New app revives Jewish history of Crete



The remnants of Crete's Etz Hayyim Synagogue. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The Canadian and Israeli embassies in Greece this week launched a new mobile phone application teaching users about the Jewish history of Crete, including the remnants of the Etz Hayyim Synagogue.

“This free tourist application constitutes an important tool, allowing users immediate access to the rich history of the Jewish community of Chania and Crete,” said Julie Crôteau the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Canada in Greece, Haaretz reported.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, developed the app.

The app was launched on the same day the embassies commemorated the destruction of the 2,300-year-old Jewish community of Crete during the Holocaust.

In June 1944, the Nazis boarded the 265 Jews living on the Greek island, along with hundreds of Greek and Italian prisoners of war, on the Tanais ship heading to Auschwitz. But the ship was sunk by a British submarine and all aboard were killed.

By the end of the war, all five synagogues in Crete were destroyed, but Etz Hayyim’s ruins went through renovations beginning in 1996. The synagogue was rededicated in 1999.

Posted on June 16, 2016 .