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The Power of Holiness #184330 02/10/03 10:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 225
traveler Offline OP
OP Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 225
They are Greeks.....

The Jews are rescued by the Bishop

Early in 1944, the Germans occupied Zakynthos (Zante), an island off the western coast of Greece. Almost immediately, the Nazi commander in charge demanded that the mayor of the island, Mr. Kerrari, compile a list of all the Jewish inhabitants so that they could be rounded up and deported. Mayor Kerrari consulted with Bishop Chrysostomos, who suggested that they go to the commander's office together the following day. The next day the German commander again demanded the list. Bishop Chrysostomos replied: "These Jews are not Christians, but they have lived here peacefully for centuries. They have never bothered anyone. They are Greeks, like other Greeks. It would disturb us very much if the were to disappear." The three men argued for some time. Finally the commander said: "No more discussions; just give me the list."

The Bishop turned to him and said: "You want the list?" He took a blank piece of paper, wrote on it: Bishop Chrysostomos, handed it back, and said: "Here, this is your list of Jews on the island of Zakynthos.
The commander looked at the paper and said: "I will report this to my superiors. You may go now but this will not be the end." As soon as they left the commander's office, Chrysostomos and Kerrari urgently spread the word: "Tell all Jews to leave their homes and flee into the hills, where we will hide them." However, after that meeting, the German commander postponed further attempts to round up any Jews.

In October 1944, the Germans withdrew from the island. Zakynthos (Zante) was the only community in Greece with the same number of Jews after the war as at the beginning of the German occupation.

Bishop Chrysostomos was awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1978.

Courtesy of:
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Re: The Power of Holiness #184331 02/10/03 05:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,173
Dear traveler,

May he pray for us all!

B'shem haAv, v'haBen v'Ruach haKodesh, Elohim Echod, Amen!


Re: The Power of Holiness #184332 02/10/03 06:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,237
Andrew J. Rubis Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,237
Dear Traveller,

Thanks for the truly beautiful post! Well spoken, O golden-mouthed bishop! I did not know that particular story.

In general, in that part of the southern Balkans, especially among Greek and Albanian Epirotes, the visitor or sojournor is treated "as if" he were the Lord himself. In Albania during WWII, many of the Jews had arrived after fleeing less hospitable places. The Albanians protected them to the point of risking and losing their own lives. The Nazis (I never blame it on "the Germans") were not amused, but nontheless, and
also were not successful in extracting from the Albanians the locations of these mountain hideouts. Stories of the torture methods used are not appropriate here.

In my wife's mountain village, her grandmother kept one of these refugees. At one point some SS Officer arrived and demanded that the villagers turn over their small arms. He demanded to see the head of the village, who of course was the priest. The priest replied, "We would give them to you, but then what would we fight with?"

Albania was the ONLY occupied country in Europe to liberate herself without direct help from allied forces and the only one not to lose any Jews to the death camps! At the Holocaust memorial in Washington, D.C., there is a whole section dedicated to the "righteous" Albanians.

With love in Christ.

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