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Obj. ID: 44486
Memorials
  Holocaust Memorial "Menora in Flames 2" in Thessaloniki, Greece, 1997, 2007

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2022

Who is Commemorated?

50,000 Greek Jews of Thessaloniki killed in the Holocaust

Description

The sculptural monument is set on a low wide base made of rectangular blocks of grey marble with white veins.  From a distance, the sculpture seems entirely abstract, but closer observation shows the form of a menorah built of human bodies and flame. The bronze sculpture rises as a roughly square plan vertical “trunk” that then extends much wider in seven branches, as in a menorah, but these branches are sculpted as wavering pointed flames reaching to the sky. In an intermediate area above the “trunk and entwined in the growing flames are the abstracted forms of at least six human figures, their bodies distorted and stretched, and their thin limbs entangled and caught in the flames.

Two plaques affixed to the base of the monument refer to the original installation and its removal and new dedication. The first, written in Greek and English, solely remembers the victims. The second, in Greek, Hebrew, and English, commemorates a moment in contemporary (2006) Greek and Israeli politics.

Inscriptions

On the first plaque in Greek:

ΤΟ ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟ ΑΥΤΟ ΑΦΙΕΡΩΝΕΤΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΛΑΟ
ΣΤΗΝ ΙΕΡΗ ΜΝΗΜΗ ΤΩΝ 50,000 ΕΒΡΑΙΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ
ΠΟΥ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΟΙΞΗ ΤΟΥ 1943 ΞΕΡΙΖΩΘΗΚΑΝ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΗ ΤΟΥΣ
ΚΑΙ ΕΞΟΝΤΩΘΗΚΑΝ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΝΑΖΙ ΚΑΤΑΚΤΗΤΕΣ
ΣΤΟΥΣ ΘΑΛΑΜΟΥΣ ΑΕΡΙΩΝ
ΤΩΝ ΣΤΡΑΤΟΠΕΔΩΝ ΘΑΝΑΤΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΑUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU
ΝΟΕΜΒΡΙΟΣ 1997

TranslationThis monument is dedicated by the Greek people in sacred memory of the 50,000 Greek Jews of Thessaloniki who in the spring of 1943 were deported from their city and were exterminated by the Nazi conquerors in the gas chambers of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. November 1997

On the first plaque in English: 

DEDICATED BY THE GREEK PEOPLE TO THE MEMORY OF
THE 50,000 JEWISH GREEKS OF THESSALONIKI,
DEPORTED FROM THEIR MOTHER CITY
BY THE NAZI OCCUPATION FORCES
IN THE SPRING OF 1943, AND
EXTERMINATED IN THE GAS CHAMBERS OF
THE AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU DEATH CAMPS
NOVEMBER 1997 

On the second plaque the identical inscriptions in Greek, Hebrew and English.

In Greek:

ΕΙΣ ΜΝΗΜΗΝ ΤΩΝ ΕΒΡΑΙΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ, ΘΥΜΑΤΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΟΛΟΚΑΥΤΩΜΑΤΟΣ
ΚΑΡΟΛΟΣ ΠΑΠΟΥΛΙΑΣ, ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ
MOSHE KATSAV, ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΡΑΤΟΥΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΣΡΑΗΛ
ΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΕΥΚΑΙΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΠΡΟΤΗΣ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΚΡΑΤΟΥΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΣΡΑΗΛ
ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ.
16 ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΥ 2006

In Hebrew:

לזכרם של 50.000 יהודי שאלוניקי קורבנות השואה.
קארולוס פפוליאס, נשיא הריפובליקה ההלנית
משה קצב, נשיא מדינת ישראל.
לרגל הביקור הממלכתי הראשון של נשיא מדינת ישראל ביוון.
י''ח שבט תשס''ו - 16 פברואר 2006

In English:

IN MEMORY OF THE 50,000 JEWS FROM THESSALONIKI, VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST
KAROLOS PAPOULIAS, PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
MOSHE KATSAV, PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST STATE VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
TO THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
16th FEBRUARY 2006
18 SHVAT 5766

Commissioned by

Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece (KIS)

Municipality of Thessaloniki

Summary and Remarks
Remarks

36 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust Memorial "Menora in Flames 2" in Thessaloniki | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Date
1997, 2007
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Glid, Nandor (sculptor)
{"638":"12 December 1924 - 31 March 1997, Serbian Jewish sculptor"}
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Greece | Central Macedonia Region | Thessaloniki (Θεσσαλονίκη)
| Greece Freedom Square (Eleftherias Square)
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Textual Content
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Material / Technique
Bronze (sculpture)
Marble (base)
Material Stucture
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Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
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Documented by CJA
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Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
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Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
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Location of Platform
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Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
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Signature

On the base - GN 1997

Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
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Group
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Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

Menorah in Flame 2, sculpted by the Serbian Jewish sculptor Nandor Glid was installed in Thessaloniki in 1997 and then moved to its present location in 2007. It is a variant of his Holocaust memorial Menorah in Flame unveiled in Belgrade in 1990.  

Glid is perhaps best known for his sculpture at the Mauthausen (1957) and Dachau (1965-68) concentration camps. Subsequently, he made several other Holocaust memorials, which embrace a more symbolic language. The one in Thessaloniki was his last. He died in 1997 before it was cast in bronze, and his sons Gabriel and Daniel completed the project.

The monument was originally installed in a public square named in 1996 as the “Square of the Jewish Martyrs of the Holocaust” at the intersection of Alex. Papanastasíou and New Egnatía Streets, a location that was formerly a corner of the Jewish 151st quarter behind the former Hirsch Hospital (now Hippokráteio Hospital). This was done in anticipation of Thessaloniki holding the title of European Cultural Capital in 1997. The city was essentially shamed into remembering its Jewish past and the fate of its thousands of Jewish inhabitants. The project was organized by the Central Board of Jewish communities in Greece (KIS) and on November 23, 1997, Kostís Stefanópoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, dedicated Glid’s sculpture in the square as the first public recognition of the deportation and murder of more than 50,000 Jews – a large segment of the city’s population.

Unfortunately, the monument was often vandalized so in 2005 it was moved to its present and more visible location on Plateia Eleftherias (Freedom Square), facing the waterfront. The new setting has some significance to the suffering of the city’s Jews. On July 11, 1942, the German occupiers of the city held 9,000 Jewish men here and subjected them to a degrading registration process in the blazing heat. Today, most of the large square is a parking lot, but the monument is screened off from cars.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Elfrink, Renna Melina. Breaking the Silence: Memorialization of the Holocaust in Thessaloniki, MA Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam, July 2021., https://www.academia.edu/59899587/Breaking_the_silence_Memorialization_of_the_Holocaust_in_Thessaloniki (accessed January 29, 2023)

Gruber, Samuel D., “Menorah in Flames: Nandor Glid's Holocaust Memorial in Thessaloniki,” Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments, July 6, 2022., https://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2022/07/menorah-in-flames-nandor-glids.html (accessed August 26, 2022)

Molho, Rena and Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Vilma, Jüdische Orte in Thessaloniki – Ein historischer Rundgang (Berlin: Romiosini, 2016)., https://bibliothek.edition-romiosini.de/catalog/view/14/23/209-1#page/1/mode/2up (accessed January 29, 2023)

Subotić, Irina, Nandor Glid (Belgrade: Fondacija Vujičić koleccija, 2012).
Type
Documenter
Samuel D. Gruber | 2022
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2023
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: