Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zypern
Herausgegeben von Reinhard Stupperich und Heinz A. Richter

Band 30

Moshe Ha-Elion, The Straits of Hell. The chronicle of a Salonikan Jew in the Nazi extermination camps Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Melk, Ebensee

(2005) 120 Pages, 8°, hard cover, ISBN 978-3-447-05976-3, € 21.50, online bestellen

The Jerusalem of the Balkans is today a city of ghosts. Saloniki or Salonika, as Thessaloniki was known its Jewish community, today barely numbers a thousand Jews whereas from 1500 to World War I the Jews constituted the majority of its inhabitants. Moshe Ha-Elyon and his extended family were part of the deportation from Salonika of some 45,000 Jews to Auschwitz where all but a handful were gassed, beaten, or starved to death during the spring of 1943 to the end of the war. This memoir differs from the many memoirs of Greek Jews. Moshe Ha- Elyon portrays the religious and cultural life of his ancestral community as well as the spiritual and mystical research of his father who predicted, prior to his death at the onset of the war, both the persecution of the Jews and the subsequent rise of a Jewish state in its aftermath. It is the moving story of a teenager who suffered in extremis yet lived to transmit to his family in Israel the legacy of a vanished era. A most informative and worthwhile insight into the inner world of Greek Jewry before and during its destruction during World War II.