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)
Bronze memory stones which commemorate victims of the Holocaust who worked at the port of Thessaloniki during World War II were vandalized by unknown perpetrators. Giorgos Antoniou posted photos of the vandalism online.
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).
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.
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.
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)
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 hierauf 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.
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”.
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