Social services for Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Funds have been provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for the Emergency Assistance Program for Nazi Victims at the direction of the United States District Court supervising the lawsuit In RE: Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks).

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Monday, 23 January 2017 11:15

Article in the daily “Kathimerini”, January 15, 2017, by Yiota Myrtsioti: A six storey circular building made of metal and glass will rise to the historic place where the end of the 55,000 Greek Jews of Thessaloniki started; the memorial building will change the skyline of the city's western entrance and the map of Europe Holocaust memorials and museums. After seven decades, the city of Thessaloniki restores the memory, recognizes its mistakes, opens its archives, studies, but above all apologizes for a piece of history that the city buried with its silence and under the foundations of the university campus. The city’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, has restored this oblivion three years ago in front of the monument erected in a corner of the university campus to remind that this was the place where the Sephardic Jews of the big community of Salonica were honoring their dead for 500 years. Yannis Boutaris, in his speech delivered at the moment, spoke of the undue delay of the city to break the silence and to begin to mention the gloomy moments of its history. It was one of the slow but steady steps toward the target he had set since he became mayor: that the institution he represents becomes an institution of memory with continuity in time. The culmination of this effort is the establishment of the Museum and Educational Center on the Holocaust in the area of the Old Railway Station, where the Jews of Thessaloniki started their final trip.

This was an idea of the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel. The mayor adopted this idea and, in order to promote it, he used its contacts around the world. The Municipality and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki worked together, methodically, without fanfare, to implement this idea and now, almost three years later, with funding guaranteed, they are setting the project’s timelines.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:19


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.

Friday, 05 February 2016 12:18

On the 19th of December, 2015, the following article by Ioanna Fotiadis, entitled "We found ourselves in a place steeped in death", regarding the students’ visit to the Auschwitz camp, was published in 'KATHIMERINI' newspaper:

"After visiting Auschwitz, I realised that life should not be taken for granted, and this is why we have to enjoy every moment of every day", observes the 16-year-old Persa, a student at the 6th High School of Nea Smyrni, and member of the team that excelled in last year’s written competition on the subject of the Holocaust, organised by the Ministry of Education. The awarded prize was a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp, in Poland. Persa recalls: "We found ourselves in a place steeped in death while the vernal nature was blooming around us; it was a very
stark contrast". 

Ms Domna Hatzigiannakou, philologist and
vice-principal of the school, explains to 'KATHIMERINI': "From the beginning, our goal was for the visit to eventually serve as a life lesson for the students, but without traumatising them", acknowledging that this issue required special handling. "However, regardless how prepared one might be, it never suffices", she admits. "Even for us adults, standing next to tons of girls’ hair and layette shoes can be devastating", comments Ms Katerina Efremidou, the teacher in charge of the 7th High School of Thessaloniki, who accompanied her own laureate students in Poland last year. Overall, 21 schools and 79 students participated in last year’s programme, submitting 33 videos, and 52 among them were selected to travel with their teachers to Auschwitz. This year, the programme is open to students of the first (A') and second (B') grades of High School, from schools located in the prefectures of Achaia and Larissa.

Thursday, 08 October 2015 12:06

During the Holocaust Rememberance Day held in Larissa on the 27th of January 2015 the Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias made the following address:

I would like to begin by expressing my deep gratitude to the Jewish Community of Larissa, for inviting me to be the keynote speaker at this year's memorial event for the Greek Jewish martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust. Although approximately 70 years have passed since the tragic events of the Jewish genocide at the hands of the Nazi regime of the Third Reich, the memories remain—and must remain—particularly fresh and vivid. The deep human solidarity with the Jewish people and its millions of victims helps toward this end, but unfortunately, this solidarity coexists with an ever-increasing anti-Semitism that has been festering across Europe, including here in Greece, a country affected like few others by the Nazi atrocities. In my talk today, I would like to offer a few thoughts, primarily from my perspective as an Orthodox bishop of the Church of Greece. I will highlight some basic theological criteria for approaching the issue, while also offering the historical experience of our humble Diocese of Demetrias, which I have been blessed to serve for many years now, and which, as we all know, played an important role throughout the period of occupation in protecting our fellow Jewish citizens.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 08:37

For generations, the story of the Greek Jews during the Holocaust was never told, but more recently willing publishers have tackled this important task.

By Evangelia Avloniti

If Holocaust memory made it into the Western cultural mainstream in the early 1980’s, in Greece it had to wait until the early to mid-90s in order to pass the threshold into historiography and mainstream publishing. According to Greek historian, Odette Varon-Vassard, one has to view this ten to fifteen year delay within the context of Greek post-war history and its particularities. “The memory of the Nazi occupation in Greece, the Resistance and the Greek civil-war remained virtually silent from the mid-1940s until the end of the military dictatorship (1967-1974),” she says. “It is only from 1974 onwards that a profusion of memoirs on the Resistance and the civil-war are published. The Greek civil-war entered academic discourse as late as 1995, whereas Greek collaborationism began to be researched and openly discussed only in 2000. The story of the Greek Jews was in a sense the fourth silence to be broken, as Greece had to deal with its deepest wounds first.”

Samis Graviilides, publisher at Gavriilides Publications, agrees and adds: “One has to see the story of the Greek Jews within the context and course of Greek history of which it forms an inextricable part.”

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