“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]

Attempt to destroy the monument at the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki

[English text: CFCA / source: Against Antisemitism blog]

In a post on Facebook, Mr Isaac Alhanati accuses vandals for making an attempt to destroy the monument at the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki (located at the Observatory Park of the Thessaloniki University). The photograph we publish with the permission of Mr. Alhanati shows severe damage caused to the menorah on the monument. The memorial has been vandalized in December 2014 – just weeks after the inauguration ceremony – with the slogan “Free Palestine”.

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Photo courtesy of Isaac Alhanati, Thessaloniki, November 2016

The monument in memory of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki was unveiled on Sunday, November 9, 2014:

mnhmeio_apth_nov_2014

Source: kis.gr

Thessaloniki is changing

Dimitrios Tsermenidis, president of the Union of Public Transportation Workers of Thessaloniki uttered during a general assembly that «Jews are responsible for crucifying Christ», «This hall has the name Benaroya because God made a mistake by creating Jews» & «Unfortunately Hitler did not complete his work». Tsermenidis’ antisemitic rant was unequivocally condemned by other organizations present. Read more:

Abravanel, the Blog

“Unfortunately Hitler did not complete his work”

The history of Thessaloniki, (Salonica/Saloniki), is the history of the Jews and a small example of this can be seen in the travails of the main hall of the Workers Center of Thessaloniki (EKT) named after Avraham Benaroya. Who was Benaroya ? He is the grandfather of the modern greek workers movement by being the main personality behind the Federacion, the first socialist organization created in ottoman Salonica in 1909. When Salonica became part of the Greek State during the Balcan Wars he played a pivotal role in the incorporation of the Federacion into a new political formation called SEKE which would later become the Communist Party of Greece.

benaroya_family Abraham Benaroya and his family, most of them exterminated in Auschwitz. On the top left corner his son Lazarus who died as a corporal at the 50th Regiment on 30/1/1941 during…

View original post 588 more words

Antisemitic football graffiti in Thessaloniki

Supporters of PAOK F.C. have sprayed onto a wall in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, antisemitic graffiti calling the supporters of Aris F.C., also based in Thessaloniki, “Sons of a bitch” and “Jews” (in Greek: Εβραίοι).

The graffiti has been recently discovered by lawyer & author Michalis Tremopoulos at the east side of the city.

Tremopoulos_Thessaloniki_June2016

Thessaloniki, June 2016. Photo courtesy of Michalis Tremopoulos.

Blogger Abravanel wrote in 2007:

“It is interesting that once a friend asked me if, as a greek Jew myself, knew if indeed Jews had founded the team of Aris Saloniki. I answered that to the best of my knowledge that this was not true and I inquired on why he wanted to know. He replied that often other fans accused him that his team was founded by Jews and he wanted to verify it! Apparently the simple fact that possibly a jew could be involved in the founding of a team was a reason enough to be contaminated, a kind of original sin. It wasn’t important that Aris doesn’t have anything to do with jews, (neither players, nor managers, nor anything else in his history), it was enough that a jew might have «touched» him to contaminate him forever without any chance of redemption. By the way probably this is the reason of why jews get the dubious honour of getting mentioned twice on the same wall, they get identified with the arch-enemy of PAOK, the team of Aris. So they become target for two reasons: one because as jews they’re a just object of hate and also because they’re identified with the traditional opponents.” (How to insult a greek! 19/3/2007)

 

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.

Antisemitic rally held in Thessaloniki

A rally against the new electronic “card of citizen” gathered hundreds of people in front of the oversized statue of Alexander the Great in Nea Paralia of Thessaloniki, reports journalist Sofia Christoforidou. Laypeople and members of the Greek Orthodox organization “Agios Vasileios” protested the “instruments of Antichrist and the New World Order” holding religious icons, banners, Greek and Byzantine flags. One of the banners featured the message: “No to the card of citizen. There is only one enemy: The international Zionism.”
rally against ID cards thessaloniki

“No to the card of citizen. There is only one enemy: The international Zionism.” Photo courtesy of Sofia Christoforidou

Antisemitic publications with titles like “The Jewish-Zionist vampire Soros is thirsty for Greek blood” were available for purchase during the demonstration. The protesters shouted slogans against “the Jewish” Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris.
One of the speakers was the excommunicated Abbot Methodios, who at a similar rally in Athens a few weeks ago threatened the Jews with a “Greek Hitler”. In Thessaloniki, he suggested again that the Christians are enslaved by “the Jews”. He also said that the Jews “were cannibals, when the Greeks were building Parthenons.” His Jew-hate rant was warmly applauded, reports Sofia Christoforidou.

Antisemitism in Greece can be violent

Symbiosis-FM100_6

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.

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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.

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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

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http://thess.gr/blog/author/mayor-rison

Via diasporaplace.com  [h/t grassrootreuter.wordpress.com]

Yara Haskiel: Memory Extended

Στις 27 Απριλίου, το Κέντρο Ελέγχου Τηλεοράσεων (Κύπρου 91Α, Κυψέλη) πραγματοποιεί αφιέρωμα στην πειραματική κινηματογραφίστρια Γιάρα Χασκιέλ. Περισσότερες πληροφορίες για τις ταινίες που θα προβληθούν εδώ. Αξίζει να δείτε, εν είδει πρόγευσης, στο vimeo.com το δωδεκάλεπτο δοκίμιό της “Memory Extended”. Το φιλμ είναι μέρος της μακροχρόνιας έρευνας της Yara Haskiel πάνω στην ελληνοεβραϊκή οικογενειακή ιστορία της, η οποία διαδραματίζεται στη Θεσσαλονίκη και το Μόναχο.

Memory Extended is an Essay and pre-piece about my long term research on my greek-jewish family history which takes place in Thessaloniki and Munich. The film shows the impossibility of finding names of former family members and contextualize it to the story of the archives from the Jewish Community in Greece, which are spread or lost in different places. The non-linear narrative constitutes itself on a double screen. The viewer can sees the different speeds of looking at the material like in a post-production process and in the archive.

Yara Haskiel (via)

Watch “Memory Extended” (12′) on vimeo.com.

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“Memory Extended” (Screengrab)

H Υara Haskiel είναι εικαστικός και ερευνήτρια. Ζει και εργάζεται στο Βερολίνο και τη Βαρκελώνη. Γεννήθηκε το 1982, σπούδασε πειραματικό κινηματογράφο, καλές τέχνες και πολυμέσα και αποφοίτησε από τη σχολή Καλών Τεχνών του Βερολίνου.

Yara Haskiel Spaett, born 1982 is a video artist. She works and lives in Barcelona and Berlin. She is experimenting with forms of video essays and multi-screen installations. In her videos she deals with memory, socio-political issues and family in the context of micro- and macro politics. Currently she is part of the Independent Studies Program (PEI) at the Museum for Contemporary Art (MACBA) in Barcelona. In collaboration with Janine Jembere she has realized several video workshops and performative pieces together with the akademie der autodidakten at the Post-Migrant-Theatre BALLHAUS NAUNYNSTR, Berlin-Kreuzberg. Recently she was part of the organizing and artistical production Team of The Art of Being Many Congress at the Kampnagel Theatre, Hamburg, 2014. (via)