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KIS - English Version
UNTANGLING THE TALE OF A JEWISH WWII ORPHAN IN THESSALONIKI Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:19

by GIOTA MIRTSIOTI

Just a few days before the mass deportations of Thessaloniki’s Jews to Nazi concentration camps began in the cold tail-end of winter 1943, many Jewish parents left their children in the care of the Aghios Stylianos Foundling Home for their protection. Unable to bear the separation, most took their children back; but some stayed. One of them was David Barzilay, born on March 4, 10 days before the first death camp train left the northern port city.

What happened to the baby that was declared by the foundling home as being “of unknown parentage” and survived the Holocaust? How many more Jewish families tried to save their children in this way and what kind of life did the youngsters go on to have afterward?

These and other such questions came to social anthropologist Aigli Brouskou’s mind as she studied the Aghios Stylianos archives for her book “Logo tis kriseos sas charizo to pedi mou” (Because of the Crisis I Give You My Child), published by the Scientific Society of Child and Adolescent Care. The answers came later with painstaking research at three official archives, while the evidence pertaining to one particular case turned out to be very revealing: It allowed a name to be erased from the long list of Thessaloniki’s Holocaust victims; shed light on fabricated records; allowed the survivor to rewrite his autobiography; and exposed the complex and often conflicting roles of those who saved lives during the Nazi occupation.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR FAR RIGHT’S PARTY ENTRY IN THE BUDENSTAG Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:02

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece congratulates Angela Merkel on securing her fourth consecutive term in the German Chancellery.

However, the overall results of the German federal elections of September 2017, with the strong presence of the extreme, xenophobic and anti-European party “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) in the country's federal Parliament, raise concern both for Germany itself and for all of Europe.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece shares the concern of the entire democratic world about the fact that a far-right xenophobic party enters the Bundestag for the first time since 1945. We ask from the German Government which will be formed soon to take into very serious consideration the results of these elections and search the cause of the rise of vote in favor of this particular xenophobic party.

At the same time, we express our conviction that the other parties in the Bundestag will preserve the democratic principles of Germany.

Athens, September 25, 2017

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 

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“Never Again’ March in Thessaloniki marked anniversary of first deportation to Auschwitz Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 March 2019 10:19

THE TIMES OF ISRAEL, March 18, 2019, by Vassilis Kyriakoulis: Two thousand people held a silent march in Thessaloniki, marking the anniversary of the departure in 1943 of the first train taking members of its Jewish community to Auschwitz. Participants held white balloons bearing the message “Never Again.” They gathered at the city’s old railway station where that train pulled out on March 15, 1943. Among those present for the 76th anniversary commemoration was Jurgen Haus, grandson of a German soldier, who expressed his “deep regret” for the actions of his Nazi forebears. “I am here to break the silence… I love Israel, I cannot remain silent in the face of antisemitism,” he said in a speech. 

Holocaust survivors Heinz Kounio and Achileas Koukovinos were honoured during the commemorations. Thessaloniki had a population of more than 50,000 Jews before World War II, some 46,000 of whom were deported and killed in German Nazi death camps. 

Before the deportations started, the community in the city, which was composed mainly of Sephardic Jews chased out of Spain in 1492, had developed to the point where it earned the nickname the “Jerusalem of the Balkans.”

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GREEK MINISTER NIKOS PAPPAS PRESENTS BOOK ON GREEK HOLOCAUST IN YAD VASHEM Print E-mail
Friday, 21 December 2018 13:50

The book presentation of the album “Auschwitz – Greeks,  Number Condemned to Death” by George Pilichos, (ed. Hellenic Post, 2018) was held in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, on December 19, 2018, in the presence of the Greek Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Nikos Pappas and the Chairman of Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev who addressed the highly attended event. The author, history researcher George Pilichos, the First Vice President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Benjamin Albalas, as well as Moshe Ha-Elion, Holocaust survivor of Greek origins and member of the Board of Yad Vashem, attended the event.

Minister Pappas introduced the book by saying: “Today I humbly deliver to you the Greek part of the Holocaust history, a book that presents the history of the extermination of the Greek citizens, Jewish in their overwhelming majority, in the concentration camps” and concluded with the “obligation of the society not to forget in order not to built up a crooked future”.

The book “Auschwitz – Greeks,  Number Condemned to Death”, an exhaustive and well documented research on the Holocaust of the Greek Jews, was previously presented in Athens, on May 16, 2018, by the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, along with the presentation of a commemorative set of stamps, also issued by the Hellenic Post, dedicated to the Holocaust of the Greek Jews.

 
MAKIS VORIDS’ STATEMENT REJECTING NEO-NAZISM AND ANTISEMITISM Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:33
"I have never been anti-Semitic," Rural Development and Foods Minister Makis Voridis said on Saturday July 13, 2019, though admitting that he had for many years been a member of nationalist political parties and organisations and had "coexisted politically with people that had such unacceptable ideas."

"To resolve any doubts, therefore, I denounce all action, omission or tolerance on my part to the act of a third party that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic or neo-nazi," he added.

Voridis was responding to the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Victor Eliezer, who he said had "called on me to publicly denounce by anti-Semitic past" in a radio interview.

"I also wish to notify Mr. Eliezer of the following, hoping to assuage the concerns he expressed:
1. As a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in consultation with my colleagues in the Knesset, I have for three successive years proposed the rejection of the Palestinian Authority's request to become a member of the parliamentary assembly and unremittingly and systematically supported the condemnation of anti-Semitism. My Israeli colleagues know this.

2. I have spoken in parliament against the so-called antiracist law, recognising as its only positive point the penalisation of denial of the Holocaust.

3. I am the only Greek politician that has written articles in support of transferring the Greek Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

4. I am the only Greek politician that has supported the signing of a defence and not just a strategic alliance with Israel.

5. I am the only Greek politician that has adopted a position against Israel's condemnation for the incidents in Gaza.

In light of these, I hope that his concerns have been alleviated," Voridis said.

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