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Greece and Turkey Object to Ladinodialect of Sephardic Jews

December 23, 1928
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Venizelos Advises Salonica Community to Adopt Hebrew or Greek (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The Jewish community of Salonica, now incorporated into Greece, was urged by Prime Minister Venizelos, to abandon Ladino, its Espanolic dialect which the descendants of the Spanish exiles brought with them and handed down to the present day.

In the course of an interview with a delegation representing the Salonica Jewish community, Venizelos expressed his wish that Salonica Jews renounce Espanolic in favor of Greek. “I wouldn’t mind if the Salonica Jews would choose Hebrew as their tongue, but Espanolic lacks tradition.”

When the delegation drew to the attention of the Prime Minister that Salonica Jews are facing conditions which compel them to emigrate, Venizelos lauded the contribution of the Salonica Jewish community. “They are an element of progress and civilization, valuable for the future of the country. I regret to hear of their emigration and will seek measures to enable them to remain in the country,” he declared.

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