Holocaust-Era Assets

RG 84: Greece

State Department and Foreign Affairs Records

Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State (RG 84)


When World War II began the Greeks attempted to retained their neutrality.  But Greece was invaded by Italian forces in late October 1940 and by German forces in April 1941.  This led to King George II going into exile.

Initially the Italians were the primary occupying power until September 1943.  However, the Germans controlled key economic and strategic areas and occupied Macedonia and western Thrace.  After the occupation began German and Italy increased their participation in Greek banks.  The Dresdner Bank, in cooperation with the Banque d'Athens (whose shares had been bought up by Italians and Germans) established the Deutsche-Griechische Finanzierungsgsellschaft which was given control over all of Greece's foreign trade. The Germans proceeded to systematically plunder Greece.  Jewish property holdings would be expropriated and many Greeks would be dispossessed of their property by their Axis occupiers.  In addition the Greek government was forced to pay the full cost of occupation.  During the first winter of occupation, 1941-1942, some 100,000 Greeks died as a result of malnutrition.

During the early stages of German-occupation Jewish assets were frequently seized and beginning in mid-1942, over 10,000 Jew were assigned to forced-labor battalions. Later that year in Salonika, Jews were forced to move into ghettos and subjected to a wide variety of restrictions. In March 1943, the Germans began deporting Jews from Salonika and Thrace.  Within two months 45,000 Jews had been removed from Salonika.  In early October 1943, SS General Jurgen Stroop, the commander in Athens, issued anti-Jewish regulations and several months later deportations of Jews from Athens began. By war's end nearly 60,000 Greek Jews, or over 80 percent of the pre-Final Solution population were exterminated, most having been deported to Auschwitz.

Athens was liberated by British forces in mid-October 1944 and the rest of Greece soon thereafter. (Note 76)

Records of the Athens Legation and Embassy

     General Records 1936-1941, 1943-1955 (Entry 2649A)

          Boxes 1-35

     Classified General (Confidential) Records 1943-1952 (Entry 2650A)
          Boxes 1-46

     Security-Segregated General Records 1943-1955 (Entry 2650B)

          Boxes 47-55  

     Top Secret General Records 1945-1952 (Entry 2651A)

          Boxes 1-2