30 May, 2003
Visiting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Thursday attended a memorial service in the northern port city of Thessaloniki for the Greek Jews exterminated during the Holocaust, as several top government officials and World Jewish Congress (WJC) Chairman, Rabbi Israel Singer, also attended the service at the city’s Holocaust monument.
“The 60th anniversary of the Holocaust, especially for Thessaloniki, is not only a Jewish anniversary, but an anniversary for the Jewish community of the city. It is a national day of memory, and this day, just as others of a similar nature, is an exercise in self-knowledge, an exercise in reaching out for the messages and lessons of history. We are obliged to remember so that as humanity we never experience the same things,” Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.
Some 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki, the largest Sephardic community of the era, were rounded up by German occupation forces, deported and finally exterminated in the Nazi death camps between 1943-1944.
Source: Athens News Agency