A violent anti-Semitic campaign has again been started in Greece, surpassing all previous ones in its virulence. At the recent elections M. Venizelos’ party was victorious, and it has now turned against the Jews, blaming them for the hostility of its opponents.
“La Makedonia,” a Venizelist organ notorious for its unbridled anti-Semitism, is leading the present campaign. “You’re out for war, are you, Jews? You shall have it” is the title of its leading article. There being 60,000 Jews in Salonica, the paper declares that there are “60,000 conspirators in Salonica. The Jews of Salonica are a dangerous and treacherous element. They have always been working against Greek authority.”
The paper goes on to speak of “the scandalous attitude adopted by these ‘strangers’ towards every Greek national effort. It has been going on for 20 years. Never do the Jews fail to manifest their hostility to us. We have been too indulgent towards them. We believed that at last they had assimilated our culture and come to love this country, where they live in peace, though to the detriment of the Greek nation. We were mistaken. The Jews remain the enemies of Greece.
“They have declared war on us, and we shall accept their insolent defiance. We shall adopt the necessary attitude towards these accursed Jews, these odious foreigners who draw their breath in an atmosphere of conspiracy and shame. We wash our hands of all responsibility. We shall endeavor to bring their plots to nought. We have already beaten them once. This time we shall exterminate them completely.”
The article ends with the following words: “You want war against the Republican world, Jews? You shall have it. But we give you, here and now, the assurance that you will be annihilated. We swear to accomplish to the bitter end all that we say today. The country must be freed from foreigners, and above all from those that are not merely foreigners but shameless conspirators, aiming assassin blows at our country and ourselves. No force in the world can stay our avenging hand.”
This unscrupulous anti-Semitic campaign has already provoked great indignation among moderate circles throughout the country. The Governor-General, speaking to representatives of the press, announced. “We have decided to put an end to these newspaper campaigns.” Repetitions of the barbarous scenes of June 1931 are feared. The Communal Council of Salonica has convened an urgent meeting, and both leading Jewish and non-Jewish personalities are joining forces to combat an agitation which, though entirely unjustified and conducted with the most unscrupulous methods, is fraught with such dangerous consequences.