When Athens was occupied by the Germans in April 1941 between 4000 – 7000 Jews lived in the city. In the agreement with Italy, Athens came under Italian control. Italian Jewish policy was considerably milder than German policy and the Jews could therefore feel relatively safe. Therefore, Jews from parts of Greece under German control fled to Athens. In September 1943, Italy withdrew from the war and former areas controlled by Italy came under German control. This meant that the Jews of Athens risked being imprisoned and deported north to eastern Europe. The Jews understood that the days of relatively safeness was gone. But several Christian leaders managed to help Jews with both palce to hide and the issuance of false documents, stating that the holder was not a Jew. Beside Christian leaders, christian civilians also helped Jews in various ways. The Jews were also spread out in the city and did not live in a certain area or district, which made the registration of the Jews more difficult. As a result, only about 800 Jews were arrested in the round-up carried out by the germans March 24-25, 1944. The majority of the Jews of Athens survived. While waiting for deportation north to Auschwitz, the Jews were imprisoned in Beth Shalom synagogue. On April 2, 1944, the Jews were deported along with about 900 other Jews imprisoned in Chaidari prison to Auschwitz, where they arrived April 11. Most of the Jews were murdered.

Current status: Monument (2019).

Address: Evvoulou, 105 53 Aten.

Get there: Metro to Thissio station.

My comment:

The monument is located in a well-kept little park and consists of a split David star. On the shattered points are Greek communities affected by the Holocaust. On the nearby street Melidoni lies the synagogue Beth Shalom which was used as a temporary prison for Jews imprisoned after round-ups. There is also a monument dedicated to Christians who, at the risk of their own lives, protected and helped Jews in Athens. In western Athens, at the third cemetery, there is a monument dedicated to Greek Jews murdered by the Nazis.

Follow up in books: Gilbert, Martin: The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (1987).