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Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

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 Athens%20Holocaust%20monument%20photo_low_res.jpgHolocaust Memorial

Very near the synagogues, in a small park overlooking the Keramikos archeological site, stands the Holocaust memorial. It was inaugurated in 2010 to honor the memory of 59,000 Greek Jews that were killed by the Nazis during WWII.  Its proximity with the synagogue is symbolic, as this is where the Nazis rounded up the Jews of Athens Erev Pesach 1944, under the guise of distributing Matzot.

19 artists competed for the design of the monument. The proposal of Greek American artist DeAnna Maganias was chosen for its simplicity of design and symbolism.  

It represents a broken Magen David, with each of the broken pieces representing the lost Greek Jewish communities. The names of the communities are engraved in the marble piece pointing in the direction where they once existed.

The central part represents the core of Judaism which is intact and will continue to survive.

Holocaust survivor and famous author Elie Wiesel wrote those lines especially for the Athens memorial, they are engraved on a plque at the entrance of the park in 3 languages:

Pause awhile as you pass by, close your eyes and remember.
Remember the time when here,
or near here, men, women and children- our own fellow creatures- congregated in peace and trust,
only to be arrested, humiliated, deported and murdered in the
Camps that shall forever shame our Civilization.
Because they were Jewish, six million people were denied the right to be free, happy, to hope, to smile, to pray, and finally, the right to live.
Remember them, their anguish and their death. Do not recoil at such horror; do not descend into despair at man's inhumanity to man.
Just remember.
For by remembering we honour their deaths, and we save them from dying again, in oblivion.

How to get there?

From the pedestrian street of Ermou, after Thission, you will see a parc on your right hand before the (stairs and) archeological site, the Holocaust Memorial is inside. From the synagogues, proceed to the end of Melidoni St., the parc will be on your left.  

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