Full Rights Restored to Jews in Greece; Jewish Councils Revived in Athens and Salonica

Jewish property confiscated in Greece during the German occupation will be returned to the former owners, it was announced here today by Alex Svolos, Greek Minister of Finance.

The official Gazette today publishes a decree issued by the Greek Government restoring full rights to Jews in the liberated parts of Greece. The decree also provides for the establishment of Jewish communal councils in Athens and in Salonica, for the purpose of organizing relief for needy Jews and of reviving Jewish communal life.

Six Jews, selected by Jewish refugees from Greece and by Jewish members of the Greek armed forces in the Middle East, are to return immediately to Athens to “join in laying the foundations there for the restoration of Hellenic Jewry in cooperation with the Greek Government,” the decree says. The mandate of the Jewish Councils in the two Greek cities is limited to six months, after which the Jews in Greece will elect their own representatives.

An 18-year-old Jewish girl who led a Greek guerrilla unit in the long battle against the Germans told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent how she became a member of the famed Andartes on the Island of Euobea, which, the Allied command announced today, has been freed of the last Germans.

The girl is Sarika Y (her surname can still not be disclosed) from the city of Chalkis. Wearing a pair of British soldier boots and a uniform made from an American blanket, she leads her company around the island every day fulfilling the tasks to which the unit is assigned. Sarika is a short, stocky girl, with dark hair and blue eyes. She runs like a man and can shoot a walnut off a tree at 200 yards.

After the surrender of Italy last year, Sarika took to the mountains to escape the Germans. From there she went back to Chalkis periodically to gather information for the resistance movement. When this became too dangerous, she was assigned to the Andartes headquarters on the island, and when a women’s company was organized she was selected as its captain. Of her large family, which consisted of sisters, brothers-in-law, uncles and aunts, only she and her mother remain. The others were murdered by the Germans.

NEXT STORY