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Celebrating the Preservation of Hellenism on Greek Independence Day

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The Greek War For Independence of 1821 that we celebrate today on March 25th was the first war of independence of that era to take place under non-Christian rule. It required an extraordinary focus on the preservation of Hellenism as well as long-term planning and professional-level execution.

The Washington Oxi Day Foundation on this 193rd commemoration of the beginning of the Greek War of Independence recognizes a recent truly extraordinary accomplishment for Hellenism that required high-level planning and professional execution. We refer to the official distribution to 2,500 schools in New Jersey of a curriculum of lesson plans that explain and document the Greek people's unique and inspirational conduct during the Holocaust. The New Jersey Holocaust Commission and the New Jersey Hellenic American Heritage Commission recently sent this scholarly 122-page document to schools in New Jersey.

The personal stories recounted in these lesson plans will touch the hearts of all who read them. The Orthodox-Greek people were forced to, in an instant, decide whether to risk death for themselves and their children in an attempt to save a Jewish-Greek family from the Nazis or protect themselves and risk certain death for that Jewish-Greek family. The story of the Greek people's response will inspire people today to rise up to humankind's most noble capabilities and to join the fight against anti-Semitism and discrimination.

Congratulations to the Commission Chairmen Dr. Zenon Christodoulou and Mr. Philip Kirschner and the other highly professional people who produced this erudite document. It will greatly benefit Hellenism, Judaism and the American people.