Holocaust memorials in Greece vandalized
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Holocaust memorials in Greece vandalized

Marble plague in Kavala smashed with hammers, while monument in Arta defaced with graffiti

A memorial in Kavala, Greece, that commemorates Greek Jews who died in World War II. (Yiddish News/Twitter via JTA)
A memorial in Kavala, Greece, that commemorates Greek Jews who died in World War II. (Yiddish News/Twitter via JTA)

Two Holocaust memorials in Greece were vandalized.

In Kavala, a city in northern Greece, the marble veneer was smashed with hammers on Wednesday night, the Athens-based daily newspaper Ekathimerini reported. There are no suspects.

The monument unveiled about a year ago commemorates 1,484 Jews from the city who died in Nazi death camps during World War II.

“Every act of vandalism on a monument opens a new wound in regards to the history and culture of Kavala, a community that has always been open, always tolerant and respectful of other cultures and religions,” the municipal authority said in statement, according to Ekathimerini.

Days earlier, a memorial in Arta, in northwestern Greece, was vandalized with paint and the aphorism “Yolo,” you only live once.

The attack came several days after the community held a ceremony to remember its pre-Holocaust Jewish community. In 1944, some 352 Jews in the town were arrested; most would eventually be sent to Auschwitz and their death.

“It is obvious that there are still people disturbed by their Jewish fellow citizens even if the latter are dead. They cannot tolerate even their memory,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said in a statement.

“We are confident that both the municipality of Arta and the vast majority of its citizens will not allow the desecration of memory by a few nostalgic obscurantists who vulgarly aim at staining the image of the city. We are also confident that soon the monument will stand again to fulfill its purpose: remind the visitors of the atrocity that led to the annihilation of the Jews of Arta simply because they were Jews and awaken the society that such an absolute evil can happen again unless we strongly preserve our democratic and humanitarian principles.”

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