Few Jews Left on Island of Corfu, Greece Hold Onto Their History #holocaust #general

Jan Meisels Allen



The Forward has an article about ,”How the Few Jews Left on the  Greek Island of Corfu Hold Onto Their History. Two thousand Jews lived in Corfu before the Holocaust—today, there are 60 left-most murdered during the Holocaust. The United States’ Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington estimates that Greece lost at least 81% of its 60,000-70,000 Jews during the Holocaust, most of them exterminated at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Many of today’s Jews on Corfu are children of survivors.


The Germans occupied Corfu in September 1943. On June 9, 1944 — only four months before the Nazi withdrawal from Greece — all island’s Jewish inhabitants were systematically ordered to meet in the “Kato Platia,” the main square of the old town, before being taken to the old Venetian fortress nearby.


Jews have lived here among the Greek Orthodox Christians for more than 800 years. During the Venetian period, between 1386 and 1797, Romaniote Jews — those who spoke Greek — lived in a ghetto alongside Jews who had been expelled from Spain or Italy. To this day, inhabitants of Corfu refer to the neighborhood as “Evraïki” or “Ovraïki,” which mean Jewish in, respectively, mainstream Greek and the dialect spoken on the island. No rabbis are on the island anymore, one comes in from the Athens for the High Holidays and Passover.


To read the article see:



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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