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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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON A CARTOON TRIVIALIZING HOLOCAUST
The gate of Auschwitz: Only 76 years ago, on January 27, 1945, soviet soldiers saw the living skeletons and smelled the burned flesh. The sky was dark due to the smoke coming out of the crematoria. The inhumanity was revealed before humanity. And this was only the beginning of a series of revelations on the Shoah, the Holocaust of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and the extermination of hundreds of thousands of others who were “different”. The notorious sign “Arbeit macht Frei”, which was meant to deceive not only the victims but the whole world as well, is the symbol of the most hideous crime against humanity. Its trivialization and minimization means the legitimization of oblivion and Holocaust denial.

The new cartoon published in “Efimerida ton Syntakton” on January 16, 2021, combines the Nazi sign with the cartoonist’s confection “Studies make you free”, thus equalizing the gate of Auschwitz with the gates of the universities and the prisoners in this horrific extermination camp with the students. It is a hideous and vulgar instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political purposes.

In any case, the newspaper’s expressed respect towards the victims of the Holocaust and its firm position against antisemitism cannot be used as excuses for the publication of such cartoons that insult both the memory of the victims and the survivors alike, by trivializing the place of their martyrdom.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the Greek Jews, those of us who passed through the gate of Auschwitz, survived and are still alive, as well as the descendants of the victims, we will never stop denouncing every attempt to diminish and exploit the Holocaust which leads to oblivion and the distortion of history.

Athens, January 18, 2021
CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE
 
COVID-19 Vaccination starts in Thessaloniki with vaccination of Holocaust survivor
The vaccinations against COVID-19 of people residing in retirement homes started in Thessaloniki and the guests along with the staff of the “Saul D. Modiano” Home for the Elderly were vaccinated in the presence of Mr. Panagiotis Arkoumaneas, president of the National Public Health Organization (NPHO).


The NPHO task force was welcomed by the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, Mr. David Saltiel. 

The first person to receive the vaccine was a Holocaust survivor, Mrs. Zanna Saatsoglou- Sadikario. Mrs. Saatsoglou (96) was a prisoner in Auschwitz – Birkenau and has been living in the Saul D. Modiano Home for the Elderly for the past 10 years.

Source:
EJC, 6.1.2021

 
VANDALISM OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT OF DRAMA – REACTIONS AND RESTORATION
On the night of the 28th to the 29th of December 2020, vandals sprayed a Christogram cross with the words “Jesus Christ Conquers” on the Holocaust monument of Drama and broke a part of the marble base of the Monument. Similar graffiti was also sprayed at the nearby tobacco warehouse of Drama where, on March 3, 1943, the Bulgarian occupying forces arrested and imprisoned the Jews of the city before deporting them to the Nazi extermination camps.

REACTIONS:

 -The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) in its announcement of December 30, 2020, referred to its letter addressed to the Police Department of Drama, calling for the arrest of the perpetrators, as well as to its letter to the Municipality of Drama, asking for the restoration of the damages caused to the Monument, and the condemnation of the vandalism “which offends the city's history and culture”.

“The Greek Jewry with repulsion and sorrow strongly condemns the continuation of anti-Semitic attacks that derive from any kind of fanaticism and encourage intolerance.

We wish the New Year to be a year of peace and prosperity, in which such phenomena will permanently and irrevocably stop”, KIS’s announcement stresses.

-The immediate reaction of the Municipality of Drama for the restoration of the Monument – Drama Mayor’s letter to KIS:

KIS expressed to the Mayor of Drama, Mr. Christodoulos Mamsakos, the Board’s appreciation for the immediate response of the Municipality for the restoration of the damages and the deletion of the graffiti. In his reply letter to KIS Mayor Mamsakos stresses inter allia: “With sorrow and a regret for the damages caused both to the Holocaust Monument and the tobacco warehouse in our town, I inform you that the restoration works have already started and I send you attached the relevant photographic material.

I also convey the mortification of our local society, which in its entirety condemns the barbaric destructive acts committed by isolated and controversial individuals, who do not serve the sacred humanitarian values of culture, history and traditions. They ignore that our culture, our history and our memories are humanity's past and present. They are our heritage".

The mayor’s letter concludes with the statement of “the repulsion and the contempt” with which himself and the people of Drama condemn this vandal attack.

