The Jewish Museum of Greece
The idea of building a Jewish Museum of Greece was first conceived in the 1970’s by members of the Jewish Community of Athens, who offered every kind of assistance towards the realisation of this dream. The Museum was first established in 1977 and housed in a small room next to the city’s synagogue. It housed objects salvaged from WW II, whether artefacts, documents and manuscripts of the 19th and 20th centuries, or the jewellery of the Jews of Thrace that had been seized by the Bulgarians in 1943. The latter had been returned to the Greek government after the abdication of the Bulgarian king and the establishment of a communist regime in the countr.
The Museum’s collections
Besides a few objects which Asher Moissis, president of the Jewish Community of Athens, had collected after the war, the core of the initial collection was made up of items that had been returned to Greece by the Bulgarian government, after the establishment of a communist regime in that country. These included personal effects, jewellery, domestic items, synagogual objects and documents, which belonged to the Jews of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and were confiscated after 1941, when the area fell in the Bulgarian zone of occupation. The confiscated items had been meticulously recorded and became the first significant body of artifacts of the collection.