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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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GREEK PRESIDENT SAKELLAROPOULOU READS LAST LETTERS OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS ALOUD AT CULTURAL FESTIVAL Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 08:16
“Do not forget me…” Neama Cazes wrote on 8 April 1943 from the ghetto of German Nazi-occupied Greek city of Thessaloniki to her children, Maurice and Berto, who had escaped to Italian-occupied Athens. 

These words are also the title of the book by Leon Saltiel, a historian of the Holocaust in Greece who currently serves as the Representative to the UN in Geneva and UNESCO of the World Jewish Congress, and its Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism. In his book, Saltiel published some 50 letters sent by three Jewish mothers from within the ghetto of Thessaloniki to their sons, who were hiding in Athens during the Second World War, some weeks or days before their deportation and subsequent death in Auschwitz.  

Greek Republic President Katerina Sakellaropoulou - the first woman to occupy this post- will read three letters written by Cazes in contribution to this year’s autumn Dimitria festival, the leading cultural institution of Thessaloniki. The festival began online on 28 September. The reading of the letters will be hosted by the city of Thessaloniki with the support of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and the German Consulate.  

The letters were written shortly before and during the deportations of the Jews of Thessaloniki and describe the climate of uncertainty, panic and anxiety that existed not only to Neama herself but to the Jewish community of Thessaloniki as well, shortly before the first train left Thessaloniki carrying 2,400 people to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 15 March 1943. The theme of this year’s festival is “distances,” both literally and figuratively, as the conference was forced to be virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Artists and other notable participants from Greece and abroad will present new artistic trends and highlighting the historic and cultural heritage of Thessaloniki during the festival.  

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CERVANTES INSTITUTE AND JEWISH COMMUNITY OF THESSALONIKI SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROMOTE SEPHARDIC HERITAGE Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2020 09:34
The Cervantes Institute and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki signed an agreement on Tuesday allowing the institute to establish a branch in the Greek city, as part of the institute's efforts to promote and recognize the Sephardic community’s Spanish roots and revitalize the community’s historical use of Judeo-Spanish or Ladino.  

In attendance at the special signing ceremony was President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and WJC Vice President David Saltiel, Cervantes Institute Athens Director Cristina Conde de Beroldinge, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha González Laya, Spanish Ambassador to Greece Enrique Viguera, and Ambassador of Greece to Spain Ioannis Tzovas-Mourouzis, among others.    

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THESSALONIKI HOLOCAUST MUSEUM 'AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT INITIATIVE FOR GREECE', SAYS US AMBASSADOR PYATT Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 12:14
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Thursday said that the plan to build the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki is an extremely important initiative for Greece, considering the key role that the Jewish community has played in the city's history.

The ambassador was speaking at the Jewish Museum in Thessaloniki, where he was briefed on the construction work's progress by David Saltiel, the president of both the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the city's Jewish community, and the president of the Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Holocaust Museum Foundation former mayor George Boutaris. The US Consul General in Thessaloniki Gregory Pfleger was also present at the meeting.

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AGHIA SOPHIA, A MUSEUM WHICH IS UNITING INSTEAD OF DIVIDING Print E-mail
Monday, 13 July 2020 09:11
 By Victor Isaak Eliezer*                         

Daily "TA NEA", July 11, 2020: The temple or Museum of "Aghia Sophia" in Istanbul, is maybe one of the unique religious monuments which are uniting instead of dividing the worshippers of two different monotheistic religions.  As a temple, during many centuries, it symbolized the unity of the Orthodox Christianity and the wealth of the Byzantine civilization, till the fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Then it was transformed into a mosque. The founder of the modern Turkish state, Kemal Ataturk, converted "Aghia Sophia" into a Museum related to both Christianism and Islam. A Museum of world cultural heritage which is visited and admired by millions of visitors, independently of their race, skin color or religion. I fully understand and share, though, the awe which overwhelms the Christian Orthodox people as this Church has been the birthplace of Orthodoxy and marked faithfully the rightful struggle of the Greeks for their freedom from the Ottoman enslavement that led to their independence and to the creation of the modern Hellenic state. 

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It was a beautiful life in Juderia… Rodeslis Remember… Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2020 09:41
 Growing up on the island was like a paradis
Rachel Hanan (née Hugnu), Holocaust survivor

 “All along our daily paths, whether going to school, to work, to the synagogue, or visiting a friend or relative, we walked amid familiar and smiling faces. Kinship networks were frequently large, so that Hugnos’ extended family could only meet on particular festival days, otherwise, there would be a hundred cousins.” Isaac Jack Lévy

 “The life in Rhodes was beautiful, beautiful…Everyone very friendly like one family. No matter how many neighbors … we have, everyone is just like family… In fact, we used to say Auntie Straya, Auntie Rebecca, but we didn’t know if they were relatives or not. Because our parents they say, say hello to Auntie Rebecca or say hello to Auntie Rifka. To everyone we have to say Auntie. So for us all neighbors was family. Mirù Alcanà, Holocaust Survivor

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