Presentation of the book “On a Saturday – Chronicle of the deportation of the Jews of Ioannina” which has just been published by the Koukkida Publications. Based on the short story “Sabethai Kabilis” by Dimitris Hatzis and focusing first of all on the history of the Romaniote community of Ioannina, the book tells the history and the deportation of this community.
On the occasion of its publication, historian Tasoula Vervenioti, Irène Bonnaud, author of the book, Fotini Banou, who translated part of the text, Dimitris Dimopoulos, head of Koukkida Publications, and Diamanto Matsa discuss the memory of the genocide of the Jews in Greek society, the relationship between literature and history and the way in which the book sheds light on specific aspects of the history of deportation: Kurt Waldheim’s case, the participation of Greek Jews in the Sonderkommando uprising on 7 October 1944, the discovery of the photographs that Albertus Herrera managed to take in the Auschwitz camp.
The book is the text of the theatrical performance “On a Saturday / C’était un samedi” which is presented at KET every Saturday, from February 4 to March 25, 2023. Some of the small sculptures created by Cleo Makri for the performance are illustrated in the book. More information: www.polychorosket.gr/events/cetait-un-samedi
On 25 March 1944, members of the Waffen-SS, regular German soldiers of the 1st Edelweiss Mountain Division and Greek gendarmes forcibly deported the Jews of Ioannina to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On the same days (23, 24, 25 March), Greek Jews were deported from Athens, Chalkida, Kastoria, Arta, Preveza, Larissa, Trikala and Volos. This was preceded by the mass deportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki.
According to the data presented by R. Hilberg, M. Mazower and other historians, the genocide in Greece extinguished more than 85% of the Jewish community, a percentage comparable to that of Poland.
In Shoah historiography, the so-called “age of testimony” is passing: the last witnesses of the displacement and the extermination are disappearing one by one. How can we preserve this memory so that it remains alive? How can we make these voices still be heard?
photo: Apostolis Koutsianikoulis
*The presentation is in the greek language.