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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LATEST NEWS

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:

Read more...
 
CORONAVIRUS: THE JEWS ARE IN THE LINE OF FIRE AGAIN… Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2020 09:25
By Victor Isaak Eliezer*

LIFO, 5.5.2020.- The  Covid-19 pandemic has left its indelible print to humanity mourning thousands of dead, whilst millions are struggling for their lives in hospitals and others that seem healthy are confined in their homes, doing apprehensively their first steps toward a new different daily reality.

It is about a war in which, maybe for the first time, people are not taking lives of each other but are saving lives…, social responsibility, solidarity, massive attendance of people to sorrow and joy from the balconies in the neighborhoods of the world; the applause of the doctors for their patients who won death, the sound of  encouragement heard by firemen and policemen, the frustration of the doctors and the paramedics when they are forced to choose who is going to live and who is not, their sadness for the loss of every man and woman who passed away alone, away from his beloved ones, the hope, the concern, the fear…  images and feelings changing before a new reality.

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KIS MESSAGE FOR YOM HAATZMAUT – 72 YEARS OF ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:30
 “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles”! This quote by David Ben Gurion has been proven right many times in the history of Israel.

The “miracle” of Israel, which we often refer to on Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, has semantically evolved from biblical to modern, based on the interaction amongst solidarity, faith and strong beliefs, great leaders, resilience and hard work, wise choices and prudent strategy planning, as well as persistent focus on the target for the common good.

With a society formed by Holocaust survivors and the people who settled there coming for the East and the West, some because they believed in the need to establish an independent state for the Jewish people, others because they were persecuted in their countries of birth. With a society that endured and continues enduring the pain for the loss of thousands of its children who sacrificed themselves for the existence and the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel. This is the reason why the mourning is closely tied to the joy of independence.

Read more...
 
KIS OPEN LETTER TO THE JEWS OF GREECE ON COVID-19 Print E-mail
Monday, 30 March 2020 09:19
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Mankind experiences one of its most difficult periods after World War II, with thousands of dead, victims of the covid-19 coronavirus, and with millions of people confined at home in order to conform with precautionary measures imposed by the scientific community.

“Pikouach Nefesh”, the “control, the saving of life” is prioritized by Judaism as the highest value prevailing over all other commandments. This is why the Chief Rabbi of Israel issued an interpretive announcement stating that the protection and precaution guidelines of the Health Ministry must be implemented in full by all people because they serve the very meaning of the phrase “Pikouach Nefesh”.

We at the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), since day one that the virus struck our country, on the 27th of February 2020, we decided to close the Synagogues in Veria, Hania and Rhodes and issued a relevant circular advising all Greek Jewish Communities to close the Synagogues and the Cultural Centers. KIS, as well as the Jewish Communities revoked all social and cultural activities scheduled for March and April.

At the same time, with the support of KIS administration, we are in close contact with the Jewish Communities and the international Jewish Organizations in order to face this aggressive virus and the harsh consequences that might threat the well-being of the vulnerable groups of our Community.

Pessach approaches… We are sure that our Communities have made arrangements for the safe distribution of the Matzot and the Kiddush wines. Our people knew how to celebrate the festivity of Pessach even in the most inclement circumstances. The safety and health of all our coreligionists and the strict implementation of the directives of the Health Ministry should be our focus for this year’s seder. Because the value of life, Pikouach Nefesh, prevails.

Our thoughts are with all our coreligionists that are part of vulnerable social groups. Let’s give our assistance, let’s offer some moments of company either over the phone or in the social media, to our grandparents, to our parents, to our fellow-citizens that live alone, and let’s hope that at the end of this adventure we will all come back together, reunited, healthy and strong.

We “stay at home” so that we stay well. Be always well.

Athens, March 17, 2020

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

The President David Saltiel

The Secretary General Victor Eliezer

 
PESSACH – THE PASSING OVER Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 April 2020 12:40
From desperation to hope

From slavery to freedom

Every year the Jews around the world read the Haggadah, the story of Pessach, we come together, we narrate, we sing, we wonder “Ma nistana Alaila aje”, that is "Why is this night different from all other nights?"

This is the night that God chose to lead the Jewish people to freedom.

This year, this night has an additional meaning: Our thoughts are with our fellow citizens who are sick and we pray so that God helps them “pass over” from the loneliness of pain to the joy of life.

We wish to the doctors and the sanitary personnel to be strong and healthy and resilient because they are the ones who guide us to “pass over” from the desperation of death to the hope of health.

Αll of us have to protect public health, in order to safeguard our “freedom”, this ultimate good passed down to mankind with the «Exodus» of the Jewish people from slavery…

This Pessach, we will celebrate even though we will not sit around the same table, yet, our wishes will be united and even more heartfelt, they will be wishes for health and good life.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece wishes you

HAG PESSACH SHAMEACH
 
KIS ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE TWEET BY THE TURKISH DEPUTY FM COMPARING EVROS TO AUSCHWITZ Print E-mail
Monday, 09 March 2020 14:49

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece condemns and denounces the unacceptable and deplorable comparison between Auschwitz and the situation at the Greek-Turkish border in Evros region, made by the Turkish deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs on social media.

Six million Jews were persecuted, hunted down, deported, tortured and exterminated by the Nazis in the most industrialized and barbaric method in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and in other German concentration and extermination camps.

The policy of the Turkish government to exploit innocent people and create impressions by trivializing the Holocaust for political purposes is nothing but an obscene and despicable operation of misinformation and disorientation of the global public opinion.

We urge the Turkish deputy F.M. to retract his comment and apologize for this unsustainable comparison that insults the memory of all Holocaust victims.

Athens, March 9, 2020

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Relevant:
Tweet by David Harris, CEO of the AJC

 
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