Greece’s second largest city is set to open a Holocaust museum, to honor the more than 40,000 Jews from Thessaloniki that lost their lives to Nazi hands.
Some 46,000 Jewish residents were deported from Thessaloniki to camps in World War II. Now, the city once known as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans” has announced plans for a museum located at the railway station where the notorious deportations took place.
“This is the fulfillment of a historic responsibility for Thessaloniki,” said Yiannis Boutaris, mayor of Thessaloniki.
The city already has a memorial statue and a Jewish museum. This venture will focus on the history of the Jews deported from the city, most of who perished at Auschwitz.
The museum will measure nearly 110,000-square-feet and is planned for completion in 2020.
Prior to the war, Thessaloniki had an estimated 50,000-strong Jewish population. Today, only about 1,000 Jews live in the area.