The assistance offered by the Church of Greece to the Jews of Thessaloniki to escape the roundup organised by Nazi occupation forces during WWII is the main theme of a recently published book, entitled “The Holocaust in the Balkans” (Epiketro Publishing).
The 670-page book, a collective work by university professors Giorgos Antoniou, Stratos Dardanas, Nikos Zaikos and Nikos Marantzidis, includes essays and conclusions presented at an international conference hosted by the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki.
The first part of the edition focuses on the persecution of the Jews in Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia; the second part refers to the application of the diabolical “Final Solution” in Thessaloniki, while the third section outlines the memory, monuments and the museum presence of the Holocaust in Greece, as well as the timely war reparations issue. The last part of the book views the Jewish Holocaust through international law and justice. ana-mpa
A special reference is made to the solidarity displayed by Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios of Thessaloniki who is quoted as begging the Nazi occupation regime to spare the roughly 48,000 Jews of Thessaloniki -- the largest and most influential Sephardic Jewish community in the world at one point -- and not send them to concentration camps in eastern Europe.