The Jews of Rhodes lived within the bounds of the walled city, in the eastern section, in a separate, densely populated area with narrow, serpentine, cobbled streets, commonly referred to as “Juderia”. There were tall, stone, palatial homes, but there were also more humble dwellings built with mud-bricks for the large families of poorer people. Very often more than one family lived under the same roof; in such cases the families would have been related. The cortijos, the courtyards between houses, buzzed with news and judeo-Spanish (ladino) songs were heard, keeping alive a centuries-old tradition. Demographic estimates put the population of the Jewish community of Rhodes at between an average of 500 people in the 17th and 18th century and over 2000 people when the community was at its peak in the later 19th and early 20th century.
The Holocaust Memorial that is dedicated to the Jewish martyrs of Rhodes and Cos who were killed in the concentration camps was created in the heart of the «Juderia», the Jewish quarter . The first elected mayor of Rhodes following the integration of the island in the Greek country, Gavriil Haritos, named it the “Jewish martyrs” square. The memorial was a generous donation of Mr. Victor Restis while its unveiling took place during July 2002. It is shaped as a six-sided figure with each side displaying the following text in various languages(Greek-French-Italian-English-Hebrew-Ladino): “Never forget. In eternal memory of the 1604 Jewish martyrs of Rhodes and Cos who were murdered in Nazi death camps”
Jewish Community of Rhodes
Simiou & Dossiadou, Medieval Town, 851 00, Rhodes, GREECE
Tel. +30 2241022364, 2241073039 | FAX +30 2241070964
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