Antisemitism in Greece today – Executive Summary

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has published an executive summary of the antisemitism report authored by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel.

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Creator: Christopher Adam

Antisemitism in Greece today: Aspects, causes and tackling the phenomenon

Anti-Semitism is one of the most common manifestations of social prejudice in Europe and elsewhere. Greece is not an exception to this rule; in fact, Greece, according to the 2015/2017 Anti-Defamation League Global Survey has the highest proportion of people who harbour anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. The study at hand was commissioned by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Greece to report the main findings of an original analysis of Greek public opinion that aimed to delve deeper into the causes of the phenomenon. The report was divided into three themes; 1) discussing the socio-political framework of anti-Semitism in modern Greece, 2) the full presentation of the empirical work conducted using public opinion surveys and 3) a set of policy recommendations to tackle the phenomenon. The executive summary at hand will briefly present the main aspects of each of the three themes.

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. The report embarks on a thorough analysis of the role that political actors, the Greek Church and the mass media play in perpetuating anti-Semitic prejudice and behaviour. Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party with parliamentary representation, is the most important advocate of anti-Semitic views in contemporary Greece, but there are some disconcerting incidents that vary across all levels of government and across different ideological persuasions. One of the key concerns regarding the relationship between politics and anti-Semitism is that there are many incidents of anti-Jewish rhetoric, and those incidents have the ideological left and right as the perpetrators. In many of those incidents, the role of the Greek Church is pivotal. Stemming from Christian anti-Judaism, it often takes other forms such as anti-Zionism or Jewish Conspiracies. In the report, we lay out some of key examples showing how one of the most respected institutions in Greece is not keen to stop anti-Semitism.

The mass media play a big role as well. The way anti-Semitism is reported or, more often, not reported helps the phenomenon to expand and become an everyday theme that should not carry any consequences for the politician or any other figure harbouring similar views in public. In fairness, this was less of an issue when Golden Dawn started gaining influence in the Greek public sphere. On occasions when Golden Dawn denied the Holocaust, the mass media where keen to attack the party and consider “Holocaust conspiracy” allegations as absurd. As expected, newspapers of extreme-right persuasion were keen to recycle similar conspiracies and embellish them with narratives of “Jewish world domination” and “Jewish economic interests in Greece“. Sadly, some mainstream newspapers also put forward subtle and not so subtle opinions against the Jews (especially when the Arab-Israeli conflict is on the agenda).

Read more on gr.boell.org

See the full report here (in Greek), as well as a panel discussion on the results of the report:

Moderation: Sofia Christoforidou

Speakers: Katharina von Schnurbein, Spyros Kosmidis, Giorgos Antoniou, Viktor Isaac Eliezer, Maria Yannakaki, Grigorios Stamkopoulos, Eleni Hontolidou, Andreas Takis

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El Maleh Rachamim prayer in Holocaust Memorial ceremony in Ioannina, Greece (2014)

Cantor Haim Ischakis performs El Maleh Rachamim at the Kahal Kadosh Yashan Synagogue in Ioannina, Greece. The video was recorded on Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony for the remembrance of the 70 years since the Nazi deportations of Greek Jews. More than 500 people from all over the world, including foreign Diplomats and local dignitaries, attended this moving ceremony organized by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) and the historical Romaniote local Jewish Community.

Articles about the ceremony:

Greece’s Romaniote Jews remember a catastrophe and grapple with disappearing (JTA)

Greece’s Last Romaniote Jews Remember a Catastrophe (JTA)

Footage shows Greek Nazis chanting ‘Sieg Heil’ & ‘Juden raus’

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Screenshot via efsyn.gr

Via AthensLive News & The Editors Daily

A video footage from 2005 has emerged showing nearly the entire Golden Dawn leadership (Michaloliakos, Kassidiaris, Panagiotaros, Germenis, Matthaiopoulos and others) participating in a concert featuring Nazi salutes, the Nazi German war flag & the singing of the first verse of “Deutschland über alles.”

The slogans chanted from the crowd are the classic hate cries of the Hitler movement and are shouted in German: “Sieg Heil!” and “Juden raus!” (Jews out). They are raised in honour of two German Nazi performers, Michael Müller and Annett Müller. As the crowd shouts “Juden raus” Michael Müller interrupts them to say, in English: “Not only out. But exterminated.”

