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May 15, 2015 7:10 pm

Jewish Groups Deplore Greek Demand to Remove Star of David From Holocaust Memorial

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Greek officials at the Mediterranean city of Kavala want a Star of David removed from a Holocaust memorial. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jewish groups expressed “shock” on Friday over news that the unveiling of a Holocaust monument in Kavala, Greece was delayed because locals reportedly sought the removal of a Jewish star.

“There are no words to express adequately our shock and dismay at the news,” said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris.

“How can it be that the eternal symbol of the Jewish people – the very symbol that the Nazis required Jews to wear in the death camps and ghettos of Europe during the Second World War – is deemed unfit for public display in Kavala? What gall for the Jewish community to be asked to remove the Star of David as a condition for allowing the monument to be displayed!” he said.

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Anti-Defamation League Executive Director Abraham H. Foxman, who is a Holocaust survivor, called the move “morally reprehensible.”

“Kavala’s Jews were killed because they were Jews, and the value of a monument is to make that fact demonstrably clear. The mayor and the City Council have insulted the memory of victims, the Greek Jewish community, and Jews around the world, and we join with the Greek Jewish community in voicing our outrage,” he said.

The monument in question memorializes the 1,484 Jews of Kavala who were exterminated during the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II.

The monument was set to be unveiled when, just two days before, the mayor and a majority at the city council insisted on the removal of the image of a Star of David from the memorial.

Meanwhile, Greek Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture, Education, and Religious Affairs, Giorgos Kalantzis, said “‘As an Orthodox Christian, I feel deeply insulted by this issue, because it would be as if someone asked us to erase or modify for ‘aesthetic reasons’ the symbol of the cross on the tombs of our grandfathers executed by the Germans,” according to a statement released by the AJC.

The AJC called on Kavala’s city officials to “reconsider and reverse their appalling decision.”

Eighty-one percent of Greece’s Jewish population was murdered following Nazi occupation during WWII.

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  • Vratchovska

    In June this year I visited my home in Greece and was pleasantly surprised to see the memorial with the Star of David in front of my flat. Iam originally not from Kavala, I have read the city’s history. I went to look and read what was written on the monument and a lady approached me. She turned out to be a jewish lady who presently lives in Kavala. She started crying as she was telling me the history of how the people were gathered on the street above the memorial and left for days without food before they were taken to the concentration camps. The screams and the cries were unbearable such was the suffering of those jewish people. I felt deep sorrow in my heart as I could picture the horror of these people on the way to their death camps.
    I must admit the city today feels sad and lonely especially when going through the streets of the once vibrant tobacco factories. The big factory buildings are empty and derelict and speak of the tragic past for themselves. I feel sad in my heart when walking there and wish there was a way for what happened to those people back then to be undone..
    I don’t have any friends in Kavala as I still reside abroad. I had wished for a friend and now I have one thanks to this monument.
    I will look after it and will greet it every day as long as I am there.

  • Worthless greeks should disappear from cyprus, crete and southern greece

    Worthless greeks should disappear from cyprus, crete and southern greece and be replaced by Israelis and Africans

  • Robert Weintraub

    Expressions by Jewish leaders like “shock”, “dismay”, and other expressions of outrage that commonly follow actions like the town of Kavala by Jewish leaders don’t seem to have much effect. How about a boycott by Jews and our friends (yes we have some) like Evangelical Christians. We might include the 55 Moslem states that don’t recognize Israel Fighting back usually gets better results than complaining. Besides it feels better.

  • this story is a punch in my stomach… if this does happen I puke… isn’t this memorial dedicated to the jews who died at the hands of Nazi sympathizer. this not only makes me sick but as Jew it makes me DAMNED angry. it’s a good thing greece is far from where I am or….I suppose most know where I am going with this, those murderous bastards
    GOD I am seething !!!!

    • George Jarrold

      Why would anybody want to remove the star of David? Having built a Jewish memorial why recoil at the star of David? I can’t make any sense of it.Who are the Greeks appeasing? Why would they be antisemitic? It’s time that Christians remember that they share a common history with the Jews of subjugation ,humiliation and death under Islam that they endured for over a millennium. This new persecution of jewry MUST be stamped out before it gets too strong. Anti Jewish sentiment seems to have grown in proportion to the rise of Islamophilia currently in vogue in the West. The more the Western leaders pamper and pet Islam ,the harder it seems to get for Jews.

