The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) expressed today in a statement the outrage and the repudiation of the Greek Jewry at the recent photo posted on Facebook and on Twitter by Dimitris Kammenos, MP of the Independent Greeks party (no relation to party leader and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos), the coalition partner of Syriza. In the photo posted, the nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei”, which was incorporated in the front gate of Auschwitz, has been replaced with the “We stay in Europe” moto of a Pro-Europe rally that has been recently held in Athens.
Earlier this month, Dimitris Kammenos equated once again the Euro currency with Auschwitz.
The leader and other members of the right-wing Independent Greeks party have been accused of being antisemitic (see our previous posts on this issue).
The full statement of KIS (source: kis.gr):
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the outrage and the repudiation of the Greek Jewry at the shameful photo posted on facebook
by MP Dimitris Kammenos
(of the Independent Greeks – ANELL party). The post trivializes in the most hideous way the sign over the gate of Auschwitz. In the photo posted the “We stay in Europe” moto has replaced the world known sign which “welcomed” 1.500.000 Jews who were tortured and exterminated by the Nazis in the gas chambers.
We call upon the President of the Greek Parliament and the representatives of all democratic parties to condemn the malevolent trivialization of the Holocaust of the 6 million Jews and all the victims of this barbarity, a trivialization that at the same time downplays the importance of the struggle against Fascism and Nazism in our country. We must not stay indifferent to such phenomena because if our society allows the distortion of the historical truth and memory of the Holocaust, it would have been as if we reopened the gate of Auschwitz to new crimes against humanity.
Athens, 24 June 2015
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
Independent Greeks distanced itself on Wednesday from Dimitris Kammenos. Independent Greeks spokeswoman Marina Chrysoveloni
said that the lawmakers’ post was an “utterly personal action,” news site ekathimerini.com
The altered photo “was posted earlier this week on Greek blogs, including one that also promotes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish bankers taking over the world’s financial system. After he withdrew the image, Mr. Kammenos replaced it with an update in which he apologized for “a misunderstanding” but doubled down on his likening of the Greek financial crisis to the suffering of the Jews at German hands. “Maybe the comparison was unfortunate,” he wrote, “but my country is experiencing an economic holocaust.” (Source: The New York Times)
“Greek leaders should not let such despicable social media posts by a member of parliament go without comment,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and a Holocaust survivor. “With the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in parliament and a vast majority of citizens who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, responsible Greek leaders need to take a stand against hate speech, especially when uttered by elected officials.” (Via adl.org)