More information

The footage appears on Marsia Tzivara’s documentary “Burning from the Inside.”

Greece: Antisemitic comments during popular morning show

Greek journalist Dimos Verykios recently made antisemitic comments during the morning show “Happy Day” of Alpha TV channel. More precisely, he stated (watch video below, 20’05”-20’57”):

“The world money is concentrated in three centers: they are actually dominating the planet. One center is the banks, the global banking system. Through this banking system, two main centers are ruling the game. One of these centers is the Jewish lobby, powerful, extremely powerful in America and elsewhere! In all big deals, one will meet a Jew! Or a mason!”

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece in a statement condemned Verykios’ antisemitic comments and demanded apology from the Greek reporter:

“We expect that he will realize his big mistake and apologize to the audience for the promotion of these unsubstantiated and false accusations, which do not inform at all the public but instead lead to misinformation and encourage anti-Semitism in Greece.”

Two days ago, Dimos Verykios denied on Twitter any “antisemitic intention” and claimed that he just said the “truth: The world money is owned by the banks-Jews-Masons”.

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»Küsse für die Kinder« – Filmvorführung und Gespräch

[via stiftung-denkmal.de]

1. Dezember 2016, 18 Uhr, Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Ort der Information, Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin

Versteckt hinter einer Fensterscheibe, muss die damals 10-jährige Rosina Asser-Pardo den Deportationszug der jüdischen Bevölkerung aus dem griechischen Saloniki mit ansehen. Unter den Menschen auf der Straße erkennt sie ihre Großmutter. So wie Rosina sind auch Iossif, Eftyhia, Shelly und Marios bei nicht-jüdischen Familien versteckt. »Küsse für die Kinder« lässt die Erinnerungen der fünf Protagonisten aufleben und berichtet vom jüdischen Leben in Griechenland vor dem Einmarsch der Nationalsozialisten 1941 und von Kindheiten im Schatten des Holocaust.

Eine Anmeldung per Mail unter info [at] stiftung-denkmal.de bis spätestens 29. November 2016 ist erforderlich.

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Der Trailer des Dokumentarfilms von Vassilis Loules kann hier angeschaut werden [englische Untertitel können eingeschaltet werden]:

Ein kurzer Abschnitt des Filmes mit englischen Untertiteln ist hier vorhanden:

Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria

We woke up one morning, and we saw black snow. It had snowed, and it did not usually snow in March. My grandmother said that “Something will happen, something bad will happen”. 

Kastoria, March 1944, from the clip “Black Snow”

[On the night of March 24, 1944, the Jewish population of the city was arrested and detained in the Girls’ High School of Kastoria. Three days later, 763 people, and a small number of Yugoslavian Jews who had found refuge in Kastoria were transported to Thessaloniki on vans and then to Poland, never to come back again. via]

Synopsis via trezoros.com

trezoros_kastoria_dokumentary“Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria” is a moving documentary that illuminates the lives of a Sephardic community in Greece whose story speaks for all people who have been decimated by war and discrimination. The story is set in the beautiful, idyllic city of Kastoria where Jews and Christians lived in harmony for over two millennia.

In October of 1940 it would all be destroyed after the invasion of Greece by Axis forces. Initially occupied by Italy, the Jewish community remained safe. After Mussolini fell from power the Nazis took control of the town, dooming the community that had existed since the times of the Roman Empire.

The film uses never-before-seen archival footage, vibrantly bringing to life just one of the many Jewish communities that had existed in Greece before the end of World War II. TREZOROS (Ladino/Judeo-Spanish term of endearment meaning “Treasures”) is a highly emotional story told by it’s survivors, with interviews filmed on location in Kastoria, Thessaloniki, Athens, Tzur Moshe, Tel Aviv, Miami, Los Angeles and New York.

Directors: Lawrence Russo, Larry Confino

[…] For the directors Lawrence Russo and Larry Confino, who are cousins and whose forefathers were Kastoriani, this was more than a family project. Releasing precious oral history narrated by a small group of people, the superbly crafted documentary tells of the suffering of one town, but calls forth the universal quality of community resilience in the face of horrendous odds.

