UNVEILING OF A MEMORIAL COLUMN IN THE CAMPBELL SETTLEMENT
On Sunday, February 2, 2020, the Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism (HARH) of the Municipality of Kalamaria and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki (JCT) held the unveiling of the Memorial Column of the Jewish settlement of Campbell, at the junction of Ethnikis Antistaseos and Aristeidou streets in the Votsis settlement. Also, on the facade of the indoor gymnasium of the General Secretariat for Sports in Aristeidou street, an information plaque was unveiled in the same location as the Synagogue of that time. It should be noted that this was the home for 45 years (1933-1978) of the Admiral Votsis Association.
An event followed at the municipal theatre “Admiral Votsis” of the 4th and 5th High School of Kalamaria (Alexander the Great & Eastern Thrace 9), which included greetings from the Mayor of Kalamaria Mr. Ioannis Dardamanelis, the President of the Central Board of Jewish Community in Greece and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Mr. David Saltiel, and the President of the APS Admiral Votsis, Mr. Athanasios Tsolakos. This was followed by the speeches of Mr. Ananias Tsirambides, Professor Emeritus of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and President of the HARH and Mr. Leo Nar, Dr. of Modern Greek Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and author, representative of the JCTh. The event concluded with a concert of Sephardic songs by the choir of the JCTh.
The event was accompanied by a photo exhibition.
The Jewish settlement of Campbell was founded in 1927, on the eastern side of Thessaloniki, to house Jewish fire victims of the 1917 fire. About 210 families in need (788 people) were settled there and it had shops, a school, a pharmacy and a synagogue housed in a brick chamber with a concrete curved roof.
On the night of 29 June 1931, members of the nationalist (anti-Semitic and anti-communist) organization ‘National Union ‘Hellas” raided and set fire to the settlement, killing Leonidas Pappas and Leon Vidal and injuring many others. The day after the disaster, which was the culmination of the inter-war friction between natives and refugees, Christians and Jews, the Jews who had been burned for the second time were temporarily housed elsewhere, while the area became the property of the state. Refugees settled in the new settlement of “Admiral Votsis”, while after the war, apartment buildings were erected in place of the wooden or brick booths, marking the last phase of reconstruction in the area.