Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin laid a cornerstone at the Holocaust Museum to be constructed in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. The two leaders planted an olive tree symbolically to remind of the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki who lost their lives in the German concentration camps during World War II.
“The Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki is a reminder that nothing and no one has been forgotten; neither the criminals nor their crimes. It is a battle of remembrance against oblivion,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in his speech at the foundation ceremony for the building of the Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki.
“We want this Museum to be a permanent reminder to where fascism, antisemitism, racism and violence against anyone who is different can lead,” Tsipras said among others.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, currently in Greece on a three-day official visit, also attended the ceremony and noted that the Holocaust Museum is a place of remembrance.
The scheduled six-story building will be built by 2020, next to the northern city’s old railway station, from which some 55,000 Thessaloniki Jews were forced into wagons for the camps for a journey without return. About 50,000 died there.
“The museum will fulfill an old debt for the city, some 40 percent of whose pre-war population was Jewish,” the Greke prime minister said..
Overall, some 90 percent of Greece’s Jewish population was murdered by Nazi forces during the war.
The cost of the Holocaust Museum is estimated at 22 million euros. Ten millions will be funded by the German state, ten millions by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and two million will come from the Jewish Communities.
Next to archive material, the Museum will also organize seminars so that also young generations will “Never Forget.”
Reuven Rivlin later visited the Holocaust Monument in the city and laid a wreath.