Abravanel, the Blog

Jewish life and not only in Greece / Εβραϊκή ζωή και όχι μόνο στην Ελλάδα

Posts Tagged ‘Yannena’

Οι Εβραίοι του 15ου Συντάγματος Πεζικού/The Jews of the 15th Infantry Regiment

Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 28/10/2009

Ελληνικά (english translation follows)

H όλη ανάρτηση ξεκίνησε ως περιέργεια – ο Δήμος Καλπακίου προσπαθούσε να βρει περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες για τους νεκρούς στο πεδίο της μάχης του νομού του και 6 από τα 30 ονόματα ανήκαν σε εβραίους – ένα από τα σχόλια στην περυσινή ανάρτηση για την μαζική ελληνοεβραϊκή συμμετοχή σε αυτό που στο σχολείο μαθαίναμε ως Επος του ’40 εκτιμούσε οτι είχα παραθέσει ονόματα στρατιωτών από την βιβλιογραφία, οπότε θεώρησα καλή ευκαιρία να δώσω μια ιστορία πίσω από αυτά τα ονόματα.

war memorial_greek jews

Το μνημείο για τους πεσόντες στο Εβραικό Νεκροταφείο

Ο Αλέκος Ράπτης με ένα εξαιρετικό άρθρο του στον Ηπειρωτικό Αγώνα στις 28 Οκτωβρίου 2005 φρόντισε να επαληθεύσει και να  διηγηθεί τις ιστορίες αυτών των 6 πεσόντων οι οποίοι ήταν οι εβραϊκές απώλειες του 15ου Σύνταγμα Πεζικού με έδρα τα Ιωάννινα και το οποίο πολέμησε στα Σουδενά, στη Γράμπαλα, στο Καλπάκι, στους Νεγράφες, στο Χάνι Δελβινακίου, στους Ποντικάτες και την Κακαβιά – μάλιστα η 7η μεραρχία του έδωσε μερικές από τις σκληρότερες μάχες του πολέμου στις πρώτες 40 ημέρες των μαχών.  Το παρόν αποτελεί ουσιαστικά την αναδημοσίευση της δουλειάς του εξαιρετικού, επαναλαμβάνω, Α.Ράπτη ο οποίος έχει κάνει πολλά για την ιστορία των Ιωαννίνων και στον οποίον απευθύνω τις ευχαριστίες μου, μαζί με την βαθύτατη εκτίμηση μου για την δουλειά της νεοϋορκέζικης κοινότητας με την Μ.Οικονομόπουλος.

Όλοι είχαν γεννηθεί στα Ιωάννινα και τα ονόματα τους και ο τόπος που σκοτώθηκαν ήταν, (σε παρένθεση η ηλικία):

  1. Σέμος Αττάς (31) – λόφο 1216 (Προγκονάτη), 23 χλμ βορειοδυτικά του Αργυρόκαστρου στις 11 Ιανουαρίου 1941
  2. Νταβιντζόν Νεγρίν (28) – κοιλάδα Νέβιτσας, 12 χλμ νοτιοδυτικά από το Τεπελένι στις 14 Φεβρουαρίου 1941
  3. Γεουδά Πιτσιρίλος (25) –  κοιλάδα Νέβιτσας, 12 χλμ νοτιοδυτικά από το Τεπελένι στις 14 Φεβρουαρίου 1941
  4. Μωυσής Σαμπός (24) – πέρασμα Ποντικάτες Κακαβιάς, 10 χλμ από το Δελβινάκι στις 26 Νοεμβρίου 1940
  5. Ουριέλ Νεγρίν (21) – δεκανέας αγνοούμενος κατά την μάχη στη Βισάνη, 6 χλμ βορειοανατολικά από το Δελβινάκι στις 19 Νοεμβρίου 1940
  6. Ραφαήλ Χαχάμ (26) – λόφος Γράμπαλας, 15 χλμ νοτιοδυτικά της Κόνιτσας στις 5 Νοεμβρίου 1940
Yitzak Filosof2

Ο Γιτζάκ Φιλοσώφ στο κέντρο με το μουστάκι κατά την διάρκεια εκπαίδευσης ως αξιωματικός. Μετά τον πόλεμο φυλακίσθηκε λόγω της συμμετοχής του στον ΕΛΑΣ μετά την κατάρρευση του μετώπου

