Antisemitic intimidation intensifies in Ioannina

“But even more telling is the fact that despite being outed as financially supporting antisemitism, many companies have continued being advertised on the site of Kaltsis. Apparently companies like the Bank of Epirus, Nitsiakos Poultry, Athletic Accademy of Ioannina and Pindos Poultry do not fear of being associated with antisemitism, through their advertisements. They do not fear that this will hurt their public image. This speaks volumes of how antisemitism is viewed as normal in Greece and is much more worrisome than some badly drawn swastikas, albeit intimidating they might be.”

Abravanel, the Blog

Ioannina is a greek city in the north of Greece with a Jewish community dating centuries and the epicenter of a particular minhag of greek-speaking Jews called Romaniotes, (alongside the bigger Sefardic and Ashkenazi communities worldwide). During the Shoah it suffered a blow which eliminated 90% of the Jewish population with the consequence that today there are more Romaniotes living in New York or Israel than Ioannina.

Although the relationship between Christians and Jews was rather good throughout the centuries, (notwithstanding the ubiquitous populist antisemitic beliefs like the blood libel), during the Holocaust the Christian population was distinctly indifferent to Jewish persecution and participated actively in the looting of the Jewish homes. After the war the Community of Ioannina adjusted to its reduced size and embedded antisemitism and stayed distinctly silent. A resurgence of interest in the history of the Jewish community produced hope but it was met with…

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