DES MOINES, IA – On March 23, the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, St. George Greek Orthodox Parish of Des Moines, and the University of Northern Iowa Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education hosted an educational presentation in the Rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol recognizing the 75th Anniversary of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Damaskinos’ Letter of Protest against the Holocaust.
Among the Speakers at this well-attended event were the Mayor of Des Moines Frank Cownie, Colonel Timothy Glynn of the Iowa National Guard, Dr. Stephen Gaies of the University of Northern Iowa, Director of Media Relations for Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago John Ackerman, Fr. Basil Hickman, and Rabbi Emily Barton.
During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Archbishop Damaskinos stands out as the only worldwide leader to formally protest the Holocaust during World War II. As a result of his letter of protest, Archbishop Damaskinos was called before an SS firing squad. Through his letter and actions, over 10,000 Greek Jews found safety and survived the Holocaust.