She was 27, married, and running a fur shop in the Greek city of Thessaloniki when she was deported to Auschwitz in April 1943. Lisa Pinhas (1916-1980) lost over 100 relatives in the Shoah. Her pledge to save her younger sister, Marie, and to be a witness if she managed to escape from hell gave Lisa the power to survive. Auschwitz, Birkenau, death marches, Ravensbrück, Rechlin, Malchow, liberation in 1945, and then only to return to a city that had shed no tears for her and her co-religionists who had perished in the camps. In the postwar period, Lisa carried her trauma, anger, guilt and despair with dignity and wisdom as she took up leadership roles in the areas of Holocaust compensation, remembrance, and education. To learn is to remember was one of Lisa’s credos. For 30 years, she wrote and re-wrote her memoir, an unadorned testimony of hell and the ways in which humanity was almost extinguished in the universe of the camps. Lisa’s terrifying story – the slow extermination of detainees through hard labour, medical experiments, acts of sadism, sexual abuse, illness and starvation famine, while corpses of gassed victims were burned in the crematoria – is told conscientiously and courageously. This account has a rare quality of moral honesty. Lisa tells the story of herself and millions of others, who fought to preserve their humanity while making painful compromises to keep themselves alive for one more day. Her appointment to the Kanada Kommando, a warehouse where the belongings of gassed Jews were sorted for shipment to Germany, was a mixed blessing. At the risk of death, Lisa stole and traded precious items for food and medication. In the 1980s, Lisa’s niece, Nana-Mazaltov Moissi, deposited the unpublished manuscript in the museum’s archive and her testimony is being published in three languages. In an era of increased antisemitism and racism, Lisa Pinhas’ gripping account of the camps, as well as her postwar story, are indispensable and timely contributions to our understanding of the victimisation, survival and postwar normality experienced by Jewish men and women. As the few remaining eyewitnesses pass away and the deeply troubling hatred against the Jews persists, a call Lisa made in 1970 – “REMEMBER… DO NOT ALLOW OBLIVION” – acquires a new meaning and urgency.
Title: Nazi Germany and the Jews – Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939
Author: Saul Friedlander
Translation in Greek: Ilia Iatrou
Publisher for the Greek version: Polis Publishers
Editor:Stavros Zoumpoulakis ¹
Ιntroduction:Mitropolitou Alexandroupoleos K. Anthimou ¹, Pavlos Mitropolitis Sisaniou Kai Siatistis ¹, Mitropolitis Messinias Chrysostomos Savvatos ¹, Stavros Giagkazoglou ¹, Stavros Zoumpoulakis ¹, Vasileios Thermos ¹, Giorgos Kalantzis ¹
Publisher: Artos Zois, 2013
Title: “Το dendro vlepei” (Les arbres pleurent aussi)
Author: Irène Cohen – Janca
Translation in Greek: Mariza Decastro
Illustration: Maurizio Quarello
Publisher for the Greek version: Publications Kokkino, Kalamata 2012 – www.ekdoseis-kokkino.gr
The Penguin Dictionary of Judaism is a remarkable feat of Reference scholarship by renowned Cambridge professor and translator, Nicholas de Lange. With an approachable A-Z format the book covers everything from Jewish traditions and biographical entries on key historical figures to theology, religious law and practice, and the history of Jewish thought. Each entry is presented with clarity, precision and authority. With extensive cross-referencing and invaluable additional material such as a chronology of Judaism and the Jewish calendar, this is an essential companion for students of Jewish studies, Hebrew, Religion and Theology plus anyone with a general interest in this rich religion.
Title: The emergence of a difficult memory: Essays on the Jewish Genocide
Author: Odette Varon – Vassard
Publisher:HestiaPublishers (http://www.hestia.gr/catalogue.pdf, www.hestia.gr)
Facing the traumatic event of the genocide of the Jews, which was planned and executed by the Nazis and their collaborators in the middle of the 20th century and in the heart of civilized Europe, leaving a stain on European history forever, historians, sociologists, political scientists and psychoanalysts attempt to reach out and interpret in different ways what was consider for decades as “the untold”. The memory of this historical event because of the fact that it emerged slowly, triggered intensive debate, a variety of approaches, and disputes.
The collection of essays in this volume (written during a period of twenty years) illustrate the progress of the author’s research and critical reflection, who approaches the issue of the genocide of the Jews from different aspects.The thread running through the texts is the excruciating question which arises once more, that is the slow emergence of this memory and the reasons for oblivion and silence.
Seven texts deal with the extermination of the Greek Jews, suggesting an interpretive sketch of both the displacement and the silence that followed the events. Particular emphasis is given to Thessaloniki, from where the largest Jewish Community of Greece was deported. The imprint of the event on testimonies, historiography and literature is studied separately. The dialectic of memory and oblivion, silence and writing, are examined both in the testimonies of the survivors and in the major texts of concentration camp literature, such as Primo Levi’s regarding Jewish memory and Jorge Semprun’s regarding the memory of political prisoners.
The heavy silence of the first decades after the war was succeeded by an “explosion” of survivors’ testimonies, then came the scientific approach and in the last decades the institutionalization of this memory. The most recent texts refer to memorial places, museums, monuments and memorial days.