Jewish Community of Rhodes

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Saturday 18 May 2024

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Workshops Rhodes, 19 July 2023


Wednesday 19 July

10.00 am to 17.30 pm – Workshop on the subject of testimony, memory and history: Remembering Jewish Rhodes.

*Including coffee breaks and light lunch.
Location: International Writers and Translator’s Center of Rhodes (Antipliarhou Laskou 10)

Detailed Program

9.30 Introduction: Aims of the Day

What do we really know about Jewish life in Rhodes and Kos? How is it remembered? And by whom?

The speakers are specialists drawn from the fields of geography, history, and anthropology. Each has research extensively and published on one aspect or other of the day’s theme.

Each talk will be approximately 45-50 minutes duration followed by discussion with participants.

10.00-11.15: Providing a Context: Remembering Jews of the Mediterranean

The talk contextualizes the Jews of Rhodes and Kos by locating them within a wider geography of Jewish communities spread along the Mediterranean basin.

Pierre Sintès is a geographer and Associate Professor at the University of Provence and a researcher attached to the Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’Homme. He researches international migration and geographical mobility, particularly in Greece and the contemporary Balkans. He is the author of the acclaimed Chasing the Past: Geopolitics of Memory on the Margins of Modern Greece (Liverpool University Press, 2019) and with Amael Cattaruzza Géopolitique des Conflits (Breal, 2016).

11.15-11.30 Refreshments break
11.30-13.00 Child survivors remember the Holocaust

In this talk, I explore whether a history of children’s experiences of the Holocaust is possible when it is based on adults’ testimonies.

Pothiti Hantzaroula is associate professor in the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean (Mytilene). She is the author of two books, Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Greece: Memory, Testimony and Subjectivity (Routledge 2020) and Sculpting Subordination: Domestic Workers in Greece, 1900-1950 (Papazisis 2012 [in Greek]).

13.00-14.00 Light lunch
14.00-15.15: The Italian antifascists in Rhodes 1940-1945 and the Jewish Community: the case of Gennaro Tescione

During the Italian occupation of Dodecanese (1912-1945) many soldiers and officers of the Italian army were antifascists. What was the relationship between them and the Greek population, and what was their behaviour towards the Jewish Community?

Dr. Ioannis Krikonis studied sociology, political science and economics at Heidelberg University, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Statistics. He received a second Master’s Degree in Productions Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Bochum. His PhD is on the “Social conflicts in the East Aegean Sea during the Civil War in Greece 1945-49”. He has written two books on this period. He now teaches at a local High School and works as a journalist.

15.15-16.30: Narrating Tragedy/Shaping Nostalgia: Rhodes Survivors’ Testimonies: From Witness to Subject

Immediately after the war, Rhodes/Kos survivors were asked to recount what had befallen them. They were called upon again at the beginning of the 1960s to provide evidence. In each case the focus was on bringing the perpetrators to justice. Twenty-five years after the Eichmann trail they were again called upon, this time to narrate their lives and the tragedy of the Holocaust. This talk explores how these later testimonies have shaped our perception of Jewish Rhodes before, during and after the Holocaust.

Anthony McElligott is emeritus professor of history at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is an acknowledged authority on the history of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. His study of the destruction of the Jewish community of Rhodes, The Last Transport: The Holocaust in the Eastern Mediterranean will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2024.

17.00-17.30 Final session: Testimony, Memory, History: The Jews of Rhodes Before, During and After the Holocaust

Group discussion (ALL)