- THE STUDENTS AND CAST -

Esther Saporta,1926 - 1943

played by Dimitra Derzekou

Esther is very smart and full of joy and excitement. She is passionate about the concept of "freedom." A good speaker with a mathematical mind, Esther is very good with descriptions and may have become a travel reporter. One of her essays details her "perfect journey" from Thessaloniki to Valparaiso, Chile. Her traces are lost on the train to Auschwitz.

Giovanni Fernandez,1926 - 1943

played by Kostas Kaloudiotis

Giovanni is from an affluent family, with whom he is very close. He is a trusted friend, and enjoys long conversations with his girlfriend and biking through nature. In difficult times, he seems fearless. He tries his best to protect his siblings and grandfather from the Germans, while they were staying at the Meina Hotel in Italy. It was there that he was assassinated by the SS.

Letitia Matalon,1923 - 1943

played by Christina Mathioulaki

Letitia is a positive thinker, and full of ideas. She loves ancient cultures and Greece, literature and performing in plays. She may have a fragile appearance, but her powerful performance in Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More proves the magnitude of her presence and beliefs. In the play, she naturally conveys anger over the social injustices inflicted on refugees. Leticia was assassinated at Auschwitz.

Lydia Moissis,1923 - 1943

played by Iakovina Sergi

Lydia is a serious and excellent student with a special passion for Latin and ancient Greek. A dynamic person, she loves her friends and her city, and believes the future belongs to her. After high school, she plans to enroll in the Law School of the University of Thessaloniki, but her dreams are interrupted early and violently. She is imprisoned and sent to Aushwitz, where she is assassinated.

Matilde Bennahmias,1925 - 1973

played by Sofia Skaramanga

Matilde is a quiet and balanced person. She is very close to her family, especially her brother. When he returns completely humiliated from Eleftheria Square on Black Saturday (which marks the beginning of the end of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki on July 11, 1942), Matilde helps him recover. She is meticulous about her clothes, educated and cosmopolitan, loves the arts, and speaks very good French. In order to hide in Athens, she pretends that she is Greek-French and becomes a governess for children. This saved her life.

Claudio Morpurgo,1924 - 1990

played by Giorgis Papadopoulos

Claudio is a young man with a rich inner world. Although talkative, he keeps to himself the anguish of the traumatic events he has lived through. Gifted with strategic thinking and the art of persuasion, he makes a complicated journey to Switzerland with a smuggler, traversing the Alps on foot for days before reaching sanctuary. Because of this, he manages to avoid displacement and internment.

Daniel Bennahmias,1923 - 1994

played by Kostantinos Ghelameris

Daniel is a "gentle giant," whose strong character does not allow him to give up, and helps him overcome any obstacle. His outward strong armor masks his wounds and pain. This helped him survive his inhumane forced labor at the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz. Beneath his strength, though, his sensitive and romantic soul is revealed. In a school essay about the Acropolis, he describes a tragic love story and expresses his deepest concerns---an emotionally charged text that foretells his uncertain future. He managed to survive extermination at Auschwitz.

Alberto Simantov,1924 - 2001

played by Lefteris Kolitsos

Alberto is a serious and organized boy. Along with his love of nature,  his hobbies are stamp-collecting, bookbinding and the preservation of old books. He is a bit shy, but also has an inner force and resourcefulness that helps him endure dire and dangerous circumstances. These qualities serve him well when he is sent into forced labor in Thessaloniki, and when he avoids deportation by pretending to be an Italian soldier.

Alberto Modiano,1927 - present

played by Giannis Triantakis

Alberto is always well groomed and elegant. He is a good student with an organized mind, who is impatient and persistent in the pursuit of his goals. His schoolwork shows both romance and humor. He is a fan of cinema, and loves Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Les Deux Levi, Zoro and Les Cinq Sous de Lavarede. His dream is to study at the Polytechnic and become an engineer. He is also extremely resourceful. Half naked, he manages to escape out a window when the Athens police come to arrest his parents, and he avoids displacement. Alberto currently lives in Athens.

The Students of
Umberto Primo

A docudrama in memory of Holocaust victims

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PRESS CONTACT INFORMATION

In Greece: Dafni Scaglioni
In the United States: Diane Carvisiglia Boulanger

The Students of Umberto Primo was co-financed by the German Federal Foreign Office
through funds of the German-Greek Future Fund

And with the support of:

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