Members of the “Vardaris Neighborhood Team” and other people gathered yesterday to remove far-right and nazi symbols that had been sprayed onto the street mural commemorating the deportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki. (see photos below)
The mural was painted by street artist Same84 on Michael Kalou Street on a wall of the eastern fence of the New Railway Station – a place where the Rezi Vardar neighborhood was located. Through this action, the “Vardaris Neighborhood Team” seeks to pay tribute to one of the most important and once numerous communities of Thessaloniki, the Jewish community, for the tragic consequences suffered by its population during World War II. The mural is a symbolic composition of places, people and events, inspired by photographic material of that period and includes seven consecutive images. (More information about the project.)
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)
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)
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]
A hideous graffiti, that last Friday, October 16, 2020, defaced the Holocaust Monument of Thessaloniki, was added to the chain of desecrations, threats and vandalism that occurred last week in Greece: “Juden raus” graffiti at the Jewish Cemetery of Athens, “Death to Israel” at the Jewish Cemetery of Thessaloniki, four vandalized tombs at the Jewish Cemetery of Rhodes, and this most recent “With Jews you lose” graffiti, spray-painted on the façade of the Monument dedicated to the 50.000 Jews of Thessaloniki who were exterminated during the Holocaust.
Via Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS)
Στο Μνημείο Πεσόντων Αεροπόρων (Πλατεία Καραϊσκάκη) έχει γραφτεί με σπρέι το αντισημιτικό σύνθημα “Έξω οι Εβραίοι σατανιστές” μαζί με χριστιανικά σύμβολα. Επείγει η παρέμβαση του συνεργείου καθαρισμού του Δήμου Αθηναίων.
Several swastikas and other Nazi-symbols were found in the city of Pafos. The antisemitic paintings are associated with neonazi football-hooligans who support the Cypriot football team “Apoel Nikosia”. As one can see in the pictures below, Apoel Hooligans (AU79) openly support the fascist Blood & Honour movement (14 / 88 graffiti) as well as the greek neo-fascist party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) and its cypriot sister party ELAM (National Popular Front).
September 8: At least four banners featuring antisemitic signs were displayed by violent protesters against the Macedonia name deal in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki (h/t Leon Saltiel). They read “Talmud, Qabballah, the Enemy of the Humanity”, “Against New World Order (with a red line erasing the Star of David), “Here Greece, Here Orthodoxy. Death to Zionism” and “Rothschild, your end is coming”.
“Rothschild, your end ist coming”: One of the antisemitic banners displayed in Thessaloniki. More signs at antisemitism.org.il
Late August: Antisemitic graffiti was sprayed on the wall of a house located in a central street of Sparta. The inscription reads “Death to the Jews” (Θάνατος στους Εβραίους), skalalakonias blog has reported.
Late August: The Ioannina section of leftist “Popular Unity” party opposed in a press release the twinning agreement between the city of Ioannina (northern Greece) and the city of Kiryat Ono calling Israel a “terrorist state”.
August 31: Hate graffiti, propaganda material and several christian symbols were found outside the construction site of a state-funded mosque in Athens, lifo.gr has reported. Some of the flyers posted outside the construction site are clearly antisemitic: “Out with the Freemasons and the Jews” and “All bank are controlled by Zionists,” they read.
August 30: An antisemitic sticker referring to the “Jews and money” stereotype with the slur “Jew dog” was found near the Byzantine Museum of Thessaloniki. The sticker was posted by followers of “Father Cleomenis,” a man who dresses as a monk and posts videos of himself on social media vandalizing monuments, most recently the Holocaust memorial in the Central Greece city of Larissa (h/t Racist Crime Watch).
Appalling: Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki, Greece desecrated with "Free Palestine" graffiti. 94% of the city's 50,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis, virtually wiping out the Jewish community; today only about 1,000 Jews remain. pic.twitter.com/GuAtnDskfw
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).
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)