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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

Halki Seminary

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    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at

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22 February 2009



This is very sad, a very emotional post for me. Thank you for the information.


As you can see I write about Greeks and things Greek. This story defines very clearly the essence of Greekness. Thanks for commenting.



I'll have to add this book to my library. I have nothing more to add, other than my thanks for this post.


It is salutary that these inmates escaped the gassing. They were sure lucky enough to be rescued in the nick of time.


Most Greek Jews did not survive the camps, however, many were forced to work in the Sonderkomando unit which was responsible for the disposing of bodies in the crematorium. They were thus able to prolong their lives. An uprising of the Greeks in the Sonderkomando in 1944 killed some SS guards and resulted in the death of 451 prisoners. It earned even the admiration of the Germans.

Andy Savva

After reading about the great loss of these greeks who were taken away from their homeland to die because their religion was being Jewish is very sad ,but like their Greek upbringing they where all Spartens and makes me proud .


I am reading this post with tears in my eyes. My name is Joseph and I am named after my grandfather, a Greek Jew who perished in Auschwitz. I take great pride of my heritage and consider myself a Greek-Israeli and a Jew. Beyond the courageous, noble and human acts of Archbishop Damaskinos, The Athens Police Chief, Angelos Evert and other people in powerful positions in Greece, there were ordinary people who risked their lives to protect their fellow Greek Jews. I call them true angels. This is how my father and what was left of his family survived that horrible time. More than all, I am touched by the fact you have posted this here and by the comments made by some good people here. Greece and Greeks will always stay deep in my heart


Shalom Joseph,

Good to hear from a fellow Greek. I have written about the Jews of Greece before:

May the memories of the dead be eternal.


reading this with a heavy heart. Sixty thousand greek-jews out of seventy thousand gone- seems that is ninety percent-that is beyond horrific. It is genocide at ANY number ,but that is grevious.Amazing story of how the police chief and the bishop risked their lives to protect others.

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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