A historic Jewish cemetery in the central Greek city of Larissa was vandalised with Christian graffiti on Monday, prompting a quick rebuke from the Greek Foreign Ministry, the United States Embassy and numerous others.
Police arrested a Greek man, who spray-painted the Christian symbol representing the words “Jesus Wins” in black on the walls of the Larissa cemetery and nearby Holocaust monument. He was also arrested for violating the coronavirus measures.
“We condemn yesterday’s heinous desecration of the Jewish cemetery of Larissa. This despicable act is an insult to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and is counter to Greek culture and the values of the Greek society. Such actions remind us of the need for vigilance in defence of our moral values against racism, hatred and bigotry,” said the statement of the Greek Foreign Ministry.
The U.S. Embassy also condemned the vandalism in a statement.
It is recalled two months ago, several Jewish monuments in Greece were desecrated.
Unknown assailants spray-painted the façade of the Thessaloniki Holocaust Memorial, a monument dedicated to the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki who were exterminated during the Holocaust, with the phrase “With Jews you lose.”
The hate crime was condemned by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, which stated that: “The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece condemns this new wave of vandal attacks, launched by the followers of bigotry and fanaticism as a statement of their presence in a period when the Greek State, the society and recently the Greek Justice have condemned the neo-Nazi groups as criminal organizations. We are not afraid of them!”