The directors seamlessly and without artifice combine interviews with highly personable men and women of the Sephardic community which was in the 1930s a substantial presence in Kastoria, a stronghold of the Greek Orthodox Church but where Jews and Christians lived in harmony for hundreds of years. The Jewish populace of Kastoria dating from the times of the Roman empire, were to be all but wiped out by the Holocaust.

Compared with the tragedies that hit their co-religionists in much of Europe, the fate of Greek Jews is inadequately known. This film graphically puts that right as far as Kastoria is concerned. On a larger scale, Thessaloniki had 50,000 Jews before World War II and was known as the Jerusalem of Greece. Today there are only about 600 of the faith living in Greece’s second city. [James Brewer, allaboutshipping.co.uk]

Νέα εφαρμογή κινητού για τη Συναγωγή των Χανίων / Launch of the “Etz Hayyim and Jewish Legacy in Crete” Mobile App

Via Israel in Greece

Οι Πρεσβείες του Καναδά και του Ισραήλ παρουσίασαν χθες την εφαρμογή του κινητού τηλεφώνου για την “Συναγωγή Ετς Χαγίμ Χανιών και την Εβραϊκή Κληρονομία της Κρήτης”. Η τουριστική αυτή εφαρμογή αποτελεί σημαντικό εργαλείο, δίνοντας στους χρήστες άμεση πρόσβαση σε πληροφορίες για την πλούσια ιστορία της Εβραϊκής Κοινότητας των Χανίων και της Κρήτης.

The Embassies of Canada and Israel presented yesterday the new mobile phone app for the “Etz Hayyim Chania Synagogue and the Jewish Legacy in Crete.” This tourist app is an important tool that provides users with information regarding the rich history of the Jewish Community of Chania and Crete.

Ημέρα Μνήμης της Εβραϊκής Κοινότητας Καστοριάς (video)

Το Ινστιτούτο Έρευνας & Διαχείρισης Πολιτισμικής Κληρονομιάς ΑΝΝΑ ΡΑΔΗΝΗ διοργάνωσε την Κυριακή 22/03/2015 μια διαδρομή στα χνάρια της παλιάς εβραϊκής κοινότητας της Καστοριάς, μια διαδρομή μνήμης στην παλιά Καστοριά και μια γνωριμία με τους σημαντικότερους σταθμούς της ιστορίας της πόλης μέσα από τα μνημεία που ακόμα υπάρχουν και μέσα από το κενό που άφησαν εκείνα που χάθηκαν στο πέρασμα του χρόνου.

Από τις σημαντικές στιγμές της εκδήλωσης, η ανάγνωση κειμένων της Μπέρρυ Ναχμία.

This is a video of the Commemoration Day for the Greek Jews of Kastoria (22/03/2015). They were deported on the 24th of March 1944.

The Institute for Research and Cultural Heritage Management ANNA RADINI organized a journey in the footsteps of the old Jewish community, a memory journey in the old Kastoria and an acquaintance with the important points of the city’s history through its monuments that still exist and through the gap left those that was lost through time.

“Το Ολοκαύτωμα δεν πρέπει να εκπροσωπεί μόνο εκατομμύρια θύματα, αλλά ένα θύμα συν ένα θύμα συν ένα θύμα”

Το Γαλλικό Ινστιτούτο Eλλάδος και οι Εκδόσεις Καπόν με αφορμή την ελληνική έκδοση του βιβλίου των Μπεάτε & Σερζ Κλάρσφελντ “ΑΠΟΜΝΗΜΟΝΕΥΜΑΤΑ, Κυνηγώντας τους Ναζί” πραγματοποίησαν εκδήλωση-συζήτηση, παρουσία των συγγραφέων που έγινε τη Δευτέρα 18 Ιανουαρίου 2016, στις 7μ.μ., στο Auditorium Theo Angelopoulos του Γαλλικού Ινστιτούτου Eλλάδος.

Kεντρικός ομιλητής ήταν ο Σερζ Κλάρσφελντ.

Συντονιστής
Νίκος Μπακουνάκης
Δημοσιογράφος, καθηγητής Παντείου Πανεπιστημίου.

Παρέμβαση
Σταύρος Ζουμπουλάκης
Πρόεδρος του Εφορευτικού Συμβουλίου της Εθνικής Βιβλιοθήκης.

Πηγή: Το βιβλιοπωλείο της Ραχήλ – Rachel’s Bookshop (facebook)