Greek metropolis marks eightieth anniversary of Auschwitz prepare convoy

Greek metropolis marks eightieth anniversary of Auschwitz prepare convoy

Greek metropolis marks eightieth anniversary of Auschwitz prepare convoy

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece’s second-largest metropolis, Thessaloniki, commemorated on Sunday the eightieth anniversary of the departure of the primary prepare convoy for the Auschwitz camp.

Officers, led by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, marched from Eleftherias (“Freedom”) Sq., the place members of the town’s Jewish group had been rounded up by the German occupying forces, to the town’s Previous Prepare Station, the place they laid purple carnations on the tracks. Some marchers held a banner studying “Thessalonki Auschwitz 80 years: By no means once more” and white balloons carrying the identical slogan had been launched.

The primary prepare carrying Jewish folks departed from the station, which is now a freight terminal, on March 15, 1943; the final one, on Aug. 7 that 12 months. Most Jews, greater than 48,000 of them, had been despatched to the Auschwitz II-Birkenau sub-camp, the place virtually all had been instantly gassed. One other 4,000 had been despatched to Treblinka and a smaller quantity to Bergen Belsen. About 90% of a once-thriving group, most of them descendants of Sephardic Jews who fled Spain after 1492, perished within the Holocaust.

“Thessaloniki has acknowledged its a part of the duty” within the destiny of the Jewish group, Sakellaropoulou stated. Thessaloniki, as soon as a part of the Ottoman Empire, was captured by Greece in 1912, and relations between the Greek and Jewish communities had been usually uneasy. The stress was exacerbated by the arrival, after 1922, of ethnic Greeks fleeing Asia Minor following Greece’s defeat in a three-year struggle with Turkey. The brand new impoverished refugees noticed Thessaloniki’s Jews, a lot of them profitable professionals, as remnants of the hated Ottoman Empire.

European Fee Vice President Margaritis Schinas stated that, similar to the Nuremberg court docket administered justice after World Warfare II, “The Hague (court docket) awaits those that suppose they are going to play historical past’s executioners.”

Schinas additionally made reference to preparations to arrange a European community of areas related to the Holocaust.

David Saltiel, head of Greece’s Central Jewish Council and vp of the World Jewish Congress, expressed his satisfaction {that a} long-planned Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki will quickly be prepared.

The Israeli authorities was represented by Science and Know-how Minister Ofir Akunis, who talked about that his paternal grandparents left Thessaloniki in 1944, the 12 months the town was liberated from the Germans. Akunis was one of many featured audio system on the ceremony, together with Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Group.

Among the many attendees was 75-year-old Shlomo Sevy, each of whose dad and mom had been among the many uncommon Auschwitz survivors. He stated his father had informed him “’don’t ask how we stayed alive,’” he informed The Related Press.

There are actually solely about 1,200 Jews residing in Thessaloniki, as soon as dwelling of Europe’s largest Jewish group known as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans.” Smaller Jewish populations in different Greek cities had been additionally closely affected by the Holocaust, however to not the identical extent. In Athens, particularly, many Jews handed themselves off as Christians, with the help of the native inhabitants.


Demetris Nellas reported from Athens.

#Greek #metropolis #marks #eightieth #anniversary #Auschwitz #prepare #convoy

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button