New Street Mural in Greece Honors ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ Heroes, Delivers Powerful Message Against Antisemitism
A freshly-painted street mural in the western Greek city of Patras is drawing renewed attention to the courageous deeds of two “Righteous Among the Nations” heroes who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
The public art display– an initiative of Artists 4 Israel, in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) — honors two Greek citizens — the late Zakynthos Mayor Loukas Karrer and Metropolitan Dimitrios Chrysostomos — who, at great personal peril, protected all the Jews of Zakynthos after the Nazis occupied the island in 1943.
Their story was previously highlighted at a CAM-organized event, “There Is Neither Greek Nor Jew,” held in January ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The mural was painted by Kleomenis Kostopoulos, the creative director of Patras-based Art in Progress. He commented, “Murals are one of the most important forms of contemporary expression and communication in public spaces. Today, more than ever, we must revisit our history in Greece by bringing it to the streets, and putting it in their faces.”
He noted that the mural, finished just this past week, had already made a “great impression” in Patras, including positive coverage by several local media outlets.
This is the second installation of Artist 4 Israel’s “Righteous Among the Nations” Global Mural Project, honoring non-Jews recognized by Yad Vashem for risking their lives to rescue Jews during World War II.
The murals — the first of which was painted in the northern Portuguese city of Vila Nova de Gaia last year — are meant to teach younger generations about the dangers of antisemitism and the need to combat contemporary bigotry with social solidarity.
The mural campaign seeks to open up a new model in Holocaust education and the fight against antisemitism, using art to drive out hate.
Craig Dershowitz — CEO of Artists 4 Israel — stated, “The things that bring us together, far outnumber the things that divide us. Art has the power to unite us, and we think the act of creating art is universal. This is why bold and highly visible messages are one of the best tools we have to honor these heroes.”
To learn more about the brave actions of Karrer and Chrysostomos, view the recording of the “There Is Neither Greek Nor Jew” event here: