The Holocaust Museum that will be erected in Thessaloniki is a “weapon in the battle of memory against forgetfulness,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said at a ceremony in the northern port city, where he laid the foundation stone for the new institution together with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who is in Greece on an official visit.
The museum will be erected at the site of the old railway station where tens of thousands of the city’s Jews were sent off to Nazi death camps in World War II. It is estimated that 60,000 Greek Jews died in the Holocaust.
“The Greek people, who fought with all their might against fascism and Nazism, hold on their memory a part of history which was written right here,” said Tsipras. “We will never allow the past to return like a nightmare and we will not remain indifferent to its shadows, which are reappearing in Europe.”
“Seventy-five years ago, this was where the first Jews were sent to Auschwitz,” Rivlin said in his address. “The museum that will be erected here should serve as a witness to our obligation to create a world that will shout: ‘Never again!’.”
Tsipras and Rivlin also planted the first olive trees that will form a grove around the museum.