Loquis: Destruction and rebirth of the Jewish community of Crete

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Destruction and rebirth of the Jewish community of Crete

  romefriend

Published on:  2019-06-12 22:49:00

  Kosher Life

Seventy-five years ago, in May 1944, the Nazis surrounded the entire Jewish population of Crete and forced them onto a tanker ship called the Tanais. The Nazis planned to bring the Jews to Auschwitz. But on June 9, as the ship approached the port of Piraeus, the commander of a British submarine identified what he thought was a German military ship and ordered the launch of four torpedoes. The Tanais sank and almost all the 300 Jews on board drowned, putting an end to the existence of a community that had lived in Crete for 2,300 years. It was not until 1996 that a group of Greek Jews undertook the reconstruction of the Etz Hayim synagogue. Today there are once again weekly services for members of the small but growing number of Jews who have returned to live in Crete.

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