Holocaust Museum of Greece
Μουσείο Ολοκαυτώματος Ελλάδος
Human rights museum
|Architect|| Heide & von Beckerath|
Ek a Efrat–Kowalsky
The Holocaust Museum of Greece (Greek: Μουσείο Ολοκαυτώματος Ελλάδος), officially the Holocaust Memorial Museum & Educational Center of Greece on Human Rights, is an under-construction museum on The Holocaust in Thessaloniki, Greece. Its construction was proposed in 2016 and is partly funded by the Federal Republic of Germany (€10 million), with support from the Municipality of Thessaloniki and mayor Yiannis Boutaris. The total construction cost is estimated at €25 million ($29.5 million). The foundation stone was placed on 30 January 2018.
Thessaloniki was chosen over Athens due to the degree to which it suffered during the Second World War. Thessaloniki was from the beginning under German occupation, contrary to most of Greece which was occupied by Italy or Bulgaria. Adolf Hitler planned to incorporate the city into the Third Reich as a reprisal for its involvement in the First World War (Salonica Front).
In 1942 the German forces started implementing the Nuremberg Laws in the city and ordered male Jews to register at Eleftherias Square, where they were publicly tortured and humiliated before being forced into labour. A Jewish Ghetto was established near the train station. In 1943 the city's 56,000 Jews were deported, by use of 19 Holocaust trains, to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, where 43,000 – 49,000 of them were killed. The train journey from Thessaloniki to the concentration camps was the longest of all Holocaust trains, and Jews had to buy a ticket.
Between the 15th and early 20th centuries, Thessaloniki was the only city in Europe where Jews were a majority of the population. However, only 2,000 Jews returned after the war and less than 1,000 remain today. Overall, 80,000 Greek Jews, or 85% of the total Jewish population, perished in the Holocaust.
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