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HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN LARISSA VANDALIZED BY ALLEGED CLERGYMAN

In the evening of Monday July 17, 2017, an individual dressed as a monk who calls himself ‘father Kleomenis’ -a cult figure, popular for his bigot ideas and You tube posts- attacked and vandalized the Holocaust Monument in Larissa, situated in the central Jewish Martyrs Square of the city. In his video posted on You Tube, the alleged monk curses the Jews, denies the Holocaust and calls on the local patriots of Larissa to intervene and demolish the Monument. "Father" Kleomenis spits, kicks and throws eggs at the Monument. Some of his characteristic quotes: “Here, we read 6 million! Fairy tails… Shit on their faces, merely 600.000 Hitler wiped out!”. Kleomenis spits the Monument and says: “Satanic Jews”. He kicks the Monument and says: “Curse on your dirty Monuments” and continues: “Worms, Jewish bitches, this has to fall. The stinking Jewishness has to be taken down from Larissa. Rise up! Patriotic organizations of Larissa take it down, bring the bulldozer on!”Local police was notified and legal procedure was enacted. Investigation is ongoing. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) and the Jewish Community of Larissa issued press releases. The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued an announcement disassociating itself from the "monk" and condemning his actions.

The Municipality of Larissa issued an Announcement condemning the attack. The General Secretary of Religious Affairs George Kalantzis, as well as the General Secretary for Transparency and Human Rights Maria Giannakaki reacted swiftly by providing the Public Prosecutor of Larissa, the Racist Crimes Department of the Police, and the Cyber Crime Police Department with the relevant evidence. The President of the Jewish Community of Larissa pressed charges against the perpetrator. The Greek Helsinki Monitor also pressed charges against the “so called ‘father Kleomenis’ for a series of racist crimes”.

* The Announcement of KIS:

Shame and outrage are the feelings that one feels when realizes what happened in Larissa on Monday July 17, 2017: The shameful and upsetting incident of the desecration of the Holocaust Monument of Larissa –the first Holocaust Monument erected in Greece in 1987, in the memory of the Greek Jews deported and exterminated in the Nazi death camps. This highly significant Monument was vulgarly vandalized, with offensive expressions and brutal actions, by a robed clergyman who apparently has no affiliation to the Greek Orthodox Church.  On the same day leaflets of relevant anti-Semitic content were strewn across the Monument and the Square of Jewish Martyrs of Larissa. The case is being handled by the Police and the justice system. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece asked the competent  Authorities to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice.

In addition KIS expresses the Greek Jewry’s belief that the society of Larissa and all local institutions will firmly condemn the incident, will isolate the perpetrators and will treat with respect the Holocaust Monument of Larissa and the Jewish Community which is an integral part of the city, that they will ultimately respect the city’s very cultural heritage and civilization, as the people of Larissa have always done in the course of history.

Athens July 18, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

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PRESS RELEASE OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA FOR THE VANDALIZATION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT

In the afternoon of  Monday July 17, 2017, in Larisa, Greece, the so-called Father Cleomenis with his clerical clothing, well-known from the social media for his racist mania, has defiled the Holocaust Monument of the town.

With vulgar insults, kicking and throwing eggs and flyers of anti-Semitic content at the Holocaust Monument of the town of Larisa, “Father Cleomenis” denied the Holocaust and invited all the self-called “patriotic” organizations of Larissa to stand up in order to destroy the Memorial and the “Jewishness” of the city of Larissa. The incident has been filmed by his associates and has been already uploaded to Youtube.

The Jewish Community of Larissa expresses its abhorrence for this violent incident that just took place in a town whose citizens and local authorities show respect and honor to this Monunent; in a town that has never experienced similar incidents in the past. Our Community expresses its satisfaction for the immediate mobilization of the Police Authorities.

We feel confident that in the town of Larissa, fanaticism, intolerance, racist discourse or any other similar phenomenon will be isolated and will be fought at its birth.

Athens, July 18, 2017
JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LARISSA

 
GREEK ARTIST COMPARES ECONOMIC CRISIS TO THE HOLOCAUST

Singer Jimmy Panoussis, in an interview published in “To Vima” on June 25, 2017 (on the occasion of his participation in the theatrical comedy of Aristophanes “Peace”), referred to the “Greeks as the new Jews of our times”. Panoussis said: “As the Nazis chose Jews to be their victims, now the neo-nazis and Schäuble’s people have picked us, the Greeks”. This comparison of the current Greek economic crisis to the Holocaust was criticized Greek Jewish leaders. In an article by Victor Eliezer (EJP, July 4, 2017), the President of the Athens Jewish Community Minos Moissis stressed that Panoussis’ statement “affects me both as a Jew and as a Greek. As a Jew, because once again the mass murder of the Holocaust is wiped out when it is compared to unrelated modern themes. As a Greek because he isolates me as a supposedly victim and target of a Europe in which I want to live”. 
* READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

 
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST COPTIC CHURCHES IN EGYPT Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 April 2017 11:57

This time, the Islamic State has chosen Sunday, April 9, 2017, Palm Sunday, to strike the Egyptian Coptic Christians. At least 44 people were killed and more than 128 were injured in suicide bombers attack against two Coptic Orthodox churches during the mass. At least 27 people were killed and 78 injured in the first bombing attack that occurred on the St. George church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, one hundred kilometers north of Cairo; the second attack, with 17 people dead and 48 wounded, occurred a few hours later on St. Mark’s cathedral in Alexandria. 

