A recently completed mural in Thessaloniki memorializing the nearly 50,000 of the city’s Jews who were sent to extermination camps during World War II was vandalized overnight, either late Wednesday or early on Thursday.
The desecration was strongly condemned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We express our revulsion toward any action that insults the memory of the victims of Nazi atrocities. Once again, we underscore the need to heap scorn on racism, hatred and fanaticism and to defend our moral principles,” the ministry said, just hours after announcing that Greece, for the first time, will assume the rotating presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on April 1.
The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki also condemned the act of “strangers who seem to be bothered by the willingness of the city to remember even the darkest pages of its history.”
The 35-meter-long, 7-meter-high mural was created by street artist Same84 to pay homage to the thousands who perished in Nazi death camps on one of the walls that enclosed the old Jewish neighborhood of Rezi Vardar. It was unveiled at the beginning of March. According to local media, the unknown vandals smeared it with black paint.
Restoration efforts are already under way.