Athens (Jan. 16)
Once again Greek Jews are paying a heavy price for being Jews. Hounded and persecuted by the Nazis for almost four years, 5,000 Greek Jews who managed to save their lives are again being hunted down, arrested, mistreated and in some cases, deported.
In November 1943, the SS leader, Gen. Von Stroop, applied the Nazi racial laws to Greece. The older Jews hid in the homes of Athenian Greeks. Those young Jews who had not already gone to the mountains skipped out with Chief Rabbi Barzilai to free Greece, and joined the ELAS guerrilla forces in the resistance movement against the Germans.
After the German withdrawal from Greece last October, those young men were granted leave by the ELAS and returned to Athens to find what was left of their families, and to attempt to reorganize their lives. The older people came out of hiding to find their homes plundered by Nazis and their Greek collaborators, and all their business enterprises in the hands of Quislings and their friends. At the time the trouble broke out early last month, Greek Jews had been pressing the Greek authorities to take the necessary legal measures for the return of their properties to them.
Now that the “white terror” is on, these Quislings are using a made-to-order pretext in an attempt to hold down their illegal gains, and they are condemning all Jews as EAM sympathizers or as ELAS “conspirators.”
Even those young Greek Jews who had belonged to the mountain units of ELAS, and thus could not have taken any part in the Athens battle, are being denounced by these Greek Quislings and fascists, arrested and deported to Africa.
Older members of the Jewish community here who had not been troubled are now without any protection, support or aid. The International Red Cross has helped a few of the poorest with some food and old clothing. It is estimated that there are 1,250 families here in a serious state, unable to get shelter, clothing or food.