On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, U.S. Ambassador to Greece David D. Pearce laid a wreath during a ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial in Athens. The U.S. Ambassador joined Greek government representatives, municipality officials, Ambassadors and Jewish Community representatives at the February 2 event organized by the Attica Prefecture and the Jewish Community of Athens. (Photo US Embassy in Athens)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated worldwide on January 27 in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On January 27, 1945, the advancing Red Army entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex, liberating more than 7,000 remaining prisoners. Days earlier, the SS had forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to evacuate the camp and embark on the infamous ’Death Marches,’ in which many thousands lost their lives.
The Jewish community in Greece currently amounts to roughly 8,000 people, concentrated mainly in Athens, Thessaloniki (or Salonica), Larissa, Volos, Chalkis, Ioannina, Trikala and Corfu, while very few remain in Kavala and Rhodes.
Greece’s Jewish community lost more than 90% of its Jewish community during World War II. Most Greek jews perished in Auschwitz.