The Community after the Holocaust

The Community after  the Holocaust


The first post-war years were particularly harsh: the survivors encountered readjustment problems, mainly with respect to health care and the coverage of their basic economic needs. Quite a few emigrated to the USA and to Israel. The rest tried to build a new life on the ruins of the Holocaust. Today, half a century after the irrevocable disaster, Thessaloniki numbers no more than 1.200 Jewish souls.

The Community maintains two synagogues, a communal center hosting recreational, religious, literary and artistic events, a primary school, an old-age home, a museum, and a summer youth camp. The Community is still prominent in the financial, social and cultural life of the city. Furthermore, the Community financed on its own the construction and dedication of the "Hellenic House" at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a project for which it was honored with an award by the Academy of Athens. The Municipality of Thessaloniki rewarded the Community for its wide-ranging and long-standing contribution to the city, by dedicating, in 1986, a city square to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Thus, the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki managed to emerge from the horror of the Holocaust, however decimated, and to keep on constituting an important element of the cultural and economic life of the city, setting an example of vitality, tenacity, and intellectual strength.