Monday March 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
State of Israel awards three Greeks who helped Jews during WWII

From left to right: Israeli Ambassador Aryeh Mekel, WWII survivor Simon Danieli, and the president of the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel.

In a ceremony marked by great humanity, gratitude, pride and emotion, the state of Israel on Tuesday night posthumously bestowed the Righteous Among the Nations Award upon three Orthodox Christian Greeks who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust.

Hosted by the Municipality of Veria in northern Greece, the ceremony was attended by Israeli Ambassador Aryeh Mekel, the president of the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel, and Maurice Magrizos, the president of the Israeli Community of Larissa.

Those attending heard the chilling and touching testimony of 82-year-old Simon Danieli, who traveled from Israel to his birthplace in Veria to thank the descendants of the people who helped him and his family escape Nazi persecution during World War II.

Danieli was 13 in 1942 when his family -- father Joseph, a grain merchant, mother Buena, and nine siblings -- fled Veria to escape the increasingly frequent atrocities committed by Nazi forces against the citys Jews. They ended up in a small nearby village in Sykies, where the family was taken in by Giorgos and Panayiota Lanara, who offered them shelter, food and a hiding place in the woods, helped also by a priest, Nestoras Karamitsopoulos.

The Nazis, however, soon stormed Sykies, where around 50 more Jews from Veria had also taken refuge. They questioned the priest about the whereabouts of the Jews, but when Karamitsopoulos refused to answer, they began raiding peoples homes. They found Jews hidden in eight homes, and promptly torched the houses. They also turned their wrath on the priest, torturing him and pulling out his beard, according to Danieli.

The Danieli family survived, but when they returned to Veria, the neighborhood where they had lived, the Jewish quarter known today as Barbouta, had been almost completely destroyed, and some 450 of their neighbors were gone, sent off for extermination.

The family later moved to Israel. Life, remembers Simon Danieli, was not easy there either.

It was a new state. There was a lot of unemployment and I took work wherever I could find it, Danieli said.

Eventually he was able to start his own business, but he never forgot Veria and often traveled to the northern Greek city to visit his old friends and his old neighborhood.

I was a boy when the Germans came and spread death, he said at the ceremony. But I will always have gratitude and love for our three heroes.

The medals awarded to Giorgos and Panayiota Lanara, as well as to Nestoras Karamitsopoulos, were received by their granddaughters.

The Righteous Among the Nations Award has been bestowed on a total of 300 Greeks so far, most notably Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Damaskinos and Angelos Evert, who was the head of the Greek police during the Nazi occupation.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday June 27, 2012 (18:41)  
For African migrants, trek to Europe brings risk, heartbreak
What a life: The worlds most traveled man, whos been to all 195 countries
Jewish leaders in Greece want Germany to pay more in reparations with 7 decades of interest
Greeces German-built money hall reveals unity, divide over euro
EXHIBITION
Communist structures risk fate of Ozymandias
Searching for information on something that happened in Bulgaria 30 years ago is much like being an archaeologist collecting evidence on an event that occurred many centuries ago. Sofia-bo...
Nude sculptures of ancient Greeks dazzle in British Museum exhibition
The nude sculptures of the ancient Greeks depict what they believed to be the perfect human form, and the results still dazzle and move us thousands of years on, as the British Museum's late...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
2. Greek markets show all at risk should mistake trigger a default
3. Improved Greece draws 0-0 at Hungary
4. Rift talk may be self-fulfilling prophecy
5. Undeclared labor flourishing as inspections are insufficient
6. Agenda
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek markets show all at risk should mistake trigger a default
2. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
3. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
4. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
5. Another suspect eyed in prison breakout plan
6. Greeces Tsipras to meet ministers as creditors ponder overhauls
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. PM faces Merkel amid race to detail reforms
3. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
4. Some more equal than others
5. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
6. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.