Αντιγράφω εδώ το εκπληκτικό έργο της γιαννιώτικης εβραϊκής κοινότητας στην Νέα Υόρκη, (η Kehila Kedosha Yannena), με εκπρόσωπο την Μάρσια Οικονομόπουλος που μας επιτρέπει να μάθουμε λίγα περισσότερα για αυτούς. Θα αναφερθώ σε δυο περιπτώσεις: η πρώτη αφορά τον πρώτο αλφαβητικά στην λίστα, τον Σέμο Αττάς γιό του Ηλία και που είχε γεννηθεί στα Γιάννενα το 1910. Ο Σέμος Αττάς πέθανε στον λόφο 1216 (Προγκονάτη) που βρίσκεται 23 χιλιόμετρα βορειοδυτικά του Αργυρόκαστρου στις 11 Ιανουαρίου του 1941. Ο πατέρας, η μητέρα του, οι αδερφοί του, οι δύο παντρεμένες αδερφές του θα δολοφονούνταν στο Άουσβιτς. Ολων οι οικογένειες θα δολοφονηθούν στο Αουσβιτς χωρίς επιζώντες – μόνη εξαίρεση  ο αδερφός του Ραφαήλ Χαχάμ, Αντζελος. Αυτός θα επιβίωνε και θα γυρνούσε από τα στρατόπεδα, ενώ ο 61χρονος πατέρας του  Αντζελος, η μητέρα του Ραχήλ, η γυναίκα του και η 11χρονη κόρη του θα χάνονταν μετά την απώλεια του μικρού αδερφού  στο μέτωπο. Χάρη στην κοινότητα της Νέας Υόρκης υπάρχουν λεπτομερείς πληροφορίες και για τους υπόλοιπους – στην αγγλική μετάφραση πιο κάτω υπάρχουν όλες όλες οι πληροφορίες.

Η δεύτερη περίπτωση δεν αφορά έναν από τους πεσόντες αλλά τον συνονόματο τού Ιακώβ Πολίτη Αττάς ο οποίος είχε ακρωτηριασθεί κατά την διάρκεια των μαχών. Και αυτός, μαζί με την χήρα μητέρα του και την υπόλοιπη οικογένεια, συλλαμβάνονται στις 25 Μαρτίου του 1944 και στέλνονται στο Άουσβιτς χωρίς κανένα να καταφέρουν να επιζήσουν. Κανείς τους.

jewish brigade2

Η Εβραϊκή Ταξιαρχία του Βρετανικού Στρατού στην Ελλάδα (προσέξτε την δίγλωσση επιγραφή)

Τους τάφους αυτών των οικογενειών , που μόνο εσείς και εγώ έχουμε μείνει να θυμόμαστε το όνομα τους αφού εξαφανίστηκαν ολοκληρωτικά, βανδάλισαν 5 φορές μέσα στο 2009 «άγνωστοι». Αυτοί οι 6 Εβραίοι του 15ου Συντάγματος, που σκοτώθηκαν υπερασπιζόμενοι την πατρίδα τους, ανήκαν στους 12.898 εβραίους, μεταξύ των οποίων και οι άρρενες και των δυο κλάδων της δικής μου οικογένειας, που συμμετείχαν στις Ένοπλες Δυνάμεις με 513 νεκρούς και 3.743 τραυματίες – ελάχιστοι από αυτούς κατάφεραν να επιζήσουν του Ολοκαυτώματος που ήδη είχε ξεκινήσει στην υπόλοιπη κατεχόμενη Ευρώπη. Μαζί με αυτούς εβραίοι πολλών άλλων εθνικοτήτων όπως ο αρχηγός των βρετανών καταδρομέων και σεφαραδίτης Edmund Myers που οργάνωσαν την ανατίναξη της Γέφυρας του Γοργοποτάμου μαζί με την Αντίσταση ή τα μέλη της Εβραϊκής Ταξιαρχίας στην φωτογραφία δεξιά που συχνά χρησιμοποίησαν ελληνοεβραίους που είχαν πρόσφατα μεταναστεύσει από την Ελλάδα στην Παλαιστίνη. Ιστορίες που έρχονται να προστεθούν στην περυσινή ανάρτηση για τα Συντάγματα Κοέν, την ελληνοεβραϊκή συμμετοχή στον πόλεμο του 1940, την οποία συμβουλεύω θερμά να ξαναδιαβάσετε.

