Read Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 Online

Authors: Mark Mazower

Tags: #History, #Europe, #Greece, #Social Science, #Anthropology, #Cultural

Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950

Acclaim for Mark Mazower’s

Salonica, City of Ghosts

Winner of
The John Criticos Prize
The Runciman Award
The Duff Cooper Prize

“In a remarkable display of historical craftsmanship, he resurrects the city’s manifold ghosts.… Mazower’s scrupulous witness to the experiences of each major group that made up the fabric of Salonica is an act of compassion for their suffering, a recognition of their gifts and aspirations, an acknowledgment of their common humanity.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Mark Mazower’s new book is a necessary masterpiece; necessary because it fills a gap, and a masterpiece because it fills that gap so well.”
—The Times (London)
“An extraordinary book by a historian with a wonderful appetite for complexity.”
“Enthralling.… Tragic, hopeful and beautifully written,
Salonica, City of Ghosts
shows how cities, as much as people, can be seduced by the prospect of escaping their own past and remaking themselves in ways unrecognizable to old friends.”
—The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Mazower … is a champion of the cosmopolitan. He tells his history with sweep but doesn’t neglect the human side.”
—The Miami Herald
“[A] tremendous book about a city unique not just in Europe, but in the entire history of humanity.… What [Mazower] does to perfection is to express the historical meaning of Salonica down the generations, authenticating his story with a multitude of contemporary quotations, from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, and scrupulously explaining it all out of his profound scholarly knowledge.”
—The Guardian (London)
“Mazower has made a major contribution.… A book worth reading by anybody interested in the coexistence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity—and interested in a single small but glorious place.”
—The Weekly Standard
“A brilliant reconstruction of one of Europe’s great meeting places between the three monotheistic faiths.”
—The Economist
“[Mazower] sensitively analyses the internal debates and divisions which could be found within all the major communities.”
—The Sunday Telegraph (London)
“Masterly.… A brilliant and timely reminder that cities have played as important a role as states in the lives of their inhabitants.”
—The Spectator (London)
“Mazower has succeeded so well that scholars of all nationalities and religions will refer to this book as their principal source on the city.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Mazower is a formidable historian. He has produced a majestic work: the biography of a city, complete with soul and ichor.”
—The Independent (London)
“This exploration into the soul of a Balkan city is both evocative and profound, a masterful addition to Mazower’s work.”
—BBC History Magazine

Salonica, City of Ghosts
, is a wonderful evocation of the complex, glorious and tragic history of a city, with lessons both positive and negative for our present age. The author, as always, writes with compelling clarity and penetrating eye for detail. If the past is another country, the author allows us to travel there.”
—“Books of the Year,” The Sunday Telegraph (London)


Salonica, City of Ghosts

Mark Mazower is professor of history at Columbia University and Birkbeck College, London. His books include
Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century
Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941–44
, winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History and the Longman/History Today Award for Book of the Year. He lives in New York City.



The Balkans: A Short History

Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941–1944

Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century


Copyright © 2004 by Mark Mazower

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Originally published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Publishers, London, in 2004. Subsequently published in hardcover in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 2005.

Vintage and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the Knopf edition as follows:
Mazower, Mark.
Salonica, city of ghosts : Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430–1950 / Mark Mazower.
p. cm.
1. Thessaloniki (Greece)—History. I. Title.
39 2005

eISBN: 978-0-307-42757-1

Author photograph © Jerry Bauer


To Marwa


About the Author
Other Books by This Author
Title Page
List of Illustrations
List of Maps
The Rose of Sultan Murad
1 Conquest, 1430
2 Mosques and Hamams
3 The Arrival of the Sefardim
4 Messiahs, Martyrs and Miracles
5 Janissaries and Other Plagues
6 Commerce and the Greeks
7 Pashas, Beys and Money-lenders
8 Religion in the Age of Reform
In the Shadow of Europe
9 Travellers and the European Imagination
10 The Possibilities of a Past
11 In the Frankish Style
12 The Macedonia Question, 1878–1908
13 The Young Turk Revolution
Making the City Greek
14 The Return of Saint Dimitrios
15 The First World War
16 The Great Fire
17 The Muslim Exodus
18 City of Refugees
19 Workers and the State
20 Dressing for the Tango
21 Greeks and Jews
22 Genocide
23 Aftermath
Conclusion: The Memory of the Dead


