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Recovered fragment of a desecrated tombstone honoring a Greek Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2011.109.2

Partial white tombstone recovered from the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki, Greece, desecrated in December 1942 during the German occupation by Greek authorities and collaborators. This marker has a Judeo-Spanish inscription in Rashi script, dedicated to Liaos (Elihau) Mevorah, one of the 513 Greek Jews who were killed in combat from 1940-1941 during the war to resist the invasion of Greece by Germany and Italy. This cemetery was the largest Jewish cemetery in the world, in a city that had one of the longest continuous Jewish communities in existence. By 1940, it had around 400,000-500,000 tombs. On April 6, 1941, Germany and Italy invaded and Greece was divided; Germany controlled Thessaloniki in west Macedonia. In July 1942, most Jewish male residents were taken for forced labor. The Jewish Community paid an enormous ransom to free the men and to prevent the destruction of the cemetery. On December 6, 1942, workers were sent by the Municipality of Thessaloniki to destroy the cemetery. No graves were left undisturbed. The tombstones were destroyed, the graves looted, and the bones of the dead scattered. Tombstones were taken and used as road fill and for construction by the government and local populace. It was the only major Jewish cemetery in Europe to be completely destroyed during the war.

Date
1941 March 11  (commemoration)
1942 December  (use)
Geography
use : Jewish cemetery; Thessalonike (Greece)
recovery : Thessalonike (Greece)
Language
Ladino
Classification
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:22:47
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43726