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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 REGARDING INSULTING STATEMENTS BY NAZI DEVOTEES Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:39
The election of devotees of Nazism has dealt the Greek Democracy a serious blow. Their own leader, who looks with nostalgia at the darkest days in European history and hankers after the suffering that spread across the whole of Europe, including Greece, verified this in his own words in an interview he gave on Mega channel (in “Protagonistes”, with St. Theodorakis) claiming, among other things, that there were no ovens [crematoria] or gas chambers at Auschwitz.
This is an affront to historical fact, to the memory of six million of our fellow Jews (70,000 of them Greek Jews) who were massacred in the death camps of Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka, and in the other places of industrialised extermination set up by Adolf Hitler for the implementation of the ‘Final Solution’ to the Jewish problem. It is an affront to surviving witnesses of the atrocities. It is an affront to all those who resisted and fought to stop the raging Nazi fury. It is an affront to the history of Greece, to the struggles and sacrifices that the people of Greece made in defence of the principles of liberty, democracy and humanity.
We call upon the Government of the Hellenic Republic, the political leaders of the country, social organizations, educational bodies, and people who uphold spiritual and cultural values to voice their unequivocal condemnation and to isolate the forces that aim to revive the darkest ideas ever to surface in European history. 
Athens, May 14, 2012

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GOVERNMENTAL CONDEMNATION OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL STATEMENTS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:59
Minister of State & Government Spokesman Mr. Pantelis Kapsis made the following statement (May 14, 2012), in relation to the Holocaust denial statements made by the general secretary of “Golden Dawn” N. Mihaloliakos in a TV interview (“Protagonistes”, Mega channel, May 13, 2012):     
“I wish to condemn in the most determined way these opinions which constitute a distortion of history and a fierce insult to the memory of the millions of Holocaust victims.  
The Greek people do not forget that they mourned hundreds of thousands of dead owed to Nazism, amongst whom, tens of thousands of Greek Jews. We honor their memory and we fight against any attempt to forget, to falsify historic events and to revive intolerance”.
 
RIGHTEOUS AWARDS TO TRHEE GREEKS IN VEROIA WHO HELPED JEWS DURING WW II Print E-mail
Monday, 02 July 2012 08:47
In a ceremony marked by great humanity, gratitude, pride and emotion, the state of Israel on June 25, 2012, posthumously bestowed the Righteous Among the Nations Award upon three Orthodox Christian Greeks who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust. Hosted by the Municipality of Veria in northern Greece, the ceremony was attended by Israeli Ambassador Arye Mekel, the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel, and Maurice Magrizos, the president of the Jewish Community of Larissa.
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OPEN LETTER: WE ARE ALL GREEK JEWS Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 07:42
From the Website www.guardian.co.uk

The neo-Nazi party
Golden Dawn entered the Greek parliament this month. With its swastika-inspired emblem, Hitlerian salute, reference to Mein Kampf, antisemitic and racist ideology, Holocaust denial, violence against migrants, threats against journalists and personality cult, the party is the lineal heir of the German national-socialist party that led Europe and the world into chaos and bloodshed.
Unfortunately, Greece is not the only country threatened by this revival of Nazi ideology. In Latvia this year, the president of the republic has for the first time supported the annual former Waffen SS march, in spite of strong criticism. In Austria the FPÖ, an extreme right organisation that nurtures Third Reich nostalgia, is favourite in the polls for the next parliamentary elections. In Hungary, the Hungarian Guard Movement, descendant of The Arrow Cross party – the former militia responsible for the extermination of Jews and Gypsies – terrorises Jewish populations and holds direct responsibility for provoking deadly attacks against Roma people.
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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ELECTIONS OF MAY 6, 2012 Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 06:11
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, which represents the Greek Jewish citizens of the country, considers the election of the followers of Fascism and Nazism in the Greek Parliament as a strong hit against Greek Democracy.
We are sure that our fellow-citizens, the democratic forces of the Greek Parliament, the mass media, the academic and the cultural society will join forces so as to continue the struggle against racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism.
We all have the duty to preserve our dignity and safeguard the principles of freedom, democracy and humanism.
Athens May 8, 2012
Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
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