Thessaloniki

Thessalonikiís Jewish Community

The history of Thessaloniki also made it a city of a multicultural profile. One special population group: the Sephardim. In 1492, the year of the discovery of America, the Catholic Kings in Spain decide to expulse the whole Jewish population remaining within the country. The so-called Sephardim can refuge in Greece, and in Thessaloniki form Europeís largest Sephardi community with about 50,000 persons.

Until modern times they speak their old Sephardi, a language related to Spanish. Still in 1913 the Sephardim represent almost fourty percent of Thessalonikiís total population.

But their history comes to a tragic end in World War II, when the German Wehrmacht occupies Thessaloniki and deports almost all Jewish inhabitants to Auschwitz. Only a few members of the Sephardi community survive the desaster.



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