-The MP of Drama Chara Kefalidou, Head of the Education, Research and Religious Affairs Sector of the socialist “Kinima Allagis” party, with an announcement on 31.12.2020, pointed out the following:

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE POLITICAL SPOT OF SYRIZA Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2020 11:29

Opposition party of the Left “SYRIZA” uploaded a political video spot, entitled "How much does Moses Cost?" on the party’s website, facebook and You Tube channel, on June 19, 2020. The video, was produced in an attempt to criticize the Government’s funding of the mass media during the pandemic.

The reference to Moses in the video was strongly condemned by the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), the frm. President of the Athens Jewish Community Minos Moissis, the Secretary General of KIS Victor Eliezer and many prominent journalists. KIS issued the following announcement (June 22, 2020):

«When we watched SYRIZA’s political spot “How much does Moses cost?” we wondered how was it possible for a party with a determining contribution to the fight against antisemitism to reproduce antisemitic stereotypes in order to serve its opposition policy, linking Moses with the money falling down from the sky as the “manna from heaven”.

Three days after its launch the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses its regret over the fact that -in spite of the massive reactions- SYRIZA did not withdraw this spot, with its only reaction being that of characterizing it as “satiric”.

In times when conspiracy theories thrive and threaten peaceful coexistence within society, the perpetuation of stereotypical myths -especially when coming from a political party such as SYRIZA- nourishes the supporters of intolerance and anti-Semitism. We are sure that the leadership of SYRIZA will realize that this spot was -at the very least- an unfortunate accident and that it will withdraw it from public confrontation.

We hope that all sides will avoid the use of religious symbols and figures -especially when used with a negative connotation- because religious faith cannot and should not be part of any political confrontation». 

 
GREEK PM KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS ON VISIT TO ISRAEL Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 10:00
Greece and Israel pledged on Tuesday June 16, 2020, to work toward a resumption of bilateral tourism in August if coronavirus precautions permit and discussed shared concerns over Turkey's energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on his first trip abroad since the pandemic erupted, brought a cabinet delegation to Jerusalem in a show of confidence in mutual health measures and to promote a trilateral natural-gas consortium with Cyprus. Greece opened its main airports to mainly EU visitors on Monday. Israel – some 1.2 million of whose citizens travelled to Greece annually in recent years – is a big market.

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GREECE IN WWII: WHAT THE NAZIS LEFT BEHIND Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 July 2020 07:48
Greece was occupied by Germany between 1941 and 1944. 

When the Nazi forces began retreating in October 1944 they left as rubble almost 800 villages and small towns. In the first winter of the occupation 100,000 people starved to death. 60,000 Greek Jews were deported and murdered. Almost 50,000 people were killed in the resistance and in reprisal massacres. 

A persistent strain on relations between Greek and German governments remains Germany’s refusal to pay reparations for the damage it did to Greece. A Greek parliamentary commission in 2016 put the cost at more than 300 billion euros. 


But there were also Greek collaborators with the Germans. Stratos Dordanas, assistant professor for modern and contemporary European and Balkan history at the University of Macedonia, explained in a TV interview how a long taboo and still controversial topic in Greece is now open to debate.
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GREEK PRIME MINISTER MITSOTAKIS AT AJC GLOBAL FORUM 2020 ON GREEK-ISRAELI TIES Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 10:22
June 16, 2020 —AJC, New York: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a wide-ranging, 30-minute conversation with American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris at the AJC Virtual Global Forum, expressed his enduring commitment to the Greek-Israel link and spoke out strongly against antisemitism.

Harris, who has known the prime minister for years and who knew his late father, Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis, expressed admiration for the Greek handling of COVID-19; the country’s dramatic economic turnaround from a decade ago; the deepening partnership with the United States; and the democratic triangle of stability represented by Greece, Cyprus, and Israel. He also gave a shoutout to AJC’s decades-long partnership with the Hellenic-American community.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the bilateral relationship between Greece and Israel, saying that it “is as strong as it has ever been.” He noted that those ties, controversial in Greece when first established in 1990 — “Greece was the last country in [West] Europe to do so,” he noted — by his father, are now supported by nearly the entire Greek political spectrum.

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ADL STATEMENT ON KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 June 2020 08:20
ADL (Anti-Defamation League) CEO and National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt issued the following statement today in regards to the developing situation in Minneapolis and across the country, following the killing of George Floyd by police:

“We stand in solidarity with the Black community as they yet again are subject to pain and suffering at the hands of a racist and unjust system.

While it is a necessary first step in the pathway towards justice that former Officer Derek Chauvin was taken into custody yesterday, it is simply not enough. Based on the horrifying cell phone footage that has rightfully outraged Americans across the country, it is clear that the three other former officers who participated in Mr. Floyd’s death need to be held responsible for their actions to the fullest extent of our legal system.

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