"It is my honour, Mr. Mizan, that I met you and I will be able to talk about you to my children," said Athens' youngest mayor, Kostas Bakoyannis in his moving post about his meeting with 93-year-old Isaak Mizan, a Holocaust survivor from Greece.
Isaak Mizan was captured on March 24th 1944, in Arta, Greece together with his parents, three sisters, and their children. Only he and one of his sisters survived.
Seventy-six years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Greece remembers the victims of the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust, including tens of thousands of Greek Jews who were victim to the horrific brutality.
"Isaac Mizan is 93 years old. He is from Arta and was introduced as a 'graduate of Auschwitz.' Where his two sisters and both parents were killed. In the Holocaust where 60,000 Greek Jews and millions of our fellow human beings were massacred," he posted.
"He was sitting today at the ceremony for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, despite his advanced age, defying the cold and the fear of the coronavirus. As soon as our National Anthem was heard, Mr. Mizan grabbed the arms of the wheelchair and stood up. Upright and imperious."
"He, his stature, his dignity, his faith, his greatness. I shivered. It is my honour, Mr Mizan, to meet you and to be able to talk about you to my children," Bakoyannis concluded.
Greece’s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
“The Holocaust is the most extreme manifestation of evil in human history and the most painful legacy of the twentieth century,” Sakellaropoulou said after she laid a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in Athens.
“The Holocaust concerns all of us, not only the Jewish people,” she added, stressing that the genocide “is forever putting our historical conscience, our moral principles to the test. No one is immune to barbarity."
Στο Άουσβιτς δολοφονήθηκε η ελευθερία, η λογική, η αξιοπρέπεια. Η ίδια η φύση του ανθρώπου. Τιμούμε τη μνήμη των Εβραίων και ιδιαίτερα των συμπατριωτών μας που χάθηκαν στο Ολοκαύτωμα. Η μνήμη γίνεται συνεχής επαγρύπνηση και δράση ενάντια στο Απόλυτο Κακό. #HolocaustRemembranceDay pic.twitter.com/2zQp7omkv3
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) January 27, 2021
On his part, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis honoured the Day with a tweet and a meeting with Moses Elisaf, the first Jewish mayor in the country.
“Freedom, reason and dignity… The very nature of man were murdered at Auschwitz,” he tweeted.
“We honor the memory of Jews and particularly of Greek Jews that lost their lives in the Holocaust,” he said.
“Memory must translate into constant vigilance and action against the Absolute Evil,” he said.