Vandalism of Holocaust Memorial in Thessaloniki condemned


Unknown vandals have scrawled the name of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in black spray-paint on Thessaloniki’s Holocaust Memorial, prompting a reaction from US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, who is visiting the northern port city, and the municipal council.

“It is of critical importance to educate and help prevent hate crimes like [the] deplorable vandalism of Thessaloniki’s Holocaust Memorial by Golden Dawn Sunday,” Pyatt tweeted on Tuesday after visiting the Thessaloniki Jewish Community Center.

Pyatt also congratulated the president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, David Saltiel, Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos for the progress that is being made to construct a Holocaust museum in the northern port city that was home to around 50,000 Jews before World War II and fewer than 2,000 after it.

The Eleftherias Square memorial is a bronze sculpture depicting a menorah with human bodies intertwined into the flames of its candles that was the last piece designed by acclaimed sculptor Nandor Glid and was completed after his death by his son, Daniel, in 1997.

Its vandalism, said the municipal council, is a “condemnable act that once more illustrates the bigotry and violence of the neo-Nazi ideology.”

Such phenomena need to be treated with “zero tolerance,” its announcement added.