Antisemitic hate incidents in Greece (August-December 2020)

Although the numbers of Greeks of Jewish religion is, according to the Greek Census, very low (5000, i.e. 0.05% of the Greek population) the incidents of anti-Semitic rhetoric and the recorded attacks against Jewish monuments or synagogues are disproportionately high. (Antisemitism in Greece today: Executive Summary, 2017)

August 13: The antisemitic slogan “Satanist Jews Out” was found at the Fallen Aviators Monument (Athens, Karaiskaki Square) along with Christogram crosses. [reported by the Against Antisemitism blog]

Fallen Aviators Monument, Athens. Photo credit: Rosa Roussou

September 21: A monument to the fighters of the Greek People’s Liberation Army in Thessaloniki, located near the White Tower, was desecrated with the graffiti “Commie Jews”. [reported by the blog communistsremembrance.wordpress.com]

October 5: “Neo-Nazis vandalized the external surrounding walls of the Jewish cemetery of Athens with the same slogans the Nazis used 80 years ago in order to deport millions of Jews from their homes and exterminate six million in the gas chambers, amongst whom 60.000 Greek Jews.” (from the KIS announcement for the antisemitic graffiti at the Jewish Cemetery of Athens)

October 10 & 11: The words “Death to Israel” were discovered at the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki, while four tombs were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery on Rhodes island in the southeast. The acts of vandalism come after the leader of Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and his inner circle were handed 13-year prison sentences on Wednesday. (AFP)

World Jewish Congress: Just days after leaders of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece were charged with leading a criminal group, multiple Jewish sites in the country were targeted and vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. It shows that even when major steps are taken against racism, the fight is on-going.

October 16: A graffiti saying “With Jews you lose” was sprayed onto a monument dedicated to the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki in northern Greece perished during the Holocaust. (AFP)

November 10 & 12: The Greek newspaper “Makeleio” whose publisher was convicted recently of anti-Semitic defamation warned its readers that Pfizer’s Jewish CEO will “stick the needle” into them while calling the pharmaceutical company’s prospective COVID-19 vaccine “poison.” A further article repeated the accusations against Bourla, with a screeching headline claiming that the “Greek Jew” had “trousered millions” on behalf of the “Israeli Council.” (JTA / The Algemeiner)

December 3: “A man wearing a cassock and holding an icon, sprayed a Christogram cross with the words “Jesus Christ Conquers” on the Holocaust monument of Larissa. He did the same on the outer wall of the Synagogue which is currently being restored. The incident was recorded on cctv street cameras which were examined after the President of the Jewish Community of Larissa informed the police and filed a lawsuit. The man was arrested the following day in the nearby area of Tempi. He was charged with damaging property and violating antiracism law.” [reported by the KIS]

December 28: The Holocaust Monument in the city of Drama, northern Greece, was vandalized. The perpetrators sprayed a black cross and broke the base of marble at the base of the monument. A similar graffiti appeared on the door of the old tobacco warehouse where, on March 3, 1943, the Bulgarian occupying forces arrested and imprisoned Greek Jews from Drama, before deportating them to Nazi extermination camps. [ekathimerini]

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