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 will host an educational presentation at the Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol recognizing the 75th Anniversary of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Damaskinos’ Letter of Protest Against the Holocaust. This event takes place at 11 am, and is free and open to the public.
While living in Nazi-occupied 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. Also as a result of his letter and actions, over 10,000 Greek Jews found safety and survived the Holocaust.
During World War II, Archbishop Damaskinos stood alone in protesting the Holocaust. Today, the important lessons within this historic document are still vital and relevant.
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie will be one of the featured speakers, as well as Professor Stephen Gaies of the University of Northern Iowa and John C. Ackerman of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago.