Israel Honors Three Greeks who Harbored Jews During the Holocaust

Israeli representatives posthumously gave the Righteous Among the Nations Award to three Greek people who put their lives in danger during the World War II to help Jews escape from the Holocaust.

The ceremony was held in Veria (northern Greece) by the local Municipality. Israeli Ambassador Aryeh Mekel, president of the Israeli Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel and Maurice Magrizos, president of the Israeli Community of Larissa, joined the event.

Attendants heard the testimony of 82-year-old Simon Danieli, who now lives in Israel but traveled to Veria to thank his rescuers’ family for saving him from the Nazis.

Danieli was then, in 1942, 13 years old when his large family had to leave Veria in order to escape from Nazi executions. They moved to Sykies village where Giorgos and Panayiota Lanara offered them food and a hiding place in the forest. Priest Nestoras Karamitsopoulos contributed also in this effort.

German soldiers received information about the Jews and swept over Sykies. Eight more homes housing Jews were burned by the Nazis. When they asked priest Karamitsopoulos to give them further information, he refused and they proceeded to torture him. According to Danieli, they pulled off his beard to punish him for his disobedience.

Having survived, the Danieli family then left for Israel. Mr Danieli later ran his own business but never forgot his old neighborhood or his friends. “I will always love our three heroes,” said Mr Danieli at the award ceremony.


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  • Makos

    Well done. Greek protected Jews during WWII from the Nazis as much as they could. Greeks showed their solidarity to their fellow man in despair according to the values of our culture. Bravo for the Greeks and to the Jews that recognize that.

    • LonGreek

      Yes agreed. But let us be weary of this Golden Dawn movement that are anti-semetic.Jews are not at the moment being attacked in Greece but greek people should monitor this and prevent such happenings as recently happened to a reporter in Greece recently. God bless Israel.

      • kasomoulis

        I am not a supporter of GD… Far from it. However, I have to say my opinion is that they are not against Israel or Jews! The majority seems to be common folks from the security forces ranks that had enough of the government’s and EU’s inaction on the immigration issue. It seems for the last ten years every little problem with law and order in the country has been blamed on the police – thus they have become pariahs and scapegoats on the citizenry protection area. They are vilified by all sides and have not where to turn to for sympathy. Time will show!