Thessaloniki: Building Permit for Holocaust Museum Gets Pre-approved
Planning office authorities in Thessaloniki recently approved a pre-permit for the construction of the building that will host the planned Holocaust Museum of Greece.
According to an announcement of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, construction is scheduled to start by the end of 2023. The approval of the pre-permit follows local municipal interventions and the issuance of a presidential decree last November to allow the museum’s creation.
“The Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki will not only strengthen the historic memory connected to the atrocities carried out against Jews at the ghettos and concentration camps, but also upgrade the western area of the city,” Deputy Interior Minister Stavros Kalafatis said when the presidential decree was issued.
The Municipality of Thessaloniki has been a strong supporter of the creation of a Holocaust Museum, particularly as Thessaloniki’s Jewish community was the oldest in Europe and present in the city for 2,000 years.
The museum will be created in an area of 10,000 square meters (granted by the municipality) in western Thessaloniki, near the location of its old train station, where most of the city’s Jewish population was deported from during World War II.
In addition, the municipality plans to create a 100,000 square meter park in the area, which will include part of the route Jews followed before they embarked on the trains that led to the loss of 95 percent of the local Jewish community.
The Holocaust Museum will be an octagonal building, designed by the Makridis Associates Architects office along with Heide & Von Beckerath Architects in Germany and the Ek A Efrat – Kowalsky Architects office in Israel.
The initial plan saw it as a 32-meter-high energy-efficient tower, with a permanent exhibition hall, a temporary exhibition hall, an auditorium for 300 seats, study rooms for lectures and seminars, multipurpose space for events and ceremonies, offices, reception, and a café.
“This museum will commemorate the loss of Jewish communities of Greece but also honor and praise its members’ and their important role throughout so many centuries, especially to Thessaloniki,” said Makridis Associates Architects President Petros Makridis.
The Holocaust Museum is expected to open its doors to the public in 2026.