ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Vandals have defaced the Holocaust Memorial in Athens, writing threats against the Jewish community on it.
The incident occurred Friday and police were immediately called to the scene, where they took fingerprints and opened an investigation, said Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
The graffiti included a purported quote from the Talmud, saying Jews who convert should be put to death, and threats that the synagogue in Athens would be destroyed.
“Regretfully, 70 years after the end of World War II, which left millions of victims of bigotry, racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism behind, there are people beyond redemption aiming at terrorizing us by molesting the memory of our brothers, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Jewish community issued on Monday.
“They will not succeed in intimidating us,” the statement said.
The incident comes several weeks after vandals desecrated the Jewish cemetery in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
It also follows the release of an Anti-Defamation League survey showing that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That’s nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, where the rate was 37 percent.
The monument, erected in 2010, commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today only about 5,000 Jews live in Greece.