Vandals desecrated the Jewish section of an Athens cemetery on Friday night, destroying nine marbre memorial stones. The headstones appear to have been kicked over and then smashed to pieces.
The President of the Jewish Community of Athens, Minos Moissis, described the scene as “repulsive”.
[…] This is not the first time we see the result of a degrading act at our Cemetery but it is the first time we see such act was organized and planned in part of the Cemetery that is not visible from the neighboring houses and with incredible fury. The view of the results of this abominable act causes us deep sorrow and anger.
The Jewish Community of Athens will exercise all the legal means at its disposal, the first steps have already been taken by the police authorities that immediately came to the collection of clues.
But besides the Law, we call upon all the institutions of the State and the City, the Justice, the Religious and Spiritual Authorities of the country and the Civil Society, to condemn unambiguously and without reservation this desecration and to stand with absolutely zero tolerance against such phenomena of violence and intolerance. There is no worse sign of a society’s moral decline than desecration of a Cemetery and disrespect for the dead.
It is not just an act that concerns only our Community and is recorded as one of the most violent and significant anti-Semitic events of recent years in Greece. It is about an act that brutally affects the whole of society, the values and principles of a favored state.
For these reason, we ask everybody to exhaust every effort to never allow such acts against anyone.
(announcement by the Jewish Community of Athens)
The Jewish Community of Athens is organizing a silent protest at the cemetery this Sunday, May 13th, at noon.
Credit: The Jewish Community of Athens (athjcom.gr)
Greek Counter Terrorism Police arrested 11 suspected members of violent Nazi group “C18 Hellas” last week, during an operation in greater Athens and two provincial towns.
The suspects are allegedly members of the Greek branch of the extreme right wing group “Combat 18” also known as “C18”, which operates in various countries.
A 35-year-old gas station employee from Ioannina, northwestern Greece, is believed to have led the group, ekathimerini.com reports.
“C18” is responsible for bombing attacks against anarchist and migrant related targets and has ties with another violent Greek Nazi group named “Unaligned Meander Nationalists” (Greek abbreviation: AME). Many Greek news outlets failed to mention that both organisations have signed numerous desecrations of Jewish Monuments and Cemeteries in Greece:
- Oktober 2015: The entrance of the Jewish Cemetery in Nikaia (an area outside Athens) was vandalized with threatening graffiti featuring nazi symbols. “C18 Hellas” posted pictures of the vandalism online, claiming responsibility for the action.
- December 2014: AME members scrawled swastikas and threats on the wall of the Jewish Cemetery of Larissa, posting photos of their action online.
- Oktober 2014: AME left its signature on the Athens Holocaust Monument.
- Oktober 2012: Desecration of the Holocaust Memorial of the Jews of Rhodes. The monument is located in the Old City and the perpetrators painted with paint all six sides, while they painted the swastika, adding the initials AME.
The case (that led to the Greek police counter-terrorism unit acts) was filed after complaints by Greek Helsinki Monitor, based also on articles by XYZ Contagion blog.
For more information: Greece: Violent fringe Nazi groups dismantled, by Panayote Dimitras (14/3/2018, hopenothate.org.uk).
Hundreds of thousands of Greeks rallied outside parliament in Athens on Sunday to protest against the use of the term Macedonia in any settlement the government pursues with the ex-Yugoslav Republic to end a decades-old name row, Reuters reports.
A sea of people waved blue and white Greek flags. A photographer captured protesters outside parliament holding a banner promoting antisemitism and conspiracy theories. The banner reads “Against New World Order” and features the Star of David and a Freemason symbol in prohibition signs.
Via Minos Moissis & CFCA
The Holocaust Memorial in Athens, close to the Synagogue, was vandalized on Saturday.
The inscription in Elie Wiesel’s words at the Holocaust Memorial was stripped by strangers, disappeared in two of its three tracks with the meaningful text in Greek and French.
The Jewish community of Athens made a public appeal (see above) if someone saw something and has filed a complaint at the police station.
Holocaust survivor and famous author Elie Wiesel wrote those lines especially for the Athens memorial, they are engraved on a plaque at the entrance of the park in 3 languages:
Pause awhile as you pass by, close your eyes and remember.
Remember the time when here,
or near here, men, women and children- our own fellow creatures- congregated in peace and trust,
only to be arrested, humiliated, deported and murdered in the
Camps that shall forever shame our Civilization.
Because they were Jewish, six million people were denied the right to be free, happy, to hope, to smile, to pray, and finally, the right to live.
Remember them, their anguish and their death. Do not recoil at such horror; do not descend into despair at man’s inhumanity to man.
For by remembering we honour their deaths, and we save them from dying again, in oblivion.
The Holocaust memorial in Athens was defaced with graffiti probably on Friday. The graffiti reads: “Hello, my name is thanatos [death].” Photos of the vandalism were posted on the Facebook Group The Jewish Heritage in Greece (see photo below).
In recent years, the monument has suffered repeated vandalisms.
Erected in 2010, the monument commemorates the 59,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. It represents a broken Magen David, with each of the broken pieces representing the lost Greek Jewish communities. The names of the communities are engraved in the marble piece pointing in the direction where they once existed (via).
Athens Holocaust memorial, 7/7/2017. Photo credit: Eleni Gkika (via The Jewish Heritage in Greece)
Around 400 supporters of the schismatic Esfigmenou monastery on Mount Athos rallied in Thessaloniki to protest the recent conviction of the monastery prior and another monk to twenty years imprisonment each for construction, possession and usage of Molotov cocktails during an eviction of the order’s administrative offices in 2013.
The protesters displayed a huge antisemitic banner reading “Judeo-Masonry wages war on Greece and Orthodoxy.” [see photo below]
Antisemitic rally in Thessaloniki, 19/02/2017. Via thestival.gr
Earlier this month, protesters (zealots, football fans and Nazis) gathered outside Parliament in Athens to decry the conviction of the zealot monks chanting “Hands off the Orthodoxy” and “Jews out of Parliament.” [watch video below, 0’18’’] Golden Dawn MP Giannis Lagos was also part of the rally.
During a rally that took place at Athens’s Propylaia in February 2016, the excommunicated abbot of Esfigmenou monastery warned the Jews of a “Greek Hitler” that might come.
December 30, 2016
An entertainment company in Greece canceled a game in which players use clues to escape from a room themed around the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
The Rubicon agency, which is located in the northern Athens suburb of Galatsi, in recent weeks advertised the Auschwitz “escape room” on social media. Jews and non-Jews complained it was disrespectful to Holocaust victims, the left-leaning news site Protagon reported Tuesday.
Reached by Protagon, a spokesman of the firm responsible for the game said it had been scrapped and that the decision to create it did not take into account “that this could cause offense.”
Read full story here.
- Another “escape room” in Thessaloniki called “Schindler’s List” invites players to save “the life of hundreds of innocent people.” [via]
Athens – Supporters of The Greek Popular Association led by Artemis Sorras (Αρτέμης Σώρρας) gathered at Syntagma Square on Sunday and urged people “to sign for freedom.”
One of the signs had clear antisemitic content referring to “any Zionist ideology”, as opposed to “Greek values”. [via CFCA & Against Antisemitism blog]
The picture below shows a supporter in the middle wearing a banner which reads:
“The Greek Popular Association opposes fascism and any other kind of Zionist ideology and anything being against Greek values (freedom, justice, harmony etc.)”
The other two banners refer to the Sorras’ promise to single-handedly end Greece’s debt. [more]
Also relevant: Antisemitic exclamations at an event on the Central Square of Ioannina (August 2016)
An act of vandalism on the Athens Holocaust Memorial was recently reported by Huffingtonpost.gr. The monument has been meanwhile restored, as can be seen in the photos below. All photos by Panayotis Kravvaris.
Police early on Wednesday detained 10 suspected members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas – the Greek name for Rubicon – who barged into the departures area of Athens International Airport and started shouting slogans near the check-in desks of Israeli airline El Al.
The protesters shouted “No to the agents of Mossad” and “No tolerance to the bullying of Mossad” as travelers were waiting to check in to their flight.
Protest flyer thrown by members of Rouvikonas during the anti-Israel protest at Athens International Airport. Source: iefimerida.gr
Antisemitic banner displayed by members of Rouviconas near the check-in desks of Israeli airline El Al. It reads: “No tolerance to the bullying of Mossad.” Screenshot via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNUvv5PhPU4
Update: In a posting online, they claim that the security staff working for El Al are Mossad agents and that other Mossad agents are among the passengers during the El Al flights They also stigmatize Israel as the „oppressor“ in the Middle East while considering Palestinians as inherently oppressed.