Object Alone

Obj. ID: 5505  Monument to Greek Jewish Heroes and Martyrs of the Holocaust in Volos, Greece, 1998

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 2003

Who is Commemorated?

Jews of Volos and all Jewish victims of the Holocaust

Description

The monument is set in a grassy tree-lined park on the site of the Volos Synagogue destroyed by the Germans, and then after rebuilding destroyed in an earthquake. The freestanding monument is built on a stone platform, raised three steps above ground level. The top of the platform is paved with light-colored square stone slabs laid in a diamond pattern.

The large vertical rectangular black stone block is set on the center of the platform. It may be a single block with an inscribed light stone band applied near the base, or it may be built of stacked parts, with a short black stone at the base, the even shorter but slightly wider inscribed stone above, and then the much taller main monument block set on this. On the inscribed white stone is written in large numbers “1941-1945”, On the three sides of the stone is inscribed in large Hebrew letters the words to the prayer Shema.

On the black stone above dates and Shema are relief carvings and a memorial inscription in Greek. The style of the carving is cubistic and expressionist, as if figures are trapped in the stone and dep angular cuts reveal parts of these forms.

On the side with the dates 1941-1945, is inscribed a menorah and above this is reveal part of a figure, the clearest part a raised left arm and clenched fist, bent back over a head.

On the side where it is written “Shema Yisrael” [Hear, O Israel!] is shown in deep relief a human face with a hand raised to cover one side.

On the side where it is written “Adonai Eloheinu” [Adonai is our God] is carved a memorial inscription and the names of the sponsors, and above this in low relief a face of a child.

On the side where it is written “Adoani Ehad” [Adonai is One] is carved another figure with the right arm raised and fingers outstretched. This relief also shows the head and upper torso.

Inscriptions

The inscription in Hebrew cites the prayer Shema and reads:

שמע ישראל
יהוה אלהינו
יהוה אחד

TranslationHear, O Israel! Adonai is our God! Adonai is One!

The inscription in Greek on the stone reads:

ΤΟ ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟ ΑΝΕΓΕΡΘΗΚΕ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ  ΔΗΜΟ ΒΟΛΟΥ
ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΙΣΔΡΑΗΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑ  ΒΟΛΟΥ
ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΤΙΜΗΣΗ ΤΗ ΜΝΗΜΗ ΚΑΙ ΝΑ ΘΥΜΙΖΕΙ
ΤΗΝ  ΕΞΟΝΤΩΣΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΟΥΣ ΝΑΖΙ
ΤΩΝ 155 ΒΟΛΙΟΤΩΝ ΠΟΥ  ΣΥΓΚΑΤΑΛΕΓΟΝΤΑΙ
ΣΤΟΥΣ 66.155 ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ ΚΑΙ ΣΤΟΥΣ
6,097,000 ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΥΡΩΠΗΣ
ΑΘΩΑ ΘΥΜΑΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΙΤΛΕΡΙΚΟΥ  ΔΙΩΓΜΟΥ

Translation: The monument was erected by the municipality of Volos / And the Israelitic community of Volos / To honor the memory and remind / The extraction by the Nazi Germans / Of 155 Jews of Volos who are included / To the 66,155 Greek Jews and to  the / 6,097,000 Jews of Europe / Innocent victims of Hitler’s persecution

Separate plaques are attached to the podium; one is inscribed in Greek, and the other in English:

In Greek:

ΣΤΙΝ ΜΝΗΜΗ ΤΩΝ ΒΟΛΙΩΤΩΝ
ΕΒΡΑΙΩΝ ΘΥΜΑΤΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΝΑΖΙΣΜΟΥ

In English:

In memory of the Volos
Jews victims of Nazism

Commissioned by

Victor Politis in cooperation with the Municipality of Volos

Documenter
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Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2021
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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72 image(s)

Name / Title
Holocaust memorial in Volos | Unknown
Monument Setting
Object Detail
Completion Date
1998
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Location
Greece | Thessaly Region | Volos (Βόλος)
| Riga Fereou Square at Dimitriodos 1 (intersection with Xenofondos)
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Iconographical Subject
Textual Content
Languages of inscription
Type of grave
Unknown
Material / Technique
Stone (black marble, white limestone)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Sculpted block at base is 1 m square
Monument is 2.57 high from platform (carved block is 2 m high)
Plaques are 52 cm long x 14 cm high
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
0
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
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
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
History

In 1940, Volos was occupied by Italian troops. After the surrender of Italy, in 1943, the Germans occupied Volos. On 25. March 1944, the day of the Greek independence, the Germans planned to deport the approximately 1000 Jewish residents of Volos. Due to the foresight, planning, and action of Rabbi Moshe Pessah, Archbishop Ioakim, and local partisans, 75% of the Jews were saved. The 130 others were deported to their deaths at Auschwitz.

In the 1908s Volos-born Victor Politis. then leaving in New York City, proposed to build and sponsor a Holocaust memorial in Volos. Plans were developed in cooperation with the Municipality of Volos.

The dedication of the monument on September 27, 1988, was well attended. Notable speakers included Marcel Solomon, general secretary of the Volos Jewish Community, Dimitrios Pitrioris, Volos Mayor, Ron Kouriel, Israel Ambassador to Greece, Moshe Constantinis, president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece, Panos Skotiniotis, Prefect of Magnisias Province, and the monument’s sponsor, Volos-born and current New York City resident, Victor Politis. Special messages of solidarity and support were received and read from the Archbishop of Greece, and the Greek Minister of Culture, Evangelos Venizelos. 

Another memorial to the 130 Volos Jews who died in concentration camps is located at the Jewish cemetery at the intersection of Taxiarhon and Paraskevopoulos streets.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Frezis, Raphael, The Jewish Community of Volos: A Brief Historical Overview, 3rd edition by Marsel Solomon, Louiza Kone, Evi Kouvli and Efi Abouaf, translated by Anita Cooper-Tsamakis.  (Volos: Jewish Community of Volos, 2018).

Frezis, Raphael. "Holocaust Monument in Volos." Kol haKEHILA, The Newsletter of the Jewish monuments of Greece, December 1999., https://www.yvelia.com/kolhakehila/archive/sites/volos/volos_hol_mon_002.htm (accessed December 21, 2021)

“History,” The Jewish Community of Volos, https://www.jcvolos.gr/indexeg.php?cat=67133 (accessed December 21, 2021)

Kone, Loise and Roula Kone, Jewish-Greek Communities: little Beloved Homes (Volos: The Ladies of the Jewish Community of Volos, 2006)
Type
The following information on this monument will be completed: