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Thursday, 03 May 2018 07:59

The dramatic call "Never Again" echoed at the ceremony for the unveiling of the monument - marble plaque in Memory of the Greek Victims - through which Greece honoured its over 350 victims, among them 170 Greek Jews,  at the former German-Nazi concentration camp, Ebensee, in Upper Austria, during World War II.

The ceremony, which took place on 28.4.2018, was attended by delegations of the Greek and Cypriot Embassy in Austria - led by Chrysoula Aliferi, Ambassador of Greece – by the Holy Diocese of Austria, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece with its General Secretary, Victor Eliezer, as well as by the Federation of Greek Associations in Austria, the Intercultural Association of Macedonia (led by their presidents) and the Association of Greek Students and Scientists of Graz.


A number of Greek and Jewish Greeks living in Austria also attended, as well as Dr. Quatember, founder and director of the History Museum in Ebensee, who substantially and procedurally helped with the placement of the plaque in Memory of Greek Victims at the former facilities of the concentration camp.

The representative of the Holy Diocese of Austria, priest Father Ilias, held a religious service in memory of the Greek victims, whereas the Jewish memorial prayer was offered by Victor Eliezer, the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, who later delivered a particularly moving speech.

In her speech, Chrysoula Aliferi, ambassador of Greece, stressed the particular importance of the placement of a national Greek monument at the former Nazi concentration camp in Ebensee, under the auspice of the Greek state, and more specifically of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr Nikos Kotzias, the Minister himself. With the imminent completion of her term, as the outgoing ambassador pointed out, she considered it her obligation to fulfil a national obligation with the placement of a national Greek monument, since the memorial plaque was constructed years ago from Pentelic marble, but due to various circumstances hadn't been placed till this date.

In his speech, Victor Eliezer, General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, pointed out how pleased he is that the Greeks have decided to fight racism and anti-Semitism in every way, through laws and education, with the foundation of the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki. He also stressed that "the Jewish Museum of Greece, the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, along with the Ministry of Education, intensify the continuous efforts to convey these values ​​against the monsters seeking the revival of Nazi obscurantism."
"Apart from remembering, we must learn through history how to prevent the repetition of this crime against humanity. A modern society cannot remain indifferent to those who identify with Nazism, the "perpetrators" who violated every moral value of our culture”, added Victor Eliezer.
According to the General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, "in a period that human beings lost their humanity, in a period that the value of human life was annihilated by the "aggressors", hatred and fanaticism can be combated by identifying the value of life, through tolerance towards diversity, and with society’s determination to fortify and steadily serve the values of humanity".
Mr Eliezer ended his speech reminding that “As one of the few surviving Greek prisoners of Ebensee concentration camp, Heinz Kounio, born in Thessaloniki, presented last year the German version of his book "I Survived Death - The Diary of Prisoner Number 109565", and when he ends the description of his dramatic experience always repeats: "If I had not been saved, my testimony would have been buried in the most annihilating tomb of ignorance and oblivion - Never Again."

At the concentration camp of Ebensee, most of the over 350 Greeks-victims of the Nazi atrocities were Christians who were killed there as resistance fighters or for being opposed to the Nazi regime, while 170 of them were Greek Jews from Rhodes, Kos, Ioannina, Athens and Thessaloniki, who were exterminated as Jews.

The concentration camp of Ebensee, located about 250 kilometers west of Vienna, was part of the central German-Nazi extermination camp of Mauthausen where over 120,000 prisoners were killed during World War II, among them the 3,700 Greeks who were victims of the Nazi atrocities.


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