Map
Map
The story of the Holocaust in Corfu is especially unfortunate, not only because it occurred late in the
war. The Germans took over control of the island in 1943, after the fall of Italy, and promulgated antisemitic laws.
Corfu's Mayor Kollas was a known collaborator.
In early June 1944, as the Allies bombed the island to divert attention away from the Normandy landing, the Jews of Corfu were forced out of their homes and imprisoned in the Old Fort. On June 10, 1944, German SS and police with assistance from Wehrmacht units, deported the Corfu Jews. Two hundred of the 2,000 Corfu Jews found sanctuary with Christian families; but 1,800 were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Corfu, a charming island in the Ionian Sea,
had been a home of Jews for over 800 years.
When the Venetians annexed the island in the 14th century, the
Jewish community was enclosed in a ghetto. The Jewish population of
the island was a mix of Romaniotes (Greek speaking), Sephardic (Ladino speaking), and Italian speaking Jews from Apulia and Sicily. The relationship between Jews and Christians on the island had been soured by a notorious "Blood Libel" investigation,
which was conducted in
1891
.
Last Chief Rabbi of Corfu, Rabbi Iakov Nechama
Mayor Kollas
Corfu today
Mayor Kollas
Jewish Museum of Greece

Corfu today
GNTO

Last Chief Rabbi of Corfu, Rabbi Iakov Nechama
Jewish Museum of Greece
Proclamation signed by Mayor Kollas, the Prefect and the Chief of Police of June 9, 1944, proclaiming that the Jews of the island had been rounded-up and that the economy of the island will rightfully revert to the Christian citizens
At Birkenau in July 1944, 435 men who had arrived with that transport chose immediate death rather than joining the Special Detachment (Sonderkommando) that helped the Germans destroy their fellow Jews.
Today, a small community of 80 Jews live on Corfu and they try to maintain a semblance of Jewish life.
Proclamation signed by Mayor Kollas, the Prefect and the Chief of Police of June 9, 1944, proclaiming that the Jews of the island had been rounded-up and that the economy of the island will rightfully revert to the Christian citizens
Jewish Museum of Greece