The legacy of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki

Monument in memory of the Jewish community

The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust takes place every year on January 27, after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet army. This is a important day especially for a city like Thessaloniki. The Jewish community has represented the majority of the population for centuries.

Over the centuries, it became one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. The city of Thessaloniki was nicknamed the “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. A community whose thread was violently severed during the German occupation and the Holocaust. Between 1942 and 1944, over 50,000 Sephardic Jews from Thessaloniki were sent to Nazi extermination camps. About 98% of the city’s Jewish population died during the war. Only in Poland did the Jews experience a higher rate of destruction.

The following gallery shows some of the places that bear witness to the long history of the city’s Jewish community and its tragic destruction at the hands of the Nazis.

By Alex Sánchez Aragón and Marco Scarangella.

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