“Fighting to simply exist: Young, Greek and Jewish.” By Joseph Pearson
As we move away from the Acropolis, the tavernas and souvenir stalls become less frequent. Here, the city placed its Star of David-shaped Holocaust memorial, only inaugurated in 2011. “Finally,” Dimi laments. Athens was the last EU capital to formally commemorate the Holocaust, which killed an estimated 87% of the country’s Jews.
Athens became the hub for Greece’s Jews, who relocated after the war to try to rebuild their lives. However, Dimi says, people often don’t know this: “To some people, Jewish Greeks do not exist, except perhaps in Thessaloniki.” Some young Greeks I spoke to were surprised to hear that Athens had a synagogue – even Google Maps couldn’t find it.
The community is subject to strict security measures – a necessary step due to the risk of antisemitism. Not long ago, the memorial was vandalised with a slogan promoting Golden Dawn, the extreme far-right party known for its racist, xenophobic views.
- The author refers to the desecration of the Athens Holocaust Monument in October 2014.