Latest antisemitic incidents in Greece

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”.

Rally against Macedonia Sept8th_2

“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).

 

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Monument in memory of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki vandalized with paint

Only days after the desecration of the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial with red paint by Greek nationalists, the monument erected on the campus of Aristotle University in memory of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki was smeared in blue paint and had a cross painted on it.

Vandalism Memorial Thessaloniki July 2018

Source: athjcom.gr

From the press release of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki:

The desecration is an insult to the Monument, which was erected to commemorate and restore to the collective memory the Jewish students of the Aristotle University who perished in the Nazi death camps. To link the current landscape of the site to its history and remind to everyone the existence of the old Jewish Cemetery destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators in 1942. At the same time this extremely sad event is an act of great disrespect for the Aristotle University Thessaloniki, an institution of Education, a place for molding the character and consciousness of the younger generation.

From the press release of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece:

The University was built upon the shattered tombs and the scattered bones of our forefathers of Thessaloniki, while the Jews of Thessaloniki where confined into ghettos pending deportation. It took 72 years for the city to assume responsibility and pay tribute to the memory of the Jewish necropolis with the erection of this monument in 2014. Today, the memory of the Jews of Thessaloniki, along with the history and the culture of the city, are struck once more, by the preachers of hatred.
There remain no other words to describe the sorrow of the Greek Jews: Shame – Shame – Shame.

Learn more about the history related to the monument erected in 2014.

Citizens of Thessaloniki fill the Holocaust memorial with flowers in response to recent desecrations

With a flower in hand, citizens of Thessaloniki gathered in the afternoon of July 4, 2018, in front of the Holocaust Memorial at Liberty Square to protest recent vandalisms of the monument.

Tryfon Kalamitsis July 2018

Photo courtesy of Τρύφων Καλαμίτσης (Thessaloniki, July 4, 2018)

The Holocaust Monument in Thessaloniki was defaced with red paint in the night of Wednesday June 27, 2018. According to authorities and press reports, perpetrators may have been participants in a rally held earlier that day outside the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry to protest the name deal signed between Athens and Skopje. (via kis.gr)

At the beginning of the year, the Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki was desecrated with “Free Palestine” graffiti. Only days after this desecration, the memorial was again vandalized, this time by Greek nazis with “Golden Dawn” graffiti.

Rede von Jannis Boutáris, Oberbürgermeister von Thessaloniki, zum Holocaust-Gedenktag

Via Initiativgruppe ΠΟΠ & Jürgen Rompf

Rede von Jannis Boutáris, Oberbürgermeister von Thessaloniki. Gehalten wurde diese Rede am Gedenktag an den Holocaust, am 28. Januar 2018, aus Anlass der Grundsteinlegung des Neuen Jüdischen Museums in Thessaloniki.

Jannis Boutáris, Oberbürgermeister von Thessaloniki, setzte mit einer Rede Ende Januar in Thessaloniki einen Meilenstein. Deutlich wie noch nie jemand zuvor brandmarkte er die Indifferenz des griechischen Staates und vieler Bürger Thessalonikis gegenüber dem Schicksal der jüdischen Gemeinde der nordgriechischen Metropole. Das „Jerusalem des Balkans“ war im Zweiten Weltkrieg zerstört worden, seine Bewohner zum größten Teil in den deutschen Konzentrationslagern ums Leben gekommen. Boutáris engagiert sich seit Jahren dafür, alle Facetten der Geschichte der Stadt zur Sprache zu bringen. Die Rede, in der Übersetzung von Hans Eideneier, wurde am Mittwoch, 7. März 2018 in der GRIECHENLAND ZEITUNG veröffentlicht! Die Rede auf Griechisch finden sie hier auf der offiziellen Webseite der Stadt Thessaloniki.


Im Sommer 1945 trat Buena Sarfatí einmal vor die Tür ihres Hauses. Eine Jüdin mit dreißig Jahren, eine Salonikianerin von Großvater zu Großvater, war Buena vor kurzem nach Thessaloniki zurückgekehrt aus den Bergen, wohin sie geflohen war, anfangs zu den Kampfverbänden der EDES (Nationale Republikanische Liga), später zur EAM (Nationale Volksbefreiungsfront) und zuletzt auf der Flucht nach Palästina. Ihr Bruder Eliaou, ihre Schwester Regina, ihre hundertjährige Großmutter Miriam und ihre Tanten hatten nicht das gleiche Glück. Aus dem Wagon des Zuges, der sie nach Auschwitz-Birkenau bringen sollte, sahen sie die Stadt, die man das „Jerusalem des Balkans“ nannte, an jenem Tag im Frühjahr 1943 zum letzten Mal. Wenige Stunden nach ihrer Ankunft wurden sie zusammen mit weiteren tausend Glaubensgenossen in die Krematorien gebracht. Ihr Leben und mit ihnen das Leben des jüdischen Thessaloniki, unseres Thessaloniki, war zur Asche geworden, die über die unwirtlichen Gefilde Polens verstreut wurde.

Weiterlesen.

Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki desecrated with “Golden Dawn” graffiti

Only days after the desecration with “Free Palestine” graffiti, the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial was vandalized by Greek nazis with “Golden Dawn” graffiti (see photo of the new vandalism below).