English

This article began out of curiosity – the Municipality of Kalpaki sought more information on fallen soldiers of the area during the italian invasion of Greece of 1940 and 6 out of the 30 names were Jewish. In last years blog post on the massive Jewish participation in the Greek Armed Forces during WW2 one commenter remarked that the few names I had listed, from the bibliography, were something he appreciated so I decided to try and give a name behind them.

war memorial_greek jews

The War Memorial for the fallen soldiers in the Jewish Cemetery

Since Alekos Raptis already did this work, in his excellent article on the newspaper Ipirotikos Agonas on October, 28th 2005, I’m going to republish his article augmented with information by Marcia Ikonomopoulos of the Yiannote Jewish Community of New York, (named Kehila Kedosha Yannena). My thanks go both to A.Raptis for doing so much for the history of Yannena but also to M.Ikonomopoulos for keeping the flame alive – their work is deeply appreciated.

The Participation of Yanniote Jews in the War

Alekos Raptis, The Epirote Struggle: October 28, 2005
Translated by Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos

Research on the events relating to the Greek-Italian War of 1940-1941 [Greece’s  into World War II: translator’s note] has been extensive and has revealed many meaningful and shocking things of which we could speak. There are still many aspects of this conflict that need investigation. One of these that would deserve our attention is the participation of Greek Jews who served their country in the Greek Army. The sacrifice and the blood shed by the Jewish community for their country were heavy. We are all aware of the hero of the conflict on the Albanian Front, Colonel Mordechai Frizis, who was killed in an air attack at Premeti on December 4, 1940.

Yitzak Filosof2

Yitzak Philosof with the moustache in the middle training for an officer. During the Occupation he joined the Resistance.

At the time of World War II, the population of the Jewish Community of Ioannina was about 2,000. They also suffered losses during the Greek-Italian conflict: 6 Yanniote Jews died in battle and one, who had suffered severe injuries leading to amputation, was among those deported on March 25, 1944. To locate their names and other facts regarding their identity, we have engaged in an intense and exhausting research through the few books on this topic. A major source of information was the picture-filled book put out by the Greek Ministry of War, “Battles and Dead of the Greek Military in the Second World war 1940-1945.” There was also the list of names of those who fought on the Albanian front, the injured and those who died, both officers and soldiers, including the reason of their injury and death. These names were cross-referenced in lists provided by the Greek Military and the Director of the Historical Section of the Military. Parallel sources regarding Yanniote Jews were found in Siobotis book “The Romaniote Jews of Ioannina,” which mentioned the interesting testimony of Salvator Bakolas on this subject, along with the book published by the Yanniote Jewish Community in New York, “In Memory of the Jewish Community of Ioannina.”

From the information available up to now, we are about to ascertain that the six dead [Jews] were enlisted in the 15th Infantry Regiment led by Major General Charalambou Katsimitrou, headquartered in Ioannina and responsible for all of Epirus.
The Commandant of the 15th Infantry Regiment was Colonel Vassilis Rigas, assisted by Lieutenant Colonel Kiriazis Yiorgos. There were three infantry battalions in the regiment. All of those who were members of the regiment were enlistees from the same area, a factor that led to friendly relationships between them. In 1935, the term of enlistment was 21 months. From 1938, the first draft was begun and a reservist force was established. By 1939, the reserves included 5 classes of armed reservists. For 19 months preceding the threatened Italian invasion, and up to the 27th of October when the final invasion would be attempted, the Albanian border was guarded in anticipation of an invasion. Regarding the 15th Infantry Regiment, the extent of their involvement is verified by the list of those who fought as part of the 7th Division of the 15th Infantry Regiment. Included in this list are the 6 Yanniote Jews who were among those who put up a harsh resistance to the Italian invasion on the second day of the engagement, and who took part in the continued stubborn resistance throughout the Epirote war theater [Soudena, Grabala, Kalpaki, Negrades, Xani Delvinakiou, Pondikates Kakavia] from October 29th through the end of November. Some of the harshest engagements of this battle were fought by the 7th Division of the 15th Infantry Regiment, which took place during the first 40 days of the war.

Honoring the heroic dead of the Greek-Italian War [1940-1941], let us at least mention the names of those 6 Yanniote Jews who died in battle, breathing their last breaths in defense of their country.

