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40 years of active presence

Friday, December 1, 2023


    More than 100 Jews from Larissa, Volos, Trikala and Karditsa were active in the national-liberation struggle. Louiza Negrin was arrested and imprisoned by the Italians at a rally in Larissa in March 1943. Allegra Felous-Kapeta from Trikala, a member of the Communist Party since the interwar period, emerged as an EAM functionary in western Thessaly. David Levis from Volos was an EAM member and involved in matters of local administration in liberated areas, while the rescue of the Volos community was due to his efforts. The banker Eliezer (Lazaros) Azaria from Veria was in charge of ELAS Logistics Arm (ETA) in Thessaly and, later, a member of the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA).

    After the capitulation of the Italians, many of those who fled from the cities joined EPON and the I ELAS Division in Thessaly: From Trikala, there was Alvertos and Benjamin Negrin, Solon Levi and Elias and Louiza Felous; from Larissa, there was lieutenant Samuel Eskinatzis, served as company commander, Esdras Moissis and Iakov Felous. Along with Larissa natives Isaak and Alvertos Lazar, the siblings Mordochai and Alvertos Salem from Thessaloniki, also served in the 5th ELAS Regiment in Trikala. Fearless in battle, Benjamin Negrin (who used the nom-de-guerre Vaios) of the 1/38 Regiment, was seriously injured in a night attack on Paleomonastiroin Trikala (13 April 1944). He succumbed to his injuries in 1945. The first to be killed in action was Iakov Beracha from Trikala, on 7 November 1943 in the Battle of Mesochora.

    Dozens of Jews from Volos fought with 54th ELAS Regiment which engaged in intense military action against the Germans in eastern Thessaly: Elias Kones, Alvertos Amon, Pepos Sakkis, Zakinos Mizan, Haim Mizrachis, Zacharias Toron, the siblings Salvator, Anna, Rachel, Rozita and Haim Koen, Raphael Frezis, Avraam Obadias, Moissis Mordos, Manolis Faradzis, Moissis Iesoulas, Zachos Levis, Elias Kapetas and others. Anna Koen and Elli Sakki were dedicated nurses to the regiment. Among the heroes were Savvas Iakovou (52nd Regiment) who was killed on 17 April 1944 at Rentina in Agrafa and 18-year-old Leon Sakkis. Serving in the 9th Company of the III/54 Battalion, he fell at the Battle of Karalar (Eleftherio) in Larissa (29 June 1944), while assisting a fallen comrade. In Thessaly, more than any other region, the fate of the Jews was intertwined with their heroic resistance. It was an experience that mitigated the extent of the Holocaust in the region.

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