Annette Stock about the history of Mario Levin and his family Dridso-Levin

My name is Annette Stock, I am a German ethnologist with a Hungarian-Moroccan migration background. I am an antifascist and antiracist, committed to research in the field of historical narration.

I began working in documenting the Marche de la Mémoire and the memorial events in 2015. When I met Mario Levin in 2019, we started a long-term project together, researching his and his family’s history. Mario himself has only experienced the flight of the Jews of Saint-Martin-Vésubie inside his mother’s womb. Born a few months later, on February 11th 1944, he grew up and spent his childhood and most of his adolescence in Saint-Martin- Vésubie. Mario’s whole life has been influenced by this history, in which his grandfather, Grégoire Dridso was arrested by the Gestapo in Saint-Martin-Vésubie December 13th in 1943, then deported June 20th in 1944 from Drancy to Auschwitz, where he was murdered by the Nazis.

His mother’s family emigrated from Orenburg, Russia, first to Berlin, Germany and then in 1927 to Nice in southern France. In 1928 the family bought their first of three adjoining villas at Les Châtaigners of Saint-Martin-Vésubie. Mario’s grandparents, Rachel and Grégoire Dridso lived there with their two daughters, Rima and Vera. Rima was to become Mario’s mother. Rima and her family had already lived in Saint-Martin-Vésubie for 15 years when the Jews arrived there in 1943.

Mario’s father, Federico Strobino, was the lieutenant of the 4th armata of the Italian military unit, which controlled the forced residence of the Jewish refugees under Italian occupation in Saint-Martin Vésubie. In spring 1943, Mario’s parents became lovers. With my partner Michael Scheer, a German historian, an antifascist who is researching the field of the Eastern-European Shoah, I have been helping Mario in researching his family’s history, as this was little spoken about. The efforts we made are part of the subject of my book, which is planned to be published at the end of 2025.

For now, I decided to present historical collages, to give an impression of key aspects of importance in Mario’s life which are directly connected with the history of Saint-Martin-Vésubie. They have been assembled from photos Mario gave me, and appear in the order in which we held our interviews. They depict the members of the Dridso-Levin family.

Annette Stock

A Jewish life in Saint-Martin-Vésubie
Mario Levin with his Mother
Mario with his mother
Mario at school
Mario with his family
Mario and Villa Paradiso
Mario’s Grandfather and Grandmother in Villa Marie

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