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Monday, 04 July 2016 11:18

According to media reports, the president of the Workers' Union of the Organization of Urban Transportation in Thessaloniki made several anti-Semitic comments (about God been mistaken at creating Jews and about Hitler who did not finish the job), during his speech at the Union’s general assembly. Bus owners association of Thessaloniki, and union group “Anatropi” issued condemnation statements. Our Board issued the following announcement condemning this incident of anti-Semitic speech and praising the groups that promptly reacted: 

“Manifestations of anti-Semitism have unfortunately become an almost daily phenomenon in Greece. The last incident to this chain of events is the recent statement made by the president of the Workers’ Union of the Organization of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki. According to a publication from June 27, 2016, on website, the Union’s president Mr. Dimitris Tsermenidis, during the last general assembly of the Union, allegedly stated that God by mistake created the Jews, who afterwards killed Jesus Christ. Moreover, Mr. Tsermenidis did not hesitate to express his regret for the fact that “unfortunately Hitler did not finish his work”. Finally, it is noted that he made derogatory characterizations against Avraam Benaroya, the founder of “Federation” (Greek workers’ movement), whose name bears the Hall where the assembly took place.

We believe that we must never underestimate or overlook any manifestation of anti-Semitism, regardless of its extent or intensity. The condemnation must be immediate and unequivocal. In this spirit, we are satisfied that Mr. Tsermenidis’ insults were not left unanswered. Specifically, both the Bus Owners Association of Thessaloniki and the Workers’ Union “Anatropi” strongly condemned these statements, proving that our fellow citizens have developed sensitive reflexes against anti-Semitism.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece will never be tired of condemning every anti-Semitic incident of offensive speech. We will keep on doing this believing that in this way not only we defend our community, but the society as a whole, as well as democracy".

Athens July 1st, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece


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