Greek Jews Slam Columnist for Comparing Life Under Present Government to Auschwitz Extermination Camp
Greece’s Jewish community has issued an angry response to an opinion columnist’s claim that life in the country under its present government is comparable with the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War II.
In a statement Wednesday, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) slammed writer Elena Akrita’s “shameful” analogy. Akrita made the comparison in an opinion piece that accused the Greek government of ruling through “humiliation and violence” during the protests that have rocked the country over the past month.
“We live in an Auschwitz,” Akrita wrote. “In a little while we will sew stars on the lapel of our coat so that they know who they are trampling on in this endless ‘Night of Crystals’ (a reference to the Nov. 9-10, 1938 Nazi pogrom against Germany’s Jewish community.)”
In response, the KIS said that it deplored “the unacceptable and non-existent parallel of Auschwitz with life in a democratic country like Greece.”
The statement continued: “In Auschwitz people did not live. They died every day, every hour, every minute, every moment, because in Auschwitz life had lost all value.”
Referencing the title of Akrita’s piece — “It Hurts, You Fools” — the KIS pointed out that “in Auschwitz, 1,500,000 people were killed who could not shout ‘It hurts.'”
However, Akrita doubled down on her comments on Thursday, telling the KIS that she had not mentioned “Jewish prisoners” in Auschwitz.
“In my text I refer to Auschwitz, but I do not refer anywhere to Jewish prisoners,” she said. “Of course, the Jews were the majority but they were not the only ones. Homosexuals, communists, socialists, trade unionists, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political prisoners, people with disabilities, the elderly, babies, people with mental disabilities were killed in the concentration camps.”
She concluded: “I believe that the ambition of this government is to lock all the ‘dissidents’ in a huge concentration camp.”