Annunciation Church Hosts Presentation on 75th Anniversary of Protest Letter Against Holocaust

ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX PARISH OF MILWAUKEE HOST PRESENTATION ON 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARCHBISHOP DAMASKINOS’ LETTER OF PROTEST AGAINST THE HOLOCAUST

PRESENTATION IS FINAL IN A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL SERIES ENTITLED “AN UNTOLD TALE: THE HOLOCAUST IN GREECE”

MILWAUKEE, WI: On Tuesday, March 20, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Parish, the Director of Media Relations for Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago John Ackerman gave a presentation on the legacy of Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens, marking the upcoming 75th Anniversary of his Historic Letter of Protest Against the Holocaust. This was the final presentation in an highly successful educational series entitled "An Untold Tale: The Holocaust in Greece". Father John Ketchum also gave a history of the Annunciation Parish, the only parish designed by reknowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

This was the final presentation in a series of educational presentations being held in Milwaukee throughout January, February and March of 2018 concerning the Holocaust in Greece and the heroic effort by the Greek Orthodox Church and citizens of Greece to shelter and hide Greece's Jewish population from the invading Nazi forces during World War II.

Titled “An Untold Tale: The Holocaust in Greece”, this series was offered thanks to the efforts of the Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee, the Nathan & Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Parish of Wauwatosa, and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Parish of Milwaukee.

An Untold Tale: The Holocaust in Greece

This series is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center, the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, Sts Constantine and Helen Church, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. All programs are FREE and open to the public.

 Sunday, January 14  - 2:00 p.m.   
Location: Jewish Community Center
Film: Cloudy Sunday (Ouzeri Tsitsanis)   (Greece)  (2015)

Greek drama that tells the story of the forbidden love between Estrea, a young Jewish girl, and Giorgos - a Christian and the brother-in-law of the famed composer Vassilis Tsitanis - in 1942 Thessaloniki (Salonika). Both young people are members of the Resistance. The film depicts the destruction of the Sephardic Jewish community of Salonika, whose Jewish population was 50,000 before the war, and 1,900 after.  In Greek with subtitles.   2 hrs. . Suitable for ages 15 to Adult. Note: The film is resplendent with Greek music, mostly composed by Tsitsanis. Winner of 3 Greek Academy Awards.

Instructor: Dr. Amy Shapiro and member of the Greek Orthodox clergy  

Wednesday, January 24  -  7:00 p.m.
Location: Jewish Community Center
Film: Because of That War (B’glal Hamilhamah Hahi)  (Israel)  (1988)

The first Israeli film to deal with the aftereffects of the Holocaust on the second generation in Israel, highlighting two well-known rock musicians (Yehuda Poliker and Ya’acov Gilad  ) and their Holocaust survivor parents. Yehuda’s father was taken from Salonika to Treblinka, and Ya’acov’s mother from Warsaw to Auschwitz – and both parents give testimony. Includes performances of the musicians’ original songs throughout which reflect how the experiences of the parents affected their sons’ outlooks on life. In Hebrew with subtitles.    An affecting 'talking heads' documentary which traces the stories of four Israelis: Yehuda Poliker and Ya'acov Gilad, two rock musicians bound together not only by their music, but also by their common experience as the offspring of survivors of the Nazi extermination camps; and those survivors themselves - Yehuda's father Jacko (from Salonika, taken to Treblinka), and Yaakov's mother Halina (from Warsaw, taken to Auschwitz as a teenager). The film is punctuated by renderings of songs, both live and studio performances, which reflect the traumas of dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust, An affecting 'talking heads' documentary which traces the stories of four Israelis: Yehuda Poliker and Ya'acov Gilad, two rock musicians bound together not only by their music, but also by their common experience as the offspring of survivors of the Nazi extermination camps; and those survivors themselves - Yehuda's father Jacko (from Salonika, taken to Treblinka), and Yaakov's mother Halina (from Warsaw, taken to Auschwitz as a teenager). The film is punctuated by renderings of songs, both live and studio performances, which reflect the traumas of dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust, 1 hr.30 min.  Suitable for ages 15 to Adult   Note: In 2014, Poliker received the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix, one of Greece’s highest awards for achievement in the arts.

Instructor: Keren Weisshaus (Israeli emissary for Milwaukee)

Wednesday, February 7  - 7:00 p.m.   
Location:  Sts Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church
Film: Cloudy Sunday (Ouzeri Tsitsanis)   (Greece)  (2015)

Greek drama that tells the story of the forbidden love between Estrea, a young Jewish girl, and Giorgos - a Christian and the brother-in-law of the famed composer Vassilis Tsitanis - in 1942 Thessaloniki (Salonika). Both young people are members of the Resistance. The film depicts the destruction of the Sephardic Jewish community of Salonika, whose Jewish population was 50,000 before the war, and 1,900 after.  In Greek with subtitles.   2 hrs. . Suitable for ages 15 to Adult. Note: The film is resplendent with Greek music, mostly composed by Tsitsanis. Winner of 3 Greek Academy Awards.

Instructors:  Dr. Shay Pilnik and a member of the Greek Orthodox clergy  

 

Sunday, February 18  - 2:00 p.m.   
Location:  Jewish Community Center
Performance by Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, cantor of Congregation in Chicago and child of Greek Holocaust survivors.

One of the world’s leading interpreters of Jewish music, Cantor Mizrahi  is the Hazzan of the Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. He will present a concert of Jewish, Greek and Mediterranean music and will speak about his background as the son of Greek Holocaust survivor parents. Both of Cantor Mizrahi’s parents were from Thessaloniki (Salonika), met after the war, and married. His father was one of the last sonderkommandos in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

 Born in Greece, Cantor Mizrahi credits the man he is today to being the son of these remarkable individuals. He has performed cantorial music, opera, and jazz in recitals and symphony concerts around the world; has numerous recordings; and has appeared in a number of Jewish documentary films.

Wednesday, February 21  -  7:00 p.m.
Location: Jewish Community Center
Film and Book Discussion:

Film: In the Shadow of the Acropolis (2008)  Learn the compelling story of an ancient Jewish culture – the Romaniotes – that was almost totally annihilated during the Holocaust. Told through the eyes of one family that survived the Holocaust in Greece. 30 minutes. Suitable for ages 13 to Adult

followed by a Book Discussion: Miracle at Zakynthos: The Only Greek Jewish Community Saved in Its Entirety from Annihilation (2014)

Almost ninety percent of Greek Jews perished during the Holocaust under the Nazi occupation. An incredible exception was the Jewish community of Zathynos, a remote mountain village, where Greek Christians courageously saved their entire Jewish community.

Instructor: Dr. Shay Pilnik

Tuesday, March 20th  - 7:00 p.m.   
Location:  Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Lecture by a representative of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago celebrating the Legacy of Archbishop Theophilos Damaskinos, recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations”

This special lecture marks the 75th anniversary of the historic letter written by Archbishop Damaskinos protesting the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews in Greece. Archbishop Damaskinos was the archbishop of Greece during World War II and was a leader against the German policy of annihilating the Jews of Greece. He wrote letters against deportation policies; helped facilitate the creation of false identity papers; and encouraged clergy in Greece to hide, aid and save Greek Jews.

Instructor: Representative of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

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