  • This news is truly shocking & adds to the veracity of claims that Anti-Semitism, like a cockroach, hasn’t been destroyed and appears to be back in near plague proportions. Algemeiner, despite commenting, writing, joining organisations and visiting my Member of Parliament, I cannot reach the massive numbers that the media is able to influence. You have succeeded in sounding the alarm about this act of Jew Hatred but I am painfully aware that many of your media colleagues will not care or will not even understand our outrage. The Greek Secretary General of The Longest Named Ministery is “insulted” but does this mean that he will prohibit this desecration and allow the Magen David to remain in place? Please take urgent action to find out and also tell us who, in your professional opinion, are the most appropriate people to write, ring and lobby. Israel’s reaction and proposed response is surely of great interest to your readers? And what about the EU? Please prioritise this thin edge of the wedge hate crime!

  • elizabeth

    I feel deeply insulted, disappointed and embarrassed! Is this possible! This never would happen in a civilised country like Australia. People should protest to save their dignity while it is still time. Greece is not in isolation and any action such as this reflects on everyone of us.

  • Art. F. Verschoor

    I am a Dutch born, non Jewish New Zealander who read your report about the removal of the Star of David from a Holocaust Memorial in the Greek city of Kavala. May I respectfully suggest for the Kavala’s city officials to take some time out to consider their incongruous action. The removal of the Star of David renders the monument valueless and without any meaning whatsoever. Surely they understand that the Star of David and that which is Jewish are synonymous and cannot and must not be separated?

    • Mireille Mechoullam

      Thank you. I hope more of you will do the same.

  • Jeff Davis

    There is not a decent citizen of this world, and I underscore the word decent, who would not find the actions of the mayor and City Council, deplorable. There are few words that can be said to express the moral depravity of these people.

  • Disgusting. The Jewish people were murdered once and being murdered still. Mr. Kalantzis put it in perspective and it can’t be any clearer.

  • Yale

    I’d be curious to know who put the city council up to this.

    • Eric R.

      It would be interesting to know the party affiliations of the bigots in question.

      I am guessing that they are leftist — probably affiliated with the Jew-hating Syriza coalition. If they were Golden Dawn, you can bet that the Jew-hating international leftist media would be crying phony tears and making this a big story. Since the Euro-Marxist, Jew-hating media is quiet about this, I would presume these are leftists.

  • Lyone

    Outrageous.

  • HaroldT

    What a disgusting anti-Semitic act.

  • Darsey Kohl

    Sad Day … God Bless his People. Even in trouble..Fight the good fight! The Mayor and council. Should be ashamed of this they will have their day my friend’s. Adoni sees all he knows all..He is watching..

  • mitch

    What would they think if Israel made all Greek Orthodox churches remove the cross from outside their buildings.

  • 10

    PINTO PRAYING TO JESUS BEING PROTECTED. ASKED TO CORRECT IT

  • 10

    PINTO PRAYING TO JESUS BEENING PROTECTED.

  • 10

    THE JEWS DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WHY 6 DAYS. THE PA ARABS CREEPED INTO THE WEST BANK. THEN WHEN GAZA WAS DONE THE PA ARABS THOUGHT THAT WAS THEIR HOME AGAIN.

  • 10

    ONE BY ONE THE JEWS OR PA ARABS WHO WRITE THE INCORRECT STORIES TO BRING DOWN THE JEWS TO GIVE EXCUSE TO RELEASE THE WRITERS FROM THEIR WORK IN THE JEWISH NEWS.

  • Arsene Lapin

    It’s not clear what the reason was for demanding the removal of the Jewish star, but one can guess: the fear of ‘provoking’ or ‘offending’ other groups (i.e. Muslims). There’s no shortage of idiots obsessed by idiotic, politically correct bees in their bonnets. Such people should be swept away from public office for their absurd doctrinaire scruples.
    There are far more of us Gentiles who stand up for Israel than is realised.

    • Mickey Oberman

      There is a world of difference between “Politically correct” and “Cowardly”.

      The Greeks seem to be obsessed with the latter.

      • George Jarrold

        Is there really a difference between the two. I don’t think so. Political correctness is cowardly and sneaky and crafty. The only difference is that cowardice at least is human;political correctness isn’t It’s a contrived ,well thought out underhand method of destroying societal norms and hollowing out cultures.

  • Ron

    Antisemitic mamzerim!

  • 10

    WHO AUTHORIZED A STORY LIKE THAT SO THE JEWS IMMITATE THE PA ARABS WORK. HOW THE JEWS GOT THEIR NEGATIVE NAMES BY INVENTING STORIES SEEN IN THE HAARETZ NEWS. THE TITLE DOES NOT DESCRIBE CORRECTLY I SEE NO REASON TO CONTINUE TO READ THE REST.

    • Mickey Oberman

      There is a world of difference between “Politically correct” and “Cowardly”.

      The Greeks seem to be obsessed with the latter.

      Dear 10,

      It is obvious the 10 is your IQ.

  • barney wainer

    This action equates the city officials with the Nazis – pure antisemitism. If it weren’t so then their objective would be to claim the Jewish victims as Greek (which they were) therefore I expect the Greek govt. to act affirmatively either way and the Israeli govt. to request such action.

  • robert davis

    The greek culture minister should cut off all subsidies to this kavala mayor until he apologizes for his antisemit offence and cowardice.

  • It’s beyond comprehensible the Jewish star is our identity

  • Le Maire de Kavala n’est pas digne de son poste-
    Quand a son ” conseil”,comment peut-on encore trouver autant d’imbéciles en Gréce ?…
    Il faut réagir énergiquement , et au besoin,prendre des mesures économiques…Ils sont , semble-t-il , plus sensibles de ce côté là que côté moral…
    Blys

  • Greek Orthodox anti Jewish should start by deleting their Crosses and Icons all over National Monuments too?
    Idiotic Jews are still living in such countries (Greece Ukraine ) they should have left long ago for ever.
    Jews cannot play double roles and believe at any moment to remain a People and believe they can stay among other People with the same Passport! Being German French Pole whatever AND Jewish, is an illusion…
    We shall have to make a choice: Jewish in any place as a Resident-foreigner, with israeli passport; Or converting (?) and being a traitor and leaving the Jews to their fate…!
    Universal Global World will never exist; and especially not for the Jews !

    • jim why is it a Christian person can be a German Christian simply born that way but a jewish person born in Germany cannot be a jew who happens to be german…
      your way of thinking would mean of course that all real Christians should immediately come to the Vatican in rome …so should all chriistians then be Italian?

      • George Jarrold

        Actually ,Debra,all Christians were originally Jewish and worshiped in the synogogues. Christians actually are Jews
        who follow a reformed version of the faith,through Jesus Christ who of course entered His creation as a Jew.

  • TheAZCowBoy

    Star of the Judeo’s diablo’s’: Time to get all these symbol of Jewish terrorism off public display.

    • George Jarrold

      Jewish terrorism? Are you an alien just arrived from planet Bozo? There is no Jewish terrorism,except perhaps in your over active,fevered imagination.

  • shloime

    perhaps they should follow the shining example of the international committee of the red cross, and use a diamond in place of the magen david to represent jews, so as not to offend moslems, who are so easily offended. (or jew-hating greeks, who seem to share the same prejudices.)

    • George Jarrold

      Yes,strange how the Red cross have become so sensitive;especially when the Red Crescent still uses the. well,Red Crescent.

  • Pinchas Baram

    the mayor and the majority of the city council! sounds like a lot of Jew haters in this Greek dungheap called Kavala, not just a lunatic fringe. I wonder how this story will end…

  • It would behoove the mayor and city council of Kavala, Greece to reconsider and reverse their decision to remove a Jewish star from a Holocaust monument in that city.

    This is not fair to the memory of some 1,500 Jews of Kavala who were killed during the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II.

    True, more than 90 percent of the citizens of Greece are Greek Orthodox Christians, but that does not justify removing a Star of David from a Jewish memorial.

