This Day in Jewish History Greek Jewish Community Withers Following Fire

A fire that probably started in French army barracks in 1917 delivers death blow to Thessaloniki's prosperous Jewish community.

On August 18, 1917, a fire began in Thessaloniki, Greece, that destroyed some two-thirds of the city, including most of its Jewish quarter. As a consequence of the fire, which left some 70,000 people homeless, it has been estimated that close to half of the city’s Jewish population left Thessaloniki.