NEW YORK - The World Jewish Congress echoes the Greek Jewish community’s calls of “shame, shame, shame” following the desecration of the Jewish Monument in the campus of the Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki, in the Observatory Park. This desecration comes just 12 days after the Holocaust Monument in Thessalonki was vandalized for a third time in seven months.
The Monument was erected to commemorate the collective memory of the Jewish students of the Aristotle University who perished during the Holocaust. It also serves to mark an old Jewish cemetery which was destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators in 1942, the remains upon which the Aristotle University campus was built.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, ‘’The consternation we feel following such a cowardly desecration is only compounded by the fact that this is not an isolated incident. There have been several such acts of desecration in Greece this year alone. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and in Greece to fight combat racism, anti-Semitism and hatred under difficult circumstances.
"Just last week, Greece was one of 22 nations to co-sponsor a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council denouncing anti-Semitism, at the initiative of the WJC. We urge Greece to follow through on its commitment to combating anti-Semitism, and treat these incidents with utmost severity, concern, and action. Such vile hatred must not be allowed to prevail."
Greek General Secretary of Religious Affairs George Kalantzis issued a statement in which he condemned the desecration of the monument as “an act which is part of the Nazi tradition and ideology”.