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KIS - English Version
ESTHER COHEN, OLDEST GREEK AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR PASSES AWAY Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 December 2020 12:11

By Patricia Claus, "The Greek Reporter" December 1, 2020:

Esther Cohen, the oldest Greek survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who became known as a “living testimony” of the Holocaust, passed away on Tuesday December 1, 2020, at the age of 96.

The Ioannina-born Jewish woman, who had had her official camp number tattooed on her left arm, said in interviews that the number had also been tattooed “on her soul” as well. Along with so many other Jews, from Ioannina, Thessaloniki and elsewhere in Greece, Esther was rounded up on March 25, 1944. All the Jewish people living in the city were ordered by Greece’s German occupiers to report to Ioannina’s Mavili Square — and the vast majority would never see their beloved city again. She was somehow able to stay together with her entire family, including her six siblings, all the way to the gates of the concentration camp — but after that point she was never to set eyes on them again, except for one of her sisters.

Returning to Ioannina after the war, along with only approximately fifty other members of its original Greek community, she again made her home in the city. In March of 2014, she made headlines when she met with former German President Joachim Gauck in her city. She told him at that time, “When we die, the world must know that man must not be inhuman.” The German president then embraced her.

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TEARS ARE NOT BORROWED: REACTIONS TO ARMENIAN WRITER’S COMMENTS RELATED TO THE AZERBAIJANI – ARMENIAN WAR Print E-mail
Friday, 27 November 2020 12:13
In his “open letter to the Ambassador of Israel in Athens” (published in the website of the daily “Efimerida ton Syntakton”, efsyn.gr, on Nov. 19, 2020), Greek-Armenian writer Sifis Kassesian drew parallels between the Israeli policy on the Azerbaijani-Armenian war over Nagorno-Karabakh and the Nazis, and made comments relating Israel to Judas and Shylock with regard to Israel’s selling of weapons to Azerbaijan. The writer skillfully promotes anti-Semitic stereotypes by denying any intention of doing so: “Far from me the thought of correlating the present Israeli policy with stereotypes such as the 30 silver coins or the Merchant of Venice, which for so long have linked the image of the Jew motivated by economic interest to the collective conscience… Maybe many others will do it… Even further far from me is the thought that the murderers of your own people had also argued their own raison d'etat in order to justify their crime against the Jews and that now you are assimilated with them…”. The writer, after referring to his many Jewish friends and his feelings of sympathy towards the Jews over the Holocaust, he mentions the tears he shed for the Holocaust victims when, as a young man, he had visited an exhibition. “You abused of that tear Mr Ambassador, therefore I ask you to find a way to give me back my tear”, Kassesian concludes.

In reaction to Kassesian’s open letter, the Israeli Ambassador to Greece Yossi Amrani, as well as Victor Eliezer, journalist and KIS Secretary General,  replied with their respective letters, published in the website of “Efimerida ton Syntakton”, on November 25, 2020. Both letters, translated into English, are published here under:  

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KIS LETTER OF SOLIDARITY TO THE AUSTRIAN PEOPLE FOLLOWING THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN VIENNA Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 November 2020 14:00
A few days after the attacks in France, new bloody terrorist attacks occurred in the center of Vienna, the capital of Austria, during the night of November 2nd, 2020. Gunmen opened fire, killed four people and wounded several others at several locations in Vienna, starting from the street where Vienna's main synagogue is located. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece addressed, today November 3, 2020, the following letter to the Ambassador of Austria in Greece, expressing the solidarity of the Greek Jewry to the people of Austria for the heinous terrorist attacks:


"Dear Mrs. Ambassador,

The Greek Jewry is shocked after the bloody terror attacks of extreme Islamists against innocent people, that struck the center of Vienna yesterday night, and caused the death of four people and several casualties.

Our thoughts and payers are with the families of the tragic victims. Our solidarity is with the Austrian people at large that was terrified by the extremists who assaulted a symbolic area of the Austrian capital, where churches and synagogues stand close to one another and in vicinity with museums and a number of multi-ethnic restaurants, a place where people enjoy culture, a place that represents collectivity and brotherhood, a district that is a small scale model of European core values.

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ANTISEMITIC FRONT-PAGE TITLE OF THE NEWSPAPER MAKELEIO – REACTIONS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY FOR RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS AND THE GREEK JEWRY Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 November 2020 12:02
Daily “Makeleio”, known for frequently publishing incendiary anti-Semitic articles, on November 10, 2020, circulated with yet another anti-Semitic front-page title related to the announcement made by Albert Bourla, the CEO of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company, on the upcoming vaccine for covid. The front-page (as well as the teaser of the on-line Makeleio.gr)  is illustrated with the photo of the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele next to the photo of Dr. Bourla whose Jewish faith is used in the title to disseminate stereotypical propaganda, while in the surtitle of the front-page the term "poison" is used for the vaccine.

The Greek Jewry’s outrage was expressed with the following announcement of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), which was followed by the immediate reaction of the General Secretary for Religious Affairs, Mr George Kalantzis, who issued the statement below:

KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ANTISEMITIC FRONT-PAGE TITLE OF THE NEWSPAPER “MAKELEIO”:

The front-page title of “Makeleio” of November 10, 2020, overwhelms us with outrage and repulsion, as its content perpetuates hatred and bigotry against the Jews and it becomes -once more- the carrier of the most hideous anti-Semitic propaganda.

The identification of the CEO of Pfizer as Mengele, the so-called butcher of Auschwitz, is an appalling and unethical assault against Albert Bourla only because he is a Jew. The huge-lettered front-title “Jewish veterinarian will stick the needle in us! Nightmarish admissions by force in ‘chamber – camps’ as flocks” is nothing but a clear incitement to violence against the Jews.

The vaccine of a company suddenly becomes “poison” due to the Jewish religion of the company’s CEO, Albert Bourla, and its production is compared to the Nazi experiments in Auschwitz, in an attempt to prevent people from using it, should it be proven effective in dealing with the coronavirus that has inflicted mankind. Shame!

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KIS LETTER TO FRENCH PRESIDENT MACRON CONDEMNING THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN NICE AND AVIGNON Print E-mail
Friday, 30 October 2020 09:30

In the aftermath of the new wave of terror launched against France, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) addressed the following letter to the President of France Emmanuel Macron conveying condolences to the French people, as well as the condemnation of the Greek Jewry for the appalling criminal assaults:  

Votre Excellence,

Monsieur le Président de la République française,

Au nom du judaïsme grec, nous souhaitons exprimer notre ferme condamnation des attentats sanglants et barbares du 29 octobre 2020, à Nice et à Avignon. Nous sommes en état de choc face à l'explosion sauvage de haine et de fanatisme islamique qui affligent la France, un pays traditionnellement et profondément enraciné dans la richesse de la diversité sociale, un pays dont la devise "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" forme le rapport aux autres, un pays qui représente les Lumières européennes.

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