A monument on the campus of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University (AUT) which commemorates a Jewish cemetery destroyed by the Nazis was targeted by vandals on Tuesday, the second time in two weeks.
The perpetrators daubed blue paint and painted a cross on the monument.
“Today, unknown individuals vandalized the monument to the [old] Jewish cemetery on the university campus. We restored the monument and we condemn the unacceptable action,” the university said in a press release, adding that “the solution to religious fanaticism and bigotry” is education.
Commenting on the incident, the Municipality of Thessaloniki said: “The desecration of the monument ... constitutes a major insult not only to the memory of our Jewish fellow citizens who perished in the Holocaust, but mainly to the collective memory and history of the city itself.”
The municipality blamed the polarization in Greek politics and the country that “arms extreme and fringe elements who seek an opportunity to harm democracy itself, but also the open and tolerant society,” who use foreign policy issues as an excuse.