Jewish community: Holocaust remembrance is ‘sacred mission’

Jewish community: Holocaust remembrance is ‘sacred mission’

In the leadup to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) has said that the responsibility to pass on the memory of the Holocaust “is a sacred mission.”

In a statement, the KIS noted that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from the German and Bulgarian occupation zones of Greece.

From February to August 1943, the Jews of Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli, Komotini, Xanthi, Kavala, Drama, Serres, Didymoteicho, Nea Orestiada and Soufli were loaded onto one-way trains bound for Auschwitz.

On Wednesday, the KIS leadership held a meeting with the present and former Foreign Ministry special envoys for combating antisemitism and safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust in support of this year’s Holocaust remembrance campaign, entitled “We Remember.”

Joining the KIS leadership was Ambassador Chrysoula Aliferi, current special envoy, and her predecessor Ambassador Dimitris Giannakakis.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting was the commitment to the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust, the promotion of education through cultural and informative activities, educational programs and the national action plan against antisemitism.

“We remember the Holocaust of Europe’s 6 million Jews – including 67,000 Greek Jews; we commemorate their memory, we research and learn about the darkest aspects of its history, about the forces of hatred and fanaticism that allowed it to happen, about the unique, in history, industrial manner of carrying it out, about the unthinkable – but actual – indifference of the entire ‘civilized’ world that averted its gaze when hordes of Jews were led to the deportation trains and when they were exterminated in the Nazi crematoria,” the KIS said.

“At the same time, we commemorate the bright figures of the heroes who fought against Nazism, the bright exceptions of the Righteous among the Nations, who with self-sacrifice and humanity opened their homes and their arms to rescue their Jewish fellow citizens. Their example teaches and inspires.”

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