JTA — A memorial to the Jews of a Greek town who were sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis was vandalized.
The Memorial to the Jewish Martyrs of Kastoria, in the northern region of West Macedonia, was covered with black spray-paint on Tuesday, the state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported.
“In this place, on March 24 1944, the Nazis gathered the 1,000 Jews of Kastoria and transported them to death camps in Auschwitz. Only 35 survived,” the inscribed marble slab reads.
Local volunteers reportedly helped to clean the memorial.
The World Jewish Congress called for authorities to crack down on vandalism of Holocaust memorials.
A Holocaust memorial in #Kastoria was desecrated, less than 2 weeks after a separate monumnet in Greece was vandalized for the 4th time this year.
— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) December 26, 2018
Earlier this month, a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki was daubed with a swastika, the fourth time this year the object was vandalized.
At the time, the Israeli Embassy in Greece issued a condemnation of that incident.
“Turning Jews into scapegoats for events that they have absolutely no responsibility for is the absolute expression of anti-Semitism,” it said in a statement. “Such incidents by extreme nationalist circles must be condemned by all and the aggressors must finally be led before justice.”
The attacks have been attributed to far-right supporters, including those from neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which has been represented in Greece’s parliament since 2012, and consistently ranks as the third most popular movement in opinion polls.
After conquering Greece in 1941, Nazi Germany deported to extermination camps some 50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki, which at the time was one of the main centers of Judaism in the Balkans.
Anti-Semitism remains prevalent in Greece. Historically there has also been strong support for the Palestinian cause.
Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.