Public Lecture: Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris

Mayor of Thessaloniki to visit Melbourne Holocaust Museum. Mayor Yiannis Boutaris calls the liquidation of Thessaloniki’s Jews the “darkest moment in its history”.

The Mayor of Thessaloniki wore a yellow Star of David at his most recent mayoral swearing in ceremony in recognition of the liquidation of the Jews of Thessaloniki. Before the Holocaust, Thessaloniki was home to 80,000 Jews.

In 1943 under Nazi occupation some 60,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka and Auschwitz, approximately 90% of whom were murdered. A number of Thessaloniki Jews were involved in resistance acts both in the Warsaw uprising and the October 1944 attack and bombing in Auschwitz.

Over 300 Greek Gentiles have been recognised by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among The Nations.

The Mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, will speak at the MHM on and will be joined by Cr Jim Magee, Mayor of Glen Eira and His Excellency Mr Charalampos Dafaranos, Ambassador of Greece.

Dr Donna-Lee Frieze, genocide studies scholar, will introduce the video testimony of Holocaust survivor, Maria Curtis, (formerly known as Rachael Seror) who escaped the ghetto and was hidden by Greeks in Thessaloniki. Curtis attributes her survival to the righteous of Thessaloniki.