Larissa New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Greece
Region
Thessaly
District
Larissa
Settlement
Larissa
Site address
The cemetery is adjacent to the Larissa municipal cemetery. The entrance to the cemetery is located at the intersection of Alexandroupoleos Street and Akadimias Street, near the house at 2, Akadimias Street.
GPS coordinates
39.62614, 22.42062
Perimeter length
278 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced with a masonry fence of 1.5 to 2.5 metres height.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The operating Jewish cemetery is in good condition and under the care of the local Jewish community. It seems that some graves from the old cemetery have been reburied here.
Number of existing gravestones
Around 500. The graves are numbered.
Date of oldest tombstone
1866/5626. This gravestone has presumably been taken from another cemetery. One of the tombstones dates from before 1840 (?תק) and was presumably also brought here from another cemetery.
Date of newest tombstone
2017
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
There is an inventory shed on the cemetery site.
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Jews first settled in Larissa in the 5th century.

This small Romaniot community flourished under Ottoman rule (from the late 14th century). In the 16th and 17th centuries, a small Sephardi congregation also existed. From the 17th -19th centuries., a number of emissaries from Eretz Israel visited and became involved in settling community disputes. The Jewish population in 1848 was 1,500 (of a total population of 6,000). In 1857, a severe fire destroyed two synagogues and left 250 Jewish families without means. The Alliance Israelite ran a Jewish school from 1868 to 1874, alongside the existing school for religious studies. The Jewish population in 1880 was around 2,000. The Jewish population dropped to 1,069 in 1907. Zionist organisations were established in the early 20th century, the Alliance Israelite school was reopened, and various cultural movements were founded. In the 1920s, there were 7 synagogues, serving a population of 1,175 by 1940. In spring 1941, bombing and an earthquake forced the inhabitants of Larissa to escape to neighboring villages. Some Jews remained and in March 1944, 235 were arrested by the Germans. 225 Jews were deported to the Auschwitz death camp, only six of whom survived. After the war, survivors returned to Larissa and the community was revived. It grew to be one of the largest in Greece, after Athens and Salonika.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown, but it can be assumed that it emergedat some point between the 17th and 19th centuries.

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