(JTA) — A Greek Jewish leader is requesting 20 million euros — nearly $22 million — in wartime reparations from Germany to fund the building of a Holocaust memorial.
David Saltiel, president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, said the requested funds were to compensate for Greek Jews being forced to pay for their own forced train deportation to the death camps, Newsweek reported.
Nearly 60,000 Jews were deported from Greece during World War II, and 50,000 of them perished, Saltiel said.
“We think it’s a big opportunity that if the German government decides they want to help, it would be a very good coincidence that this money goes for this purpose,” Saltiel told Newsweek.
Saltiel said that an earlier application in the 1990s for reparations for the compulsory train fares was rejected.