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Thursday, 17 January 2019 11:29
By Katerina Mylona, translated from newspaper PATRIS OF HERAKLION CRETE, 16.1.2019

The history of the Jews who lived in our city was the subject of the work that was carried out in the 2017-18 school year from Section B4 of the 6th General Lyceum of Heraklion within the framework of the "Project" course.

The work aimed at seeking the historical presence and course of the Jewish community in Heraklion until their complete extermination by the German Nazis in 1944.

The supervising professor, computer scientist with Msc in Theology, Mr. George Chatzizisis, told "PATRIS" that the children participated with particular interest in the search for information and enjoyed the role of the historical researcher.

He proposed to students to work for a population group that no longer exists in our city because of population or war exchanges such as Muslims and Catholics. The pupils even mourned when they learned.

The professor reports that the Jews of Crete were vanquished when the Germans occupied Crete. They were boarded on the Tanais Ship, which was torpedoed by a British submarine, something we discovered a long time later from the classified documents of the British. The British then did not admit it, and the people who saw the boat sinking believed that the Germans had been swept away.

He reports that the Jews of Heraklion were a small community, it was larger by the end of the 19th century and for economic reasons many went to Chania. Shortly before they disappeared, there were 40 to 50 in Heraklion and 300 in Chania. All families were living in the center of the cities and engaged in commerce, belonged to the middle class and were harmoniously integrated into society. As far as we know, only two families managed to leave Chania and go to Athens and today there are only one or two Cretan Jewish survivors from Chania.

We also know that when Apostle Paul visited Crete, there was a synagogue in Gortyn.

There were two synagogues in Chania, one was bombed, the other survived, while the synagogue of Heraklion, which was also bombed, was at the foundation of the old Xenia. Today there are fragments of inscriptions at the Historical Museum of Crete.

The work was carried out with the valuable help of Mr. Dimitris Savvas, Head of the Vikelaios Library of Heraklion, and the full support of the library material, Stavros Sfakotakis, MSc philologist in Turkish  with  the postgraduate thesis "The Jewish Community of in 1670 -1760 ", which offered rich and specialized knowledge on the subject of the work, and Mrs. Erofili Stamataki, Director of the 6th General Lyceum and its full support, assistance and support.

Presentation - event

The pupils' work will be presented at an event organized by the Hellenic Literary Association of Heraklion on Wednesday, January 23, at 7 pm, at the Social Hall of the Kalokairinos Institutions (Monastery of Agarathou 9), on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Then, the "The Love of Your Memory, The History of Ovadia Barouch", a 45-minute production of the Yad Vashem Foundation in Jerusalem, which is the personal testimony of the Auschwitz survivor, Ovadia Baruch, a Jew from Thessaloniki will be presented.

As with all actions hosted in the Social Space, admission is free of charge. The voluntary contribution to packaged foods and grocery stores to support the activities of the Basic Goods Providing Structures (Social Grocery - "Food with Our Love") by the A. & M. Kalokairinos Foundation, which support individuals and families in financial difficulty and exclusion, is always welcome.

Students presenting the work are the following:. Dragaki Kleri 3rd Lyceum, Lyonas Aris 3rd Lyceum, Delakis Nikos III Lyceum, Fenakis Angelos III Lyceum, Takitzis Irene 3rd Lyceum, Chatzizis Maria III Lyceum, Somerakis Eleni I Lyceum, Strilinga Georgia I Lyceum.


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