Descendants of the Greek Jews of Rhodes converged on the island from all quarters on Tuesday for a memorial gathering to commemorate their ancestors who perished in the Holocaust.

The descendants marched from the Holocaust Memorial located in the Medieval Town of Rhodes to the island’s port, where their ancestors were taken 75 years ago before they were transported, initially by ship and then by train, to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The solemn memorial ceremony was held in the presence of David Saltiel, the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, and representatives of the Jewish community of Rhodes, as well as Sam Montiano, one of the few survivors of the Auschwitz camp.

Descendants of the transported Jews came from America, Africa and Europe to pay tribute during the memorial ceremony that took place in the harbor area, before another procession to the Jewish cemetery of Rhodes.

In an address to the assembled crowd, Sam Montiano stated: “I believe we have survived because God has perhaps chosen us as witnesses, for the rest of the world to know what happened, and so humanity will not know such horrors again.”

On July 18, 1944, Nazi Germany issued an order demanding that all male Jews on Rhodes aged 16 and over should present themselves at the island’s Aviation building (which is today’s Rhodes School of Tourism) the next day.

A total of 1,600 Jews from Rhodes were taken to the island’s main harbor, where they boarded three cargo ships before stopping at the neighboring island of Kos, where another fifty Jewish people were taken aboard the ships.

After arriving at the port of Piraeus, the Jews from Rhodes and Kos were taken to a detention camp in Haidari, Athens.


On August 3, 1944, the 1,650 Jews of the idyllic Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos were transported to the Athens train station — where they then set off on their journey to the hell of Auschwitz.

Source: Rodiaki/ AMNA