Μνημείο Εβραϊκού Ολοκαυτώματος Κερκύρα
Translation: Jewish Holocaust Memorial of Corfu
Who is Commemorated?
Jewish Holocaust Victims from Corfu
The monument is a free-standing bronze sculpture of a family, set on a large rough stone (marble?) base in the middle of a small public square in the north of the old town of Kerkyra, near the port, where the center of the Jewish community of the island used to be before the war. Today, the monument is surrounded by cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating that encroaches on the space of the memorial.
The sculpted group consists of four nude figures: a woman cradling an infant, a man with outspread hands, and a young boy at his side. The young boy is leaning his head and arm against the man's hip, hiding his face from the viewer.
On the monument's base are two stone plaques, bearing inscriptions in Greek and English.
ΠOTE ΠIA KANENA ΛΑΟ
ΣTH MNHMH TΩN 2000 KEPKYPAIΩN EBPAIΩNΣ
AΛEΛΦΩΝ MAΣ ΠOY EΞONTΩΘHKAN ΣTA
NAZIΣTIKA ΣTPATOΠEΔA TOY AOYΣBITΣ KAI
MΠIPKENAOY TO 1944
O ΔHMOΣ KEPKYPAIΩN
KAI H IΣPAHΛITIKH KOINOTHTA
TO MNH EIO TOYTO ANHΓEIPAN
Never Again for any Nation
Dedicated to the memory of the
2000 Jews of Corfu who perished
in the nazi concentration camps of
Auschwitz and Birkenau in June 1944
By the Municipality
and the Jewish Community of Corfu
The Municipality of Corfu and the Jewish Community of Corfu
On the base of the bronze statue
Shortly before World War II about 2,000 Jews were living on Corfu. During the Italian occupation (1941–43) there was little change in the status of the island’s Jews. This changed when the Germans occupied the island on September 27, 1943.
On June 9, 1944, all the Jewish families gathered on Army Square and then taken to the Old Fortress. They were forced to surrender all their valuables and keys to their houses, which were immediately plundered. Approximately 200 Jews, mostly women, managed to avoid the German roundup and escaped to villages in the island’s interior.
On 11 June, 300 Jewish women were transported on a towed barge to Igoumenitsa and then on trucks to Athens. On 14 June, all Jewish men, with the remaining women, were sent on barges to Patras, and then to Piraeus, and then to the Haidari concentration camp where after a few days they were crammed onto cattle cars, without water and little food. After a horrific 9-day journey, 1,800 members of the community reached the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Immediately 1,600 were sent to the gas chambers and the crematoria. Only 200 were selected for work, and very few of them survived until the end of the war.
A small community of survivors was reconstituted after the war, centered around the surviving but ruined 17th-century Scuola Greca synagogue. The synagogue has since been restored and this plaque was installed in 2002.
“War, German occupation and the Holocaust,” in digital exhibition At the Crossroads: The Jewish Community of Corfu. Jewish Museum of Greece, 2000., https://www.jewishmuseum.gr/en/historical-background-war-german-occupation-and-the-holocaust/ (accessed October 24, 2023)