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Anti-Semitic Measures in Greece


Report No. 13270  
Prior to December 7, 1943

SUBJECT: Anti-semitic measures.

Source: Greek Jew of Salonica, left Athens Dec. 7, 1943.


While Athens was under control of the Italians, the Italians agreed with the Germans that restrictions should be put on Jews, but this was only a written agreement and never put into effect. In fact, they protected the Jews against the Germans. With their departure, things changed for the worse.

On October 3, 943, the Germans passed the first racial law. All Jews in Athens were required to register within the next five days, the registration to take place in the synagogue. Those who did not register within that period were liable to death. Any Christians found aiding Jews were to be put into concentration camps. No Jew was to be allowed to change address without permission. No Jew was to be allowed on the street after 5 p.m. (General circulation is permitted in Athens up to ii p.m.) As a result of these orders, 200 of the 8,000 Jews in Athens did register. 2,000-2,500 are believed to have joined the Antartes, and up to the present at least 500 have escaped to Smyrna.

The Greek police have proved helpful and sympathetic to the Jews, and the Germans have not insisted on enforcement of the new law; nevertheless, the Jews are very much afraid.

Sub-source came to the Consulate in Smyrna to report that David Tiano, "Commercial Attache" at the Consulate in Salonica since 1920, was shot by the Germans. He had been arrested as a hostage, for no particular reason except that he was a Jew. Some three weeks later, while he was under lock and key, some sabotage occurred at the American Farm School. In reprisal, he and 15 others were shot. Somewhat later, and under circumstances not communicated, Emmanuel Cavassou, a secretary of the American Consulate at Salonica, was also shot.


Of the 55,000 Jews formerly living in Salonica, there are now three left. These three have married Orthodox Greeks and embraced that faith.

Of all these Jews, informant (47 members of whose family were deported) knows of only one family that has been heard from. He believes the Germans were attempting a systematic extermination and therefore that some of the stories current about mass killings are undoubtedly true. As reason for believing that extermination was behind the deportation of the Jews from Salonica, he says that among those included were war victims, blind and maimed, some even legless, 150 from the insane asylum, 70 persons over 90, all the orphans and all criminals from the jails.EscapingInformant complains that getting people out of Greece has now become a racket. Calques have been rented, or boats sold for high prices, and when a prospective evacuee arrives at the rendezvous, he waits indefinitely for a boat that never comes.Informant believes captains of British caiques employ agents who tell the customers that they know a captain, etc., etc., and for a certain sum they can arrange to get the customer out. Informant thinks the captain certainly gets a cut of this money.

Baggage is often taken on ahead, or it is said that it will follow by mule or other transportation. Not infrequently, owner never sees his property again. It is believed that this is not accidental.

Informant is by no means the first to complain, but he is the most lucid....Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora