The religious context within which senior clergy and chief rabbis operate differ greatly. But there is a connection: both are seen as shepherds guiding their respective flocks.
The Holocaust in Greece (1943–1944) confronted the shepherds of both faiths with great dilemmas: the rabbis had to choose between obedience, stalling or disobedience in all possible combinations; the bishops, for their part, had to decide how much to risk for the sake of the “other” flock in their diocese.
The risks taken by the metropolitans ranged from providing for the safekeeping of Jewish holy texts and objects (an act which could carry a severe penalty) and expressions of support, to persistent and, even more perilous, appeals to German officers.
Of course, circumstances differed in each case. In the spring of 1943, the situation in Greece was direr than in 1944, when the Resistance had grown and the war’s outcome had been sealed. Conditions also varied in each geographic region, where local circumstances – especially with regards to the existence of an armed Resistance – also played a part.
The material collected is from the cities and towns of Athens, Arta, Corfu, Didymoteicho, Halkida, Corinth, Thessaloniki, Thiva, Volos, and Zakynthos. These cities accounted for roughly 90 per cent of Greece’s Jewish population.
The core source information is a survey conducted by the Church of Greece in 1966, when it sent out questionnaires to each metropolitan diocese asking what it had done during the occupation for the Jews in the area.
February 6: Thessaloniki Jews are subjected to restrictive measures
February 22: Athenians defy protest ban to demonstrate against civil mobilisation
February 28: Thessaloniki Jews are confined...
The JMG is extremely grateful to the following institutions and individuals who provided original material, photographs and information:
Jewish Community of Athens
Jewish Community of Volos
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!