ATHENS, Greece — The Athens Holocaust Memorial was desecrated for the second time this year, when vandals spray painted the logo of an ultra-nationalist group on it.
The logo of the group known as the Unaligned Meander Nationalists was spray painted on the monument in blue paint on Oct. 30. The same group, which describes the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as “moderates,” vandalized the Holocaust Monument on the island of Rhodes in October 2012.
The Greek Jewish community condemned the act and called on Greek authorities to effectively protect the monument.
“We call upon the municipal and state authorities to effectively protect the Holocaust Monument of the capital, in order to avoid repetition of such phenomena,” said a joint statement from the Jewish Community of Athens and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
This is the second time this year that the Athens monument was desecrated. In June vandals painted threats against the Jewish community on it.
Erected in 2010, the monument commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today only about 5,000 Jews live in Greece.
The Jewish community also called on Greek authorities to “put into motion all necessary procedures so that the perpetrators – those whose hateful and violent actions offend the dignity and the cultural heritage of the city – be apprehended and punished.”
A recent Anti-Defamation League survey showed that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That is nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, with 37 percent.