Athens Holocaust memorial defaced with graffiti

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).

Gkika_Eleni_Vandalism_Athens_July_2017

Athens Holocaust memorial, 7/7/2017. Photo credit: Eleni Gkika (via The Jewish Heritage in Greece)

Advertisements

Supporters of schismatic monks display antisemitic banner in Thessaloniki

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_esfigmenou_2017

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.

“Escape room” invited players to escape Auschwitz “before being turned into ash”

Via JTA

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]

Antisemitic banner at Syntagma Square, Athens

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]

sorras_plakat_athina

Source: iefimerida.gr. Photo credit: EUROKINISSI/Stelios Misinas

Also relevant: Antisemitic exclamations at an event on the Central Square of Ioannina (August 2016)

Greek anarchists shout “No to the agents of Mossad” near the check-in desks of El Al

Kathimerini reports:

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.

Read more

rubicon_flyer_2016

Protest flyer thrown by members of Rouvikonas during the anti-Israel protest at Athens International Airport. Source: iefimerida.gr

Rubicon_antisemitic_banner

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.

Images of a lost world

Images of a lost world

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.

“To some people, Jewish Greeks do not exist, except perhaps in Thessaloniki”

Via cafebabel.co.uk

“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.

Read more

  • The author refers to the desecration of the Athens Holocaust Monument in October 2014.

Book bazaar in Athens sells the “Protocols”

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.

Book_bazaar_Athens_2016

Photo credit: Panayote Dimitras. Source: booksjournal.gr (20/1/2016)

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:

Protocols next to Little Prince

Photo courtesy of Andrea Gilbert

A letter to the editor concerning the incident in the Aegean flight A3 928 to Tel Aviv

Against Antisemitism – Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό republishes a letter to the editor of Zoe Dorit Eliou, passenger of the Aegean flight A3 928 from Athens to Tel Aviv, in which she criticizes the coverage of the incident involving Israeli passengers in Huffingtonpost.gr. Zoe Dorit Eliou refutes the accusations of racism as follows:

Boeing_737-33A,_Aegean_Airlines_AN0387722Dear Editor,

the article you wrote about the 1/4/15 incident on the Aegean flight from Athens-Tel Aviv was completely distorted and one sided as I was on the plane and this not what I saw or experienced.

Indeed, there was tension and anxiety that began already in the waiting hall, before embarkation. The reason for that had to do with the behavior of one of the men (I did not see the other one) which was very provocative and frightening. He looked at us with a chilling hostility and cold smile that was ominous. He wore a military type shirt, waited to embark last and seemed ready for a disturbance.

The passengers sat down, and some people very quitely and discretely approached the crew which refused to address the situation. As a result, some people wanted to get off the plane as it was ready to leave. There was a commotion but no screaming or fighting. Most everybody sat down or was just raised in their seats to observe what was going on. There was a language barrier as many of the Israelis did not speak English and the crew was not particularly reassuring but rather derogatory in Greek (I speak Greek, English and Hebrew fluently). The 2 passengers were taken off and there was a cursory security check on the overhead items.

Later the security agent told me that there was a canine examination of the luggage before boarding but he did not communicate that in English to the passengers. In fact, he gave me permission to say so in Hebrew. Finally the security agent was screaming at the Israelis that if they did not like it they could get off and buy a ticket elsewhere. He was rather rude. The security did not explain that the 2 passengers were further investigated and they were ok and blamed the Israelis that they, the Israelis, were the only reason they were taken off.

I regret to say that your article is divisive, and reflects poor and one sided journalism which further polarizes the situation between the two traumatized nations. You clearly had an agenda, since the article did not speak to any of the passengers, except the crew and amnesty international.

Profiling is indeed an awful way to relate to one another as human beings and yet as humans under stress we resort to very primal judgments. The context is always important before we judge a reaction, and the overreaction of the passengers was not without a context. There were many other passengers on the flight that looked “arab” on the plane but they were not hostile or provocative. I hope you can amend your article to include a more balanced and whole story, rather than a presentation of an agenda.

Sincerely, Dr. Eliou

Source: huffingtonpost.gr (5/1/2016)

Dr. Eliou sent to us the following additional remark:

Please note that no one knew the nationality of the 2 passengers ahead of time. Also, Aegean offered them to leave the flight, pay for their hotel and fly them the next day. They were not forcibly removed from the flight. I thought that if everything checked out they should have continued the flight and whoever objected could have left themselves. I think Aegean made a mistake by removing them and offering them an alternative accommodation and flight, and then blaming it on the Israeli passengers, almost like a set up. In addition, passengers tried to communicate with them to break the ice but they refused to speak. I felt the article had an agenda. I think it was unfortunate but could have been easily resolved with some communication between the passengers so that everyone cold relax.