The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) condemned the second vandalism of the Holocaust Monument in Trikala, Thessaly, within two days and called for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and for proper guarding of the site by the city, in a statement on Friday.
The monument, it said, sustained very serious damage, since "part of the surrounding fence (has) been severely damaged and the ornamenting Magen David been detached." It noted that in February and March 2019 the monument had been vandalized with antisemitic graffiti three times. In addition, antisemitic graffiti was painted on the outer walls of the synagogue in Trikala at the end of December.
In its statement, the board also said it had "reacted swiftly and addressed letters to the Minister of Citizen Protection, the Mayor of Trikala and the Chief of the Police department in Trikala asking for the arrest of the perpetrators and their prosecution, the adoption of effective security measures for the protection of all Jewish sites - thus the Synagogue, the Holocaust Monument and the Jewish cemetery - so that such actions, that damage the image of the city both in Greece and abroad, are prevented from happening again in the future.
"We hope that the city of Trikala, the Municipality, the Church and the civil society will safeguard the city’s history and heritage against the followers of intolerance and antisemitism," the board concluded.
In its statement, the City of Trikala strongly condemned the desecration of monuments of its Jewish Community, calling them "unacceptable, dark acts of bigotry and racism, violating any sense of respect to human beings and their values."
"In a city that has a recorded and long-term history of the cohabitation of religions, and respect and projection of different religions, such acts harm democracy, solidarity and peaceful coexistence," it said, and called on residents of Trikala to preserve the history of the city and its tradition of respect to humanity.
"It is our responsibility to continue living in an open city, a city that serves as a model of solidarity, brotherhood and respect for every human being, without discrimination."