The Macedonian Press Agency asks all on-line users throughout the world to provide any information they may have on the whereabouts of Alois Brunner. He is the German former SS officer who not only is the perpetrator of the destruction of Thessaloniki's Jewish community -having organized 19, in all, missions to the crematoriums- but he also led 24,000 Jews in France's Drancy concentration camp during World War II.
Starting with one house at the beginning of Ayiou Dimitriou street,
the fire destroyed, with the help of the Vardaris (a strong north wind), 250 acres
of building area, 9,500 houses and most of the city's churches, banks, schools,
printing presses, hotels and shops. It left 72,000 people homeless, two thirds
of whom were Jews. The fire wiped out the traditional, cosmopolitan appearance
of the city but it opened the way for the town-planning miracle of the Hebrard
From "Pages from an autobiography" by the poet Yiorgos Vafopoulos
"On the next day, August 6, the feast of Our Saviour, Thessaloniki made history, yet again. There where once the labyrinthine alleys of the Jewish district had spread out, were now only stones and smouldering ashes. In the other quarter, where the grand shops and hotels tower, tragic ruins reminded one of their former glory. And all these sad remains of a rich big city were swathed in heavy clouds of smoke. Deep in their basements the embers glowed for several months after the fire and, as we discovered later, so great was the force of the fire that all the glassware melted and amidst the debris of the pastry shops one could make out the jars of sweets transformed into a mass of burnt sugar and glass. The tremendous expanse covered by this catastrophe took the name of the Kammena (burnt areas). The whole district had been transmuted into a new Pompeii, where by day teams of excavators labored and by night the bums, criminals and lovers found refuge".
The Hebrard Plan (1917-1921)
Drafted by an international committee headed by the architect-archaeologist Ernest Hebrard and composed of such architects as Aristotelis Zachos and Konstantinos Kitsikis, the plan swept aside the memories of the Orient in favor of a European layout with neo-Byzantine elements.
At the same time, it created a topography adapted to the social, economic and town-planning demands of an industrial city with wide avenues and regular city blocks. Its implementation was referred to round the world as "the greatest achievement of 20th century European urban planning," and it made for a lovely, Greek Thessaloniki which unprincipled post-war reconstruction would eliminate.
By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains images.
Receive our daily Newsletter with all the latest updates on the Greek Travel industry.Subscribe now!