The Greek parliament will honor the Greek Jewish victims and survivors of the holocaust during a ceremony on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
It is the first time since 2004, when the Greek parliament established the Day of Remembrance for the Greek Jews, that a delegation of Greek Jews will attend a special parliament session. Guests of honour will include Greek Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
“It is an important day as because though these events we condemn intolerance, anti-Semitism and racism and we give a message to the younger generations. This day is not only for the Jews. It is for the lessons the Holocaust has taught us. We must not forget, we should draw conclusions so that such things do not happen again,” the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki David Saltiel told ANA-MPA. Thessaloniki has been declared a “martyr city” since 2012 and is included in the “Martyr Cities & Villages of Greece Network.”
Thessaloniki had the largest Jewish population in Greece, about 50,000 members of a flourishing community who were led to crematoria by the Nazi’s, on nineteen rail death missions, from the old station (March to August of 1943).
Less than 2,000 of them managed to survive and return to Thessaloniki (a thousand of them from the camps and the rest from the countryside), from where they had been hiding, in a city that hardly resembled the one they had left behind.
The Greek state, in a particularly difficult time after World War II and before the civil war, was among the first ones in Europe to adopt laws on the restitution of property. However, many Jewish beneficiaries had to fight in courts for years to prove that they own their property as their title deeds had been lost or destroyed, and their relatives, acquaintances, neighbours, friends, witnesses who could confirm ownership of property had died.