Jewish Tombstones Destroyed at Athens Cemetery

Vandals recently desecrated the Jewish section of an Athens cemetery, destroying nine marble gravestones. 

The head of the Jewish community described the scene as “repulsive.” The Athens police are currently investigating the incident and the community plans on taking legal action against the culprits. In April 2018, two Holocaust memorials were also vandalized in separate incidents. A report in 2015, found that nearly 69% of Greek adults hold anti-Semitic views. 

There have been many other incidents of vandalism against Jewish sites in Greece in recent years. There are approximately 4,500 Jews living in Greece today; centered predominantly in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. The uptick in violence against Jews in recent years has coincided with the rise in prominence of the far-right fascist Golden Dawn Party. 

The Golden Dawn party is one of Europe’s most prominent neo-Nazi movements with representation in Greece's national parliament. It currently holds 16 seats out of 300 in the Greek parliament.

In October 2015, unidentified people scribbled graffiti on the entrance to the same cemetery in Athens with the word “raus” which means German for “out.” In Nazi Germany, the phrase Juden raus or “Jews out,” was a common slogan among anti-Semites. The vandals also painted a swastika on the cemetery’s gate.

The Jewish community of Athens is organizing a silent protest at the cemetery this Sunday, May 13th at noon. Let's stand with the Jews of Greece.