For the first time in the history of modern Greece, a Greek Jew has been elected mayor, local media reported on Monday.
The 64-year-old doctor and university professor, Moses Elisaf, was elected on Sunday to head Ioannina, the capital of the Epirus region in the north-west of the country.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) welcomed the mayor’s election on Monday.
“For the Greek Jewry, the success of Moses Elisaf signals a very important cornerstone for the history of the Jewish presence, both at the city of Ioannina, as well as in Greece.
“Seventy-five years after the deportation and murder of around 2,000 Ioannina Jews, the city’s citizens have sent a loud message against fanaticism and anti-Semitism.
“My fellow citizens have opened a new page in the history of the city,’’ Elisaf said on Greek radio.
He is non-partisan and won a run-off election in the Greek municipal elections.
On March 25, 1944, the Nazis deported the Jews from Ioannina.
Almost all were murdered in the gas chambers of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
Almost all other Greek Jews had the same fate.
Former German President Joachim Gauck visited Ioannina in 2014 and apologised for the atrocities.
He was then received by Elisaf, who in 2014 chaired the small Jewish community of Ioannina.