Published March 16, 2013
THESSALONIKI, Greece – Jewish residents in this northern Greek city have gathered to commemorate the 70th anniversary from the first roundup and deportation of Jews to Nazi extermination camps in World War II.
Several hundred people gathered at the city's Eleftherias (Freedom) Square, where the first batch of Jews were rounded up by the occupying German forces on March 15, 1943.
The crowd held a moment of silence and then marched to the city's old railway station, where the first trains departed for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex. A short ceremony was held at the station and flowers laid on the tracks. Speakers included the city's mayor and Holocaust survivors.
By August 1943, 46,091 Jews had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Of those, 1,950 survived.