On March 26 & 27, 2022 the Municipalities of Arta and Kastoria honored the memory of the Jewish Communities that perished during the Holocaust with a series of cultural and educative events.
The Municipality and the Music-Literature Association of Arta, “Skoufas”, commemorated the day of the arrest of the Arta Jews on March 26.
The events began with a tour of the locations of Jewish interest guided by Theocharis Vadivoulis, History Researcher of the Jewish Community of Arta.
This was followed by a ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial which included a religious service conducted by the Athens Rabbi Gabriel Negrin.
After the speech of the Mayor of Arta, Christos Tsiroyiannis, the children of the late Isaac Mizan, the last Holocaust Survivor of Arta, one of the thirty Arta Jews who returned from Auschwitz, Anna and Joseph, unveiled the Isaac Mizan Street, which starts from the Jewish Martyrs Square, where the Holocaust Memorial of Arta is located.
After the unveiling of the Street, speeches by officials and ordinary citizens ensued and wreaths were laid at the Holocaust Memorial.
This was followed by the March of Remembrance through the Jewish Quarter towards Kilkis Square, the point where the Nazi occupation forces gathered the arrested Arta Jews, before their deportation to the death camps.
The children of the Music School of Arta sang in Hebrew the song “Le kol ish yesh shem”, “every man has a name”, on the main pedestrian street of the city, just a few meters before the Orfeas cinema, today’s Kronos hotel, where the Nazis rounded up the Arta Jews before they were deported to Auschwitz.
The events were attended by the Metropolitan of Arta, the Deputy Minister of Rural Development, representatives of political parties, the deputy regional governor of Arta, the Mayors of Arta and Ioannina, the Deputy Consul General of Germany in Thessaloniki and representatives of the Jewish Communities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Chalkida.
In Kastoria, the Municipality organized a ceremony on the occasion of the 78 years that have passed since March 24, 1944, when about 1,000 Jews of Kastoria were arrested and imprisoned in order to be led to the Nazi death camps in Poland.
The event included a symbolic march from Omonia Square to the Monument of the Lost Jewish Community. Afterwards, a memorial service was held.
During the ceremony greetings were addressed by the Mayors of Kastoria Yiannis Korentsidis and Ioannina Moses Elisaf, the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece David Saltiel, representatives of the Jewish Communities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Volos and the representative of the Centre for the Study of The Jewish Heritage of Kastoria.
The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths and a performance by the soprano Mariangela Chatzistamatiou about the Holocaust.