On July 11 1942 some 9,000 Jewish males aged 18-45 were forcibly assembled by the Nazis at Liberty Square (Platia Eleftherias). About 2,000 of them were sent to forced labour camps. The rest were kept back home in exchange for a huge ransom. The Jewish communities of Thessaloniki and Athens paid some of the ransom; the remaining funds came from the transfer of the Jewish cemetery of Salonika to the city's municipality, who used the memorial stones of the 500-year-old cemetery as a building material. The cemetery was heavily pillaged and eventually desecrated by german soldiers soon afterwards. Finally, after the war, the university campus was built over the cemetery's ruins.