Volos Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Greece
Region
Thessaly
District
Magnesia
Settlement
Volos
Site address
The cemetery was located between Neapoleos Street, Santarossa Street, Tompazi Street, and Stratigou Kallergi Street.
GPS coordinates
39.36071, 22.92791
Perimeter length
Perimeter around 480 metres. The cemetery’s borders are defined according to the chairman of the local community. Further research is required for an exact delineation.
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The former cemetery site is overbuilt, with low-rise private houses situated on the territory.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved on the site. Around 40 tombstones, dating from 1866 to 1918, were brought to the Volos New Jewish cemetery.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

A small Romaniot community existed in Volos as early as the 14th century. In the early 19th century, 35 Jewish families from the Peloponnesus settled there and established a community. The Alliance Israelite Universelle opened a Jewish school in 1864 and a new synagogue was built in 1865. The Jewish population in 1869 was 190. The community became renowned for its hospitality to the many who passed through the port. A new Alliance school was opened in 1888 and operated until 1926. In 1892, R. Moshe Pesach was appointed community rabbi and held the position until his death in 1955. The Jewish population in 1896 stood at about 500 (of a total population of 16,788). In 1908, a Zionist organisation was established and a few others followed in the 1920s. By 1939, there were 14 charitable associations alongside a number of cultural and youth organisations. In 1930, the Jewish population reached a peak of around 2,000. The Jewish population in 1940 was 882. In April 1941, the Italian army entered Volos. On 24th-25th March 1944 the remaining Jews in Volos were sent to Larissa and from there to the death camps. After the war, the community numbered about 700 Jews, some of whom were refugees from other communities. The community was reestablished and 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 the cemetery Romaniot Jewish in Volos was founded in the 14th century.

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