Greek Police Arrest Antisemitic Vandal Who Defaced Jewish Cemetery and Holocaust Monument
Greek police announced on Tuesday that a man accused of defacing a Jewish cemetery and a monument to the Holocaust with the words “Jesus Christ Conquers” had been arrested.
The vandalism was first reported last Thursday in the city of Larissa in northern Greece. Witnesses said that a middle-aged man brandishing a sign with Christian religious symbols spray-painted the slogan in black upon the wall of the cemetery as well as the Holocaust monument, fleeing the area on foot before police arrived.
The outrage was widely condemned both in Greece and abroad.
“We condemn the heinous desecration of the Jewish cemetery of Larissa,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “This despicable act is an insult to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and is counter to Greek culture and the values of the Greek society. Such actions remind us of the need for vigilance in defense of our moral values against racism, hatred and bigotry.”
The US Embassy in Greece also voiced its concern.
“The US Embassy condemns the desecration of the synagogue and Holocaust monument in Larissa,” a statement from the embassy declared. “The United States is committed to fighting antisemitism and promoting religious freedom.”
The incident in Larissa followed a spate of antisemitic vandalism in Greece just two months ago.
In the northern city of Thessaloniki, the memorial to the 50,000 local Jews exterminated by the Nazis was spray-painted with the words, “With Jews, You Lose,” while in the capital Athens, the German words “Juden Raus” (“Jews Out”) and the symbol of the Waffen SS were daubed on the wall of a Jewish cemetery.