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Greek Authorities Defend Use of Ancient Jewish Tombstones to Reconstruct Church

October 18, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Greek authorities are defending their use of tombstones from the ancient Jewish cemetery at Salonika, which survived destruction by the Nazis, in the reconstruction of St. Demetrius Church.

The director of archaeological services for northern Greece told Jewish leaders that the cemetery had been expropriated by the government and therefore the Jewish community had no rights to the tombstones. He pointed out that the Greek Orthodox religion, unlike Judaism, does not forbid disinterment of the dead.

The director expressed amazement at Jewish protests against the use of the stones in a church. He claimed that some of the stones, those with Greek and Roman inscriptions, had originally been stolen from Christian graves.

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