 1944. Due to lack of space, my mother, a young woman at the time, had to abandon her bedroom and sleep on the sofa.
This is why my mother was always calling this sofa “my little bed”.
After the liberation the family of friends left Greece and ended up in Israel. The two families lost touch until sometime in the early 80’s, when my mother got a telephone call from the elder son of the family. He was visiting Greece and wanted to see her. They met, like they were together the day before, although so many years had gone by. Time for them would be frozen, in the house in Koukaki.