SYNAGONISTIS: Greek Jews in the National Resistance Exhibition Opens in Washington DC

By on April 5, 2015

An exhibition featuring the stories of Greek Jews who fought against Nazis during World War II, known as “The ones who never wore the yellow star” opened on April 1st in Washington DC. The exhibition is presented by by the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C.

The personal stories of Greek Jews who took part in the Greek Resistance during WWII are presented in the exhibition “SYNAGONISTIS: Greek Jews in the National Resistance,” which runs from April 1st through May 30th at the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

The exhibition, originating from the Jewish Museum of Greece and presented by the Embassy of Greece, aims to honor the contribution of the Greek Jewish fighters to the struggle against the Nazis in occupied Greece, as well as dispute the theory that all Jews succumbed to the Holocaust like “lambs to the slaughter.”

Thorough research that went on for five years resulted in the collection of personal stories of men and women from various Jewish communities of Greece, who took up arms in the dark days of the Occupation and were named “comrades in arms,” the supreme title of honor among Resistance fighters. Photographs, documents, letters, proclamations, resistance newspapers and other relevant material are being presented for the first time. The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalog, a documentary film by David Gavriilidis, as well as a specially designed educational program for schools.

“Synagonistis” is the Greek word for “fellow fighter” and it’s exactly this notion that the exhibition is highlighting: Greek Jews fought side by side with Greek Christians against the same enemy, in defense of the same country. It is a duty to save them from oblivion and this is the goal of this exhibition. “It is also a voice against anti-Semitism and racism,” said Press Counselor Christos Failadis, exhibition manager on the part of the Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Along with the fake IDs given by the Greek authorities to Greek Jews, the official protest by Archbishop Damaskinos against the persecution of Jews and the salvage of the Jewish population of the island of Zakynthos thanks to the heroic actions by Metropolitan Chrysostomos and Mayor Lukas Karrer, “Synagonistis” is another glorious page in the modern history of Greece.

“Synagonistis” is presented in Washington, D.C. by the Embassy of Greece with the generous contribution of the Secretariat General of Communication of Greece and the kind support of the American Hellenic Institute, AHEPA, B’nai B’rith International and the Black Olive Restaurant.

Exhibition venue: Washington Hebrew Congregation
3935 Macomb Street NW, Washington, DC 20016-3741
Exhibition duration: April 1 – May 31, 2015
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


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