Jewish Cemeteries & a Holocaust Monument Desecrated in Greece

October 19, 2020

Another Jewish cemetery and a Holocaust memorial have been desecrated in Thessaloniki, Greece, just days after neo-Nazi leaders of the Golden Dawn party were jailed in a historic trial, the Times of Israel reported.

On Friday, graffiti reading, “With Jews you lose,” was spray-painted onto a monument in memory of the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki who were murdered during the Holocaust, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) said. The words “Death to Israel” were also found at the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki.

In addition to the incidents in Thessaloniki, four tombs were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery on the island of Rhodes in the southeast of the country.

The acts of vandalism come just days after the leader of Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn were handed 13-year prison sentences. In the landmark trial, more than 50 defendants were convicted of crimes including running a criminal organization, murder and assault and illegal weapons possession.

Greece’s foreign ministry spoke out forcefully against the desecration of the monument in Thessaloniki, calling it “an unacceptable act which damages the memory of our fellow citizens and all victims of Nazism.”

Earlier this month, a Jewish cemetery had also been targeted near the capital city of Athens just two days before the verdict in the Golden Dawn trial. “Juden Raus,” a phrase used by the Nazis that means “Jews Out,” had been painted in black on the outside fence of the cemetery in the town of Nikaia, along with the emblem of the Golden Dawn party, which is similar to a swastika.

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