Antisemitism in Greece can be violent


In a recent radio interview, Greek Jewish pharmacist & blogger Iosif Vaena from Thessaloniki said that antisemitism in Greece can be violent:

The Jewish Elementary School in Fleming Street is surrounded by strong fences and anti-terrorist barriers – a response to terror attacks in neighbouring countries and folied attacks in Greece by domestic and foreign organisations. Yet, episodes of vandalism are still happening. In preparation for a feast, a few Jewish religious symbols that were left in the courtyard became the target of unknown individuals who threw eggs at them. Furthermore, Molotov cocktail bombs have been thrown against the Jewish graveyard; the Shoah memorial has ben vandalised; and during demonstrations some members of the Communist Party have attacked the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki offices and the Jewish Youth Club.

Why are these incidents not known although they have been reported by the media? “Because those committing these violent acts are what we consider ‘normal’ people,” explained Vaena. “Our neighbours, our friends, people with whom we go out to drink Ouzo. It is difficult to report them also because antisemitism and conspiracy theories are embedded in Greek society and are not considered outrageous”, he concluded.

Read more: Symbiosis Radio: Interview with Iosif Vaena (10.12.2015)

  • Some other posts related to cases of violent antisemitism in Greece since 2009:
  1. January ’09: antisemitic violence in Greece (Abravanel, the blog)
  2. New Arson in Hania Synagogue (16/01/2010, Abravanel, the blog)
  3. Salonica: Jews clash with antisemite over vandalism (21/07/2011, Abravanel, the blog)

Πρόσφυγας στην ίδια σου τη χώρα / Becoming refugee in your native land

Στο πλαίσιο του καλλιτεχνικού εγχειρήματος “Διασπορές” / In the framework of “Diasporas”, an art project focusing on art, migration and diaspora in Thessaloniki and beyond.

Ιωσήφ Βαένα / Iosif Vaena: “Πρόσφυγας στην ίδια σου τη χώρα: οι Εβραίοι που επέστρεψαν απο το Άουσβιτς στη Θεσσαλονίκη / Becoming refugee in your native land: the Jews who returned from Auschwitz to Salonica” (στα Ελληνικά / in Greek)

Περίληψη Παρουσίασης / Presentation Summary:

Η προσφυγιά είναι μια παράξενη κατάσταση. Στην συζήτηση θα ανακαλύψουμε το πώς οι Εβραίοι της Θεσσαλονίκης – των οποίων η ιστορική παρουσία είναι τουλάχιστον 2100 χρόνων και πλειοψηφία ζει τουλάχιστον 520 χρόνια στην πόλη – κατέληξαν πρόσφυγες στην ίδια τους την πόλη μετά το Ολοκαύτωμα και το πώς σήμερα συνυπάρχει η αίσθηση του ιθαγενή και πρόσφυγα ταυτόχρονα.

The condition of being a refugee is a strange one. In our discussion we will discover how the Jews of Thessaloniki –whose historical existence is at least 2100 years old and whose majority lives for at least 520 years in the city – ended up being refugees in their own city after the Holocaust, and how today the sense of being indigenous as well as a refugee simultaneously coexist.


Μικρή Βιογραφία:

Ο Ιωσήφ Βαένα είναι φαρμακοποιός και στον ελεύθερο χρόνο του συλλέγει εβραϊκές ταφόπλακες από τον Θερμαϊκό. Ελπίζει μια μέρα να μάθει ποιός τις έριξε εκεί.

Iosif Vaena is a pharmacist and in his free time he collects Jewish tombstones from the gulf of Thermaikos. He hopes that one day he will find out who threw them out there.


Στοιχεία Παρουσίασης / Presentation Information:

Τόπος / Place: Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο Βαβυλωνία, Βύρωνος 3, 54622, Θεσσαλονίκη / Babylonia Cultural Center, 3 Vironos st., 54623, Thessaloniki

Ημερομηνία και Ώρα / Date and Time: 17.10.15, 18:00-21:00 (σειρά παρουσιάσεων / series of presentations)

Γλώσσα Παρουσίασης / Presentation Language: Ελληνικά / Greek


Via  [h/t]