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40 years of active presence

Friday, December 1, 2023


    The Jewish Community of Corfu was unique among those on Greek soil in being the only one whose members lived in a specific area, with clearly defined boundaries separating it from the rest of the city; the “ghetto”, as its own residents called it. Of course the existence of a ghetto is a direct result of the island’s history: for centuries it had been under occupation by western forces (Angevins1, Venetians, French and English) in contrast to the rest of Greece, which was part of the Byzantine Empire before it came under Ottoman rule.

    Shortly before the war, approximately 2,000 Jews lived in Corfu. They maintained three synagogues, the “Scuola Greca”, the “Pugliesa” and the “Nuova”, of which only the first survived the bombings of World War II and is still standing. Of the ghetto residents a mere 187 were alive at Liberation.

    Today, besides the synagogue, there are still some remains of the old ghetto which transport the visitor to times gone by, when the community was thriving.

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