I have been working on this project, I have been helped by so many people that I fear I may not remember them all. To everyone who has discussed their experiences of the city with me, provided me with documents, advice or support, I am deeply indebted. In particular I would like to thank the following: Miko Alvo, Georgios Angelopoulos, Albertos and Leon Arouch, Efi Avdela, Rika Benveniste, Moise Bourlas, Steve Bowman, Peter Brown, John Campbell, Jean Carasso, Richard Clogg, Erika Counio-Amariglio, the late Nancy Crawshaw, the late Mando Dalianis, Nicholas De Lange, Katy Fleming, Ben Fortna, Norman Gilbertson, Eyal Ginio, Jacqueline Golden, Dimitri Gondicas, Vasilis Gounaris, Ashbel Green, Eleni Haidia, Bill Hamilton, Renée Hirschon, Elliott Horowitz, the late Judith Humphrey, Sukru Ilicak, Cemal Kafadar, Mike Keeley, Nikos Kokantzis, Toga Koker, John Koliopoulos, Basil Kontis, Kostas Kostis, Antonis Liakos, Heath and Demet Lowry, Rena and Meir Molho, Yannis Mourellos, Barbara Politi and Walter Lummerding, Maria Seremetis, Nikos Stavroulakis, Charles Stewart, Alexandre Toumarkine, Karen van Dyck, Maria Vassilikou, Mike Vogel, Johanna Weber, Maria Wojnicka, Andrew Wylie and Onur Yildirim.

Mike Fishwick has been from the outset a wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive editor. Thanks to him, Vera Brice and Kate Hyde, I felt in good hands. Maria Vassilikou, Bea Lewkowicz, Bernard Pierron, Rena Molho, Dimitris Livanios and Iakovos Mihailidis were kind enough to provide me with copies of their unpublished dissertations. In Athens, Aegina and Tinos, Fay Zika, Haris Vlavianos and Katerina Schina have made Greece a home from home. I must also acknowledge a debt to the extraordinary array of devoted scholars—among them Alexandra Karadimou-Yerolympou, Georgios Anastassiadis, Vasilis Colonnas, Vasilis Dimitriades, Evangelos Hekimoglou, Rena Molho, Albertos Nar, Sakis Serefas, and the late Kostas Tomanas—whose writings have done so much to bring the city to life.

I am grateful for their assistance to the librarians of the following institutions: the Institute for Balkan Studies, the Centre for the History of the City of Thessaloniki, the Newspaper Library in the Thessaloniki Municipal Library, the Historical Archives of Macedonia; in Athens, the Greek Literary and Historical Archives (ELIA), the Archive of Contemporary Social History (ASKI), the Newspaper Library, the Gennadios Library, the Jewish Museum of Greece and the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece; in London, the Public Record Office, the School of Oriental and African Studies, Birkbeck College London and the Wiener Library; in the USA, the American Joint Distribution Committee and the United Nations, as well as the university librarians at Berkeley, Princeton, Columbia and Harvard. My research was also supported by the Central Research Fund of the University of London.

Among those who read drafts and gave me the benefit of their scholarly expertise, I would like to thank Fred Anscombe, Selim Deringil, Ben Fortna and Heath Lowry for helpful counsel on matters Ottoman and their patience with an interloper. Philip Carabott, Vasilis Gounaris and Dimitris Livanios made many valuable comments, corrections and suggestions and helped me with their deep knowledge of the Balkan context and contemporary Greece: I thank them for the time and attention they generously gave me. Nikos Stavroulakis gave me precious guidance on the complexities of Marrano and
identities, not to mention food. My parents, Bill and Miriam Mazower, and my grandmother, Ruth Shaffer, read the early chapters closely for style and were both critical and supportive. And I am hugely indebted, not for the first time, to Peter Mandler, for ploughing through the entire manuscript and giving me the benefit of his encouragement, thoughtfulness and invaluable critical eye. Above all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Marwa Elshakry, who, despite living with the subject for much longer than anyone would consider reasonable, never betrayed impatience at hearing yet another story about Salonica, being shown another document or driven down another side-street. Her challenging suggestions and queries opened up exciting new perspectives for me. What is more, she went rigorously through the text line by line, and made innumerable scholarly and stylistic improvements. In this as in everything else, I owe her more than I can put into words. This book is dedicated to her with the author’s love.

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