Vandals deface Greek synagogue with swastikas

Vandals defaced a synagogue in the city of Ioannina in northern Greece with Nazi symbols, drawing strong condemnation from the main political parties in the country.

“Racist vandals defaced the exterior of the surrounding wall of the historic synagogue of Ioannina, situated in the old walled city, the Kastro (Castle). Vandals drew swastikas also on some houses of the surrounding area,” the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) stated on Monday.

KIS “expressed the Greek Jewry’s repudiation for this hideous act” and urged authorities to work for the arrest of the perpetrators as well as “the adequate protection” of the synagogue so as to prevent such incidents “that stain the image of the city of Ioannina.”

Greece’s foreign ministry vowed Tuesday that authorities would do their utmost to arrest and punish whoever was responsible for the vandalism.

The “barbaric” attack is an affront to Greek society and the memory of Greek victims of fascism, including Jews, during World War II, the ministry stated.

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 war.

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.

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By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.