Antisemitic hate incidents in Greece (August-December 2020)

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)

August 13: The antisemitic slogan “Satanist Jews Out” was found at the Fallen Aviators Monument (Athens, Karaiskaki Square) along with Christogram crosses. [reported by the Against Antisemitism blog]

Fallen Aviators Monument, Athens. Photo credit: Rosa Roussou

September 21: A monument to the fighters of the Greek People’s Liberation Army in Thessaloniki, located near the White Tower, was desecrated with the graffiti “Commie Jews”. [reported by the blog communistsremembrance.wordpress.com]

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)

World Jewish Congress: Just days after leaders of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece were charged with leading a criminal group, multiple Jewish sites in the country were targeted and vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. It shows that even when major steps are taken against racism, the fight is on-going.

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]

Wave of antisemitic attacks hits Greece

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)

Read the KIS announcement for the attacks against Jewish sites – graffiti at the Holocaust Monument of Thessaloniki

The Rhodes Jewish cemetery (Photo: Arie Darzi, CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Just days after leaders of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece were charged with leading a criminal group, multiple Jewish sites in the country were targeted and vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. It shows that even when major steps are taken against racism, the fight is on-going.

Trikala Holocaust Memorial with “goyim” graffiti vandalized

Trikala Desecration 2019

More photos at trikalanews.gr

The Holocaust Memorial at the city of Trikala, in northwestern Thessaly, was found desecrated with the inscription «ΓΚΟΪΜ» (“goyim”), just four months after its unveiling. Photos from the Greek outlet trikalanews.gr captured the vandalism.

The monument designed by the municipality, with input from Trikala’s Jewish community, is in the shape of a tear flanked by railway tracks. In the center is an olive tree and to the side is a column with an inscription in three languages: Greek, Hebrew, and English. [via tabletmag.com]

Just weeks before the unveiling ceremony in 2018, a vandal attack targeted the Jewish cemetery of Trikala. Unknown antisemites vandalized and destroyed eight tombs and tombstones – among which the two graves of the parents of the President of the Jewish Community of Trikala.

Photos of the vandalism that targeted the Jewish Cemetery of Trikala

We publish below photos of the recent desecration of the Trikala Jewish Cemetery, courtesy of Antiratsistiki Enimerosi. Jewish graves and memorials are a recurring target of vandals in Greece. 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 antisemitic rhetoric and the recorded attacks against Jewish monuments or synagogues are disproportionately high, recent studies found.

Trikala octobre 2018

Trikala octobre 2018_5

Trikala octobre 2018_11

Trikala octobre 2018_15

Trikala octobre 2018_16

 

Vandals desecrate the Jewish Cemetery of Trikala

TRIKALA_VANDALISMOS_2018Via kis.gr

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the dismay of the entire Greek Jewry and strongly condemns the vandal attack that once more occurred against the Jewish cemetery of Trikala.

More specifically, followers of racism and antisemitism vandalized and destroyed eight tombs and tombstones -among which the two graves of the parents of the President of the Jewish Community of Trikala.

Following the lawsuit against persons unknown, pressed by the Jewish Community of Trikala, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece calls upon law enforcement authorities to take all necessary measures for the arrest of the perpetrators and the protection of the city’s Jewish cemetery, which -apart from its sacred nature- reflects the historic course of the Jewish presence in Trikala.

We believe that the municipal authorities together with the society of Trikala will not allow the followers of hatred to harm the harmonious coexistence of all the citizens of Trikala, regardless of skin color, race or religion.

Athens, October 12, 2018

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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.

Silent protest to be held at the Jewish Cemetery of Athens

Nikaia_2018Vandals desecrated the Jewish section of an Athens cemetery on Friday night, destroying nine marbre memorial stones. The headstones appear to have been kicked over and then smashed to pieces.

The President of the Jewish Community of Athens, Minos Moissis, described the scene as “repulsive”.

[…] This is not the first time we see the result of a degrading act at our Cemetery but it is the first time we see such act was organized and planned in part of the Cemetery that is not visible from the neighboring houses and with incredible fury. The view of the results of this abominable act causes us deep sorrow and anger.

The Jewish Community of Athens will exercise all the legal means at its disposal, the first steps have already been taken by the police authorities that immediately came to the collection of clues.

But besides the Law, we call upon all the institutions of the State and the City, the Justice, the Religious and Spiritual Authorities of the country and the Civil Society, to condemn unambiguously and without reservation this desecration and to stand with absolutely zero tolerance against such phenomena of violence and intolerance. There is no worse sign of a society’s moral decline than desecration of a Cemetery and disrespect for the dead.

It is not just an act that concerns only our Community and is recorded as one of the most violent and significant anti-Semitic events of recent years in Greece. It is about an act that brutally affects the whole of society, the values and principles of a favored state.

For these reason, we ask everybody to exhaust every effort to never allow such acts against anyone.

(announcement by the Jewish Community of Athens)

The Jewish Community of Athens is organizing a silent protest at the cemetery this Sunday, May 13th, at noon.

 

Greek Police arrest members of Nazi group “C18 Hellas”

vandalism_jewish_cemetery_athens_2015

Credit: The Jewish Community of Athens (athjcom.gr)

Greek Counter Terrorism Police arrested 11 suspected members of violent Nazi group “C18 Hellas” last week, during an operation in greater Athens and two provincial towns.

The suspects are allegedly members of the Greek branch of the extreme right wing group “Combat 18” also known as “C18”, which operates in various countries.

A 35-year-old gas station employee from Ioannina, northwestern Greece, is believed to have led the group, ekathimerini.com reports.

“C18” is responsible for bombing attacks against anarchist and migrant related targets and has ties with another violent Greek Nazi group named “Unaligned Meander Nationalists” (Greek abbreviation: AME). Many Greek news outlets failed to mention that both organisations have signed numerous desecrations of Jewish Monuments and Cemeteries in Greece:

  • Oktober 2015: The entrance of the Jewish Cemetery in Nikaia (an area outside Athens) was vandalized with threatening graffiti featuring nazi symbols. “C18 Hellas” posted pictures of the vandalism online, claiming responsibility for the action.
  • December 2014: AME members scrawled swastikas and threats on the wall of the Jewish Cemetery of Larissa, posting photos of their action online.
  • Oktober 2014: AME left its signature on the Athens Holocaust Monument.
  • Oktober 2012: Desecration of the Holocaust Memorial of the Jews of Rhodes. The monument is located in the Old City and the perpetrators painted with paint all six sides, while they painted the swastika, adding the initials AME.

The case (that led to the Greek police counter-terrorism unit acts) was filed after complaints by Greek Helsinki Monitor, based also on articles by XYZ Contagion blog.

For more information: Greece: Violent fringe Nazi groups dismantled, by Panayote Dimitras (14/3/2018, hopenothate.org.uk).