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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

 
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM & EDUCATIONAL CENTER OF GREECE in THESSALONIKI: A World Monument Against Racism Print E-mail
Monday, 23 January 2017 11:15

Article in the daily “Kathimerini”, January 15, 2017, by Yiota Myrtsioti: A six storey circular building made of metal and glass will rise to the historic place where the end of the 55,000 Greek Jews of Thessaloniki started; the memorial building will change the skyline of the city's western entrance and the map of Europe Holocaust memorials and museums. After seven decades, the city of Thessaloniki restores the memory, recognizes its mistakes, opens its archives, studies, but above all apologizes for a piece of history that the city buried with its silence and under the foundations of the university campus. The city’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, has restored this oblivion three years ago in front of the monument erected in a corner of the university campus to remind that this was the place where the Sephardic Jews of the big community of Salonica were honoring their dead for 500 years. Yannis Boutaris, in his speech delivered at the moment, spoke of the undue delay of the city to break the silence and to begin to mention the gloomy moments of its history. It was one of the slow but steady steps toward the target he had set since he became mayor: that the institution he represents becomes an institution of memory with continuity in time. The culmination of this effort is the establishment of the Museum and Educational Center on the Holocaust in the area of the Old Railway Station, where the Jews of Thessaloniki started their final trip.

This was an idea of the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel. The mayor adopted this idea and, in order to promote it, he used its contacts around the world. The Municipality and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki worked together, methodically, without fanfare, to implement this idea and now, almost three years later, with funding guaranteed, they are setting the project’s timelines.

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WJC PRESIDENT RONALD S. LAUDER INTERVIEWED IN “KATHIMERINI” Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 February 2017 11:22

Greece is a key player in the Mediterranean and the strengthening of ties with Israel on a political and military level is an important development given the rise of Islamic terrorism, according to Ronald Lauder, the president of World Jewish Congress, who visited Athens on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In an interview with Kathimerini’s Sunday’s edition, Lauder noted the rise of nationalism, and anti-Semitism which, he said, is not just a threat to minorities but to society at large. Lauder said the proliferation of far-right groups in Europe, including Golden Dawn in Greece which openly professes its hatred of Jews and Israel, has taken on alarming proportions. He also noted a rise in anti-Semitism among Muslim migrants in Europe, as well as among traditional European newspapers and even Britain’s Labour party.

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Greek Parliament President Voutsis visits the Knesset; signs declaration to combat anti-Semitism Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:21

The President of the Hellenic Parliament, Nikos Voutsis, visited the Knesset Wednesday as a guest of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. On Thursday, he will return to the Knesset to participate in a first-of-its-kind trilateral meeting with Speaker Edelstein and the president of Cyprus` House of Representatives, Demetris Syllouris. They will discuss various subjects which are connected to the future of the region.

After signing the Knesset guestbook and giving formal statements to the press, Voutsis held a work meeting at the Knesset Speaker`s office. MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Camp), who heads the Israel-Greece Parliamentary Friendship Group, also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, the Greek parliament`s president signed a declaration which has already been signed by various parliamentary heads, making a commitment to battle anti-Semitism.

”This is a subject which we fight against firmly”, Voutsis noted. Voutsis met with members of the Knesset`s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and with Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp).
Knesset Speaker Edelstein said, ”Israel and Greece are the successors of two magnificent cultures, and the two countries share mutual values of democracy. I was glad to hear that you [spoke extensively about] Holocaust memorial enterprises in Greece”.

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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE ANTISEMITIC STATEMENTS OF THE REPORTER DIMOS VERYKIOS AT THE ALPHA TV CHANNEL Print E-mail
Monday, 16 January 2017 10:53

On Thursday, 12 January 2017, during the morning show of Alpha TV channel «Happy Day», presented by Stamatina Tsimtsili, the reporter Dimos Verykios, at a live connection with his broadcast from Alpha Radio, he included into his political and economic comment many conventional anti-Semitic stereotypes.

More precisely, Dimos Verykios, as part of his comment, he stated: "The world money is concentrated in three centers: they are actually dominating the planet. One center is the banks, the global banking system. Through this banking system, two main centers are ruling the game. One of these centers is the Jewish lobby, powerful, extremely powerful in America and elsewhere! In all big deals, one will meet a Jew! Or a mason!”.

These are absolutely unhistorical anti-Semitic views, which are usually expressed only by marginal and extreme right elements. The fact that these views were surprisingly broadcasted, even without any reaction, in one of the largest TV channels of our country, makes us very concerned. The claims of Mr. Verykios are simply provoking hate against Jews. We expect that he will realize his big mistake and apologize to the audience for the promotion of these unsubstantiated and false accusations, which do not inform at all the public but instead lead to misinformation and encourage anti-Semitism in Greece.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece will continue tirelessly to fight against anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance, a fight that, as it turns out, should be given every day.

 Athens, January 13th, 2017

CENTRAL BOARD OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GREECE

 

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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE GREEK MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF GREECE AND YAD VASHEM Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 11:21

Τhe Memorandum of Understanding between the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the Jewish Museum of Greece and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority was signed on January 26, 2017, ahead of the Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Memorandum was signed by the Greek Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Mr. Konstantinos Gavroglou and the President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Museum in Greece, Mr. Samuel Matsas signed, with the presence of the Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Ms. Irit Ben-Abba and her Deputy Ms. Sawsan Hasson.

Source: Embassy of Israel

 
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