Those two heinous attacks of brutal violence and terrorism, which even surpass the very limits of gruesome terrorist blindness, clearly targeted Egyptian Christians.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece condemns strongly and unequivocally these atrocious murderous acts, it stands by the side of all Christians and of all the people of Egypt and expresses its warmest condolences to the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, His Beatitude Theodoros II, and to the families who lost their beloved ones in the Holy Week.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece hopes that this time the whole democratic Europe will not remain silent and indifferent towards the steady effort to exterminate and uproot Christianity from its cradle.

Athens, April 10, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

 

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE TERROR ATTACK IN THE SUBWAY OF ST. PETERSBURG Print E-mail
Friday, 07 April 2017 12:23

One more blind terrorist attack has been added to the long list of attacks that have been shaking the European continent. This time the attack occurred in the subway of St. Petersburg, the second largest city of Russia, on Monday, April 3, 2017, during rush hour; the attack resulted in the death of eleven people, while forty five people have been injured and some of them are in a very critical condition.

The terrorist attack took place while the Russian President Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg to attend the fourth regional media forum. No matter which are the forces that motivate terrorism, it is our duty to fight against these ideologies.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the Greek Jewry’s abhorrence at this brutal act of terrorism, strongly condemns terrorism, and stands by the Russian government and the Russian people in their three-day mourning. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece conveys the most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes wholeheartedly fast recovery to the wounded.

 Athens, 6th April 2017

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE DESECRETION OF THE HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN ARTA Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 March 2017 11:20

Only a few days after the remembrance events organized by the municipality of Arta for the deportation and extermination of the city's Jews in the Nazi concentration camps, the Holocaust Monument in Arta was vandalized. It is obvious that there are still people disturbed by their Jewish fellow citizens even if the latter are dead. They cannot tolerate even their memory!

We are confident that both the municipality of Arta and the vast majority of its citizens will not allow the desecration of memory by a few nostalgic obscurantists who vulgarly aim at staining the image of the city. We are also confident that soon the monument will stand again to fulfil its purpose: remind the visitors of the atrocity that led to the annihilation of the Jews of Arta simply because they were Jews and awaken the society that such an absolute evil can happen again unless we strongly preserve our democratic and humanitarian principles.

Athens, 29th March 2017

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 

 
HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN KAVALA VANDALIZED Print E-mail
Friday, 31 March 2017 09:57

The Holocaust Monument in Kavala was brutally defaced on March 30, 2017, by vandals who shattered a large part of its marble façade. The attack was condemned by the Municipality of Kavala, government officials and political parties. More specifically the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its announcement pointed out: “…similar incidents of vandalism of historic monuments, racism and intolerance are unequivocally condemned by the Greek society…”, the Secretary General for Religious Affairs of the Education Ministry Mr. George Kalantzis stressed: “as many times they demolish them  -the Holocaust Memorials-, so many times we will have them rebuilt”, the main opposition Party New Democracy stated: «…hatred, bigotry and racism are unknown to the principles, the values and the culture of Greece…” and the SYRIZA Party -branch of Kavala- mentioned: “The vandalism of the monument for the 1.484 Jews of Kavala who perished at the concentration camps is an “effrontery monument” and reminds to the citizens of the town that fascism lies in wait”.  

Our Board issued the following announcement: 

Early in the morning today (Thursday, March 30, 2017), the Holocaust Monument of the Greek Jews of Kavala, who were deported and exterminated by the Nazis in the Nazi camp of Treblinka in Poland, was destroyed with the use of a heavy tool by unknown perpetrators. The municipality of Kavala has unveiled this Holocaust monument only on May 2015, restoring through this symbolic way the memory of the 1.484 Jews of the city.

 

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the abhorrence of the Greek Jewry for this vandal attack against the Holocaust monument of Kavala, which occurs only a few days after the desecration of the Holocaust Monument of Arta. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece welcomes nevertheless the prompt reaction of the Mayor of Kavala, Ms. Dimitra Tsanaka, who has immediately condemned this sad incident, promising that «the Holocaust memorial will be immediately restored in order to be offered again to the town and to continue to symbolize unity among people, sending a strong message against racism and intolerance and reminding the black pages of the past that humanity must never again witness». 

 At the same time we express our deep concern: these acts of desecration show in an obvious way that anti-Semitism -an antisemitism almost without Jews-, racism, and intolerance survive and lurk everywhere in every moment. Every moral, political or other act of legitimation of the nostalgic pro-Nazis increases the risk of the revival of anti-Semitism and of the expansion of such incidents that threaten the values ​​of a modern and democratic society and darken the prestige of our country. Prosecutors should take all necessary measures to arrest the vandals responsible and bring them to justice.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece calls the local authorities, representatives of the society, and the citizens of Kavala to oppose strongly against such acts and practices which in the past led to the overthrow of Democracy and the prevalence of Nazism, and to protect the city's collective memory for a part of the population that was brutally exterminated in the Nazi concentration camp.

Athens, March 30, 2017

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

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KIS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE MEETING OF THE THESSALONIKI METROPOLITAN ANTHIMOS WITH THE LEADER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:58

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece expresses the deep grief of Greek Jewry for the meeting held between the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Anthimos and the indicted leader of a party that did not hesitate to perform the gesture of Nazi salute and deny the Holocaust of six million Jews who perished in Nazi concentration camps, including the 46.000 Jews of Thessaloniki. Such meetings are disrespectful towards their memory and legitimize the exponents of hatred and intolerance in Greece and in no way contribute to the harmonious coexistence of people regardless of their color, race or religion.

We are confident that the Thessaloniki Metropolitan does not reflect the official opinion of either the Church of Greece, whose members as the late Archbishop Damaskinos opposed the persecution of the Greek Jews by German troops, nor the majority of our fellow citizens of Thessaloniki.

Athens, 28th March 2017
CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 
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