Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[REVIEW] Mark Mazower's Salonica

Mark Mazower's recent book Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430-1950 is a compelling history of the Greek city of Thessaloniki. Mazower, a historian of note, provides the casual reader with an examination of how the decidedly multiethnic and multinational city of Salonica, located in the heart of the Ottoman province of Macedonia, ended up becoming the approximately monoethnic Greek metropolis of Thessaloniki, through population transfers (the expulsion of the city's Muslims to Turkey after the Greco-Turkish wars, and to an extent of Slavophones to Bulgaria), forced assimilation (in the case of many Slavophones in Thessaloniki's hinterland) and outright genocide (in the case of the Ladino-using Jews, once an outright majority, murdered by the Nazis). As Mazower concludes, not even the ruins of Ottoman Salonica remain; everything--buildings, memories, people--has been built over again.
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