Tens of thousands of Greeks protested today in Thessaloniki the use of the name “Macedonia” in a solution to a dispute between Greece and Republic of Macedonia.

The rally drew around 90,000 people, according to police estimates. It was attended by politicians, members of Greek diaspora groups and some hard-line clerics. MPs of the extreme-right Golden Dawn also joined the protest. (via)

Earlier today, Greek news outlet thestival.gr detected antisemitic leaflets at the White Tower square targeting the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, and calling him “a slave of the Jews”.

Boutaris_worshiper

Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki desecrated with “Free Palestine” graffiti

Vandals desecrated the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial with “Free Palestine” graffiti.

Back in 2014, the monument in commemoration of the old Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki was desecrated with the same graffiti, just weeks after it was dedicated.

Thessaloniki: Exhibition banner vandalized with antisemitic graffiti

Τhe exhibition “Shared Sacred Sites in the Balkans and the Mediterranean”, a collaboration between the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, opened on September 23rd.

Only hours after the exhibition opening, the banner outside the venue had been vandalized with antisemitic (“Jews out”) and far-right (“Fatherland, religion, family”) graffiti.

Thessaloniki_vandalized_banner_2017

Thessaloniki, September 2017 / Photo courtesy of Iosif Vaena

School visits to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki are not welcomed by all educators and parents

800px-Jewish_museum_thessaloniki_sign

Source: Wikipedia

Via pri.org

[…] But the mayor [Boutaris] and his efforts have received pushback.

Among other initiatives, the mayor has been promoting public school visits to the existing Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki.

In 2014, about 700 students visited the museum annually; today that figure has soared to more than 7,000, according to museum director Erika Perahia Zemour, a development not welcomed by all educators and parents.

“We have teachers who have told us that they have problems with the parents of kids they bring to the museum,” Zemour said. “Yesterday, for example, I had a teacher from … an area of Thessaloniki that votes 15 percent Golden Dawn, and one of the parents told him ‘Why are you teaching the kids these things? The Holocaust doesn’t exist. It never happened.’”

The mayor credits much of that push-back to anti-Semitism. According to a 2014 survey by the Anti-Defamation League, Greece is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe.

But those within the Jewish community say the mayor’s efforts are making a difference.

“Certainly things have changed since the mayor changed. Minds have been opened and the mayor has done a lot of work so that people can realize the history of the city,” Zemour said. “Finally something is happening. We are making some progress.”

Antisemitism in Greece today – Executive Summary

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has published an executive summary of the antisemitism report authored by Giorgos Antoniou, Spyros Kosmidis, Elias Dinas and Leon Saltiel.

antisemitism_630x420

Creator: Christopher Adam

Antisemitism in Greece today: Aspects, causes and tackling the phenomenon

Anti-Semitism is one of the most common manifestations of social prejudice in Europe and elsewhere. Greece is not an exception to this rule; in fact, Greece, according to the 2015/2017 Anti-Defamation League Global Survey has the highest proportion of people who harbour anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. The study at hand was commissioned by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Greece to report the main findings of an original analysis of Greek public opinion that aimed to delve deeper into the causes of the phenomenon. The report was divided into three themes; 1) discussing the socio-political framework of anti-Semitism in modern Greece, 2) the full presentation of the empirical work conducted using public opinion surveys and 3) a set of policy recommendations to tackle the phenomenon. The executive summary at hand will briefly present the main aspects of each of the three themes.

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. The report embarks on a thorough analysis of the role that political actors, the Greek Church and the mass media play in perpetuating anti-Semitic prejudice and behaviour. Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party with parliamentary representation, is the most important advocate of anti-Semitic views in contemporary Greece, but there are some disconcerting incidents that vary across all levels of government and across different ideological persuasions. One of the key concerns regarding the relationship between politics and anti-Semitism is that there are many incidents of anti-Jewish rhetoric, and those incidents have the ideological left and right as the perpetrators. In many of those incidents, the role of the Greek Church is pivotal. Stemming from Christian anti-Judaism, it often takes other forms such as anti-Zionism or Jewish Conspiracies. In the report, we lay out some of key examples showing how one of the most respected institutions in Greece is not keen to stop anti-Semitism.

The mass media play a big role as well. The way anti-Semitism is reported or, more often, not reported helps the phenomenon to expand and become an everyday theme that should not carry any consequences for the politician or any other figure harbouring similar views in public. In fairness, this was less of an issue when Golden Dawn started gaining influence in the Greek public sphere. On occasions when Golden Dawn denied the Holocaust, the mass media where keen to attack the party and consider “Holocaust conspiracy” allegations as absurd. As expected, newspapers of extreme-right persuasion were keen to recycle similar conspiracies and embellish them with narratives of “Jewish world domination” and “Jewish economic interests in Greece“. Sadly, some mainstream newspapers also put forward subtle and not so subtle opinions against the Jews (especially when the Arab-Israeli conflict is on the agenda).

Read more on gr.boell.org

See the full report here (in Greek), as well as a panel discussion on the results of the report:

Moderation: Sofia Christoforidou

Speakers: Katharina von Schnurbein, Spyros Kosmidis, Giorgos Antoniou, Viktor Isaac Eliezer, Maria Yannakaki, Grigorios Stamkopoulos, Eleni Hontolidou, Andreas Takis

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.