Home Contact Us
Index Purchase Info
About Site About Us
Appendices Credits
Further Reading Links
Special Features
By Keyword:

Page Number:
Click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 516 
About 60,000 of Greece's 75,000 Jews were deported to their deaths. These Jews from northern Greece were rounded up in March 1944. For a time, Jews in sections of Greece under Italian occupation were protected by the Italian Army. However, the Germans ultimately occupied those areas, too. Most Jews were deported to their deaths in Poland.
Photo: Yad Vashem
The Kovno (Lithuania) Ghetto orphanage was disguised as a children's ward of the ghetto hospital. Orphaned children were among the first targets of the Germans. In October 1941 the Germans sealed the ghetto and murdered 9000 Jews, nearly half of them children. The "Children's Action" of March 27-28, 1944, resulted in the deaths of 1300 Jews.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth
The Holocaust in Greece

The devastation of Greek Jewry is one of the bleakest chapters of the Holocaust. Of the more than 58,000 Jews who were deported from Greece from March 1943 to July 1944, fewer than 2000 returned.

The murder of Greek Jews went through three stages. In March 1943 the Jews of Thrace (pictured) and Macedonia, two Greek regions annexed by Bulgaria, were deported to Treblinka. About 4200 Jews were gassed when they arrived.

In the second stage, Jews living in the German-occupied zones of Greece were isolated in ghettos located in Salonika, and later transported to Auschwitz. Approximately 45,000 Jews were deported during the months of March through August 1943. About 34,000 were gassed immediately and more than 12,000 were selected for forced labor.

The final stage of the murderous campaigns against Greek Jewry took place after the September 1943 surrender of Italy. Deportations from Athens and many smaller mainland towns carried more than 9000 Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz.

Some Greek Jews resisted the Nazi oppressors. Greek prisoners helped blow up crematorium III at Auschwitz, and one man, Albert Errera, escaped after wounding his guards.
Photo: Yad Vashem

 March 15-April 2, 1944: The Germans undertake a sweeping search for Jews on mainland Greece for deportation to Auschwitz.
 March 19, 1944: German control is imposed in Hungary, putting 725,000 more Jews directly into German hands. Sonderkommando Eichmann SS units, charged with purging Hungary of Jews, begin deportations.
 March 19, 1944: Two hundred Jewish doctors and lawyers randomly selected from a telephone directory in Hungary are deported to the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria.
 March 19, 1944: The Majdanek death camp is evacuated as Soviet troops approach. Sick prisoners are transported to Auschwitz and gassed.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 516 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.