Meir Gover has written a book, "Thessaloniki Lost Jewish Cemetery," about the Thessaloniki Jewish Cemetery, providing a historical perspective and numerous photographs. He has also compiled a list of 1,200 Jewish names/ 500 headstones/ 31 Synagogues from Thessaloniki in the 16th-17th centuries, from the 300,000-stone Saloniki Jewish Cemetery, destroyed in 1942 by the Greeks.
Data assembly and layout: ©2017 by Meir G. Gover from from various sources including the books "Grand Jews of Thessaloniki 1500-1660" ©1936 by I. Emmanuel (c) 1936 Tel Aviv and "Thessaloniki Jewish Cemetery" ©1932 by Michael Molcho of Thessaloniki.
The Jewish community of Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, was founded more than 2,000 years ago. After the Expulsion from Spain in 1492, a large percentage of Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jews moved to Thessaloniki. During World War II, the Nazis occupied Thessaloniki, confined the Jewish population to a ghetto, and sent 96% of the Jewish population to the Nazi concentration camps in Poland.
March, 1516. Thessaloniki ancient Jewish Cemetery.
This early 16th century headstone of Shmuel Elbehar is similar in content to present-day headstones. He came to Thessaloniki from the town of Bejar. near Madrid.
The headstone is carved on a reused Romaniote-era Jewish headstone and is equipped with candle niches for Yahrzeits.
The headstone reads:
This mark ציון הלום
Photo taken in 2017 by Meir Gover in the Saloniki Archaeological Museum open-garden exhibition.
©2017 Meir G. Gover