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Obj. ID: 44840
Memorials
  Holocaust memorial in Xanthi, Greece, 2022

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

Who is Commemorated?

526 Jews from Xanthi who were deported and murdered

Description

A big boulder, roughly cubic in shape, sits at the end of some (installed) railroad track within a small park in the center of the town. Steps from the street lead up a shallow bank to a paved path of 60x60 cm granite slabs that runs between two iron rails. The rails are set in beds of small stones purportedly 526 in number, to equal the number of Jews of Xanthi murdered by the Nazis. The two iron train rails symbolize their route to the concentration camp in Treblinka.

A metal menorah is affixed to the front of the boulder, under which are plaques in four languages - Greek, Hebrew, Ladino, and English. The plaques in Greek and Hebrew are on the front and those in Ladino and English on the sides.

Inscriptions

In Greek:

Η ΠΟΛΗ ΤΗΣ ΞΑΝΘΗΣ ΘΥΜΑΤΑΙ ΤΟ
ΟΛΟΚΑΥΤΩΜΑ ΤΩΝ 6.000.000 ΕΒΡΑΙΩΝ
ΚΑΙ ΑΦΙΕΡΩΝΕΙ ΤΟ ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟ ΑΥΤΟ
ΣΤΗ ΜΝΗΜΗ ΤΗΣ ΙΣΡΑΗΛΙΤΙΚΗΣ
ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑΣ ΞΑΝΘΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΩΝ 526
ΜΕΛΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΥ ΕΞΟΝΤΩΘΗΚΑΝ ΚΑΤΑ
ΤΗ ΔΙΑΡΚΕΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΒΟΥΛΓΑΡΙΚΗΣ ΚΑΤΟΧΗΣ
ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΝΑΖΙ ΣΤΟ ΣΤΡΑΤΟΠΕΔΟ
ΤΗΣ ΤΡΕΜΠΛΙΝΚΑ ΤΟΝ ΜΑΡΤΙΟ ΤΟΥ 1943.

In Hebrew:

העירה של קסאנתי נזכרת בשואה
של 6,000,000 היהודים
ומקדישה אנדרטה זו לזכר
הקהילה היהודית של קסאנתי על
526 חביריה שנכחדו בזמן
הכבוש הבולגארי על ידי הנאצים
במחנה ההשמדה של טרבלינקה
במרץ 1943.

In Ladino:

La sivdad de Ksanti se akorda dela
Shoah de 6,000,000 djidyos i dedika
este monumento alam memorya dela
komunita israelita de Ksanti i sus
526 myembros ke fueron todos
eksterminados durante la
okupasyon bulgara por los nazi en
el kampo de eksterminasyon de
Treblinka en marso 1943.

In English:

The City of Xanthi remembers the
Shoah of 6,000,000 Jews, all killed
at the hands of the Nazis, and
dedicates this monument to the
memory of the Jewish Community of
Xanthi and its 526 members who
were all exterminated during the
Bulgarian occupation at the
Treblinka extermination camp in
March 1943.

Commissioned by

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the Municipality of Xanthi, and the Cultural and Development Center of Thrace (PAKETHRA)

Summary and Remarks
Remarks

51 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust memorial in Xanthi | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Public park
{"9":"Any memorial erected or installed in a present-day public park, including Jewish cemeteries or other sites now operated as public space."}
Date
2022
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Greece | Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region | Xanthi (Ξάνθη)
| Eleftherias (Liberty) Square Xanthi, at the intersection of Oktovriou and Mprokoumi Streets
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Textual Content
Languages of inscription
Material / Technique
Stone (granite), metal
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Boulder 164 cm high from base
Granite base 234 x 266 x 33 cm high
Border area of granite slabs an additional 60 x 60 cm
Menorah 90 cm high
Text panels 38 x 30 cm
Train tracks 8 m and 7m long
Height
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Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
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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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Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
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Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
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History/Provenance

On March 4, 1943, the Nazis arrested 526 Jews of Xanthi and other Jews of Bulgarian-occupied Thrace. They were first transported to concentration camps in Skopje, then to Bulgaria, and finally were sent by train to the Treblinka death camp; after 1945 Xanthi had only 6 Jewish survivors. Still, the community resumed functioning until 1958, when it was officially dissolved. The synagogue and the community center were located at the intersection of Hadzistavrou Street (north-south) and Anatolikis Thrakis Street (east-west) in the heart of the city near Eleftherias square. The synagogue was demolished ca. 1995, after which there was an indication of the former Jewish presence within the town and only the ruined cemetery on Xanthis-Diomidias Street on the outskirts. The Holocaust memorial is located close to the former Jewish center.

The monument is one of many other commemorative monuments erected in this and nearby public spaces. 

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Gruber, Samuel. “Greece: A New Holocaust Monument in Xanthi Fills Greece's Modern History in Stone,” Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art and Monuments, September 7, 2022, https://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2022/09/greece-new-holocaust-monument-in-xanthi.html (accessed October 3, 2022)

Messinas, Elias. The Synagogues of Greece: A Study of Synagogues in Macedonia and Thrace (Jacksonville: Bloch Publishing Company in association with Bowman & Cody Academic Publishing, 2012)., https://issuu.com/eliasblue/docs/messinas_synagogues_of_greece_do_no (accessed December 1, 2021)

“Ceremony for the unveiling of the holocaust memorial in Xanthi,” Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece,  February 22, 2022., https://kis.gr/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=974:ceremony-for-the-unveiling-of-the-holocaust-memorial-in-xanthi&catid=12:2009&Itemid=41 (accessed October 3, 2022)

 “Holocaust memorial unveiled in Xanthi,” European Jewish Congress, February 22, 2022., https://eurojewcong.org/news/communities-news/greece/holocaust-memorial-unveiled-in-xanthi_/ (accessed October 3, 2022)
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Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: