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.
Centropa is a non-profit, Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and disseminating these stories and photos through films, books and exhibitions.
The first oral history project that combines old family pictures with the stories that go with them, Centropa has interviewed 1,200 elderly Jews living in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the Sephardic communities of Greece, Turkey and the Balkans. Learn more.
“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.
Panayote Dimitras from the NGO Greek Helsinki Monitor has reported that the 20th Book Bazaar 2016 which is held at Kotzia Square (Athens) from January 16 until February 7 sells the antisemitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” next to “The Communist Manifesto” and a book praising Adolf Hitler [see photo below].
The book bazaar operates under the support of the Municipality of Athens and is sponsored by the Athens 9.84 FM, Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper and the state-owned public radio and television broadcaster ERT.
Update: Andrea Gilbert from the NGO Greek Helsinki Monitor told Against Antisemitism that the “Protocols” are available in a second stand, next to children’s books:
Photo courtesy of Andrea Gilbert