CULTURAL AND HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION EVENTS IN CORFU MARKED THE GERMAN PRESIDENCY OF IHRA – October 23 to 25, 2020 Print
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 13:18
A series of events that took place on the island of Corfu from October 23 to 25, 2020, marked the current German presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The program of events was organized by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Greece with the cooperation of the Municipality of Corfu, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and the local Jewish Community.

In order to conform with the pandemic measures and safeguard public health, this year’s rich program –which included lectures, artistic and historical  exhibitions and a concert- was a functional combination of on-line events as well as local ones, with products that will remain on show in Cofru for educational purposes.

The opening ceremony was held on October 23, at the Municipal Theater and included speeches by the Prefect of the Ionial Islands Ms. Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, the Mayor Ms. Meropi Hydreou, the German Ambassador Ernst Reichel, KIS President David Saltiel, and the Honorary President of the Corfu Jewish Community Lino Soussis. All speakers stressed the importance of a globally coordinated cooperation in order to combat racism and antisemitism in all its forms, and raise awareness through educational projects.

The Shabbat service was held on Saturday morning at the historic Scuola Greca Synagogue of Corfu with the participation of the Athens Rabbi Gabriel Negrin. It was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Holocaust Monument of the island.

During the 3-day events two exhibitions were inaugurated that will remain on show until the end of the year:

-The historical exhibition of the Jewish Museum of Greece, entitled «At the crossroads: The Jewish Community of Corfu», displayed at the Latin Chapel at the Old Fortress of Corfu, which is accompanied by educational material for schools.

-The artistic photo exhibition of the artist Artemis Alkalai entitled "Corfu / Return. Greek Jewish Holocaust Survivors" at the Synagogue of Corfu. See here the catalogue of the exhibition (in Greek and German)

The concert of the Mantzaros Philarmonic Society was held in the evening of Saturday October 24, 2020, at the Municipal Theater of Corfu, with the participation of Soprano Mariangela Chatzistamatiou. The concert, which included Jewish and Sephardi musical themes, it was held in the presence of a limited nominated audience, in accordance with applicable rules for Covid-19, and it was also broadcasted by the local tv.

Two videotaped lectures were shown online: Dr. Odette Varon-Vassard, under the theme "Albert Cohen: The Face and the Work", presented the renowned French author and the influence of Corfu, his native town, on his literary work. The second lecture of Dr. Evi Karamoutsou, entitled "The Jewish Community of Corfu in Time", presented the highpoints of the historic course of Jewish presence in Corfu.