ATTAS, Semos [Shemos] son of Ilias [also called Shemos Bochor Attas; Shemos ben Ilias Attas]
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1910
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Private
Place where he was killed: hill #1216 [Progkonati] found 23 kilometers northwest of Argyrokastro
Date of death: January 11, 1941
Age at time of death: 31

NEGRIN, Davijon son of Samuel [also called Davijon Samuel Negrin; Davijon ben Samuel Negrin]
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1913
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Private
Place where he was killed: at the neck of Nivitsas, plateau of Kourvelesiou, 12 kilometers southwest of Tepeleniou
Date of death: February 14, 1941
Age at time of death: 28

PITSIRILOS, Iousas son of David [also called Jeuda ben David Pitsirilos]
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1916
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Private
Place where he was killed: at the neck of Nivitsas, plateau of Kourvelesiou, 12 kilometers southwest of Tepeleniou
Date of death: February 4, 1941
Age at time of death: 25

SABOS, Moises son of Avraam [also called Moises ben Avraam Shemos]
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1916
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Private
Place where he was killed: Pondikates at the crossing of Kakavias, 10 kilometers from Delvinakiou
Date of death: November 26, 1940
Age at time of death: 24

NEGRIN, Oriel son of Solomon [also called Oriel Solomon Negrin or Oriel ben
Solomon Negrin]
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1919
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Corporal
Reported missing in action at Vissani Pogoniou 6 kilometers northeast of Delvinakiou on November 19, 1940
Age: 21

HAHAM, Raphael son of Angelos [Andzelos] or Joseph ben Andelos Raphael
Place of birth: Ioannina
Year of birth: 1917
Unit: 15th Infantry Regiment
Rank: Private
Place where he was killed: on the hill of Grambalas 15 kilometers southwest of Konitsas
Date of death: November 5, 1940
Age at time of death: 26

We should also mention Nissim ben Iakov Attas [Politis], 28 years old, a private who was severely wounded in the Greek-Italian War. In spite of the fact that he was an amputee due to injuries incurred in battle, he was also arrested by the Germans, along with other Jews from Ioannina on that fateful day, March 25, 1944, and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau from where he never returned.
We are grateful to Alekos Raptis and the “Epirote Struggle” of Ioannina for this article and their continued sensitive coverage of the fate of the Yanniote Jews during the Occupation of Ioannina and the Holocaust. We would like to add the following information, cross-referenced from our research on the demise of the Jewish Community of Ioannina and printed in our memorial book, “In Memory of the Jewish Community of Ioannina.”

Shemos Attas [age 31] was the middle son in a family of merchants taking care of aging parents. His parents, brothers and two married sisters and their families would all perish in the concentration camps.
Davijon ben Samuel Negrin [age 28] was one of nine children of Samuel and Mazalto Negrin. Mazalto was widowed at the time of the Occupation. She and her family [seven surviving children and seven young grandchildren] would all perish in the camps. The family were merchants involved in textiles.
Jeuda ben David Pitsirilos [25] was one of five siblings. His brothers and father were butchers. All would perish in the concentration camps.
Moisis ben Avraam Shemos [24], although born in Ioannina, was from a family with strong ties to Arta.
Oriel Solomon Negrin [21] was the oldest son of Solomon and Rozina Negrin. His father and uncles were established merchants in the city. All would perish in the Holocaust.
Joseph ben Andelos Raphael’s father sold vegetables. Andzelos Raphael was 61 when he and his wife Rachil were led to the gas chambers with their daughterin- law and 11 year old grandchild. They had survived the death of their second son Joseph [age 26] on the Albanian Front. Their oldest son Andzelos [Angelos], a professor, would return from the camps.
As mentioned by Alekos Raptis in his sensitive article, Nissim ben Iakov Attas [Politis] [age 28] represented one of the most senseless losses, and in many ways exemplifies the barbarity of the Germans. An amputee due to injuries incurred in battle, cared for by his widowed mother, a member of a poor family who subsisted on selling of yarn and thread, he was dragged off in the early morning hours of March 25, 1944 and sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz- Birkenau.

Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos
Museum Director, Kehila Kedosha Janina

jewish brigade2

Jewish Brigade of the British Army in Greece, check the bilingual inscription

The graves of these families were vandalized 5 times by «unknown perpetrators». These 6 fallen Jewish Greek Soldiers, who died defending their country, belong to the 12.898 Jewish soldiers, among them the male members of both branches of my family, who fought in the Greek Armed Forces during the invasion of Greece by Italy and then by Germany. Their casualties amounted to 513 dead and 3.743 injured; only a handful managed to survive the Shoah that had already began taking place in the rest of Occupied Europe. Alongside many Jews of different nationalities like sephardic Jew Edmund Myers who lead the British special forces to organize together with the Resistance the destruction of Gorgopotamos Bridge or the Jewish Brigade of the British Army which often employed Jews who had recently immigrated from Greece to Palestine, (photo to your left).

Stories which come to add to the post of last year on the Cohen Regiments, the Jewish participation in WW2 which I warmly advise you to re-read.

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