The cruelty suffered by the Jews of Greece at the hands of Germany and Bulgaria during World War II was something for which they were totally unprepared. Greece has had no tradition of violence or hatred and, except for social and religious prejudice, treated Greek-speaking Jews as full citizens. The suffering of Greek Jews continued after the war: the realization of loss of family and friends, not to mention home and property, and the return to Greece on the brink of a civil war. There was also the conflict between Jews who survived in Greece and Jews who accompanied their families into exile, as well as the rightist persecutions of those who fought or hid in the mountains. These factors drove Jews into a sustained emigration that decimated the Jewish population in Greece by some 50 percent over the following decade to about 5,000. This Jewish emigration is a significant aspect of an increased Greek diaspora in the wake of World War II.
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