Jews of Orestiada and Soufli


Life and tragic story of the Jews of Orestiada and Soufli


Jews of Orestiada and Soufli

Orestiada is a comparatively new town, founded in 1923 from refugees from Turkish Thrace. The Jewish community in the town number on 20 families. In spite of its small size, the community established a synagogue. By 1925, this grew to 28 familiies. Relations between the Greeks and the Jews were not good because of commercial competition. Greek notables pressed the authorities to expel the Jews. On 7  August 1925, the local Greek Prefect sent a letter to the Administrator of Macedonia, reporting, among other things that:  "The Jews,

holders of the largest capital, succeeded to control the greatest part of commerce, thus depriving the Greek

bread-winners a significant means of earning a livelihood.".

The town of Soufli in the 19th century became a centre for sericulture. Jews came and settled in the town attracted by this new trade and industry in silk. The silk factories of the Gibre brothers and Pepo-Azarias

were well known.

In 1943 there were 197 Jews living in Orestiada and Soufli. On 5 May 1943 the Germans arrested all of them and deported them to the death camps where they were exterminated.  Only three of them survived.


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    Address Jewish Centre and Committee of Greece. Voulis 36; Athens 10557


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