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Campbell Settlement Column of Remembrance
Sunday, 2 February 2020

UNVEILING OF THE COLUMN OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE CAMBELL SETTLEMENT

On Sunday, February 2 2020, the Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism (HARH) of the Municipality of Kalamaria and the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki (ICTh) held the unveiling of the Column of Remembrance of the Jewish settlement of Campbell, at the junction of the streets of National Resistance and Aristidou in the settlement of Votsi. Also, on the façade of the closed gymnasium of SG Sport on Aristidou Street, the unveiling of an information sign was held in the same location as the Synagogue of that time. It should be noted that it was hosted for 45 years (1933-1978) by the AP Association of Admiral Votsi.

This was followed by an event at the municipal theatre “Admiral Votsis” of the 4th and 5th Lyceum of Kalamaria (Megalou Alexandrou & Eastern Thrace 9), which included greetings from the Mayor of Kalamaria, Mr. Ioannis Dardamanelis, the President of the Central Israeli Council of Greece and the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, Mr. David Saltiel, and the President of the A.P.S. Admiral Votsi, Mr. Athanasiou Tsolakou. This was followed by the speeches of Mr. Ananias Tsirabides, Emeritus Professor AUTh and President of the HARH and Mr. Leo Nar, Dr. of Modern Greek Literature of AUTh and author, representative of ICTh. The event ended with a concert of Sephardic songs by the choir of ICTh.

The event was framed by a photography exhibition.

Historical data

The Jewish settlement of Campbell was founded in 1927, on the eastern side of Thessaloniki, with the aim of housing Jewish fire fighters of 1917. It was home to about 210 needy families (788 people) and had shops, a school, a pharmacy and a synagogue housed in a stone 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 “Greece”” attacked and set fire to the settlement, murdering Leonidas Papas and Leon Vidal and injuring many others. The day after the disaster, which was the culmination of interwar frictions between indigenous-refugees and Christian-Jews, the second-time fire-ravaged Jews were temporarily housed elsewhere, while the area was taken over by the state. In the new settlement “Admiral Votsi” refugees settled, while post-war were erected apartment buildings in place of wooden or stone chambers, marking the last phase of reconstruction in the area.

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