The Sad Jewish History of Thessaloniki, Greece



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Jewish history in Thessaloniki, Greece reaches back two thousand years and a major Jewish community existed here until the middle of the Second World War. Sephardic Jews immigrated to the city following their expulsion from Spain and at one time during history, over 44 temples could be found during the height of Judaism in Saloniki.

The Jews of Thessaloniki played an integral part in its economic and culture. And it was
the biggest community destroyed in the Holocaust, losing 97% of its population. Nazis first began sending Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps on March 15, 1943 where 50,000 perished.

It is estimated that only 1,000 Jews survived of which my daughter-in-law’s father was one. Leon managed to survive multiple concentration camps and a site about Leon and his wife, Lola, also a Holocaust survivor can be found at mazliach (com).

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