Mural Commemorating Jewish Greek Holocaust Victims Defaced with Swastikas
A mural commemorating Greek Jews who were deported from Thessaloniki and sent to Nazi concentration camps during World War II was vandalized this week, according to Kathimerini, a Greek daily newspaper.
The mural, located on a wall at the Thessaloniki Railway Station, was graffitied with swastikas. A similar incident occurred two weeks ago, the Vadaris Neighborhood Group, an addiction and recovery group that made the mural, told the paper on Tuesday. In December, at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, a swastika was graffitied on a monument commemorating a Jewish cemetery that was razed by the Nazis in 1942.
“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 group told Kathimerini. “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-Nazis.”
Vadaris Neighborhood added that it is organizing an effort to remove the graffiti and said “such acts of blatant hatred do not honor the culture and history of our city are typical of the ignorance, illiteracy, and antisemitic beliefs of some brazen fellow citizens.”
Calling on Greek authorities to “locate the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Israeli Ambassador to Greece Noam Katz on Wednesday denounced the incident.
“I am appalled by the defacing with fascist symbols of the mural dedicated to the deportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki in the Holocaust at the city’s new train station and I condemn it,” he tweeted. “There can be no tolerance for such phenomena perpetrated by extremists in a city and country, which paid such a heavy price during the Holocaust. We trust that the Greek authorities will locate the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
No criminal charges have yet been made, according to Greek outlets.