Friday, 05 January 2018 14:25
The Holocaust Monument in Athens, close to the Synagogue and the community headquarters, was vandalized. Two parts of the three-fold inscription situated next to the Monument -with the message of Elie Wiesel to the passers by, in three languages (Greek, English and French)- were stripped off on the night of Friday December 1st, 2017.
The inscription -inter alia- reads: «Pause a while as you pass by, close your eyes and remember….Just remember. For by remembering we honour their death and we save them from dying again – in oblivion».

The Athens Municipality reacted immediately issuing an announcement, which was posted on the Municipality’s facebook and website.  The Municipality condemned the violent act and assured the Jewish community that it will provide for the reparation of the damage.
The desecration was also condemned by the Athens Jewish Community President, Minos Moissis, through the Community’s facebook and website, and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS). Our Board addressed a letter to the Minister of Citizen Protection asking for increased protection measures and for the arrest of the perpetrators. Secretary General for Religious Affairs, George Kalantzis, also issued a condemning announcement pointing out that this "atrocious act is also a constant reminder of our own duty to defend justice, truth and the memory of the six million exterminated Jews…”.  * The announcement of KIS, dated December 4, 2017:
On Friday, December 1st, 2017, persons unknown vandalized the Holocaust Monument in Athens, which is located in Kerameikos, near the ancient cemetery and the Synagogue.
The perpetrators, driven by blind intolerance, anti-Semitic feelings, and complete historical ignorance, stripped the engraved plaques with Elie Wiesel’s words: “Pause a while as you pass by, close your eyes and remember. […] For by remembering we honour their deaths and we save them from dying again, in oblivion”.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) expresses the profound and deep sorrow of the Greek Jewry for the desecration of the Holocaust Monument in Athens; the Board also expresses its hope that brutality, anti-Semitism and intolerance will not prevail. KIS, in a letter sent to the Deputy Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, requested that the vandals be arrested and brought to Justice. The city of Athens will not surrender to violence and atrocities, but will preserve by all means the historical memory. A positive sign in this direction is the prompt reaction of the City’s Municipality which in its announcement stated that the Municipality of Athens will restore the pieces that have been removed from the Monument, stating that Athens is and will remain a city that respects freedom and history.

* Press Release
of the Secretary General for Religious Affairs, George Kalantzis, on the vandalism of the Holocaust Monument in Athens:

The desecration of the Holocaust Monument in Athens is an atrocious act, being at the same time a constant reminder of our duty to defend truth, justice and the memory of the 6.000.000 exterminated Jews, 67.000 Greek Jews among them. 
At the same time, defending the memory of the innocent victims is the best way to honor the memory of the 337 Greek Orthodox Christians who have been recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” because when the time came they honored their homeland, their history and their culture by their acts.
Recently the manuscript of Marcel Nadjari, a Greek Jew from Thessaloniki deported to Auschwitz, has been transcribed. Nadjari was forced to experience the absolute horror in this death factory. In his manuscript we read: "Now that this order came, we will be executed as well. Here we are 26 Greeks and a Polish woman. At least for us, Greeks, we are determined to die like real Greeks, as every Greek knows how to die. Whoever asks of me, tell him that I no longer exist and that I left this world as a real Greek ...I die with the pleasure of knowing that now our Greece is free. My last words will be 'long live Greece'”.
Well, our last words are, “We do not forget”.


Holocaust Memorial vandalized in Athens, not the first time, EJP 3.12.17, by Victor Eliezer