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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