Holocaust Memorial Mural Defaced Twice in Two Weeks in Thessaloniki, Greece

The defaced mural.

January 15, 2023

A Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki, Greece, has been vandalized twice in recent weeks by neo-Nazi perpetrators, eKathimerini.com reported.

The mural — commemorating the deportation of the city’s Jews by the Nazis to death camps during World War II — was painted in 2021 on the eastern fence of the New Thessaloniki Railway Station.

“Members of fascist groups covered a large part of the mural with swastikas and symbols of hate, trying once again to tarnish what the mural symbolizes and recalls — the greatest crime in the history of mankind, the Holocaust,” the Vardaris Neighborhood Group, which commissioned the mural, said.

“This is the second time in two weeks that a memorial that honors the long-standing Jewish presence in our city and the victims of the Holocaust has been targeted by neo-Nazi groups,” the group added. “Such acts of blatant hatred do not honor the culture and history of our city and are typical of the ignorance, illiteracy and antisemitic beliefs of some brazen fellow citizens.”

It noted that it was organizing a clean up to remove the graffitied slogans and symbols that “tarnish and offend the conscience of every thinking citizen.”

Thessaloniki was home to the largest Jewish community in Greece before World War II, numbering more than 50,000 people in total, but over 90 percent of the city’s Jewish inhabitants were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Last month, Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Zervas spoke at the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Athens, Greece.

His full remarks can be viewed here: