Call for Holocaust Day to discourage racism

Thessaloniki Jews yesterday called on the government to declare a national day of remembrance for the World War II deportation and massacre of the city’s Jewish population by German forces, following a weekend act of vandalism on a monument to Holocaust victims. «We believe only such a historic decision could discourage the latter-day advocates of racism, and greatly contribute to the strengthening of historic memory,» the Jewish Council of Thessaloniki said in a letter to President Costis Stephanopoulos, PM Costas Simitis and party leaders. Two swastikas were sprayed early on Saturday on the monument to the 50,000 members of Thessaloniki’s once-flourishing Jewish community who were murdered in German concentration camps. Greece has national remembrance days for the 1821 War of Independence, the country’s entry into WWII and the 1973 Polytechnic uprising.