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Jewish Community Issues Warning Against “Darkness of Oblivion” on Holocaust Day

Jewish holocaust memorial, thessaloniki, Greece
Greek Jewish community marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Credit: Wikimedia Commons / FdeGrijs cc by 4.0

Greek MPs and the Greek Jewish community have stressed the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive by holding moments of silence and underlining responsibility. Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Saturday, January 27th, the Central Board of Jewish Communities (KIS) highlighted in a statement on its website the responsibility of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive “so that the darkness of oblivion does not prevail over the light of memory and hope.”

The umbrella organization for Greek Jewry continued in the statement, to say “79 years after the Allied Forces revealed the horrors of Auschwitz and other extermination camps, we, the survivors of the horrors and their descendants, on October 7, 2023 witnessed the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust with the cold-blooded murder of 1,200 people—infants, children, men and women—of all ages and the taking of 250 hostages, in the State of Israel, in an operation of a new genocide against the Jewish people.”

The statement elaborates on the role of Israel, saying, “Today more than ever, the Jewish people, both in the State of Israel and in the Diaspora, stand against terrorism and anti-Semitism. We deplore any attempt to demonize the Jewish state and delegitimize its right to exist as yet another form of modern anti-Semitism, and look forward to achieving a sustainable peace that will bring prosperity to all peoples of the region.”

Concluding with “Today more than ever we fulfil our duty to future generations and strengthen education and knowledge as the only answer to the hatred and bigotry that continue to threaten humanity.”

The organization also makes note of the Greek Jewry affected by the Holocaust, “We remember the 67,000 Greek Jews, relatives, friends and neighbors from all over Greece who were exterminated in Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau and the other German death camps. We remember our fellow human beings and fellow citizens, anonymous and named Righteous Among the Nations, who are the light of humanity, who risked their lives to save our co-religionists.”

Greek MPs Join Greek Jewish Community in Holocaust Remembrance

Greek politicians also paid their respects in the leadup to the day, with MPs observing a minute’s silence to commemorate the Greek Jewish victims of the Holocaust and others killed by the National Socialist regime.

At the gathering, Deputy Speaker Thanasis Bouras said, “Today we honor the memory of the six million Jews and many other victims of the unprecedented cruelty and horror of the Nazi regime. We also honor, however, all those that managed to survive, the living witnesses of the death camps during World War II.”

He, like the statement from KIS, highlighted the importance of remembering the inhumane actions and events of the Holocaust.

To mark the occasion, the facade of the Greek Parliament was lit up today with the slogan #WeRemember, and Parliament released a statement saying, “The Hellenic Parliament seeks to keep historical memory alive, paying honor to the millions of victims of the Holocaust and recalling the need for constant vigilance for the defense of human rights and democratic values.”

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