The book by Mariangela Hadjistamatiou "The songs of the Holocaust of the Greek Jews", was presented at an event co-organized on 29.5.2024, in Athens, by the publishing house Alexandria, KISE and Public, at the event space of Public.

The book is the second stage of the soprano's doctoral thesis and complements the CD "Unknown musical treasures of the Greek Jews" (released by the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki and IKTH). And while the CD offered a global picture of Greek-Jewish music, the book, focused on the songs of the Holocaust, gives a new dimension to the subject of Holocaust studies and reveals to us valuable information about the Greek-Jewish prisoners in the Nazi camps.

In her preface to the book, Maria Farandouri writes: "The bloody songs of the Holocaust of the Greek Jews, which with their publication today are also known to the younger generations, are yet another memory tile of a barbaric period that we must never forget - on the contrary it should always inspire our continuous resistance against those who, relying on oblivion, seek even today to wrap the world with the black veil of Nazism-fascism, which 80 years ago devastated Europe and tarnished the name of man".

The event of the book launch was prefaced by the President of KISE David Saltiel, who emphasized the importance of the artist-researcher's work saying that "through the songs she collected and recorded we discover less recognized aspects of the Holocaust period, as the song texts act as testimonies of both survivors and victims". Mr. Saltiel concluded his speech with the characteristic lyrics of Iacov Levis, which contain many meanings and messages about the Greek-Jewish identity: "I am from Rezy Vardari, the old settlement, Levante Jewish children saw the light there. I shout it and boast that I am a Thessalonian and I will be a genuine and faithful Roman until the end."

Her speech followed Mariandzelas Hadjistamatiou, who talked about her research, searching for information on the melodies and lyrics of the songs, while referring to the richness of the messages they convey.

G.G. of KISE Victor Eliezer in his speech he referred on the one hand to the completeness of the study, on the other hand to the relationship of the language with the national identity of the Jews of Thessaloniki and to the ties with the homeland. "M. Hadjistamatiou is commendable because she not only records the songs of the Jewish tradition in Greece, but interprets them in a way that brings the authors of these songs closer to us," said G.G. of KISE.

The lawyer and musician George Konstantinidis, President of the " Philanthropic Brotherhood of Men of Thessaloniki", praised the methodology of the experienced musician, emphasizing especially the experiential experience of her visit to the death camps, through which she completed her approach to the songs. Mr. Konstantinidis presented the contents of the book and recorded the information that the songs give to the reader. As he said, "these songs, among other things, express the pain, the lamentation, and the terror in the reflection of the chimney of the crematoria, the anxiety for the fate of their families, but also the nostalgia and love for their homeland".

G.G. of religion George Kalantzis underlined the special relationship of the author with the songs of the Holocaust and her work, which is reflected in the way she interprets it, demonstrating a deep bond. Mr. Kalantzis pointed out that the essential contribution of the book lies in the fact that, for the first time, this material is gathered in a work in a way that makes it accessible and understandable. At the same time, the Secretary General of Religions mentioned that the use of the book in the music schools of the country is being studied in order to become an educational tool.

The writer Evangelos Hekimoglou, who as Curator of the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki contributed to the research of M. Hadjistamatiou, examined the work museologically, stating that the songs of the Holocaust, being completely different from the music played by the orchestras of the death camps, constitute a new field of research. Ev. Hekimoglou pointed out that ultimately a museum must present research on music.

The event ended with the soprano M. Hatjistamatiou, who, after thanking the speakers and those who helped her in her work, sang two characteristic songs. One written in Auschwitz and sung by the Greek Jewish prisoners and the iconic "Goodbye candle".