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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Confirmed as Drowned: THE STORY OF THE SHIP TANAIS

Jewish Review of Books, Summer 2022

By Mark Glanville*

On December 14, 1906, a cargo steamship built at the Sunderland shipyards in the northeast of England was launched under the name Holywood. She was then purchased by a Greek shipowner in 1935, who renamed her Tanais, after the ancient Greek colony founded by Milesians. On May 26, 1941, during the Battle of Crete, the ship was sunk by the Luftwaffe, only to be raised and repaired by the Germans, who then deployed her as a cargo ship in the Aegean. In early June, the Nazis filled the holds of the ship with about nine hundred prisoners bound for Auschwitz, among them Cretan partisans, Italian prisoners of war, and the entire Jewish community of Crete, which comprised 299 souls, 88 of them children.

On June 9, the Tanais was torpedoed by the British submarine Vivid, killing all but a handful of passengers. This was the end of the Cretan Jewish community, which had thrived on the island for more than two thousand years. (Jews are said to have served as guards at the palace of Knossos, where King Minos had Daedalus build the labyrinth with his son the Minotaur at its center.)

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF KIS FOR THE 80 YEARS SINCE THE ROUND UP OF THE JEWS OF THESSALONIKI AT ELEFHTERIAS SQUARE

On July 11th, 1942 at Eleftherias Square (Freedom square) in Thessaloniki, a day known as the "Black Sabbath" of the Jews of Thessaloniki, the German occupiers humiliated 9.000 Jews of the town and put the "Final Solution" plan into practice. The “Final Solution” resulted in the deportation and extermination of 45.000 Jews of Thessaloniki.

Elefhterias Square signals the place where the Nazis began to dehumanize people who were born Jews. It was the beginning of the "absolute evil" that led to the Holocaust of 6.000.000 Jews, among them, 60.000 Greek Jews, many of whom, defended their country, fought against the Italian and German invaders and left their last breath in the concentration camps with Greece deeply rooted in their souls.

Exactly eighty years later, we hope that the commitment of the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. Konstantinos Zervas, will be realized and Eleftherias Square will finally take its historical character as a place of Remembrance of the thousands of Jews who were tortured by the Nazis before been deported to the labor camps and then to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It is our responsibility to make Eleftherias Square again a place of remembrance, so that citizens and visitors of Thessaloniki see the place where the Jews of the town martyred, remember and be taught how easily a society can follow the path of barbarism when oblivion prevails.

July 11, 2022

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
CEREMONY FOR AWARDING DOCTORATE DIPLOMA TO DAVID SALTIEL

During the graduation ceremony for the students of New York College which took place on 6.7.2022, the president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece (KISE), Mr. David Saltiel, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Bolton of Great Britain for his business and social contribution. The doctorate was awarded to Mr. Saltiel by the Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Earl of St Andrews, George Nicholas Philip Windsor. 

Mr. David Saltiel, upon receiving the diploma, addressing the audience stated emphatically: "Don't forget to set your goals and work to achieve them continuously, even with a little effort but on a daily basis. You will see that in the end you will achieve them.

Your studies and your education have been rewarded with success today. Do not forget that you are the generation that has the privilege of knowledge and understanding needed to build a great, civilized and humane future. Don't forget this!'

At the ceremony, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece was represented by the Treasurer, Mr. Daniel Benardout. It was also attended by Ministers, representatives of the military and municipal Authorities, as well as by many people.

 
ANTI-SEMITISM SHOULD CONCERN US ALL by LEON SALTIEL Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 11:29

Politico, June 20, 2022

As Sweden prepares to host this week’s meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), I find myself grappling daily with how anti-Semitism still thrives, some eight decades after the end of World War II.  

I routinely think about this ongoing enigma as part of my work but also in a more personal context, as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors.  

What may not be immediately obvious is that contemporary anti-Semitism should be a grave concern not only to Jews, whom it most immediately and directly impacts, but to those outside the Jewish community as well.  

While it denotes hatred of the Jewish people, anti-Semitism actually threatens all societies and is an indicator of wider problems. As the world’s “oldest hatred,” it exposes the failings in each society, and though Jews are often the first group to be scapegoated, unfortunately, they are not the last. History has shown us, time and again, that hateful discourse initially targeting Jews soon broadens to other members of society.

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A JEWISH RENAISSANCE IN GREECE: ABANDONED SYNAGOGUES GET NEW LIFE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 12:32
 By ELIAS V. MESSINAS

Something is changing in Greece. The Jewish heritage sites once abandoned or demolished or serving other uses, are now slated for reconstruction and reuse as synagogues, nearly 80 years after the Holocaust.

Jewish communities – the Greek-speaking Romaniotes – were established in Greece in antiquity, in cities such as Ioannina and Halkis. Sephardic communities were established after 1492, in important Jewish centers such as Salonika (Thessaloniki), and throughout Greece – from Corfu to Rhodes and from Didimoticho to Crete.

In the Holocaust, 87% of the Jewish community in Greece perished. The destruction took a heavy toll in Jewish heritage as well. Synagogues, libraries, community buildings, Jewish schools, and Jewish clubs were either demolished or taken over by other organizations. Important synagogues in Salonika were demolished, while in November 1943, the ancient Jewish cemetery of the city, with valuable marble tombstones, was turned into construction material. Some tombstones can still be found today in private courtyards.

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE TERROR ATTACK IN TEL AVIV Print E-mail
Friday, 08 April 2022 10:35

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its repugnance, its grief and concern for yesterday’s terror attack with at least two dead and more than 10 wounded, in a crowded street in the center of Tel Aviv. It was the fourth terror attack in the last two weeks.

The Greek Jewry, in deep sorrow, joins the mourning for the dead, wishes speedy recovery to the wounded and stands by the Israeli society during the escalation of the deadly attacks of the Islamic extremism.

We support the struggle of the State of Israel against terrorism that threatens the well-being of its people. Our voice joins the appeals to fight hatred and fanaticism, stressing once more that the hecatombs of the victims of terrorism undermine efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Athens, April 8, 2022

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 
KIS MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCES TO THE AMBASSADOR OF ISRAEL IN GREECE FOR THE TERROR ATTACK IN ELAD Print E-mail
Friday, 06 May 2022 11:56

Following the deadly terror attack that took place in the city of Elad in central Israel, on 5.5.2022, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece sent the following message of condolences to the Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Mr. Yossi Amrani.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news about the recent terror attack in Elad which caused the death of three Israeli citizens, during Israel’s Independence Day.

In deep sorrow the Greek Jewry joins the mourning for the loss of innocent lives. We also express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. 

Once again, we support the struggle of the State of Israel against terrorism that threatens the well-being of its people and we join our voice with the appeals to fight hatred and fanaticism, stressing that the hecatombs of the victims of terrorism undermine efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East”.

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LUMINOUS POSTER AT OTE, PREVEZA, FOR THE JEWISH POPULATION AND SYNAGOGUE OF THE CITY Print E-mail
Monday, 04 April 2022 08:30

A big luminous poster at the OTE shop in Preveza informs passersby that, where currently stands the Greek Telecommunications Group building, once stood the city’s Synagogue.  The poster – placed next to the marble plaque with the history of the building, once enwalled in the Synagogue of Preveza – provides also information about life before the war of the city’s Jewish population and the Holocaust.

The initiative began after the proposal of the Cultural Association “Preveza” to the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), in 2020, suggesting a more contemporary signage of the historic building.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece accepted the proposal and contacted the OTE Group administration for approval and contribution to the implementation of the project. With a high sense of social responsibility and respect for History, OTE Group and OTE Estate swiftly responded, approving the project and assigning it to the appropriate technical services.

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