    Indeed, removing the Star of David from the monument is a discriminatory, sacrilegious, and anti-Semitic action that the Greek courts would most likely rule against.

    • Mireille Mechoullam

      Thank you you too Mr Pastourakos.

  • The rise of Anti-Semitism world wide can be attributed to the Muslim world ho would destroy the Jewish people if they could. Their next bet is to convince the world that Islam will allow them to live if they destroy the Jewish people for them. Otherwise when they take over the world they will die also. The truth is no matter who has tried to destroy the Jewish people, they were destroyed themselves. We have been on this planet for almost 5000 years. We will still be here when the Muslims disapear. Just like all the rest who have tried.

  • Fred

    Anti Semitism Greek style.

  • Eric R.

    The Greeks looked like they were going to reconcile with Israel a couple of years ago, when they were worried about Turkey.

    Now, the Greeks threw it all away when they elected the filthy, degenerate, Jew-hating Communist/Nazi (not a contradiction, both ideologies are far left) government of Alex Adolf/Vladimir Tspiras, a government which hates Jews above all else.

    Let the Greeks now rot and starve; they deserve it.

  • Tom Weinberger

    Everyone who is offended by this event and the anti-Semitic attack(s) in Paris should never to visit either Greece or France or any other such countries and take their tourist dollars elsewhere.

  • Outrageous to say the least.

  • Bill

    I have know worked with and been friends with traveled to had an affinity for known the history of including thier suffering during WWII. I felt that they were kindred because they were also a proud people that had suffered and were not shamed. I can only hope this is the few.

  • Sylvie7

    Big surprise. Greeks demand removal of a Magen David on a Holocaust Memorial. Does that represent ignorance, stupidity, anti-Semitism, or all of the above.

  • Samuel J. Savitz

    Demanding the removal of the Star of David as a condition for opening the new Holocaust Memorial demonstrates that Greece is not only heading toward financially bankruptcy, but moral bankruptcy as well.

    • Samuel J. Savitz

      Please correct original submission by changing “financially” to “financial”. Thank you

      Samuel J. Savitz
      May 15, 2015
      8:54 pm

      Demanding the removal of the Star of David as a condition for opening the new Holocaust Memorial demonstrates that Greece is not only heading toward financial bankruptcy, but moral bankruptcy as well.
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      • Mickey Oberman

        It is also in fast forward to becoming yet another Muslim state.

  • Joel Keller

    Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece, as in much of Europe.

  • Obviously this decision proves the enormous collaboration between non Jewish Greeks and the Nazis on the murder of Greek Jews.

  • Abu Nudnik

    The “G” in “PIGS”

  • danny kid

    They murdered and expelled tbeir Jews and welcomed the muslim arabs. Gezundheit. Europe does not deserve to keep its Jews. They would all do well to leave Europe to its inevitable bloodbath.

    • The Third World must remand and remove all non Israeli Euros from their lands

      The Third World must remand and remove all non Israeli Euros from their lands

  • Reform School

    Every Grecian isn’t Greek. Some are HELLenic, some Polish

    Do you expect assimilated American Jews to boycott Diners?

  • Howie Subnick

    The so called “people” on the council are as stupid as stupidity can be. As the Greek Secretary General stated, “are we going to remove the crosses from tombs”? He is the ONLY smart one in the crowd. The sons-of bitches that brought this up, should go to their cemeteries and let everyone know the crosses must be removed. I cannot believe these morons are running a city. They should all be voted out and put in a group of SMART people that understand what Hitler did during world war 11. I hope this ends in a manner that everyone can live with not just the MORONS!
    God Bless You All.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    Is it too much to ask to have a decent print function?

  • brenrod

    When will the Jews stop whining? Why should they want a monument in any stinking european nation when they all engaged in killing jews for 2000 years and are now stalking the Jews in Israel with their BDS churches funding muslim jew killing orgs. Forget Europe, I hope the muslims burn it down. The jews need to stop looking for monuments in europe and begging euros for attention and sensitivity. Get out, put the monuments in israel, europe is a cesspool, stop begging euros, its embarassing. The further the Jews are from europe the better, europe will have decades of civil wars with the honor killers.

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