NEWS

KIS condemns repeated vandalism of Trikala’s Jewish sites

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The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) condemned on Friday the second vandalism of a Jewish site in Trikala, Thessaly, within two days and called for the arrest of the perpetrators and the proper guarding of the site by municipal authorities.

The perpetrators destroyed part of the fence of the town's Holocaust Monument and removed the Star of David.

“Unfortunately, once more we express our sorrow, outrage and concern over the new vandal attack against a Jewish site in Trikala,” KIS said in a statement issued on Friday, adding that the monument was severely damaged.

The Holocaust Monument was sprayed with antisemitic graffiti three times in February and March 2019. On Thursday, the outer wall of the city's newly renovated synagogue was sprayed with antisemitic slogans.

KIS said it sent letters to the Minister of Citizen Protection, the mayor of Trikala and the city's chief of police asking for “the arrest of the perpetrators and their prosecution, the adoption of effective security measures for the protection of all Jewish sites -thus the Synagogue, the Holocaust Monument and the Jewish cemetery- so that such actions -that damage the image of the city both in Greece and abroad- are prevented from happening again in the future.”

"We hope that the city of Trikala, the Municipality, the Church and the civil society will safeguard the city’s history and heritage against the followers of intolerance and antisemitism," the board concluded.

Responding to the incident, the City of Trikala strongly condemned the desecration of the monuments, calling them "unacceptable, dark acts of bigotry and racism, violating any sense of respect to human beings and their values."

"In a city that has a recorded and long-term history of the cohabitation of religions, and respect and projection of different religions, such acts harm democracy, solidarity and peaceful coexistence," it said, and called on residents of Trikala to preserve the history of the city and its tradition of respect to humanity.

"It is our responsibility to continue living in an open city, a city that serves as a model of solidarity, brotherhood and respect for every human being, without discrimination."