The memory of the 300 people who lost their lives after the tragic incident with the sinking of the Tanais ship was commemorated on the afternoon of Sunday 16.6.2024 by the Regional Unit of Chania, the Municipality of Chania and the Synagogue of Chania.

On June 9, 1944, Cretan resistance fighters, mainly from Kerameia, Chania, together with Italian prisoners of war who had refused to join the German Wehrmacht after the Italian capitulation in September 1943, as well as the entire Jewish community of Crete, whose presence dates back to the Hellenistic era, they lost their lives inside the steamship "Tanais", on their deportation journey to the Nazi extermination camps. The ship, which had been seized by the German occupation forces and was one of the last Wehrmacht ships in the Mediterranean, was spotted by a British submarine and subsequently torpedoed. The result of the sinking was the death of all the prisoners on board.

As every year, this year too a religious memorial service was held jointly by the Most Reverend Bishop of Kydonia and Apokoronos Damascenes, Father Loukas Romani of the Holy Church of the Dormition of the Virgin, as well as the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, at the memorial to the victims of Tanais, in Koum Kapi.

"Black anniversary but the memory is the one that illuminates and gives the light of harmony. Memory gives the light of symbiosis and coexistence. If forgetfulness prevails over memory then you realize that hatred will increase. Let me emphasize that Auschwitz was not the beginning of hatred. It was the result of hate speech," said the General Secretary of the Central Jewish Council of Greece, Victor Isaac Eliezer, among others. Video with the statements of the Secretary General KISE here

Monis Halegoa, Vice President of the Jewish Community of Athens, was also present in Chania for the memorial service, who, among other things, stated: "The message of today is that we must not forget, we must remember and honor with only one thought: To don't let it happen again." Video with the statements of the Vice President of IKA here 

The same evening at the Mediterranean Architecture Center - Megalo Arsenali (KAM), the main event took place during which the Deputy Governor of Chania Nikolaos Kalogeris, Deputy Mayor Giannis Giannakakis, G.G. of KISE Victor Eliezer, the educator Stavros Sfakiotakis, and the poet and writer Iosif Ventouras. The event was presented by the President of AMKE Ets Haim Vasiliki Giakoumaki. This was followed by a musical program with the Belgian Shaya Feldman and the premiere of the original composition "A Cretan Kaddish".

Afterwards, the opening of the photo and audio-visual exhibition entitled "Faces from our past: 80 years since the sinking of the Tanais" with material and photos from the victims of the ship took place. The exhibition will be presented at KAM until June 23, 2024.

The aim of the exhibition is to approach the traumatic memory of displacement and loss through a personal look at the victims. The photo exhibition includes a selection of photos from the pre-war Jewish community of Chania and from the victims of the Christian resistance fighters from the village of Kampoi in the Prefecture of Chania. The faces shown in the exhibition are only indicative of the loss that shocked Crete, the exact number of people who were uprooted from their land and met a horrible death in the Aegean waters is not known, while there is not enough information or photographs about the Italian prisoners of war documents. In addition, alongside the exhibition at the Mediterranean Architecture Center, videos with visualized archival material commemorating the sinking of the Tanais ship, directed by Vikis Arvelakis, are shown.

With data from websites & and Facebook of B.I. Eliezer