KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE RETURN OF THE JEWISH ARCHIVES FROM MOSCOW Print
Thursday, 09 December 2021 13:15

Our history returns home!

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Greek Jews with immense emotion welcome the decision of the Russian President Putin that Russia returns the pre-War archives of the Greek Jewish Communities, and especially the archive of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki which was looted in July 11, 1942, by the Nazis who plundered archives, books and religious artifacts from 30 Synagogues, libraries and communal institutions in Thessaloniki.  In the aftermath of the takeover of Berlin by the soviet army, in May 1945, those archives were transferred to Moscow.

A long-term challenging struggle conducted by the Greek diplomacy and the Greek Jewry seems to come to an end thanks to the targeted actions of the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It is an achievement of vital significance to our country’s history. We express our thankfulness to the Greek Prime Minister and all those who have worked and continue working for the realization of the return of the pre-War Jewish archives to our country.

While celebrating the 200th anniversary of Greece’s war of independence, our history returns home at last! For the Greek Jewry these archives bring light to its historic course, sacred heirlooms of the light of life and the darkness of the looting and the Holocaust. Their restitution would mean Justice and would transmit knowledge about a part of the Greek people that contributed to the progress of the country and no longer exists, that of the 60.000 Greek Jews who were deported to and exterminated in the Nazi death camps.

The Holocaust Museum of Greece, which will be erected in Thessaloniki, will be the ideal home for their safekeeping and for their use by researchers, given that the archives will be accessible through state-of-the-Art methods of research and browsing.

Athens, December 9, 2021

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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