INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY EVENT:

“There is Neither Greek Nor Jew”: The Heroic Duo Who Saved an Entire Island From the Holocaust

In honor of Righteous Among the Nations Loukas Karrer and Dimitrios Chrysostomos

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In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and in celebration of these incredible community leaders and the 43rd anniversary of their Righteous Among the Nations designation, don't miss the virtual reception honoring Loukas Karrer and Dimitrios Chrysostomos. During the Greek Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), this educational event will highlight the history of Hellenic-Jewish relations and the importance of strengthening those bonds in facing antisemitism. During the Greek IHRA presidency, recognizing past leaders who confronted antisemitism in its most extreme form will help inspire a new generation of civic and religious leaders to similarly confront antisemitism and other forms of hate.

On the island of Zakynthos off the coast of mainland Greece, 275 Jews lived prior to the outbreak of World War II. Nazi forces arrived in Zakynthos on September 9th, 1943 and demanded a complete list of the island’s Jews from Mayor Loukas Karrer. Unsure of how to proceed, Karrer turned to the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church on the island, Metropolitan Dimitrios Chrysostomos, for assistance. Metropolitan Chrysostomos assured Karrer that he would negotiate with the Nazis and ensure the protection of the Jewish community of Zakynthos.

Hesitating for months, by 1944, the Nazis confronted Mayor Karrer at gunpoint to forfeit the names and locations of Zakynthos’ Jews. At this, Metropolitan Chrysostomos handed the island’s Nazi leadership a list of the island’s Jews with two names on it: Loukas Karrer and Dimitrios Chrysostomos. The two leaders then mobilized the island’s citizens to hide all of the town’s Jewish people in rural villages, allowing them to escape deportation. While more than 80% of Greek Jews were killed during the Holocaust, the entire Jewish community of Zakynthos was saved. Loukas Karrer and Dimitrios Chrysostomos were honored with the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for saving their island’s Jewish community in 1977.

Speakers

Ambassador Chris J. Lazaris

Chair of the Greek IHRA Presidency

US Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Co-chair of the  Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues

H.E. Alexandra Papadopoulou

Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the US

Dan Mariaschin

CEO of B’nai Brith International

Drake G Behrakis

Chair, National Hellenic Society

Dr. Joel Zisenwine

Head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem

Craig Dershowitz

CEO, Artists 4 Israel 

Spinos Nikitas

Deputy Mayor of Zakynthos, Greece

Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos,

Museum Director of Kehila Kedosha Janina

Dr. Ekaterini Malliou

Vice President of Hellenic American Women’s Council

Co-sponsors

Mimica Tsezana Hyman 

Descendant of a saved Jewish community member from Zakynthos

Benjamin Albalas

Chairman of the European March of the Living

Dr. Leon Saltiel

Historian and Member of the Greek IHRA Delegation

Tuesday, January 25  

11:00 AM EST 

6:00 PM Athens

Digital event

The Rescue on the Greek Island of Zakinthos by Righteous Among the Nations

Moses Elisaf

Mayor of Ioannina, Greece

Zach Saar

Deputy Chief of the Israeli Diplomatic Mission to the Hellenic Republic

Sacha Roytman

Chief Executive Officer, Combat Antisemitism Movement

The Story

Robert Singer

Senior Advisor of the Combat Antisemitism Movement, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact

Prof. John Chrysoulakis

Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy in the Greek MFA