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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-28

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Memorial service for the Jewish victims in WWII held in Thessaloniki

  • [01] Memorial service for the Jewish victims in WWII held in Thessaloniki

    A memorial service (askava) for the Jewish victims of the Nazi atrocities during WWII was held on Sunday in Thessaloniki marking the Memorial Day for Greek Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust. Wreaths were laid at the Holocaust monument in Eleftherias Square in the presence of representatives of the government, political parties, local authorities, the Jewish community, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, diplomats and foreign officials.

    Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany Michael Roth, who was the keynote speaker, underlined that "the suffering caused to the Jewish community by Germans in the name of Germany is unthinkable. Today's Germany assumes the responsibility of the crimes committed against the Jewish and non Jewish people in Greece. Even though my generation is not guilty, we acknowledge our responsibility. This dark chapter in the history of humanity should never be forgotten".

    He said that "we make sure that the memory of disaster and national socialist crimes remains alive in this generation and the ones to follow. We owe it to the victims and to our children who inherited the German history and will have to live with it".

    "We should not allow young people to go to the extremes because they see no future ahead," he underlined.

    Jewish Community of Thessaloniki president David Saltiel noted that those who are nostalgic of fascism do not know what the Nazis and their sympathizers did to Greece, while Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) president Benjamin Albalas expressed concern about the rising neo-Nazism, antisemitism and intolerance in Europe.

    Israeli Ambassador Arye Mekel referred to Thessaloniki's high symbolism for the Jewish people worldwide and to the close relations between Greece and Israel. He also referred to the stance of the Greek government "that sends a firm message against phenomena of extremism, antisemitism and xenophobia".

    Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, in a statement issued on Monday, said humanity honors the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the millions of Jews who were exterminated by the crimes of the Hitler regime.

    Speaking on the Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Holocaust, Venizelos noted that the Greek government considers the Holocaust denial a blatant abomination, and stressed the importance of the firm enforcement of existing anti-racist legislation and unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism. He also expressed his confidence that neo-Nazi elements, which threaten the Republic and the rule of law, will be marginalized by the Greek society, which condemns intolerance.

    He concluded that Greece is joining forces with other countries to honor the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust.

    (Photo: Roth at the event. ANA-MPA/ S. Barbarousis )

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