Greece: Monk vandalizes Holocaust memorial

The Greek Jewish community expresses outrage at a monk’s vulgar desecration of a Holocaust memorial.

Father Kleomenis, an excommunicated Old Calendarist monk, on Monday filmed himself desecrating a Holocaust memorial in the city of Larissa while cursing Jews, denying the Holocaust and calling on “patriotic organizations” to take a bulldozer to the monument, which he pelted with eggs and spat at.

“Here, we read 6 million! Fairytales… S*** on their faces, Hitler merely wiped out 600,000,” he yelled. “Curse on your dirty monuments,” he said.

Most of Greece’s pre-war Jewish population was deported and murdered in Nazi death camps by German occupation forces towards the end of the Holocaust.

The Greek Jewish community has expressed outrage after the monk’s actions were publicized, urging civil society to condemn the incident and respect the Jewish community, which it called an “integral part of the city.”

“Shame and outrage are the feelings that one feels when realizing what happened in Larissa on Monday,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) said in a statement, noting that the monument was the first erected in Greece.

“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,” the statement read.

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Vandalism of Jewish sites and anti-Semitic attacks has increased in Greece since the rise in recent years of the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party, which grew to become Greece’s third-largest political party.

The Golden Dawn party, a Neo-Nazi faction, currently holds 17 out of 300 seats in the Greek Parliament.

According to a poll conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2014, 69 percent of Greeks harbor anti-Jewish attitudes, making it the most anti-Semitic country outside of the Middle East.

By: World Israel News Staff