Greek - Jewish Patrimony

  • Publish Date: 2012-10-23
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Asher Moissis
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When David Ben-Gurion visited Greece in 1950 on one of his first trips as prime minister of the newly established state of Israel, he stayed at the house of Asher Moissis. Moissis (18991975) was a Greek Zionist leader and honorary consul of the State of Israel to Greece at the time. He played a key role during the war in coordinating the passive resistance of the Jews of Athens against the German occupiers. This resistance culminated with the kidnapping of the citys chief rabbi to prevent the entrapment of the citys Jews at the synagogue by the SS. This book presents a collection of articles and speeches by Asher Moissis delivered during or after the German occupation and the Holocaust. They were collected in this book and edited by his son, Raphael Moissis. In them, the reader will find the heartbreaking firsthand reaction and emotions of the community leader as he addresses the surviving Jews of Athens after the liberation of the city and as the extent of the Holocaust gradually becomes apparent; a description of his face-to-face confrontation with the prime minister of the Greek occupation government in 1943 as the deportations in Salonika began, which ultimately led to the latters resignation; and a letter to the editor of a Greek newspaper that he sent from his hideout to protest the publication of an anti-Semitic article during the occupation. Also present are his sworn statements at postwar trials of infamous Nazi criminals, including that of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. The second part of the book presents works by Asher Moissis related to Judaic, Christian, and Greek history and theology. As he sought to highlight common points of reference between the three cultures, he illustrated vividly the lifelong dilemma of the assimilated Greek Jew: his deep love for the country of his birth and its culture, where his ancestors had lived since antiquity, and his resolute dedication to his coreligionists and to the quest of establishing a Jewish homeland. A Greek heart and a Jewish mind coexisted harmoniously and flourished within him, giving rise to his extraordinary life and work.