Holocaust Remembrance Activities in Greece in 2017

Although the Remembrance Day for the Holocaust Victims and Heroes (27th January) is an opportunity for several commemoration ceremonies all over Greece, fortunately this is not the only time that Greeks remember and pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. Here are some of these opportunities for commemoration that took place in Greece in 2017:

  1. January 2017: In the presence of the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, the Ceremony for the Holocaust Remembrance took place in the room of the Senate on Friday 27 January. Members of the Parliament, representatives of institutions and the Ambassador of Israel in Athens were also present. A second ceremony took place in the colonnade of the Parliament, in front of the memorial plate honouring the Jewish members of the Greek Parliament who perished during the Holocaust.
  2. January 2017: On 27 January at the Holocaust Monument Jewish and political leaders, the Head of the Greek Delegation to IHRA, foreign Ambassadors laid wreaths. On 30 January the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder addressed an official Holocaust commemoration ceremony.
  3. January 2017: On Friday 27 January 2017 at the 72nd Primary School of Athens Andreas Kalvos, located in Thissio, the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Mr. Kostas Gavroglou, conducted the unveiling of an honorary plaque in memory of Greek Jewish schoolchildren murdered in concentration camps (source: The Jewish Museum of Greece).
  4. January 2017: The main event for the commemoration in Thessaloniki of the Day of Remembrance of Greek Jews Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust was held on 29 January.  The events were organized by the Region Central Macedonia and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki with the participation of the Municipality.  Wreaths were laid at the Holocaust Monument at Liberty Square by the Consular Corps, Civil and Military Authorities, Greek IHRA representative, and many groups, institutions and individuals.
  5. March 2017: On 5 March, at the Xanthi Jewish Cemetery, recently restored by the Thrace Cultural and Development Center (NGO), a memorial short event was held commemorating the assassination of 550 Jewish Greeks from Xanthi deported for annihilation to Treblinka in March 1943.  A member of the Thessaloniki Consular Corps attended.
  6. March 2017: On Wednesday 15 March 2017 a ceremony for the reception of the IHRA's (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Presidency by Switzerland for the current year was held at the premises of the Jewish Museum of Greece (source : The Jewish Museum of Greece, http://jewishmuseum.gr/en/activities_dynamic/news/item/213.html )
  7. October 2017:  In the framework of the Swiss Chairmanship of IHRA, the Swiss Embassy in Greece, the Municipality of Kavala in northern  Greece and the Greek Delegation to IHRA organised on 21-23 October a 3-day programme of events including an academic panel on the subject: “The fate of the Jews of Bulgarian occupied Macedonia and Thrace” (followed by the screening of a documentary film), a concert with Sephadic and Hebrew songs and a visit to the archaeological site of Philippoi, where the first woman in Europe was baptised by Apostle Paul. 
  8. June & December 2017: At the Council of Europe, Directorate General of Democracy, Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation, Education Department, the 3d-June and 4th-December Meetings of the network of “authentic places of remembrance of the Holocaust and of places of resistance between 1933 and 1945 with an educational and pedagogical dimension” took place, as part of the programme "Passing on the remembrance of the Holocaust and prevention of crimes against humanity".  The purpose of the meetings were to launch the network and iron the working details. The Greek Delegation to IHRA was actively represented in the meetings.


The Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Mr. Kostas Gavroglou, unveils an honorary plaque in memory of Greek Jewish schoolchildren murdered in concentration camps. Credit: Jewish Museum of Greece