Xanthi Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Greece
Region
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
District
Xanthi
Settlement
Xanthi
Site address
The cemetery is located at the crossroads of Xanthis-Magganon Street and Andreas Papandreou Street, behind Saint Pantaleon temple.
GPS coordinates
41.12622, 24.89434
Perimeter length
148 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is surrounded by a masonry and metal grid fence of 1.5 metres height.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is in good condition and under restoration by the Jewish community.
Number of existing gravestones
About 150
Date of oldest tombstone
1910
Date of newest tombstone
1938
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

In the early 20th century, Sephardic Jews from Adrianople, Didimoticho, and Salonika settled in Xanthi and in 1913 established a community. In the early 1920s, the community founded and maintained a Jewish school for girls and boys. A synagogue was built in 1926, at which time there were five social welfare organizations. Zionist activity also began in the 1920s. Zionist organizations and clubs were founded and funds were raised to assist settlement in Palestine. The community was financially stable until the depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, when Xanthi’s acclaimed tobacco industry declined. About half the community then left for other towns, leaving around 130 Jewish families in Xanthi. In the 1930s, immigration to Palestine also began. Consisting of 718 Jews in 1928, the community was reduced to 500 by 1934. In 1940, there were around 600 Jews in Xanthi (of a total population of 26,500). On April 6th, 1940, Germany invaded Greece. On 4th March 1943, all the Jews were arrested and held in a tobacco warehouse. They were transferred to Bulgaria. They were held in Bulgaria for ten days and then, on 19th March, transported to Vienna and to the Treblinka death camp. After the war, in 1945, only 6 Jews remained in Xanthi. By 1960, the last Jewish family had emigrated to Israel.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown,. However, it can be assumed that it emerged in the early 20th century.

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